Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Decade in Music - Part 1a.


I originally proposed to Graham about 5 months ago that we get a jump on the “best of the decade” thing that’s going to happen and list our favorite new bands of the decade. Naturally, we procrastinated and I ended up deleting my original list. So what does Graham do over Thanksgiving? He proposes we do our top 20 bands of the decade. How novel.

Since Graham gave his back-story on the differences between 2000 and 2009 in his life, here’s mine. On the cusp of 2000, I was living in my first apartment, had just finished my 1st semester of college with a 4.0 and was kinda hoping YK2 turned the world into Mad Max. Now, I’m married, have 2 college degrees and still kinda wish Y2k turned the world into Mad Max.

Before I get into my top 20 bands of the decade, here’s who just missed the cut.

I really like some of these bands but if they only have 1 album that’s good, or great, I can’t call them a band of the decade. I’m sure they’ll be hurt. These bands include: Vampire Weekend, Evan Dando, Justin Clayton, Bloc Party and MGMT.

If the majority of your music in the decade was released after you died, then you missed the cut as well. I’m talking about Elliott Smith. I guess I shouldn’t say “he missed the cut,” huh?

A few bands get an incomplete cause I need to listen to them more: Earlimart, Wolf Parade and Of Montreal.

Lastly, these guys put out some good music but nothing I would put in the “amazing” category: Sam Roberts, Phantom Planet, Weezer, Mando Diao and Silversun Pickups. Weezer is one of my favorites but The Red Album is so bad that I have to penalize them.

20. The Hives
When making out this list I try and remember how good the music was one it first came out and not just how it sounds now. The Hives were the garage band du jour that I jumped on, as opposed to The White Stripes. Plus, bonus points for The Hives being one of the best live shows I’ve seen.


19. Coldplay
It’s pretty cool to dislike Coldplay these days. It’s not that hard considering Chris Martin turned out to be a nut and they push Apple more than Justin Long. But how can they not be a band of the decade? They’re absolutely huge and it’s because Parachutes and A Rush of Blood to the Head were solid. Plus, this song still holds up. It’s even better cause it shows how nutty Chris Martin is.


18. The Flaming Lips
I really like The Flaming Lips simply because most of their early music is terrible. After loving The Soft Bulletin and Yoshimi I went back and listed to their earlier stuff and was amazed at how bad it was. It’s night and day. Anyway, I’d put Yoshimi in the top 10 of the decade and At War With the Mystics is decent. Plus, The Flaming Lips did some of the best covers of the decade as well (Radiohead, Kylie Minogue, Queen).


17. Nada Surf
Easily the most underrated band of the decade. They’re on the cusp of popularity mostly because they were a one hit wonder in the ‘90s. I don’t even know what made me buy Let Go but it’s on of my favorite albums start to finish. There isn’t a weak link in there. It’s a great winter album too, pretty mellow, not too depressing. Their last album was pretty average, but The Weight is a Gift is pretty good as well.


16. Death Cab for Cutie/Postal Service
If I can’t include Ben Gibbard’s side project, Postal Service, then they wouldn’t make the cut. Death Cab is pretty good. Other than Transatlanticism, everything else seems to be pretty normal. But the Postal Service album, Give Up, is one of the best of the decade. Here’s my favorite:


I'm guessing Graham will throw out his next 5 and we'll go from there.