Thursday, January 06, 2005

Hi! How's it going? How was your Christmas? Did you get that pony you wanted?

So everyone is posting the votes-recorded e-mails they got from Pazz & Jop, and I'd do the same except umm I'm an idiot and I deleted the e-mail. But it feels like a big moment for me, even if I totally blanked and didn't write any comments, even if like one million people are voting this year. Voting in Pazz & Jop is something I've wanted to do since I was like 15, and I wasn't sure I'd ever get the chance. Now I've got it. I'm in the club. Nice.

And I like making lists. They sort of give you a chance to step back and evaluate your own aesthetic, to see where you're at and where you've been and where you're going. The tastes of a music critic aren't anywhere near as important as that person's writing voice, and I think my voice has changed a lot more than my tastes over the past year, but it still gives you a chance to look in the mirror, you know? Jace Clayton and Yancey Strickler have both done great blog posts recently about how basically ridiculous the top-ten list is (sorry no links, don't have Explorer anymore, not typing in no html), and they have good points, but I find something therapeutic in the whole process. And of course the year is going to end with Brian Wilson or Loretta Lynn or Kanye winning the poll, but now M.I.A. has a better shot at the top ten, you know?

(Oh, and best ten movies I saw last year go like this: Before Sunset, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Dawn of the Dead, Anchorman, Mean Girls, The Incredibles, Spider Man 2, Garden State, Saved!, Kill Bill 2.)

But the last few weeks have been like total list-making frenzy, and that can get a little bit difficult. Like Pitchfork wanted fifty albums and singles. That's a lot. When I got back to work on Monday after a week off, I had an e-mail that they wanted 100 albums and singles of the decade so far by Friday. That's like even more. That's pretty hard. It's like I'm starting to think about music just in numbers and comparisons, like: "Which is better? The Hollertronix mix CD or the last Spoon album? Dammit, I have to figure this out in the next five minutes because I've got 75 more albums to pick today!" And then you start to get all paranoid, like what if you forget that "Jumpin' Jumpin'", though released in 99, peaked on the Billboards in 00 and is thus eligible to be listed! It might get lost! And it's a great song! The world would end! I'm looking forward to finally getting done with this so I can get back to thinking in words instead of numbers.

So anyway, here's what I learned from this top 100 albums list.

This list could very well get me fired.

My taste makes no sense.

The final Pitchfork list is so going to look nothing like this.

I will be pleasantly shocked if Luda makes the top 100.

I was way, way into emo for a couple of years there.

This list was made in the middle of winter, which might explain Bright Eyes and Scarface and Rainer Maria beating Clipse and Le Tigre and Daft Punk.

I like indie rap after all.

I don't care if the first Le Tigre album and Volume 3 were released in 1999. They count.

If you were to listen to numbers 91 to 100 back to back, you would fall asleep at least three times.

There were a whole lot more great singles than great albums released this decade. I'll post the singles list tomorrow, and it will rule on this.

Here it is:

Tom Breihan’s Top 100 Albums of 2000-20004

1. Sleater-Kinney: One Beat
2. Ludacris: Back for the First Time
3. Lifter Puller: Fiestas & Fiascos
4. Sleater-Kinney: All Hands on the Bad One
5. Postal Service: Give Up
6. Ghostface: The Pretty Toney Album
7. White Stripes: White Blood Cells
8. M.I.A.: Piracy Funds Terrorism, Volume 1
9. Johnny Cash: American IV: The Man Comes Around
10. Dizzee Rascal: Showtime

11. Grand Buffet: Pittsburgh Hearts
12. Ghostface Killah: Supreme Clientele
13. Rapture: Echoes
14. Hold Steady: The Hold Steady Almost Killed Me
15. Jay-Z: The Blueprint
16. Rancid: Indestructible
17. Rainer Maria: A Better Version of Me
18. Bright Eyes: Fevers & Mirrors
19. Scarface: The Fix
20. Streets: A Grand Don’t Come for Free

21. Aaliyah: Aaliyah
22. Clipse: Lord Willin’
23. Jay-Z: The Black Album
24. Hollertronix: Never Scared
25. Spoon: Kill the Moonlight
26. Le Tigre: Le Tigre
27. Faint: Danse Macabre
28. Missy Elliott: Under Construction
29. Beta Band: Hot Shots II
30. Gretchen Wilson: Here for the Party

31. Andrew W.K.: I Get Wet
32. Daft Punk: Discovery
33. Jay-Z: Volume 3: The Life and Times of S. Carter
34. Fugazi: The Argument
35. DJ Quik: Under tha Influence
36. TV on the Radio: Young Liars
37. Dandy Warhols: 13 Tales of Urban Bohemia
38. Radiohead: Kid A
39. Pupils: Pupils
40. Mountain Goats: We Shall All Be Healed

41. Streets: Original Pirate Material
42. DJ Roli Fingaz: Reggaeton Fever
43. Mr. Lif: I Phantom
44. V/A: DFA Compilation #2
45. Trick Daddy: Thug Matrimony: Married to the Streets
46. Spiritualized: Let It Come Down
47. Cannibal Ox: The Cold Vein
48. Mastodon: Leviathan
49. Q and Not U: Different Damage
50. Three-6 Mafia: Da Unbreakables

51. Fannypack: So Stylistic
52. Dizzee Rascal: Boy in Da Corner
53. Outkast: Stankonia
54. Missy Elliott: Miss E … So Addictive
55. Atom and his Package: Redefining Music
56. Yeah Yeah Yeahs: Fever to Tell
57. Avalanches: Since I Left You
58. Les Savy Fav: Go Forth
59. Bjork: Selmasongs
60. Cam’ron: Purple Haze

61. Bubba Sparxxx: Deliverance
62. Bjork: Medulla
63. Kanye West: The College Dropout
64. Buck 65: Talkin’ Honky Blues
65. Young Buck: Straight Outta Ca$hville
66. Black Eyes: Black Eyes
67. Cex: Being Ridden
68. Alkaline Trio: From Here to Infirmary
69. Justin Timberlake: Justified
70. Espers: Espers

71. Petey Pablo: Still Writin’ in My Diary: Second Entry
72. Atmosphere: Seven’s Travels
73. 50 Cent: Get Rich or Die Tryin’
74. Ward 21: U Know How We Roll
75. Dropkick Murphys: Sing Loud, Sing Proud
76. Radio 4: Gotham
77. Sole: Selling Live Water
78. Erland Oye: DJ Kicks
79. Devendra Banhart: Rejoicing in the Hands
80. Angels of Light: Everything is Good Here / Please Come Home

81. Atmosphere: God Loves Ugly
82. Transplants: Transplants
83. Pulp: We Love Life
84. Eminem: The Marshall Mathers LP
85. Wiley: Treddin’ on Thin Ice
86. Coldplay: A Rush of Blood to the Head
87. Spiritualized: Amazing Grace
88. Spoon: Girls Can Tell
89. Grand Buffet: Cigarette Beach
90. Brother Ali: Shadows on the Sun

91. Mars Volta: De-Loused at the Cornatorium
92. Pretty Girls Make Graves: Good Health
93. Strokes: Is This It?
94. Hood: Cold House
95. Aesop Rock: Bazooka Tooth
96. Nas: God’s Son
97. At the Drive-In: Relationship of Command
98. Arcade Fire: The Funeral
99. Walkmen: Bows & Arrows
100. Boards of Canada: Geogaddi