By Chris Gray
By Corey Deiterman
By Jef With One F
By Chris Gray
By Rocks Off
By Rocks Off
Album: Under the Blacklight (Warner Bros., 2007)
Song: "Portions for Foxes" (More Adventurous, 2004)
Spoon: An indie-rocker who always sounded more comfortable wearing his forefathers' clothing ("Fitted Shirt"), Spoon's Britt Daniel squeezed classic songwriting into today's cut-and-paste digi-music world. Whether examining the tiniest minutiae ("My Little Japanese Cigarette Case") or dealing with the deepest loneliness ("Anything You Want"), Spoon made even the smallest stakes sound not so small at all.
Album: Gimme Fiction (Merge, 2005)
Song: "The Underdog" (Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga, 2007)
White Stripes/Raconteurs/The Dead Weather: Not everything Jack White touched this decade turned to garage-rock gold, but enough did that his OCD-like need to keep starting new bands was more endearing than annoying. The gale-force guitar blasts of "Ball and Biscuit," "Black Math" and Son House's "Death Letter" proved he was a true son of Detroit, but softer moments like "We're Going to Be Friends" made him a Nashville-worthy songwriter. Still, as much as we enjoyed the Raconteurs' Consolers of the Lonely and The Dead Weather's Horehound, it's just not the same without Meg wailing away behind him.
Album: Elephant (White Stripes, Third Man/V2,2003)
Song: "Death Letter" (White Stripes, De Stijl, 2000)
Wilco: And so here we are at the band that, front to back, soundtracked Noise's decade more than any other. Putting their alt-country past to bed on the star-crossed Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, Jeff Tweedy and mates cast a critical yet sentimental eye on America's postmillennial vertigo both in the headlines ("Ashes of American Flags") and at home ("At Least That's What You Said"). And they still love rock and roll, especially once amp-abusing guitarist Nels Cline came aboard. Even after Tweedy kicked prescription painkillers and cozied up to family life, songs like "Hate It Here" and "I'll Fight" were hardly the sounds of someone settling down.
Album: Yankee Hotel Foxtrot (Nonesuch, 2002)
Song: "The Late Greats" (A Ghost Is Born, 2004)
BECAUSE OF THE TIMES
Ten album titles that sum up the past ten years.
2000: We Have the Facts and We're Voting Yes
2001: Know Your Enemy (Manic Street Preachers)
2002: The Illusion of Safety (Thrice)
2003: Get Rich or Die Tryin' (50 Cent)
2004: Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes
2005: Lullabies to Paralyze (Queens of the
2006: Taking the Long Way (Dixie Chicks)
2007: We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank
2008: Some People Have Real Problems (Sia)
2009: Hot Mess (Cobra Starship)
Ten albums from artists a long way from out to pasture.
2000: U2, All That You Can't Leave Behind
2001: Bob Dylan, "Love and Theft"
2002: David Bowie, Heathen
2003: Joe Strummer & the Mescaleros, Streetcore
2004: Prince, Musicology
2005: Depeche Mode, Playing the Angel
2006: Tom Petty, Highway Companion
2007: John Fogerty, Revival
2008: Alejandro Escovedo, Real Animal
2009: Little Joe Washington, Texas Fire Line
Ten auspicious debuts (or near-debuts) from the 2000s.
2000: Coldplay, Parachutes
2001: The Shins, Oh, Inverted World
2002: ...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead, Source Tags & Codes
2003: Kings of Leon, Youth & Young Manhood
2004: Franz Ferdinand, Franz Ferdinand
2005: Miranda Lambert, Kerosene
2006: Band of Horses, Everything All the Time
2007: St. Vincent, Marry Me
2008: Fleet Foxes, Fleet Foxes
2009: White Lies, To Lose My Life...
FEVER TO TELL
Ten more albums we really, really liked.
2000: PJ Harvey, Stories From the City,
Stories From the Sea
2001: Guided by Voices, Isolation Drills
2002: Beck, Sea Change
2003: Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Fever to Tell
2004: Green Day, American Idiot
2005: New Pornographers, Twin Cinema
2006: Amy Winehouse, Back to Black
2008: MGMT, Oracular Spectacular
2009: Decemberists, The Hazards of Love