Gonzo’s Top 10 of the Decade

Hello Ickies! I know I’ve been absent from posting for far too long. I shall try harder in 2010 (though I think I said the same thing last year).

The first decade of the new millennium produced some great music, from established artists and from new folks. Keeping with the format set forth by Mark and Pete, I offer my top 10 of the decade. Narrowing it to ten was a near impossible task. I adopted Pete’s “one album per artist rule,” which helped. Also know that these are in no order whatsoever. I simply can’t rank them. We’ll go chronologically. That seems fair.

First, I’ll briefly plug my two-disc Aughts (oughts?) mix that Pete mentioned. Check it out and enjoy!

Outkast – Stankonia (2000)
stankonia
Still my favorite Outkast record. I am certainly not one to knock Speakerboxxx/The Love Below. But for me, Stankonia has held up better as the new decade dawns. That might just be a product of having played the hell out of Speakerboxxx/The Love Below. But personally, I feel like when Outkast hit, they made us realize that hey, you can actually have really good hip hop in the top 40.

Daft Punk – Discovery (2001)
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Speaking of albums that I overplayed in the earlier part of the decade, Daft Punk’s sophomore effort is certainly another example. There were so many big songs off this – whether their bigness was represented in college airplay or appropriation by television commercials. “One More Time,” “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger,” “Digital Love,” “Something About Us,” “Face to Face” … Lord. This was essential weekend grooving for a good 2 years of my college life.

Sigur Ros – ( ) (2002)
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This album blew me away. At the time, a friend described Sigur Ros as music to watch glaciers move by (or something along those lines). I was impressed first with the laboriously slow tempo of the tracks. More than that though, was the emotional depth in an album of songs who had no true lyrics to speak of. You may recall that the songs are sung in “Hopelandic,” wherein the idea was to go for the phonetic sounds that seemed most effective rather than a language proper (though structurally Hopelandic is based on the band’s native tongue of Icelandic).

The Flaming Lips – Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots (2002)
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This album cemented the Flaming Lips in music history. They’d had some success with “She Don’t Use Jelly” and more recently, The Soft Bulletin. But Yoshimi took them to the next level. Although their follow up (2006’s At War with the Mystics) was great and their current release (Embryonic) is also quite good, it all goes back to Yoshimi. It’s their masterpiece.

Jay-Z – The Black Album (2003)
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“S’ya boy!” Speaking of canonic, career-defining albums, there is little doubt in my mind that Jay-Z’s Black Album is his magnum opus. It almost makes me think that maybe he was serious about retiring, and put everything into what was to be his swan song. Of course that isn’t the way things panned out. Nonetheless, the album is a hip hop classic, track after track.

White Stripes-Get Behind Me Satan (2005)
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I love the White Stripes. No, really. And I’ve gone on record as naming Jack White the artist of the decade. The Stripes have yet to disappoint me. Sure, 2007’s Icky Thump didn’t live up to its predecessors, but even their worst album is still pretty damn good. I didn’t think they could top Elephant, but 2005’s Get Behind Me Satan did just that. I love that they aren’t afraid to experiment – they relish the chance to step outside of their blues-rock/garage comfort zone. Satan was all over the place stylistically, and each fore was a success. The summer that this came out, I seriously listened to it at least twice a day for a month.

MIA-Arular (2005)
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Pete might be onto something in saying that MIA is a love her or hate her type of artist. I love her, though I’ve played her for others that remain unimpressed. I was floored upon hearing Arular – it was unlike anything I’d ever heard before. It sounds cliche to say, but MIA is truly a hybrid artist, meshing so many genres and cultural flavors into one. 2007’s Kala is also amazing, but not quite the sonic dance floor assault that Arular is. She’s allegedly at work on the third album, so here’s hoping.

Chromeo – Fancy Footwork (2007)
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Quite possibly my pick for best party album of the decade. They’re cheeky, funky and they’ve mastered the Minneapolis sound. Fancy Footwork just makes me want to dance, from start to finish. There is not a bad track on the album. They’re also a good time live, and they’ve slated a new disc for a summer 2010 release. I can’t wait.

Cut Copy – In Ghost Colours (2008)
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More dancing. Aussie electropop outfit Cut Copy harken back to the 1980s synth dance of groups like New Order, but manage to do so in a way that takes them beyond being a mere retro or ripoff act. In essence, Cut Copy effectively takes emotive 1980s dance music and updates it for the new millennium. (Can I still refer to this as the new millennium ten years on?)

Santogold – Santogold (2008)
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A year ago, I claimed Santogold’s self-titled debut as my favorite disc from 2008, and my feelings have not changed. The Brooklynite alternately incorporates hip hop, new wave and ska influences among others, all adding up to one of the most refreshing albums of the decade. And she keeps good company – Diplo, Switch, Spank Rock, Amanda Blank…I very much look forward to what Santogold/Santigold offers up in the new decade.

Austin City Limits 2009 Lineup Announced

http://ickmusic.com/pics/ACL2009Lineup1.png

If you’ve been hiding under a rock for fear of contracting the Swine Flu, you might have missed the lineup announcement for this year’s installment of the Austin City Limits festival (Official Link) – and it looks to be a hell of a lineup. They are clearly going for a certain demographic (which I am fairly certain that I belong to), and at $185 for a 3-day Pass it comes in less per-day than seeing any of the headliners solo. The festival takes place October 2-4, 2009 at Zilker Park in Austin, TX.

http://ickmusic.com/pics/ACL2009Lineup2.png

There was a problem with the comments…

…and it’s fixed now.

There’s a setting in my fancy WordPress blogging platform that requires a user to be registered if they want to leave a comment. Well, an evil gremlin crawled in there and checked that box, and for the last several days, that setting has been active. I thought it seemed a tad quiet around here.

So for those that want to enter the Leonard Cohen Giveaway, or join in on Michael’s Friday Five, it’s not too late! I’ll keep my Cohen giveaway going through this weekend to give everyone a fair share.

Cheers!

Howard interviews Paul McCartney

Say what you will about Howard Stern, but you gotta admit, the man is one of the best interviewers around. He has a way of putting his subjects at ease, and he delves into territories you won’t find on the morning or late night talk shows. He asks the questions a regular person would want to ask, and goes beyond the prepackaged “tell me about your latest project” crap best exemplified by Mr. Jay Leno.

On Wednesday of this week, Paul McCartney dropped by Howard’s show on Sirius-XM. Now this is how you interview a Beatle…

Howard Stern interviews Paul McCartney (1-14-2009):

Paul discusses, among many other things, his latest album as “The Fireman”…

The Fireman – Official Web Site

Annual Plea for Monetary Assistance (or, A Little Help?)

It’s shameless, I know. But the fact is that this joint requires money to keep steaming along, and once a year, when my hosting dollars come due, I throw out one (1) request to see if you can kick in a few bucks. If you can skip Starbucks for one day and throw $5 in the tip jar, it would be very much appreciated.

Just click the button to cruise over to Paypal for a securely exhilarating donation experience…

Thanks to everyone who keeps coming back and checking out what I have to say. I’m starting my fifth year on this labor of love of mine. And thanks to Michael, Cam, Gonzo, and Kelly for their contributions to the site as well. My hope is to keep plugging along for years to come. Music is my life force, and like my family, I have no idea how I would ever get along without it. Thanks all.

Save Three Sheets!

Any Time, Any Place, Pleepleus.

While this is decidedly not music related I’m a firm believer that you should support the media that entertains you most, especially in a time where networks and labels are increasingly fickle and unwilling to stand behind even a quality product. One such product is the series Three Sheets. Sure, on the surface it’s a show about a guy running around the world and drinking his arse off. And yes there is even a play at home drinking game (peep the rules) but more than that it is like spending thirty minutes with your best buddy (who’s name is Zane Lamprey, in case you are wondering) as he tells you about all the crazy shit he’s gotten up to. In short it’s a quality program.

So why do we need to ‘save’ Three Sheets?

Well, it would seem that MOJO HD, the cable company that has served the show up the last three seasons, closed it’s doors on December 1st and well, that leaves Zane (and Pleepleus) without a home. The fourth season of the show has already been filmed and all the show needs is to be picked up by another network. Long story short there are a few ways to show the networks that Three Sheets is worth saving.  You can obviously write to the few stations that Three Sheets logically fits into (Spike, Comedy Central, Food Network, Travel Channel, Discovery) or you can join Zane at one of the rallies being held next week. For more information on the rallies (I’m fairly certain that the wife and I will be in attendance on the 18th) click here (Zane Lamprey’s official site).

And if you are still with me, here is one of my (many) favorite episodes:

And you can catch every other episode to date on Hulu.

The Happiest of Turkey Days to You

Happy Thansgiving to all. Enjoy your turkey dinners (you fellow carnivores out there). When the tryptophan kicks in after the meal, and it’s clearly nap time, why not treat your family to some Led Zeppelin – lullaby style?

Ah, but does tryptophan make you drowsy? Let’s consult Wikipedia, because we all believe everything we read on WIkipedia…

One widely-held belief is that heavy consumption of turkey meat (as for example in a Thanksgiving or Christmas feast) results in drowsiness, which has been attributed to high levels of tryptophan contained in turkey. While turkey does contain high levels of tryptophan, the amount is comparable to that contained in most other meats. Furthermore, postprandial Thanksgiving sedation may have more to do with what is consumed along with the turkey, in particular carbohydrates and alcohol, rather than the turkey itself. This is demonstrated in a popular episode of the sitcom “Seinfeld” when characters of the show drug a woman using turkey and alcohol in order to play with her toy collection.

Postprandial Thanksgiving sedation“! Remember those three words, and impress your family & friends around the dinner table!

Rockabye BabyThank You (mp3)

Rockabye BabyKashmir (mp3)

I think you just found your sweet-ass (or smart-ass) stocking stuffer for someone. Click the cover to check it out on Amazon…