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Best Albums of the Decade 2000′s

Posted in music, top 10 lists, Uncategorized with tags , , , on Friday, 2009 by Todd.Levinson.Frank

Originally, I set out to compile my list of the Top 20 Albums of the Decade. The 2000’s. Or the Aughts. Yea, I guess we never got around to naming this decade and now it’s already ending. I thought I was realistic by not even attempting a Top 10 Best Albums of the 2000’s, but it turns out even 20 proved difficult. And once I passed 20, the albums just kept flowing and then I thought “okay, Top 40 would be good, since “Top 40” is sort of a tried and true phrase in popular music. Then I hit 50. OK, I’ll do a Top 50, why not! Then I got to 52 and beyond and finally just gave up and let myself list all the great albums I loved this decade and not worry about cutting any out just to keep the list at 20, 40 or 50. So I ended up with 65. Seems a bit excessive, sure. But it’s still only about 6 or 7 per year. And I easily could have added a few more. Actually, I could just call this a Top 50 Best Albums of the Decade list because they’re not numbered, and if you actually read through it and count the exact number of albums, I’m just glad you’re on my blog.

Please add your Top 5, 10, or 65 favorite albums of the decade (or point out my glaring omissions) in the comments section. Now, on with the list…

Mos Def – Black on Both Sides (1999)
First album on the list and I’m already cheating. This one came out just a couple months before 2000, and is such a great album. One of the best hip-hop albums of all time, even if you don’t see it on such lists in the mainstream media. So why not kick off this list with the last great album of the previous century?

2000

Queens of the Stone Age – Rated R

OutKast – Stankonia

Aimee Mann – Bachelor No. 2, or the last remains of the dodo

Talib Kweli & Hi Tek – Reflection Eternal

Radiohead – Kid A

U2 – All That You Can’t Leave Behind
It’s pretty easy to hate on these grandiose mega-stars, but this was and is a truly great U2 album made several years after most of us figured they’d never do it again.

D’Angelo – Voodoo

Ryan Adams – Heartbreaker

Ghostface Killah – Supreme Clientele

2001

Bob Dylan – Love and Theft

Wilco – Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
This one would probably make the list even there were only 5 albums on it. Songwriting, atmosphere, and using the studio as an instrument without getting too cute or overdoing it. It’s all here, a classic peak from a great band.

Tool – Lateralus

Jay Z – The Blueprint

Whiskeytown – Pneumonia

2002

Sonic Youth – Murray Street
This is how I love my Sonic Youth. This album and the three that have followed are all really good. I actually like this (and those other recent ones) more than their old classics. Blasphemy for hardcore SY fans and a nation of hipsters, I know.

Elvis Costello – When I Was Cruel

Bright Eyes – Lifted, Or the Story Is in the Soil, Keep Your Ear to the Ground

The Roots – Phrenology
A bit all over the place stylistically and a bit long, but still mostly brilliant. It’s like their White Album.

2003

Drive-By Truckers – Decoration Day
The underrated gem in their stellar catalogue. I shoulda/coulda put all of their albums from this decade on the list.

Flaming Lips – Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots

Mars Volta – De-Loused in the Comatorium
Crazy intense mindfuck jams mixed with tribal rhythms and pure relentless rock fury.

The White Stripes – Elephant

The Jayhawks – Rainy Day Music

OutKast – Speakerbox/The Love Below
Split into two mostly solo discs, illustrating the two sides of the OutKast coin and allowing BigBoi and Dre to let each of their distinct musical personalities shine while still feeling like a(nother) brilliant OutKast record.

Songs: Ohia – Magnolia Electric Co.

2004

Masta Killa – No Said Date
A lost gem from an underrated member of the Wu-Tang Clan. The Wu family has put out so many albums over the years (and a few duds after the initial string of classic solo joints) that it was easy for this one to get lost in the shuffle. Do yourself a favor and track this one down, you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Ryan Adams – Love Is Hell

PJ Harvey – Uh Huh Her

Jello Biafra & the Melvins – Don’t Breathe What You Can’t See
Legends team up for some post-9/11 punk fury and rockin’ jams.

Green Day – American Idiot

Loretta Lynn – Van Lear Rose

Danger Mouse – The Grey Album
A classic mashup of The Beatles White Album and Jay-Z’s Black Album. Somehow it works beyond just the novelty and is a truly great listen.

2005

DJ Muggs/GZA the Genius – Grandmasters

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club – Howl

Bright Eyes – I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning

Damian “Jr Gong” Marley – Welcome to Jamrock
Title song is one of the hottest tracks of all time. The rest of the album is also very solid.

My Morning Jacket – Z

Ryan Adams & the Cardinals – Cold Roses

Common – Be

The White Stripes – Get Behind Me Satan

2006

Tom Petty – Highway Companion
A vastly underrated album from TP. Is it possible that this is his best album, so late in his career? It’s certainly great enough to be in that discussion. Check out this hidden gem if you missed it or ignored it a few years ago.

The Roots – Game Theory

Sonic Youth – Rather Ripped

Built to Spill – You in Reverse

Bob Dylan – Modern Times

2007

Terence Blanchard – A Tale of God’s Will (A Requiem for Katrina)
Haunting, moving, and uplifting sounds from one of the true jazz greats of this generation.

Band of Horses – Cease to Begin

Stephen Marley – Mind Control

Public Enemy – How You Sell Soul To a Soulless People Who Lost Their Soul?
Another one that slipped under the radar. It’s really hard to make a great hip-hop album these days (or maybe it’s just too easy to make bad ones that still sell a lot), and I think it’s really hard for a legendary group to do it almost 20 years after they made a couple of the best hip-hop albums of all time. Sure they’ve had a few duds in between, but this one hits the mark.

Robert Plant/Alison Krauss – Raising Sand

Spoon – Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga

Radiohead – In Rainbows

2008

Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks – Real Emotional Trash

The Raconteurs – Consolers of the Lonely

Vampire Weekend – Vampire Weekend

Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds – Dig!!! Lazarus Dig!!!

Beck – Modern Guilt

Willie Nelson & Wynton Marsalis – Two Men with the Blues
Odd pairing, but terrific results. Really fun album… while the two main men don’t disappoint, Wynton’s solid backing band keeps it moving.

One Day as a Lion – One Day as a Lion

2009

John Wesley Harding – Who Was Changed and Who Was Dead

Polvo – In Prism

The Avett Brothers – I and Love and You

Black Crowes – Before the Frost/Until the Freeze

Ryan Bingham – Roadhouse Sun

Raekwon – Only Built For Cuban Linx 2

Jack White This Decade

Posted in music, top 10 lists, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on Tuesday, 2009 by Todd.Levinson.Frank

I’m working on my "Best Albums of the 2000′s" to be posted soon. A Top 10 seemed too limiting, so I was gonna do 20. Looks like it’s gonna end up being a Top 50. It’s tough being a music nerd. In the meantime, here’s what Jack White has done this decade. What’s up with 2002? What a slacker!!

2000: The White Stripes, De Stijl
2001: The White Stripes, White Blood Cells; White founds Third Man Records
2003: The White Stripes, Elephant; White contributes to Cold Mountain soundtrack and appears in the film
2004: White produces and performs on Loretta Lynn’s Van Lear Rose
2005: The White Stripes, Get Behind Me Satan
2006: The Raconteurs, Broken Boy Soldiers
2007: The White Stripes, Icky Thump
2008: The Raconteurs, Consolers of the Lonely; White records “Another Way to Die” with Alicia Keys for Bond flick Quantum of Solace
2009: The Dead Weather, Horehound; White Stripes tour film Under the Great White Northern Lights premieres at Toronto Film Festival; White stars in guitar love-note doc It Might Get Loud with Jimmy Page and U2’s The Edge

Read Me Elsewhere On The Innerwebs

Posted in misc.blurbs, music, sports, Uncategorized on Sunday, 2009 by Todd.Levinson.Frank

Sorry I haven’t been updating this blog much lately. Not sure who I’m apologizing to, or why. Anyway, I’m doing album reviews now for Music Emissions, which is a pretty cool site you should check out. That link takes you to my profile where you can see all my reviews.

I’m also writing occasional football columns for RealFootball365.

So check me out and pass my links along to all your e-friends and post links on Facebook and where ever else you share/recommend relatively pointless digital entertainment.

Them Crooked Vultures

Posted in music, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on Tuesday, 2009 by Todd.Levinson.Frank

Wow.

As you likely have heard by now, there is an actually super supergroup on the horizon.

Dave Grohl (Nirvana, Foo Fighters) on drums, Josh Homme (Queens of the Stone Age) on guitar, and the legendary John Paul Jones (from a little band you might know by the name of Led Zeppelin) on bass. Yea, I really cant envision a scenario where this album could possibly suck.

More from Antiquiet and Pitchfork can be found here.

Homme’s wife, Brody Dalle of Spinnerette, is already sorta not really on record with her opinion: “I’m not at liberty to talk about it… but I think [the project] is pretty fucking amazing. Just beats and sounds like you’ve never heard before.”

Hello world!

Posted in Uncategorized on Wednesday, 2009 by Todd.Levinson.Frank

Moving the 23/7 site from blogspot over to here.

Welcome.

Hag Drama

Posted in Uncategorized on Sunday, 2008 by Todd.Levinson.Frank

so the other morning, some lady who works downstairs, we’ll call her Terry, came into my office requesting to talk to me, shutting the door. asks if i have any kinda problem with her. i say of course not. she takes out an interoffice envelope, and from that removes a piece of paper with a typed message (paraphrased from memory):

“[hag's name removed],
how do you sleep at night making your coworkers look
bad in front of the new management while doing everything you can to make
yourself look good? dont you realize that new management always sees right
through you when you do that?”

the inter-office envelope had her name written a bit sloppily, as if someone wrote it with their opposite hand to thisguise their handwriting.
how bizarre! i asked if she’s ever had conflict or problems with anyone up here and she said no. she said the only person she’s noticed a slight mood shift or recent bad vibes from was the “Lead Bitch” who fakes being busy and lies about her hours.

(looking at the personalities up here, by process of elimination, i cant imagine who else it could be. i did NOT tell the hag this, but last week the Lead Bitch did voice to me how “Terry” is kissing ass or something.)

in the last few weeks, there’s been a couple reports where “Terry” found a mistake after printing and had to take reports apart and fix them. i guess this might make the Lead Bitch look bad, but that’s Terry’s job to check/correct mistakes. part of our process, not a big deal at all. anyway, she says she feels like asking to be let go because she doesn’t want to deal with this kinda stuff. she was tearing up in my office. i told her she shouldn’t let this person win and give up a job i assume she needs.

then yesterday i sent a supportive email telling her not to worry about or to quit her job.

her response:

Thanks so much for the encouragement! I went to church last night and was
counseled on my problem. I have a God who will give me great PEACE. I’m so glad
that I didn’t notice it in the mail Wednesday (when it was placed there), I sure
would of had a bad weekend. I’ve decided it may be the right time to make a
change, if my God wants me to move. He always will open a door or he will close
it. But one thing I do know is ..I do have some friends (co-workers) who care
how I feel. And all the years that I have worked here, I’ve seen this kind of
thing going on all the time. I’m glad I can say, I don’t take any part of these
games.
THANKS,
[hag's name removed]

i rolled my eyes like…. i try to be nice and help the helpless.

GOD will decide if i quit my job, and if i quit GOD will find me a new job!!!

i mean, i have no probs with peeps having faith and prayin and whatnot. but that’s just a bit bizarre in that email.

i have a former co-worker (from this office) who told me that there was once an anonymous note sent in an interoffice envelope to management saying that he left at 2:30 but still put in for a full day on his timesheet and “that’s not fair.” he suspected/knew it was the Lead Bitch.

meanwhile, she’s the one who lies by 15 minutes on her arrival and departure time every day, and claims “no lunch” which is a lie. so she steals an hour a day, so what’s that, 10 hours every pay period??

what a bitch, doesn’t she know she should stay here for the full time, but steal the hours by wasting them reading and writing??!! sheesh.

btw, the poor god-hag Terry printed out some other unrelated email and gave us each a copy, even though we all got it. (i guess that’s part of her asskissin.) so i mentioned it to the Lead Bitch, to test her… i said, “what’s up with Terry givin us this printout when we all got it?” so Lead Bitch proved it was her when (among her tirade about Terry kissin ass) she said “you know management sees right thru that stuff.”

bingo, same language as the mystery note. i felt like saying, “yea, how can she SLEEP at night?”

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