Saturday, January 30, 2010

Chart of Glass

I have been following the Billboard Charts since I was really, really little. I remember listening to Casey Kasem when I was in grade school, and cutting out the top ten lists from the Star Tribune every Sunday. So when Billboard published a column on famous songs that had lower than expected chart positions, I was enthralled.

I would have never guessed that "Zombie Nation" (aka the OH OH WHOA OH OH song they play at sporting events) would have only went to #99.

http://www.billboard.com/charts#/column/chartbeat/taking-peaks-part-4-nos-25-1-1004062209.story

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Jake Eickholt, Vikings Fan, 1987-2010

I am done. That was it. It's not even homerism, or anger, or whatever. I officially am a free agent NFL fan. I cannot take this shit anymore. Seriously, 4 NFC title games in my lifetime, 4 heartbreaking losses. And we are done in by Favre doing the same motherfucking, god-damned thing he did for years (up until this season): throw a fucking "gunslinging" pick at a crucial moment in a game. Did it in the Super Bowl against the Broncos, did it in the NFC title game against the Giants. Did it again this year.

I'm open to suggestions, ideas, whatever you will throw at me. I could take up the English Premeir League, or jai ali or something like that. Whatever it is, I cannot take this shit anymore. I just can't. It's not worth my mental health, my well-being, or my sanity. Fuck this shit.

Skol, Vikings

I am a ball of nerves right now. In less than six hours, the Vikings will stroll into the Superdome to play (New) America's Team for the NFC Championship and the right to go to the Superbowl.

The other three NFC title games during my lifetime were, as the brahskis like to say, epic fails. Darrin Nelson drops a swing pass, Gary Anderson pulls a field goal and the entire Vikings team is replaced with the Champlin Park High School JV squad in Giants Stadium. That's where we stand. I was told by a friend that we know how this story is going to end this year. Here's to hoping that it won't end with me as a puddle on the ground, surrounded by half eaten Checker's wings and empty Schell's bottles.

I can't even predict this one...I just can't put any sort of gris-gris hex on the Purp. I will go out on a limb and say The J-E-T-S, J-E-T-S, Jets beat the Colts 17-13 in Indy today in the early game. Let's hope that Prince really did see "the future" when he wrote that Vikings song though.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Wizzard (Roy Wood) - See My Baby Jive

A perfect song, sung by a guy who looks like a cross between Rob Zombie and Gandalf. And what's that...a motherfucking French Horn solo?!?! Who cares what the hell "See My Baby Jive" means. This is manna from the gods.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Best Singles of the Last Decade (Part 2)

Arcade Fire-Rebellion (Lies)
THE anthem on a whole album full of anthems

LCD Soundsystem-Daft Punk Is Playing In My House
How did this one dude in Brooklyn get Daft Punk to play his house? Did they charge a fee? Even if all the furniture was in the garage, how many people could attend? I WANT ANSWERS!

Damian Marley-All Night
Now we all know what a killer party song by Bob Marley would have sounded like.

Radiohead-There There
Radiohead at their most non Paranoid Androidic.

Get Up Kids-Hannah Hold On
"When its over its over for sure"...ouch.

Flaming Lips-Fight Test
If something is worth fighting for, you better do it. Words to live by. Also, the theme song for the awesome MTV show “3 South”.

The Decemberists-We Both Go Down Together
The gayest, best song R.E.M. never had a chance to write.

At The Drive In-Invalid Letter Department
One of the few political songs of the decade that resonated (at least with me). Before this came out, I had no idea there was a serial killer in Juarez targeting Mexican women.

Alien Ant Farm-Movies
You’d think that the “relationship as a movie” cliché couldn’t be made fresh. AAF proved that wrong with this monster.

Weezer-Dope Nose
Two of the most awesome Weezer lines ever in “Fag of the year/who can beat up your man” and “Cheese tastes so good/ On a burnt piece of lamb”.

Electric Six-Danger! High Voltage
Fire in the disco! Fire in the Taco Bell! You know why they keep starting fires? Desire! YESSSSSSSSS!

Lily Allen-Smile
Oh Lily, you cheeky little monkey! You go ahead and scratch that wanker’s records!

New Pornographers-Sing Me Spanish Techno
Nonsensical lyrics…but that beat!

Tom Petty-Flirting With Time
The king of the South, getting all pastoral and lamenting the passage of time.

Taking Back Sunday-A Decade Under The Infuence
A kickass little emo song, until you realize it’s about the lead singer’s wife having an affair. With the lead guitarist.

Coheed and Cambria-A Favor House Atlantic
Like Rush 2K, all whiny vocals and awesome hair and riffage by the ton.

Gnarls Barkley-Crazy
A transcendant pop moment that Gnarls Barkley could come nowhere near matching.

Raconteurs- Steady as She Goes
The combo of Brendan Benson and Jack White works like PB&J on this one

Beck-Lost Cause
As sad as “Lost Cause” was, it felt like it’s just the beginning of Beck's dark night of the soul at the end of the song.

Pulp-Bad Cover Version
Jarvis Cocker at his arch best, lamenting that his ex picked a “bad cover version” of him. Sort of like “Planet of the Apes on TV”.

Dead Prez-Hip Hop
A song that urged the murder of “crackers in city hall” and somehow got played on MTV. Strangely loved by white dudes.

Interpol-C’Mere
Any song that scored an “Entourage” three-way deserves to make this list

Lil Jon-Get Low
All whistles, coming, panty lines and sweaty balls. An X-rated “Shake Your Booty” for a genreration that never had a chance.

Talib Kweli-Get By (Remix)
If the ’27 Yankees recorded a remix, it would be this. With a rookie Kanye West being Lou Gehrig, and Hov being self proclaimed Great Bambino, of course.

Jimmy Eat World-Work
“All the best DJs are playing the slowest songs for last”. Words to live by.

Jimmy Eat World-The Middle
The “Keep Ya Head Up” for the emo teens.

Wilco-Heavy Metal Drummer
Playing KISS covers, beautiful and stoned in the summer by the water…to quote and old beer ad, “it doesn’t get any better than this.”

Wilco-Spiders (Kidsmoke)
First it’s all prog-rock (or the “Newton’s Apple” Theme) then it fucking rocks like Alice Cooper. Bi-polarness at its best.

Ryan Adams-La Cierga Just Smiled
Sadly beautiful

Clipse-Grindin
Back in the day when Pharrell and coke rap were novel concepts.

Spoon-The Way We Get By
Breaking into mobile homes, getting high. Sounds like a fun night in Coon Rapids…

Andrew WK-Party Hard
Dude was so fierce that he smashed his face with a brick! His party was one that always came hard

White Stripes-Hotel Yorba
Shit kicking front porch music on a Saturday night music.

White Stripes-Seven Nation Army
The opening riff will forever live in infamy.

The Strokes-12:51
The best new single of 1981.

Third Eye Blind-Never Let You Go
So summery, so poppy, so perfect. Floats into your head and never lets you go.

Kings of Leon-The Bucket
Ah young love! Um, at least that is what I think it’s about…

Kings of Leon-Sex On Fire
You know a song has made it when brahskis play an acoustic cover at a sports bar. Yep, it happened, but it somehow didn’t diminish the power of “Sex On Fire”.

The Hold Steady-Little Hoodrat Friend
Craig Finn, you lied! You did get with the little hoodrat. I gotta admit though, she did sound easy and sort of fun.

The Hold Steady-Killer Parties
Just what did Charlemange do? And it really sounds like Ybor City knows how to get down.

Kings of Leon-Knocked Up
A Southern Gothic “Young Turks” that seems too short at 7 minutes

Eminem-Lose Yourself
If this doesn’t get you amped, nothing will. Also, no references to killing women! How novel.

OutKast-Miss Jackson
Best sample of “Here Comes The Bride” ever. Maybe the only one, too. Of course, Andre plays the sweetheart while Big Boi discusses how his member is in a mouth.

Joe-I Wanna Know
A song so undeniably pretty, so syrupy sweet, so old school loverman perfect it’s undeniable.

MGMT-Electric Feel
All blissed out beats and baby girls who shock like electric eels. Where is this place?

The Futureheads-Hounds of Love
Best Kate Bush cover. Ever.

Paul Westerberg-As Far As I Know
“I’m in love with someone who doesn’t exist.” We all are, Paul. We all are.

The Game-Wouldn't Get Far
Love em and leave em. Did you know video "vixens" drive Honda Accords? True story. Thanks The Game!

Modest Mouse-Float On
An anthem of our generation? Yes sir.

Death Cab For Cutie-Expo 86
The coolest Expo themed pop culture moment since Bart and Millhouse trashed the SunSphere.

Death Cab For Cutie-The Sound of Settling
Settling never sounded so earnest.

Death Cab For Cutie-Crooked Teeth
Lamenting drunken crushes and the beauty of it all…

Queens of The Stone Age-In The Fade
QTOSA gets all wistful about death or something with a former Screaming Tree and one hell of a guitar riff.

Queens of the Stone Age-No One Knows
According to my dad, it sounded like “Alabama Song” by the Doors. According to me, it rocked hard as hell.

Deftones-Change (In The House of Flies)
The crowning moment in the career of one Chino Moreno.

Jay-Z-Girls Girls Girls
Best punchline of the decade…the Chinese girl kept bootlegging his shit.

Jay-Z-Roc Boys
Speech! Also beat the Black Eyed Peas to the punch with the whole Jewish toasting thing in a rap song by almost 2 years…

The Killers-When You Were Young
Bigger than the Wild West and more exciting than a hurricane.

The Killers-Somebody Told Me
A song about androgynous love, by a married Mormon dude.

Dr. Dre-The Next Episode
Fucker made us wait 7 years. Damn, it was worth it.

Snoop Dogg-Drop It Like Its Hot
More acapella than “Don’t Worry Be Happy”. Also twice as badass.

Justin Timberlake-Like I Love You
MJ turned this one down to come with “You Rock My World”. Um, way to launch a career Mike.

Kaiser Chiefs-You Can Have It All
Brit pop lives!

Ghostface Killah-Childz Play
For those who didn’t hump the pillow when you were young, Ghostface has some words for you…

Nas-Ether
Jay-Z won the popularity battle, but my god, did Nas win the war.

OK GO-There’s A Fire
How this song was not on Nick Gilder’s debut album is beyond me. Killer new wave pop.

UGK/OutKast-International Players Anthem
Built around one of the most killer samples of all time, it was like a tag team royal rumble of awesome where everybody claimed the strap.

The Roots/Cody ChesnuTT-The Seed 2.0
Sheer fire. Rap, rock, R n B all in one package.

The Dream-Shawty is The Shit!
The Dream is fat, he likes girls who make him pancakes and grits and all that pimp shit. Oh yay-er!

HAL-Plays The Hits
The Beach Boys would have murdered someone for this gem. Or at least had Uncle Charlie and his Fam do some damage…

AND NOW...THE NUMBER ONE SONG OF THE LAST TEN YEARS!

R. Kelly – Ignition (Remix)
We just lived through a pretty pitiful decade. Two wars, the economy is in the shitter, American Idol, Brahski culture, 9/11, etc. Wasn’t it nice when you didn’t have to think about shit like that? When all you had to do was, “bounce, bounce, bounce, bounce, bounce” and think of the freakin’ weekend? And ride that beat that was lighter than Jell-o salad?

Best Singles of the Last Decade (Part 1)

The 2000s (or the aughts, or whatever the fuck you want to call them) will be known as "The Shuffle Decade." No one had any sort of attention span, and life was best experienced in 3 to 5 minute bursts. It was sort of like sex...

Due to that, I chose to shuffle my 100 favorite singles of the last decade. I did name an overall number one (based partially on the fact that it was the most played song on my iPod and mainly on the fact that it is fucking amazing) but the rest need no ranking. They all equally hold a special place in my heart and playlist, for reasons stretching from girls I had "lusty little crushes" on (quoth Craig Finn) to the song just plain "reigning" (quoth Jack Black).

So here we go...

Wheatus-Teenage Dirtbag
Summer with the windows down on the way to White Castle senior year aw fuck it I’m gonna be 18 forever music.

Hey Ya-OutKast
Andre 3000 said that this was like The Smiths and The Ramones. Um, yeah. But it was still perfect in every way.

I’m A Flirt-R. Kelly
If you’re gonna crown his ass the King of R’n’B, then crown him! Kells is who we thought he was!

Valerie-Zutons
All horns and red hair and for godssake come back to him Valerie!

First of The Gang to Die-Morrissey
Moz reaches out to the Latino gang bangers who (for some reason) worship him in the most aching song ever written about light gang violence.

Since You’ve Been Gone-Kelly Clarkson
The best girl pop song since god knows when. She stole the guitar sound from, um, Alkaline Trio? No, really!

Gold Digger-Kanye West
She ain’t messin’ with no broke brokes…then she would be a gold digger for sure.

Take Me Out-Franz Ferdinand
Make us white folks dance to rock again, puh-leeze!

The National-Mistaken For Strangers
Like a big city at night, all glowing Citibank signs and people who may be your friends.

Usher-Yeah
Bum Bum BUM buh…OKAY! URSHER! If that doesn’t get you pumped, you have never danced like a white fool to this joint.

Beyonce-Crazy in Love
Those horns! That ass! Jigga!

Jay-Z-99 Problems
New York hip hop…grimey, rockin, Rick Rubin. Need I say more?

The Strokes-Last Nite
The chick is leaving, and it sounds like Julian really doesn’t give a shit. Of course, there will be another sexy model in right after her.

Common-The Light
The rare love song in hip hop that works.

The Shins-Kissing the Lipless
Whatever was going on here, it was some deep shit.

Kid Cudi-Day N Nite (Crookers Remix)
Paranoia in rap songs usually makes for awesomeness (see “Mind Playin Tricks on Me). No exception here.

Riddlin Kids-I Feel Fine
Counting down the chorus and then ANNOUNCING said chorus never sounded so awesome as it did here.

All American Rejects-Swing Swing
“Swing Swing from the tangles of my heart” sounds like some straight 9th grade creative writing shit but it works here!

New Found Glory-Hit Or Miss
Jumping on the “Thriller is cool” bandwagon early, New Found Glory captures the rush of puppy love.

SR-71-Right Now
The last dying gasp of pop punk magic with its cotton candy rush and summer in the chorus.

Playgroup-Number One
The dance anthem of an alternate universe.

System of A Down-Chop Suey!
Four minutes of fucking crazy, beautiful harmonies, yelling about keys, and suicide. Yet, it works.

Johnny Cash-Hurt
A fitting epilogue for one of the most important musicians of our time.

Nine Inch Nails-Only
Funky self absorption.

And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead-Relative Ways
All strum und drang with awesome screaming. There was a minute there in 2003 when I thought these guys were gonna be the next U2.

Bright Eyes-First Day of My Life
“I’d rather be working for a paycheck/Then tryin’ to win the lottery” is such a fantastic line.

The Darkness-I Believe in a Thing Called Love
When that falsetto hits, you know its rockout time!

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Best Albums of the Last Decade (Part 2)

#26 Common-Be
Common at his poppiest, and at his best lyrically. Even at the time, it felt like there was nowhere to go but down for Com (well, “Finding Forever” was pretty swell, but you saw the cracks). Too bad it was true…but at least we have the genius of “The Food” and “They Say”.

#25 Coup-Party Music
Raps “Communist Manifesto”. The funkiest song ever about murdering capitalists (“5 Million Ways to Kill a CEO”) and the best love jam about a woman lying about being your baby mama (“Nowalaters”). An album Castro would rock out to.

#24 Ghostface Killah - Supreme Clientele
A nice balance of crime pays raps and childhood whimsy done in the GFK way.

#23 OutKast - Speakerboxx/The Love Below
More than just "Hey Ya!", this disc would have made it on the sheer charisma of Andre 3000 alone. Throw in Big Boi's disc, and you've got a killer.

#22 Deftones-White Pony
Quite possibly the only album from the “Nu-Metal” genre that actually matters almost ten years later. The reason for this was variety. Songs like “Change” and “Teenager” had more depth than say, Linkin Park or Korn. And who can really deny the awesomeness of a song called “Knife Party”?

#21 Jay-Z The Black Album
A monster. From the all black cover, to the black backed disc, to Rick Rubin telling Jay-Z to go hard about his problems. It was understood that his problem wasn’t a bitch (seriously, Beyonce a problem?) nor was it finding the perfect beat (“Lucifer” and “Dirt Off Your Shoulder” spring to mind). The only problem was that The Black Album felt like the perfect career closer, an A plus. Jay-Z would make competent music again, but nothing like this.

#20 Green Day-Warning
Green Day did a 180 with “Warning” and decided that The Kinks were awesome. They made a good choice, because the title track and “Church on Sunday” stand up as two of the best rock songs of the last ten years. They would go back to their roots with their next album, but for one shining moment, Green Day flashed back to the garage.

#19 Death Cab For Cutie-Transatlanticism
Never has there been so much longing on one disc. I have probably played “Expo ‘86” 200 times since I bought this album back in 2004, and “I am waiting for something to go wrong/I am waiting for familiar results” never fails to make my heart twinge. Oh, and settling never sounded so pretty, with its bah-bah chorus.

#18 Kanye West - Graduation
Tighter and less sprawling than his previous two albums, "Graduation" wallops with sheer fire cuts such as "The Good Life" and "Champion".

#17 Ben Kweller-Sha Sha
When this album came out, the way I described it to friends was “Billy Joel meets Weezer”. Rockers like “Commerce, TX” and “Wasted and Ready” were power pop gems and the album closer “Falling” would have been right at home on “52nd Street”.

#16 Pearl Jam-S/T
The men of Pearl spent most of the decade in a holding pattern, releasing subpar discs with a few good songs on each. Then the “Avocado” album dropped, and all was forgiven. Avocado rocked harder than any other Pearl Jam disc (yes, that includes “Ten”) and switched the political focus from one man (Dubbya) to the ills of war and unemployment.

#15 Queens of the Stone Age-Rated R
Musically, it sounds like a bad trip through the desert. Then you listen to the absolute depth of lyrics. Just kidding, the lyrics are all bad trip mindfucks. “Feel Good Hit of The Summer” had only seven drugs referenced in the lyrics. “Monster In The Parasol” was, according to the band, about “Fuckin’ on E”. Strange that high school stoners didn’t make this the new “Dark Side of the Moon”.

#14 Vampire Weekend – S/T
If one album of the last couple of years deserves to be ridiculed, it may be this one. Ironic Lil John references, check. World music leanings, check. But somehow it lives up to the ungodly hype (the cover of SPIN before the album even came out) with pop gems like “The Kids Don’t Stand a Chance” and “A-Punk”.

#13 The Hold Steady-Separation Sunday
Everyone listening had an inkling that Holly was the Hoodrat, but the journey to how the listener finds this out is the real treat. Who knew that a concept album about losing yourself and finding your own personal resurrection could rock so fucking hard?

#12 At The Drive In-Relationship of Command
A very diverse set for a band that was labeled punk at the time. One Armed Scissor was the big hit, but the song that matters most is “Invalid Letter Dept.”, a quasi ballad about the disappearances of women along the US-Mexican border. Also a perfect example of the sum being better than its parts, as the two bands that came out of ATDI (Sparta and Mars Volta) were very inconsistent.

#11 Weezer-Green Album
The anticipation for this album was like nothing I have ever experienced. “Where did they go?” “Did you hear that Rivers guy was in an asylum or something?” Then “Hash Pipe” dropped (I heard it for the first time on some alt station while crossing the Skyway Bridge in St.Petersburg my senior year) and the true believers knew something interesting was going to happen. Interesting turned out to be “Photograph” and “Island in the Sun” which would have sat fine on The Blue Album.

#10 The Streets-A Grand Don’t Come for Free
If there is one album that needs to be made into a movie from the last decade, it would be “A Grand Don’t Come For Free” (Well, maybe this and “Separation Sunday”). It’s a day in the life of a bloke, a day where this bloke does a shit load of drugs, drinks a lot, cheats on his woman, loses his woman, etc. Sure the ending of the story is a little convoluted (really, how could all that money fall into the back of a TV?) but like any great story, it’s the journey that interests, not the ending.

#9 Lyrics Born-Later That Day
The best party album of the decade. Later That Day was a rap album but played more like some 70s party funk shit, rocking the casbah with “Callin Out” and “Bad Dreams.” LB even gives you something for the end of the party (super love jam “Love Me So Bad”).

#8 White Stripes-White Blood Cells
True story. I brought this album over to a friend’s house the day I bought it (based on the “Hotel Yorba” video on MTV the night before). I also had bought “The Guest” by Phantom Planet the same day. The buddy made me take out the White Stripes, saying that they sucked. Guess what album has gotten more play in the last seven years?

#7 Killers-Sams Town
Most critics bust metaphorical nuts over the dance heavy “Hot Fuss”. Most critics are wrong. Sam’s Town slays the other Killers albums released this decade because of the raw emotion it conveys. Sure, the lyrics about Grandma Dixie’s wake and reading minds seem a little corny, but they are delivered with some Springsteen-esqe heart. And, how fucking great is “When You Were Young” still three years after its release?

#6 The Shins-Chutes Too Narrow
Like "Transatlanticism", an album that signaled a sea-change in music and culture right before the Bush-Kerry showdown (hey, the indie kids are owning it). The first album may have changed Zach Braff’s life, but Chutes was more consistent. Tracks like “Kissing The Lipless” and “Turn a Square” had some mighty vague lyrics (“Tennis shorts made of stripes”?) but the music let you in on the secrets the words did not.

#5 Jimmy Eat World-Bleed American
The most Emo of the emo, but not in a bad way, “Bleed American” (later retitled Jimmy Eat World due to 9/11) felt like young love and hope, with a bit of classic nostalgia thrown in for good measure. “The Middle” went top 5 and was on “Kidz Bop!” but the lyric that sums up the album is from “If You Don’t, Don’t.” “We once walked down on the beach/and once I almost touched your hand”. Now if you don’t feel a heart twitter from that, well, my friends you have never been emo.

#4 The Strokes- Is This It?
The death knell for shitty rap rock acts, "Is This It?" ushered in a new era of rockin that looked toward the past for a glimpse into the future. Oh yeah, and it was also really really fun. I can remember where I was when I saw the video for "Last Nite" (my parents basement) and I can remember what I was thinking ("these guys are going to take over the world"). Too bad it didn't happen like that, but for one shining moment post 9/11, The Strokes brought it.

#3 Jay-Z-The Blueprint
AKA “Kanye West’s Rookie Card.” Mister West produced three of the most classic on an album of classics (“Takeover”, “Izzo (H.O.V.A)” and “Heart of the City”) and put himself on the map while elevating Jigga to new heights. To quote Jay-Z himself, this album was so motherfuckin soulful.

#2 Kings Of Leon-Aha Shake Heartbreak
The greasiest, nastiest, most bored album of the decade. There’s gonna be a fight, someone would come all over your party if he could if that damn coke would wear off, and there will be a king of the rodeo at the gathering. In the middle of it all, a hit single about love and premature baldness. Who knew they would sell out the Garden? Who KNEW?

#1 The Hold Steady-Boys and Girls In America
Ah yes, the album of the decade. What can be said about an album that crams so many things into so little space? Craig Finn has the undeniable ability to make you care about the characters he created, a trait that he shares with Dylan and Springsteen. Some may say that I rate this album of the decade due to the fact that I know some of the things Finn speaks on (I worked at the Northtown Mall for three years, I currently spend 50 hours a week Southtown, I have a semi-intimate knowledge of Osseo) but that is not the case. It’s the music, the muscle bound guitar, the keyboards. It’s the stories (Why didn’t the dude at the Chillout Tent get that girls number? Is there really a girl who knows the winners of every horse race? How did those two fuckups win Prom King and Queen?). The Hold Steady speak on truths, on hope, on America viewed through the eyes of a nice Catholic boy from Edina. The perfect storm of story, music and lack of pretense was just what was needed by me (and I can only assume others) in a pretty awful era. And that is why Boys And Girls in America is the album of the decade.

Best Albums of the Last Decade (Part 1)

So here you go. My interpretation of the best of the best of the last ten years. I will publish the best tracks of the decade, the TWO! lists I got from readers, and the best of 09 list later this week...

Honorable Mentions:

Here are some of the albums that I considered for the top 50 but just didn't make the cut. Its not that they weren't classic albums, its that they just had one flaw (in my opinion) that kept them from cracking the big list.

Fiona Apple -"Extraordinary Machine", D'Angelo -"Voodoo", The Libertines "Up The Bracket", Beck "Sea Change", Johnny Cash "American IV"

Editors note: I would also like to add The Gaslight Anthem "The '59 Sound" and Against Me! "New Wave" to the list as #50B and #50C. That is the great thing about lists. You can always change them...

And now, to quote the immortal Casey Kasem..."on with the countdown"

#50 Cody ChesnuTT-The headphone masterpiece
You have to love the balls. A no-name records an album in his house and calls it a masterpiece. Funny thing was, he wasn’t lying. The album runs the gamut from wistful (“In The Treehouse”) to hilarious (“Bitch I’m Broke”) to straight up rockin’ (“Young Upstarts in a Blowout”, “Look Good In Leather”). Too bad Mister ChesnuTT gave up the ghost after this one…but maybe its all he had in the tank.

#49 Ben Folds -Rockin' The Suburbs

#48 Franz Ferdinand - S/T
Or as David Lee Roth may have said it "Dance the night away." Pretty sure DLR wasn't dancing with dudes named Michael though.

#47 The Hold Steady-Almost Killed Me

#46 Kings of Leon - Only By the Night

#45 Radiohead - Kid A
I remember people skipping school for this beast senior year. Skip school for a record? Do people even do shit like that anymore? Oh, and "The National Anthem" and its brothers on this disc lived up to the hype.

#44 Beck -Guero
The funkiest disc since "Odelay", "Guero" was a hell of a lot more fun than "Sea Change".

#43 Get Up Kids - On A Wire
Some of the most heartbreaking songs of the decade tempered with a Beatles-esqe bounce.

#42 Green Day- American Idiot
After “American Idiot” came out, I unfairly called it better than “Dookie”. I was wrong. Some people can’t get around the “political” nature of the album, but its more of a story of bored and sad teenagers than one about Bush. Remember, American Idiots were around long before Dubbya and will be here long after.

#41 Interpol-Antics
Interpol came out of the gate being called a Joy Division clone. “Antics” disproved this theory, and how! Songs like “C’Mere” and “Slow Hands” boomed with anthemic intensity. Too bad Interpol wouldn’t hit heights like this again.

#40 Wilco - A Ghost Is Born

#39 Eagles of Death Metal – Peace, Love, Death Metal
A nonstop throwdown on wax, one that involves Frenching the devil, apple wine and Stealers Wheel. Josh Homme claimed that this is what the Eagles would sound like if they were a death metal band. The Eagles only wish they could kick this much skuzzy ass.

#38 Prince-Musicology
In which one of the GOATs decides to quit fucking around with avant garde bullshit and make something straightforward. It sold like hotcakes and contained some of the funkiest shit the mans dropped in years (“Illusion, Coma, Pimp and Circumstance” and “Musicology” were undeniable). A trip back in the day while still seeming thoroughly modern.

#37 The Darkness-Permission To Land
We all knew had a feeling this was going to be a flash in the pan, a one off. But what a fucking ride it was! If you didn’t smile the first time you heard Justin Hawkins sing “I Believe In a Thing Called Love” like he was channeling some mutant Freddie Mercury, you have no soul. Songs about genital warts “Growing On Me” and school activities “Friday Night” were aural Velveeta—cheesy, bad for you but oh so goddamned good.

#36 Kanye West - Late Registration
The better, star studded follow up to the critical darling (but sort of lacking) "The College Dropout." If you don't like "Gold Digger," you weren't 21 and at a bar when it dropped.

#35 Arcade Fire-Funeral
Sounding a lot more like classic rock than the indie hipsters would want you to believe, “Funeral” combined orchestral flourishes and driving backbeats in 2004 like no other album.

#34 Radiohead-In Rainbows
The secret best Radiohead album of the 2000’s. Sure, “Kid A” was more influential. But “In Rainbows” was where “The Bends” met “Kid A” and grew up. Rockin’ at some points, contemplative at others, and just downright gorgeous at others (“Videotape”).

#33 Alkaline Trio – From Here To Infirmary
The pop punk album Elvis Costello would have made had he debuted in 1995. Happy shiny riffs coupled with biting lyrics about being a drunk fuckup who loses women and friends. Who could forget as wonderful a line is “Remember when I said I loved you?/Well forget it I take it back”?

#32 TV On The Radio-Dear Science

#31 Phoenix-Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
The album where Phoenix finally put it all together. Other albums had killer singles and filler, where “Wolfgang” had nothing but killer pop anthems. Rightfully so, “1901” became the groups first hit in the US.

#30 Ghostface Killah-Fishscale
The best surrealist painting in the history of rap music. Yes, the album was about coke (a rap sub-genre that I absolutely hate). But Fishscale was so much more than that. So many specific product references dot the tracks it feels like Dutch Masters, Snapple and Pyrex were paying GFK, and I am sure that “Underwater” had nothing to do with coke and waaaaayy more to do with LSD. Spongebob in a Bentley, really?

#29 New Pornographers-Electric Version
Power pop for now people!

#28 NERD-…In Search Of
In 2002, Pharrell was king, Chad Hugo was his resident alchemist, and that Shay dude sat on the fucking couch and played Madden. Together they made beautiful music about lapdances, boob-kissing, hauling coke, being rock stars, and running into the sun. A kick ass party album from guys who knew how to get down.

#27 Flaming Lips-Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots
The perfect album for smoking joints in a Honda Civic (not like that ever happened to me…). Sunshine-y tunes about Japanese girls and robots with some of the most humane lyrics of the decade (“Do You Realize?” and “Fight Test” should be required listening for anyone without a soul).