Brother Spoon's 100 favourite records of 2000

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Brother Spoon
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Re: Spoon's 100 favourite records of 2000 (NOW TOP 10)

Postby Brother Spoon » 19 Sep 2013, 11:22

1. Motorpsycho: Let them eat cake

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Country: Norway
Artist: Trio
Career: recording since 1990
Language: English
Genre: Rock

I found this record in 2000 and it changed my life. No other record could be my number one-choice. For a band who’d already made a string of masterworks during the ‘90s (which I had yet to discover – let alone the mind-blowing live-experience) this was another quantum-leap. They’d already carved a path through hard rock, Floydish psychedelica, indierock, free jazz influenced improvisation. But now they turned their hand to the compact, fully arranged, advanced pop song album – with a couple of surprises along the way.

The first seconds of opening track ‘The other fool’ just blew me away on first listen, they still blow me away now. This may be chamber pop, but with the power (if not the volume) turned up to 11. It’s main composer Bent Saether’s own ‘pocket symphony, and still one of his greatest achievements. The songs soars through riffs and sections. As with the whole record, I’ve heard it 100s of times by now, and yet I’ve never tired of it. Immediately after comes ‘Upstairs-downstairs’, a serpentine ballad, elongated melodies perfectly arranged for horns and strings, sung in guitarist Hans Magnus Ryan’s Wyatt-esque quivering style. And side one, the pop side, goes on like that. To tell you the truth, every song has been my favourite at one point or another. The only one that’s slightly paled for me is the Beach boys-arranged ‘Big surprise’, but only because the lyrical mood doesn’t quite match the music for me. So I tune out the words, and just float along on the music (backing vocals, theremins, etc).

Side two is the ‘head’ side, 4 long tracks. As it should, with time this is the side I’ve returned to the most and delved into the deepest: ‘Whip that ghost’ is a beautiful instrumental (based on a variation of the bass riff from the Allman’s ‘Whippin’ post’ )- though the melody isn't similar) that sweeps you along – including two solos (guitar and piano) which rank very high on my list of wonderful solos through the ages. ‘Stained glass’ is a Floyd-ish droning ballad, with heartmelting slide. ‘My best friend’, one of my favourite songs in the world really. And at the very end, they go way out with ‘30/30’, a bewildering drone of strings and horns which sounds like little else and only after a couple of minutes resolves itself in a beautiful song. But it takes a while to find the courage to delve in that deep.

Oh, and it’s got a drummer song. Only truly great bands can afford drummer songs.
Anyway, a rewarding and infinitely rich record, which I recommend to anyone.

Side A (except 'Big surprise'):









Side B (except 'My best friend'):







At its best: The other fool, Upstairs-Downstairs, Whip that ghost, My best friend

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Re: Spoon's 100 favourite records of 2000 (NOW TOP 10)

Postby Brother Spoon » 19 Sep 2013, 11:23

Well, it's done.
Thanks to my sponsors – the people who sent me records. I hope you got some fun out of it.

Basically, I hope people had 5 minutes of diversion when they opened the thread, be it daily or weekly.

I've got some other things planned, but more real-time.

Over to you -
I am interested in hearing what great 2000 records I missed!

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Re: Spoon's 100 favourite records of 2000 (NOW TOP 10)

Postby WG Kaspar » 19 Sep 2013, 11:31

I must say I didn't expect that to be numero uno. I had forgotten it existed. Great write-up all around, I have to admire the dedication and despite disagreeing about a few records (Primal Scream's is my favorite of the year) I'd say it was a very illuminating and enjoyable read for my least favorite year of music.
Thanks.
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Re: Brother Spoon's 100 favourite records of 2000

Postby The Modernist » 19 Sep 2013, 11:33

It's been a fascinating series and a great undertaking. Well done B S!

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Re: Brother Spoon's 100 favourite records of 2000

Postby Lemon Yoghourt » 19 Sep 2013, 11:58

I haven't contributed much to the thread but have enjoyed reading it immensely.
I'll be making a list of albums to pick up or check out based on this thread.
Thanks, Brother!

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Re: Spoon's 100 favourite records of 2000 (NOW TOP 100)

Postby Lemon Yoghourt » 19 Sep 2013, 11:59

Brother Spoon wrote:16. Boris: Flood

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Country: Japan
Artist: Trio
Career: recording since 1996
Language: Unknown
Genre: Heavy rock

Reviews tell me this is Boris’s most ambient album (at least up until that point). Maybe that’s why I like it so much. When I hear the word ‘Flood’ I always think of Bob Dylan’s Basement Tape-song ‘Down in the flood’: ‘It’s gonna be the meanest flood anybody ever saw’. This one isn’t mean though. In fact listening to it I can easily place myself in that picture on the cover, submerged, at one with the tide of the water. So very different from how I’d imagined Boris: I thought it would be ragged and uncompromising and that it would sound more amateur (thin production, unsubtle artistic choices) than fans would care to admit.
It’s not. I love that this is a carefully considered, expertly shaped, beautifully sounding experience, crafted with all the attention and knowhow it deserves. Lo-fi purity can be a good thing, but not for this music. It’s really one 70 minute musical moment, no shortcuts, no songs. Only parts of it can really be described as performance (parts 2 and 3 and those are some awesome performances), it’s all about the experience of the listener. It fits in neatly with a lot of other records in this list in that way. A very ‘00s thing. And Boris are up there with the best, based on this record.
What does it sound like, you ask? You’re going to be sorry you asked that, as words will do a very bad job at describing how it feels. Part one is basically two guitars playing the same 3 second melody line moving slowly out of sync. That’s the first 10 minutes plus of the experience. 7 minutes in there’s a distorted sound like somebody dragging a bag of metal objects across the room. That turns into a wild tribal tom tom percussion segue. I admit the first time I heard it I thought I’d never listen to it again, but I’ve come to like it a lot, partly because of the way it sets up the second section, but partly also just as itself. It worms its way into your consciousness. Part two is a two chord (two beautiful chords) dirge with lyrical guitar solos, also about 15 minutes. The control of tone is stunning, long feedback notes that sound just like flutes. It’s mesmerizing, epic and thrilling for the duration. It makes me feel as many conflicting emotions as ‘Maggot brain’.
There has to come a climax after that, and what a fulfilling, proud, uplifting moment it is. Part three starts with lovely singing (usually the downfall of such groups, but not here, harmonies and everything) and goes through the heavy stuff that you’ve been building up to for the last half hour. It’s crushing, it’s loud, it’s celebratory. Part four zooms out for 20 minutes on the last two notes of the climax, repeating endlessly and sinking into oblivion subtly and engagingly.
There you go. You can bemoan the state of rock-as-it-was in the ‘00s or you can ride along with the new wave. The second option is looking better all the time.



At its best: Flood II, Flood III


I haven't listened to the whole album yet but I'm really enjoying this album - hadn't heard it before.

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Re: Brother Spoon's 100 favourite records of 2000

Postby PENK » 19 Sep 2013, 12:09

Great thread.

The number one reminded me I wanted to give Motorpsycho a proper go: I heard one of their albums ages ago and didn't like it, but I think it was supposedly one of their weakest, and I have a Norwegian friend who has similar tastes to me and raves about them.

I'm currently listening to Little Lucid Moments and really enjoying it: it's what prog would sound like it if it were good!
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Re: Brother Spoon's 100 favourite records of 2000

Postby Leg of lamb » 19 Sep 2013, 12:30

Thanks, Bro.
Brother Spoon wrote:I would probably enjoy this record more if it came to me in a brown paper bag filled with manure, instead of this richly illustrated disgrace to my eyes.

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Re: Brother Spoon's 100 favourite records of 2000

Postby Brother Spoon » 19 Sep 2013, 12:34

penk wrote:The number one reminded me I wanted to give Motorpsycho a proper go: I heard one of their albums ages ago and didn't like it, but I think it was supposedly one of their weakest, and I have a Norwegian friend who has similar tastes to me and raves about them.

I'm currently listening to Little Lucid Moments and really enjoying it: it's what prog would sound like it if it were good!


I hope you like it! That's one of my favorites (song and album) of the later ones.

I'm a big fan, but the same thing that fans appreciate about them is also what makes them kind of difficult to approach. They release a LOT and they go in all sorts of directions - not the formula to guarantee quality control. Sometimes they go so far off the deep end and they fail. But sometimes they soar. And when they do that...
Last edited by Brother Spoon on 19 Sep 2013, 12:53, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Brother Spoon's 100 favourite records of 2000

Postby Very Stable Baron » 19 Sep 2013, 12:35

The G Experience! wrote:It's been a fascinating series and a great undertaking. Well done B S!


Yes!
Thanks, Brother!
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Re: Brother Spoon's 100 favourite records of 2000

Postby Bungo the Mungo » 19 Sep 2013, 13:00

Baron Frito Pie wrote:
The G Experience! wrote:It's been a fascinating series and a great undertaking. Well done B S!


Yes!
Thanks, Brother!


Thirded! Much appreciated, a great idea.

I wish others would do something similar. 100 favourites from 1968?

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Re: Brother Spoon's 100 favourite records of 2000

Postby Goat Boy » 19 Sep 2013, 13:03

Señor Orissario de la Fuente Monteprisso wrote:
Baron Frito Pie wrote:
The G Experience! wrote:It's been a fascinating series and a great undertaking. Well done B S!


Yes!
Thanks, Brother!


Thirded! Much appreciated, a great idea.

I wish others would do something similar. 100 favourites from 1968?


I think it's best to do something like this for the last decade or so because it's a lot more unpredictable.

We don't need to see another list of albums from the 60s or 70s.
Last edited by Goat Boy on 19 Sep 2013, 13:08, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Brother Spoon's 100 favourite records of 2000

Postby Toby » 19 Sep 2013, 13:05

Magnificent thread - one of the best there's ever been on BCB.

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Re: Brother Spoon's 100 favourite records of 2000

Postby The Modernist » 19 Sep 2013, 13:10

That "Whip The Ghost" is a great instrumental!

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Re: Brother Spoon's 100 favourite records of 2000

Postby Leg of lamb » 19 Sep 2013, 13:24

Goat Boy wrote:
Señor Orissario de la Fuente Monteprisso wrote:I wish others would do something similar. 100 favourites from 1968?


I think it's best to do something like this for the last decade or so because it's a lot more unpredictable.

We don't need to see another list of albums from the 60s or 70s.


Yeah, the micro-history idea for a musical year is truly a new thing, I think, and it would be amazing to have more of them. I doubt that anyone else would have the time or application to do it as well as Bro Spoon has done for 2000, but we live in hope.

Like Goat Boy, I think the approach is most valuable as a means of navigating music since the turn of the millennium. There's so much out there and a kneejerk assumption that most will be ephemeral. Due to Spoon's thread, I feel like a whole swathe of records I either knew nothing about or only a little bit now have personality and a place in my mind. I'll investigate them.
Brother Spoon wrote:I would probably enjoy this record more if it came to me in a brown paper bag filled with manure, instead of this richly illustrated disgrace to my eyes.

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Re: Brother Spoon's 100 favourite records of 2000

Postby Bungo the Mungo » 19 Sep 2013, 13:30

Leg of lamb wrote:
Goat Boy wrote:
Señor Orissario de la Fuente Monteprisso wrote:I wish others would do something similar. 100 favourites from 1968?


I think it's best to do something like this for the last decade or so because it's a lot more unpredictable.

We don't need to see another list of albums from the 60s or 70s.


Yeah, the micro-history idea for a musical year is truly a new thing, I think, and it would be amazing to have more of them. I doubt that anyone else would have the time or application to do it as well as Bro Spoon has done for 2000, but we live in hope.


Here on BCB it's of course more likely that people will want to tackle a 'classic' year such as 1968. If they kept to the format established by Mr. Spoon, it'll be far from just 'another list of albums from the 60s or 70s'. The focussed nature of these investigations is going to be fascinating whatever year is chosen.

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Re: Brother Spoon's 100 favourite records of 2000

Postby T. Willy Rye » 19 Sep 2013, 13:33

Thanks Brother Spoon! Really enjoyed your writing. I wish you were starting a new thread about some random year. 1997? 2006? 1934? I can only imagine the amount of time and effort that went into this.

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Re: Brother Spoon's 100 favourite records of 2000

Postby Goat Boy » 19 Sep 2013, 13:44

The reviews will be interesting but the lists will be fairly predictable imo. There's a lot of agreement on BCB regarding those years but very little regarding the past decade which is why it would be far more interesting to do imo. I really feel that period has been done to death around here frankly. There’s just no mystery anymore. Looking at the above list I’ve never even heard of most of the artists which is really refreshing and far more invigorating. If we were to do the noughties then you would get really different lists which is far more exciting, to me anyway.

You just don’t want to do the noughties because you think it’s all crap.

For the sake of BCB, let's all set sail into more uncharted waters!
Last edited by Goat Boy on 19 Sep 2013, 13:47, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Brother Spoon's 100 favourite records of 2000

Postby packrat » 19 Sep 2013, 13:45

An excellent thread, and a great read all the way through.

One thing it has made me think about is the fact that I never think of my music in terms of release year, and thus comparing bands and albums is not really done from that base. Looking at this exercise I think I may be missing quite a pivotal factor. Hmmm.

Many thanks once again Pieter, and I am glad I could help in my little way!



Now I need to work out how to set dates on my collection! Maybe I should restart the catalogue.
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Re: Brother Spoon's 100 favourite records of 2000

Postby Goat Boy » 19 Sep 2013, 13:48

packrat wrote:An excellent thread, and a great read all the way through.

One thing it has made me think about is the fact that I never think of my music in terms of release year, and thus comparing bands and albums is not really done from that base. Looking at this exercise I think I may be missing quite a pivotal factor. Hmmm.

Many thanks once again, and I am glad I could help in my little way!


I never think in terms of years either which is why picking one year is awkward to me.

It's best to do a decade or a few years at a time because I can easily think of a bunch of albums straight away and work from there.
Harvey K-Tel wrote:After reading this thread all I can think is thank fuck I'm not Copehead. I can't imagine being that tedious. People would fucking hate me!