Brother Spoon's 100 favourite records of 2000

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Brother Spoon's 100 favourite records of 2000

Postby Brother Spoon » 24 Jul 2013, 13:06

Hey everyone,

They keep telling me that to find anything of musical worth in the 2000s, you have to dig, so I dug.

This is a listing of my favourite 100 albums of the year 2000.
For the last couple of months I’ve been digging into the records and music of the year 2000. I’ve been reading reviews, digging out old music magazines, scouring websites made of lists and mostly listening to tons of records. I didn’t do so because I’m convinced 2000 is the greatest year for music since recording began. 2000 is definitely an average year for music at best, below average probably.

But that’s the point. Well, part of it is that I like a good, stupid project which involves lots of time wasting and making up lists. But the other point… I wanted to find out if I could find the infinite variety of music inside one year. It turned out, once you start looking there is an endless stream of music, in a wide range of genres and styles, ever present, even in below average years. I had to consciously limit myself or else I’d be there forever.*

If the idea of a list of 100 records from a below average year like 2000 strikes you as unattractive, don’t worry. That’s a long way off. I’m starting all the way at the bottom with number 360. I’ll try to keep it short for the bottom rungs of the ladder (there’s only so many ways to say a record is really boring). But below average year or not, all of the top 100 come wholeheartedly recommended by me. I ended up with about 150 albums that I’d loved to put in there. No false excuses there, they’re not perfect albums (there were few of those), but I love ’em.

So, if you feel like it, cast your mind back to a time when Beyonce was still at the wheel of Destiny’s Child, Britney Spears was wholesome, Eminem was riding high, Coldplay were just debutants, none of us had heard of the Strokes, the White Stripes, Arcade Fire, Sufjan Stevens, Animal Collective, LCD Soundsystem, Arctic Monkeys, Amy Winehouse, Fleet Foxes, Interpol or any of that stuff… It’s beginning to sound like heaven, isn’t it?
Now back to reality…

Btw, it's going to take a long time to get to number 1, there's no rush.

*One thing though, as endless as it turned out, it wasn’t all of the moment. The concept of the musical moment isn’t all that in 2000 – a surprising number of records I read about in reviews or music journalism of the year turned out to be released in 1999 or even 1998, own-label releases which slowly got picked up by bigger players and re-released, sometimes several times. So I expanded my search to reading about 2001, and I found a lot of records of 2000 in there. I can’t imagine the same thing happening in earlier times. Eventually I settled into my own intuitive system of determining the year of a record. I’m sure there are a number of mistakes in there with regards to chronology (some deliberate), but really, who cares?
Last edited by Brother Spoon on 19 Sep 2013, 11:26, edited 4 times in total.

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Re: Brother Spoon's 100 favourite records of 2000

Postby Brother Spoon » 24 Jul 2013, 13:11

Is this an objective list? Of course it is.
I am all knowing and impartial when it comes to music.

Well, anyway, I tried to break out of my comfort zone, both in a more popular direction and in a more obscure. Without this project, I might have never heard a Coldplay or a Britney Spears album, then again I might never have heard one by Kaija Saariaho, Cascabulho or Toru Takemitsu.

But I have my blind spots: reading this list you might wonder if no one was doing anything new in 2000. Sure they were, but unfortunately it was nu-metal. I didn’t feel like listening to Linkin Park, Limp Bizkit and the Deftones, so they’re not here. My loss.

What can I say? There had to be a tiny chance that I might like it.

Piggly Wiggly

Re: Brother Spoon's 100 favourite records of 2000

Postby Piggly Wiggly » 24 Jul 2013, 13:12

I'm eagerly awaiting each installment.

The Modernist

Re: Brother Spoon's 100 favourite records of 2000

Postby The Modernist » 24 Jul 2013, 13:14

Brother Spoon wrote:If the idea of a list of 100 records from a below average year like 2000 strikes you as unattractive, don’t worry. That’s a long way off.


:D
Brother Spoon wrote:I’m starting all the way at the bottom with number 360.


:(

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Re: Brother Spoon's 100 favourite records of 2000

Postby Brother Spoon » 24 Jul 2013, 13:16

One reason why I dug in there, one reason you’re obliged to dig in the 2000s, is that we’ve been short changed when it comes to music criticism these last ten years or so. The profession has seriously deteriorated – you just can’t find much decent to read about current music the way you could just 8 or 9 years ago. I’m all for equal opportunities, but when being deaf became a job criterion in 2003, something was definitely lost.

Then again, when you have to listen to the music that journalism has deemed to foist upon us in the 2000s, I suppose the deaf have an advantage over most of us. Maybe music has gotten worse, that’s still a question to me. That they put increasingly worse bands before me to taste, of that I have no doubt. I really think that we need to build up an alternative to the current canon. Of course we’ll never agree on what to put in there. Some of that is in here.

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Re: Brother Spoon's 100 favourite records of 2000

Postby Brother Spoon » 24 Jul 2013, 13:21

This is going to be a positive read…in time. I’ve got pages full of lines like ‘manna from heaven’ and ‘like making love to a beautiful woman, marinated in wild honey and exotic spices’ and stuff like that ready, I promise. We’ll get there one day. But this is the nature of the numbered list. We start all the way at the bottom.

22 records you won’t even find in the list, cause I couldn’t bring myself to listen to them:

1. Linkin park: Hybrid theory
2. Limp Bizkit: Chocolate starfish and the hot dog flavoured water
3. Bloodhound gang: Hooray for boobies
4. Everlast: Eat at Whitey’s
5. Rollins band: Get some go again
6. Billy Joel: 2000 years – The millennium concert (just the thought of 2000 years of Billy Joel…)
7. Him: Razor blade romance
8. Kid rock: The history of rock
9. Bone thugs n Harmony: Resurrection
10. Roger Waters: In the flesh
11. Papa roach: Infest
12. Levellers: Hello pig
13. Gabrielle: Rise
14. Julio Iglesias: Noche de quarto lunas
15. Enigma: Screen behind the mirror
16. Barbra Streisand: Timeless: live in concert (another millennial concert)
17. Melanie B: Hot
18. Wheatus: Wheatus
19. Good Charlotte: Good Charlotte
20. Bon Jovi: Crush
21. Nickelback: The state
22. Deftones: White pony

You’re welcome to try and change my mind, but you better bring a good argument.

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Re: Brother Spoon's 100 favourite records of 2000

Postby Nolamike » 24 Jul 2013, 13:40

Brother Spoon wrote:Btw, it's going to take a long time to get to number 1, there's no rush.


It really is a long way to the top if you wanna rock and roll.


Looking forward to reading this!
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Re: Brother Spoon's 100 favourite records of 2000

Postby Deebank » 24 Jul 2013, 13:49

Brother Spoon wrote: there's no rush.



This is an outrage!
Mind you, they didn't have an LP out in 2000 :?
I've been talking about writing a book - 25 years of TEFL - for a few years now. I've got it in me.

Paid anghofio fod dy galon yn y chwyldro

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Re: Brother Spoon's 100 favourite records of 2000

Postby Brother Spoon » 24 Jul 2013, 13:51

Here we go...

360. Roni Size / Reprazent: In the mode

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Why is Roni so angry?

359. Recoil : Liquid

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Women recite their grimy, urban poetry over equally grimy and urban soundscapes. In ‘Want’ they keep asking ‘I want to know how much you hate me’. They make it so easy. Also contains a clumsy gospel meets beats exercise called ‘Jezebel’, you know like that record from Moby nobody wants to be reminded of.
I don’t want to withhold the thrilling setup for the record (at least that’s what AllMusic –who give this 4 stars – tell me): ‘‘Liquid’ is a concept album that serves as a look into the mind of a warped and jaded man whose life is flashing in front of his eyes’.
Wake me up when it’s over.

At its worst: ‘Breath control’ – I haven’t heard such fascinating innuendo since ‘9 ½ weeks’. ‘I’ve heard you’re looking for something that’s hard to find.’
Actually the last couple of songs on this record are even worse, but they’re so vaporous and empty there’s hardly anything there to count as a low point.


358. Gallon drunk: Black milk

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Like Primal Scream with a less convincing frontman?

If you aspire to make a disturbing, sexy, sleazy, sophisticated, dangerous noise, that’s fine by me. If you want to name your songs ‘Prostitute’, ‘Hypnotized’, ‘Theme from Black Milk’ and ‘Blood is red’, go right ahead with your safe, romanticized stereotype of danger. But if you succeed in making an anemic, jammed, bloodless record that makes Nick Cave sound convincing, well, I’m out.

At its worst: ‘Hypnotised’ – most unconvincing sighting of a ‘dangerous frontman’ of the year.

357. Anastacia: Not that kind

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Hollow gestures fill arenas. She knows it. Why else is the chorus of ‘Yo trippin’’ (has there ever been a worse song title?): ‘There ain’t nothing wrong with the way I sing my song / Yo trippin’’. At least she knows her double negatives.

356. Offspring: Conspiracy of one

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God knows why I wanted to give this a fair chance. It’s really as bad as you think it is. Avoid.

At its worst: ‘Special delivery’, or maybe ‘One fine day’ – both just that little bit more annoying.

355. Einsturzende Neubauten: 9-15-2000, Brussels

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Goddamn, they do it live too. (see 334)

354. Johnny Dowd: Temporary shelter

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I suppose the mongrel genre of depressed alternative country and miserable post-punk had to happen one of these days, but *sigh*, can’t these people stop being so damn miserable. Thanks.
Still, the drummer’s called Brian Wilson. It must be fun to say that every night: ‘On drums, Brian Wilson!’

At its worst: Angel eyes – that’s how long eternity can last

353. David Thomas: Bay city

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I’m all for experiments, as long as the artist realises every experiment has the potential to backfire. This deathly dull experiment shouldn’t have been released. The lame melodies and threadbare chord progressions never spark any interest – AllMusic call it ‘a certain melodic dryness’ while giving it 3 stars, because ‘the lyrics are worth focussing on’. Only because they get so comically overblown. And really, the record feels long enough as is, it doesn’t need hidden bonus tracks.

At its worst: ‘Nobody lives on the moon’.

352. Dave Douglas: A thousand evenings

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I hate to break it, but sophisticated things can be very boring.
Let’s dissect AllMusic’s review of this record.
‘By 2000 trumpeter Dave Douglas had etched himself as one of the most versatile, intriguing, and important players and composers on the scene. Right. ’Etched’? Sounds painful.
By leading several groups that successfully focus on particular styles, Douglas had been able to be not only one of the best but also one of the most recorded. Got it.
A Thousand Evenings was his second album for BMG and his third release of that year. Damn.
A Thousand Evenings features his Charms of the Night Sky group (also the name of the quartet's 1998 Winter & Winter label debut) with Mark Feldman on violin, Greg Cohen on bass, and the marvelous Guy Klucevsek playing accordion. Ye…wait, violin, accordion?
As with the initial Charms of the Night Sky release, the set list is comprised of flowing chamber jazz pieces that lend themselves to a strange mix of tango, Eastern European folk, and klezmer, all in the framework of the New York downtown jazz scene. Say what?
The title song is a beautiful engaging opening number that floats along with Douglas blowing right on top. It’s a beautiful performance.
Highlighting one of the most important factors of this group is Klucevsek's accordion playing: He adds a great deal to the density and also to the rhythm of this music. He sure plays a lot on that accordion.
"Variety," a solo accordion piece, clearly demonstrates that fact. But I don’t want a solo accordion piece.
There's also an entertaining reworking of the James Bond theme "Goldfinger." There’s only word here I don’t agree with.
A Thousand Evenings is an example of great musicians keeping their ideals straight in the oft-murky landscape of major-label contemporary jazz, and is highly recommended. But I don’t want a solo accordion piece.

At its best: A thousand evenings
At its worst: Variety


351. Echoboy: : Vol 2

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In 2000 some reviewers bent over backwards to hand out some compliments to just about anyone picking up a computer and managing to turn it on. This guy shouldn’t have bothered. Embarrassing sub-Depeche Mode stuff.

At its best: Sudwestfunk No. 5 has a certain groove.

At its worst: ‘Kelly’s truck’, for my money just about the worst track from the year I’ve heard. And it was the single.
Last edited by Brother Spoon on 25 Jul 2013, 19:26, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Brother Spoon's 100 favourite records of 2000

Postby Nuts » 24 Jul 2013, 15:09

Don't be so quick to dismiss Rollins Band!! (mind you, it's been a while since I listened to that particular album)
Information is not knowledge. Knowledge is not wisdom. Wisdom is not truth. Truth is not beauty. Beauty is not love. Love is not music. Music is the best…

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Re: Brother Spoon's 100 favourite records of 2000

Postby Brother Spoon » 24 Jul 2013, 16:36

Nuts wrote:Don't be so quick to dismiss Rollins Band!! (mind you, it's been a while since I listened to that particular album)


I know he has his fans.
But my entrance point was the mid-90s by which time he seemed like such a dusty old relic.

One line from AllMusic's review of this album seems pretty apt: 'Depression, anger, rejection, and so on have been his bread and butter for years, but he never seems to go anywhere'.

But I'll give the opening track a try:


Just look at the guy! I swear at 3'00 he turns and stares straight at me.
I've never been so scared of illumination in my life.
Sorry...

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Re: Brother Spoon's 100 favourite records of 2000

Postby Nolamike » 24 Jul 2013, 17:04

I think I'd probably like the Dave Douglas record, and I'm tempted to check it out. :)
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Re: Brother Spoon's 100 favourite records of 2000

Postby Brother Spoon » 24 Jul 2013, 17:29

Nolamike wrote:I think I'd probably like the Dave Douglas record, and I'm tempted to check it out. :)


Oh, it's all relative. Could be someone's favorite record of the year.
It sure has a unique soundspectrum!

But for me the clincher was when the accordion started scaring my son.

Piggly Wiggly

Re: Brother Spoon's 100 favourite records of 2000

Postby Piggly Wiggly » 24 Jul 2013, 17:48

Brother Spoon wrote:But for me the clincher was when the accordion started scaring my son.


Can't ignore the little things.

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Re: Brother Spoon's 100 favourite records of 2000

Postby Charlie O. » 24 Jul 2013, 18:35

Brother Spoon wrote:‘like making love to a beautiful woman, marinated in wild honey and exotic spices’

That can't be good for her.
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Re: Brother Spoon's 100 favourite records of 2000

Postby Quaco » 24 Jul 2013, 18:50

Love the thread so far, Pieter! Since we're at the bottom rungs still, it's purely because I'm enjoying your writing. But I hope to be illuminated about some stuff I haven't heard later on.
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Re: Brother Spoon's 100 favourite records of 2000

Postby nathan » 24 Jul 2013, 18:57

I remember this was the year that I really got into going to see a handful of local bands over and over and watching them get better. It sure beat whatever records came out that year because that shit just wasn't happening. The labels were losing money hand over fist and only seemed to release and promote the most cynical shit. It seems 2004 was when things started to get a little better and the rise of indie labels were the spearhead. Indie labels now had money to actually sign and record talented artists taking risks.

Maybe I missed some gems in this year because I sure as hell tuned it out as I was in it. I guess we shall see.

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Re: Brother Spoon's 100 favourite records of 2000

Postby Brother Spoon » 24 Jul 2013, 20:07

Remember (Quaco) wrote:Love the thread so far, Pieter! Since we're at the bottom rungs still, it's purely because I'm enjoying your writing. But I hope to be illuminated about some stuff I haven't heard later on.


Thanks. Just so you know, in this thread we're going to hell before it gets better. :)

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Re: Brother Spoon's 100 favourite records of 2000

Postby Brother Spoon » 25 Jul 2013, 17:29

Charlie O. wrote:
Brother Spoon wrote:‘like making love to a beautiful woman, marinated in wild honey and exotic spices’

That can't be good for her.


But what a way to go.

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Re: Brother Spoon's 100 favourite records of 2000

Postby Brother Spoon » 25 Jul 2013, 17:38

350. Kronos quartet: Caravan

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Nope. I’ve listened to it a couple of times, and I don’t get it. ‘Misirlou’ is the only one that gets a reaction, but it’s just a shrug, ‘Fine, so that exists too’. A chamber quartet version of a surf classic.

349. Annette Peacock: An acrobat’s heart

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I so want to like this, but it’s no use. Don’t get me wrong, every minute of this record, taken separately from the rest, sounds like this is really going to be good…once the melody starts. AllMusic finds the arrangements for piano and string quartet wondrous, I think it’s a wonder she managed to remember any of it long enough to write it down. Sorry, Annette, it’s really brave and personal music, and I have the utmost respect, but this one doesn’t work.

At its best: pick a minute.

348. Kasey Chambers: The captain

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You better be able to follow up on an opening line like ‘Well I never lived through the great depression / but sometimes I feel as though I did’. ‘I’m not much like my generation / Their music only hurts my ears’ isn’t going to cut it. Kasey Chambers’s got a good excuse for the kind of high school diary psychologizing and self-pity these songs are drenched in – she’s a high school kid, apparently. She’s got a nice voice, and this music may be of use to high school girls everywhere – so far so anti-generational. I don’t know though, maybe those girls’ll pick up on her dad’s influence all over this record faster than me. Someone’s living the dream through their kids, that’s for sure. As an artist, she’s not nearly there.

At its best: ‘Mr Bayliss’ is a harmless pop ditty which I wouldn’t turn off.

347. Eliza Carthy: Angels & cigarettes

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It seems ridiculous now that people expected this to crossover from the British folkworld to major pop stardom. The ‘modern’ touches now sound ugly and plastic – this is not a record made by people with a genuine feeling for pop music. The songs are transparently based on the kind of professional backing musician / folk musician jam sessions (you can just hear it in the bass lines) that don’t do anyone any good, except artists with a contract trying to fill a record. The single ‘Whispers of summer’ has … something going for it, but otherwise this is grim stuff.

At its best: Whispers of summer
At its worst: Wildwood


346. Melanie C: Northern star

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People should be ashamed.

At its best: Be the one (breezy pop of no consequence that sounds just fine)
At its worst: If that were me (‘I can’t even live without my phone / But you don’t have a home’)


345. Spice girls: Forever

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The business plan is obvious:
1. Invest as little as possible talent, time and effort
2. Announce split of band
3. Rake in easy money
I’m surprised they didn’t print it in the booklet.

With a record like this, you feel compelled to start up a conversation with the song titles, just to pass the time.
Holler – Why, Why?!
Tell me why – I’m stuck here, aren’t I?
Let love lead the way – out of here?
Right back at ya – oh…
Get down with me – Please make it stop
Wasting my time – Now you’re speaking my language
Weekend love – Even a weekend seems too long
Time goes by – it seems to stand still though
If you wanna have some fun – I do!
Oxygen – Thanks, I feel like I’m choking
Goodbye – Thank you!

344. Jean-Michel Jarre: Metamorphoses

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Total kitsch. And I don’t think it’s going to come back into style. Mostly cause, looking at the compositions, I can’t believe he writes less than 12 of these before breakfast.

343. Amar El Achab: Le chaabi des grands maîtres

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This is probably really good. I just don’t get it. Sadly that means, after a few tries, that I have no interest in hearing this again, and so it fits all the way down the list. My loss.

342. Raha Shah: Tibetan bowls. The healing vibrations

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It’s difficult to think of something to say about a record that bills itself: ‘[Listening to this record] some recall having seen images of God, angels or prophets. Others feel emotions they have never experienced before’. Turns out God looks like a synthesizer played really slowly.

341. Sidestepper: More grip

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According to AllMusic this clumsily mixes latin music and British electronic dance music. I really don’t hear the second part. But I’m not really a fan of latin music, and this seems a particularly tired example of the form… Count me out.
Last edited by Brother Spoon on 25 Jul 2013, 19:28, edited 1 time in total.