A 2002 MUSIC LIST, OF SORTS
by Dan R.
So I've been shamed into making a music list. I have been known as some sort of list freak over the years because of my baseball and film lists. Hell, I even put together a list for my favorite music of the 1990s three years back. This list making started way back when I was a wee lad. I used to keep track of my favorite songs starting back in 1982. So if anyone is interested in what my ten favorite songs were from any of the years 1982-1985, this is your lucky day.
But, why no music list over the past few years? With baseball, I just write about the games I go to. With films, I go to see tons and there aren't too many that I miss that I want to see. However, with music it is different. I am no longer up on the latest, newest, freshest music as it comes out. Sometimes, it takes me a little bit of time to get around to hearing it so I donít feel comfortable making a list of my favorite music over the year. Not to mention, my favorite records of any year fluctuate wildly from month to month. However, I can write about my year in music. So here goes...
Three Bands I Just Don't Get Haiku
And You Will Know Us
The "Was that Really Necessary?"Award
Upon signing to a major label, folk hushtress Mia Doi Todd re-recorded songs from her first three albums for her major label debut. Not bad if you like her, but why no new songs?
The "Dan Had Given Up on this Band Only to Be Pleasantly Surprised by their Latest LP" Award
The "Best Band Featuring A Former Member of Faith No More" Award
The "Chris Lawrence MP3 Hit of the Summer / Best Band to Listen to at a Prospect Park Cookout" Award
The "Maybe I Should Have Bought Their Last Album After All" Award
The "10,000 Chakrabartys Canít Be Wrong" Award
Super Furry Animals
The "Who Cares If Heís Not Breaking Any New Ground Because His Old Ground Is Still Worth Treading" Award
The "Dan Shouldn't Have Called Their Manager Sleazy In His Movie List" Award
The Bowery Ballroom show in April was excellent and it was capped off by the mild mannered Donovan in a shouting match during the super quiet "Reservations" with a Jersey lunkhead on a cellphone.
Lunkhead (holding up phone): Can you hear this? Can you hear?
Donovan: I can hear you! We Can All Hear You!
Lunkhead: Fuck You!
Donovan: No fuck you!
Lunkhead: No fuck YOU!
Donovan: Why donít you just leave?
Lunkhead: Why donít YOU just leave?
The "Danís Favorite Album of 2002 If You Asked Him What His Favorite Album of the Year Was on January 24, 2003" Award
Iron And Wine - "Creek
Drank the Cradle"
The "Dan's Favorite Album of 2002 If You Asked Him What His Favorite Album of the Year Was on October 24, 2002" Award
Neko Case - "Blacklisted"
Her show at the Bowery Ballroom in September was one of the best shows I've seen in years.
The "Best Purchase Made After a Central Park Performance" Award
Kronos Quartet - "Nuevo"
The "Best Album Without Tape Hiss By a Guy Who Usually Uses Tape Hiss as an Instrument" Award
Mountain Goats - "Tallahassee"
On his 4AD debut, Darnielle cleans up his sound and moves into the studio. While this might not be his best record, it it still really good. The sound is clean and his lyrics are as strong as ever. This album traces a couple's troubles as they move into an old house in Tallahassee. Check out Darnielle's amazing website on music: lastplanetojakarta.com. If you like any kind of music from death metal to Radiohead to the Carpenters, or pretty much any kind of music, youíll appreciate his writing.
The "Best Kinks-Like Record By a Band Who Is Usually Quite Silly""Award
Of Montreal - "Aldhis
Crooked Fingers - "Reservoir
The "Best Soundtrack to a Movie That Hasn't Come Out" Award
Eric Bachmann - "Short
Careers: Original Soundtrack for the film Ball of Wax"
The "Best Soundtrack to a Movie That Probably Didn't Need to Come Out" Award
Belle and Sebastian -
Their Philadelphia show in May was much better than the New York one at the Supper Club from a few years back.
The "Best Beck Hanson Album of the Year" Award
Beck - "Sea Change"
The "Best And Only DJ-Type Album I Got This Year" Award
Boards of Canada - "Geogaddi"
The "Everyone I Know Hates This Band Except for Jeremy and Me" Award
As soon as the singer opened his mouth and his bizarre weaselly voice could be heard, I was sold. Their album "We Are the Boggs We Are" features my favorite cover art of the year. The four band members are featured sitting next to two female hotties on a couch. The bearded guy is reading a magazine with The Strokes on the cover. I don't know, somehow it is quite brilliant in a "Bringing It All Back Home" for the new millennium to me. Everyone I know hates this band, but the cockiness of these Williamsburg hipsters doing their best 1930's country folk does me right. They serve moonshine at Enids, right?
The "Best Band to Dress Like Doctors Since 4 Out of 5 Doctors (Anyone Remember That Band Besides Stone Groove?)" Award
I followed seeing them dressed as doctors at the Bowery Ballroom with seeing the Danielson Famile dressed as nurses the next night at the Knitting Factory.
Speaking of the Danielsons, born-again Christians who sometimes dress as trees and do lots of hand clapping and sing-alongs are always a good thing.
The "Wow, at Least Heís Not in an Austin Powers Movie or Recording With a Jazz Band, an Opera Singer, or Burt Bacharach" Award
His Beacon Theatre performance in June marked the first time I'd ever seen him and he was great. The highlight was when the microphone wasn't working and he did an incredible acoustic version of "Angels Wanna Wear My Red Shoes."
The "Best Band to Dress Up as Furry Animals" Award
The Flaming Lips
The "It Sounds Damn Good at O'Connor's But I Haven't Bought It Yet" Award
The Reigning Sound - "Time
Bomb High School"
The "Elephant 6 Is Dead, Long Live the Elephant 6!" Award
The "I Like Will Oldham" Award
The "I Love Nick Drake" Award
The "I Just Bought This CD and Iím Really Listening to It For the First Time and Holy Shit It Is Kicking My Ass" Award
Liars - "They Threw
Us All In a Trench and Stuck a Monument on Top"
Pre 2002 Tunes That I Got Into This Year:
The Best "Best Of" Jeremy Made For Me This Year
It Sounded Better At O'Connor's Than In My Apartment
Brian Jonestown Massacre
- "Bravery, Repetition, & Noise"
The Best Mix Tape With the 1980 Phillies As a Theme
Eric Plumley's "Phillies
Archival radio footage and classic Phillies theme songs add to the fun times of what the Phillies might have or should have been grooving to that glorious season: Van Halen; AC/DC; Judas Priest; The Vibrators; The Dictators. Good stuff. And if the songs aren't good enough, youíll never be the same after hearing Tug McGraw's song or Mike Schmidt's odd vocal inflections. The best sports mix tape ever. Bar none.
Best Box Set
When the Sun Goes Down
Best Band Who I Don't Really Have Much to Say About But I Listened to A Lot
Best Band That I'm Probably Not Cool Enough to Listen To
Godspeed You Black Emperor!
Am I An Asshole For Finally Admitting to Myself That I Don't Like Hüsker Dü As Much As Everyone Else?
Well, am I?
Jazz Isn't Dead, It's Just That No One Cares Anymore
Bassist William Parker is amazing. I saw him in 2002 and he was incredible. He fit his band of, like, 15 or so members on a little stage and it was intense. One 45 minute song which kept ebbing and flowing, rising and falling, all back to the beginning theme by the end. They swung in a cocky "we've been around the block quite a few times" kind of way. His recent "Mayor of Punkville" is damn fine.
The Band I Would Have Liked 8 Years Ago If I Hadn't Been So Snooty to Dislike Anything on MTV
Some of My Favorite CDs Burned From Stone Groove
Tom Petty's - "Greatest
The Flamin' Groovies -
"Shake Some Action"
The Merry-Go-Round - "Youíre
A Very Lovely Woman - Live"
Old 97's - "Fight
Songs" and "Satellite Rides"
CCR - "Cosmoís Factory"
The Band I Gave Up On Years Ago, But Now I Like Again
Best Cover I Heard All Year By a Former Member of Slint
Papa M - "London
How Did I End Up Waiting Until 2002 to Listen to Her?
I saw her perform at Bart's "20 Midgets" premiere in 2001, but I guess I was too starstruck by my performance in the movie to really listen to the hot jams Cantrell was laying down. If Nashville had any clue, she would be a huge star. Thank God it doesn't so we can all be cooler than everyone else, huh?
Best Late 70's Power Pop Discovery of The Year
The Vibrators - "Pure
Best Non 2002 Release That Might As Well Have Been Released in 2002
The Hives- "Veni
The Dude Could Write 5 Songs While Taking A Dump and 3 of Them Would Be Good
Best DJ Record to Listen to During Third Grade Writer's Workshop Time
Four Tet - "Pause"
If "Timorous Me" is the Indie Rock Version of "Jack and Diane" What Will Be The Indie Rock Version of "Pink Houses?"
Only Ted Leo's forthcoming LP can answer that question.
Best 2001 Album That I Listened To A Lot in 2002
Beulah - "The Coast
Is Never Clear"
Speaking of Chris Lawrence's favorite band....
2002: My Year With the Strokes
I wanted to dislike this band because it is always fun to be on the same side as Chris Larry. I really wanted to dislike this band. Hell, that lead singer dude bumped into Chris at a Built to Spill show and instead of apologizing, made out with some floozie. Chris wrote back in October 2001: "My band could be that cool with someone buying us vintage equipment, designer rock wear, women, and songs!!! With the White Stripes, believe the Hype, itís from the gut and the heart and all the other places music should come from, with the Strokes it is wannabeitis! They might as well be Live with greasy hair and a better record collection." Yikes.
I saw the "Last Night" video and found myself secretly tapping along. Still, I hate them! I must hate them!
Rishi and Jeremy came to visit. With Jamie and Marc in tow, a huge argument ensued. To Stroke or not to Stroke? Rishi argued that they were easily the best band around and could kick the White Stripesí ass (yeah right!) and we all yelled at him.
Heard "Is This It" at Mitch's while playing poker and was nonplused. Kinda dull, I thought. Yay, Chris likes me!
Somehow I ended up with a burned copy of their CD and found myself kind of liking it. Sarah becomes obsessed with it.
Now I'm in the shit. I love the CD, but I donít dare tell Chris Larry. I mean, he has to deal with them strutting down 7th St. all the time like they fucking own the East Village. He has enough on his plate.
At the end of the month, I found myself in London while they were playing The Brixton Academy. I ended up buying a ticket outside for the sold out show. I was already in a music mood because every street sign in London reminded me of a Kinks or Clash song.
The crowd was going nuts. The scene was crazy. People were screaming for the drum technician when he was testing the drums. I swear it was like reverse Beatlemania. It was impossible not to get caught up in it. Julian could have come out, taken a shit and left, and fans would have cheered. I wondered what Chris Larry would think if he could have witnessed the excitement of the crowd. The show was great and I was glad I shelled out the pounds. The post show street scene reminded me of the Cap Centre parking lot after a Billy Joel show I saw in high school. Lots of counterfeit t-shirts and posters for sale.
I bought "Is This It" at the Virgin store in Heathrow airport just so I could get the British cover art and the song "New York City Cops" not on the American version. I guess I was officially a Strokes fan. Rishi was pleased to find out.
Baseball started, I was distracted.
Who was my favorite Stroke? The curly haired guitar player? Julian? Or Fabrizio?
My crush on the Strokes eclipsed Sarahís crush on the Strokes.
Went ten days hearing only one Strokes song at one point because I had only put one of their songs on a mix for Jeremy as we were embroiled in Mix Tape Road Trip '02. Finished the month not listening to any because Jamie doesn't particularly care for them as we were cruising the South on our baseball trip.
Scored a ticket to see the White Stripes and the Strokes at Radio City Music Hall. Ended up in the tenth row for face value. I hadn't been to Radio City since going to see the Christmas Spectacular in '81. No Rockettes, but I did get Meg White! Even though I do like the White Stripes more, I must admit that the Strokes were better on this evening. Shut up, Rishi! Jack White came out and did an amazing solo on "New York City Cops" to close the show. Julian was on crutches!
After the show, met up with some folks including Chris Larry at O'Connor's. I could sense the disappointment oozing from every pore when he found out where I had just come from. Come on Chris, I still like Teenage Fanclub too! I felt like a small child letting down his father when he uttered, "Come on Dan, I thought you were on my side!"
I dreamt of someday being the sixth Stroke.
We all gave thanks to something at Thanksgiving Dinner and I gave thanks to the privileged boarding school boys made good. Amen. Let's eat.
On the way to Philadelphia with Eric Plumley, Chris Mooney, and Tim Dugan. Eric looked at Tim's CDs and asked him to put on the Strokes since he hadn't heard them before. I couldn't wait to see EP's response. Would he silently stew for a bit before exploding in disgust like he did on the baseball trip in 2001 when Richard (Washcloth) Judy put on Radiohead's "Amnesiac"? I still hear his lament of "Where are the guitars?" But, EP was preoccupied with tales of crazy mothers so he didn't really listen to the cd. Maybe 2003 will be the year I get my answer. Otherwise, I do believe their second album is due to be recorded soon. Bring on the backlash!
The Year In Huey Lewis News
2001 was a banner year for Hugh Craig III and me. I ended the year stripping to "The Power Of Love" at Village Karaoke which then spurred me to make a long awaited best of CD and buy a video of Huey videos (my original Beta copy would not fit in my VHS as much as I tried) and a DVD of a live show from Germany in 1984. Ich liebe Huey Lewis, ja?
His 2001 release "Plan B" led to my dad referring to it as a "stone groove"" in front of Eric Plumley, the king of nickname giving.
So 2002 had a lot to live up to. But other than my mom and sister ogling his fine 52-year old ass through binoculars at Wolf Trap and "Back to the Future" being released on DVD, it was a slow year for Huey and me.
Either "Duets 2" better be coming out or else my parents better get me tickets this year if he comes back to Wolf Trap!
I Was Wrong Six and a Half Years Ago Haiku
Jason, Bob, and Lou
Shows I Want to Mention That I Haven't Already Mentioned
Beachwood Sparks at Mercury Lounge- July
The show was fine enough, but I'll never forget the opening act. This stand up comic / performance artist wowed the crowd for 45 minutes with a combination of offensive jokes (aimed at women, gays, every ethnicity, and religion), insults of the crowd, and really (intentionally) bad jokes.
It started innocently enough with "How many Rufus Wainwright fans are there here tonight?" A few folks raised their hands, everyone looked around at each other like "I kind of like Rufus, but why should I raise my hand?" He then said, "Okay, good, I just wanted to know how many faggots are in the crowd here tonight."
The crowd went from respectful to stunned to angry to throwing things all within 45 minutes. Everytime people would yell angry things, our hero would respond with "Come on guys, this is my big chance." Either that or he would insult the person.
I don't remember a lot of his jokes, but one of the things I do remember was something along the lines of an excuse made for a bad band, "If you think this band is bad, my other band is a Bettie Serveert cover band." I don't know, maybe Jamie remembers. I wish I knew the name of this guy. I kind of felt like I was watching Andy Kaufman pissing off people while reading "The Great Gatsby" at a comedy club. The crowd just didn't seem to get it. Utter brilliance. Beachwood Sparks came on afterwards like nothing out of the ordinary had just occurred.
This was probably my most bizarre show experience since the Six Finger Satellite sex doll/ handcuff opus of '95.
Arthur Lee and Love at Bowery Ballroom, August
Holy shit. You can't keep a rock star down! Fresh out of prison with a lot to prove, Arthur tore shit up.
Bob Dylan at Madison Square Garden, November
"Love and Theft" is great, isn't it? This was the first time I had seen him and also the first time I was at MSG. Couldn't see a thing, but it was still a good time.
The Bronx- Williamsburg, November
Jason Curtis and the art punk gang.
John Wesley Harding at Southpaw, November
It was like visiting an old friend for the first time in a few years. A little older, a little grayer, but the spark of what drew you to the person in the first place remains.
The Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players at Fez, December
Fun, but the overbearing dad makes me sad for the 9-year old Rachel.
Bring on the rock 2003 style!