Seriously the last album I bought was This Is It.
September 17, 2010 12:50 PM   Subscribe

Pretend it's 2030 and you're making a Best Of The 00s music mix. What do you include? I pretty much ignored pop music for a decade and now I want to catch up and hear great stuff from this century.

My tastes run in an fast-paced rock/stripped down direction, but I'll listen to anything ..although assume I've heard the really big hits.
posted by The Whelk to Media & Arts (40 answers total) 106 users marked this as a favorite
The White Stripes, M.I.A., Maroon 5 and John Mayer. If you want specific songs for them: Seven Nation Army, Amazon, She Will be Loved and No Such Thing.
posted by soelo at 12:56 PM on September 17, 2010

The Mountain Goats' 2002 songs No Children is definitely one of the greatest songs of the decade, if not all time.
posted by griphus at 12:57 PM on September 17, 2010 [9 favorites]

I've always been a classic rock kind of guy, but The Flaming Lips, The National, Modest Mouse, and The White Stripes have dragged me kicking and screaming into the new millennium.
posted by auto-correct at 1:00 PM on September 17, 2010

Fleet Foxes
posted by dfriedman at 1:00 PM on September 17, 2010

Oh, and if you want a single-year cross-section, here is my Best Of 2009: Pt. 1, Pt. 2.
posted by griphus at 1:03 PM on September 17, 2010

- The Hold Steady - it's the best, smartest, funniest, most poignant bar rock of all time. And the lyrical equivalent of Faulkner's druggy, hard-livin' younger brother... stories upon stories, spanning multiple albums. "Girls and Boys in America" is a good place to start.

- Electric Six - their stuff may be a joke - lots of amped-up songs about DANCING! and FIRE! and GIRLS! - but damned if it's not catchy, danceable and wonderful. And their shows are big sweaty explosions of energy. "Fire" (of course!) is their best release to date.

- I've been getting into Fountains of Wayne recently, and those dudes are SURPRISINGLY AWESOME considering they wrote "Stacey's Mom".

- Pretty much everything both Spoon and Wilco has released in the past decade has been innovative and solid. "Gimme Fiction" for the former, "Yankee Hotel Foxtrot" for the latter.
posted by julthumbscrew at 1:05 PM on September 17, 2010

Ooh yeah, Fleet Foxes's song Mykonos is particularly good.

Vampire Weekend's Oxford Comma too.
posted by soelo at 1:05 PM on September 17, 2010

Grizzly Bear.
posted by oinopaponton at 1:05 PM on September 17, 2010 [3 favorites]

Metacritic's top artists of the decade and top albums of the decade.
posted by mkultra at 1:07 PM on September 17, 2010 [2 favorites]

Friendly Fires (skeleton boy, jump in the pool, really most of their only album)
Peter, Bjorn, and John (young folks, amsterdam, nothing to worry about)
The Knife (We share our mothers health, heartbeats(check the jose gonzalez cover as well), much more)
The Arcade Fire
Kings of Leon
M.I.A. (check the diplo mixed album Piracy Funds Terrorism especially... though it's not just her.)
Caribou (Start breaking my heart and Up In Flames (as Manitoba) and The Milk of Human Kindness, Swim (as Caribou))
Pomplamoose (youtube hipsters, discussed on the blue before)
LCD Soundsystem
Magneta Lane (Dancing With Daggers album)
The Postal Service (Give Up album)
Tv on the Radio

Artists without specific track examples are there because friends of mine gush over them, but I haven't got into them yet myself. That's all I got so far :)
posted by utsutsu at 1:10 PM on September 17, 2010 [1 favorite]

The XX.
posted by felix betachat at 1:13 PM on September 17, 2010

Can I be the one to scream Janelle Monae and Lady Gaga at the top of my lungs?
posted by jph at 1:18 PM on September 17, 2010

Well, I'm an album person, so:

Radiohead: Kid A, In Rainbows
Menomena: Friend and Foe
Florence + the Machine: Lungs
Ok Go: Of the Blue Color of the Sky
Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band (eponymous)
TV on the Radio: Dear Science
Sleigh Bells: Treats fuck off haters I love this record
Frightened Rabbit: The Winter of Mixed Drinks
Deerhoof: Offend Maggie
Beck: The Information
Wilco: A Ghost is Born
Sleepytime Gorilla Museum: In Glorious Times
The Raconteurs: Consolers of the Lonely
Fiona Apple: Extraordinary Machine

Such a partial list. Dammit, so much work to do today! I might be back.
posted by Lutoslawski at 1:19 PM on September 17, 2010 [4 favorites]

As someone with the exact same question, specific tracks are more helpful than ZOMG KINGS OF LEON ARE TEH BEST EVAR!

Since I got my iPod five years ago, I've been carefully working my way through some of the best music of all time -- Emmylou Harris, the Rolling Stones, the Beatles, the Stax/Volt collection, Bruce Springsteen, Bach, Ike and Tina Turner, Elvis Presley, the Mamas and the Papas, and tons of others. Then a couple of days ago I was reading a NYT review of a Jay-Z concert, and found myself wondering: yeah, but aside from the hype, I wonder if any of his songs are actually any *good*.

I think my one and only experience with modern music was an Outkast album, which I really tried to like -- i.e., listening to it with my full attention, through good headphones, etc. It was collossally disappointing: Repetitive bass lines, average lyrics and uninventive rhymes -- almost entirely composed of simple rhyming couplets. And of course some oddball samples or random sound effects thrown in to make it arty, I guess.

So this is a long-winded way of seconding the question. Give me songs that no-one can help but love! I promise I'll give them my best shot!
posted by Alaska Jack at 1:25 PM on September 17, 2010

Sleigh Bells: Treats fuck off haters I love this record

posted by griphus at 1:27 PM on September 17, 2010 [1 favorite]

The non-commercial radio station I listen to, WYEP, had their listeners submit their favorite songs from the '00s. Here are the top 913.
posted by booth at 1:43 PM on September 17, 2010 [1 favorite]

Here's one for the you-may-have-heard-it-and-it's-also-not-rock department, a particularly well-delivered Billboard R'n'B chart topper:

Amerie - 1 Thing
posted by Anything at 1:47 PM on September 17, 2010

TV on the Radio
Pulp - We Love Life
posted by KokuRyu at 1:53 PM on September 17, 2010

Seconding TV on the Radio's album "Dear Science."

Also, adding Regina Spektor's album "Begin to Hope" and Sleater-Kinney's "The Woods."
posted by cranberrymonger at 1:54 PM on September 17, 2010

I would suggest that Yankee Hotel Foxtrot by Wilco is one of the definitive albums of the decade in many different ways.
posted by KokuRyu at 1:54 PM on September 17, 2010 [3 favorites]

I think this is a tough request because what will be considered a good list in 2030 (at least that's how the question is framed) will end up being songs from the 00s that aged well and had a persistent influence on culture. That said, I think you're going to be looking at Kelly Clarkson, Coldplay, Franz Ferdinand, John Mayer, Maroon 5, Moby, etc.

If you're looking for good music for yourself from the 00s, independent of popular culture, I think the best way to do this is to go into Radio Paradise's list of highest-ranked songs and start fishing from the top down. You will have to separate out a lot of older music, but it will definitely avoid most of the heavily commercialized stuff, yet won't be too obscure to not have any cultural association with the 2000s.
posted by crapmatic at 2:11 PM on September 17, 2010

what will be considered a good list in 2030
what will be an accurate representation of such a list in 2030
posted by crapmatic at 2:14 PM on September 17, 2010

This is a terrible question to answer. After a long hard thing, The Long Blondes - Once And Never Again (2006) is still the only thing that's popped into my head.

I did think of this though - Kieron Gillen's Tracks of the Year posts, which go back a ways and are filled with interesting stuff: 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003.
posted by permafrost at 2:30 PM on September 17, 2010

Elbow: Leaders Of The Free World and The Seldom Seen Kid. Both fine, rich albums.
posted by Decani at 2:33 PM on September 17, 2010 [1 favorite]

Seconding Decani's suggestion--Elbow is great. The song that hooked me (and many others, I suspect) was "Grounds for Divorce."
posted by MonkeyToes at 2:38 PM on September 17, 2010

For fast-paced, stripped-down stuff that's unmentioned as yet, maybe check out:

Tilly and the Wall - Pot Kettle Black

Matt & Kim - Daylight
posted by Karlos the Jackal at 2:43 PM on September 17, 2010

Hrm. Pop music? I'm really not a good person to recommend such things. I've lately been really enjoying Carbon Leaf's catalog... and anything by Indigo Girls is great... and also Guster is great.

They've all done things in the past decade, and they're good music, so check them out.
posted by hippybear at 2:43 PM on September 17, 2010

Oh, and I adore Tegan & Sara's The Con -- try the title track.
posted by Karlos the Jackal at 2:50 PM on September 17, 2010

booth's link has a lot of good stuff.

Since recommendations here are taking a more alternative/indie direction, I thought I'd add some Top 40 stuff. For what it's worth, I'm a more indie person myself, and this is stuff I find myself loving despite my "better tastes". To be, this is stuff you can't help but love, like Skittles:

Outkast - Hey Ya
Britney Spears - Toxic
Lady Gaga - Bad Romance
Miley Cyrus - Party In The USA
Jay-Z - 99 Problems / Dirt of Your Shoulder
Shakira - Hips Don't Lie
U2 - Vertigo
Amy Winehouse - Rehab
Christina Aguilera - Candyman / Ain't No Other Man
Rihanna - Umbrella
Missy Elliott - Work It
Beyonce - Crazy In Love / Single Ladies
Mika - Grace Kelly
The Ting Tings - That's Not My Name

Now, for everyone to make fun of me...

PS: Some other artists I really love - Rilo Kiley, Tegan and Sara, Vampire Weekend, Ben Folds, Spoon, The New Pornographers, Death Cab For Cutie and The Postal Service, Green Day... It's been a pretty good decade for music really.
posted by maryr at 3:08 PM on September 17, 2010 [1 favorite]

I need to come up with my own list sometime, but in the meantime, have you looked at Acclaimed Music? They collect as many best-of lists as they can and do all kinds of nerdy things to them.
You want to download the XLS file, because the links at the side of the page are way outdated.

As a preview, here's the top 10:
M.I.A.: Paper Planes
OutKast: Hey Ya!
The White Stripes: Seven Nation Army
Beyoncé feat. Jay-Z: Crazy in Love
Gnarls Barkley: Crazy
Franz Ferdinand: Take Me Out
Jay-Z: 99 Problems
Missy Elliott: Get Ur Freak On
OutKast: B.O.B. (Bombs Over Baghdad)
Yeah Yeah Yeahs: Maps

Although it's from critics, this list is pretty well top of the charts, as well. One or two of these wouldn't make my personal top 30, but most would.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 3:15 PM on September 17, 2010 [1 favorite]

On all of the below youtube links that send you to a VEVO youtube page that wants to show you an ad every time, just click back on your browser and then click the link again and you don't have to sit through the ad.

Probably the rockiest thing I have is Thrash Unreal - Against Me!

Wait, hold on, there was also The Darkness. An English retro hair cheez band. At first it seems like a joke, and and then it grows on you and then you have to admit that it's actually really well done. They'd have ruled in the 80s. I Believe In A Thing Called Love and Growing On Me

Postal Service was a standout, I thought. It's electronic indie pop and so well done. The whole album is great. My favorites are Such Great Heights and Brand New Colony and We Will Become Silhouettes and The District Sleeps Alone Tonight (neat throughout but kicks in at 2:20). I think a couple of these were in commercials.

There's lots of love and lots of hate for Arcade Fire. I thought it was great stuff. Intervention is my favorite.

Same situation for The Killers. I thought they were great. Try Mr. Brightside.

Lots more hate for Asher Roth, but I Love College is exactly how I've always felt.

Vampire Weekend was a lot of fun. A-punk is a nice entre. Try also Oxford Comma and Mansard Roof and Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa and M79. I mean, who name drops Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and Oxford commas? These guys!

Yeah Yeah Yeahs were refreshing and interesting. Maps is gorgeous.

Electric Six is hilarious and kind of rock. Dance Commander and Synthesizer and Gay Bar are great.

M83 is lovely. I love Graveyard Girl. A dreamy one from them is Don't Save Us From The Flames.

MGMT is fun and cool. Check out Time To Pretend

The Teenagers. French and cool. Homecoming. Funny, sexy, cool.

Kyle Andrews - Sushi. Fun, cool, bouncy, clappy. Electronic with a bit of alt rock guitar.

I don't know what happened to Patrick Wolf, but I loved The Magic Position. Poppy and melodic without really being mainstream.

Same for The Shins. Here's Turn on Me

Clementine by Washington is great, but this tilt-shift video that it backs is totally cool.

Pete Yorn was nice. For Nancy

Peter Bjorn & John - Young Folks. Spooky smooth.

Mellifluous synthesizer dance beat with a neat atmosphere: Calvin Harris - I'm Not Alone. Kicks in at 1 min in.

Innovative white English off-beat rapper: The Streets - The Irony of it All

Another English guy, sort of a rappy singer. Very nice. Jamie T - Ike & Tina

Very original - Santogold - L.E.S. Artistes (xxxchange remix)

Bob Schneider - Moon Song and Round and Round. I don't know what you call this. Chill and fun and nice. Pop culture factoid - he dated Sandra Bullock.

Fleet Foxes were a kind of unexpected phenomenon. Sort of throwback and sort of not. Knockout, pretty stuff. Here's White Winter Hymnal.

Sufjan Stevens was another critical darling. I hated most of his choir-backed stuff on Come On Feel the Illinoise, but really liked a few, such as Decatur, or, Round of Applause for Your Stepmother.

TV on the Radio generated a lot of indie buzz. I didn't like a lot of it. This one was gold though if you appreciate the absurd. Robots.

Singsong girly. Also an iPod commercial. Or maybe a car commercial. Yael Naim - New Soul

Bouncy-folky-smiley-girly pop: Feist - 1234

Sweetest bouncy girly song ever. Regina Spektor - Folding Chair. Sort of a rocksteady thing going on in the background.

A woman who (in this video) looks like your 6th grade teacher who has had enough cuts loose in this one. Ida Maria - Oh My God.

Mashups were big, most notably Girl Talk. Here's What It's All About and Don't Stop. He mixes up rap, pop, and rock from recently with stuff from previous decades. Some are really fun and well done.

There was this whole slew of Swedish bands in recent years putting out beautiful and smooth and clean indie pop. I love JJ - From Africa to Malaga
posted by Askr at 3:20 PM on September 17, 2010 [6 favorites]

The Strokes - Hard to Explain. Alty melodic scratchy emotional kicky pretty.
posted by Askr at 3:28 PM on September 17, 2010

Some of the best music of the aughts were what I call "adult contemporary" pop music. It's not straight up Top 40 pop, but more like pop indie. I personally can't listen to straight up pop very much.

The Shins - New Slang
Iron & Wine - Naked as We Came
Fleet Foxes - Mykonos
Sufjan Stevens - Chicago
KT Tunstall - Suddenly I See
The New Pornographers - Letter From An Occupant
posted by acheekymonkey at 3:58 PM on September 17, 2010

Brittney spears, back street boys, and n sync were crazy popular. if anyone remembers who they are anymore :D
posted by NotSoSiniSter at 6:21 PM on September 17, 2010

From pitchfork
posted by aesacus at 9:14 PM on September 17, 2010

Oh, and do check out WXPN's 2009 Year in Review.
posted by MonkeyToes at 11:25 AM on September 18, 2010

Despite the fact that the mainstream is more variegated and interesting than in the past, it still can get a bit stifling. I personally can't stand The National, Brooklyn indie darlings though they may be, nor any of the other dull emo pop groups that have emerged over the last ten years. They and their ilk are more a shibboleth of our inability to recognize emotional depth than anything else.

Meanwhile, however, the alternate history of rock music continued in this decade. I sometimes wonder how much longer it'll go on; it's clear to me that there was more really good rock music at the beginning of the decade than at the end.

In early August 2001, The Mekons, that roving band of socialist troubadours which has stomped out passionate and fiery anthems from those heady early times more than thirty years ago to this very day, gathered together in the studio again and recorded a tune about the medieval Crusades called "Thee Olde Trip To Jerusalem." Now, people like to go on about how this book or that film was a prescient anticipation of the massive way the universe shifted in the middle of September, but this song is the real thing: a bracing and vivid song that at once foretells and explains everything that happened over the next decade. The snarling declaration that begins the song – "THE SEED OF THE DEVIL LIVES ON IN MAN!" – is as perfect and true a summation of the last ten years as anyone has yet given. The song was so bracing, in fact, that it was not clear even for several years how much it spoke to our time; and the Mekons themselves muttered explanations about how the song was recorded before the 11th, and how they certainly weren't trying to say anything in defense of terrorism or anything like that. But I keep coming back to this song again and again, and like the darkness after the sunset it grows and settles on the land until it seems to cover everything. It has an immediate and visceral reference at its heart, a reference that of course couldn't have been apparent to the Mekons when they put it to tape: it's a song about the downtrodden and desperate souls who found themselves pressed into the service of an army raised to kill the Muslim infidel, and the modern parallel to those Crusaders is familiar to all of us now.
oh, I love the union and glory hallelujah!
The Old Trip to Jerusalem
– all that march through history must still mean something to you
The Old Trip to Jerusalem
roar, reason, roar, in power again!
The Old Trip to Jerusalem
they'll be selling out the women like they sold out the men
The Old Trip to Jerusalem

heart of the Lion!
the plunder and the killing
over and over
we just tried to stay sober
There is much more to the song than that reference. It's an attempt to rediscover the roots of the revolutionary life in the swirling pullulation of dissent that has echoed through history. Yet its searing impact derives from the fact that a bunch of middle-aged ex-bohemian people, who never had any right to claim they were a 'rock band' even before their hair went gray and their paunches started to show, could write a song named after a pub that somehow managed to evoke things that one is certain Lynndie England and her colleagues must have been muttering under their breaths – and did so three years before the fact.

Other songs from the decade that no one should miss:

Oneida, "Sheets of Easter"
A fantastic song that encapsulates everything rock and roll is about. It's hard to express how much I love this. (It's sad that the youtube clip cuts off the last four minutes; it's worth finding a full version.)
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, "We Call Upon The Author"
It's amazing that Nick Cave, who's always been far from mediocre, seems at this moment to be better than he's ever been; in a decade full of incredible tracks from him, this is my favorite.
posted by koeselitz at 1:44 PM on September 18, 2010

! ! !
[a.k.a. Chk Chk Chk]
posted by not_on_display at 11:32 AM on September 20, 2010 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: I can't pick a best answer cause you are all the best. It's gonna take me another decade to listen to all this stuff. Awesome.
posted by The Whelk at 10:48 PM on October 31, 2010 [1 favorite]

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