Tag Archives: modest mouse

20 Best Album Covers of 2015

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With the year coming to a close, it’s that time again to take a look back at some of the best that the music world had to offer in 2015. First up, I will run-down the most compelling album covers of 2015. Throughout the year, I kept a list of album covers that I found strange, beautiful, and provocative.  This list is a compilation of my favorites from this year-long collection.  Anyone who loves the album as an art form knows the importance of a powerful LP image, and the following 20 covers elevate their corresponding albums.

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RE-UPLOADED: BDWPS Podcast #34

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Since my earlier attempt to post the latest podcast had an error (I apologize!), I re-uploaded the file late last week, and it should be good to go. If you have any issues, let me know.

On this month’s episode I discuss my week at SXSW and some new music from Dan Deacon, Viet Cong, Courtney Barnett, and Doomtree. I also discuss classic tracks from Gang of Four, Jimi Hendrix, and Bob Dylan. Check out the podcast HERE or better yet, subscribe on iTunes or Stitcher (search: BDWPS).

Track List:
Dan Deacon “Meme Generator”
Viet Cong “Continental Shelf”
Gang of Four “Damaged Goods”
Doomtree “Generator”
Courtney Barnett “Dead Fox”
Modest Mouse “Coyotes”
Jimi Hendrix “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”
Bob Dylan “You Ain’t Goin’ No Where”

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My Tumultuous Relationship With Pitchfork.com

As discussed on my Podcast, over the past year I’ve found myself obsessively watching all of the episodes of “Classic Albums” on Netflix, the documentary series that originally aired on VH1 and BBC chronicling the creation of some of rock’s most influential albums.  After viewing around a dozen of these one hour episodes, I came up with the “great” notion to make a list of the episodes, ranking them and discussing each one in a short paragraph. Well, this was easier said that done and remains an unfinished project (maybe this post will get me re-motivated to finish it).

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9. Road Trip 2008, day 6 and 7: Terrorists and the Race Against Time

“Is the glass half full, or half empty? It depends on whether you’re pouring, or drinking.”

Bill Cosby

The hike down was pretty uneventful. This was okay with me. We already had enough adventures: climbing snowy mountain walls and fording rivers.  As we neared the end of the trail, I came upon a sturdy wooden bridge over the stream. I stopped and gave Paul a look of disgust. Bridges are for pussies.

Bridges? We don't need no stinkin' BRIDGES!

When we finally came out of the trees to the relieving sight of the Element, I checked the time to see our hike down had only taken four hours – just as we had been told.  Back at the car we didn’t say much, unpacking our bags, peeling off our soggy socks, and emptying our stinky shoes of pebbles.  Once we had everything somewhat organized, we headed back to Ennis with one thing in mind: must eat now!  A diet of jerky and granola can only hold you for so long.

After scouring the streets for a barbeque joint, we settled on a mom and pop café nestled in downtown. I had a giant chicken fried steak and Paul had a buffalo burger.  We ate in sleepy silence.  At one point the waitress came over and asked if we were all right.  She said we looked like zombies.  I wanted to explain that we had been hiking for two days straight, but lacked the energy to produce any words other than “eh”.

Back on 287 with our stomachs full, we had a dilemma before us. We both were exhausted and in desperate need of rest, but we disagreed on where we should stay for the night. I thought we should drive into Yellowstone National Park and camp there.  Paul disagreed, thinking this would cost us money and we would have to deal with tourists in RVs.  He wanted to stay by a pond about 15 miles north of the park.  We argued for about five minutes; I really wanted to stay at Yellowstone just because, heck, it’s Yellowstone. Paul contended it wouldn’t be like I expected and would cost money.

When we finally reached the pond, my drowsiness conceded to his plan and I pulled into the gravel drive.  We wordlessly walked up the passageway, finally setting up the tent in the first decent area we came upon.  I was inside sleeping before Paul had even started the fire.

We rested late into the next morning, letting our replenished bodies rest for just a little bit longer.  Eventually, we got up and began tearing down camp, stiff joints and all.  My body hasn’t ached like that since two-a-days in high school football.

On the way to Yellowstone, we refilled our ice, and I grabbed a much needed coffee. I perused the beer aisle again, and discovered a couple six packs from a brewery in Victor, Idaho.  In the car I checked the map and found that Victor wouldn’t be too far out of the way if we had enough time that evening.

Back on the road, we began seeing signs saying “Yellowstone National Park Ahead”.  My excitement began bubbling; I’d never been to the famous park and looked forward to seeing more of nature’s beauty.  A few minutes later we came upon the entrance and paid our 25 dollar fee.  Upon entering, we quickly came to a complete stop – cars, cars, and more cars.  It looked like big city traffic jam; just replace the trucks with RVs and mini-vans.  Slowly inching our way down the road, we both wondered how there could be traffic in a park.  I hoped and prayed that an obese tourist would step too close to a grizzly and get clawed to death.

After driving 10 minutes and only moving about 10 feet, a guy suddenly flew down past the line of cars, driving in the wrong lane.

“Where the hell does that guy think he’s going?”  Right as I said this I noticed him suddenly swerving back into our lane and flying off over the hillside…it didn’t make sense. Then, I realized what was happening just ahead of us.

“Dude! We are at a stop because some dumb ass up there is holding everyone up!” Paul screamed.  Others in the line also noticed this, and began passing the road squatter. When we reached the silver Uplander, I saw what they were stopped for.  A bald eagle sat perched on the top of a roadside tree.  As we passed them, I goose-necked and took a picture of the bird.  I examined my photo as Paul picked up speed – It didn’t look like much more than a brown blur.  I couldn’t believe these idiots held up traffic for 10 minutes just to take a picture of what may have been an eagle.

Could be a vulture turd for all we know.

Further up the road we noticed people parked roadside like the eagle loving morons from earlier should have done.  When I looked to see the sight-seeing occasion, I spotted a prairie of tall grass with a family of elk roaming in the distance.  We stopped and joined the tourists, taking pictures.  That’s when I noticed the backdrop of the scene: dead trees stood all around them, and the hillside in the distance was scattered with blackened logs.  I knew the park got devastated by a fire in 88′ but didn’t expect to see the causalities still strewn across the land.

 

"Hey, where can an elk go to find some shade around this place?"

I figured the massacre’s remains would just be seen in one area, but the entire park would end up featuring a landscape of burnt trees. Looking over the land, I mentioned to Paul that this is what the Desolation of Smaug might have looked like (last “Hobbit” reference, I promise).  The drive that I expected to be a highlight of the trip, slowly turned into a depressing ride through a tree cemetery.  I could still see traces of the beauty that once graced the land.  It was a lot like listening to a Times New Viking CD – you think you might be hearing some amazing pop songs, but it’s hard to tell beneath the carnage caused by the shitty recording quality.

 

“I don’t wanna die in Yellowstone!

We only stopped a few more times to look at waterfalls and a few geysers from a distance.  Neither of us wanted to deal with the tourists that ran amuck.  We pulled into the area where you could go watch Old Faithful, but decided against it when we saw the stream of people walking toward the bleachers.  Yes, there are bleachers.  When I noticed a guy pushing a stroller, I became annoyed.

“Why would you bring a baby to Yellowstone? God damn terrorist.”

Paul sat quiet for a second, then said, “Uh, did you say terrorist?”  I looked at him, realizing my word slip-up. I went with it anyways.

“Yeah, fucking terrorists. They’re terrorizing nature maaaaan!” We both laughed and kept using “terrorists” the remainder of the day to describe the sightseers bothering nature.

Disgusted with the entire Yellowstone experience, we sped through the last leg of the drive.  Paul put in some 70s metal band called Cirith Ungol (named after a location in Middle Earth…I know, I know, I already broke my promise).   When track two came on, a song called “I’m Alive”, Paul screamed along to the chorus of, you guessed it, “I’m ALIVE!”  The second verse seemed fitting for our exit from the land of the dead:

I roamed the world in search of life

Death followed in my wake
I searched for truth, I want the truth
And learned more than I could take
I’ve walked the roads of mystery
And it’s aged me much too soon
I’ve pied the piper and I’ve pied him well
But he still calls the tune
I’m ALIVE!

Soon after our exit from the park, we began seeing the outlines of an intimidating mountain range – The Grand Tetons.  We began stopping every two minutes to soak in the grandeur of the Tetons; it was almost like we couldn’t resist stopping to stare.  Back in the car, we would both look off at the distant peaks.  Occasionally one of us would break the silence singing the opening lyric to the Modest Mouse song “Blame It On the Tetons”.

We stopped when we reached a lake that sat at the foot of the mountain range.  We got out of the car and rested on the shore for a while, wishing we had a canoe to row out to the mountain’s edge.  In Bozeman we saw brochures advertising a kayak trip out to the Tetons for the low price of 95 dollars. We passed, but wished the remainder of the trip that we had the foresight to bring a boat of some kind.

 

We'll be back Tetons...

After about 20 minutes, I suggested we get going or our goal of reaching Pinedale, Wyoming by sun down would never happen.  Before heading to Pinedale though, we wanted to make a quick stop in Jackson Hole to visit Snake River Brewing.  Downtown Jackson Hole bustled with activity, people walking up and down the streets visiting the multitude of ski shops and mock saloons. As we drove through town in search of the brewery, I remembered that my brother Alex proposed to his wife while visiting here on a ski trip.  The streets they walked down as young lovers, the bars they perused, and the restaurant where my brother proposed: I felt like I was visiting a historic site, the birthplace of their lifelong relationship.

We parked the car on a side street and walked over to Snake River Brewing, a modern building with a wall of windows out front.  The crowd of people sitting on the patio stared at us like we were homeless.  They were partly right. The only shower we had taken on our road trip occurred in a mountain stream, which we happened to lightly splash across our faces and armpits.  Regardless, I didn’t feel welcome at the brewery.  Even the bartender acted rude toward us, throwing his nose in the air when we told him we didn’t want food, just beer.  I began noticing all the patrons shooting dirty looks at us. What I thought to be a hippie town quickly turned into yuppie-ville.

Even though the walls were lined with world beer awards, none of brews impressed us.  I don’t know how it’s possible, but maybe the snooty atmosphere affected our taste buds.  Every other brewery we visited had a welcoming, down home feel, while Snake River’s ambiance reeked of pretension.  We ignored the asses and began discussing our plans for the night.

“If we leave right now, I think we could get to Victor to try some of that Teton beer.  If we only stay there like an hour, we would be able to get to Pinedale in time to visit Bottom’s Up. What do ya think?”

Maybe the snob beer was stronger than I thought, but I didn’t hesitate. “Let’s do it.” I raised the remainder of my brown ale and chugged it down. Paul smiled and did the same. We had better things to do than hang around this uppity joint.

Paul made a quick phone call to the Grand Teton’s Brewery and the guy told him they would be open until 10.   On the map the drive to Victor looked like a straight shot from Jackson Hole.  Swerving around the mountains, we soon realized it was anything but straight.  The drive took us 10 minutes longer than we had accounted for, so we made it a necessity to make our brew stop quick.

Rolling into the outskirts of Victor, Paul noticed a large white barn to our right with a sign that said Grand Teton Brewing.  I almost missed the turn.  As we approached the building, two horses could be seen strolling near the entrance.  I could already tell that it would be a much more welcoming experiences that Snake River.

Around the back we found a door and rang the bell.  When no one answered, I stuck my head in.  A young earth-child of a woman walked out of the back room with a surprised look on her face.

“Uh…how may I help you?”

“We’re here for a tasting….” She looked confused. “We called a bit ago…some guy said you’d be open.”

"We'll leave the light on for ya!"

“Um…well, we close at eight…but come on in guys,” she said.  Although surprised, she already seemed welcoming to the two smelly strangers. Being the only patrons, she served us every beer on their roster, and as we sipped each she’d give us a detailed description of how the beer was brewed and what we should taste.  She seemed to know every minute detail of the beers.  She gave us the most attention we received at any brewery which amazed me considering she was supposed to be off work.

Soon we moved beyond beers. We told her about our trip and she informed us of her gypsy life that lead her from South Carolina, to Texas, to Washington, and eventually Victor, Idaho.  With the congenial conversation flowing, she told us she had a special treat for us and went to the back room.  While gone, Paul and I whispered in excitement with how cool she had been.  We decided we’d give her an enormous tip. It’s the least we could do.

She returned with a non-labeled bottle saying, “You have to try the stout. We don’t make it anymore, which is a shame.”  She poured us each a shot and we all raised our glasses.  She assessed the beer perfectly.  Best stout I’ve ever tasted, hands down.  Creamy texture, a hint of chocolate sweetness, and an irresistible coffee finish.

“Ah…love the coffee taste,” I commented.

“Yes! I actually mix it with my espresso in the morning.”  We laughed at her Johnny Cash lifestyle of having a beer for breakfast.

Soon we realized we hung out at the brewery far longer than an hour and had to get a moving.  We both bought a couple 12 packs, specialty aged editions of their anniversary beers, and we each left her with a 20 dollar tip.  It’s not everyday you meet such a laid back, chill person. We thanked her about a dozen times and finally hit the road.

We had a problem.  Pinedale laid 90 miles away and the clock in the car read 8:30.

“I don’t think we can make it to Bottom’s Up before closing,” Paul said.

“Dude, the brewmaster at Madison River said we had to stop there. Now, you don’t want to let him down, do you?”

Paul grinned and asked, “What do you want to listen to?”

I told him to pick something that would pump me up. Something that would encourage a lead foot. He didn’t disappoint. When the opening guitar strums of the new Titus Andronicus album “The Airing of Grievances” came out the speakers, I buried the pedal and prepared for the windy road ahead.  We had a race against time on our hands.

The pounding beat kept my heart on pace as we swerved around the peaks. I felt like a 12-year-old again playing “Need For Speed” on my brother’s 3DO, flying through the mountainside at a ridiculous rate.  I’m not saying it was the smartest moment of my life, but it was definitely the most exhilarating drive I’d ever taken.

 

Like "Need For Speed" on 3DO minus the slow motion crash sequences.

In Wyoming we flew through the Manger mountain range, dancing with the Snake River, passing over it every few turns.  Around 9:30 we passed Bondurant, so I asked Paul how close we were.  He informed me that we had probably another 40 miles to go…the bar closed at 10.  I ignored the imminent truth, and continued my high-speed journey for Bottom’s Up beer.

At 10:15 we finally reached Pinedale with Titus Andronicus coming to a close. Perfect timing. We drove down Main Street feeling unsure of whether the race had been worth the effort.  To our right we could see a sign for the brewery and noticed cars in the lot. Maybe we still had a chance.  I parked the car abruptly and we jogged into the bar.

“We’re closed boys,” a frumpy woman with a raspy voice said as she lifted a chair and put it on top of a freshly cleaned table.

“Can we just have one beer,” Paul blurted out.  She looked at the two of us, looking disheveled and hopeful.

“Eh…just one and your out of here guys.” She said with a scowl.

I exhaled.  We had reached another brewery just in the nick of time.  Paul ordered a porter, and I scoured the menu for the perfect beer to finish off our long day of driving.  Mungo Mango Wheat? I’d never heard of such a thing. It sounded kind of gross, but I thought I’d give it a try.

As the bartenders cleaned the bar and continued placing chairs up on tables, Paul and I sipped our beers in satisfaction.  The mango beer tasted refreshing and of course tutti-fruity.  I knew this would probably be the last mango beer I’d ever drink, so I relished every drop (even with the bartenders glaring at us).

Looking at my half empty pint, I thought about how our road trip was already half over. We’d already done so much and the days flew by so quickly.  I raised the glass to my mouth, ready to delight in what my next drink had in store.

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Top Albums of 2000 (10-1)

10.  Elliott Smith – Figure 8

Forget everything you’ve heard about this album.  Just listen to it.  For some reason, ten years after it was released some at Pitchfork still find the need to talk shit on it (check out their top albums of 2009, #46).  Didn’t they talk enough when it came out in 2000?  “Throwaway… giant, airy studio disaster… go-nowhere melody… one of the least infectious songs… includes some of his least inspired music… unbearably random sounding… a lot to plow through… another step down in terms of songwriting… you only need to hear so much Elliott Smith before you get the point.”  Why is there still a backlash (the Oscar nomination?  ‘Good Will Hunting’?  Signing to a major label?)?  I mean he died over 6 years ago!  Whether you like the hushed dreamy wistful acoustic folk of his first two albums or the full on rock moments and orchestrated grand Beatlesqe pop of XO, there is something here for you.  This album has consistently broke my heart for 10 years now.  Again, just forget everything you know about Elliott and this album and JUST LISTEN (including this from Trouser Press: “neither does any of it make the direct connection to a soul and heart.”)  I have found that nothing from Elliott connects with any other place.  Sure it could have been narrowed down from 16 songs.  But just consider it his White Album. Kid Kilowatt

For the record, I can remember Android50 buying this album while we were in college.  I can remember it so vividly partially because for like 2 months I refused to go to class unless I dropped in and listened to a tune off of Figure 8 first.  – Songs Suck

I have many favorite albums from 2000, but if I were to pick the most memorable album of 2000, it would have to be Figure 8. My best memories of that year were times spent with some of the BDWPS.com writers  in our dorm hall simply known as “The Cave”.  Before meeting them I listened to Roman Candle nonstop, lying in bed drinking Mad Dog 20/20 until I passed out, a sad, pitiful creature. My grandma died that fall and I struggled with adjusting to the big time college life, so Elliot’s heart-wrenching songs hit home.  Then of course the holy trinity was formed and I no longer needed the sad odes of Roman Candle. I was still a morose mother fucker, but I needed something bigger than one guitar and a whispering voice captured on an 8-track; I needed something larger than life. I needed Figure 8.  -Android50

Probably my favorite songwriter of all time.  What?  What about John Lennon and Paul McCartney?  For my money I’ll take Elliot over the two of them combined.  – Tyrannosaurus Banks

9.  Antony & the Johnsons – s/t

Transcendent.  – Dr. Anonymous

I-Tunes calls it “easy listening.”  Tell that to my friends who say it gives them a headache and/or make fun of his voice.  On one track, Antony sings about searching for kindness in his heart, but instead finding Hitler.  Still sound like “easy listening”?  It’s bombastic, pretentious, soulful, uplifting, precious, melodramatic, spooky, feminine, beautiful, affecting, subtle, offensive, jazzy, elaborate, masculine, atmospheric, dark, compelling, and disturbing, often in one song. – Suzy Creamcheese

8. Sleater-Kinney – All Hands on the Bad One

Let us talk about regret for a second, shall we?  I don’t have many in my life, but I can think of one thing I really regret.  I had traveled to Denver for a Gang of Four concert and got there a day early.  S-K was playing that night and I was tired, had already seen them and would see them again a week or two later when they came to my town.  Maybe my biggest regret in life, not seeing them one more time before they broke up.  Probably their most melodic, fun, exuberant and danceable album.  How they do that without a bass is beyond me.  If I were Android50 I would find this an appropriate time to bust out a Thin Lizzy comparison.  And I would be right, but S-K’s dual guitar harmonies are busier, bolder and more playful than Lizzy’s.  Like ballads?  Check out “The Swimmer”, it happens to be one of my favorites (plus it was the first S-K song this dude ever heard).  Can you tell I fucking love/miss this band?  — Pthestudp

Makes me want to eat every chic in the world out while I party on my motorcycle.  – Johnny Goodyear.

I saw Sleater Kinney in concert and all the douches in the crowd kept asking for songs from One Beat. Sleater Kinney ignored their requests and played “You’re No Rock N’ Roll Fun”, a song better than anything on One Beat. After finishing up, Carrie Brownstein aproached the microphone and said,”That song is from ‘All Hands On the Bad One’, an album none of you have ever heard of.”  I wanted to scream out, “I’ve heard it Carrie and I love it!”  Instead, I peed into a beer bottle because I didn’t want to miss a minute of their set. – Android 50

7.  Clinic – Internal Wrangler

This album makes me think that Clinic are actually a 60’s band that discovered some drug that no one else was privy to (which may explain the surgical masks they always wear in band pictures and the fact that they get all cowboyed up to rustle up some mental steers [get it?  “internal wrangler.”  Ha ha.]).  Or they somehow found a missing formula in a cave somewhere that showed how to make the usual guitars, drums, bass and organ lineup sound fresh and unique.  I don’t know how they did any of it, but every once and a while an album comes along that is really special.  Really fucken timeless and special.  – Songs Suck

Tribal drums sound off.  And then Tom Waits and Captain Beefheart drop a red pill each.  Then some obscure 60’s pop band drops by.  And we are down the rabbit hole and everywhere else in between.  Some gloriously fucked shit and the best example of how dark can be sunny, and cold, inviting.  How detached can have a big beating heart.  A heart so big it jumps out at you and dances about the room for 30 minutes before one is led to stab it with the fire poker.  Will I still be listening to this in 20 years?  Are we still listening to the Velvet Underground?  Ornette Coleman (see the cover)?  Wire?  Faust?  The Monks?  The Fall?  Well, some of us are.    — Tyrannosaurus Banks

6.  Pinetop Seven – Bringing Home the Last Great Strike

Before I heard Pinetop Seven I thought country was gay.  A rich and timeless album, Luke Ferdinand of fakejazz.com calls the music a “mix of No Depression country/folk with a small touch of something I can only think of as creepy carnival music.”  He’s totally wrong and spot on at the same time.  An indescribable album that really has to be heard and digested a few times to really “get it.”  — Willie Rambo Strider

Probably my favorite country band of the last 15 years.  Seriously, and it’s probably their best album.  So there you go.  If I ever find a real saloon, (ya know with the swinging doors) I will make them play this while I down a bottle of their finest whiskey.  It will also be the soundtrack when Pthestudp finally drags me to Joshua Tree.  Sorry U-2.  – Songs Suck

If you are playing the cowboy mercenery video game hit “Red Dead Redemption”, turn off the volume on your TV for a moment and play Bring Home the Last Great Strike as you venture through New Austin on your pixelated stallion.  You didn’t think the game could get more epic, did you? – Android50

5.  Electric Wizard – Dopethrone

It’s okay that the critics don’t get it.  They didn’t get Black Sabbath either.  Best album cover ever?  – Kid Kilowatt

Not the first time the Wizard has been featured on Bob Dylan WPS.  Read pthestudp’s review of their 2007 album, Witchcult Today, elsewhere on this site for a fuller description of the Wizard.  In that review pthestudp mentions that Dopethrone is a “full on DOOM classic [and it is] a combination of Black Sabbath, Hawkwind, the Melvins and Eyehategod.”  He is right and if BDWPS is the only site with enough balls to pronounce it, then so be it.4 Somewhere a horned and bearded Satan (is there another kind?) sits on a black throne in his castle, on the side of a hill in a dark forest, with malevolent looking hooded dudes guarding the castle and roaming the woods.  This album is what Satan pulls out before he tokes from his gigantic black bong.  Doomy, sludgey, monolithic riffs, spacey FX, this album really is the heaviest shit out there.  – Ho Chi Unser Jr.

4.  Smog – Dongs of Sevotion

You may not get a lot out of this album at first listen (except for maybe realizing his lyrics are fucken genius).  Some of the songs are minimalist dirges, and Bill Callahan refuses to follow up on catchy hooks (although “Dress Sexy at My Funeral” is one of his catchiest songs).  One gets the idea that either Smog is fucking with us or he really likes Leonard Cohen.  For those who are familiar with Callahan’s work, I describe it as the album he is obsessed with death and sex, often in the same song and one seems to follow the other.  I get scared to play it loud in my apartment with lyrics like: “I can hold a woman/ Down on a hardwood floor / This was my / My cold discovery.”  These lyrics and others, including ones that rhyme tête-à-tête with machete, and every note are going to permeate your brain until there is nothing else in there for weeks at a time.  A fucken shame this album did not show up on any of the “best of the aughts” lists, cos it is probably Bill Callahan’s finest hour.  – Songssuck

Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night with these songs playing in my head.  Why does this album haunt my dreams?  — Suzy Creamcheese

3. Godspeed You! Black Emperor – Lift Your Skinny Fists like Antennas to Heaven

One time I popped into a record store, just to browse.  LYSFLATH was playing.  I left immediately.  Call me extreme, but I refuse to listen to just parts of this album, at half volume.  LYSFLATH demands more.  And the more I give to it, the more it gives back.  – Willie Rambo Strider

My dad is a pretty cool guy.  He is also what I would call a radical devout christian.  He loves him some Jesus.  But there is one problem.  He doesn’t like any Christian rock bands.  I guess it’s hard to dig Christian rock when one has already heard Led Zeppelin.  Dad cannot deny that the Almighty’s rock bands do not compare to his favorites: Neil Young, Black Sabbath, Steely Dan, Pink Floyd and Zep.  He has a bunch of friends who got all excited when Dad told them his dilemma.  They were going to show him the light and started bombarding him with Christian music.  At first he would come home all excited with a new tape or CD given to him.  But after popping it in, he would realize: “it’s crap.”  After a while, Dad conceded that Satan had the better music (although he fervently believes that one day Christ will take back the music mantle that Satan took with him to hell and then Christians will truly ‘rock’).  But Dad, don’t give up hope just yet!  Cos when this nonet’s 3 minutes into “Storm: Lift Yr. Skinny Fists, Like Antennas to Heaven” it is so rapturous and magnificent it must come from heaven.  Usually GSYBE albums just convey hell, indignation, grief, anguish and Armageddon, but like any good Christian album LYSFLATH’s last track, “Antennas to Heaven,” chronicles Jesus’ victory over Satan.  With that realization GSYBE have added another emotion to their musical palette: joy.  Talk about goose bumps.  – Pthestudp

2.  Bohren & Der Club of Gore – Sunset Mission

Another made up genre exclusively for this list: doom noir-jazz.  Seriously, I feel like someone is standing behind me holding a knife while I listen to this.  Or maybe I am in a lounge cantina on Mos Eisley and Jabba the Hut just walked in (slithered?).  Or I could be driving down the autobahn (the band is German), chain smoking cigarettes, pondering how I am going to get away with the murder I have just committed?  No one know whilst this record spins.  If you love jazz, doom, or midnight, check it out. – Pthestudp

Bohren & Der Club of Gore bitch slapped everyone who said one had to look to the 60’s to find the last good jazz.  Even though most of the people who said that would still think that after hearing this, BDWPS.com readers will know better.  – Dr. Anonymous

1.  Modest Mouse – The Moon & Antarctica

This really came out of nowhere.  And yet, I didn’t appreciate it at the time.  I liked it, but my 2000 self really didn’t comprehend just how good this album is; it would take a long long time.  M&A was Modest Mouse’s major label debut and they made the most of it.  Isaac Brock sings about unearthly places and ideas: places I have never been and cannot comprehend; ideas I cannot grasp.  But for the first time the music is really ambitious enough to soundtrack his visions.  The music comes to us from bad motel, but where is this motel?  The 3rd planet?  The dark center of the universe?  A frozen over version of hell?  The stars?  An endless ocean/endless desert?  Antarctica?  The moon?  Brock gives a lot to ponder, but offers no easy answers.  I think Brock actually knows how the world began, how it will end and what happens when you die.  He knows the secrets of the universe, what the meaning of life is and the location of hell.  To find them one only needs to listen to this album.  But I’ll warn you right now, if one enters The Moon & Antarctica they are going to get mind-raped, and might not escape with their sanity and may not end up knowing where they came out at.  – Pthestudp


4 There are almost no reviews of this album on the web, even on music sites I respect.

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Top 100 Albums of 2000 (Honorable Mention)

The top 100 albums of 2000?  100 albums in one year?  Overkill?  Overload?  Maybe.  But one thing out to be apparent after this list: at BDWPS we fucken love music.  And if you love music as well, you better (re)acquaint yourself with the year 2000, cos it was one of the all time best years for music.  We may not agree on which position all the albums should be ranked, but on that we can agree.  All in all it was a lot of work, but a lot of fun.  Honorable mentions up first this week, then the list begins.  This list will be the debut of many of us on this site, including mine, and we all are excited for BDWPS’s future.  Actual rankings were all compiled by me, Songssuck, authors of the reviews’ names appear immediately after reviews.  An asterisk after an album title signifies Android50 being down with that album, you know how much he loves lists already and he wanted to make sure everyone knew which ones from this one he thought were deserving. – Songssuck

Many of my albums from the year 2000 were found by my mother and thrown in the dumpster without my knowledge.  It is something I will never forget and I think in some perverse way it cemented my love for music.  It made it harder to contribute what albums should be on the list, but also forced me to revisit many of these albums I had not heard in years.  I also discovered some new ones after our discussions.  I was not expecting to enjoy some of them so much, I was literally blown away by some.  I agree with Songssuck, 2000 was an abnormally great year for music. – Pthestudp

2000 was the year I met Android50 and Songssuck.  The year I discovered Elliot Smith, Modest Mouse, Electric Wizard, Sleater-Kinney, Yo La Tengo and the year I really became obsessed with music.  This list brings with it a lot of memories, some good, some bad but it is appropriate we are starting with 2000, cuz it was the year it all started for me. – Kid Kilowatt

Honorable Mentions

Tulus – Cold Core Collection

An honorable mention, not because it doesn’t deserve higher, but because it actually compiles their first two albums, Pure Black Energy (‘96) and Mysterion (‘98) as well as a disc of rarities, demos, covers and unreleased tracks (I guess I could have ranked just the second disc, which among other things, has a cover of David Bowie’s “Space Oddity”). Grim and insectoid buzzing black metal, that somehow pulls off being really catchy but fucked & demented.  Really bizarre, contains some stretches of what I would call post rock and maybe even more bizarrely a lot of songs feature a girly angel falsettoey background singer.  Pictures of these guys show a white pigtail wigged George Washington looking dude and an old intense wizard looking dude.  Weird but oh so right on.  All of these guys pull double duty in Khold, who you will hear about on later lists.  This would be way up there if I felt it was fair.  (Pthestudp told me he was listening to Tulus the night he was driving to his parent’s house and was trying to kill the mice scampering around his car with a baseball bat). – Songssuck

At The Drive-In – Relationship of Command *

When Songssuck asked me to do a few reviews on his top albums of 2000, he informed me that At The Drive In’s Relationships of Command would probably be in his honorable mention section simply because he listened to it too much back when it came out.  This logic doesn’t make sense to me.  Yes, I understand the idea of overkill with an album, but to demote it on your best of 2000 list is just silly. Not only should Relationship of Command make the top 100, it should be placed in the top 10, if not at the number one slot.  ROC shows At the Drive-In at their pinnacle, with the Beastie Boy’s Grand Royal taking the raw sound and polishing it up a bit. The result is a vicious onslaught of teenage angst and angular, thrashing riffs that seem to come at you at an unrelenting pace. Maybe Songssuck is just a pussy and can’t take ATD’s audio beatings any longer. – Android50

Modest Mouse – Building Nothing Out of Something*

Another overplayed album.  I must have listened to this AT LEAST once a week for a year.  I honestly cannot subjectively rank this thing.  A compilation of singles and rarities, every song is a classic.  Essential, but alas, the second album to deserve a top 10 finish but just an honorable mention on this list. – Songssuck

Below are two albums Pthestudp insisted I check out for the list.  I couldn’t find them to download and Pthestudp no longer owned them, but was adamant I mention them. – Songssuck

Summer Hymns – Voice Brother and Sister

A music raid casualty.  I remember it being Elephant 6ish (Elf Power, Olivia Tremor Control) with some good psych-pop tunes.  Maybe someday it will be a lost classic people will pay hundreds for and mine is in a landfill somewhere. – Pthestudp

Jayhawks – Smile

I remember thinking this was the Jayhawks’ pop album.  Good songs, but I don’t go to the Jayhawks for pop songs.  Plus by this time both Karen Grotberg and Mark Olson had both left the band, each taking some of the Jayhawk magic with them. – Pthestudp

Will Oldham – Guarapero: Lost Blues 2

A rarities collection.  If you know Will and need more, go ahead, although towards the nonessential end of the spectrum as to what you actually need of his.  If you are not familiar, write to Android50 or Pthestudp to see which Bonnie or Palace one should get first. – Suzy Creamcheese

Q and Not U – No Kill No Beep Beep

I got into this album cos it came out on Dischord.  Which is a good thing, cos that is what it sounds like, a 00’s Dischord album.  A promising debut. – Ho Chi Unser Jr.

Reggie & the Full Effect – Promotional Copy

Dude from Coalesce, James Dewees, creates some organ driven EMO.  Some serious organs, some serious EMO.  I think after Coalesce broke up James joined the Get Up Kids, who I also believe played on this album.  That’s the way I remember it going down, and I looked in the liner notes of the latest Coalesce and James isn’t listed, so maybe he is still in Get Up Kids?  Or maybe they didn’t take the emo kid back, but there are some songs on here that shun the organ and sound a bit like Coalesce.  You’ll probably think this album is gay, unless you like those crappy punky emo bands, which even I’ll have to admit this would have to be categorized as one of.  But once that organ sets a groove I almost wish all of the harder Coalesce sounding songs would stop ruining the emo flow, but then sometimes he mixes Coalesce with emo and I am like, “Fuck Yah.”  Also some really annoying skit type things, rap style, and some even more annoying, pointless prank songs (except the last song which is supposed to be a Finnish band singing about dwarves invading and sounds like a mix between Turbonegro and some fucked up black metal band.  Best song on album).    So there you have it, the good and the bad. – Kid Kilowatt

Spoon – Love Ways EP

A 15-minute, 5 song EP.  If you like Spoon and want (or need) more, grab it.  If not, start with Girls Can Tell or Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga, which you should do fucken immediately.  Actually recorded after 2001’s Girls Can Tell, but do to the unceremonious buttfucking they received from Elektra Records and their subsequent labelless years it came out a year earlier. – Pthestudp

Sea & Cake – Oui

Sometimes on the weekends I fly down to Argentina and stay in a little beachside apartment.  Only sometimes. – Dr. Anonymous

Old Time Relijun – La Sirena de Pecera

About 30 minutes long, with probably about 10 of which could be skipped, but the rest hints of the greatness to come. – Dr. Anonymous

Ween – White Pepper

One side of the album’s inside is white, the other covered in psychedelic peppers.  Oh, Ween, leave it to you to make a joke of two Beatles albums.  Unfortunately, the album doesn’t quite live up to expectations created by naming your album after the White Album and Sgt. Peppers.  Nor is it as good as their 90’s output.  But if you have those and want more, dig in; because I find it an underrated album in the Ween canon.  Plus the song “Bananas and Blow” is not only a great one, it seems to be making fun of Jimmy Buffet.  And god knows I could always use more of that. – Kid Kilowatt

Sunny Day Real Estate – Rising Tide*

Rising Tide is not your daddy’s Sunny Day Real Estate album.  While their work of the 90s always had a tinge of emo-grunge, Rising Tide shows the band raising their music to a new level of professionalism. The songs are epic, grand, and galaxies away from their more personal albums of the 90s, yet somehow, this over-the-top version of SDRE cuts to the heart like a knife through warm butter. Or maybe I’m just a sucker for the synth. – Android50

Calexico – Hot Rail

Calexico’s worst album.  But it is Calexico, and that means it is better than 90% of everything else.  Plus there are some really great songs here, but start elsewhere. – Songssuck

Lucifer Was – In Anadi’s Bower

Lucifer Was is a crazy Norwegian band that for most purposes broke up in 1976.  They reformed in 1996 with their original line up and have since recorded 4 albums.  In Anadi’s Bower was the first to feature the 2nd proggiest instrument in the world, the mellotron (of which they have two).  Take that prog haters!  (Now, you might be asking, “What’s the proggiest instrument in the land?”  The flute, duh.  Oh, and by the way, they have lots of that as well).  You already know if old Norwegian dudes playing metallic prog (on their website they describe themselves as “a mix of Black Sabbath and early East Of Eden, with a dash of Jethro Tull”) is your cup of tea and I raise my cup to every old dude who wants to pick up a guitar/flute again and rock out just one more fucken time. – Pthestudp

Thuja – The Deer Lay Down Their Bones

Loren Chasse, Rob Reger, Glenn Donaldson, and Stephen R. Smith improvise and meander their way through 12 forests (songs). – Willie Rambo Strider

Orange Goblin – The Big Black

The band’s name is Orange Goblin, the album is The Big Black and Rise Above Records released it.  The band covers a Black Sabbath song.  The album cover is a naked alien lady riding a motorcycle through space.  In the liner notes the band thanks: Heroin Skateboards, classic rock, and every liquor store and bar in the world and a (shortened by me) list of bands they enjoy: Cathedral, Goatsnake, Sloth, Spirit Caravan, Monster Magnet, sHeavy, Electric Wizard, Church of Misery, Entombed Alabama Thunderpussy, Bongzilla, Queens of the Stoneage, and Acrimony.  One doesn’t even need to hear the music to know what it will sound like.  – Ho Chi Unser Jr.

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Filed under Top Albums Lists