Tag Archives: yo la tengo

Top 100 Albums of 2000 (100-81)

Finally the countdown begins.  Get in touch with us if you want to know where to get ahold of the album legally.  Again, an asterisk next to the album’s title signifies Android50’s approval.  – Songssuck

2000: the year I really began paying attention to music not heard every day on the radio.  This should be fun.  – Ho Chi Unser Jr.


100.  Badly Drawn Boy – The Hour of the Bewilderbeast *

I checked out this album because of Damon Gough’s soundtrack to the movie, About A Boy. Whether you like this album as well as the music to that movie depends on your tolerance for eccentric self-indulgence and experimentally laced White Album length pop album. – Kid Kilowatt

99.  Death Cab for Cutie – We Have the Facts and We’re Voting Yes

The first band on this list I checked out because of Built to Spill comparisons.  Even though they are probably now the biggest/most popular of the Pacific Northwest bands, they have never gotten that many plays at my crib, they’re usually too mopey and depressing.  But this is their best album, it has some great songs and if you’re in the mood it hits the spot. – Songssuck

98.  Go-Betweens – The Friends of Rachel Worth

I’m not that cool, so this was the first Go-Betweens album I heard.  I had read about how great their 80’s output was, but had never dived in to find out for myself.  Actually, it was hearing that Elliot Smith, Sam Coomes and the ladies from Sleater-Kinney were the backing band that made me check it out.  I was at first disappointed as it was only on 3 songs I could tell S-K was involved, the riffs on “The Clock” and “German Farmhouse” were clearly S-K’s doing, and Corin Tucker sings on “Going Blind” even though she is so subdued one cannot tell it is her.  It was the Australian duo’s first album after disbanding in 1989, so it should have been a disaster, but these two clearly know their way around a pop song. — Pthestudp

97.  Burmese – Monkeys Tear Man to Shreds, Man Never Forgives Ape, Man Destroys Environment

Literally probably the aural equivalent of the album’s title.  Two basses, no guitar create some intense noise with lots of low end crushing with spastic drumming. – Dr. Anonymous

96.  Grandaddy – The Sophtware Slump *

I remember buying this album based solely on comparisons to the Flaming Lips and Radiohead.  I could never hear the Radiohead, but listening to it now it does remind me of the Lips a bit. – Kid Kilowatt

95. Eels – Daisies of the Galaxy *

The Eels’ Daisies of the Galaxy is an album you put on to lay back, chill and drink an ice cold beer.  This album has attitude, despite being the Eels’ softest album.  The attitude can be summed up with the chorus of the closing track: “Goddamn right, it’s a beautiful day.”  Mark E’s vocals and overall simplistic style make this album worthy of any music lover’s collection. Mondo Topless

94.  Mouse on Mars – Niun Niggung

Oftentimes when an artist releases an album that has a lighter, happier feel than their previous works, it is dismissed as a lesser or somehow trivial work.  (I’ve often said that Radiohead only need to release a “party” album to get horrible reviews).  For some reason, playful and fun albums are seldom considered as significant; when is the last time one heard one described as “timeless?”  So even though Niun Niggung probably isn’t as good as Iaora Tahiti or Idiology it is not because of its bouncy playfulness and it is worthy to sit along side them in the Mouse on Mars canon. – Suzy Cream Cheese

93.  Two Lone Swordsmen – Tiny Reminders

Small aide memoires?  More like bitch slaps to the face (delivered via fucked up electro, call it techno if you must). – Songssuck

92.  Sonic Youth – NYC Ghosts & Flowers

NYCG&F’s tribute to beat poetry, bohemian New York, and avant-garde noise was recorded shortly after all of Sonic Youth’s inimitable, custom-tweaked & tuned guitars were stolen.  Pretty much the redheaded stepchild of the SY discography (it was given an unwarranted ‘0.0” by Pitchfork). – Dr. Anonymous

91.  Idlewild – 100 Broken Windows *

Really these songs could be on any alternative/modern rock station.  But I keep coming back to it after all these years and I wasn’t even expecting to like this anymore when I listened to this again for this list.  But I did.  I’ve heard them compared to Nirvana and R.E.M. a lot, though I don’t hear it.  But something about it makes it impossible for me to describe so I’ll go with it.  It’s like Nickelback + Green Day with awesomer guitars and a better vocalists.  No one is going to want to hear it after that comparison. – Pthestudp

90.  Cave In – Jupiter

In high school all one had to say was “Slayer” to get my attention.3 So when I heard about this band who equaled an addition of Radiohead + Slayer (even though I am pretty sure all I knew about Radiohead was that “Creep” song) I had to check it out.  I fucken loved Until Your Heart Stops, and couldn’t wait for their next album.  What I got next was a shit sandwich: it was obvious to me that Jupiter was a full-scale sellout.  Soaring falsetto vocals, ornate poppy melodies fit for arenas, this shit was an obvious attempt to get on MTV (and I do believe I was right, after this they signed to a major label).  Revisiting it years later I began to like it, and now; 10 years later I can appreciate what they were trying to do (it’s called making money.  I cannot appreciate it as much as I appreciate their metal albums though). – Songssuck

89.  Zion I – Mind Over Matter

Old school loops and beats, but totally off kilter, smooth but hiccupping and rapid fire. But frankly, at 21 songs and almost 75 minutes this is a bit too much of a good thing, even if most of it is catchy and funky.  – Dr. Anonymous

88.  Damien Jurado – Ghost of David *

Sometime in 2003 I burnt Android50 a bunch of cd-rs.  He reviewed a lot of them.  Here is what he had to say about Ghost of David: “The first time I listened to this CD I almost cried… literally.  It was a rainy afternoon, had a rough day at school, and stuck this in on the way home.  Not bad… sniffle sniffle… pretty good stuff… sniffle sniffle… You’re SO right Damien!  His lyrics are great; they tell a story yet they still have that emotional edge that is sometimes lost in the narrative song.”  That’s Android50’s ’03 take and to that I would add, “it’s pretty folky and there are some really good songs.”  — Songssuck

87.  Giant Sand – Chore of Enchantment

Convertino and Burns of Calexico fame join Howe Gelb for his 10th or so album as Giant Sand.  The desert always attracts a certain type of person, and that explains where this music comes from.  It will be interesting to see where Songssuck ranks this one with Calexico’s offering from this year, but for my money I’ll take Chore of Enchantment. Add even more drugs to Neil Young’s more deserty albums or Meat Puppets’ II and one can begin to put their ears around this one.  Like tequila, an aquired taste. – Suzy Creamcheese

86.  Six Organs of Admittance – Dust and Chimes

Sunny and druggy, ragga influenced, vocal chants coming from some hallucinogenic otherworlderness.  John Fahey, Robbie Basho and early Tyrannosaurus Rex are all good reference points.  Ben Chasny is an amazing guitarist who also plays with Comets on Fire.  Should check it out if you are a fan of the acoustic guitar. – Willie Rambo Strider

85.  Ryan Adams – Heartbreaker*

Android50 and Suzy Creamcheese are the Ryan Adams fans of the BDWPS writers and the only Whiskeytown I own is a cd-r he gave me.  But I’d say this is his most country album and is overrated in my opinion.  Having said that, it has two of my all time favorite songs on it: “To Be Young (is to be sad, is to be high)” and “Come Pick Me Up.”  I could talk shit on Ryan all day long (and used to) but it would be worthless when he is capable of writing two songs like that (in fact that is why I picked up this album, after finding out that song on the movie Old School was on this album).  I listened to “Come Pick Me Up” four times in a row first time I listened to this album and once more after the record was spinning. – Dr. Anonymous

84.  Eternal Elysium – Spiritualized D

Japanese doom band carrying the torch of earlier Japanese heavy psych bands, like Flower Travellin’ Band, Blues Creation, Speed Glue & Shinki, and Flied Egg.  – Ho Chi Unser Jr.

83.  Yo La Tengo – And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside-Out

Everyone who knows knows that YLT is one of my all time faves.  But I must say this album still throws me for a loop.  You see, this album is completely devoid (except for the excellent “Cherry Chapstick”) of distortion, noise and hard rocking anthems.  It is what I call their ‘wussy’ album.  I mean the songs are great, but they are all gentle lullabies.  We have heard songs like these before from these guys, but where is the diversity YLT are known for?  I realize that they were going for something else on this album, but it just doesn’t do it for me.  Still, a good album (and a critic’s favorite by the way), but I have a feeling it is one of the maybe three on this list my mother might like. – Songssuck

82.  Frogs – Racially Yours

Supposedly this album was finished in ’93, but no one would release it due to the controversial cover and lyrics.  If you are not familiar with the Frogs, they are two brothers from Milwaukee who had previously written It’s Only Right and Natural an album about being gay (by two straights).  Racially Yours is sung from different first person perspectives: a slave, a slave owner, a racist, a revolutionary minded black man, a slave trader, and other various characters.  The controversy over this album is overstated, it is an indictment of racism, anyone who cannot figure that out has their head way too far up their ass.  I understand if one thinks this album is too irreverent, offensive or absurd, but it is hard to actually listen and find it actually racist.  Whether this is insulting or thought provoking depends on one’s viewpoint.  The actual music is wonderful (although out of 25 songs there are some duds), real lo-fi, glammy, melodic, lush and fun.  The lyrics are not as funny as on past releases.  Pearl Jam, Kurt Cobain, Kim Deal, and The Smashing Pumpkins are all bands I remember championing them back in the day.  – Dr. Anonymous

81.  Boredoms – Vision Creation Newsun

How much you like this album will depend upon whether you like chaotic, spastic noise punk anthems Boredoms or cosmic hippie psychedelic trance Boredoms, Vision Creation Newsun being one of the latter.  Everyone choose sides. –Wille Rambo Strider

Boredoms?! Better than At the Drive-In “Relationship of Command”!? What a disgrace. – Android50


3 Some things never change.

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Best/Worst Album Covers of 2009

Unfortunately, there will not be any “Road Trip” blogs for two weeks due to all of my trip photos being on my home computer.  Never fear! The best of lists are here! Over the next couple weeks we will be unveiling our top albums, songs, and below, our best and worst album covers.  Enjoy your holiday season, and of course, enjoy our look back on 2009.

The Worst…

10. Kenny Chesney
“Greatest Hits II”

It looks like Kenny's roadies left all his gear on the beach. I guess he'll have to load it all himself! Fortunately, he doesn't have any sleeves to roll up.

9. Green Day
“21st Century Breakdown”

I think this album is supposed to look urban, dirty, and rebellious. Instead, it looks like a polished paint by numbers.

8. Susan Boyle
“I Dreamed a Dream”

When you are famous for being ugly with a beautiful voice, you probably shouldn't plaster your ugly mug on the CD cover, even if your hands are covering half of the mess. Like Obama would say, "You can put lipstick on a pig, but it's still a pig." (Too harsh?)

7. Monsters of Folk
“s/t”
Oh! I get it! It’s folk stars in cartoon form! There’s Conor Oberst, Jim James, M. Ward and there’s….um…there’s….the dude from “Doonesbury”?
6. Adam Lambert
“For Your Entertainment”

Gay.

5. Twisted Sister
“Big Hits and Nasty Cuts: The Best of Twisted Sister”

I don't know what's worse: five 50-year-olds in ripped jeans and make-up or the monster's claws ripping through their image.

4. Chris Brown
“Graffiti”

Obviously, Chris Brown is not the best at making good decisions, but who knows what he was thinking with this cover. Maybe he's auditioning for the part of Judge Doom in "Who Framed Roger Rabbit 2". "Hey evil cartoon creatures! If you don't help me with my plan I'll spray you with The Dip!"

3. Ben’s Brother
“Battling Giants”

It looks like somebody went a little overboard with their collage. "But there were so many cool pics to cut out of my 'National Geographic!"

2. Bill Engvall
“Aged and Confused”

God is great. Beer is good. The world is crazy! EL OH EL!

1. Brooke Hogan
“The Redemption”

I know money may be tight for the Hulkster these days but this is God awful...I'm guessing Hulk must have owed a favor to a blind South Beach air-brush artist.

The Best…

10. The Black Lips
“200 Million Thousand”

At first glance this cover may seem lame with its scrawled letters and monotonous black and white lines, but if you stare at it a little longer, a gruesome face will emerge from the mess of lines. Beware!

9. Grizzly Bear
“Vecktamist”

I don't get Grizzly Bear, and it frustrates me to no end. Their 2009 release "Vectamist" has been critically acclaimed, yet I listen to it and find myself yawning. What am I missing here? Well, at least I can appreciate the album's expressionist cover, a vibrant blend of triangular shapes and chipping paint.

8. Baroness
“Blue Album”

It sure is nice having a graphic artist in your band.

7. Weezer
“Raditude”

Sure, this Weezer album sucks dog balls, but you can't deny the shear awesomeness featured in this image of a canine catapulting across a living room. If I could describe this picture in one word, it would "RADITUDE"! (Eck, I just gave myself douche chills)

6. Antlers
“Hospice”

This cover may seem boring and simple, but that is what makes it so brilliant. Everything seems to fit perfectly: the contrast of the colors and the cyclical feel of the two hands reaching out. When you notice that the left upper-hand is wearing a hospital wristband, the album's title "Hospice" takes on a much larger meaning.

5. Flaming Lips
“Embryonic”

This isn't the cartoony water color Flaming Lips cover you've grown accustomed too, which is fitting when considering the stark change in style the album contains. Dark and appalling, both the grimey music and the cover's image of a woman attempting to emerge from a hairy cocoon will leave you confused yet searching for more.

4. Dinosaur Jr.
“Farm”

I'm not sure if these walking plants are inspired by LOTR's Ents, or if they are supposed to be giant pot plants, but there is something damn cool about this image of vegetation dudes carrying cute women away from the city smog. It doesn't really fit the album's grinding riffs and howling guitar solos, but when a cover is this kick-ass, does it matter?

3. Biffy Clyro
“Only Revolutions”

This is a truly captivating photograph that only raises questions. Are these two being held captive? Why is there a fire? What do the sheets waving in the wind represent? Are they being held back? Or do they somehow represent sexual tension? Or am I just going crazy? It's too bad the band's music isn't nearly as interesting as this photo that will lead you to either enlightenment or insanity.

2. Animal Collective
“Merriweather Post Pavilion”

Stare at the picture for a moment. Is it moving like water? What makes it even cooler is how fitting it is alongside "Merriweather Post Pavilion's" watery, spaced out sounds.

1. Yo La Tengo
“Popular Songs”

A rusty, unravelling cassette tape - not only does it make you nostalgic for the age of the mix-tape, but it also makes you a little sad. Kids being born today will never own a physical piece of digital media. All their music, movies, and video games will be kept on a hard drive, not taking up space and gathering dust in the basement. At the same time, they will never know the joy of making that perfect blend of songs to be listened to ad nauseam in your car as your cruise the loop. As much as us "Hippies and a Ouija Board" want to keep this era alive, sometimes "Ghosts Don't Always Want to Come Back".

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