Albums Of The Decade (Part One)

No White Stripes, no Radiohead, no Flaming Lips, no The Streets or Burial or many other great bands. All those bands, and many others, made records with some great songs on (damn, Flaming Lips made the best song of the decade). These are all albums that I still play, still love, and still listen to all the way through. Now, I haven’t gone crazy in the descriptions because I know I’ll get to all of these artists as part of my Pitchfork 500 stint, so it’s 100 words or less. Long-time readers will know this is very, very hard for me to do!

Oh, and there’s hardly anything from 2009. I need time and distance for this, you know.

Dongs Of Sevotion

Smog – Dongs Of Sevotion (2000)

Your one-stop shop for mordant observations on the misery of humanity, shot through with enough wit (“Dress Sexy At My Funeral”) to keep you coming back, again and again and again. I listened to this for much of 2000, and adore it still.

MP3: Dress Sexy At My Funeral by Smog

Buy “Dongs of Sevotion” (CD)

Levez Vos Skinny Fists Comme Antennas to Heaven!

Godspeed You Black Emperor! – Lift Yr Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven (2000)

That slow, dreadful build up, that paroxym of noise. They’d never reached peaks like this before, and they, and Post-Rock, never did again.

MP3: Antennas To Heaven… by Godspeed You Black Emperor!

Buy “Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas To Heaven” (CD/MP3)

The Kingsbury Manx – The Kingsbury Manx (2000)

The sound of autumn, distilled into some wonderful songs. Soundtrack to many happy moments, staring wistfully at the rain through the window of a warm room. If doing that makes you happy, this record will make you happy.

MP3: Pageant Square by Kingsbury Manx

Buy “The Kingsbury Manx” (CD)

Great Cover, This

Lambchop – Nixon/Is A Woman (2000/2002)

Two albums? Yes. One is a lush, rich record, with big statement songs. The next album is stripped down, often with just and acoustic and minimal accompaniment. Both are wonderful and there’s nothing to choose between them.

Great Lyric: “This learning not to demonstrate your asinine and callous traits\It’ll take some practice”. I love that line.

MP3: Grumpus by Lambchop

Buy “Nixon” (CD/MP3)

Buy “Is a Woman” (CD)

Another Great Cover

Scary Man!  Scary Beard!

Bonnie Prince Billy – Ease Down the Road/Master and Everyone (2001/2003)

Two albums? Yes. One is a lush, rich record, with big statement songs. The next album is stripped down, often with just and acoustic and minimal accompaniment. Both are wonderful and there’s nothing to choose between them.

MP3: Wolf Among Wolves by Bonnie “Prince” Billy

Buy “Ease Down the Road” (CD)

Buy “Master and Everyone” (CD)

This Cover Scares Me More Than Bonnie Prince Billy

Jim O’Rourke – Insignificance (2001)

A few months ago I realised I’d not copied this onto my new iPhone (which is constantly full). When I got home the first thing I did was put on “All Downhill From Here”. For a bitter, twisted, hateful song about how much Jim hates people, and the world, it sure is an uplifting song. The best produced album of the decade.

MP3: All Downhill From Here by Jim O’Rourke

Albums Of The Decade (Part Two)

Albums Of The Decade (Part Three)

Albums Of The Decade (Part Four)

Albums Of The Decade (Part Five)

Albums Of The Decade (Part Six)

Buy “Insignificance” (CD)

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Bally Mater Flipping Anthole

Gosh, that Martha Wainwright is a sweary one. Listening to Martha Wainwright’s debut album after a long break, I was struck by what I’d been missing. There are some cracking songs on the album, such as “Factory” and “GPT”, and of course, “Bloody Mother Fucking Asshole”. Which is something of a striking song, a strident rant about her errant father, Loudon Wainwright III. The comedy show “Never Mind The Buzzcocks” missed a trick the other week, when Martha was guesting, by not using this song in their “Next Lines” round:

Guest Host: “I will not pretend\I will not put on a smile\I will not say I’m all right for you\When all I wanted was to be good\To do everything in truth….”
Martha: “You bloody mother f***ing asshole”
Guest Host: “There’s no need for that, love, I was just reading out the line”

Great to hear this song again. Certainly wakes me up as I’m walking from the tube to the office. Though I bumped into someone in the lift the other day and they said “What are you listening to?” and I had to stop myself from going “Bloody Mother Fucking Asshole”. Missed opportunity, that.

And nice to hear some songs from her new album on Tsuru Radio. It’s her Piaf album. Sadly there’s no “Je N’en Connais Pas La Fin”. Lovely stuff, all sung in her charming Québécois accent (yes, Tsuru, Québécois is sometimes considered as an older, more “proper” version of French). Makes you wish you were sitting somewhere in Paris drinking Pernod and smoking Gitanes, wearing a beret. Oh yes.

MP3: Bloody Mother Fucking Asshole by Martha Wainwright

MP3: Le Foule by Martha Wainwright

Buy “Martha Wainwright” (CD)

Buy “Sans Fusils, Ni Souliers, A Paris. Martha Wainwrights Piaf Record”