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Malimus's Dreaded Year-End Lists
Top Releases of 2001:
- (tie) Collection
and Gear Blues
both by Thee Michelle Gun Elephant: Superstring theory posits
that, at the heart of it all, the world is made of sub-sub-sub-atomic
loops of matter/energy, vibrating in such ways as to create
the fundamental building blocks of atoms (leptons, fermions,
quarks and the like). The superstrings vibrate and resonate
and jiggle their tiny little asses until the world is as it
is. It all requires some 26 dimensions in which to do the
dance of creation, and the math is a bit fuzzy down in the
trenches, but in the end, it all works in theory. Thee Michelle
Gun Elephant understand this on a visceral level, on an animal
level, where instinct devolves into sub-atomic probabilities
and your ass may or may not become a wave function if you
stop watching it long enough. You may join me on the other
side of it all, or you may not. That is you decision to make.
Observe what you will. But just as assuredly as Dweezil Zappa's
guitar wanted to kill your momma, Futoshi Abe's A chord wants
to dismantle the world, and I'm not so sure he can't do it.
Regardless, I'm along for the riot.
by The Dismemberment Plan: Ladies and gentlemen, the best
band in America. Try not to drool.
- Parachutes by Coldplay: Hmmmmm, let's check.
Music to sing along to? Check. British accent? Yep. Oh, I
know, they're mainstream and popular and get money for playing
music, and all that stuff that you artistes out there never
could manage to do, so they're not worthy. I know, I know.
Whatever. Do you realize that Lennox Lewis sounds like he
knows more than you do, just by means of his accent? That's
right. The man makes his millions by beating other men unconscious,
but when he speaks, he sounds cooler and more intelligent
than you. Doesn't that just piss you off to high hell? Parachutes
is a great album you overly pretentious fuck.
On The Snakes by Crooked Fingers: Do we need to
review my unnatural appreciation of Eric Bachman? It's all
on the site already, so just check the archives.
To Shutting Up by Superchunk: Here's to growing
up, and old, and not missing the step between angry youth
and knowing better than the kids. God bless Superchunk. God
bless them, every one. I'll even forgive them Florida's
- The Photo
Album by Death Cab For Cutie: Um, I like music
I can sing along to.
That Doesn't Surprise Me by The Lucksmiths: I
like music I can sing along to. I like that music even more,
generally speaking, if I'm singing along with vocals that
sound like they come from some corner of the Queen's former
empire. Go fig.
- (tie) Things We Lost in the Fire by Low and
In The Fishtank Volume 7 by Low with The Dirty
Three: Two of those releases that slipped under the radar.
The Pitchfork goons and the moppets over at FakeJazz
are busy arguing over whether Things We Lost in the
Fire is a worthy low album. It's Low. In the
Fishtank is Low with The Dirty Three. Know the bands?
Then you know what you're going to get.
Romantic by The New Pornographers: Hey, it's a
Canadian super group that has neither Brian Adams nor any
member of Loverboy. Can't go wrong with that, now can you?
Blood Cells by The White Stripes: Stripped down
roots rock. Minor music, where "minor" is a reference to Gilles
Delueze, not key signature. I'll not bore you with the details.
- Weezer (green album) by Weezer: Want to know
why I hate Pitchfork?
Read their review of this album. I actually listened to those
bastards and put off buying this all year. I only just picked
it up; using the obligatory Christmas gift-cards (the in-laws:
they don't even try to buy music for me any more) I picked
up some more mainstream stuff. After a couple of listens I
conducted a test. I put both self-titled Weezer releases into
the CD changer and hit random play. With only a couple of
exceptions, the two songs from 2001's Weezer merged seamlessly
into the songs from the debut. Pitchfork is a bunch of monkeys.
- Eight Balls in
Reverse by Ultrababyfat: Mrs. Malimus would undoubtedly
rank this a little lower, because she doesn't have the "want
to see them naked" thing going for her. But I like this album
a lot. Catchy guitar rock from hot women is difficult to beat
in my world.
- Azure Ray
by Azure Ray: Mrs. Malimus would undoubtedly rank this much,
much higher, as it is one of her favorite listens. And for
good reason, I might add. Sweet female vocals with Eric Bachman
twisting the dials behind the screen. (Still, I prefer Little
- Southern Rock Opera by The Drive-By Truckers:
Man, I wish I could rank this higher. After some 28 years
of waiting for Patterson to finish the damned thing I really
wanted to be blown away. Didn't happen, unfortunately. It
comes across, at least to me, as a bit bloated, as if Patterson
and the boys got a little too caught up in the idea
of a double-album rock opera and forgot to cull the herd there
at the end. Still, it's The Truckers, and there is Let
There Be Rock to get you through any long hauls life might
throw at you.
Rides by The Old 97s: Solid twang-pop from an
established twang-pop outfit.
- Les Moyennes
des Folklore by Haricot Vert: These guys make
the list more on promise and potential than anything else.
You know, like Wilson Betemit. Les Moyennes des Folklore
is a solid EP of Archers of Loaf inspired guitar work, combined
heavily with influences from now defunct Atlanta math-rockers
Purkinje Shift. I look forward to their next release. One
day, perhaps, I'll drive in and see them live.
- The Essential (1974-1978) by Radio Birdman:
Generally speaking, compilations and best-of mixes don't make
end-of-year lists, but I like this one a lot. Radio Birdman
was an Aussie surf-psychedelic-punk six piece, long, long,
long before their time. Imagine if you will, The Penetrators
playing roots rock with Jim Morrison's younger brother howling
in front of them, all at a beach orgy south of Sydney. That
might get you close to the Birdmen.
Top 5 "Others":
- The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring:
Orc-smashing action! Better than the interminably never-ending
book. Yep. I said it. It's better than the damned book, because
it doesn't have one goddamned song in it. Tolkien couldn't
write verse if his life depended on it.
- Moulin Rouge:
Speaking of hoots! I reviewed this. Go read that for commentary.
- Shrek: It's a hoot! Talking donkeys rule.
Gastronomic Footloose indeed. Mrs. Malimus and
I rented this (it's cheaper than $7.00 per ticket) for a movie
and dinner at home night. Find a date, boys.
- Momento - An excellent crime noir drama where
the storyline is told in reverse. The only thing that could
have been improved was the lack of Carrie Anne Moss nudity.
Otherwise it was extraordinary
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