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2002 Year End Best Of
10 New Releases for 2001
- & Yet &
Yet by Do Make Say Think: Even after months and
months, this album continues to impress me. The music is so
complex and interesting. I hope they tour next year.
Remix by Yellow6: Take some droning distorted
guitar music and remix it into strange twisted collages of
drones and beats. Very cool.
- Updates by American Analog Set with Her Space
Holiday and Styrofoam: Although the most recent AmAnSet full
length failed to wow me, this delightful EP of remixes is
amazingly good. Slowcore pop with rich melodies, and then
funky beats added in. Choosing Styrofoam and Her Space Holiday
to help out was a good choice.
- For The
Birds by The Frames: This is a simply gorgeous
album of lilting pop. Why isn't this band more popular than
I Admire by Auburn Lull: Technically this is a
re-release, but seeing as no one outside their immediate hometown
really had a chance to hear this album the first time, i think
it counts. An amazing creation of drones and layered sound.
- Read and Burn 02 by Wire: I still get chills
everytime this EP starts and i hear Colin Newman scream "Is
this/Paranoid/Religious/Extreeeemism?" Yeah Colin, you
tell 'em! Wire kick ass.
- The Revolt
Against Tired Noises by The Stratford 4. Pixies-esque
rock with an unstoppable groove. Damn this is fine stuff.
On The Bright Lights by Interpol. Very nice collection
of moody pop tunes with an 80's influence.
The Fire Show by The Fire Show. This is the final
release from this very talented Chicago post-punk band, and
apparently they wanted to go out on top of their game. This
is not easy listening music, and yet there is real beauty
in the chaos. Stunning.
- ( ) by Sigur Ros. These Icelanders may be
pretentious, but they make some of the finest post-rock music
i have ever heard. This album is very lovely.
albums from 2002 that i like, but haven't listened to enough
to really be sure about
(In no particular order):
Shenzhou by Biosphere: My favorite Norwegian
artist plays with Debussey samples. Very ambient, very lovely,
and very innovative.
Whole Numbers Play The Basics by Casino Vs. Japan:
In a year in which Boards of Canada released an album that,
although good, failed to knock my socks off, this Milwaukee
artist out BoC-ed BoC! Quite a feat.
Fog by Fog: A strange hybrid of lo-fi bedroom
pop and hip-hop beats. Definitely interesting.
Aires de Bocacalle by Nona Delichas: Beautiful
dreampop from Mexico.
Single by Pub: Droning electronic ambience.
No Music by Themselves: This is technically hip-hop,
but it is so out there that it really defies genre classification.
from 2002 that i want to hear, but can't find anywhere
I keep a running list of albums i want to hear.
Every so often i go and wander through record stores looking
for the stuff on my list. These are albums that i am interested
in hearing, yet i have not been able to track down. They are
listed in no particular order:
L'Amour Invisible by Amp
I adore Amp --they are one of
the best post-rock bands out there. Lots of fellow internet
music geeks have raved about this, but i have yet to see a copy
in any store in ATL.
and Shiver by Azure Ray
Again -- i have never seen this
in stores, but here Malimus had a copy all along. That un-sharing
From Filthy Tongue of Gods and Griots by Dälek
Deadringer by RJD2 (Def Jux)
Alright: so there is supposedly
all this great avante-garde hip-hop coming out these days, and
i have really liked what little i have heard. But i must ask:
where the heck does one buy these albums? I never see them anywhere!
Sunkissed by Guitar (Morr)
I have a few songs by them on
a sampler, and the songs are lovely. The band make My Bloody
Valentine style "wall of guitar fuzz" noise with electro
beats, simple but nice melodies, and disaffected female german
singing. Sounds great to me.
Still Life Fast Moving by Mean Red Spiders
This apparently only came out in October
but it was supposed to come out earlier. I dunno what the delay
was all about, but maybe next year some US label or distributor
will pick this band up. I think they are the best shoegazer
band in Canada, and given my overall fondness for the scene,
that says a lot.
El Naval by Mus
I adored Mus's
Bliss Out release from last year, and i just learned
that they released an album this year. I have never even seen
Writers Without Homes by Piano Magic
I didn't even know that Piano
Magic had released an album this year until the "end of
the year lists" started coming out, and i saw this listed,
often. Now i need to track down a copy.
One Beat by Sleater-Kinney (Kill Rock Stars)
In all fairness i haven't really
remembered to look for this, although with all the good press
that i have read, i really want to hear it.
Tomorrow Never Comes by Xinlisupreme
Knife Play by Xiu Xiu (5 Rue Christine)
This is supposedly really good
post-punk from California.
Lake:Desert by Yellow6 (Ochre)
In general, Yellow6 releases are
painfully hard to track down.
10 Concerts i attended in 2002
Wire are more real than any band should be. Damn, this was
an amazing show.
- SPIRITUALIZED w/ Black
Rebel Motorcycle Club
BRMC were okay, but Spiritualized were freaking incredible.
J. Spaceman might be a whacked out drug-fiend, but he composes
some truly gorgeous melodies. Plus, he put together a band
of talented musicians to play his complex music. Definitely
- AMERICAN ANALOG
SET w/ Her Space Holiday
This might be the last time i see HSH, which would be a shame.
However, this was a very nice show, and i had a blast.
- Potomac Accord
This band is amazing live. No, really. Go see them.
- THE FRAMES
Two crappy bands, one mediocre band, then The Frames came
along and made eveything better. This was an amazing performance.
- BILLY BRAGG (on 24.Oct at The Roxy)
Part politcal rally, part folk show, part comedy event. Billy
Bragg is a genius.
- THE WEAKERTHANS
I let Malimus drag me to this in order to see what he
was going on about. The Weakerthans put on a very good show
of literate punk pop. Those silly Canadians.
- CINERAMA (on 13.Oct at The Echo Lounge)
The band seemed road weary, yet they still kicked it out and
played a great set. Seeing David Gedge do Corduroy
live is a truly glorious thing.
- + / - w/ The
The Clarivoyants are amazing live: you have to see him
sing in order to believe it. And +/- were very fun. As an
added bonus, a guy from Versus told me they read this site!
Hi Versus! (I am such a geek.)
- Her Space
Holiday and The Ides Of Space
Her Space Holiday make 2 appearances on this list, and they
deserve it. What a wonderful band. The Ides of Space were
great as well.
Instances of Mayhem
If you go to quite a few shows, like i do, occasionally chaos
occurs and you ge to see human spectacle in addition to the
planned spectacle of "band on stage". Always fun.
In order, the Top 5 Most Chaotic Shows of 2002 are:
- Sat.20.April: The lights go out at The Earl.
American Dream were playing, and local bewery Sweetwater was
selling their 420 Ale cheaply in honor of the date. So drunkeness
was on hand. Then the power went out, and it got really wierd.
- Wed.21.May: A
fight at the slowcore show.
So there i am, thoroughly enjoying the delicate and beautiful
melodies of The Clairvoyants, and some loud drunk almost gets
into a fight. This is not belligerent music people!
- Sat.14.Sept: Frames
plus Ash plus Coldplay.
More musicians than you could count, many unannounced and
unbilled. Truly spontaneous, and definitely strange.
- Sat.24.Aug: Freakshow.
One of the singers said something about his Mom being in the
audience, then he proceeded to scream profanity and thrash
around like Iggy Pop. I am sure she is proud.... And they
were so entertaining to watch.
- Mon.18.March: Chicks
God, i hated Chicks On Speed. At one point, i went to use
the restroom, and the bouncer looked at me and said, "I
hate this." At least he was getting paid to sit through
now for something completely different ...
10 Films i saw this year on the big screen:
Let me just state that i think that The Cinema is, in general,
overrated. I get bored real quick when i have to both watch
and listen to something. That said, i think that 2002 was a
good year for movies in that i saw two that i actually liked,
and one that was a good 2 hour TV show. And then there was some
crap. Anyway, here is a complete listing of the movies i saw
on a big screen this year, listed in decreasing order of "how
much i liked them".
- 24 Hour Party People: This is, really, a movie
for music geeks. It's got British humour, deadpan acting,
and more band references than you can shake a stick at. A
truly enjoyable cinematic experience.
- Spirited Away: I like cartoons, and this one
was very well done. It had a strange story line (i suppose
it makes more sense to the Japanese), but some truly lovely
animation. And there was always something going on in the
- Star Trek: Nemesis: I grew up watching Star
Trek, and i will go and see every movie they do. The last
few have been very good. This one, despite being "The Data
and Picard Show", was a really good movie. Although i would
have liked more Worf, this film was still fun -- it was a
long episode, not anything more. They kept the plot simple,
and the effects were not intended to carry the show. Well
- Panic Room: I like Forrest Whitaker, and so
i was willing to be dragged to this film. On the whole, it
wasn't bad. Granted, most of the characters acted like total
morons (the "bad guys" were too stupid to even plan out contingencies
on the heist they had intended), and this was yet another
of Hollywood's attempts to push relativist ethics down our
throats. ("Forrest Whitaker's character is just stealing becuase
he's poor, not because he's evil!" Bah!) And then there is
the totally inacurate depiction of diabetes: "Yeah", said
a diabetic friend about the movie, "If i haven't eaten in
a while and my insulin is low, what you need to do is give
me some candy, not a damned shot! That would probably kill
me...." Still, despite it's flaws i didn't get bored during
- Star Wars: Attack of the Clones: For goodness
sake would someone do George Lucas's writing for him? The
dialog in this movie was atrocious, and the plot was pretty
lame on the whole. And that love story thing? Neither of those
two people were able to project ANY emotion.... But still
-- this was beautifully done. And watching Yoda go at it with
the light saber was awfully cool. I guess it was enjoyable
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets: Despite
the fact that this film was nigh infinitely long, i still
felt like they cut too much from the book. However, it was
well done and fun.
- The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers: In
all honesty, i got bored of Tolkein before i made it to
this book. Therefore, i often had very little idea what
the heck was going on in this movie. That annoyed me a bit,
but the scenery was so gorgeous that i was willing to ignore
that fact. What annoyed me more was the seemingly relative
time frames of the characters. What -- did Merry and Pippin
sleep on the Ent for 5 days while it carried them around?
Oh well, i guess there is only so much you can do when you
insist on cramming 500 pages of dense prose into a 3 hour
movie. (Something which i honestly recommend against.)
- Black Hawk Down: This was a decent war movie,
although it violated one of the core principles of war movies:
any character who is off-screen for more than 15 minutes is
presumed dead. And yet, in this film, people who i thought
had died an hour ago suddenly reappeared towards the end.
What the heck? Where were they -- hiding behind a wall the
camera just never happened to go behind? Still, if you like
action, this wasn't bad.
- Spiderman: Me and Spidey -- we go way back.
I am an old-school comic book fan. And yet, i am amazed
that so many people liked this film. The effects, although
pretty, were atrocious. I kept watching the movie and trying
to figure out what he was swinging from. Or are there metal
bars stretching between the tops of NYC buildings that just
never get shown in any other movie? And the acting, or rather,
the lack of it, was appalling! The guy playing Parker did
a fair job of acting like a total geek, but no one else
in that movie seemed human to me at all. Or maybe i am rare
in that i react to my environment and try to have a motivation
for anything i do. Overall -- i cannot beleive so many people
told me this was good! Obviously people wouldn't know good
if it hit them on the head with flashy special effects and
nubile chicks half-dressed, in danger, and drenched in rain.
PLEASE PEOPLE -- think!
- The Time Machine: The best thing about this
movie was ... Well, i can't think of anything right now. Maybe
the popcorn? I dunno, but this was foul.
The Dark Side of The Wizard: This counts because
i saw it in a private screening room at a friend's condo complex.
The big screen was 9 feet long, but still better then a TV.
Anyway -- Pink Floyd can only make The Wizard of Oz
better, and yeah, this actually works. It's really cool, so
some night when you are bored, give it a try.
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