Not any more

It’s My Music Matters List…Deal with it!

In Canada, Me Myself & I, Media, Music, Tech, Them Kids on January 4, 2010 at 11:17

Just a tad…

This is it.  The end of the decade.  Music and making music over the last 10 years has been, well…interesting.  After Metallica’s (Lars Ulrich’s) battle with Napster, the way we listened and consumed music would never be the same.  P2P, Bit Torrents, MP3s and iPods would be new norm when it came to the new words in the dictionary of Music Industry.  RIAA south of the boarder went to war with everyone.  Illegal downloading 1 or 100 songs didn’t really matter.  All would be taken down.  Even with the rise of legitimate downloading sites like iTunes, the music industry couldn’t flame the fires of how people, customers, music listeners consumed music.  Towards the end of this decade Canada has now become the new mecca of Goggle type listings of thousands, no millions of open torrents to free music.

My Top Ten Albums (in no particular order)

From Canadian Bands ~

Arcade Fire

Mother Mother

Theory of a Deadman

Hot Hot Heat

The Trews


The Dears



Death From Above 1979

From Canadian Singer Songwriters ~

Rufus Wainwright

Sarah Hammer

Hawksley Workman


Sam Roberts

Matthew Good




Andrea Gauster

From UK Bands ~

The Good, The Bad and The Queen



Air Traffic

Bloc Party

Hard Fi





From UK Singer Songwriters ~

David Gray

Damien Rice

Thom Yorke

(honestly they are the only three people I like)

From US Bands ~


Foo Fighters

John Mayer Trio

Dave Matthews Band


The White Stripes

Kings of Leon

Cold War Kids

Black Kids

Blonde Redhead

From US Singer Songwriters ~

Pete Yorn

Amos Lee


Justine Timberlake


Gnarls Barkley

John Legend

Kelly Clarkson

Kanye West

Fiona Apple


Are the 2000s a decade without a ‘Thriller’ or ‘Nevermind’? Musicians say so

By Nick Patch (CP) TORONTO — In the 1990s, there was Nirvana’s “Nevermind.” In the ’80s, it was “Thriller.” But what was the album of the 2000s? Many musicians and tastemakers feel that the first decade of the 21st century is hurtling to a close without a similarly era-defining record. And in fact, with the music industry fractured and limping, and the Internet offering increasing access to an overwhelmingly massive pool of bands, is it still possible for a single album to amass the widespread cultural weight to capture the zeitgeist? “No, I think the Internet ruined that,” Tegan Quin of Tegan & Sara told The Canadian Press in a recent interview. “There’s too many groups now. It feels like everybody has a favourite band every five minutes.” Indeed, based on recent critical surveys of the past 10 years, a handful of albums have emerged as the cream of the decade’s crop, but no one record really stands out above the rest. Entertainment Weekly chose “The College Dropout,” the much-hyped 2004 debut of hip-hop producer extraordinaire Kanye West that tore down boundaries between underground and mainstream hip-hop and moved rap away from the gangsta trappings of the first part of the decade. NME, meanwhile, chose the Strokes’ “Is This It,” the uber-cool, garagey 2001 throwback to classic New York rock that, despite being a near-perfect pop record, had more of a lasting influence on hipster style (skinny jeans and Chuck Taylors) than on the future sound of rock music. The Onion’s AV Club picked the White Stripes’ “White Blood Cells,” which, in combination with “Is This It,” was tasked with saving rock ‘n’ roll following its ’01 release. The Guardian thought that “Original Pirate Material,” the blurred, British stoner-rap effort from the Streets’ Mike Skinner, was the best musical achievement of the decade. Q Magazine awarded a different Brit, giving top honours to Amy Winehouse’s neo-soul sophomore record, “Back to Black,” a massive hit in 2006 that spawned a wave of imitators who cloned Winehouse’s Dusty Springfield-influenced croon. Venerable American rock mag Rolling Stone and the increasingly influential Chicago webzine Pitchfork agreed on their top choice: Radiohead’s 2000 reinvention “Kid A,” in which the British rockers mostly abandoned the Pink Floyd-influenced rock of their past in favour of voicing their technological paranoia through minimalist electronic means. All those records have something in common: before or after their release, a critical frenzy predicted that they would change music. And certainly, all of those records proved influential. But if they weren’t game-changers on the level of “Thriller” or “Nevermind,” it might be because the newly splintered record industry – where music listeners craft their own iPod playlists instead of necessarily being beholden to MTV, MuchMusic or the radio – just doesn’t produce records that everyone can agree on anymore. “I think we’ve reached a point where it’s no longer going to be about record of the decade, because everything moves too quickly and there’s too many examples and there’s too many bands,” said Alexisonfire singer Dallas Green. “It’d be against what’s going on this decade to have one album,” said Passion Pit drummer Nate Donmoyer, who singled out Radiohead’s “Hail to the Thief” and the Flaming Lips’ “Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots” as his personal records of the decade. “I think this decade’s about being able to get whatever you want, from old, bebop jazz to soul to punk to everything that’s ever happened in the musical world, all at the same time. “I think to reflect what’s happening now you’d have to have at least 20 albums of the decade.” Melissa Auf der Maur, who played with Hole and the Smashing Pumpkins while releasing solo material this past decade, agreed with Donmoyer – and saw the musical splintering as a positive. “I think what’s amazing about the 21st century is that it’s everything all the time,” she said. “It’s future, it’s revivalism, it’s all mixed and wacky. It’s a really cool time in music. … So I’d say the defining thing for the first part of the 21st century is that there’s no style – all style is wrapped up into one.” In fact, some say that a lack of definition is what really defined the past 10 years in music. “This decade is marked by the absence of that singular game-changing act,” said Alan Cross, host of “ExploreMusic with Alan Cross” and “The Ongoing History of Rock ‘n’ Roll,” in a recent telephone interview. “There really hasn’t been a defining band in the ’00s, but I would say it’s the indie sensibility, the rise of the indie band, and it wasn’t one particular band, but a series of them that showed how things could be done as an independent artist, and I would certainly include the Arcade Fire, along with the White Stripes and the Strokes in that number.” That rise was no doubt fuelled by the Internet, where the proliferation of music blogs helped small bands receive major press. Never before were bands able to find so many listeners without major-label backing and widespread radio play. Canadian acts including the Arcade Fire, Feist and Broken Social Scene found millions of ears around the world largely on the strength of word of mouth. Of course, the Internet also gave way to the era of the backlash, where some bands saw breathless adulation give way to visceral vitriol before their albums were even available for purchase – or download. Ezra Koenig of Vampire Weekend – those New York purveyors of preppy afro-pop and certainly one of the most divisive bands of the past 10 years – said it would be nearly impossible for a band to reach culture-defining status in a time where any criticism is amplified by the Internet’s open mike. “I think we’re past the point where a band can have the illusion that they’re on top of the world and everybody loves them,” Koenig, whose personal choice for the decade’s best album was the Walkmen’s “Bows & Arrows,” said in a recent interview. “People have more opportunities to voice their negativity. So I think that any band that becomes successful, or any band that gets a lot of critical praise, you will be able to find visceral and angry dissent. “Any band that could pretend that ‘everyone really likes our music’ – that was an illusion. We’re past the point where the illusion of total cultural dominance and agreeance can exist.” And yet, some musicians like the idea that an era-defining album that manages to unite disparate groups of music listeners could be waiting just around the corner. “If we didn’t believe that you could make an amazing record that everyone can love, we’d have to quit,” said Two Hours Traffic frontman Liam Corcoran. “Because every time out we’re trying to make the absolute best music we can.” The Canadian Press asked a number of musicians which album they thought defined the decade, drawing a diverse cross-section of responses. -Out of several dozen interviews, Green Day drummer Tre Cool was the only musician to select one of his own band’s records for album of the decade – and he made no apologies for doing so. “‘American Idiot’ and ’21st Century Breakdown’ are the albums of the decade,” Cool said in a telephone interview, without a trace of irony. In justifying his selections, Cool said that “American Idiot” perfectly summed up Bush-era frustration and disillusionment with a government that didn’t represent the majority of Americans. “It actually goes there and talks about the time … it takes a photograph of what’s going on,” he said. “I think it sort of it’s empowering also. It doesn’t just talk about you know, something mundane. I could use examples (of mundane albums) but I’m gonna keep it classy.” -Beck’s masterful 2002 album “Seachange” was a sublime breakup record, but lately it’s just bringing people together. Corcoran said he “played (the album) out for about two years” and called it his sentimental favourite, while the White Stripes’ Jack White only needed a few moments to consider the question before selecting “Seachange” as his album of the decade. “That’s an incredible record,” he said. But when members of his band, the Dead Weather, brought the Strokes’ debut into the discussion, White said he loved that record too. -Toronto hip-hop artist Kardinal Offishall was one of the few artists to make up his mind quickly. After noting that this decade wasn’t his favourite for music, and giving a shout-out to one of his preferred artists of the past 10 years (Outkast’s Andre 3000), the personable rapper settled on what he thought was the record of the ’00s: 50 Cent’s 2003 debut “Get Rich or Die Tryin’.” “I think that was a changing of the guard,” he said. “He generated a really organic … crazy buzz in hip-hop. He made a name out of a crazy hustle and a crazy grind. Whether you love 50 Cent or hate 50 Cent or whatever, just the way he was able to market himself and turn 50 Cent the rapper into 50 Cent the brand? That was really important for hip-hop. He opened a lot of doors … in an industry that really didn’t accept us in a lot of ways before.” -Wilco’s “Yankee Hotel Foxtrot” and the Strokes’ “Is This It” have been popping up on more than their fair share of album-of-the-decade lists, but the principal songwriters in each band have no idea what they’d choose themselves. “That’s a tough one – I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know,” said Strokes singer Julian Casablancas in a recent telephone interview with The Canadian Press. “I’m a terrible judge. I’m a terrible person to pick.” He eventually tossed out a few names – the Arctic Monkeys, Dirty Projectors and 50 Cent – which is more than Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy would offer. “I can’t even remember my favourite records that I listened to today,” Tweedy said in a phone interview. “I don’t have that kind of energy to quantify things like that.” -In a telephone interview, Pet Shop Boys’ Chris Lowe was adamant that there was no album of the decade (“Does anybody buy albums anymore?” he wondered aloud), and that if anything, the ’00s were marked by singles, not LPs. But when bandmate Neil Tennant shouted his choice – Winehouse’s “Back to Black” – from the background, Lowe was quick to change his tune. “That’s inarguably the best album of the decade,” he declared. “It’s the only album of the decade. No question. We agree on that. (It’s got) fantastic songs, brilliant production, she’s got an amazing voice. Everything about is good. … She’s had quite a time following it up!”

Copyright © 2009 The Canadian Press. All rights reserved.

  1. You should check out the music of Michaelmatician. He does/is space/time music.


    More about Michaelmatician here:

  2. probably has a fat cow as a wife..

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