Sunday, December 27, 2009

The BEST Seconds in Music of the 00's

10. Wolf Eyes “Stabbed In The Face” Burned Mind (2004)
The Part Where It Goes Silent and Then Comes Back (1:58).
If you made it this far into the song you’re either thinking this is the greatest song ever or you’re dying (literally) for it to be over…or you’re indifferent to it..or you think it’s just sort of OK, I mean how the fuck do I know what you think about it, I’m not a scientist. Merzbow once said that Noise "is the pornography of music", if that’s true then this part is when the dude pulls out, flips the chick over and then the TV goes back to being blurry and scrambled and you’re like “holy shit, I almost got to see some anal”. This part is sweet because if you don’t like it you’ll let out an exhale of relief before you get smacked in the cunt with more noise. I used to listen to Wolf Eyes very loudly as I rode the subway and pushed my way through large crowds around the city, I’m not sure what that says about me but I'm sure its something.

09.Neon Indian “Deadbeat Summer” Psychic Chasms (2009)
That Opening Part (0:01).
Here’s the first of many James Murphy quotes (second thought, I feel fine with just this one) “Nostalgia for the unremembered 80’s”. Wait? Unremembered 80’s? The 00’s brought back bright colors, legwarmers and a series called “I love the 80’s”, "I Love the 80’s Strikes Back”, and for christs sake “I Love the 80’s: 3-D”. Ooooh, he’s being ironic. I got it, kids today love the 80s. At the end of the 00’s America (the west, wherever Suburban rich kids reign supreme, etc.) finally got what had been waiting to emerge in our era of laptops, GarageBand and post-modern nostalgia: A genre that is officially nameless (Dream-pop, Hypnagogic Pop, etc.); basically a bunch of kids alone in their bedrooms making albums that are a mix of old synth sounds, public access shows on VHS, and flea-market 8tracks (For more information see: Washed Out,Ducktails,TeenGirl Fantasy,Nite Jewel, etc.). The opening is a sample of Todd Rundgren’s “Izzat Love”. It comes off like the Neon Indian dude acting like you used to when you’d pretend to be a DJ as you were stuck alone in your parent’s car and would just turn the Bass and Treble knobs back and forth.

08.Jay-Z “99 Problems” The Black Album (2003)
Right After He Says “You’re Crazy for This One, Rick” (3:45).
Remember when Jay-Z was gonna retire? Yeah, that was a good month. Oh right, I forgot about that other time, yeah that was good month too. 17 Years after the Beastie Boy’s Licensed to Ill Rick Rubin does what he does best (produces?) and makes rap that samples rock that doesn’t suck. Right before the song ends with final thumping of distorted guitar and live drums Jay-Z reminds you to Holla back because “Its ya boy”.

07. Justice “Stress” (2007)
The Oh-No!-These Guys Are Here to Kick Some Ass Part (0:52).
No band has pulled off the influence of Michael Jackson as well as Justice (Sorry, Justin Timberlake). When my Dad first saw the video for this he told me he was “horrified”, so I reminded him that it was fake and that scaring old people was the whole point. If Michael Jackson is as much of a genius as I’ve been told repeatedly since July that he is, he will return as a zombie dancing in the street to this.

06. DragonForce “Through the Fire and Flames” Inhuman Rampage (2006)
The PacMan Part Before That Epic Solo (4:58).
Irony is a thin line. When is something bad-bad, good-bad or just simply a guilty pleasure because you’re too embarrassed to say something is actually good. We all know this was the next track on the Numa Numa guy’s playlist. It’s the perfect song for the era of Guitar Hero, World of Warcraft, Lord of the Rings and the idea that being a “nerd” was cool (Fuck you, Michael Cera). The solo sounds like Dan Deacon on Coke trying to cover Metallica’s “One”. NEXT!

05. Outkast “Ms. Jackson” Stankonia (2000)
The “Foreva? Foreva eva” Part (2:07).
Before mainstream rap got so crazy that Three 6 Mafia won a freakin’ Oscar (Forgot about that huh?) these 2 dudes were Kanye West if he was as cool as he is a douchebag. Every Soccer-Mom in the country used to sing this part with her teenage kids as they were on their way to buy more “Never Forget 9/11” American Flags from Wal-Mart. Outkast owned the first few years of the aughts but then they released a movie/soundtrack and people have been waiting for a comeback every since.

04.Panda Bear “Bros” Person Pitch (2007)
When Some Chick/Bro Is Crying (8:58).
The song sounds like happy incarnate and to nail home its celebratory spirit the last 2/8s of the song features the sound of exploding fireworks (right about the same time the listeners is exploding [read: ejaculating] in their tight red American Apparel boy-shorts). The music slows a bit and we hear crying- that deep gasping-for-air type of crying. Is it happy? Is it sad? Did Noah Lennox witness a rape and just sit back and pull out his sampler? Does it matter? No, because it sounds sweet.

03.RadIOheAd “Everything in its right place” Kid A (2000)
The Computer Glitch Vocal Part (0:15).
OMFG! U Guiz! They sold their guitars and bought keyboards! Did you see Thom Yorke dancing and exposing his chubby-Dad-gut on SNL? No? Check it on the B-low. –But seriously this is one of the best vocal pieces of the 00’s (ever? MAYBE!!) and how does it start? It sneaks in with vocals that can’t even be sung! I used to sing in my head to this part (because lyrics are stupid and no one really pays attention to them anyway) and thought he was saying “Ginny…Lebanon...Ssskinny..Lebanon”. He’s probably just saying nonsense (or as Thom would call it “an existential recursive scream from a computer to the spectacle of post-modernity …or a car accident”) as Jonny Greenwood jerks off a Chaos pad.

02.Lightning Bolt “Assassins” Wonderful Rainbow (2003)
That Feedback Squeal At The Beginning (0:00).
Let me start with a non-ironic OMFG! U Guiz! These dudes sold their Art degrees and bought more amps! I used to rant a lot about how this feedback squeal that starts “Assassins” is the perfect complement to the album’s opener “Hello Morning”. “Hello Morning” is Lightning Bolt at their most calm. If you’re listening to Wonderful Rainbow as a whole you hear a soft spring-breeze of guitar feedback and delicate string pulling and then BAM! A loud feedback squeal as the sound kicks you in your balls. This squeal represents the time it takes for the pain in your balls to reach your brain and then when you scream the song officially starts and barrels over your crying bitch-ass like a fuckin’ freight train.

01.Fever Ray “If I Had a Heart“ Fever Ray (2009)
That Fucking Opening (0:00).
This is the sound of the death of the four piece band playing original instruments, this is the sound of a decade that killed music (Guitar Hero), the sound of the end of peace (The War on Terror), the sound of an era that couldn’t claim an end to prejudice (Hurricane Katrina/Prop 8), this is the sound of a global financial collapse, the sound of corporatized Democracy that is no longer afraid to be seen, this is the sound of the entire wealth of human knowledge in a 3-inch piece of plastic (Iphonez and Crackberries), this is the sound of a planet burning off its most prolific virus (Global Warming), this is the wish for an apocalypse in 2012 (but the closest we get is another shitty CGI-action flick).

Honorable Mention:
Yeah Yeah Yeah’s “Maps” Fever To Tell (2003)
+ Kelly Clarkson “Since U Been Gone” Breakaway (2004)
+ Ted Leo “Since U Been Gone/Maps” (2004)
The Start of the Bridge, Dude (1:57),(2:10),(1:48)
Brooklyn owned indie rock at the close of the 00’s (Dirty Projectors, Grizzly Bear, Animal Collective) and Manhattan owned indie rock at the start of the 00’s (The Strokes, YeahYeahYeahs, TVontheRadio, LCD Soundsystem). If any song helped a bar band go from the Lower East Side to the a record label bidding war in Los Angeles more than “Maps” did for the YeahYeahYeahs I haven’t heard it. Aside from not being boring (I’m looking at you Strokes and TVontheRadio) the song was sweet, catchy and she freakin’ cries in the video (Sure, it’s probably about Angus from Liars but that makes it sweeter [as in cool, not as in heartfelt]). Kelly Clarkson ripped off the bridge in her song “Since U Been Gone” and then Ted Leo recorded an acoustic mash-up just to prove it.