Monday, 4 January 2010

10 Years Is a Long Time If You're Countin' The Days

MMD II: 10 Years Is a Long Time If You're Countin' The Days

So 2010 has arrived with a whole load of snow. Ya heard? You've probably noticed that various television channels are providing pretty much constant updates on the weather by now. It's got to the point where seeing a car helplessly wheelspinning on ice and/or an old granny saying she's "..never seen anything like this in all her x years," is getting a little tiresome. Still, 2010 is here! We enter the 'tens'! Together, we all enter a new decade and we ignore the people calling this year "twenty ten" in the same way we ignored those that for the past ten years spoke of the "noughties". Don't even dare to say "naughty noughties" to me and expect me to do anything but curse your name, run to the hills and never socialise with another human again. That phrase is that hideous.
An end of decade review without a single review? Yes, we can.

It was a strange decade that last one wasn't it. For all that was good about these past ten years (and there were some really great things going down), there was plenty of the opposite too. Lots of insecurity and lots of intangible fear but with all things considered, one thing we can agree on is that there were many things to make 01/01/00 to 31/12/09 just, well, memorable. Rarely has so much happened in one decade that will largely act to influence the shape of the decade to follow. Still, this ain't no political commentary thang I got here, this right here is about the music maaaaaaannnn.

Yeah, pretty memorable.

The music of that decade then, how was it? Good, I think. How could I review this decision you ask? Well, I could've reviewed my favourite albums of the decade and all that. Yes. I could've posted a certain number each week throughout December and it could've been like a little countdown. I could've done that too. I am starting to feel a bit bad for not doing this, by the way. However, I left things late as always and if I'm honest with you, I saw little point in it. I mean, I write about what? Indie rock and hip hop pretty much. These things are discussed as much as the goddamn weather ffs. Would there really be any *shocks* in my list?! "Yeah wow! I really dug that Antony & The Johnsons album too!" "Can't believe you thought 'Hell Hath No Fury' was white hot! Totally agree man."

Depressing how this would be called 'retro' now. The pros of iPods (listen to your music whilst walking about) still marginally outweigh the cons (simply apple fanboys).

Instead I've decided to make a playlist. I'm aware this looks like a cop out but I think it's a better idea. I sort of wanted a good playlist to listen to (not mentioning what fun it was making it) and with Spotify being so good for sharing, you can have it too. So I sat down and hammered out my 100 favourite songs of the last decade* and I'm pretty pleased with the results. Sure, there's a lot of obvious picks on there but what can a man do? NOT choose 'What You Know' , 'Crazy In Love' or 'The Rat'?! Getouttahere.

Not my banner, funnily enough. People that know me please note: Upon my death, please use a good photo in any subsequent internet RIP banners yeah?

I tried to only use one band or artist once. I sneakily crept around this self made rule to include some songs I wanted to so yes, Big Boi is on there as are OutKast etc. I suggest that if you've got any issues with this then take them up with Big Boi.

"Go back to the internet, nerd."

Some personal highlights of mine:

- The delivery of "The plan is to put the rap game in the choke hoollddd" from 'In Da Club'.

The two little synth claps before Pimp C's verse on 'International Players Anthem...'.

- That mental little squiggle after "No matter where we are/We're always touching by
underground wires..." from Of Montreal's 'The Past Is a Grotesque Animal'.

1:22 into 'John Wayne Gacy, Jr' by Sufjan Stevens. Shit is chilling.

- The much mentioned but still golden "Forever, forever, ever, forever, ever?" from 'Ms Jackson'. Coincidentally, this line of Andre's is taken from my favourite hip-hop verse of the decade. Just inspired.

- The closing verse of Okkervil's 'A Stone'. Just listen to it man.

- How Tom Waits has written a song about the Israeli–Palestinian conflict (not easy) and it is as good lyrically as 'Road To Peace' (majorly not easy.)

- The segue between cassette recording and the actual song on 'Someday I Will Treat You Good' by Sparklehorse.

- That spoken word intro on 'Ignition (remix)'. He doesn't usually do this, ya know.

I could go on forever. These are a good bunch. Take a listen. Happy New Year.

*That are on Spotify. There are some complete beauties that aren't on there. I could do another 100 on what isn't actually. If it's like properly good and it isn't in my list, it ain't on spotify brother.


  1. Enjoying the playlist a lot. I think the problem with these decade/annual best of lists/playlists is that the words "favourite" and "best of" become interchangeable, then "best of" changes again to mean something that encapuslates the period of time you're reflecting on. For example, I can't honestly picture you repeatedly listening to Grace Kelly by Mika and thinking "God damn i love this song". To me it is a an excellent example of capturing a specific time, but only serves as a cultural marker not something I actually genuinely enjoy.

    I won't go into the whole "wow inspired choice"/"I would of chosen something different" aspect of looking at the playlist but getting some classic Dylan in the last decade albeit in the guise of Chan Marshall is brilliant, as is The Middle by Jimmy Eat World. Also never heard of William Elliott Whitmore, but really like that track. Will check out some more by him so thanks. Never been a fan of commercial hip hop or RnB so most of that part of the list is lost on me.

    I think I will become a regular reader of your blog. Your writing has definitely been refined since what I remember from music.saves, it also means that I can leave you comments and the fact that I don't live 10 minutes down the road and see you about once a year means you can just pretend i'm an opinionated and well versed musical commentator from the internet wilderness who seems to have a slightly unnerving insight into your life.

  2. I've only just realised I've had a few comments on my blog, including this one, sorry about that. Shows how technical I am with all this stuff. I could be a worldwide phenomenon and not even know!

    Good post. The whole 'only use one artist once' was a massive factor when putting this together because as the amount of songs was restricted (to a 100) it made a lot of sense for the list to not read like Wilco - YHF tracks x 11, A N other favourite album tracks x 11 as that'd be both shit and boring. shoring if you will.

    I genuinely do like that Mika song. He is pretty intolerable though and we all know how hard it is to separate the man from the music sometimes.

    You don't even like 'Igntion (remix)'! You've changed! It's okay mate, I read that John Darnielle likes it someplace. It's allowed!