#10 “Jesus, Etc.” Wilco (2002)
When I hear this song, and others from the Yankee Hotel Foxtrot album (such as War on War and Ashes of Americal Flags), I sometimes think of the events of September 11th, 2001. “Tall buildings shake/voices escape, singing sad, sad songs.” But apparently the album was finished and planned to be released on this date. I guess a great artist will hold up an antenna and capture the times of the near past, present and future.
Everything Wilco did this decade was suberb.
#9 “I Fought In A War” Belle And Sebastian (2000)
B & S are often and accurately described as twee but their songs almost always have a dark undercurrent. This is from the wonderfully titled album “Fold Your Hands Child, You Walk Like A Peasant.”
#8 “Guess I’m Doin’ Fine” Beck (2002)
This is for all those who think that Beck is all ironic and jokey and not a serious songwriter.
A paramount break-up song.
#7 “The Crystal Lake” Grandaddy (2000)
With a touch of the Flaming Lips, a sprinkle of Mercury Rev, a dash of Neil Young and a pinch of the Pixies, Grandaddy heralded in the digital dawn of the new millenium finer than any other.
My sister introduced me to the keyboard player of Grandaddy in a Modesto bar. I told him how much I liked The Sophtware Slump album. He said, “Thanks, man”.
#6 “Maps” Yeah Yeah Yeahs (2003)
Initially voted the least likely to survive the hype, Yeah Yeah Yeahs turned into one of the most substantial bands of the decade and this song was the indicator. They have an exceptional singer and live performer, an extraordinary drummer and a remarkable guitarist.
Oh, and that was another trend of the naughties: bass players were optional. The White Stripes, The Black Keys, Sleator Kinney, The Mess Hall, and The Yeah Yeah Yeahs all survived quite well without one.