By Rube Ambler
We let Alex have his crack at this and we have to admit his taste is good. (We rediscovered Jets to Brazil since that post…wow). But we (which is to say me [rube]) wanted to take a shot at our favorite records of the past 10 years or so. Fortunately, Alex knocked off some of the decade’s best, which allowed us to get a little deeper into the list and apparently even father from what’s on most of those mainstream lists (i.e., no Strokes).
As with the Best Books of the Decade list we posted a little while ago, this might be better described as “records we listened to a lot in recent years.” We don’t pretend that these albums are important or otherwise changed the way music is made, recorded or heard. We do like them a bunch though, so here you go.
Ryan Adams – Gold (2001)
Yes, Heartbreaker may be the standard answer for this artist but this is the record we will never forget. Everything from the steady rhythm to the line about the church on the upper west side and the reference to Avenue B will always remind me of my time and my affairs in New York City.
Old 97′s – Satellite Rides (2001)
Rhett Miller is a great songwriter and back in 2001 he saved all his best for the band.
Gnarls Barkley – The Odd Couple (2008)
This did not produce the mega hit that the first album did, but from start to finish it is one of the best, most consistent records of the decade that isn’t Satellite Rides. The deeper you get the better this album holds up.
The Hold Steady – Boys and Girls in America (2006)
Craig Finn seems to have so much fun telling his stories of kids, drugs, aimlessness and drunkenness…and I seem to have so much fun listening to them.
Alejandro Escovedo – Real Animal (2008)
You are an amazing musician when you can write your autobiography through a series of compelling, memorable, and remarkably diverse songs. And if you have never seen him live, then let me please offer just one reason why you should.
Ha Ha Tonka – Buckle in the Bible Belt (2007)
This record could make the list based on the brilliance that is the first three tracks alone, but when you see these boys do their live a cappella version of “Hangman” or take a close listen to “Cure of the Common Cold”, you realize how much more is lurking beneath the surface.
Gomez - How We Operate (2006)
I have called it the best pop record of 2006 before and I stand by it.
Wilco – Kicking Television (2005)
This is the record that merged the old with the new and brought me back to Wilco. No, it is not as good as their actual live performance but, that being said, it stands with At Folsom Prison and few others one of my favorite live records of all time. ”Let’s get this party started…with some mid-tempo rock n, roll”
Grace Potter & the Nocturnals – This is Somewhere (2007)
Say what you will, but I like rock n’ roll and Ms. Potter from Vermont will pick you up by the lapels and rock you.
If I could only write one song ever it would be “The Temptation of Adam.” There, I said it.
Two Dollar Pistols – Hands Up (2004)
I fell in love with this band half way through the first song I ever heard by them. “I got a book a records and a stereo/just in case I get to feelin’ low/you see, it doesn’t matter much to me”
The Decemberists – The Hazards of Love (2009)
I still get excited about, thinking about listening to this record. A triumphant return for the concept album.
Did I end up with more than 10 again? If you find something here you like, please go buy the album and enjoy the last couple weeks of those double 00s with something a little old that may be a little new for you.