The underrated Russian Futurists
Every year there are Top Ten lists and, recently, a smattering of Best of the Decade lists. I always feel like these are woefully artificial means of recording time. The most “important” records rarely align with the calendar year, nor should they.
So I thought I’d present a list of albums that fought their way to the top of my playlists year after year. The true favorites. They’re by no means the “best,” according to most criteria, but these records each soundtracked the aught years.
Destroyer – Destroyer’s Rubies
My friend Westin played Destroyer for me in 2004, and it took me a good year to get around to liking Daniel Bejar’s music. While Streethawk: A Seduction and Trouble in Dreams have their moments, I never tire of Rubies and its thrilling songwriting. How many artists do you know quote Otis Redding and Ezra Pound?
The Stills – Logic Will Break Your Heart
Some bands are just right place, right time. This was one of those. Seeing “Yesterday Never Tomorrows” in concert was a top-five live music moment.
Interpol – Antics
Sure, this will be the music on all the “classic rock” radio stations in fifteen years. That’s partially because it’s so accessible, but more because it’s so enduring.
The Strokes – Is This It
Camera Obscura – Let’s Get Out of This Country
Man I love oldies music. I also love bands that love oldies music.
Cut Copy – Bright Like Neon Love
This record may as well have been lab-tested for my tastes: former DJ starts rock band, can’t quite shake off his dancefloor roots. They make it look easy, belying the songs’ ingenious atypical structure. See “Zap Zap”: a wave carrying you out to sea, lulling you until the final moments when you realize you’re in dangerous territory.
Idlewild – 100 Broken Windows
Again with the literary rock bands. I’m a sucker for guys who read Gertrude Stein and hail from England. Alas, they never recaptured the manic energy of this LP.
Morrissey – Vauxhall & I
Blame record store serendipity. This was the first post-Smiths Morrissey disc I checked out, and so it took up residence over others. I know it has a few flaws (he actually starts “Speedway” with a chainsaw revving, for Christ’s sake), but when I was 20 years old I didn’t care. Still don’t.
The Russian Futurists – Our Thickness
I still have no idea how this guy flies so under the radar. He’s one of the most talented bedroom-pop producers alive, essential music for any Magnetic Fields or Washed Out fan. Maybe he’s really racist or hates his fans or something; there’s got to be a reason he never became more well known. Continue reading