Friday, July 31, 2009

Decade: 1 (2000-2001): 2

The Dirtbombs, Cedar Point '76.

Bantam Rooster, Shitlist +1.
The Greenhornes, Stayed Up Last Night.
The White Stripes, Fell In Love With A Girl.
The Wildbunch, She's Guatemala.

Lightning Bolt, Ride The Sky.

Young punks, mainly of Michigan stock: Detroit's The Dirtbombs' pinball lust ode (first released in '99 as a split-side single with the White Stripes' "Hand Springs" and collected on If You Don't Already Have a Look); Lansing's Bantam Rooster (a guitar-drums duo), whose "you're on my shitlist plus one!" should've been a national catch-phrase--on Fuck All Y'All, 2001; Cincinnati's The Greenhornes, from a 2000 7", Italy Records 009.

The White Stripes' "Fell in Love With a Girl"--their finest single (White Blood Cells, 2001); The Wildbunch (soon to be the Electric Six)'s "She's Guatemala" is a b-side of their "Danger! High Voltage!" 7" single, Flying Bomb Records 117, 2001 (of all the gonzo lines, "somebody get me a MAP of Guatemala!" cracks me up the most). Finally, Lightning Bolt's "Ride the Sky:" all is reduced to the riff, which consumes itself (Ride the Skies, 2001).

Sonny Rollins, Salvador.
Wayne Shorter Quartet, Valse Triste.
John Lewis, One of Parker's Moods.

Leonard Cohen, Alexandra Leaving.
Bob Dylan, Floater (Too Much to Ask).

Old lions: Rollins' "Salvador," a thematic sequel to his "St. Thomas" is the opening track on This Is What I Do (recorded 8-9 May 2000, with Clifton Anderson (tb), Stephen Scott (p), Bob Cranshaw (b) and Jack DeJohnette (d)); Shorter's brilliant arrangement of Jean Sibelius' "Valse Triste" was recorded 24 July 2001 at the Jardins Palais Longchamps, in Marseilles (on Footprints Live!)--with Danilo Perez on piano, John Patitucci (b) and Brian Blade (d),

John Lewis, who died in March 2001, made some last recordings at the end of the 20th Century just as his old partner, Milt Jackson, was passing. They were harvest songs from a half-century of performing and composing, like "One of Parker's Moods," where Lewis runs variations on Charlie Parker's 1948 solo on "Parker's Mood." With Howard Alden on guitar and George Mraz on bass. Recorded in Tarrytown, NY, in January 1999; on Evolution II.

Cohen's "Alexandra Leaving," lounge music from purgatory, is from Ten New Songs, 2001; it's difficult to choose the essential track from Dylan's Love and Theft (except "Tweedle Dee," which I've always hated) but the river fantasia and tall tale "Floater" has some of his sharper recent lines, like this quatrain:

My grandfather was a duck trapper
He could do it with just dragnets and ropes
My grandmother could sew new dresses out of old cloth
I don't know if they had any dreams or hopes.

Ipod 1.0, introduced October 2001

Pop: Aaliyah's "Try Again" (prod. Timbaland) was on the Romeo Must Die soundtrack, 2000, later on Aaliyah. Britney Spears' "Oops!...I Did It Again" is to "Baby One More Time" as the Kinks' "All Day and All of the Night" is to "You Really Got Me" (Oops! the LP, 2000); Maxwell--best R&B falsetto of the decade (best hair, too), shame he really never had the songs. "Lifetime"'s as good as he got. On 2001's Now.

The Strokes, Someday.
The Moldy Peaches, Lazy Confessions.

White Hassle, Life Is Still Sweet.

Hipster nostalgia, premature: "Someday," off Is This It, 2001; there was a whole school of bands inspired entirely by the Velvet Underground's "I'm Sticking With You"--here's one of them. To be eternally known as the Juno group (The Moldy Peaches, 2001); White Hassle's Life Is Still Sweet (2000).

The Mekons, Last Weeks of the War.
The Rolling Stones, Shattered.

Aftermaths: The Mekons' Journey to the End of the Night, 2000; I kept playing "Shattered" all through the fall of '01. I don't think I was the only one.

Top: the Palm Beach County, Fla., "butterfly" ballot.

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