Posts Tagged ‘Sleepytime Gorilla Museum’

Top 10 albums of 2001, one year late

Monday, December 9th, 2002

Here’s another list - my top 10 releases of 2001. No, that’s not a typo. I think it’s silly to be doing a top ten list for 2002 already, since the year’s not even over yet. Besides, I always take a while to catch up on new releases, so undoubtedly a top ten for 2002 will be much more accurate if I do it a year from now. Anyway - my favorite CDs released in 2001 were, in (very) rough order of kick-ass-ness:

  1. The Dismemberment Plan - Change
    My favorite album of the year, no question. Great indie-rock, a little less energetic than its predecessor Emergency & I, but more melodic and still possessing some absolutely killer grooves.
  2. Magma - Theusz Hamtaakh Trilogie
    Unbelievably good live set. Who would have thought that these guys could kick so much ass thirty years down the road? There’s so much energy here, and the band is so tight, that I’ll probably never listen to the studio versions again.
  3. Mogwai - Rock Action
    Mogwai’s most beautiful album yet. Lacks the sheer power of some of their other material, but makes up for it in majesty. What’s more, it’s probably the most consistent Mogwai album yet in terms of quality all the way through.
  4. Krakatoa - Togetherness
    Whimsical, eclectic, and utterly unique. Definitely the best original prog album of the year.
  5. Sleepytime Gorilla Museum - Grand Opening and Closing
    Again, utterly unique, and the best tracks on this album are just fucking awesome. The album as a whole is a bit inconsistent, but the sheer power of “Ambugaton” and “Powerless” alone sold me at first listen.
  6. The Beta Band - Hot Shots II
    Sleepy and contemplative indie-rock that defies any further categorization, and that is transformed into incredibly energetic and groove-filled stuff in concert. The Beta Band just might be my favorite live band ever.
  7. Present - High Infidelity
    A dark slab of accessible avant-prog. Best played at massive volumes!
  8. King Crimson - VROOOM VROOOM
    Somehow King Crimson keeps releasing live albums, I keep buying them, and I keep loving them. This one doesn’t disappoint, even though I’ve already heard eight bajillion versions of all the songs on here already. It’s a testament either to the band’s brilliance or to my utter fanboyishness that I enjoy all their live material, even when it starts getting redundant to the tenth power.
  9. Tarentel - The Order of Things
    Solid post-rock entry, although I preferred the debut album to this one. However, the first half is prime-time stuff.
  10. Avant Garden - Maelstrom
    These guys have a seemingly unlimited reserve of energy. Ass-kickingly intense all the way through, sometimes to the point that it’s tough to get through it all in one sitting. Great debut nevertheless.

Some honorable mentions include Bob Drake’s Skull Mailbox, Explosions in the Sky’s Those Who Tell the Truth…, Radiohead’s Amnesiac, Silver Mt. Zion’s Born Into Trouble as the Sparks Fly Upward, and After Crying’s Bootleg Symphony (which was a pleasant surprise, as I wasn’t expecting much at all). All in all it was a pretty good year, I think. Certainly I can rave on and on about the top five or six in that top ten list… and as with any year there are undoubtedly some undiscovered gems from 2001 that I haven’t gotten around to picking up yet.

Weird music takes over your brain

Wednesday, November 28th, 2001

My roommates were talking yesterday about how my music creeps into their subconscious. One of my suitemates complained that over Thanksgiving break he had the beat to The Coup’s “Everythang” stuck in his head, without knowing any of the lyrics. More amusingly, my other suitemate said that he will always associated his early-semester Chinese Literature reading with “Sleep is Wrong” by Sleepytime Gorilla Museum. Ha!

Sun Ra, though, is still the best for eliciting bewildered comments. “Holy shit, this music takes the cake,” was all my roommate had to say when he was greeted by the squealing horns that open When Angels Speak of Love.