Tuesday, December 29, 2009

End of the Naughties Part II - 2001: (Enter hackneyed phrase here)

Here we go with Part Deux. The year was 2001. Everything went to fuck. Shit got crazy. Everyone was scared. Everyone was angry. Everyone united behind Bush. I didn't buy too much music at all this year. Oh, I have a bunch of albums that I've acquired since then from this year (as well as 2000, which I didn't mention in the last post), but I'm going for more of a time capsule thing. So. Here we go.


The Strokes Is This It
The Strokes Is This It?

My thoughts exactly. This was the Vampire Weekend of its day. The Hype Machine was in fucking overdrive with this band. I still subscribed to Spin at the time. In every issue, in every article, the Strokes were like fucking gods to any and everyone. Don't get me wrong, I don't hate them like I do Vampire Weekend. I downloaded their first two albums and actually dig them a bit. But the fucking hype, people. It was out of control. At the time, more overrated than Weezer is today.

Björk Vespertine
Björk Vespertine

Like I said in the last post, I didn't really get into any Björk albums after Selmasongs. I still need to listen to this thing from start to finish. So, not much to say, but I can't not comment on the Swan Dress. She wore it to the Oscars when she performed a song from the movie. And everyone jumped on the "Björk is Batshit Crazy" bandwagon. Björk went into Batshit Crazy Mode beginning with this album and has only progressively worsened. Which, to be frank, turns me off to the music. I like my share of pretentious artists/bands, though. I am sure I will like this album. But never the dress.

Gorillaz Gorillaz

Everyone was pretty excited when this high concept album debuted in early 2001. But people I knew were kinda disappointed when they heard the end product. I like a bunch of tunes on this album, but it doesn't blow my mind. Good thing they're cute.

Radiohead Amnesiac

This is the matching bookend to Kid A. By the time this album was released, the shit had hit the fan and this album kind of flew under the radar, as I remember it. If I had a knife to my throat and I had to pick between this album and the last, I might have to go with this one. I think it's a bit more balanced, a bit more melodic, not so "experimental." Or maybe the band had just completely achieved what they set out to do- maybe I had just completely shed any and all expectations for this album and this band. Maybe it just wasn't as new and fresh and shocking and jolting as their last release. Maybe I was able to just listen without being distracted by how revolutionary the record was, as was the case with Kid A.

Radiohead I Might Be Wrong Live Recordings
Radiohead I Might Be Wrong: Live Recordings

This was a great little EP of live music released towards the end of the year. Mixing songs from both Kid A and Amnesiac, it also featured the previously unreleased "True Love Waits," a song that I had read existed, but had never heard. This EP is a great snapshot of what Radiohead sounds like live, with songs reworked a bit to make them work on a live stage. My favorite track is "Like Spinning Plates."

System Of A Down Toxicity
System Of A Down Toxicity

The popularity of this album both surprised me and saddened me. I liked the fact that America could digest something like System of a Down, but at the same time I felt like the band had softened their sound a bit, maybe to break into the mainstream. Now people who had Limp Bizkit albums in their collection would flock to this Neü-metal sounding band, whose previous, self titled album was a refreshing breath into the lungs of stagnant hard rock/metal. "Prison Song" and "Needles" remind me of old SOAD. But those songs they played on the radio over and over and over and over showed a new, MTV ready side to SOAD that took off pretty well for them.

Tenacious D
Tenacious D Tenacious D

This is one of my favorites of all time. I didn't get into this one until about 02 or 03 but it's hilarious and it rocks my fucking socks off. Jack Black can get on the nerves after awhile, but on this disc, everything is just funny and good and the music is awesome, which I was pretty surprised by. I had never seen the HBO series until I received the DVD as a gift. I lent it out and never got it back. This is one of the things I am most sorry for in my life. I bet if I looked I could find it again, since my friends won't get it for me. This is my CD I put on when I'm falling asleep, driving to PHX.

Tool Lateralus
Tool Lateralus

This album took a LOOOONG time to grow on me (and a LOOOONG time to get here, 7 years since the last album). But now I think it may have squeaked past Ænima for favorite Tool album of all times. I know what you're thinking. "Ænima is the undisputed best Tool album, and anyone who challenges this doesn't know what they're talking about." (Unless you're in the Undertow camp, and in that case, you're probably not under 25.) This album is denser, more mature, and just all around kicks assholes. Although, there aren't any songs named "Hooker With a Penis" on this one, so you may have a point.

Ween godWEENsatan
Ween God Ween Satan

This was Ween's first studio album. It got a remaster and re-release in 2001, with some added songs and such. A great listen, and amazing to hear to how much they've grown and how much they've changed in the meantime.

So. My Top 5 for 2001:

5.SOAD Toxicity
4.Tenacious D Tenacious D
3.Radiohead I Might Be Wrong: Live Recordings
2.Tool Lateralus
1.Radiohead Amnesiac


A.I. dir. Steven Spielberg

When I saw this movie, I liked it. After it sat a few months, I decided I didn't like it. Now I'm on the fence, I need to see it again.

Amelie dir. Jean-Pierre Jeunet

I don't really remember this movie, but it remains one of people's favorites.

Bridget Jones's Diary
Bridget Jones's Diary dir. Sharon Maguire

I don't care. I love the shit out of this movie. I don't care. I find Zellweger extremely attractive in this flick. I don't care. Say what you want, I love this movie.

Donnie Darko
Donnie Darko dir. Richard Kelly

This movie blew me away when I watched it on dvd for the first time. Super cool, super dark, starring who it stars: Swayze, Barrymore, Wylie, Gyllenhaals, McDonnell, Jenna mmmmmmmmmMalone... Watching it a few years later, with the commentary track on the special director's cut with Kevin Smith (???), the movie was completely transformed for me. Insightful for sure- it was cool to see what Richard Kelly had in mind when he was writing and filming, because it was completely different from the movie that I interpreted. Which sucks, because I ultimately remember liking my interpretation better. It may have been the last time I watched a movie with a director's commentary track. If I were to ever make a movie, I would want to match the mood and overall coolness of this one. And I promise to stay away from the much maligned sequel.

Ghost World
Ghost World dir. Terry Zwigoff

Oh, this fucking movie. So. Good. So funny. Clowes story, Crumb director. Buscemi. Thora fucking Birch. And. I fell deeply, deeply in love with Scarlett Johansson because of this film. Too bad she turned into such a cunt.

Josie and the Pussycats
Josie and the Pussycats dir. Harry Elfont

Uh. Yeah. Saw this and liked it too. Well, I should say I enjoyed watching Rosario Dawson, Alan Cumming, and Parker Posey.

Tomb Raider
Lara Croft: Tomb Raider dir. Simon West

Eyecandy only. I saw it in the theater.

The Fellowship Of The Ring
The Fellowship Of The Ring dir. Peter Jackson

Meh. I fell asleep a few times in this movie and never saw the other two. Couldn't give two shits.

Moulin Rouge!
Moulin Rouge! dir. Baz Luhrmann

And HOLY SHIT this movie sucked my asshole. And I liked Romeo + Juliet. I don't know how people thought this tripe was watchable. I couldn't get through 20 minutes. And let me tell you how much I don't like not finishing a movie I start. It has to be real fucking bad. Which brings us to...

Planet Of The Apes
Planet Of The Apes dir. Tim Burton

This is where I turned on Burton. Up to this point I either loved or at least tolerated his films (except for Mars Attacks!, when I left the drive-ins half way through to make out with a chick. Looking back on it, that doesn't make much sense). This was a bore from start to finish. And everything after sucked balls, except for Big Fish, which was merely okay.

The Royal Tenenbaums
The Royal Tenenbaums dir. Wes Anderson

Barely beating Ghost World for my favorite from this year, I never get tired of watching this film. The soundtrack is amazing, the actors and humor are amazing. I think it's Anderson's best, which is saying a lot.

Storytelling dir. Todd Solondz

This is a disturbing and hilarious movie. Selma Blair and Leo Fitzpatrick's story is amazingly awkward, especially if you choose to have the red censor box in Blair's sex scene.

Waking Life
Waking Life dir. Richard Linklater

I saw this film very high and it was a bit transcendent at the time. I was outraged when this movie wasn't nominated for an Academy Award, which began my long-standing contempt for the whole Oscar process and award system.

This is gonna be hard... lemmee see...

5.Waking Life
3.Donnie Darko
2.Ghost World
1.The Royal Tenenbaums

So that's all for 2001, folks. This is fun, and stay tuned for 2002!

And please please comment! Tell me you agree, disagree, I'm right, I'm stupid, I forgot something, your lists, anything like that.

Now playing: Haley Bonar - Drinking Again
via FoxyTunes


  1. Ok, a couple of comments:

    Music: I got Is This It?, Vespertine & Kid A this year as well. Is This It? is one of those albums that I like, but never really think to listen to. When it comes on shuffle or something, I'm usually like "oh yeah, I keep forgetting about this band". I do remember a lot of hype with them, but for whatever reason, I don't think they have any massive staying power.

    Amnesiac I bought after hearing Sardines... on headphones inside of a Tower Records. I thought I would be blown away...but, the truth is, I think this is their weakest album, IMHO. I didn't really listen to Kid A until 2002, and I love it. But, that's just my opinion, I guess.

    Loved Vespertine. Took probably 4 years to get into it, but I think it's a great album. I can't say that it's my favorite, because I really love Bjork, but, I agree... her more modern stuff is difficult to listen to. I think Vespertine was her last great album.


    A.I.: I feel the exact same way as you. I liked the movie when I saw it, and then, later, reflecting on it, it creeped me the fuck out. Maybe it was Haley Joel Osmet. BTW, what is HE doing these days? Not much, as I recall.

    Love Amelie & Ghost World, although I didn't see either of these until 2002.

    Bridget Jones's Diary...I think there was too much hype around it for me to really like it. I guess I went in expecting something boring and way too femenine. I will say that I did like it better than I expected.

    Also, I know we're meant for each other because we're perhaps the only two people on earth that despise Moulin Rouge. I HATE that movie. It's so gross and saturated and over the top. I know it was supposed to be that way, but it hit all my annoyance buttons at once, and I was fed up. I especially hate Ewan McGregor when he sings. He should never sing.

    Still haven't seen all of Planet of the Apes. Have seen bits of it here and there, but kind of wanted to see all the way through it after I'd seen the original. Only have seen bits and pieces of the original as well.

    Royal Tenenebaums: I love this movie too! I also think it's my favorite Wes Andersn.

    Donnie Darko has a sequel?

    Haven't seen Josie & The Pussycats or Storytelling. Put those on the list!

    Waking Life: I own the DVD, but I think I bought it because it was cheap and I love the animation technique. It's cool to just have it on while you're walking around the house, to occasionally glance at it.

    I saw it in the theater with two friends. At the time, I was 21, and looking for some significance in life. After the movie, my two friends and I discussed it at length in a restaurant. I couldn't come up with any real revelations. Later I watched it with Exboyf who was a philosophy major, and he hated it and said it was full of shit. I didn't really agree with him, and I felt like it deserved another chance at least. I didn't watch it again for another three years (2008) and I watched it while drinking wine. That was the best watch I had of that movie..it made more sense and hit some internal chords. I got some real meaning out of it, finally. And later, I thought, maybe it's because I was drunk. Maybe Waking Life is just one of those movies that needs the effect of a substance to really become coherent. Maybe it's just me.

  2. Sarah- I don't know how you can't like Amnesiac. Listen to it 20 more times and tell me you're not absolutely in love. Not their weakest album- you haven't heard Pablo Honey (an album which I adore) yet, have you ?

    I'm glad you hate Moulin Rouge as much as I did, and I recommend never watching Planet of the Apes. Donnie Darko has a sequel that Richard Kelly had nothing to do with. It's about his sister, Samantha. It's called S. Darko, and I heard it was superbad.

  3. Ok, RE: Radiohead. I didn't say "I don't like Amnesiac". I do like it. It's Radiohead. I think I like all their stuff. I just think it's kind of meandering. That being said, I have only listened to a few Pablo Honey songs, so upon listening, that might become contender for weakest album.