Friday, November 27, 2009

The Best of the Decade in Music


By Matt Love and Associates

Everybody else has their decade in music lists ready, so I decided to get mine done, too.  But I spent most of the decade in a bottle wrapped in a newspaper inside a gutter, so I don't remember much of what happened. I invited a hand-picked team of musical scholars to assist me in compiling the following summary. It's hard to include everything, but I believe we have come as close as possible. I'd like to thank Cat Kinney, Ed Dove, Dunstan Skinner, and Mandala Weber for their assistance.



The 00s were a turbulent, yet exciting decade for music that witnessed many important developments.

The 00s were a decade where the Internet allowed important music fans to reconnect with important artists like Brad Love, Bonnie Hayes, and Laurie Spiegel. On the other hand, technology didn't help in the slightest to get people off their asses to organize or attend a Tropicana Reunion.

The 00s saw the breakup and reformation of Blood Paradise and That Stupid Love Experience, and the return of the Human Skab, perhaps the most eagerly awaited event in all of human history, but passed without a single performance by The Wimps (who finally decided to drop the "The" from their name after decades of indecision).  Wimps, who were seemingly unable to get into print (always identified as "and others" in the press) back in the day, were mentioned in passing in two rock music books, " Our Band Could Be Your Life: Scenes from the American Indie Underground 1981-1991" and " Sonic Boom! The History of Northwest Rock: From Louie Louie to Smells Like Teen Spirit"  Immorality, at last.  Also a Wimps myspace page was developed, and at least a dozen people have listened to music there.

2009 was the year Rolling Stone Magazine finally discovered the Young Pioneers. Good job, guys, you're right on top of all the current trends.

The decade, keeping pace with an increasing population, saw a renewed interest in "Heffalumps & Woozles," from 'Winnie the Pooh & the Blustery Day', as well as the entire sparkling musical canon from the never-ending 'Land Before Time' series. Now a whole new generation delights in the songs, "Big, Big, Water," "Eggs," "When You're Big," "The Lone Dinosaur," and "It's Great to Have a Dad".

Mary Win, not yet of legal drinking age, is making awesome music in the Seattle area. She will be a major artist in the coming decade.

A-ha continued to make amazing music through the decade, only to shock the world by announcing they will split after a worldwide tour in 2010, giving us something to dread in the coming decade, other than the total destruction of the whole world in 2012. But without A-ha... why go on?

Allison Bencar  is a Singer/Songwriter from Cleveland, Ohio. Allison combines a wide spectrum of music genres including pop, rock, blues, and jazz to create her own unique sound. With haunting melodies and honest lyrics Allison truly connects with her audience.

Elton John proved what a music slut he is, he'll perform with anybody that will ask him... Eminem, Shania Twain... I expect that in the 10s he'll rehabilitate his career by performing with Matt Love. Love reports that he is working on a song especially for the occasion, which he will call "Elton John is a musical slut (he surely is)"

Speaking of Matt Love, this burnt out husk of a never was has been rejuvenated by unexpected popularity in Brazil, where he has performed and toured on more than one occasion with two outstanding bands of musical specialists, The Waiters, and Petrichor. However, his offer to go anywhere else in the world to play for an audience of at least 3 people so far has not been accepted by anyone.

To great critical acclaim, the noughties were rescued from mediocrity by one vault release after another by the surviving members of the Grateful Dead. There are reports of tent cities cropping up before each release in front of the studios in which the remastering occurs. "I want to make sure I get my bonus disc this time," said one fan, sticking skull and roses pins into his bandana. "I order through the internet on the last one, but I was too late for the bonus disc; boy was I pissed! If it happens again, I'm going to raise Hell." Free love is still going strong, folks.

In the 00s, Brazilian indie rock sensation Lulina left Recife to conquer Sao Paulo, which she has done, and she is now poised to take over the rest of the world.  She's released a number of brilliant albums, culminating with Cristalina, without a doubt the highlight of the decade.

Former Lulina bassist Six is dazzling audiences with his new project Homiepie.

Also in Sao Paulo, Some Community kicked it new school, and will keep on kicking to the intense pleasure of anybody with taste.

in Bela Horizonte, The Migration Heads from Babylon  make hip now happening music that is going to bust a cap on the ass of anybody not ready and willing to have a good time all the time.

Xavier Naidoo, the founder of German soul music, continues to release important music.  His 2005 album Telegramm für X greatly expanded his audience. 

One unforgettable moment came during the Superbowl Halftime Show when Sir Paul McCartney's second wife, Heather Mills, exposed his left breast to the unsuspecting television audience. Though his mantit was only exposed for the fractional part of a second, the lawsuits and congressional investigations multiplied beyond all reason.

Country music asshat Toby Keith spent most of the decade hiding from Matt Love, who challenged him to personal combat.  "I'm a peaceful man," Love said, "but there's only one thing peabrains like Toby "I'm such a wuss I always wear a cowboy hat to cover my bald head" Keith understand, and that's force.  I don't care if he played semi-pro football, whatever that is, I'll prevail because I'm right, and he's a jerk!"

Keith's fellow country music star Alan Jackson (who also fears the prospect of people seeing his bald head), while taking a more moderate position on putting boots up people's asses, made headlines by acknowledging he doesn't know the difference between Iran and Iraq, but he was assured of his ability to make a fast buck by convincing his fellow Americans he's just as stupid as they (and Dubya) are.

Dubya inspired some great music. Blood Paradise's "(whatcha gonna find beneath) The Christmas Bush" tore up the Holiday Music charts.  Tore them up, swallowed them, and then puked them up in technicolor glory.

Olympia band, Heliotroupe, after winning fame nowhere outside of Olympia, and after having disbanded for over a decade, reformed, cut another mediocre album, played a couple dozen unbelieveably fantastic shows, and then disbanded once again into obscurity. The stuff of
exceedingly provincial fanatical hippie legend.

In 2002 Herbert Grönemeyer  showed that the Germans are second to none when it comes to musical excellence with his outstanding Der Weg.

In Koln, Lingby, featuring the charismatic frontman Willi Dück, continues to play enchanting independent rock.

Joe Joyce continues to enliven the music scene in Cleveland Ohio. His live performance in the WJCU studio set a new standard for live radio performances, and his CD, Pelican Skeleton, sets a new standard for CDs with the names of birds in the title.

Speaking of birds, Seattle's Danger Bird lead by the sublime Lisa Smith created great, great music this decade. Though the fame they deserve has eluded them so far, this is yet one more good thing that will happen in the 10s... commercial success to match their artistic success.

Proving that Cleveland Ohio is the world capital of music made by guys named Joe, Joe Barone also improves the world with his musical offerings.

And though Cleveland's The Uncanny XeLa has no members named Joe, that didn't stop them from doing a song called Dead Dog Blues that is amazing.

The Simmons brothers of Wenatchee, making sensational music since the 70s, recorded brilliant music under the name Dweebish, and once again failed to gain the wealth and fame they deserve. But there's always the 10s to look forward to...

Neil & Bob, Neil & Bob: Bob, of course, has croaked, I mean cranked, out a lovely Christmas album, marking a singular departure from his entire previous career. Mr. Dylan is obviously a man continually willing to take his career in brave and dangerous directions. Very nice, Bob. Neil slides easily back and forth from forgettable to memorable, but his fans don't mind; in fact, there is some disagreement among them regarding whether or not Mr. Young's forgettable albums are better, and his memorable albums mediocre, or the other way around. One thing is certain, the man still knows how to rock. And he still know how to rearrange the same group of chords in surprising ways that belie negative reviewers who claim he simply rehashes all his old melodies. One Zebra Trucks reviewer strongly believes the his album 'Greendale' to be the finest, if not the only, rock 'n roll novel ever made.

Leapy Lee, who recorded Little Arrows, the only classic rock standard to surpass Stairway to Heaven and Layla in popularity, recorded his 40th anniversary album in 2009.

Hawksley Workman continues to make great great music, and it's widely speculated that he will put Canada on the map someday.  He says that when he does, he will locate it in some tropical location. What a kidder that guy is!

Other Canadians doing stellar work through the decade include Wendy McNeill who puts the accordion to better use than anybody since Weird Al Yankovic, and Edmonton bands F&M, Hot Panda and Silent Rock.

While on the subject of obscure English-speaking countries, Taco Leg rocks Australia like no other band has before. Lets hope they never break up, because if they do, Australia might as well just have a big garage sale, and move back to England. There will be nothing left to stay for.

Jonathan Coulton expanded his following in the geek rock arena. His cover of "Baby Got Back" obliterates the original.

The World Folk music had a revival this past summer, centered in the Skinner/Mewhirter front yard. The movement rested on the acoustic appropriation of a canon of Buffalo Springfield songs.

A teenager in Wisilla, Alaska reported a skin ailment was healed after he applied a Nirvana CD to the afflicted area.  If just two more miracles are documented, Kurt Cobain's canonization as a saint will be assured. An Olympia man enjoyed 15 minutes of fame when he claimed Nirvana's box set caused raised blisters upon contact with his daughter's foot. A Mr. Bono contacted the Vatican, insisting points should be deducted from Cobain's sainthood bingo card because of this, but the Pope has not texted him back at this point.


Contemporary music composer Joe Sibley died in 2007... it's unfortunate that his work is so little known, because he was brilliant. Perhaps the 10s will see the discovery of his amazing work.

Vernon Green, who brought the phrase "the Pompatus of love." into the English language (via a little mutation on the part of Steve Miller) died of a stroke in the year 2000.

Bassist John Entwistle died of a heart attack in 2002.

The members of Lynnyrd Skynnyrd continued to die at an alarming rate, if the prospect of a Lynnyrd Skynnyrd with no original members living is the sort of thing that alarms you.

Yma Simek, who was Yoko Ono decades before Yoko was, died.

Drummer Bill Bruford announced his retirement from live performance in 2008.

Top music of the Decade


A-ha ~ Minor Earth Major Sky

Big Daddy ~ The Best Of Big Daddy

Sarah Brightman ~ La Luna

Camper Van Beethoven ~ Camper Van Beethoven Is Dead, Long Live Camper Van Beethoven.

The Cure ~ Bloodflowers

Duran Duran ~ Pop Trash

Flogging Molly ~ Swagger

Peter Gabriel ~ OVO

George ~ Bastard Son

HIM ~ Razorblade Romance

JJ72 ~ JJ72

Kula Shaker ~ Tattva (Lucky 13 Mix)

Linkin Park ~ Hybrid Theory

Mansun ~ Little Kix

Matchbox Twenty ~ Mad Season

Orgy ~ Vapor Transmission

Radiohead ~ Kid A

Suede ~ She's In Fashion

VAST ~ Music For People

Veruca Salt ~ Resolver

Marty Willson-Piper ~ Hanging Out In Heaven


Bush ~ Golden State

Dave Matthews Band ~ Everyday

Depeche Mode ~ Exciter

Garbage ~ Beautiful

Josh Groban ~ Josh Groban

James ~ Pleased To Meet You

Moulin Rouge!

Placebo ~ Black Market Music

Placebo ~ Special K

Radiohead ~ Amnesiac

Roxette ~ Room Service

Howard Shore ~ The Fellowship Of The Ring

Suzanne Vega ~ Songs In Red And Gray

Chris Vrenna ~ American McGee's Alice

The Wonder Stuff ~ Love Bites & Bruises


30 Seconds To Mars ~ 30 Seconds To Mars

A-ha ~ Lifelines

Tori Amos ~ Scarlet's Walk

David Bowie ~ Heathen

Camper Van Beethoven ~ Camper Vantiquities

Camper Van Beethoven ~ Tusk

The Church ~ After Everything Now This

Coldplay ~ A Rush Of Blood To The Head

The Flaming Lips ~ Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots

Peter Gabriel ~ Up

Josh Groban ~ Josh Groban In Concert

James ~ B-Sides Ultra

Matchbox Twenty ~ More Than You Think You Are

Moby ~ 18

Howard Shore ~ The Two Towers

Suede ~ A New Morning


AFI ~ Sing The Sorrow

The Creatures ~ Hai!

Evanescence ~ Fallen

Martin L. Gore ~ Counterfeit²

Josh Groban ~ Closer

Linkin Park ~ Meteora

Placebo ~ Sleeping with Ghosts

Radiohead ~ Hail To The Thief

Howard Shore ~ The Return Of The King

Sting ~ Sacred Love

Suede ~ Attitude


Breaking Benjamin ~ We Are Not Alone

Camper Van Beethoven ~ New Roman Times

The Church ~ Forget Yourself

Duran Duran ~ Astronaut

Embrace ~ Out Of Nothing

Josh Groban ~ Live At The Greek

Tomoyasu Hotei ~ Electric Samurai

Nightwish ~ Once

Siouxsie & The Banshees ~ Downside Up

Tears For Fears ~ Everybody Loves A Happy Ending

VAST ~ Nude


30 Seconds To Mars ~ A Beautiful Lie

Tori Amos ~ The Beekeeper

Iain Ballamy ~ MirrorMask

The Church ~ El Momento Descuidado

Greg Edmonson ~ Firefly

Farmers ~ Loaded

HIM ~ Dark Light

David Newman ~ Serenity


AFI ~ December Underground

Breaking Benjamin ~ Phobia

The Church ~ Uninvited, Like The Clouds

Evanescence ~ The Open Door

Ghostland Observatory ~ Paparazzi Lightning

Josh Groban ~ Awake

Loreena McKennitt ~ An Ancient Muse

Pet Shop Boys ~ Fundamental

Placebo ~ Meds

The Wonder Stuff ~ Suspended By Stars


Tori Amos ~ American Doll Posse

Duran Duran ~ Red Carpet Massacre

Josh Groban ~ Noël

Linkin Park ~ Minutes To Midnight

Nightwish ~ Dark Passion Play

Siouxsie ~ Mantaray

Vangelis ~ Blade Runner Trilogy


Josh Groban ~ Awake Live

James ~ Hey Ma

Kula Shaker ~ Strange Folk


The Guild ~ (Do You Wanna Date My) Avatar

Rob Thomas ~ Cradlesong



Friday, November 13, 2009

A fun project...


Dear Friends

I want to tell you (for the first time, or remind you if I wrote to you about this before) about a project that my friend Lulina is doing... on the 13th of every month (a very special day and

number to her) she is asking people to send her (email:, with the subject line: "meu dia 13") a sentence about what they are doing or thinking or feeling on this day.  She writes a song using the collective response, and the next 13th she posts it, and collects another batch.

She's aiming for some sort of record (for maximum number of collaborators). She's about 5 months into the project. I've done it every month except last month, when I forgot - I was really disappointed! But the times I remembered, I found it to be fun, and think you might also..

After 13 months, she will collect the songs together in a cd. She discusses the project at (in Portuguese, but Google translation sorts it out pretty well). there are links to the mediafire locations where they can be downloaded.

Her wordpress site also links to many articles, blogs and vids that have gone up since her Cristalina album was released last month. It has getting a tremendous amount of attention, and I'm very happy to see it!


I want to play in your town for you and 2 of your friends.

I want to play in your town for you and 2 of your friends.