Wes Cox over at Mavs Moneyball had a post the other day reviewing his top songs and albums of 2009. I figured, since we're all caught up in this "End of the Decade" hoopla, I might as well throw in my two cents on what I consider to be the best that the Noughties had to offer in movies and music. If anyone still reads books, feel free to post your favorites in the comments section. I need to find some good reading. And then find the time to employ said good reading.
After the jump, I give you my top 15 movies and albums of the 2000s. Feel free to post your favorites as well - this is supposed to be a group discussion. Who else would I discuss this stuff with, my friends and family? Not so much.
Top Fifteen Albums from 2000-2009
1. Funeral - Arcade Fire
As complete an album as OK Computer, but with as much substance as Nevermind. It's one of the more diverse records money can buy.
2. Yankee Hotel Foxtrot - Wilco
Relaxing, troubling, and free-spirited. Each track is carefully crafted and unique, and you never know what's going to happen next. Some of you won't like this comparison, but it's like Rick Reilly in his prime - it makes use of every bit of its 800 words. Again, you can disagree with me there, but don't take it out on the album, because it's worth your time.
3. Boxer - The National
Depressing lyrics have never been so much fun to listen to, only because each song delivers a slight glimmer of hope. Perfect for a late-night walk.
4. Kid A - Radiohead
One of the first of its time. Basically told everyone that it was okay to take a good rock record and throw a bunch of electronics into it.
5. Neon Bible - Arcade Fire
An exquisite and lively uproar. If Funeral meant to evoke your emotions, Neon Bible yells at you to act on them.
6. Sound of Silver - LCD Soundsystem
Once you allow yourself to be okay with James Murphy's ridiculous voice and all of the pseudo-techno beats, you're in for a good time.
7. A Ghost is Born - Wilco
The overlooked album in Wilco's repertoire. You can listen to it fifty times and still not pick up on everything. Which is funny, because everyone's complaint with it was how simple it was.
8. The Earth is Not a Cold Dead Place - Explosions in the Sky
I'll quote an excerpt from a Bill Simmons mailbag here:
Q: Do you realize that listening to Explosions in the Sky, the band that does most of "Friday Night Lights" music, can make any normal experience epic? I walked my dog [while] wearing headphones and listening to them, and by the end of the walk, I felt as if I had experienced something truly life-altering. I am currently trying to apply the "Explosions Theory" to many other aspects of my life, such as showering, vacuuming and doing laundry.
-- Owen, Cleveland
SG: Couldn't agree more. I wish there was a way to pump that music into every bathroom in my house. I'm also amazed none of the presidential candidates has used Explosions in the Sky for their campaign. You could show me a 30-second ad of John McCain trying to pass out a kidney stone to that music and I'd probably want to vote for him afterward.
9. The Moon & Antarctica - Modest Mouse
Features some of the best songs that Modest Mouse has to offer, such as "3rd Planet", "Gravity Rides Everything", and "Paper Thin Walls." If someone told you to label any MM album as their magnum opus, this would be it
10. Turn on the Bright Lights - Interpol
If you like Joy Divison or Velvet Underground, you're going to love this. If you don't like those bands, you're still going to love this.
11. Gimme Fiction - Spoon
Britt Daniel and Co. have never sounded better. Some claim Kill the Moonlight to be the better album. I respectfully disagree.
12. Z - My Morning Jacket
Try listening to "Gideon" without getting jitters at the end.
13. Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix - Phoenix
The most fun I've had listening to an album in a long time. Throw Vampire Weekend into France and this is what you get.
14. Viva la Vida - Coldplay
I know everyone hates Coldplay, and I had never been much of a fan, but this is a stellar album. Perhaps the lyrics are lacking, but the music itself is first-class. Coldplay finally decided to keep people awake.
15. Stankonia - Outkast
If you couldn't already tell, I'm not much into rap. But this is just too good to ignore.
Honorable Mention: Alligator - The National
Top Fifteen Movies of 2000-2009
1. City of God
Look at the quote at the top of the poster - that pretty much explains it. You'd call it the perfect documentary, except for the fact that it was all staged and produced. It's unparalleled in realism.
2. Donnie Darko
The movie that everyone either loves or hates, and regardless of what your opinion of it is, you still don't really know what the point is. Either way, it's a fun ride, with a great soundtrack, powerful and dense scenes, and evokes some good ol' high school nostalgia (aside from the giant bunny, of course).
If The Usual Suspects made your jaw drop for a second, Memento will keep it down by your toes for the final hour of the film.
4. Lord of the Rings Trilogy
If anything, the cinematography is legendary. I still hate Sean Astin for being such a little bitch, but it's a good series nonetheless, even for you non sci-fi folks.
5. Inglourious Basterds
Quentin Tarantino takes everything you knew about World War II, flushes it down the toilet, and puts together a film that is action-packed, intense, absolutely hysterical, and void of any historical context whatsoever.
6. Lost in Translation
"You want me to lip your stockings?"
7. Into the Wild
Fantastic scenery and a great soundtrack from Eddie Vedder merely add to the greatness of this film.
8. The Prestige
You think you've figured it all out - and then Christopher Nolan makes you look stupid. Repeat this process multiple times.
9.Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Some movies have great concepts, but fail to really capitalize on them, and the result is an over-ambitious piece of crap. This is not one of those movies.
You'll be booking your trip to the Napa Valley as soon as the credits roll. Paul Giamatti and Thomas Haden Church are hilarious together.
11. The Departed
It's Scorcese, a phenomenal cast, and two hundred and thirty-seven f-bombs in Boston accents. What more could you want?
12. No Country for Old Men
No villain will ever be as badass as Anton Chigurh. Sorry, but it's not happening.
13. The Dark Knight
Okay, so while no villain will ever top Chigurh, I'm certain that nobody will ever play a villain as well as Heath Ledger did.
14. Slumdog Millionaire
I'm not in love with this movie in the same way that many people are, but the fact that Danny Boyle was able to find such incredible child actors in the slums of Mumbai is amazing. Excluding the whole "destiny" concept, this is a great film.
15. V for Vendetta
V. : "But on this most auspicious of nights, permit me then, in lieu of the more commonplace soubriquet, to suggest the character of this dramatis persona. Voila! In view humble vaudevillian veteran, cast vicariously as both victim and villain by the vicissitudes of fate. This visage, no mere veneer of vanity, is a vestige of the "vox populi" now vacant, vanished. However, this valorous visitation of a bygone vexation stands vivified, and has vowed to vanquish these venal and virulent vermin, van guarding vice and vouchsafing the violently vicious and voracious violation of volition. The only verdict is vengeance; a vendetta, held as a votive not in vain, for the value and veracity of such shall one day vindicate the vigilant and the virtuous. Verily this vichyssoise of verbiage veers most verbose, so let me simply add that it's my very good honor to meet you and you may call me V."
Evey: "Are you like a crazy person?"
V. : "I'm quite sure they will say so."
Honorable Mention: Shaun of the Dead
Okay so... start remeniscing, or something.