Archive for Thursday, December 6, 2001

Area musicians and devoted scenesters sound off about favorite discs of 2001

December 6, 2001


In a year when the word "stroke" inspired more ink than the days when Billy Squier ruled the radio, finding good music wasn't too difficult. As boy bands bit the dust and mook rock ruled supreme on MTV, a host of once-underground sounds found their way to the mainstream. Standout releases from The Strokes, Gillian Welch, Tool, The Coup and scads of others made for fine listening that did more than line record company hallways with gold albums.

While we could kill a few hours boring you to death with our critical picks of the last 12 months, we opted to poll local artists and other music-types to find out what releases got them grooving in 2001. Here's what they had to say:

Nathan Ellis, The Casket Lottery

Fantomas, "Director's Cut"

Bjork, "Vespertine"

Gillian Welch, "Time (The Revelator)"

Kill Creek, "Colors of Home"

Burning Airlines, "Identikit"

Small Brown Bike, "Dead Reckoning"

The Dismemberment Plan, "Change"

Rocky Votolato, "Burning My Travels Clean"

Shiner, "The Egg"

Tawni Freeland, The Thornbirds

The Hefners, "Repop!"

Weezer, "Weezer"

Ted Leo and the Pharmacists, "The Tyranny of Distance"

The Figgs, "Badger"

Jade Raven, "Plus 1"

Luna, "Luna Live!"

various artists, "Soundtrack Josie and the Pussycats"

Killa The Hun, DVS Mindz

P-Diddy & The Bad Boy Family, "The Saga Continues"

Tech N9ne, "Anghellic"

Ludacris, "Word of Mouf"

Fabolous, "Ghetto Fabolous"

Dogg Pound, "2002"

Yukmouth, "Thug Lord: New Testament"

Jay-Z, "The Blueprint"

Jadakiss, "Kiss tha Game Goodbye"

DMX, "The Great Depression"

various artists, "Scars and Tattoos Midwest Compilation"

Darrell Lea, The Schwag

Bob Dylan, "Love and Theft"

Paul McCartney, "Driving Rain"

Bruce Springsteen and the E. Street Band, "Live in New York City"

Mick Jagger, "Goddess in the Doorway"

Grateful Dead, "The Golden Road 1965, 1973"

The Who, "Live At Leeds: Deluxe Edition"

Bob Dylan, "Live 1961" (Japanese import)

Miles Davis, "The Complete In a Silent Way Sessions"

Grateful Dead, "Nightfall of Diamonds"

Sting, "All This Time"

Eric Melin, Ultimate Fakebook

Sloan, "Pretty Together"

Pernice Brothers, "The World Won't End"

The Sheila Divine, "Where Have My Countrymen Gone?"

Rufus Wainwright, "Poses"

Superchunk, "Here's to Shutting Up

The Flashing Lights, "Sweet Release

Guided by Voices, "Isolation Drills"

Spoon, "Girls Can Tell"

The Shins, "Oh, Inverted World"

Red House Painters, "Old Ramon"

Chris Tolle, The Creature Comforts

The Sheila Divine, "Where Have My Countrymen Gone?"

Gorky's Zygotic Mynci, "How I Long to Feel That Summer in my Heart"

The Figgs, "Badger"

Travis, "The Invisible Band"

The Gravel Pit, "Mass Avenue Freeze-Out"

Spoon, "Girls Can Tell"

The La's, "The La's" (reissue)

Clint K Band

Jimmy Eat World, "Bleed American"

The Faint, "Danse Macabre"

Death Cab for Cutie, "The Photo Album"

Appleseed Cast, "Low Level Owl: Vol. 1"

Gorillaz, "Gorillaz"

Pete Yorn, "Music for the Morning After"

Weezer, "Weezer"

Langley Schools Music Project, "Innocence & Despair"

New Order, "Get Ready"

The Pernice Brothers, "The World Won't End"

Onward Crispin Glover

Four Tet, "Pause"

Radiohead, "Amnesiac"

Mercury Rev, "All is Dream"

The Strokes, "Is This It"

Season to Risk, "The Shattering"

System of a Down, "Toxicity"

Shiner, "The Egg"

The White Stripes, "White Blood Cells"

Spoon, "Girls Can Tell"

Superchunk, "Here's to Shutting Up"

Phat Albert

311, "From Chaos"

Ben Folds, "Rockin' the Suburbs"

Harry Connick Jr., "Songs I Heard"

Los Mocosos, "Shades of Brown"

Maxwell, "Now"

Rufus Wainwright, "Poses"

Old 97's, "Satellite Rides"

Ryan Adams, "Gold"

Sade, "King of Sorrow"

Weezer, "Weezer"

Matthew Hoerman,

station manager, KJHK 90.7 FM

David Axelrod, "David Axelrod"

Beachwood Sparks, "Once We Were Trees"

Spoon, "Girls Can Tell"

Ted Leo/Pharmacists, "The Tyranny of Distance"

The Strokes, "Is This It"

The Shins, "Oh, Inverted World"

Yesterday's New Quintet, "Angles Without Edges"

Quasi, "Sword of God"

Of Montreal, "Conquelicot Asleep in the Poppies"

The Walkmen, "The Walkmen"

Honorable Mentions, Fugazi, Roots Manuva, The Clean, and reissues by Love, The Millennium, Heavenly and the Nuggets 2 box set on Rhino

Jacki Becker,

production director, House of Blues

The Strokes, "Is This It"

The Shins, "Oh, Inverted World"

Gorillaz, "Gorillaz"

The Dismemberment Plan, "Change"

Ben Folds, "Rockin' the Suburbs"

Super Furry Animals, "Rings Around the World"

White Stripes, "White Blood Cells"

Canyon, "Canyon"

Appleseed Cast, "Low Level Owl: Vol. 1"

Modest Mouse, "Everywhere & His Nasty Parlor Tricks"

Mean Dean the Metal Machine, Relapse Records

Anathema, "A Fine Day to Exit"

Crowbar, "Sonic Excess In Its Purest Form"

Godflesh, "Hymns"

Hypocrisy, "10 Years of Chaos and Confusion"

Keelhaul, "II"

Mastodon, "Lifesblood"

Napalm Death, "Enemy of the Music Business"

Opeth, "Blackwater Park"

Season to Risk, "The Shattering"

Wormwood, "Requiescat"

John Parks, assistant professor of percussion at KU

Tool, "Lateralus"

Brad Mehldau Trio, "Art of the Trio, Volume 5: progression"

The Verve Pipe, "Underneath"

Renee Fleming and Jean-Yves Thibaudet, "Night Songs"

Radiohead, "I Might be Wrong: Live Recordings"

Dave Holland, "Not for Nothin'"

The Chick Corea New Trio, "Past, Present & Futures"

Alien Ant Farm, "ANThology"

Chicago Symphony Orchestra Stravinsky "The Rite of Spring," Debussy "La Mer," Boulez "Notations: VII"

Journey, "Arrival"

Jeff Petterson, program director, KDVV 100.3 FM in Topeka

Jimmy Eat World, "Bleed American"

Radiohead, "Amnesiac"

Strokes, "Is This It"

Weezer, "Weezer"

Ozomatli, "Embrace the Chaos

Pink Floyd, "Echoes The Best of Pink Floyd"

Fugazi, "The Argument"

Ryan Adams, "Gold"

Tool, "Lateralus"

Bob Dylan, "Love and Theft"

Lance Fahy, Brian Runk, DJ Proff, Rob Wood, Jeffrey Lee (Pale Moon Kings), Shannon Savoie (The Band That Saved The World), Jeff Jackson and Alex Logan (Holstein)

l Bob Dylan, "Love and Theft"

The Persuasions, "Frankly A Cappella"

John Hammond, "Wicked Grin"

Tool, "Lateralus"

Tenacious D, "Tenacious D"

Sade, "King of Sorrow"

De La Soul, "Art Official Intelligence: Bionix"

Damian Siwek, former Preferred Villain guitarist

Ozzy Osbourne, "Down to Earth" Ozzy's first solo outing since 1994, is one of his heaviest, most visceral records since he first split with Black Sabbath in 1978. With backing by the usual suspects including his former guitarist, Zakk Wylde, "Earth" doesn't sound like it was made by a guy whose kid listens to nu-metal, but rather by a guy who's teaching his kid what nu-metal he should listen to.

Tool, "Lateralus" Sounding like nothing else out there, "Lateralus" finds Tool an older, wiser and more reflective band for sure. With most of its songs over six minutes in length, there are moments when the record drags, or when the often-repetitive arrangements seem self-consciously arty though this may be less the fault of Tool, and more of the hit-driven, music-by-marketing-team culture in which the band finds itself.

Stone Temple Pilots, "Shangri-La Dee Da" With Nirvana dead and bloated, Soundgarden busted and Pearl Jam busy recording every live second Eddie Vedder runs his hand through his hair, the Stone Temple Pilots are the grunge era's unlikely survivor. Now a trademark approach to their music, 'Shangri-La Dee Da' sounds like two completely different bands Dean and Robert DeLeo's hard rock and Scott Weiland's soft balladry. Happily (for Atlantic Records), the album has something for both slumming Papa Roach fans and growing Jessica Simpson fans. STP has enough talent to hold both together.

Joe Croker, "All the Pretty Girls" "All the Pretty Girls" is eclectic roots rock dominated by Croker's acute lyricism, where wonderful, personal stories are a frequent lyrical backdrop, creating imagery and a sense of place more akin to a novel than a rock album. A multi-dimensional record with groundwork of folk, blues and country influences that will please the casual and intellectual listener.

John Williams, "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" There is only one REAL wizard in "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone." I'll give you a few hints: He's not a little kid, he's invisible through the entire movie and his magic wand is a conductor's baton. Yes, I'm talking about ace composer John Williams. For an appreciation of Williams' score, neither novel nor film is particularly necessary. Williams' eloquence in conveying emotion and action through music will stir even the leanest of imaginations.

Bela Fleck & the Flecktones, "Perpetual Motion" Performing classically on a banjo?! Works for me as long as Bela Fleck is the one playing.

Beautiful Creatures, "Beautiful Creatures" For those of you who have been looking for a real hard rock band (Don't EVEN mention Creed within a 10 foot radius of me) look no further than Beautiful Creatures' self-titled debut album. The record is a tough, sleazy slice of rock and roll in the vein of "Appetite for Destruction" and "Back in Black" that will please mullet lovers everywhere.

Dream Theater, "Live Scenes From New York" Dream Theater is a band that has refused to compromise its musical vision to meet the changing tides of musical fashion, staying true to a unique blend of chops-intensive metal and thoughtful progressive rock. When you pop the CD in, make sure you've got your thinking cap on.

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