Top Ten of the '00s

Me :: Dad :: James :: Jon :: Justin :: Luke :: Meryl :: Kristen :: Ryan :: Vern

wanted to recap the 00s with a list of my favorite films, albums and songs. asked a few friends, who i thought would be into such things, to list their ten favorites in each category. i included any comments or qualifiers they gave along with their lists.

# title comment
10. aviator a lot of people will probably have the departed as the best scorsese film of the 00s, but i found that this one holds up better to repeated viewings.
9. 28 days later... another one where people will say boyle's best of the 00s is slumdog millionaire, but i prefer this amped up zombie flick.
8. punch-drunk love awesome first time viewing experience with this film. approximately ten times better than there will be blood.
7. miracle remember watching this for the first time. i was pretty much alone in the theater and had a great time with this, one of the best sports films of all-time.
6. (500) days of summer only film on the list that i've only seen once. quotes my favorite film ever and doesn't do it a disservice. originally had free passes for this before it came out, but the theater was packed so i had to wait a few weeks. glad i followed up on it.
5. memento unlike pulp fiction this film really needed to be told in a non-chronological manner. great piece of filmmaking with some great philosophical implications. launched nolan and pierce.
4. lord of the rings trilogy truly epic trilogy that is only hampered by its daunting run time (about 11.5 hours total for the extended versions)
3. stardust thoroughly enjoyable and timeless. from my first viewing of this i put it on par with the princess bride. hopefully it becomes a classic like that film has because it deserves to be right up there with it.
2. traffic excellent film on all fronts. a better film than probably any of the others on the list, except maybe aviator, but not quite enjoyable enough to make it to #1
1. little miss sunshine seen it more than any of the others on this list and it's held up well to repeated viewings. funny and sad, it has it all.

# title comment
5. bowling for columbine even though some of it is staged and/or fabricated it's a brilliantly constructed work.
4. borat endless laughs.
3. corporation as good an argument against the personhood of corporations as you're likely to see.
2. fog of war 95 minutes with one of the smartest people to ever admit error in political history.
1. dark days excellent soundtrack courtesy of dj shadow and unbeatable content. life-changing.

best you've never seen
4 months, 3 weeks, and 2 days
songs from the second floor

# album artist comment
12. dimanche a bamako amadou et mariam this album fades a bit towards the end, especially when they start to sing in english, but it's a great album on the whole and the first four tracks are excellent.
11. kid a radiohead it's almost obligatory to have a radiohead album on a top ten list these days. it was a toss up for me between this and amnesiac, but i think i like this one slightly more, for now. never got into "in rainbows."
10. eminem show eminem show the most likely submission to earn me gripe from some hipster, but i stand by this pick. the production on this one is probably even better than it is on his debut album and he's so playful and provocative here that this one wins out. say what you will about the man, this album is a solid piece of work and has more commentary than any other album to hit the top of the charts in the last ten years.
9. strawberry jam animal collective i don't know what any of these songs is about because the lyrics are about as understandable as thom yorke's. that said, my basic view with animal collective vocalizations is that they're just another instrument. that's fairly evident throughout their work, but especially on "grass" which is on another album altogether. at any rate, it seems i'm in the minority in thinking this is their best album, but it's the only one where i don't find myself skipping at least one or two tracks to get to the good stuff.
8. turn on the bright lights interpol remember picking this one up off my boss' desk at tower. it was in a plainly marked advance promo case that gave the title of the record, artist name and track listing. no artwork or hype. liked it right away and it only got better after that. that's the best way to discover a record - by yourself, by accident, no expectations. everyone mentions joy division when referring to this record, but i think this is better than anything they ever did. is that wrong?
7. give up postal service this one wasn't a love at first listen kind of experience. rather, this one crept up on me and seemed to get better every time i listened to it. great melding of lyrics and music. "clark gable" could have been in my top ten songs of the 00s, but i wanted to leave room for ones that weren't represented in the best albums list.
6. revolutionary volume two immortal technique immortal technique can slice into other rappers as well as anyone else, but he can also make you think and make you cry and make you smarter. this album brings it altogether and is more polished than volume one. 3rd world was a let down with only one great track, but it's okay because this album is an all-timer.
3. emergency rations/i, phantom mr. lif i group the emergency rations ep with the i, phantom album because they're basically one work and are even bridged by the fact that the intro track to i, phantom has the final track from emergency rations playing in the background as mr. lif asks a friend for a gun. it's a concept album, sure, but it works. it's like watching a movie of joe average trying to survive in the ghetto. working a nine to five, striving for something larger, dealing with regret, how it all affects his son and wife, etc. lif's rhymes are straightforward and so is his message. i can't tell you how many times i almost quit my job because of "new man theme" and "home of the brave." freaking great piece of work. tied for 3rd.
3. 13 tales from urban bohemia dandy warhols i'm a sucker for medleys and this album starts with a three-songer that's as good as any three consecutive songs on this list. there's a slight lull in the middle of the record and then "bohemian like you" comes up to breathe more life into the record. really, though, i'm just nit-picking. it's got a great ebb and flow and this has been one of my most consistent goto albums of the last 9 years (it was released in 2000). tied for 3rd.
3. hold your horse is hella it's not often that i remember the precise moment that i first heard a song/album. i remember walking into tower for a shift and a song from this album was playing and it was one of those moments from a film where the sky opens up and the sun shines on you after a rainy day. this album is freaking brilliant and i knew it from literally the first second i heard it. saw these guys live in davis in the most unique show i've ever seen. it was ostensibly an art display in a small room with paintings and drawings throughout. in the middle there was a monolith of plastic with drawings hanging on the plastic. suddenly the band started playing and slowly people removed the drawings from the plastic so you could see more and more of the two man band. then the plastic fell to the ground and you could see them playing their ungodly noise. it was epic. tied for 3rd.
2. blazing arrow blackalicious if blazing arrow wasn't ever released "nia" would have had a good chance of making this list. thankfully, though, blazing arrow is around. every track is great and this album has the best song of the 00s so that doesn't hurt its ranking. it's just a solid record from beginning to end. chief excel's production keeps the head bobbing and gift of gab's lyrics keep you on your feet. of course i always give extra consideration to so-called conscious hip-hop where the main theme is betterment of the individual and the culture rather than the posturing and boasting evident on jay-z's entire discography.
1. s.o.n.o.g.r.a.m. may not be the most consistent album on the list (i, phantom probably holds that title), but has flashes of brilliance that are as good as anything else.'s flows are thoughtful and dense. the production lets him down slightly on a few tracks on the second half of the album, but it's a 22 track record so a few lesser quality ones can be easily forgiven. like mr. lif's emergency rations and i, phantom this album is about rising above and overcoming temptation, poverty, media noise, etc. probably listened to this more than any other album released this 00s and i'm still discovering new wordplay.

best you may not have heard of
two lone swordsmen - tiny reminders (like autechre)
zongamin - zongamin (only found one other person whose ever heard of this group. great stuff nonetheless)
sleeping flies - you are superior (cornershop meets chemical brothers, or something)
elefant - sunlight makes me paranoid (similar to interpol)
crest - skeptik (midwest hip-hop)

there were an absurd number of really good songs from which to choose. my first filter brought it down to about 200 and then i reduced it to these which are my ten (er, 12) favorite right now...
# song artist album comment
12. kids mgmt oracular spectacular don't think i actually heard this one until this year, but it's stuck in my head long enough that i don't mind slipping it into this spot.
11. no one knows queens of the stone age songs for the deaf spots 1-5 are hip-hop so it's nice that there are a couple solid hard rock tracks in here as well. this is the kind of song that seems so simple you'd think it would have been made like 30 years ago.
10. b.y.o.b. system of a down mezmerize politically-themed headbanger track that recalls the days when hard rock was my alpha and omega.
9. wake up arcade fire funeral though i'm not as in love with the album as many are, this song is epic and worthy of my top ten.
8. the first vietnamese war black angels passover first two tracks on this album are equally great. both are anti-war anthems that have a driving, almost ominous beat. great stuff.
7. grass animal collective feels this may be the animal collective song i settled on, but it honestly could have been 4-5 others from feels, sung tongs or strawberry jam. incidentally, i have no idea what this or any of their songs is about.
6. i think i need a new heart magnetic fields pieces of april soundtrack excellent song from a great soundtrack. there are four magnetic fields songs on the album that are all just about equally great in their simplicity and maudlin lyrics.
5. things you can do deltron 3030 deltron 3030 pretty great record from one of the better mcs out there. this song, though, has been rocking me for almost 10 years so it certainly earns its spot.
4. heart shaped box crest skeptik this one came out of nowhere for me. one of those scores of promos i picked up and discovered later. 4-5 great songs on the album, but this one hits the hardest. love the songs that make you bob your head as well as your heart.
3. paper planes (remix) m.i.a. arular the album version is basically the same as this version, but shorter and doesn't have bun b and rich boy dropping a couple verses that make the song even stronger. crazy infectious.
2. dance with the devil immortal technique revolutionary vol. 1 samples theme from "a love story" and tells one of the more wicked stories in hip-hop history. cried the first time i listened to it. absolutely epic song from an mc who can rip a rapper a new asshole one minute and make you think about international politics the next and then he busts out something like this or "you never know" on revolutionary vol. 2
1. release blackalicious blazing arrow got goosebumps the first 50 or so times i listened to this song. it's a three-part tour-de-force. saul williams gives us something worthy of study in college-level english courses. this one song is about a third as long as an early beatles album, and every bit as good.

best you may not have heard of
carolina - taraf de haidouks
menthol & the fax - team shadetek
amassakoul 'n' ténéré - tinariwen
butter and eggs - gabby la la

guilty pleasures
my dick - mickey avalon
bad man! - murs
lose yourself - eminem
battle - lady sovereign

best covers
track artist original artist
mad world gary jules tears for fears
hurt johnny cash nine inch nails
naked if i want to cat power moby grape
alone again or calexico love
gone daddy gone gnarls barkley violent femmes
smooth criminal alien ant farm michael jackson


Dad - the only person i've ever known who watches as many or more films than i, and the most influential in terms of shaping my film tastes.

"This time, I decided I was going to be entirely unapologetic about my selections; that movie watching is an entirely subjective experience and one's choices should reflect that experience...that initial experience, I mean.  Consequently, I based my opinions are based upon my first viewing of the film.  i.e. the films that wowed me. Finally, I feel compelled to add the eight films that did not make the cut as well as the one Docie that, to me, stood head and shoulders above the rest. Look forward to the next decade"

1) No Country for Old Men
2) The Departed
3) Little Children
4) There w/b Blood
5) Hurt Locker
6) Borat
7) Memento
8) Brick
9) Session 9
10) Quarantine

Docie--The Fog of War


11) Wall-E
12) 28 Days Later
13) Munich
14) United 93
15) Cache
16) Elephant
17) House of Sand and Fog
18) Revolutionary Road

Dangermouse - Grey Album

none submitted

James- hip-hop head shows his softer side with a couple unexpected picks. possibly the best guy i've ever called a friend.

1) Lost In Translation
2) The Departed
3) Gladiator
4) Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
5) Crash
6) Slumdog Millionaire
7) The Dark Knight
8) All 3 Bourne Movies
9) City of God
10) Mystic River

1) Red Hot Chili Peppers – By the Way
2) Atmosphere – God Loves Ugly
3) Coldplay – A Rush of Blood to the Head
4) Empire of the Sun – Walking on A Dream
5) Norah Jones – Come Away With Me
6) Fat Jon – Humanoid Erotica
7) 50 – Get Rich or Die Tryin
8) Binary Star – Masters of the Universe
9) Deltron - 3030

1) Mastermind – Deltron
2) Venice Queen – Red Hot Chili Peppers
3) Don’t Know Why – Norah Jones
4) We Are the People – Empire of the Sun
5) U2 – Beautiful Day
6) Too Young – Phoenix

Jon - college roommate who may have opened me up to a greater volume of (good) music than any other single person.

(in alphabetical order)
the assassination of jesse james by the coward robert ford
batman begins
brokeback mountain
eternal sunshine of the spotless mind
the fog of war
the prestige
the royal tenenbaums
there will be blood

(the next best movies of 2000–2009, also in alphabetical order):
almost famous
children of men
confessions of a dangerous mind
the dark knight
the departed
the incredibles
no country for old men
notes on a scandal
synecdoche, new York
touching the void
vanilla sky
v for vendetta
wedding crashers
youth in revolt

(alphabetical by artist)
air – talkie walkie
boards of canada – the campfire headphase
burial – untrue
caribou – andorra
fever ray – fever ray
goldfrapp – black cherry
gorillaz – demon days
dj shadow – the private press
amon tobin – supermodified
unkle – never, never, land

(other great albums of 2000–2009, in alphabetical order by artist):

!!! – louden up now
animal collective – merriweather post pavilion
animal collective – strawberry jam
boards of canada – geogaddi
beck – sea change
four tet – rounds
philip glass – the fog of war
goldfrapp – felt mountain
the go! team – proof of youth
the knife – silent shout
lcd soundsystem – sound of silver
lemon jelly – ’64-‘95
the postal service – give up
radiohead – in rainbows
röyksopp – melody a.m.
ulrich schnauss – goodbye
thievery corporation – the mirror conspiracy

i compiled lists for movies and albums, but not for songs; that would have taken me until 2011.

Justin- boss at tower turned friend. wealth of horror film and metal/hard rock knowledge. great all around guy.

1.  Children of Men
2.  The Dark Knight
3.  Death to Smoochy
4.  The Devil's Rejects
5.  Wall-E
6.  Requiem For a Dream
7.  The Watchmen
8.  Adaptation
9.  GranTorino
10. The Wrestler

1.  Hank III-Straight to Hell
2.  Queens of the Stone Age-Songs for the Deaf
3.  Mark Lanegan-Bubblegum
4.  Johnny Cash-American IV
5.  System of a Down-Toxicity
6.  Rasputina-Lost and Found
7.  Tom Waits-Real Gone
8.  Isobel Campbell/Mark Lanegan-Ballad of the Broken Seas
9.  beck-Sea Change
10.  Tom Waits-Orphans

1.  Trampled Rose-Tom Waits
2.  Road to Peace-Tom Waits
3.  Long Hauls and Close Calls-Hank III
4.  Rehab-Amy Winehouse
5.  Mosquito Song-Queens of the Stone Age
6.  Methamphetimine Blues-Mark Lanegan
7.  San Berdoo Sunburn-Eagles of Death Metal
8.  Bad Moon Rising-Rasputina
9.  Gay Fish-Trey Parker
10. (Do you wanna) Come Walk with Me-Isobel Campbell/Mark Lanegan

Kristen - co-worker at tower turned friend. now she's helping to undo the last eight years while working/living in d.c.

none submitted

radiohead-- kid a
modest mouse-- moon & antartica
wilco-- yankee foxtrot hotel
arcade fire-- funeral
white stripes-- elephant
panda bear-- person pitch
interpol-- turn on the bright lights
beck-- sea change
gillian welch-- revelator
bon iver-- for emma, forever ago

none submitted

Luke - only friend who shares my passion for home renovation. probably the friend who i envy the most. great guy.

1. LOTR Return of the King
2. Spiderman
3. Transformers
4. Gladiator
5. Walking Tall
6. Ocean's Eleven
7. Love Actually
8. Adaptation
9. Royal Tenenbaums
10. Iron Man

1. The OC
2. 24
3. Star Wars - Clones Wars (2003)
4. The Office
5. Coupling
6. Laguna Beach
7. Arrested Development
8. Freaks and Geeks
9. Dawson's Creek
10. Gossip Girl

Meryl - the girlfriend and partner in crime. threw her hat in the ring on the last day.

none submitted

1. S.O.N.O.G.R.A.M. - One.Be.Lo
2. Murs for President - Murs
3. All That You Can't Leave Behind - U2
4. Rising Down - Roots
5. Trap Muzik - TI
6. Into the Wild - Eddie Vedder
7. Black Album - Jay-Z
8. The New Danger - Mos Def
9. Dimanche a Bamako - Amadou & Mariam
10. The Waiting Room - Emanon

none submitted

Ryan - friend of friend turned friend. has his ear to the ground as much as anyone else i know.

none submitted

No order:
Kid a - radiohead
Yankee hotel foxtrot - wilco
Do Dallas - mclusky
Boxer - the national
Jane doe - converge
Heartbreaker - Ryan Adams
Lift your skinny fists - Godspeed you black emperor
Dedication 2 - lil Wayne
Fever to tell - yeah yeah yeahs
Magnolia electric company - songs: ohia

none submitted

Vern - former hitch-hiking partner turned hermit.
"narrowing down my favorites songs was the hardest. i actually had a hard time coming up with favorite movies released in the 00s. i saw a lot of good movies, but not necessarily ones released this decade. it was all about 'TV' (specifically premium) in the last ten years. the tv shows i listed below were fifty times more engrossing than just about all the movies i've seen."

Y Tu Mama Tambien
American Pyscho
City of God
Amores Perros
Pirates of the Carribean
Bourne Trilogy (Bourne Supremacy)
Master & Commander
Waltz With Bashir
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Battlestar Galactica
The Wire
Six Feet Under

Hold Your Horse Is - Hella
In Rainbows - Radiohead
Ha Ha Sound - Broadcast
Merriwether Post Pavilion - Animal Collective
Devotion - Beach House
Sea Lion - Ruby Suns
Wonderful Rainbow - Lightning Bolt
Tarot Sport - Fuck Buttons
The Fire in Our Throats Will Beckon the Thaw - Pelican
Altar - Boris & Sunn O)))

No One Knows - Queens of the Stone Age
Bros - Panda Bear
Kid A - Radiohead
Obstacle 1 - Interpol
Seahorse - Devendra Banhart
Atlas - Battles
The Rip - Portishead
Deer Stop - Goldfrapp
Dayvan Cowboy - Boards of Canada
A Method - TV On the Radio