Brooke Rae-Hunter is my wife. For that, and countless other reasons, I love her. Here’s her decade music picks.
This list is not the best music of the aughts. This is a list of albums and songs crafted and released in the aughts (including reissues would have resulted in a different list) that were like great friends to me. They are albums I invited into my life every day or whenever a particular mood struck. (Picks after the jump.)
Elliott Smith, Figure 8
I was in this mood for the first 4-5 years of the decade. And it was very important that Elliott Smith was there to understand.
Jesse Sykes & The Sweet Hereafter, Oh My Girl
This was like hanging out with your slightly more strung out, sad friend. [Editor’s note: not available to stream. Lame.]
Radiohead, Kid A
Beyond compare. It combines the best of many musical worlds, and remains evocative.
Gillian Welch, Time (the Revelator)
This is superb music. The attention to detail is matched with soulfulness. The echoes of music from decades ago in the guitar playing adds even more depth. An essential album, regardless of decade. [Ed’s note: Were I to collate the various picks, I think this would be our friends and contributors’ Album of the Decade.]
M. Ward, Transfiguration of Vincent
Transfiguration of Vincent is the sound of someone who lost a close friend, and needed to tell the tale in music. There is respect, loss, resignation, and an odd kind of peace here. Truly thoughtful music.
The Contrarian, Soft Rock, Northern Lights, Eldritch Musicks
The great thing about living with a musician who records in a home studio is that you get to hear all of the iterations of songs as they develop into a record. I’m happy to have been here for the development of these albums, which have been an important part of my decade.
The Dresden Dolls, The Dresden Dolls
The drama! The anger! The stagecraft! This appealed to the angsty high-school drama nerd in me.
Not quite as warm as Aquemini, but artistic, bold, energetic music that I listened to a lot.
The Books, Lost and Safe
They do the best sound collage. And when I saw them on this tour, I knew I wanted to marry my husband.
Antony & the Johnsons, I Am a Bird Now
I spent a lot of time listening to Wilco in the aughts, and enjoyed several live shows. It’s good, reliable music.
Bohren and Der Club of Gore, Geisterfaust
I keep coming back to it. Give me another decade, and it might not be on the list.
Jenny Lewis & The Watson Twins, Rabbit Fur Coat
Full of great stories, with humor.
Catchy, melodic metal.
Spare, lonely music.
He’s charming, he’s a good writer, and he captures coming of age sweetly.
Reminds me of dark, icy, eerie nights.
The Shins, Oh, Inverted World
Morrissey, You Are the Quarry
Of Montreal, The Sunlandic Twins
Midlake, The Trials Of Van Occupanther
“Roscoe” was one of my favorite songs of the last five years. It’s a solid album, it just doesn’t live up to the perfection of the opening track.
Slowblow, Soundtrack to Noi Albinoi
Esmerine, If Only a Sweet Surrender
Lovely music that stood the test of five years.
Feist, Let It Die
I loved this when it came it. I loved the pure joy of it — the disco accents. But then I heard it everywhere, and I stopped listening to it as much.