Johnny Tigs Picks His Favorite Albums of the Decade (…that I can remember)

So I split this up into a few section: First Ten, Second Ten, And Then Some, Honorable Mentions, EPs I can Remember. All of these picks will probably change by tomorrow but that’s why I’ve split them up so much. It all depends on the mood I’m in and what I’m doing. All of these albums are great and could be a number 1 album at any time. I’m also sure I’ve missed countless other great albums over this decade but here’s what I’ve come up with. Oh yeah and also I know that I recommend over half of the tracks (if not every track) on every album that I have track recommendations for (then again that’s why they are ranked so high in my ever failing system), so they’re sort of not needed but I wrote it all down so I decided to keep it in. I also wrote little blurbs about the First Ten, Second Ten and 1 of the honorable mentions, and none of it probably makes sense or is even relevant to the album in question, but anyway, ENJOY:

First Ten:
1) The Wrens – Meadowlands

Some Jersey bar kids decide to start an Alt Rock band. 20 years and 3 albums later still no one cares. But that doesn’t mean no one is listening.

Recommend Tracks: Hopeless, Faster Gun, 13 Months in 6 Minutes, Per Second Second, Everyone Choose Sides, This is Not What You Had Planned, This Boy is Exhausted, Happy

2) Gogol Bordello – Gypsy Punk Underdog World Strike
Traditional Gypsy meets Punk to have one of the greatest parties of all time consisting of weddings, bears, revolutions and the color purple (to name a few)

Recommend Tracks: Sally, Never Young, Not a Crime, 60 Revolutions, Dogs Were Barking, Start Wearing Purple, Illumination, Undestructable, Think Locally, Fuck Globally, Mishto

3) Sonic Youth – Rather Ripped
These rock saviors do it again, as most of us expected, just like they’ve done for the past 28 years. The Brooklyn public finally starts to listen.

Recommended Tracks:
Reena, Incinerate, Do You Believe In Rapture?, Rats, Pink Steam, Or, Lights Out

4) Thelonious Monk and John Coltrane – At Carnage Hall
A masterpiece that escaped release for so long it should be a music crime. But who am I to complain?

Recommended Tracks (yeah it’s everything): Nutty, Monk’s Mood, Evidence, Crepuscule, Epistropy, Bye-ya, Sweet and Lovely, Blue Monk, Epistrophy (Incomplete)

5) Mekons – OOOH!
UK Country/Traditional/Alternative/Minimalist/Experimental/Punk Rock badasses explode your face for the umpteenth time to make you forget you woes and remember that there is so much more shit going on than you can possible imagine. And you politely ask for more.

Recommended Tracks:
Thee Olde Trip to Jerusalem, This Way Through the Fire, Hate is the New Love, Take His Name in Vain, Lone Pilgrim, Stonehead, Bob Hope & Charity

6) Old 97’s – Satellite Rides
My go-to Alt Country band and album. More polished than there previous but don’t let that fool you, it’s every bit as gut wrenching, sappy, happy, and utterly hopeless as there old stuff. And more fun too.

Recommended Tracks: Roller Skate Skinny, Buick City Complex, Bird in a Cage, Nervous Guy, Book of Poems, Designs on You

7) The Mountain Goats – Tallahassee
John Darnielle knows how to write, sing and play, plain and simple. Much cleaner than the stuff before it but every bit at witty and clever, just without the DIY feel. It’s a story about a couple. He’ll pull you into his world and leave you speechless. Yes, Virginia, there still are unpretentious concept albums.

Recommended Tracks: Game Shows Touch Our Lives, No Children, International Small Arms Traffic Blue, Peacocks, See America Right, Have to Explore, Alpha Rats Nest, Old College Try, Oceanographer’s Choice

8 ) Sleater-Kinney – One Beat
Sleater-Kinney’s post-9/11 album to stop all others (except the one a few spots above it maybe, and that’s only on certain days…). Unapologetic, brutal, and heartfelt, this is an album I want to be buried with.

Recommended Tracks: O-2, Hollywood Ending, Sympathy, One Beat, Oh!, Light Rail Coyote, The Remainder, Prisstina, Combat Rock

9) Buck 65 – Talkin Honkey Blues
Canadian DJ whose every bit a soulful as he is lyrical. It makes no difference that his voice reminds me of Nashville Skyline and raps about David Lynch, but adds to it. Handmade, not over produced, with the care that you would find in say, oh I don’t know Endtroducing, but that was so late 90’s.

Recommended Tracks: Wicked and Weird, Leftfielder, Roses and Bluejays, Protest, Sore, 463, Killed By a Horse, Craftsmenship, Tired Out, Riverbed 4, Riverbed 5, Riverbed 6, Riverbed 7

10 )Libertines – Up the Bracket
Sloppy, loud, and songful. Not something that’s in overabundance now a days. They weren’t like all the other guitar based post garage bands, they actually sounded different.

Recommended Tracks: Death on the Stairs, Horrorshow, Vertigo, Up The Bracket, Tell the King, The Boy Looked at Johnny, The Gold Old Days, I get A Long, What A Waster

Second Ten:
1) DJ Shadow – Private Press

Remember DJ Shadow? He sort of turned the whole DJ community upside down with his debut release (Endtroducing), meditated on it for a little while, and then decided to bring it back full force. He’s not like every DJ, there’s a certain care and devotion to his music that make you feel like you’re listening to something original, and not just a mashup. Oh yeah and he’s a pretty good drummer too.

Recommended Tracks:
Giving Up the Ghost, Walkie Talkie, Six Days, Mongrel, …Meets His Maker, Mashin’ On The Motorway, Blood on the Motorway, You Can’t Go Home Again, Monosylabik

2) Sonic Youth – NYC Ghosts and Flowers
Their instruments were stolen and they were out of luck. When they got some new ones they decided to see what they could do with them. More an experiment on music and their mastery of it, but aren’t all Sonic Youth records that?

Recommended Tracks: NYC Ghosts & Flowers, Small Flowers Crack Concrete, StreamXSonik Subway, Side 2 Side, Nevermind (What Was It Anyway), Free City Rhyme, Lightnin’ Strikes

3) Yo La Tengo – Summer Sun
Maybe this is a little cliche, but at least once a year during the summer I need to just sit out in the sun (or skateboard around if I had the talent) and just listen to this album back to front at least one time. The ultimate chill-out album, which you knew Yo La Tengo could provide. Some may say they were slacking off on this album, but they would be fucking wrong.

Recommended Tracks: Little Eyes, Today is the Day, Don’t Have to Be So Sad, Let’s Be Still, Take Care, Moonrock Mambo, How to Make a Baby Elephant, Beach Party Tonight, Tiny Birds

4) Miles Davis – Jack Johnson Sessions
5 Discs of every outtake (supposedly…) available from my favorite Jazz album of all time. Miles is on fire, but he always was, and the rest of the band (John McLaughin on guitar, Michael Henderson on bass, Billy Cobham on drums, and Herbie Hancock on Farfisa Organ even though he wasn’t supposed to be part of the sessions and just happened to be in the building at the time passing by) are at the best, and that speaks volumes about these sessions. Every take on here is unique and memorable and just as important as any other release this decade.

Recommended Tracks: Just listen to everything

5) Todd Snider – The Devil You Know
Pissed off, funny, intellectual folk rocker makes the best album of his carrier. No one notices.

Recommended Tracks: If Tomorrow Never Comes, You Got Away With It, Happy New Year, Unbreakable, Lookin’ For A Job, Just Like Old Times, The Devil You Know

6) Radiohead – Kid A
Yeah, the album that every rock magazine/internet publication is choosing as the best album of the decade. As Robert Christgau said, “It’s dinner music.”

Recommended Tracks: Motion Picture Soundtrack, The National Anthem, Kid A, How To Disappear Completely, Optimistic, Morning Bell, In Limbo, Idioteque

7) Handsome Family – Live at Schuba’s Tavern
Great live albums convey the live show. Where some albums (and bands) fail is that all that’s given to you is the song without the bands personality. If the songs can hold up on their own it’s a great live album, but if you actually feel like you’re there, and the band makes you feel comfortable and like you’re one of their friends speaking very openly to you and making you laugh with them and their lives , then you have Live at Schuba’s Tavern. Alt -Country never felt so homey.

Recommended Tracks: Amelia Earhart Vs the Dancing Bear, So Much Wine, A Beautiful Thing, My Sisters Tiny Hands, Weightless Again, Drunk By Noon, The Sad Milkman, My Ghost, I Know You Are There, Arlene

8 ) Moldy Peaches – Moldy Peaches
Remember back at the beginning of the decade when this Moldy Peaches best-of/only release (besides the unreleased cut) came out and the whole world when crazy for Anti-Folk and people were finally paying attention to artists like these guys and Dufus (and especially Kimya’s solo stuff)? Oh, you only found out about them after Juno? Never mind then.

Recommended Tracks: Jorge Regula, Downloading Porn With Davo, Who’s Got The Crack, I Forgot, Lazy Confessions, NYC’s Like a Graveyard, Steak For Chicken, These Burgers, The Ballad of Helen Keller & Rip Van Winkle, Goodbye Song

9) Los Campesinos – Hold on Now Youngsters
Heavy guitar alternative tween pop with a glockenspiel. What else am I going to listen to while I wait for the Pavement reunion tour to begin?

Recommended Tracks: Death to Los Camesinos!, Don’t Tell me to do the Math(s), Drop it Doe Eyes, My Year In Lists, Knee Deep at ATP, This is how you spell…, You! Me! Dancing!, Sweet Dreams, Sweet Cheeks

10) Hold Steady – Separation Sunday
The first time I saw the Hold Steady I hated them. I really just wanted to see the Wrens and I had to catch a train out of GCT so I just saw them as an obstacle. Forgetting completely about them the very next day I picked up this CD on a recommendation and loved it. Then I realized I had just seem them the night before and wished I hadn’t been such a moron.

Recommended Tracks: Don’t Let Me Explode, Hornets! Hornets!, Steve Nix, Multitude of Casualties, How a Resurrection Really Feels, Chicago Seemed Tired Last Night, The Cattle and the Creeping Things

And Then Some:
1) Drive By Truckers – Decoration Day
2) Gogol Bordello – Super Taranta
3) Jon Langford – All the Fame of Lofty Deeds
4) Nils Peter Molvaer – Solid Ether
5) No Age – Nouns
6) Go Betweens – Oceans Apart
7) Sleater-Kinney – The Woods
8 ) Orchestra Baobab – Specialists in All Styles
9) Lightning Bolt – Hypermagic Mountain
10) Boris – Pink
11) Ghost Dog Soundtrack
12) The Mountain Goats – We Shall All Be Healed
13) Todd Snider – East Nashville Skyline
14) Arcade Fire – Neon Bible
15) Ghostface Killa – Fishscale
16) Conor Oberst – Conor Oberst
17) Tenacious D – Tenacious D
18) Tokyo Police Club – Elephant Shell
19) PJ Harvey – Stories from the City, Stories form the Sea
20) Sonic Youth – The Eternal
21) Brian Wilson – SMiLE
22) Madvillian – Madvillany
23) Ornate Coleman – Sound Grammar
24) Outkast – Stankonia
25) Radiohead – Amnesiac
26) The Willowz – Talk in Circles
27) David S. Ware – Live in the World
28) Kanye West – College Dropout
29) White Stripes – White Blood Cells
30) Z-Man – Dope of Dogfood
31) Girl Talk – Feed the Animals
32) Bob Dylan – Love and Theft
33) Les Savvy Fav – Lets Stay Friends
34) Yo La Tengo – I Am Not Afraid Of You And I Will Beat Your Ass
35) Apples in Stereo – New Magnetic Wonder
36) Jens Lekman – Night Falls Over Kortadala
37) Ponytail – Kamehameha
38) Comet Gain – City Fallen Leaves
39) Unicorns – Who Will Cut Our Hair When We’re Gone
40) Handsome Family – Last Days of Wonder
41) Wussy – Funeral Dress
42) Magnetic Fields – Distortion
43) Tom Waits – Orphans
44) At the Drive in – Relationship of Command
45) Wilco – Sky Blue Sky
46) Bjork – Vespertine
47) Coup – Party Music
48) Wire – Send
49) Spoon – Kill the Moonlight
50) Mos Def – Ecstatic
51) Bang on a Can – Terry Riley in C
52) Clinic – Winchester Catherdral
53) Lucinda Williams – West
54) Bright Eyes – Cassadaga
55) Radiohead – In Rainbows
56) Modest Mouse – The Moon and Antartica
57) Clem Snide – End of Love
58) Times New Viking – Rip it Off
59) Fugazi – The Argument
60) Lou Reed – Ecstacy
61) Beirut – Gulag Orchestra
62) Wide Right – Sleeping on the Couch
63) Against Me – New Wave
64) Best Bootlegs in the World…Ever
65) Atmosphere – God Loves Ugly
66) TV On the Radio – Dear Science
67) Cold War Kids – Loyalty to Loyalty
68) Art Brut – Bang Bang Rock and Roll
69) Ghostface Killa – Supreme Clientle
70) Panda Bear – Person Pitch
71) The Ponys – Laced with Romance
72) Electric Six – Fire
73) Bottle Rockets – Blue Sky
74) Robbie Fulks – Georgia Hard
75) Arrogant Sons of Bitches – Arrogant Sons of Bitches
76) NOFX – War on Errorism
77) Four Tet – Everything Ecstatic
78) Sufjan Stevens – Illinois
79) Andrew WK – I Get Wet
80) Rilo Kiley – More Adventurious
81) Imperial Teen – On
82) Sonic Youth – Sonic Nurse
83) Handsome Family – Twilight
84) Fountains of Wayne – Welcome Interstate Managers
85) Mastodon – Leviathan
86) Postal Service – Give Up
87) MIA – Kala
88) Bell Orchestre – Recording a Tape the Colour of the Light
89) Burial – Untrue
90) Arcade Fire – Funeral
91) David Lang – Passing Measures
92) Old 97’s – Blame it on Gravity
93) Coup – Pick a Bigger Weapon
94) Bob Dylan – Modern Times
95) Go Betweens – Friends of Rachel Worth
96) No Age – Weirdo Rippers
97) Boris – Smile
98) New Pornographers – Mass Romantic
99) Broken Social Scene – Broken Social Scene
100) Tenacious D – The Pick of Destiny
101) Lightning Bolt – Ride the Skies
102) Hold Steady – Boys and Girls in America
103) Dangerdoom – The Mouse and the Mask
104) A Place to Bury Strangers – A Place to Bury Strangers

Honorable Mentions:
Green Day – Warning
It’s that album that you gave to your girlfriend in high school for Christmas, then on new years eve she decides to break up with you on the phone, saying she’s just too busy for a relationship, and then starts dating one of your much-weirder-then-yourself friends two weeks later (the same guy that your last girlfriend broke up with you for also 2 weeks after saying that she was too busy to be in a relationship though you’re not as bitter about that) because her schedule opened up I guess and when she finds out that he’s really a freak she calls you to complain about him and ask you why your friend is so weird…wait where was I? Oh yeah: fuck you Jennifer, this counts as calling you back 8 years later.

Ponytail – Ice Cream Spiritual!
Times New Viking – Present the Paisley Reich
Weezer – Green Album
Blink 182 – Take off your pants and jacket
The Willowz – The Willowz
Cornershop – Handcream for a Generation
Foundry Field Recordings – Promts/Miscues
Futureheads – Futureheads
Atmosphere – Lucy Ford
Rancid – Indestructable
Shins – Chutes Too Narrow
Mos Def – New Danger
Battles – Mirrored
Bouncing Souls – How I Spent My Summer Vacation
David S. Ware – Surrendered
Sonny Rollins – Roadshows Vol 1

EP’s I can Remember:
Descendents – ‘Merican EP
Yo La Tengo – Today is the Day EP
Gogol Bordello – East Infection EP
NOFX – Never Trust a Hippie EP
Fugazi – Furniture
Broken Social Scene – EP To Be You and Me
Los Campesinos! – Sticking Fingers into Sockets

One thought on “Johnny Tigs Picks His Favorite Albums of the Decade (…that I can remember)

  1. jesus tigs, you’ve got about 150 albums on there. I think Rolling Stone should have asked you. Nicely done. I’m trying to do one too… maybe soon… AND Oh yea, Fuck You Jennifer!

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