Sparklehorse
It’s A Wonderful Life
Everything you could hope for from a raw and ragged melancholic pop suite.

American Analog Set
Know By Heart
AmAnSet try their hands at an organic pop album whose beauties are simple and pure.

Low & Dirty Three
In The Fishtank
Two of my favorite bands get together for this exquisitely beautiful EP. An elegant balance of styles ranging from the enchanting chamber folk of ‘When I Called Upon Your Seed’ to the ambient blues rendition of Neil Young’s ‘Down By The River’. Each song finds the two bands effortlessly slipping in between the grooves of the other in lithe polyphony.

Bob Dylan
Love and Theft
Who else can match Bob? For wit and craft and the lovely surprises, this album is peerless. If Elvis Costello starts finding his muse again we might have a contender…

The Shins
Oh, Inverted World
Transmitted from some other world, it sounds at once foreign and familiar. Deft songwriting, uncanny melodies and a true pleasure for those who remember great albums.

Pernice Brothers
The World Won’t End
Resplendent hybrid of white soul, orchestral pop, and confessional country. A troubador for the lovesick weary, Joe Pernice has the rare gift of pairing sullen words with buoyant melodicism. The World Won’t End drips with the shivering beauty of Nick Drake’s Bryter Later but fleshed out in rich tones and harmonies, less rural/mystical, more urban/ miserable. Pretty as anything.

The Strokes
Is This It? (import)
Despite the ridiculous hype…it’s a great fucking record. Television and Velvet Underground cut down to their choicest three minutes in a song.

Sigur Ros
Agaetis Byrjun
Epic guitar dirge; mournful, uplifting. These Icelanders combine the majestic textures of godspeed you black emperor and a singer possesed with the vocal acrobatics of Jeremy Enigk for a moody, cinematic work. Remarkable.

The New Pornographers
Mass Romantic
Impeccable pop goodness that kicks in your head and pours sugar in the wound

Rebecca Gates
Ruby Series
After Bjork destroyed my heart in Dancer, I didn’t have it in me to fall in love with her new stuff…until Rebecca’s soft hewn lullabies nursed me back to health

Too Many Other Greats:
Neu! Re-releases
Bjork, Vespertine
Radiohead, Amnesiac
Tortoise, Standards
Mogwai, Rock Action
Guided By Voices, Isolation Drills
Low, Things We Lost In The Fire
Big Tobacco, s/t

s h o w s :
Belle & Sebastian @ Wiltern, LA
The Shins @ Great American Music Hall, SF
Tortoise @ Canes, SD
Sparklehorse @ Belly Up, SD
New Pornographers @ Casbah, SD
Pernice Brothers @ Starry Plough, SF

 

One Response to Best of 2001

  1. Ben says:

    Zac,

    This is your old friend ben (of the Eureka to golden gate bicycle adventure variety). Not sure how else to get a hold of you so hope you get this comment. I’m going to be in SF in march, would be fun to see you. Shoot me an email sometime-> ben.mcgee.good at gmail.

    Very nice blog by the way.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *