Posted by: cousinbrandon | August 28, 2009

“The Mixes” Series: Storm and Calm, 2002

Way back when I wrote my recap of my 2008 mixes, Feast and Famine, you’ll recall that I included my “Year End List Rules,” as well as my top 20 albums of 2002.  Well, seeing as how I’m now jotting down my 2002 mixes, I thought I’d include that list here once again, sans the record descriptions and such:

TOP 20 OF ‘02

20. The French Kicks – One Time Bells (StarTime)
19. Elf Power – Creatures (spinART)
18. Secret Machines – September 000 (Ace Fu)
17. Godspeed You Black Emperor – Yanqui U.X.O. (Constellation)
16. Swearing At Motorists – This Flag Signals Goodbye (Secretly Canadian)
15. Beck – Sea Change (Geffen)
14. John Vanderslice – Life and Death of an American Fourtracker (Barsuk)
13. The Decemberists – Castaways and Cutouts (Hush)
12. The Flaming Lips – Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots (Warner Brothers)
11. Richard Buckner – Impasse (Overcoat)
10. Enon – High Society (Touch And Go)
09. Badly Drawn Boy – Have You Fed the Fish? (XL-Recordings)
08. Interpol – Turn On the Bright Lights (Matador)
07. Sigur Ros – ( ) (Fatcat/Pias/MCA)
06. Elvis Costello – When I Was Cruel (Island Records)
05. …And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead – Source Tags and Codes
04. Spoon – Kill the Moonlight (Merge)
03. Wilco – Yankee Hotel Foxtrot (Nonesuch)
02. The Good Life – Black Out (Saddle Creek)
01. Do Make Say Think – & Yet & Yet (Constellation)

Hard to believe that in the above reviews, Pitchfork assigned a perfect 10.0 to not one of these albums, but two!  That’s right, Pitchfork gave both Source Tags and Codes and Yankee Hotel Foxtrot perfect scores.  Quite an accomplishment, really.  Granted, this was also 2002, and I believe Pitchfork was handing out 10s more haphazardly.  I don’t say this to take anything away from either album; rather, just pointing out that a perfect Pitchfork score is less common these days.

In retrospect, I think I would have done a good bit of not only reordering my list, but adding (and deleting) certain records, as well.  For instance, I would have added Snowglobe’s Our Land Brains, Hot Snakes’ Suicide Invoice, and Silkworm’s Lifestyle.  To make room for them, I suppose I’d cut The French Kicks One Time Bells, Secret Machines’ September 000, and, surprisingly, Richard Buckner’s Impasse.  (Sorry, Richard, but it just doesn’t hold up as well as your other work.)   

So, without further delay, here’s 2002 in a nutshell:

Storm (The Best “Fast” Tracks of 2002):

1. The Flaming Lips – “Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, Pt. 2
2. The Good Life – “The Beaten Path
3. Enon – “Leave It to Rust
4. Swearing at Motorists – “Over the Middle Bridge
5. Pedro the Lion – “Rapture
6. Hot Snakes – “Suicide Invoice
7. Rocket From the Crypt – “I Can’t Feel My Head
8. Queens of the Stone Age – “No One Knows
9. …And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead – “Relative Ways
10. Ben Kweller – “No Reason
11. Desaparecidos – “The Happiest Place on Earth
12. The Lot Six – “Devil Town”
13. Interpol – “Obstacle 1
14. Guided By Voices – “Back to the Lake
15. Spoon – “Something to Look Forward To
16. Damien Jurado & Gathered in Song – “Birdcage
17. Silkworm – “The Third
18. Secret Machines – “Breathe
19. Elf Power – “Things That Should Not Be”
20. Mates of State – “Halves and Have-Nots
21. The Decemberists – “July, July!
22. Elvis Costello – “15 Petals
23. Matt Pond PA – “Summer is Coming
24. The Breeders – “Son of Three
25. The Libertines – “What a Waster

Calm (The Best “Slow” Tracks of 2002):

1. The Breeders – “T and T
2. The Apples in Stereo – “Baroque
3. The Anniversary – “Sweet Marie
4. Swearing at Motorists – “Doors are Closing
5. Badly Drawn Boy – “You Were Right
6. Snowglobe – “Dream Works
7. Elvis Costello – “Tart
8. The Decemberists – “Grace Cathedral Hill
9. Richard Buckner – “Loaded @ the Wrong Door
10. Silkworm – “The Old You
11. The Flaming Lips – “Do You Realize?
12. Interpol – “NYC
13. John Vanderslice – “The Mansion
14. Elk City – “Football
15. Wilco – “Radio Cure
16. The Good Life – “Off the Beaten Path
17. The Lot Six – “The Tiniest Tin”
18. …And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead – “Source Tags and Codes
19. Do Make Say Think – “Soul and Onward

Sweet lord!  That’s 44 tracks for 2002.  Get after it.

Disagree with any of my picks?  Are there any horrible oversights?  Can’t live without your own copy of my mix?  Whatever the case, feel free to send me your comments, questions, quips and complaints.

Until next time, have at it, you vultures!




  1. Hi,
    It makes me happy to see the Costello record so high on your list. I always felt like that one was kind of undersold. I really like that record a great deal.
    I’m surprised to not see Deerhoof. You strike me as someone who would be into the Deerhoof thing. Also, and I guess I can answer it myself with the record being more about being a solid record than having real stand-out tracks, but what about Doug Martsch’s solo record? There’s also, though the record kind of loses me after about 3 or 4 consecutive tracks, but Jason Loewenstein’s song NYCIII is a great track.
    I also like Aimee Mann’s Lost In Space a lot.

    Anyways. I really like what I know on the list, and I look forward to looking into the stuff I don’t know. I was wondering, I see “The Good Life” pop up on your lists, and they don’t really have anything listenable on Could you recommend a starting album for them?

    Thanks a lot for writing these. I’ve been in kind of a rut lately and excited to have new stuff to check out. You’ve certainly provided a wealth of it. Take care.

  2. Couldn’t agree more, Travis, that Costello’s When I Was Cruel flew way under the radar. “Episode of Blonde” is another stellar track from that album.

    While I do enjoy Deerhoof, I didn’t check it out until after the year had passed, thus its absence from my list. And, yeah, Doug Martsch’s solo record was solid, as well. By the way, the new Built to Spill should be out next month. Totally stoked.

    As far as The Good Life goes, pick up Black Out but quick. That record is absolutely dynamite.

  3. Thanks for the tip Brandon. I’ll grab that one. I got into some of the stuff from the lists today and I’m really liking a lot of it. Probably most notably so far are Snowglobe, Do Make Say Think, and Andrew Bird who I had heard of on a few occasions, but never actually heard any of his music. Some really nice tracks.

    Thanks for the tip on the Built to Spill record coming up. I’m not so good about keeping up on what’s around the corner. That is really exciting news.

    Well, thanks again for putting these lists up. Have a great weekend.

  4. A final note: I urge — URGE — you to grab all things Do Make Say Think. They might be the finest band putting out music at the moment, and not a lick of lyrics. (Well, actually, they sing on two songs, but I digress.) Make sure to grab & Yet & Yet. It’s brilliant.

  5. Thanks a lot for that. I actually have a tangible list, and I’ve moved & Yet & Yet basically to the top of it. I’ll probably pick it up next week when my records budget reloads. I checked out a couple of tracks from Winter Hymn Country Hymn Secret Hymn and I liked what I heard quite a bit.

    Also, great tip on Black Out. I grabbed it and listened to it today for the first time and I dig it a lot. I think there is room to grow too with multiple listenings.

    Thanks again.

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