Posted by: cousinbrandon | December 22, 2009

The “Miscellaneous” Mixes: The Best of 2001

This is disappointing. For one reason or another, not only can I not find any of my Best of the Year mixes pre-2002, but I can’t even seem to get my hands on my Records of the Year lists. (If any of you have them, please, I urge you to email them my way. And when I say “you,” well, you people know who you are.) So, with that, the title of this post is somewhat misleading. This isn’t my Best of 2001 mix; rather, it’s once again a Cousin Matt original.

Beginning in 2003, Cousin Matt moved to the “double-disc” format for his end-of-year mixes. In 2001 and 2002, though, he was still putting out only one CD of music to encapsulate the year’s best. Unlike me, Cousin Matt always “ordered” his year-end mixes in a countdown format. That is, where my mixes were based on transitioning from one song to the next in terms of what “felt” right, his mixes were a countdown of his favorite songs of the year. Admirable, yes, but also interesting that the two of us could take such opposite approaches. (Again, music nerds, if you’ve not read and watched High Fidelity by now, you’re sorely missing out.) So, track #1 below is actually his 20th favorite track of the year, and so on down the line.

There’s one song in particular on this list that I think requires some comment/explanation. If you aren’t familiar with The Avalanches’ Since I Left You, it’s well worth picking up, and not just because it’s an “interesting” record. It was pushed back for quite some time in terms of distribution, and, I believe, was originally released in 2000 in Australia. It didn’t see American/UK release until 2001. Nevertheless, what makes it such an astounding record is that it essentially acts as the precursor to acts like Girl Talk. Since I Left You comprises over 900 samples, and was met with a great deal of resistance based on licensing issues. These days those same issues exist in the music industry, but it’s somehow more “acceptable,” and at the very least more common. In any event, if you see the Pitchfork review above (from 1999, I might add), you’ll see that they, too, loved it, and rightfully so.

The Best of 2001 front cover.

The Best of 2001 back cover.

The Best of 2001

1. Benton Falls – “All These Things”
2. Aereogramme – “Post-Tour, Pre-Judgment
3. Buellton – “Single”
4. The White Stripes – “The Same Boy You’ve Always Known
5. Jim O’Rourke – “Memory Lame
6. Mazarin – “Suicide Will Make You Happy
7. Death Cab For Cutie – “I Was a Kaleidoscope
8. Beulah – “Popular Mechanics for Lovers
9. Weezer – “Simple Pages
10. Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci – “Christina
11. Radiohead – “You and Whose Army?
12. Clem Snide – “Let’s Explode
13. The Shins – “Girl Inform Me
14. Stephen Malkmus – “Jenny and the Ess-Dog
15. The Mink Lungs – “Think of Me”
16. Les Savy Fav – “Pills
17. The New Pornographers – “Letter From an Occupant
18. The Avalanches – “Frontier Psychiatrist
19. The Dismemberment Plan – “The Face of the Earth
20. Juno – “When I Was In _____

Well, there you have it. The latest edition of the “Miscellaneous” Mixes series, all neatly wrapped for the holidays. In the coming days I’ll be featuring the rest of Cousin Matt’s year-end CDs, as well as my Best of 2009 CDs (which, by the way, are finished).

By the way, I’d like to make special mention of one of my readers, @WakingUpWithRobots, who so generously mailed me not one, not two, but five CDs worth of music that arrived on my doorstep yesterday. Well done, Sir. A kind holiday gesture, indeed.

Until next time, have at it, you vultures!




  1. Thanks for that Brandon. It’s really the least I could do for all the stuff that these posts have turned me on to, particularly as I have been really feeling trapped in a status quo within my library. Thanks a lot man. I hope you dig the cds.

    This is a good opportunity to say that The Coast Is Never Clear worked out really nicely for me. Thanks for that, Matt too.

    2001 was one hell of a year, and I’m pretty excited because I as much as I probably know more of this list than most of the others so far, there is plenty of stuff to look into. I’m really intrigued by that Avalanches description. I hadn’t heard of them before. I also have to pick up that Clem Snide album. I listened to it on and really enjoyed it.

    A lot of great stand outs, but I wanted to point out that the White Stripes tune is my favorite song of theirs. Really great choice. Jenny and the Ess Dog is another one too. Love that song. Great stuff. There are a couple of omissions that I would ask about, but I’m looking over my library and 2001 and it was a really amazing year. Pretty hard not to leave stuff out. Wow (I knew it was a good year, but I forgot just how good it was).

    Great post, and great cd Matt. Have a good one.

    • I still say that if you’re going to pick up Beulah for the first time, you want to get your hands on When Your Heartstrings Break. It’s a brilliant, beautiful record.

      Yes, the Avalanches record makes for outstanding party music. And, yes, you must get your hands on Clem Snide’s The Ghost of Fashion. Outstanding record.

      If I ever manage to locate my 2001 list, I’ll post it up here somewhere.

      • I hope you come up with it. I’m really curious to see what your take was.

        I think I see gift cards, and thus at the very least the Clem Snide record in my future (along with some other recommendations of yours). Also speaking of 2001, I picked up It’s A Wonderful Life yesterday (I had listened to it on before). That one is making me very happy.

  2. I feel so mainstream… I only know of like five of these bands, and they’re stuff like Weezer, Radiohead, Death Cab and The Shins. Well, excluding The Dismemberment Plan – I heart them a lot. I shall be… acquiring… some of these songs in the next few days, because I need some new music to type entries to.

  3. thanks for including the mink lungs!!
    from the lungs

    • As always, Tim, it’s my pleasure. The Better Button is one of my favorites.

    • Hi.
      “Think of Me” is you guys? I checked it out and it’s a very cool song. I’ll have to check out the whole record.
      Have a good one.

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