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!