Wow, everybody. It is officially December! The last month of the year. The last month of the decade! Most people complain that time goes by too fast. I usually say that myself -- but it has been a long decade. Remember Y2K? That really does seem so long ago. I don't think that the 00's will ever be remembered as such a decade as the 70's or 80' or 90's. It really seemed like all of those decades got smashed together to form this last decade. But does anybody ever really talk about the 1900's? Or even the 1910's? It really is all about the 20's! It will be interesting when the 2020's come to an end. I guess the 1920's might be forgotten by then but still, you will have to be specific when you say the 20's...although not that many people think you are referring to the 1880's when you say "80's."
The 80's came back in a big way these last 10 years -- the music and fashion for sure. The 90's will always be remembered by me for certain genres of music. I will always remember it as the decade of raves and electronica. I got into all this music in this decade and it reached the height of its popularity in the 90's. Britpop and Teen Pop also took over. I was into listening to Blur, Suede, Pulp, Gene, Elastica, and Oasis while most everyone else was listening to The Spice Girls, N SYNC, The Backstreet Boys, Christina Aguilera, and Britney Spears. The beginning of the decade was really all about grunge though. Nirvana and Soundgarden somehow faded into Britney and The Spice Girls by the end of the decade.
This decade will be remembered for American Idol and reality TV. It all started with shows like Survivor but now everybody has a reality show. It will be remembered for digital music and Ipods. DVD and Blurays. I think that indie labels really took over this decade too. Labels like Matador, Sub Pop, Touch and Go, and Secretly Canadian put out some of the best music of the decade. Indie music of the 2000's sort of came out of the Alternative 90's. It will also be the decade that marked the end of most chain Music Stores. I think the early 00's were probably the best time for most records stores -- or at least the very late 90's and very early 2000's. However, the good times did not last long. In the second half of the 00's, many indie stores closed down as well. Still, many have survived and these last couple of years have even seen new small indie music stores popping up all over the place.
This decade has maybe seemed long for me because I moved so many times. I moved down to Los Angeles in August 2001 to help open up the Hollywood Amoeba. A year later I moved back to San Francisco, spent a good 6 years up there and then moved back to Los Angeles, again, a couple of years ago. It is always kind of hard to look at a decade right as it is ending. I never really thought of the 80's as a decade when I lived in it. And I really never thought of 90's music being "90's Music" until well into this current decade. It takes a while to reflect back on a decade. You need a couple of years' distance to know what stays with you. Albums and movies that may have been super important to you at the time might not mean so much in a couple of years. Other albums may not have seemed so important to you at the time but 10 years later they become so much more important. The albums and movies that you experience get attached to memories and people and become more important because of the other memories that they are attached to.
I always work on my top 50 albums of the year in December but this month I am also working on my tops of the decade. I am gonna do a list of my top 100 movies of the 00's. I did one for the 70's and 80's already. I also have one for the 90's that I never posted on the blog. I am also doing my favorite albums of this last decade. I will probably do a list of 100. At this point it seems so much easier to do a top 100 albums of the 90's, so maybe I will just do that list instead. I think it will be easier to do a top 100 of the 2000's in a couple of years. We will see how much I can get done in these next couple of weeks. I would also like to do a review of my favorite concerts and live shows of the last decade. Maybe I will even have time to make a list of my favorite TV shows of the decade.
Every year around this time the music releases slow down. It is sort of the exact opposite of movies. If an album has not come out by now it usually is not coming out this year. There are always a couple of releases that sneak in to the end of the year but not many. Susan Boyle's I Dreamed A Dream... came out last week and might end up being the quickest selling album of the year. R. Kelly comes out this week. Alicia Keys comes out 12/15. Mary J. Blige comes out 12/21. And that is it. You have to wait until next year for your new Beach House, Vampire Weekend, Goldfrapp. 2010 will also have new albums from Spoon, The National, Liars, MGMT, LCD Soundsystem, Interpol, Massive Attack, Magnetic Fields, Joanna Newsom, Beck, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Arcade Fire, Glass Candy, CSS, Xiu Xiu, !!!, Panda Bear, The Shins, Sigur Ros, Four Tet, Hot Chip, Frightened Rabbit, The Hold Steady, Los Campesinos!, and maybe a new Radiohead! So yeah...there is a lot to look forward to next year. But there have also been some great albums out this year too. You will see my list soon enough...
The end of the year is always the best time for movies. This is mostly because of the way the Oscars are run. All the Oscar hopefuls come out at the end of the year. It is always better to be fresh in people's memories when it comes time to pick the Oscar nominees. This is not always the case. Maybe people forgot how bad Crash was. That might be how it walked away with Best Picture a couple of years ago. This last month has already seen the release of Precious, Where the Wild Things Are, Fantastic Mr. Fox, and The Road. This weekend will see the release of Brothers, Up in the Air, and The Last Station. On December 11th we get Invictus, The Lovely Bones, and A Single Man! December 18th brings Avatar, Nine, and Crazy Heart. December 25th is Sherlock Holmes! I have already decided that A Single Man and Avatar will be two of my favorites of the decade. I am just basing this on the trailers and what I have heard about these movies but I don't think I will be wrong.
So I might not be listening to many new albums this month but I will be in the movie theater a couple of times a week all this month. And I will be listening to my favorite albums of the year trying to figure out what to put in my top 10. The hardest thing for me is to figure out what is #10 and what is #11. It is an important transition point in a list. It will be keeping me up at night.
There really has not been a whole lot out the last couple of weeks. But here are a couple of things that got my attention...
also out 11/17...
Don't Stop by Annie
Two Suns-Special Edition by Bat For Lashes
Beak by Beak
Swords-Deluxe Version by Morrissey
Them Crooked Vultures by Them Crooked Vultures
Bird-Brains by Tune-Yards
also out 11/23...
Fever Ray-Deluxe Edition by Fever Ray
Ghostly International Presents: Moongadget
Not Fade Away (BOX SET) by Buddy Holly
For Your Own Special Sweetheart (REISSUE) by Jawbox
Catalogue (BOX SET) by Kraftwerk
For Your Entertainment by Adam Lambert
Rated R by Rihanna
She Wolf by Shakira