Time Capsule – 2001

Music has been very close to my heart since I took up violin and heard Weezer’s first record both at age 8.  And my listmaking obsession dates back just as far.  In this post (which may become a series if Greg wouldn’t mind sharing his 2001 ‘Time Capsule’), I’d like to reflect upon some of the music I loved according to a list from 2001, embarrassing admissions and all.

The Beta Band’s Hot Shots II, Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy’s Ease Down the Road, Andrew Bird’s The Swimming Hour, Björk’s Vespertine, Bob Dylan’s “Love and Theft”, Fugazi’s The Argument, Lift to Experience’s The Texas-Jerusalem Crossroads, Mogwai’s Rock Music, Pinback’s Blue Screen Life, Spiritualized’s Let It Come Down and Spoon’s Girls Can Tell are just some of the many great records released in 2001 that I was completely unaware of at the time.  I will say that I frankly disliked The Strokes, Modest Mouse and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs at the time and I still wouldn’t consider myself a fan.  Sorry.

Alien Ant Farm ANThology — Since I’m listing these in alphabetical order, I suppose it’s good that I can get the most pathetic pick out of the way immediately.  Fourteen was a fortunate age for me: I had outgrown Blink-182’s Enema of the State and Incubus’ Make Yourself, and had not yet given myself entirely over to ‘screamo’ (let alone ‘Christian screamo’).  But I was unable to escape a love for Alien Ant Farm.  This record made sense to me at age fourteen for the following reasons:

  • I loved the album’s packaging – great designs and Photoshopped images of the band members in various historical settings, like a historical ANThology!
  • The single ‘Movies‘ captivated my adolescent mind with its catchy chorus and entertaining music video: so many amazing film references (Ghostbusters, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, The Karate Kid and Edward Scissorhands) and a cameo with Mr Myagi!
  • Singer Dryden Mitchell (whose name I always romantically associated with NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center) had an INVERTED MOHAWK.  HOW COULD I RESIST AN INVERTED MOHAWK???
  • I was in love with guitarist Terry Corso’s custom Schecter 006 guitar.

Despite all of these excellent reasons, I do not listen to them now.

Converge Jane Doe — 2001 had its lows, but it also had its highs!  Converge’s Jane Doe represents one of the highest of the highs.  This record revolutionised music for me and remains one of my absolute favourite albums.

Perhaps I found Jane Doe so palatable as a result of conditioning via hardcore and metal bands I was already listening to such as Black Flag, Minor Threat, Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden and Slayer listener.  Along with being my gateway to Converge (who is among my Top 20 Bands), Jane Doe spurned my interest in many other great metal/metalcore acts such as Botch, Coalesce, Curl Up & Die, Unearth, Cave In and Daughters.  Do I listen to them now?  Yes.

The Hives Veni Vidi Vicious — ‘Hate to Say I Told You So’ was the first Hives song I ever heard.  It’s simplicity and raw energy enlivened my spirit.  Upon further inspection I discovered Veni Vidi Vicious, as well as The Hives’ previous record, Barely Legal.

The Hives were able to channel something primal about rock-and-roll while giving us something accessible and new, and they did it with exquisite pomp and style, complete with matching wardrobes and an excellent stage presence.  Their 2004 record Tyrannosaurus Hives demonstrated a great progression, and while 2007’s The Black and While Album proved less strong, it is still a highly enjoyable record.  Do I listen to them now?  Yes.

Jimmy Eat World Bleed American — ‘Bleed American’ was the first track I heard from this record, and after purchasing the record I found every track to be incredibly enjoyable (especially ‘Sweetness’ and it’s quiet/loud alternation).

After this record (and after seeing the band open for Weezer that year) I developed a great appreciation for their previous records: Jimmy Eat World (1994), Static Prevails (1996) and Clarity (1999).  But alas, by the time of their 2004 release, Futures, I had lost interest.  Do I listen to them now?  No.

Ozma Rock and Roll Part Three — On the coattails of Weezer I happened upon Ozma, a band named after L. Frank Baum’s Princess Ozma from his children’s fantasy novels.  Ozma captialised on Weezer’s pioneering geek-rock style and added some Casio, musical complexity and yet-more-wicked guitar licks (compare Rock and Roll with Weezer’s self-titled record from the same year [also known as The Green Album] and you’ll hear a striking difference).

They have since retained a special place in my heart due to their persistence as a pop-rock goldmine with the release of The Double Donkey Disc (2001/2002), Spending Time on the Borderline (2003) and (after a brief hiatus) Pasadena (2007).  Do I listen to them now?  Yes.

Radiohead Kid A/Amnesiac — For everyone who reached adolescence in the late 90s, ‘Karma Police’ from 1997’s OK Computer was the pinnacle of song, yet Kid A somehow managed to blow that all out of the water.  I remember when I first heard ‘Optimistic’ on the radio, which compelled me to buy the record.

I had no idea what I was in store for, considering ‘Optimistic’ would prove to be one of the weaker (though still incredible) tracks on the record.  Radiohead’s production had become more complex and experimental and Kid A would come to completely change the way I appreciate, experience and create music from thereon out.  This record is still a frequent listen and certainly one of my all-time favourites.

Saves the Day Stay What You Are — As with most other albums on this list, my purchase of Stay What You Are was inspired by the single ‘At Your Funeral’.

Saves the Day’s previous record, Through Being Cool, appealed to my emo and pop-punk tendencies, so it seemed like a good idea to investigate their new record.  Upon my first listen I wasn’t very pleased with half of the record, but over time it grew on me and became one of my high school favourites.  Their follow-up to Stay What You Are, In Reverie, proved to be more poppy less ambitious and I began to fall out of love with the band before their return to a more pop-punk sound.  Do I listen to them now?  Occasionally.

Thrice Identity Crisis — Unlike many other albums on this list (the only exceptions being the Converge and Ozma records), I did not learn about Identity Crisis from the radio.  In 2001 Thrice was still very much a local act, and fortunately for me, some of my friends had recently seen Thrice in concert.  I was told that they were ‘melodic hardcore’, and when I purchased this record I fell deeply in love with their music.

My love for Thrice was only intensified with the 2002 release of Illusion of Safety, which I considered a massive step forward for the band.  Unfortunately it was only a matter of time before Thrice would gain radio play, and in 2003 they released The Artist in the Ambulance and my heart was broken upon hearing the single ‘All That’s Left’ on a popular radio station.  Thrice had lost their edge and sounded like a dull rock band (though I want to take care not to lower them to the ranks of acts like Nickelback).  After Illusion of Safety I never bought another Thrice record and have had a difficult time ‘getting into’ their latest records.  While Identity Crisis was groundbreaking to me at the time (and along with Illusion of Safety has a few tracks that I still consider quite good), I no longer consider myself a fan and I do not recall the last time I was hankerin’ for a listen.

Thursday Full Collapse — Ah Full Collapse…thus began my high school interest in ‘screamo’.  What could be better than combining the genres of hardcore and emo?  Well, many things, and while I was an avid listener to ‘cultured’ bands like Radiohead, screamo occupied another place in my heart and mind.  Thursday was at the top of the screamo food chain, and there was certainly something special to me about hearing the screams from ‘Cross Out the Eyes’ playing on MTV in the morning before school.

My fascination with Thursday and screamo didn’t end at Full Collapse.  It wasn’t until some point between 2003’s War All the Time (which I loved) and 2006’s A City by the Light Divided (which I had no interest in) that the genre had totally dropped out of my listening queue.  Do I listen to them now?  No.

The White Stripes White Blood Cells — I recall hearing the track ‘Hello Operator’ from the White Stripes album De Stijl at some point in 2000, but it wasn’t until I heard ‘Fell in Love with a Girl’ that I felt this great compulsion to buy a White Stripes record.

White Blood Cells proved to be an excellent investment, with all of its garage-rock-revival sloppiness (and what Meg White lacked in percussive skill she made up for in keeping time).  Every record they produced (as they have officially announced their breakup this year) contained a bit of this genius, the sort of quality that can give us hope in the future of popular music.  Do I listen to them now?  Yes.

+++++

I stand by 60% of these albums now – I wonder whether that is a good or bad sign.

What were your favourite bands/albums in 2001?  How have they fared a decade later?

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About Elijah

My name is Elijah and I am a proud Angeleño-Glaswegian. I serve as Minister of Queen's Park Govanhill Parish Church. My other interests include life in active community, writing, performing and partaking of music, collecting vinyl records, hiking/outdoors, urban exploration, Celtic FC and the Detroit Tigers.

4 responses to “Time Capsule – 2001”

  1. Greg says :

    That new time capsule logo is incredibly next level.
    You never cease to amaze me…

  2. Greg says :

    Well, if no one else is going to play, at least I will!

    Some bands/albums I wish I’d been listening to include: Lift to Experience (it would have been so amazing to see them play!), Hayden’s “Skyscraper National Park”, Muse’s “Origin of Symmetry” (I know you’re not a fan Elijah, but this is an incredible album), and Low’s “Things We Lost in the Fire”. I was into “Kid A”, but did not really like “Amnesiac” as much at the time…it’s grown on me.

    I didn’t start making top albums lists until 2003, but here would be my top ten in alphabetical order with comments…

    1. Clem Snide-The Ghost of Fashion: Snarky indie-South that hasn’t aged well. No longer listen to them.
    2. Death Cab for Cutie-The Photo Album: Loved it at the time, some songs still stand out, but I gave up on DCfC after Transatlanticism.
    3. Ed Harcourt-Here Be Monsters: this is timeless in parts and dismissable in others…Ed is on my B-list today.
    4. Elbow-Asleep in the Back: one of my favorite albums & still a dedicated Elbow fan.
    5. Jack Johnson-Brushfire Fairytales: this feels rather like a guilty secret now that he’s become so soft rock, but at the time, I really dug this album. Most of this album hasn’t hit my playlist in years…but who knows.
    6. Pete Yorn-musicforthemorningafter: Pete has been in a gradual state of decline since this debut, but for my money, many of the songs are still as lovely as the day I first heard them–“On Your Side” is probably one of the most played songs on my iTunes
    7. The Shins-Oh, Inverted World: absolutely still holds up. This album can transport me into a beautiful version of my past.
    8. The Strokes-Is This It?: overall, I think this captures a particular sound quite well and will be somewhat of a timeless record. But I never bought anything else from them and they seem like d-bags (except the drummer).
    9. Travis-The Invisible Band: classic pop then and now, though they’ve seemed to have lost the touch (“did you have a touch to lose?” you were thinking, were you not Elijah?)
    10. Amelie soundtrack: I don’t know that I ever bought the album but so many cuts made it onto mixes I was given that I think I have the whole album. Still like it!

    (I forgot to add Pedro the Lion’s “The Only Reason I Feel Secure” about which I definitely had mixed feelings at the time. And still do.)

  3. Grant Morgan says :

    I share many of artists from both your lists(Elijah and Greg)

    1.At midnight when Kid A came out KTRI 97.1(Rice University Radio) in Houston played it in it’s entirety. I had just got off of work as a waiter and l enjoyed the 30 minute drive home as Radiohead blew my mind. When they finished the album, the DJ said “Screw it, let’s play it again” so I sat in my driveway and let the music sink in. This experience is one of my most fondest I’ve ever had with “discovering” new music.(I was a casual Radiohead fan until after Kid A)

    I still listen to 2.Ozma, 3.The White Stripes, 4.Jimmy Eat World, 5.Saves The Day, 6.Pete Yorn, 7.Travis.

    8.Finch-Falling Into Place EP got me into “screamo” music for a short time. I have to say I’m glad with the direction they went with their later albums, Say Hello To Sunshine, and Finch EP(I would disagree with most people who say “What It Is To Burn” is their best album)

    9.Get Up Kids-Something To Write Home About, even though technically I think this album came out before 2001 it was in heavy rotation in my cars CD player as well as on my computer via Windows Media Player. Sometimes when I’m nostalgic I pull the GUK on my new shiny iTunes!!

    ***sidenote-I always thought Jimmy Eat World, The Get Up Kids, and Saves The Day should do a show together. This should could be a place where JEWs and GUKs could get together and share STDs.(a little racist I admit, but come on. I was 18 and thought I was some sort of indie/emo comedian)

    10.Dashboard Confessional-The Places You Have Come To Fear The Most, The DADGAD acoustic guitar and totally stripped down arrangements hooked me while the mild sexuality of the lyrics made me want to go out and get a girlfriend and promptly break up with her so I could feel what Chris Carraba was singing about. I never got into any of his other stuff and again only listen to the DC when I want to feel the way I did back then.

    Honorable Mention-In 2001 I also got real into Fiona Apple and discovered some of the “less popular” songs on Tidal and The Pawn… I never really knew the depth of her voice which complimented some of her most haunting lyrics-Never Is A Promise.

    I also started getting into Mike Patton alot around 2000/2001 mostly Mr. Bungle and Fantomas at that point of time. I think Mike Patton is a freakin GENIUS and I always love me some Mr. Bungle or Tomahawk. His most recent album Mondo Cane is amazing as well. What a versatile voice and such an eclectic style. If you think you can handle some of the weirdest stuff you’ll ever hear, delve into the world of Mike Patton.

    Thank you Elijah, for bringing me back 10 years and remembering who I was and how some of this music shaped my life/worldview.

  4. Grant Morgan says :

    I have to add that in Fall 2000 I met some Brittish kids on some sort of exchange program at my jr. college who played an cover of a little song called “Yellow”. I couldn’t remember who sang it at the time but in 2001 Coldplay started gaining steam in the US. I thought Travis deserved more airplay than Coldplay but I did enjoy Parachutes and probably consider that to be my favorite Coldplay album.

    Check out this CD KCRW put out with some tunes recorded on Morning Becomes Eclectic in 2001.

    http://www.kcrw.com/music/kcrw-cds/cd_soundseclectictoo

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