Sunday, March 23, 2008

The Indie Rock 25

Entertainment Weekly loves them some lists :-) Pop culture lists are mostly meant to be conversation starters…”you thought THAT was good???” or “how in the heck could you leave (fill-in-the-blank) off???”…and their latest is a good example of that.

In a special insert in their latest issue, EW presents “The Indie Rock 25”, a sure argument sparker for indie rock fans. In order to impose some kind of order on the compilation of the list they imposed some very aribitrary rules: each of the past 25 years could only be represented by one album each, the albums selected had to be released on independent labels (disqualifying, for example, Nirvana’s Nevermind), and, for reasons unexplained, only bands could make the list (so bye-bye Cat Power, Sufjan Stevens, etc., etc.) Also, apparently each band was limited to one entry.

The resulting list was, almost as a matter of course, put together after a series of arguments, compromises, and reluctant omissions; it is, all of that taken into consideration, an interesting list just the same (certainly a good conversation starter anyway :-)

It goes back to 1984’s Let it Be by the Replacements and comes all the way up to 2008 with Radiohead’s In Rainbows (which was actually released for download in ’07 but I guess they gave it a pass because the physical CD was released on the first day of ’08.) Some of these I own and cherish, some I’ve never heard.

The rest of the list (samples and/or full tracks at the links [where available]):

1985: The Smiths’ Meat is Murder
1986: R.E.M.’s Lifes Rich Pageant
1987: Dinosaur Jr.’s You’re Living All Over Me
1988: Sonic Youth’s Daydream Nation
1989: The Pixies’ Doolittle
1990: Fugazi’s Repeater
1991: My Bloody Valentine’s Loveless
1992: Pavement’s Slanted and Enchanted
1993: Built to Spill’s Ultimate Alternative
1994: Guided by Voices’ Bee Thousand
1995: Archers of Loaf’s Vee Vee
1996: Belle & Sebastian’s If You’re Feeling Sinister
1997: Modest Mouse’s Lonesome Crowded West
1998: Neutral Milk Hotel’s In the Aeroplane Over the Sea
1999: Sleater-Kinney’s The Hot Rock
2000: Yo La Tengo’s And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside Out
2001: The Shins’ Oh, Inverted World

2002: Interpol’s Turn on the Bright Lights
2003: The White Stripes’ Elephant
Arcade Fire’s Funeral
2005: Bright Eyes’ I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning
2006: The Hold Steady’s Boys and Girls in America
2007: Spoon’s Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga

Discuss :-)

(Video of Radiohead's "Jigsaw Falling into Place" below.)


Daisy said...

What a weird list.

I still listen to "Life's rich pageant" almost every day... that's how old -I- am!

6000 said...

I have to say that a UK list would look rather different.