The Sounds of 2002

It’s incredibly nerdy, and quite anal, but back in 2002 I cataloged all of the music I purchased that year. In addition to listing it, I also wrote very quick and very impulsive reviews of each CD. Yes…CD’s. Remember them? I miss going into the local, independent record store and spending hours in there. Anyway…here’s a selection of those purchases from 2002.

Ted Leo & The Pharmacists – Treble in Trouble

Saw that this guy played a few shows in Philly. Never heard him or saw him, or his old band Chisel, but figured I’d give it a shot. Kind of poppy. Has a good jam on the last song. Only 5 songs here. Might be better live. Worth checking out a full-length.

Jay Ferrar – Sebastopol

THE man from Uncle Tupelo. I want to like this CD. After all it IS Jay Ferrar with the help of a few great musicians…like Jon Wurster from Superchunk drumming. Yet, Ferrar seems to be trying too much and the album is inconsistent. There are some rocking tunes, but mostly this sounds like a mix of Yes and new-country rock. Yick.

Uncle Tupelo – 89/93: An Anthology

Here it is. The best-of for Uncle Tupelo. There are a couple rare tracks as well as a live and previously unreleased song. Other than that, this disc hits all of UT’s classic, influential albums. I generally don’t like best-of’s but this is an absolute must-have classic.

Bob Newhart – The Button Down Mind of Bob Newhart

It is really funny to think this was released 42 years ago. I think it is one of Bob Newhart’s first releases that led to his being a very successful comedian. The opening bit is a one-way phone conversation between Abe Lincoln and a marketing executive. Very funny stuff.

Slayer – Reign in Blood

Slayer is one of my all time favorite bands. Produced by Rick Rubin, this album is considered to have influenced legions of other speed and death metal bands. This album is fast and evil…just how I like it. The “metal” screams on this are worth the price alone.

Wilco – Yankee Hotel Foxtrot

This might be my favorite release of the year. There were all kinds of problems with the release of this album. Among them, the drummer quit and the record label company refused to release it. Then they kicked out the guitarist. Wilco decided to release it for free on their web site last year. Fortunately another label picked it up and packaged it and put it out. An amazing release that is quite a departure from leader Jeff Tweedy’s days in Uncle Tupelo. Rock and roll that is deep, progressive and sensitive.

firehose – fromohio

I’ve searched for this album for almost one year. I guess it is out of print. Though I am a huge fIREHOSE fan, this album was anti-climatic for me…probably because I looked for it for so long. Still a great release in the rocking fIREHOSE catalog. Yet again, the more I listened to it, the more I like it. Still, I think Flyin’ the Flannel is better.

New End Original – Thriller

Picked this up after reading an interview with them in Punk Planet. This band has some members of Texas is the Reason. The sound is kind of similar to the easily digestible and sensitive punk of Texas is the Reason, but this release has more teeth and emotion. Good pop sensibilities with rocking moments and some sappy acoustic tunes thrown in. Worth checking out.

Suicidal Tendencies – Join the Army

Speaking of classics. This is one of the first albums to get me into punk. Therefore, you could say this album changed my life. The selling point on this back in 1987 was the song ‘Possessed to Skate’. You can’t argue with that! The music is a little cheesy, but still very important. Man, my parents were scared when I bought this back in the day.

Against Me! – is Reinventing Axl Rose

Wholly crap! It has been a while since a band has taken me like Florida’s Against Me! This is a very moving album that sounds like a cross between Hot Water Music, an anarchist folk band and The Dropkick Murphy’s. Absolutely amazing the way they deliver an emotional and political punch through acoustic guitars, electric guitars and screamed sing-along vocals. Strong contender for my album of the year.

Red Hot Chili Peppers – By the Way

What the hell is this crap? This fuckin’ CD is not only an example of how lame these guys are, but how stupid the music industry is…it won’t play in my computer! Man, and I thought John Frusciante’s return was going to be their salvation. Last time I take a recommendation from SPIN magazine. I took this CD out of the stereo, went outside and threw it into the back yard.

Sebadoh – The Sebedoh

Woah. I wish I would have discovered this band when a girl told me she loved them…and me…seven years ago. Indie rock that is sometimes very structured and poppy and other times kind of screamy and nuts. Great record.

Hot Snakes – Suicide Invoice

I’ve been waiting a while for this follow up to their first record. Band contains members of Rocket from the Crypt and Drive Like Jehu. Sounds a lot like DLJ, but a bit more abstract and not as “mathy”. Still good and solid rock that is sort of indie, yet definitely punk and sharp.