The InsiderOne Daily Report
Thursday, December 28, 2000
Anthony Carew's Top 15
InsiderOne's Michael Goldberg writes: For a change of pace, here is Insiderone.net contributing editor Anthony Carew's Top 15 for Year 2000. Carew, who lives in Australia, frequently writes reviews for Insiderone.net.
15 Most Loved Records
1. Cat Power, The Covers Record (Matador): As if to present the most defiant evidence of her artistry and grace, Chan Marshall not only legitimized the rather stinky covers-record concept, but made it the most memorable set of the year.
2. A Silver Mt. Zion, He Has Left Us Alone, but Shafts of Light Sometimes Grace the Corner of Our Rooms... (Constellation): Godspeed You Black Emperor! side project that toned down that combo's pomp and worked with subtle shifts of repetition and space, achieving a remarkable clarity of vision in the process.
3. Shell, Shell Is Swell (Abaton Book Co): Gloriously bizarre outsider-art gloom recorded at home on cheap keyboards by 17-year-old New Jersey schoolgirls Marianne Nowottny and Donna Bailey. Scarily, when you compare this to the fucked-up sounds of Nowottny's solo record Afraid of Me, you can actually call this her "pop" outing.
4. Hoahio, Ohayo! Hoahio! (Tzadik): Second outing of capricious pan-Asian fun-and-games from the Japanese trio fronted by avant-pop diva Haco, moving from delicate koto pieces to abstracted field patterns to the sweetest/strangest of pop songs.
5. Quickspace, The Death of Quickspace (Matador): Setting sprawling guitars and entwining vocals to a slow pulse, but paying kraut-rock-like attention to rhythm, Quickspace lifted these lilting lullabies to lunar territories.
6. Broadcast, The Noise Made by People (Warp): Three years in the making, this first proper long-player from latte-pop moodists Broadcast found more head-spinning sonics and torch-song vocals woven into demure grooves.
7. Nobukazu Takemura, Milano: For Issey Miyake Men By Naoki Takizawa and Finale: For Issey Miyake Men By Naoki Takizawa (Warner Japan) Takemura left behind the glitchy terrain of Scope to return to more orchestral sounds, his Reichian precision coming to the fore on two jaw-dropping outings composed as soundtracks to fashion parades.
8. Various, Take Me Home: A Tribute to John Denver (Badman): Put together by Mark Kozelek, Take Me Home finds him and folk like Low, Rachel Haden and Will Oldham sounding like they're fighting back tears as they cut heartfelt versions of their favorite Denver songs.
9. Movietone, The Blossom Filled Streets (Drag City): Evocative melancholy painted in the softest hues, Kate Wright kissing the ears of the listener with her hissy whispers.
10. Bright Eyes, Fevers and Mirrors (Tiger Style): Twenty year-old Nebraskan Conor Oberst has taken the haunted-by-dreams figure Jeff Mangum cut on Neutral Milk Hotel's In the Aeroplane Over the Sea and run with it. On this, his third collection of human-sketches, Oberst yells with vein-throbbing, face-reddening angst, lustily assuming the guise of fucked-up artist.
11. Moloko, Things to Make and Do (Echo): God knows why, but Moloko's sugary mix of organic disco, shimmery soul and puppet-show funk suddenly became great on their third album, leaping over the shallow-listening hurdle and ensconcing itself in territories dangerously close to "art."
12. Peaches, The Teaches of Peaches (Kitty-Yo): Canadian "hot bitch soul shouter" Peaches laid down the law on her punk-styled proto-electro rap record, staging a one-woman reclamation project on the lyrical hot topic of sex, emancipating it from the hands of misguided males.
13. The Concretes, Boyoubetterunow (Up): Warm tones, sweet melodies and downbeat girl-group grooves flow in most handsome fashion from this quintet of Swedish analog fetishists.
14. Erykah Badu, Mama's Gun (Motown): An astonishing, seemingly unending set, high on soul and tone, with Badu's unmistakable vocals lacing an album of buttery-smooth sounds.
15. Alva, Slattery for Ungdom (Menlo Park): Sixteen swift minutes of musical medievalism, somehow borne from the depths of Florida, finding the female trio provocatively deploying piano, organ, violin, saxophones, tape-loops and ghosted voices to capture a spirit in sound that seems centuries old.
Also noteworthy: Saint Etienne, Sound of Water (SubPop); Vladislav Delay, Multila (Chain Reaction); Ida, Will You Find Me (Tiger Style); Mary Timony, Mountains (Matador); Aki Tsuyuko, Ongakushitsu (Moikai).
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Michael Goldberg is the president of insiderone.net. He founded Addicted To Noise in 1994.