The 2000s - what an amazing decade for music! This essay is for all of you who introduced me to new artists (then let me reciprocate) or attended shows and festivals with me, because music is the one common thread that weaves us together. To my friends and all these artists: thanks for the memories and melodies. Let another new decade of great music begin!
In the 2000s:
Yoshimi battled pink robots and Pink got the party started. 311 had Amber colored energy, Alexi saw an Orange Sky, and Tori wore Orange Knickers. Goldfrapp and Santigold were Golden Delicious. Ryan made Gold and Kanye rapped about Gold Diggers. Jay-Z had a Blueprint and a Black Album. There were Black Eyed Peas, Black Keys and a Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. Ray said he'd love us Til The Sun Turned Black. Amy went Back to Black. Thom had a Black Swan, Ladytron had a Black Cat, Keane had a Black Burning Heart, Beck played a Black Tambourine, and Arcade Fire shined a Black Mirror into Muse's Supermassive Black Hole. U2 was White as Snow and David climbed a White Ladder wearing White Stripes singing from a White Winter Hymnal in Coldplay’s White Shadows and Green Eyes on a Green Day when the National wore Green Gloves. There were Red Hot Chili Peppers and Red House Painters. Richard's love was Poppy-Red but Ben had Brown-Eyed Blues as Jason honored a hero wearing Dress Blues. Blue October saw a Sky Blue Sky that was Sky Blue through Carbon Leaf’s Grey Sky Eyes. Dave lived on a corner of Grey Street where Damien sat in a Grey Room amid The Grey Estates while Danger Mouse mixed a Grey Album. We heard The Sound of Silver and saw Silversun Pickups. Even on days with No Sunlight, we tried to Soak Up the Sun for nothing was Brighter than Sunshine on Another Sunny Day full of Rainy Day Music when it was Raining Again, Raining on Sunday through Sunday Afternoon. Sun Kil Moon made us want to Kill the Moonlight because Last Night, In the Night, you said Tonight I Have to Leave It, these Massive Nights, for Dark Was the Night that blew a Cold Wind. It was a Swell Season when the Decemberists attended a January Wedding under January Stars because You Only Cross My Mind in Winter. Ah, there’s nothing like Winter in the Hamptons to make us feel The Dead Weather. I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning but I’ll be Gone in the Morning on a Pure Morning because Days Go On and Days Go By and It’s the Perfect Time of Day for Counting the Days on a New Day, It’s a New Day, a Beautiful Day for meeting The Real Tuesday Weld, The Blower’s Daughter, The Scientist and the Freaker by the Speaker. We looked through the Eyes of Sarahjane to see Moby's Alice and Stacy's Mom who is a Volvo-Driving Soccer Mom but she ain’t no Hollaback Girl like Dani California. Jenny Was a Friend of Mine, one of 27 Jennifers, such Tremendous Brunettes, those Single Ladies: Lady Gaga, Lady Marmalade, and Lady Antebellum. There was a Redneck Woman, a Sea Lion Woman, Independent Women, and Miss Independent. St. Vincent, Ms. Jackson, and Mr. Brightside made friends with Gideon, Lazarus, Moses, and Jesus of Suburbia, along with a Heavy Metal Drummer, a Poor Old Dirt Farmer, and a Travelin' Soldier.
It was the decade of Kids and Young Folks: we met Kid-A, the Cold-War Kids and went drinking with the Seldom-Seen Kid, a Badly Drawn Boy and Fall Out Boy. Jack’s friend Sexi Plexi brought along a Middle Man who hung out with Sam’s White-Tooth Man, the Boy With a Coin and the Woman King. It was a decade for royalty: there was a Kaki King, Dap Kings, Gipsy Kings, the Kings of Convenience, the Boney King of Nowhere, a King without a Crown, a Visqueen, Queens of the Stone Age and Knights of Cydonia. There were Smokers Outside the Hospital Doors where Death & All His Friends saw a Patriarch on a Vespa. A She-Wolf watched She & Him coo over the Accidental Babies borne by You, Me & the Bourgeoisie who barked orders at us, like: Wake Up, Fire It Up, Lift Me Up, and Hang Me Up to Dry. They said Lose Yourself, Be Yourself and Be Mine. We reminded ourselves to Breathe, Breathe In, Breathe Out. We yelled Jerk It Out, Take Me Out, Shoot the Lights Out, Shoot the Runner, Shoot Your Gun, Shut Your Mouth and Send Your Love. The time was right to Say Hey (I Love You), Say (what you need to say), Say Please, and Sing, Sing for Absolution or Send the Pain Below. They said Smile and Smile Like You Mean It. We begged Save Me From Myself, Show Me, Show Me How to Live and Live Like You Were Dying, dying to Escape the Nest. They said Ch-Check It Out, C'Mon, C'Mon, Come Back Home, Come Away With Me, Cry Me a River, Fall Behind Me and Break My Fall. We cried Take Me As I Am and Touch Me, I'm Going to Scream! We said Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me just Hold On, Hold On until I Turn My Camera On while you Get Ur Freak On, Get On Your Boots, then Keep Your Eyes Ahead and Keep the Car Running if you want to Ride Wit Me and Just Dance or you’ll have to Let It Roll, Let Go, and Go It Alone. We were told to Work It, Drop It Like It’s Hot but Don't Panic, Don't Explain, Don't Make Me a Target, and lastly, Don't Make Me Come to Vegas because Your Vegas is a Dirty Vegas, a City of Blinding Lights with a Boulevard of Broken Dreams. Your Car Wheels on a Gravel Road followed The Road I'm On to an Airport Disco where you found us In Da Club, In the Waiting Line, Around the Bend, So Far Around the Bend, headed for Beverly Hills. We drove in Circles along Boogie Street by way of Resistance St. and saw Such Great Heights from Bixby Canyon Bridge. On the Banks of the Deep End, From the Corner to the Block, we were in Rehab Looking at the World from the Bottom of a Well. Then we drove across the country from Brackett, WI through Chicago and Michigan and Ohio. We cruised through the Garden State going To The Five Boroughs (destination: Manhattan) but in New York, New York you said I Can't See New York so we left the Empire State for The State of Massachusetts. We were Shipping Up to Boston en route to Montreal but you preferred Islands or an Island in the Sun or a place with cool Neighborhoods like Haiti or Maybe California or Zacatecas. So we headed south to see Ruby Falls on Lookout Mountain on our way to Sodom, South Georgia listening to music on KEXP, KCRW, and NPR that covered the alphabet from A&E, A-Punk, A-3, DJ AM, KRS-One, M.I.A., MGMT, MSTRKRFT, O, R.E.M., The XX, and Z.
Bono counted “uno-dos-tres-quatorce” but you said One More Time, it should be 1-2-3-4. So we learned 10 New Songs and took a 13th Step then a 15 Step or maybe it was 16, Maybe Less, maybe 18. We decided 2+2=5 and counted Two Gallants, 24, 2080, 3 Libras, 30 Seconds to Mars, and 42. It's 5 O'Clock Somewhere with 50 Cent, Sixpence None the Richer, and Zero 7. A 7-Nation Army on the M79 counted 808s and Heartbreak while M83 traced Figure 8s with their Nine Inch Nails and committed 9 Crimes with the Old 97’s who discussed 99 Problems at 10:03 for 100 Days, 100 Nights but we just wanted 1000 Kisses to last 10,000 Days.
We should have sought medical attention for some of the conditions we experienced. We were Burning Up and Falling Slowly, Brainy, Broken, Paralyzed, and Colorblind to the Look of Love but Our Love is Easy. Were we Crazy in Love or just plain Crazy? Taylor was Fearless but Kanye was Heartless. We wanted to Feel Good, Inc. despite our Androgyny, Telekinesis, Myxomatosis, Hearing Damage, Hysteria, and Lisztomania. Sex on Fire makes it Harder to Breathe which isn’t Grounds for Divorce but Passive Fidelity can cause Lucid Dreams, a Phantom Limb and Sea Legs or Cataracts and Imitosis. We felt Supernatural Superserious and Lost due to A Rush of Blood to the Head from being Shot in the Back of the Head. We had Magnolia Soul and got a New Soul When Soul Meets Body for My Body is a Cage that is Bigger Than My Body, Naked as We Came with Grazed Knees, Bubble Toes, Broken Wings, Tenement Teeth and Evil Urges caused by us consuming Roses & Cigarettes, Cigarettes & Gasoline, Cigarettes & Chocolate Milk, more Chocolate and Chocolate on My Tongue. We needed Meds and Handshake Drugs after eating a Burrito, a Hot Chip, Hard Candy, and Moldy Peaches. Then we drank a Milkshake, Champagne from a Paper Cup, Absinthe, and more Alcohol then fetched Fresh Wine for the Horses and Beer for My Horses – and there were horses everywhere!
All the Wild Horses included a Band of Horses, Pale Horses, High Horses, a Black Horse and a Cherry Tree, a Fast Horse, and a Sparklehorse but you said Save a Horse (Ride a Cowboy) not a Bonepony or a Gov’t Mule. We saw an Elephant, a Deer Tick on Mountain Goats, a Modest Mouse, a Danger Mouse, Arctic Monkeys and a Snow Leopard. The decade’s Animal Collective included Gorillaz and a Grizzly Bear up a Porcupine Tree. There were Portions for Foxes and Fleet Foxes while Fox Confessor Brings the Flood and some Weird Fishes. There was a Wolf at the Door for a Wolf Like Me whose Wolfmother was in a Wolf Parade Trading Snakeoil for Wolftickets and shooting Snakes & Arrows at Dogs. We had Cat Power, a Neon Tiger, and Pedro the Lion, a Lion Thief whose Liquid Bird was a Flightless Bird not an Andrew Bird. We heard Rooks and Doves and Duhks while Them Crooked Vultures and Fruit Bats chased The Racing Rats and Red Rabbits, a Frightened Rabbit, Butterflies & Hurricanes, a Butterfly Boucher and a Zebra.
We asked O Brother, Where Art Thou? Where Is the Love? Where Hearts Go Broke. What Happens When the Heart Just Stops? What Else Is There? Why Does It Always Rain on Me? Is It Any Wonder? We asked Is That All You've Got for Me? How Am I to Be When Your Mind’s Made Up? It’s All in My Mind. Who gives a fuck about an Oxford Comma? We pondered How It Ends and When the World Ends. We’re Waiting on the World to Change, but we’re Not Ready to Make Nice in The World We Live In even though We Used to Be Friends. The Way It Used to Be made us feel like Busting Up a Starbucks but Breaking the Habit was the Final Straw. We fumed over the Price of Gas and living Life on a Chain. Do You Realize?? Love is Hell. We mourned the First of the Gang to Die because Love and Death are always on our minds but Intuition dictates I Am Trying to Break Your Heart and Logic Will Break Your Heart. When U Love Somebody, Love Can Damage Your Health In Spite of All the Damage because The First Cut is the Deepest. We learned How We Operate, How to Disappear Completely, How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb, How to Be Dead, and How to Save a Life because Life is Beautiful, Life is Short, and Life is for Living, but Caring is Creepy unless you have New Slang and an Umbrella then Might Makes Right because Hips Don’t Lie. We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank yet We All Float On Anyway and We Will Become Silhouettes because We've Got Everything and Everything is Everything but Everything Will Never Be OK even if it Feels Just Like it Should. We learned that An End Has a Start and In the End, when you have Nothing Left to Lose, It's Not the Fall That Hurts; Sometimes You Can't Make It on Your Own. Belief is a beautiful honor and America is Not the World but Ain't Nothin' Wrong with That. We related to Superman (It's Not Easy) and realized It Means Nothing (if I haven't got you) because What You Need (I Got It) and All I Need is I and Love and You.