Top 30 CDs of 2002

01. Sleater-Kinney ~ One Beat 02. Mountain Goats ~ All Hail West Texas

03. Desaparecidos ~ Read Music Speak Spanish

04. Beck ~ Sea Change

05. Sonic Youth ~ Murray Street

06. Spoon ~ Kill The Moonlight

07. Paul Westerberg ~ Stereo

08. Damien Rice ~ 0

09. Rhett Miller ~ The Instigator

10. Tanya Donelly ~ Beautysleep

11. Girls Against Boys ~ You Can't Fight What You Can't See

12. Departure Lounge ~ Too Late To Die Young

13. Extra Glenns ~ Martial Arts Weekend

14. Standard ~ August

15. Mountain Goats ~ Tallahassee

16. Flaming Lips ~ Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots

17. Hayden ~ Skyscraper National Park

18. Kasey Chambers ~ Barricades & Brickwalls

19. Coldplay ~ A Rush Of Blood To The Head

20. Paul Oakenfold ~ Bunkka

21. Sigur Ros ~ ( )

22. Kinky ~ Kinky

23. Superdrag ~ Last Call For Vitriol

24. Frank Black ~ Black Letter Days & Devil's Workshop

25. Anna Waronker ~ Anna

26. David Gray ~ A New Day At Midnight

27. Franklin Bruno ~ A Cat May Look At A Queen

28. Rilo Kiley ~ Execution Of All Things

29. Reindeer Section ~ Son Of Evil Reindeer

30. Mia Doi Todd ~ Golden State

2002 CD Recommendations By Month

October 2002 (links lead to official band or label sites)

Apples In Stereo ~ Velocity Of Sound

Black Heart Procession ~ Amore Del Tropico

Garageland ~ Scorpio Righting

J Mascis ~ Free So Free

Mr. Scruff ~ Trouser Jazz

Quails ~ Atmosphere

Rilo Kiley ~ Execution Of All Things

Sigur Ros ~ ( )

September 2002 (links lead to official band or label sites)

Beck ~ Sea Change

Denison Witmer ~ Philadelphia Songs

Doug Martsch ~ Now You Know

Franklin Bruno ~ A Cat May Look At A Queen

Ill Lit ~ WACMusic

John Doe ~ Dim Stars Bright Sky

No Knife ~ Riot For Romance

Paul Weller ~ Illumination

Rhett Miller ~ The Instigator

Ryan Adams ~ Demolition

Sahara Hotnights ~ Jennie Bomb

Soft Boys ~ Nextdoorland

August 2002 (links lead to official band or label sites)

Amy Miles ~ Dirty Stay-Out

Bright Eyes ~ Lifted

Frank Black ~ Black Letter Days

Frank Black ~ Devil's Workshop

Future Bible Heroes ~ Eternal Youth

Paul Oakenfold ~ Bunkka

Reindeer Section ~ Son Of Evil Reindeer

Sleater-Kinney ~ One Beat

Spoon ~ Kill The Moonlight

Standard ~ August

July 2002 (links lead to official band sites)

Beth Orton ~ Daybreaker [ audio, video ]

Mellow and gratifying, Beth's beautiful vocals define modern blues in the 90s.

Booty Olympics ~ Boystyle [ mp3s ]

Three bad-ass girls rock on about boys and break-ups in true Thelma & Louise style.

Duraluxe ~ The Suitcase [ mp3s ]

Orchestral indie-rock with a smidgen of new wave! Grandaddy meets the Flaming Lips.

Flaming Lips ~ Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots [ video ]

They're orchestral, epic, punk, and magical.

Pixies ~ The Pixies

Hear the extremely awesome first recordings of songs you grew to love on later lps.

Superdrag ~ Last Call For Vitriol

Hooks to die for, fuzz-rock guitars, and a hint of classic rock thrown in on this CD.

June 2002 (links lead to official band sites)

Aberdeen ~ Homesick & Happy To Be Here [ mp3s ]

Delicate pop with lilting female vocals and sweet melodies.

Anna Waronker ~ Anna [ video ]

Girls kick ass, and so does Anna from That Dog on her solo self-produced debut.

DJ Shadow ~ The Private Press [ audio ]

The genius of sampling has a divine new record. Not too dancey for me.

Enon ~ High Society [ under construction ]

Sorta like a wacked-out version of the Smiths, with some Japanese-pop influence.

Guided By Voices ~ Universal Truths & Cycles [ mp3s ]

GBV have delivered 19 two-minute pop-punk songs and they all rock.

Hayden ~ Skyscraper National Park [ mp3s ]

He's back and I didn't know he had that jammin' shoe-gazer side to him. Brilliant.

John Vanderslice ~ Life & Death Of An American Four-Tracker [ mp3s ]

Quirky like Ween, heart-breaking like Paul Westerberg.

Jucifer ~ I Name You Destroyer [ mp3s ]

If you like Sleater-Kinney, i.e. growling girl vocals and driving guitar, you'll like this.

Silkworm ~ Italian Platinum

Do they even know how to make a bad record? Emotional stories, ripping guitars.

Sonic Youth ~ Murray Street [ mp3s, video ]

A gentle album featuring mostly Thurston's work, but still well worth it.

Sunday's Best ~ The Californian [ mp3s ]

Tasty tasty tasty, I could eat these rockin' songs up with a spoon! Love this record.

Tommy Keene ~ The Merry-Go-Round Broke Down [ mp3s ]

Classic pop never goes out of style, this record rocks and it makes me smile.

May 2002 (links lead to official band sites)

Breeders ~ Title TK [ mp3s, video ]

The way Kim Deal wraps her vocals around a song is positively sinful. Indulge in it.

Girls vs Boys ~ You Can't Fight What You Can't See [ mp3s ]

Another great record from the indie crew with the intriguing vocals and driving rhythms.

Mary Timony ~ Golden Dove [ mp3s ]

Former Helium leader is back with more unique melancholic beauty.

Polara ~ Jetpack Blues [ mp3s ]

Epic, wonderful songs from this long-time favorite Minneapolis band. Don't miss it.

Soul Hooligan ~ Music Like Dirt [ audio, video ]

These British groovers have soul running thick in their veins and grooves galore.

Ugly Casanova ~ Sharpen Your Teeth [ mp3s ]

A quirky release from a super-group led by Isaac Brock from Modest Mouse.

April 2002 (links lead to official band sites)

764-Hero ~ Nobody Knows This Is Everywhere [ mp3s ]

Swooping, melodic, jammin' rock in the Built To Spill vein.

Acid House Kings ~ Mondays Are Like Tuesdays And ... [ official site ]

If you liked The Cardigans, this is the new Swedish band for you. Melodic, poppy tunes.

Desaparecidos ~ Read Music Speak Spanish [ mp3s ]

Cathartic, wrenching, bitter, raw rock and roll, just the way I like it. Not for the timid.

Go Back Snowball ~ Calling Zero [ official site ]

A wonderful collaboration between Robert Pollard of GBV and Mac from Superchunk.

Imperial Teen ~ On [ mp3s ]

Crashing keyboards, bouncy loud guitars, intriguing vocals, high-energy pop and fun.

Jon Spencer Blues Explosion ~ Plastic Fang [ video ]

JSBX delivers another gem filled with nasty, gritty, bluesy rock and roll.

Luna ~ Romantica [ mp3s ]

Gentle songs, loopy irresistable rhythms, surreal lyrics, a fine return after a long layoff.

Paul Westerberg ~ Stereo [ mp3s ]

2 CDs (one quiet, one loud), all new songs that hold up well to the Replacements legend.

Pedro The Lion ~ Control [ mp3s ]

Dark, moody, thoughtful rock that will get under your skin from SF Bay Area favorites.

Saloon ~ This Is What We Call Progress [ mp3s ]

St. Etienne-type vocals, light & lovely pop that sometimes wanders off into blissful noise.

Sarah Shannon ~ Sarah Shannon [ mp3s ]

Former Velocity Girl lead singer makes a beautiful pop record with lush orchestration.

Wilco ~ Yankee Hotel Foxtrot [ official site ]

A genius album of melancholy songs flavored with sweet pop melodies.

Honorable Mention goes to the following records this month which are also well worth your time:

Mirah ~ Advisory Committee [ mp3s ]

Promise Ring ~ Woodwater [ mp3s ]

Radio Four ~ Gotham [ mp3s ]

Robyn Hitchcock ~ Robyn Sings [ official site ]

Schatzi ~ 50 Reasons To Explode [ audio ]

Valet ~ The Glamour Is Contagious [ official site ]

March 2002 (links lead to official band sites)

Eels ~ Souljacker [ audio, video ]

Genius, hilarious, poignant musical compositions with a rockin' band

Departure Lounge ~ Too Late To Die Young [ mp3s ]

Kid Loco-produced, a unique blend of pop, groove, keyboards, wit & delicious vocals

Stratford 4 ~ The Revolt Against Tired Noises [ mp3s ]

From San Francisco, very My Bloody Valentine-influenced, with a bit more of a pop bent

Songs: Ohia ~ Didn't It Rain

More dark tales from Jason Molina in his distinctively slow and heartfelt style

February 2002 (links lead to official band sites)

Tanya Donelly ~ Beautysleep [ audio ]

shimmering melodies and her angelic voice re-create Belly's trademark dreamy pop songs

Kasey Chambers ~ Barricades & Brickwalls [ audio ]

Aussie country girl witha formidable voice and songwriting chops as well

Josh Rouse ~ Under Cold Blue Stars

Josh gets more lush but doesn't lose his folk roots on this slow and lovely third album

ballboy ~ Club Anthems [ mp3s ]

per NME: "a lot like the Wedding Present playing hopscotch with Belle & Sebastian"

Dressy Bessy ~ Sound Go Round [ audio ]

delightful pop with a bite from Tammy Ealom and her Apples In Stereo guitarist boyfriend

The Maroons ~ You're Gonna Ruin Everything [ mp3s ]

irrestible British-sounding debut from John Moen, Stephen Malkmus' current drummer

Damien Jurado ~ I Break Chairs [ mp3s ]

soulful singing about love lost & the indignities of life with aggressive guitar but still folkie

The Mountain Goats ~ All Hail West Texas [ mp3s ]

stark & lo-fi is beautiful when combined with aching vocals and first-class songwriting

Buffalo Daughter ~ I [ audio ]

it's arty and odd and loud, but above all its pop

January 2002 (links lead to official band sites)

Sloan ~ Pretty Together [ audio ]

4 power-pop songwriters from Nova Scotia make one great album

Helio Sequence ~ Young Effectuals [ mp3s ]

has to be heard to be believed, insane electro-psychedelia from Oregon

The Skating Club ~ The Skating Club

mellow indie pop with vocals reminding me of Hayden

Teenage Fanclub ~ Howdy [ audio ]

finally a U.S. release for this fan favorite - their quieter side

Concrete Blonde ~ Group Therapy [ mp3s ]

she still writes fantastic lyrics alongside a gentler version of their classic L.A. sound

Neil Halstead ~ Sleeping On Roads [ mp3s ]

Mojave 3 frontman/former Slowdive founder writes a gorgeous introspective album

Hefner ~ Dead Media [ mp3s ]

they write songs about angels playing drum machines, what could be better?

Extra Glenns ~ Martial Arts Weekend

a terrific collaboration between John/Mountain Goats and Franklin/Nothing Painted Blue

Vermont ~ Calling Albany [ mp3s ]

the lovely second album from a group that is a side project of The Promise Ring

Jim O'Rourke ~ Insignificance

long-time indie rock producer puts his own quirky complex songs on CD

Various Artists ~ Dean Quixote Soundtrack

don't forget the indie-pop soundtrack designed by yours truly