Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Twelve Days of Christmas Countdown - 2004

2004 - Became a father, changed jobs and listened to lots of tunes.


#12 The Zutons - Who Killed... The Zutons? - Another Gomez opening act that didn't disappoint.  From Ska to Blues to straight forward Rock like The Zutons, you have to love any band that incorporates a mean saxophone.  Pressure Point and You Will You Won't are the standouts here.

#11 R.E.M. - Around the Sun - Here is the requisite R.E.M. album for the year.  Agenda pushed.  Check that off my list.

#10 Phoenix - Alphabetical - Burst into the mainstream somewhat in 2009 but this album from 2004 was nearly as good. 

#9 The Futureheads - The Futureheads - The UK cornered the market in 2004 with garage band / dance / punk bands.  Love this album.

#8 The Killers - Hot Fuss - If you didn't hear this album you were either dead or in a coma or worse, only listened to KBULL or The Eagle.

#7 Elliott Smith - From a Basement on the Hill - Released after his death, Basement was the album that Elliott had not quite finished and it shows.  Some of the tracks just don't feel complete but there are some real gems here such as Twilight.

#6 Franz Ferdinand - Franz Ferdinand - Of the same ilk as the Futureheads, this album was just a little better than their fellow UKmen.  Thanks to Guitar Hero and various commercials, Take Me Out has become one of the decade's classic tunes.

#5a Ray LaMontagne - Trouble - I had a blog post about Ray earlier this year before I saw him in concert.  This album, his debut, is still his best work.

#5b Ben Kweller - On My Way - I may or may not have left this off the list upon first publishing the blog.  I'm sure I've done this with other albums already and will do it again but it had to be fixed and this was the easiest way to do so.  I Need You Back is one of the Superstar's all time favorites.

#4 Iron and Wine - Our Endless Numbered Days - I&W has also been featured heavily this year on the blog.  Naked As We Came and Each Coming Night are beautiful songs.

#3 Sondre Lerche - Two Way Monologue - Believe it or not, some of Lerche's albums aren't going to make the countdown.  I promise.  Monologue does though because it is a delight.

#2 The Thrills - Let's Bottle Bohemia - Many of you will listen to this album and wonder why I would place it so high.  Originally I had it down around 10th place on this countdown but after listening to it several times over the past week I was reminded that this album was the soundtrack to the Superstar's birth.  It just so happened to be in the cd player on the way to the hospital and it provided the background noise as I went back and forth to the hospital for Superstar and Wheels many times that week.  Excitement, fear, happiness, sadness are all felt as I listen to these songs.

On a side note, The Thrills also provided one of my 2004 concert highlights.  The band played at a small club in Park City on my birthday and a pregnant Wheels, Flanksteak, Vanwarmer and I enjoyed the Franz Ferdinand album that I was gifted by Flanksteak as we made the drive up to PC for the late night show.  Vanwarmer was unusually sleepy that night and ended up sleeping on the floor of the bar for good portions of the concert.  Many times the bouncers asked us if our buddy was alright and Flanksteak and I would reply with, "Yeah, he just had a few too many tonight."  To any of Vanwarmer's former students who saw him passed out that night, I can assure you that he was sober.  Sleepy, but sober.

#1 Kings of Leon - Aha Shake Heartbreak - I know what you are thinking KOL fans, "Hey, this album came out in 2005, Mr. Lame Countdown Maker."  Well to those naysayers I say, "NAY!"  While the Kings were still gaining a fanbase in the US, over in the UK they were already stars and selling out soccer stadiums.  Because of this they released their album in the UK in November of 2004, six months before it would hit the shelves in the US.  After wearing out my copy of their debut I caught wind of this and convinced Wheels that it was a must that I spend $25 and purchase the album through  I still don't regret the decision.  As for Heartbreak, not a bad song is found and The Bucket is as perfect of a rock song as humans are capable of writing.

Honorable Mentions

The Streets - A Grand Don't Come For Free - British rapper that is more spoken word then actual rap.

Velvet Revolver - Contraband - Scott Weiland from STP and member of GnR form a super group that showed signs of greatness but didn't completely mesh until their follow up album a few years later.

Rogue Wave - Out of the Shadow - One part Shins, one part Band of Horses = 100% awesome.

Interpol Antics - If every song was as good as Evil it would have been the #1 album of the year. 

Cake - Pressure Chief - The last piece of relevant work by one of my all time favorite bands.

Sufjan Stevens - Seven Swans - Stevens took a break from his states albums to record an album that I read a review that stated: "If Elliott Smith went to Sunday School it might sound like this..."

Modest Mouse - Good News For People Who Like Bad News - Sing it with me now- We'll All Float On, Alright...

k-os - Joyful Rebellion - Crabbuckit is a must listen.  Funky hip hop perfection. 

The Frames - Burn the Maps - Glen Hansard's (Swell Season) former band that has been cranking out albums since the early 90's.  Would have made the list if I had actually heard it before this past month.  If only there were a popular Irish group that could have taken them on the road and allowed them to get some exposure...

Willy Mason - Where the Humans Eat - Passed along to me by Little Rob who has been MIA from the blog for a good chunk of 2009.  Thanks for this album, wherever you might be...

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas From The Skog Blog

Fear not, for behold, the countdown will continue tomorrow night.  It looks like it might end sometime in February but it will be completed.  As for now, how about a special Christmas treat, especially for those of you who doubted the greatness of The Strokes. Performing the Yuletide Classic, I Wish It Was Christmas Today, here is Jimmy Fallon, Horatio Sanz and filling in for Tracy Morgan and Chris Kattan, the lead singer of The Strokes, Julian Casablancas and The Roots.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Twelve Days of Christmas Countdown - 2003

2003 - I had nearly 50 albums that I wanted to include on this list.  I whittled it down to a Top 12 and 15 Honorable Mentions and all but maybe 3 of the honorables I at one point had in my top 12.  Great, great year for music lovers.


#12 The White Stripes - Elephant - Rolling Stone just named this the number five album of the entire decade.  It was hard to leave it this low but I had to.  Seven Nation Army is a rock classic.

#11 Elbow - Cast of Thousands - I mentioned in 2001 that Elbow just kept getting better and better.  If I were a gambling man I would wager that you'll be seeing them again on this countdown (wink). 

#10 The Shins - Chutes Too Narrow - Not a life changer like their debut from 2001 but a very solid sophomore effort.

#9 Damien Rice - O - I would put the first four songs of this album up against the first four songs of any album in history.  Unbelievable tunes.  The album fades towards the end which is the only reason it didn't crack the top 3. 

#8 Radiohead - Hail to the Thief - Against the wishes of Dogface I will continue to push my Radiohead agenda here on the Skog Blog until I gain some more converts.  Thief is a much more accessible album for those who didn't enjoy their more experimental stuff.

#7 Eels - Shootenanny! - It would seem that the Eels cranked out an album every year but don't worry this will be the last you hear of them for a few years.

#6 Fountains of Wayne - Welcome Interstate Managers - Quite possibly the album that I listened to the most in 2003.  Got some love and radio play towards the end of the year and in 2004 for Stacey's Mom but this album is much more than that pop wonderhit.

#5 My Morning Jacket - It Still Moves - Not quite as beloved as the Southern Rock album at the top of this year's countdown but very close.  One Big Holiday is a guitar rock classic and Golden is as good as it gets for a ballad.

#4 Grandaddy - Sumday - Another Space/Country/California Rock Masterpiece.  The entire album is not available for streaming but can be sampled here.

#3 The Postal Service - Give Up - Unbelievable year for lead singer Ben Gibbard.  Give Up was a winner and he also released an album through his 'day job' as front man for Death Cab For Cutie that just barely missed the cut. 

#2 Guster - Keep It Together - Arguably this band's finest hour.  It was the subject of an Oldies But Goodies post this past summer. 

#1 Kings of Leon - Youth and Young Manhood - One of the only benefits of being a music snob is that you can occasionally be ahead of the pack in regards to certain bands.  KOL is one of the biggest bands in the world now and I am pleased to say that I saw them perform with about 20 other people a few times in 2003 thanks to Flanksteak's early discovery of them.  This album will rock your socks off, blow your mind and every other rock cliche that I like to use.  If you jumped on the KOL Express after Use Somebody and Sex on Fire became two of the biggest hits of the past year then you owe it to yourself to go back and pickup their first albums.  Molly's Chambers might be the song of the decade.

Honorable Mentions

The Thrills - So Much For the City - Boys from Ireland recreate the Beach Boys and California Surf Rock.

Belle and Sebastian - Dear Catastrophe Waitress - Former mopey band picks up the pace and volume and creates the best album of their career up to that point.

Bishop Allen - Charm School - Nerd rock.  Herms approved.  Extremely tough to leave off the list.

Cafe Tacuba - Cuatro Caminos - Mexico's answer to Radiohead and yes I'll continue to push their agenda as well.

Death Cab For Cutie - Transatlanticism - Might have made the list had The Postal Service's album not been a little better.

Jamie Cullum - Twentysomething - Take Harry Connick, Jr's musical stylings and mix it with Ben Folds' wit and you have Cullum.  Fantastic.

Jet - Get Born - If they had been able to write an album full of songs as good as Are You Gonna Be My Girl they could have given My Morning Jacket and KOL a run for their money.

Jose Gonzalez - Veneer - Heartbeats was featured on my 'Beach Playlist' and should be required listening for any playlist regardless of theme or location.

Mates of State - Team Boo - Saw this husband and wife duo open for Death Cab and was delighted.  Check out Ha Ha and Fluke.

Pete Yorn - The Day I Forgot - As solid as Pete Yorn always is.  Come Back Home and Burrito are the essential tracks here.

Rooney - Rooney - Flanksteak and I saw their video for Blueside and drove immediately to Best Buy and purchased this album.  Full of cheesy pop goodness.

Stellastarr* - Stellastarr - For anybody who laments the demise of the late 80's early 90's Modern Rock, My Coco and Jenny are must listens.

Sufjan Stevens - Michigan - Ambitious folk artist who planned to do an album for each of the 50 states.  So far he has settled for MI and IL.  Look for UT sometime in 2064.

The New Pornographers - Electric Version - I honestly avoided this band for a long time because I feared that they would be naughty.  My loss, as they were about as offensive as The Barenaked Ladies and wrote songs twice as catchy.

The Strokes - Room on Fire - Second album from the band didn't hold up as well as their debut but still quite spectacular.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Skog Family Week in Review

We interrupt this countdown for a brief message from The Skog Family.

Where does the time go?  I swear it was just Thanksgiving last Thursday and now Christmas is here.  We slacked and have run out of time for the usual cards, etc so a video with three fidgety girls singing carols of joy will have to suffice.  We are extremely grateful for our family and friends and we love you all.  I hope everyone has a wonderful Holiday and much happiness in the New Year. 


The Skog Family

PS: In lieu of gifts this year The Skog Family has made a donation to The Human Fund in the name of all of our Family and Friends.  Merry Christmas!

December 22, 2009

Dear Flanksteak,

To celebrate Christmas, a charitable donation in the amount of $500 has been made in your name to:

The Human Fund
- Money for People -

The Skog Family

Monday, December 21, 2009

The Twelve Days of Christmas Countdown - 2002

2002 - Wheels and I quit our jobs and then got married.  Definitely an interesting strategy.  Another nice year for tunes.


#12 Hem - Rabbit Songs - Featured earlier this year as an Oldie but Goodie.  If you have forgotten or didn't have a chance to check it out previously, listen to Sailor.

#11 The Coral - The Coral - How would I characterize this group?  Classic Rock?  British Rock?  Pirate Rock?  How about a Doors cover band playing Pirate songs?  Bingo.  Fun fact, I skipped their concert because they came on the Sabbath but had I ventured out I would have discovered sooner a young group of brothers (and a cousin) from TN.  That band?  Kings of Leon.  Luckily for me Flanksteak discovered them shortly thereafter. 

#10 Jason Mraz - Waiting For My Rocket to Come - Wheels and I saw Mraz open for Gomez about one month before this album hit the shelves.  We had never heard of him but were blown away by him and his bandmate Toca's harmonies.  Mraz is better live than on his polished albums so go see him if you are ever given the opportunity.

#9 Coldplay - A Rush of Blood to the Head - The opening track Politik might have been my favorite song of the year. 

#8 Brendan Benson - Lapalco - Another Oldie but Goodie selection from this year.  Great album.

#7 Iron and Wine - The Creek Drank the Cradle - I have discussed Iron and Wine at length on the Skog Blog.  This was the first album of Sam Beam's that I ever purchased and definitely wasn't the last.  Loaded with excellent folky songs, this album is haunting.

#6 Eels - Souljacker - For better or worse, this was the album that unleashed the Dogfaced Boy on the world.  Eels crank up the guitars on this album and proceed to rock our socks off.

#5 Ben Kweller - Sha Sha - One of the benefits of being unemployed as mentioned above, was that I had a lot of free time on my hands.  My pal, Colin, was also out of work at the time so he and I were able to see Ben Kweller perform at the local Graywhale during the middle of the afternoon.  Kweller was as nice as could be and even gave me free tix to his concert that night.  Sha Sha is the perfect mix of Ben Folds and Weezer and is still a Skog favorite today.

#4 Doves - The Last Broadcast - Doves always have several unbelievable songs per album but Broadcast is their masterpiece.  Pounding is a song that means a great deal to me and there are plenty more quality songs to be found here as well.

#3 Sondre Lerche - Faces Down - Another Skog Blog favorite that has been previously featured.  If you don't love this album then I fear for your soul.

#2 Gomez - In Our Gun - I'm sure nobody wants to be bored with another "KG hearts Gomez" tale.  I'll leave it at this - top 3 album of theirs, best concert of theirs was in support of this album and Shot Shot is one of their greatest opening tracks.

#1 Beck - Sea Change - Apparently 2002 was a great year for music because Beck's perfect album was also already featured as an Oldie But Goodie.  What might have pushed this album to the top was seeing it performed live twice, the first of which in a tiny venue on the 2nd row with Wheels and Vanwarmer.  Not a bad track on this album and would make my list of the Top 12 of the Decade.

Honorable Mentions

Badly Drawn Boy - About a Boy - Soundtrack to the film.  Listen to A Minor Incident.

Weezer - Maladroit - Weezer's last hurrah.  Great effort.  Everything since has been crap.

They Might Be Giants - No! - An album for kids that adults can also enjoy.  Beats listening to the Wiggles.

Maroon 5 - Songs About Jane - Just missed the cut.  These songs were severely overplayed but I suppose it was for a reason - they were really good.

The Flaming Lips - Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots - Another that just missed the cut.  The Lips played as Beck's backing band during his Sea Change tour and Wheels and I fell in love with Yoshimi.

Queens of the Stone Age - Songs for the Deaf - Flanksteak will be angry that I didn't put this album on the list.  The best songs on this album are fantastic but there are a few that haven't held up as well.

Hot Hot Heat - Makeup the Breakdown - Bandages is an awesome song.  One of the better garage band revival groups.

Foo Fighters - One By One - Another sign that 2002 was a good year is that I left off albums by some of my all time favorite bands.  One By One fits that criteria.

Phantom Planet - The Guest - Once upon a time Phantom Planet was just a nice little band with a drummer who played the main kid in the film Rushmore.  Then their song became the theme for The O.C. and they became a one hit wonder.  Do not be afraid, this album is great and is definitely no one hit wonder.

The Mooney Suzuki - Electric Sweat - Not as good as their second album but still very good.  I really loved me some Garage Rock back in these days.

Duncan Sheik - Daylight - I have an autographed copy of this album sitting on my shelf.  If I took it off my shelf more frequently it would have cracked the top 12 because it is loaded with pop gems.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Twelve Days of Christmas Countdown - 2001

The countdown was sabotaged for a few days by a couple of freak illnesses that struck the Skog residence.  Unless we get smitten with leprosy tonight it appears we are back on the mend (I just totally jinxed us). 

Due to the fact that music has always been a huge part of my life, I am really enjoying putting these lists together.  Every album reminds me of things from each year.  2001 was an important year in my life as it was when I met Wheels.  Lots of good memories from 2001 - many concert road trips, usually with a combination of Flanksteak, Al and Herms.  Good times indeed.  Programming note: I'm putting the honorable mentions after my best of list from here on out.  Seems to make more sense.  In the words of the immortal Kasey Kasem, "Let's get back to the countdown."

KG's TOP 12 ALBUMS OF 2001

#12 Weezer - The Green Album - In 1995 I was playing the crap out of Weezer's Blue Album and then I left the country for two years and upon my return Weezer had basically vanished.  Their underrated second album Pinkerton had tanked and their lead singer Rivers Cuomo had painted his walls black and exiled himself to his bedroom (seriously).  Well much to the surprise of everyone the band resurfaced in 2001 with this album of pop/punk nuggets.  I saw them live many times this year including a harrowing trip through night fog with Flanksteak to see them play in Boise with Jimmy Eat World and Tenacious D.  Totally worth it.

#11 Clem Snide - The Ghost of Fashion - I already pledged my love for Clem Snide so just do yourself a favor and listen to clever tracks like Joan Jett of Arc and Moment in the Sun

#10 Travis - The Invisible Band - Solid, solid album by a solid, solid band.  They don't get enough love from myself or the public but they just continue cranking out top notch songs that are catchy with thoughtful lyrics.  If you enjoy Coldplay or bands of that ilk then give Travis a listen.

#9 Ryan Adams - Gold - Not quite as country as the previous year's Heartbreaker and also not quite as good.  New York, New York became somewhat of a post 9/11 anthem and gave Adams a boost in publicity to go along with his critical acclaim.  Loaded with excellent tracks but a few throw aways keep it from placing higher.

#8 Radiohead - Amnesiac - I believe Kid A from the previous year's countdown was supposed to have been a double album but in order to milk more $$ from their fans (likely) or perhaps to not freak people out (also likely) they split it up and released this album a few months later.  Not as good as Kid A but Pyramid Song and Knives Out are classic Radiohead tracks.

#7 White Stripes - White Blood Cells - My introduction to the White Stripes.  Great songs, groundbreaking music videos.  Still listen to this album frequently. 

#6 John Mayer - Room for Squares - John Mayer in front of Radiohead.  Yep.  No, the Skog Blog has not been hijacked by a 12 year old girl (although some might argue otherwise) - this is a fantastic album.  KG is a John Mayer fan and always will be unless he steals Wheels away from me.  Oh John, you are such a cad.

#5 R.E.M. - Reveal - Although I never really felt like they lost their fastball, most people saw this album as a return to form.  I just saw it as yet another R.E.M. classic. 

#4 Shins - Oh Inverted World - I didn't actually discover this album until the summer of 2002 while killing time in the downtown Borders before Wheels and I went to see LOTR at Brewvies.  I wish I had though because it is awesome (Insert joke by Flanksteak).

#3 Pete Yorn - Musicforthemorningafter - Not going to gush anymore about this one as I have already dedicated an entire Oldies But Goodies column to it.  If you still haven't listened to it then I don't want to be your friend anymore.  Can't listen to this album without remembering a road trip with Al to California.  Best of times.

#2 The Strokes - Is This It - The Strokes burst onto the scene as the next big thing among the wannabe hipsters like myself.  Many thought they didn't live up to the hype but I wasn't one of them.  I could listen to Julian Casablancas' strange drone of a voice sing a World Book Encyclopedia, Letter G.  A near perfect album from start to finish.

#1 Ben Folds - Rockin' The Suburbs - This just in - KG hearts Ben Folds!  I'm sure this one comes as a shock to many of you.  Ben's first solo release was perfect.  Enough like his work with the Five to keep us pleased but different enough that it showed what he could do on his own.  So many great memories involved with this album.  It was released on 9/11 and I remember stopping on my way to work after watching the horrific events of the morning, purchasing this album and feeling a sense of normalcy.  It was also the day I gave Wheels a burned copy on CD and she gave me her phone number under the guise of helping me with a blood drive.  I am also reminded of a road trip to Denver in July of 2001 to see Ben with Al and Herms.  I was able to obtain a copy of this album before the trip and we knew every word and it was fun to see the faces of other people in the audience when they asked us, "How do you guys know these songs???"  We consumed too much Mtn Dew, I nearly peed my pants somewhere outside of Vail and I ended up with a kidney stone but that road trip was an all time favorite and I wouldn't change a thing about it.  I feel the same way about this album.

Honorable Mentions

2001 was actually a very good year for music.  I had trouble narrowing the list down to 12, so because of this there are quite a few 'Honorable Mentions'.  Back off, this is my list.

Cake - Comfort Eagle - Not as good as their other efforts so it doesn't crack the list.

Jimmy Eat World - Bleed American - Solid album.  Killed a little by too much radio play but The Middle is one of the decade's greatest songs.  If you turn on 101.9 The End you still have a 23% chance of hearing it right now.  Another interesting tidbit was the album's title was changed to just "Jimmy Eat World" after 9/11.

Rufus Wainwright - Poses - Many of these songs are still on my playlist today.  I love Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk, the song not the actual items.  I don't smoke and I am a bit lactose intolerant.  Great song though.

My Morning Jacket - At Dawn - Most bands have an awesome debut and then fade.  MMJ gets better with each album and they weren't quite there on At Dawn.  Fear not, they will return on the lists from other years.  For a delightful treat check out Bermuda Highway.

Elbow - Asleep in the Back - Similar to MMJ, Elbow has improved on every album.  This was their debut and features a mindblowing track titled Any Day Now.

Rilo Kiley - Take offs and Landings - One of those albums that you hear and say, "I need to listen to this more often" but then you forget about it.  If I actually followed through and listened to it more frequently it would have definitely made the list.

Duncan Sheik - Phantom Moon - I have no idea why Duncan Sheik never became a huge star.  He had an early hit (Barely Breathing), loads of talent and whether Wheels agrees with me or not (she doesn't) he is an attractive man.  Phantom Moon is an homage of sorts to Nick Drake's Pink Moon and if I don't stop discussing it I'm going to talk myself back into having it on the list... Mr. Chess and All the Winds That Blow are the standouts here.

Jack Johnson - Brushfire Fairytales - Anybody who doesn't like this album is a liar.  It is a delight.

Colin Hay - Going Somewhere - The former front man of Men at Work, Colin Hay is a little hit or miss but I would put his 'Hits' up against any songwriter from any era.  Beautiful World and Waiting For My Real Life to Begin are unbelievably good songs.  Please give them a listen.

Tenacious D - Tenacious D - Definitely not for everyone and especially not for kids, JB (Jack Black) and KG (Kyle Gass, not the imposter who writes this blog) made an album of hilarious folk rock tunes.  Wheels and I were able to see them in concert a few weeks before we got married in 2002 and according to what JB wrote and drew on her poster as he stared into her eyes, he was very interested in her not marrying me.  Luckily she chose the imposter, KG.

Monday, December 14, 2009

The Twelve Days of Christmas Countdown - 2000

Long time readers of the Skog Blog will remember that last year I offered up the Twelve Days of Christmas countdown, wherein I posted my twelve favorite albums and songs of 2008.  While compiling my albums for 2009, I realized that many of the albums that will be making my list have already received a decent amount of love on the Skog Blog this year.  In order to create a little bit of excitement and not bore you I have decided that rather than counting down one album each day from 2009 I will do an end of the decade countdown instead.  Those of you who don't enjoy when I go all music all of the time might want to steer clear of the blog for the next few weeks.  I might sprinkle in a few random posts as well but I can't promise anything.

The method used to determine the best albums of each year will be a hybrid of what I liked at the time as well as which albums have stood the test of time and still find themselves in my rotation.  Because of this the charts might be a bit heavy on my favorite groups and singers.  Why am I doing this, you might ask?  Well, if one person discovers a single album that they would not have otherwise known or is reminded of one that they had forgotten then how great shall be my joy. 

Honorable Mentions

Everlast - Eat at Whitey's - Former frontman from House of Pain grabs an acoustic guitar and records a surprisingly good album. No sample available so find your own.

Pedro the Lion - Winners Never Quit - Might be hazardous to listen to while driving due to its extreme mellow nature.

Various Artists - O Brother Where Art Thou? - A great soundtrack from one of the greatest films of the decade.

Eels - Daisies of the Galaxy - Only misses the cut because of a few bad tracks.

Doves - Lost Souls - Contains arguably a top 5 song of all time (Catch the Sun).


#12 David Gray - White Ladder - Great tunes from top to bottom.

#11 The Hives - Veni Vidi Vicious -  By far one of the greatest of the garage band revival albums.  Hate to Say I Told You So is as catchy as a skilled fisherman.  Do not let that terrible metaphor keep you from sampling this album. 

#10 Jurassic 5 - Quality Control - If all hip hop was this good it would not only be the most popular genre in America (which I believe it currently is) but it would also be the favorite of KG as well.

#9 Aimee Mann - Bachelor No. 2 - If I had created this list back in 2000 this would have been much closer to the top.  I haven't listened to it as much as I should over the years but whenever I finally do I remember how great it is.

#8 Harvey Danger - King James Version - Most people will say that they have no idea who this Harvey Danger guy is.  Actually it is a band and unless you spend your days listening to B98.7 you would have at one point in your life heard Flagpole Sitta from their debut.  This is actually their second album and it is better than their first and proved they were no one hit wonder.  Alas, the general public didn't agree with my sentiment and Harvey Danger slowly faded into obscurity.

#7 - Radiohead - Kid A - Another album that was hard to keep as low as I did on this countdown.  This was the album that elevated Radiohead from just a great Britpop band to something more.  Experimental, challenging and not for everyone.  Quite possibly my favorite Radiohead album of all time and strangely enough the only one I didn't own - Wheels brought this one into our marriage.  Nicely done, Wheels.

#6 Clem Snide - Your Favorite Music
Full disclosure - I didn't even discover Clem Snide until the following year so I never even heard this album in the year 2000.  Trust me, I have made up for lost time and listened to this album more than nearly every other one on this list.

#5 Coldplay - Parachutes - Back when the boys were just pups, this is as good as any debut could possibly be.  Yellow got all of the radio love but there are much better songs on this album.  If you got on the Coldplay train late and for some reason missed this then you must go back and give it a listen.

#4 - Badly Drawn Boy - The Hour of the Bewilderbeast - This album is one of those best described as greater than the sum of its parts.  I'm pretty sure I used that cliche incorrectly but oh well.  There are only 3 or 4 songs that would be considered worthy of 'single' status but this album rewards those who listen from start to finish.  I bought this album on the same day as Parachutes above and even as good as the Coldplay album was I kept being drawn to Bewilderbeast therefore I gave it a spot one higher on the countdown.  Also, Badly Drawn Boy was the first concert I attended alone and was a very liberating experience.  I was tired of missing good shows because I was unable to convince people to go and Flanksteak was too young.  Thank you BDB.  Shortly thereafter I found Vanwarmer and then Wheels and I've never had to attend a concert alone again.

#3 Ryan Adams - Heartbreaker - As close to straight up country as the Skog Blog will allow.  Ryan Adams has written and continues to write some of the best songs of this past decade.  The man is prolific, putting out multiple albums each year.  He could have just retired after his first solo record though because this one remains his finest work.

#2 Elliott Smith - Figure 8 - I suppose everybody knows of my fondness for Elliott.  If you still haven't listened to him, here is another chance.  On Figure 8 he added more instruments and went from a folky act to more of a Beatles' pop sound.  Not a bad decision on his part.  If this album doesn't make you a fan then I give up.

#1 Grandaddy - Sophtware Slump - I discovered Grandaddy when they opened for Elliott Smith after driving to see him perform in Las Vegas even though the show was sold out and without informing my buddy, Al of this fact.  Fear not, we got into the concert and were treated with Grandaddy before the main course of Smith.  Grandaddy kept opening for many of my favorites (Elliott,  Pete Yorn) and would have opened for Coldplay around this same time had Yellow not become an international smash hit and had Chris Martin not decided that the tiny venue wasn't good enough for his band's presence.  Oh wait, he got laryngitis, of course, my apologies...  Sophtware Slump is a concept album of sorts about the evils of modern technology and is another that is better heard from start to finish.  I assume I just frightened off the bulk of you but those still willing to give them a shot should listen to The Crystal Lake and enjoy the ride.