(Happy New Year – promoted by Garrett Quinn)
1. Paper Planes by M.I.A. (2007)
Watch out for them immigrants they might kill you, rob you, and make you a gyro at the same time. Immigration and third world conditions were major issues throughout the decade and this song charges at them head on. M.I.A., a product of the tension filled wave of immigration to Great Britain, embraces the stereotypes that permeate just beneath the surface of British (and often American) popular culture. Filled with references to making fake visas and robbing people, M.I.A. laughs at the caricature of the modern immigrant.
One of the most remarkable things about “Paper Planes” is the proliferation of different studio versions. The song has been altered by so many different artists, with the best free audio editing software used extensively to do so, that it is hard to determine which version is the best so I’ll stick with the original and (gunshot)(gunshot)(gunshot)(gunshot) take your money.
2. Hurt by Johnny Cash (2003)
While riding off into the sunset of life the Man In Black reflects while claiming a Nine Inch Nails song as his own. Many artists have covered songs but few have so powerfully redefined them. Trent Reznor of NIN was originally unsure about the project but once he saw the music video he reportedly shed tears.
3. International Players Anthem (I Choose You) by UGK (2007)
What would you do if you just got engaged? Obviously you would text every girl you had ever been with and tell them you were now taken by “this cutie pie.” Then your boys would try to talk you out of it and call you a sucker for gettin’ married. As much as this song is the work of Pimp C and Bun B, Andre 3000 steals the show. Oh, by the way, the money is on the dresser and I drive a Kompressor.
4. Seven Nation Army by The White Stripes(2003)
At the start of the decade there was a brief revival of garage rock and roll. The leaders and, apparently only successful survivors of it are The White Stripes. Their anthem is, without question, “Seven Nation Army”.
5. Bounce That by Girl Talk (2006)
How does working a computer and turntables make you a musician? If you have to ask yourself this question just skip this entry. The 2000s saw the rise of the controversial mashup. At the front of the “mashup movement” was and is Girl Talk. The track presented here, “Bounce That”, samples 11 different songs. So yes Virginia, DJs are musicians and they do have talent. Now get off of Pirate Bay and do your homework.
6. Mr. Brightside by The Killers(2004)
The Killers proved that you could still make great & popular rock music that people can dance to. With “Mr. Brightside”, Brandon Flowers sang his way into the hearts of college girls everywhere and created an anthem for Generation Y.
7. Rebellion (Lies) by The Arcade Fire(2005)
Where do you start with The Arcade Fire? No band provided more hauntingly beautiful music in the 2000s than The Arcade Fire. Do I really have to pick just one song? I could go with “Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)” or I could go with “Wake Up” or maybe “Keep The Car Running.” The Arcade Fire will stir emotions inside you that you didn’t even know you had. They’ll bring you back to when you were 15 trying to figure out what all those new feelings were.
8. One More Time by Daft Punk(2000)
Years from now when people look back at this decade and wonder about the dance music their first stop will be Daft Punk. The robotic duo released this sunkissed tribute to disco, house, and dance in the short period of the decade that was still care free and, well, happy. It is hard to remember that there was a moment in the last decade that was free of terror alerts, endless wars, and tons and tons of suck.
9. 99 Problems by Jay-Z(2004)
A rags to riches story straight outta Marcy Projects staring Shawn Carter. Sure Jay-Z loves to rap about himself but how many superstar rappers don’t? Hell, it lead to Martin Luther parodies.
10. I’m Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How To Dance With You by Black Kids (2008)
Hard to believe these guys were once a Christian ska band.
Mark Sandman Prize
The Reeling by Passion Pit
Special Jury Prize
Maps by The Yeah Yeah Yeahs