Best of 2000: Erik Gamlem

1. Q and Not U, No Kill No Beep Beep (Dischord)
Born and bread in Washington DC and proof that rock music can be both inventive and danceable. This action packed quartet puts up an impressive shot against the godfathers and mothers of punk rock. This could be the new wave of rock music’s future.

2. Discount, Crash Diagnostic (New American Dream)
Punk in it’s most developed form. Manic, energetic and explosive. Sweet and disturbing and always beautiful. Discount reached its height with this full length and it unfortunately brought about their demise. However such beauty and power will allow Discount to go down with a sweet legacy.

3. Bald Rapunzel, Diazepam (Resin/Dischord)
Rock music for angels. The voice of God might not even be this beautiful. Political in all their actions and poetic with each word sung Bald Rapunzel proved that powerful music does not have to be loud, or that being quite necessarily means contentment.

4. Frodus, And We Washed Our Weapons in the Sea (Day After Records)
Truly apocalyptic. Fully realized music made by some very talented people. Craft and precision, care and growth and all the good stuff when it was needed the most. Easily the most surprising record from the hardcore/punk genre to date.

5. The Mercury Program, From the Vapor of Gasoline (Tigerstyle)
Mood music, jam music, beautiful and sweeping music. Tom Reno understands the landscape of where sound meets earth and can communicate it with such wonder and ease. Between calming guitar lines and whisper vocals the open road never had such a perfect companion.

6. Lungfish, Necrophones (Dischord)
Dan Higgs is a prophet, a poet and a mad man wrapped tightly behind a beard. This unusual outfit makes no bones about the repetition of cryptic music they have made for over a decade. Lungfish proves more then any band ever that making music is an art always in development and the signs of the times that the kids perceive are nothing but flashing memories.

7. Bratmobile, Ladies Women and Girls (Lookout!)
Much like the mighty Lungfish, Bratmobile proved that it doesn’t always take innovation to be deemed amazing. Sometimes when a person has enough strength to stand against an overwhelming tide of boring bullshit and say something that needs to be said. Even if a thousand women had said it before. This is what punk rock should be about. Discovering your roots is important. Finding them all over again is critical.

8. Faraquet, The View from This Tower (Dischord)
Ocampo Comes Alive. Boswell Live at the Marquee. Molter – Untouched. Well okay, Faraquet isn’t seventies arena rock, the don’t even much sound like the bad arena rock of the seventies . Yet the technical musicianship melted down into amazing craft and song sensibility makes Faraquet’s debut full length something very exciting to see come from DC.

9. Engine Down, To Burn Within the Sound (Lovitt)
If the Beatles had grown up on hardcore they would fully understand the awesome power of this beautiful ass-kicking epitaph. Sad and somber lyrics made only more moving by powerful music that never gets out of hand or runs away from the path. The Engine Down shows a lot of maturity with this album. They prove that you can be hardcore with out the ridiculously loud guitars and screaming vocals.

10. Outkast, Stankonia (LaFace/Arista)
Hip-hop finally gets some fresh energy and some real soul music. Lord help me from the absolute excitement that this Atlanta duo has injected into my soul. The high intensity of this release is what Hip-Hop has lacked for a long long time. In an age of bullshit posturing and sugar coated sob stories, Outkast offers a glimmer of hope in the land of mainstream rap.

5 Favorite songs of 2000
1. “Make Me A Mix Tape” – The Promise Ring (from the Electric Pink single. Jade Tree)
2. “B.O.B” – Outkast (From the Stankonia LP. LaFace)
3. “Watching You Sleep” – Leatherface (From the Horsebox LP. B.Y.O
4. “Maybelle” – Ida (From the Will You Find Me LP. Tigerstyle)
5. “Pattern Against User” – At The Drive In (From the Relationship of Command LP. Grand Royal)

And Just FYI…
Top Ten All Time
1. Jane’s Addiction – Ritual de lo Habitual
2. Unrest – Perfect Teeth
3. Sonic Youth – Dirty
4. Lifetime – Hello Bastards
5. Lifetime – Jersey’s Best Dancers
6. Smart Went Crazy – Con Art
7. The Most Secret Method – Get Lovely
8. The Beastie Boys – Check Your Head
9. Q and Not U – No Kill No Beep Beep
10. Discount – Crash Diagnostic