This was much harder than the “My 50 Favorite Television Shows of the 00s” list. When I started the television list, I singled out 70 shows or so and cut it down to 50. It took me three days to come up with a first draft of albums and I ended up with 185! I was going to just do a list of 100 but I like consistency so I whittled the list down to 50. The closer I got to 50, the sadder I got as I had to delete albums I loved off the list. After how depressing it ended up being bringing this list down to 50, a) I won’t even try to single out a top 10 (although I think “Kid A” would be my favorite album) and b) sorry, Karen, I won’t even attempt a 50 Favorite Singles list.
A couple of notes:
Just a reminder, I am not saying these are the 50 BEST albums in the last decade, these are the ones I am most fond of
Apparently my best years for music was 2000 and 2002 as nine albums from each year made the list.
Nothing released this year made the list and only two albums from 2008
Only Jay-Z and Radiohead have more than one album on the list (unless you count Jenny Lewis twice for her solo and Rilo Kiley)
The first time I saw Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová perform was a year ago at NYU Cantor Center after a sneak preview of Once. To say I loved it would be an understatement. Anyway, afterwards we stuck around for a Q&A with writer/director John Carney and the two stars (who were unknown to me at the time). They were really humble. Irglová seemed nervous and barely spoke even when asked questions. Then they performed a couple of songs from the movie with Hansard’s (now-famous I’d reckon) broken guitar. It was really cool. They invited everyone to go to a bar afterwards but it was a Lost night and you know me.
To see them performing at Radio City Music Hall a year later is kind of surreal. Clearly they thought it was surreal as well, especially Hansard who opened the show singing “Say It To Me Now” acoustic and away from the microphone. Throughout the night they did songs from the movie, The Swell Season album and a couple of Frames songs. They did two Van Morrison covers (“Astral Weeks” and “Into The Mystic”, both which were amazing and garned standing ovations). Irglová got her sister on stage and they sang “Gently Johnny” from the original The Wicker Man soundtrack (when she was on stage and said they were going to sing a song from The Wicker Man, I turned to my friend and said “Oh no, not the creepy song!).
My favorite moment of the night was when they were singing Star, Star (a Frames tune) and turned it into “Pure Imagination” from Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory.
They played until midnight almost. They just didn’t want to get off stage. I don’t blame them.
It was an amazing show. If they are coming to your city, buy tickets! They are playing at at Rumsey Playfield in Central Park on September 17, 2008. Tickets are on sale now.
This is sort of a musical (“modern day musical” is how the writer-director John Carney described it at the Q&A following the screening). It’s not like a Dreamgirls/Chicago musical where characters break into songs about the scene. The songs (some featured on the album, The Swell Season, some written specifically for the film) come along while the characters are collaborating and making this demo but the songs are about both the characters’ (who are never named so they are referred to as Guy and Girl) past and what is going on between them.
The two leads Glen Hansard (from the Irish band, The Frames) and Markéta Irglová have great chemistry together and their friendship seems natural and not forced. And the songs were great.
I want to say more but it would spoil certain aspects of the movie.
The movie isn’t perfect but it felt perfect so I’m sticking with my rating.