Andy Whitman: A Very Personal, Highly Idiosyncratic Musical Overview of the Aughts

Andy Whitman offers up “a strange and idiosyncratic musical overview of the decade that was”:

If, for the past ten years, you’ve followed popular music beyond the narrow confines of Top 40 radio, you already know the big albums and the major musical trends of the decade. This is not about that. The Aughts were ushered in by a cavalcade of short-lived (sometimes all too literally) rap stars, pre-fab boy bands, and pop divas, and they will be ushered out by a cavalcade of rap stars and pre-fab artists who made their names by covering classic rock and Motown tunes on TV. Now that’s innovation. During the intervening ten years Pitchfork became the de facto arbiter of all things hip, and hyped a bunch of tuneless bands with animals in their names. MTV continued to have nothing to do with music, preferring instead to pump out reality shows of has-been rock stars dating D-list actresses. And Rolling Stone steadfastly held its ground, holding out for a Beatles reunion. To all of them I bid auld lang syne, and good riddance. I’m more interested in what happened in the margins, in those places where musical taste was not a fashion or lifestyle accessory, and where certain albums and songs intersected with my life and informed my understanding of what was happening around me.