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  • Alistair Braidwood

Top Twenty (+1) Vids of the OO’s…ever!

In no order whatsoever her are 21 of my favourite tracks and/or vids from what some folk still call ‘the noughties‘. You’ll find no Scottish bands represented here as I’m going to have separate Top 10 lists for Scottish music, books, films etc in the run up to the new decade. Also, that allows me to include more music than I can fit into this list, but it’s hopefully an interesting selection and it’s a good representation of what I listened to in the last ten years. Up first is Emilliani Torrini’s haunting To Be Free:

Next is the most recent of this selection, its Wild Beasts XTC like All The King’s Men:

I know some people find them a bit arch, bit I love the Vampire Weekend. This is A-Punk:

Some of the best stuff from the decade came from Iceland. This is Mum with The Island’s of Children’s Children:

I’m always one for a disturbing video. These are The Doves with There Goes the Fear:,t=1,mt=video Probably the best gig I went to in the last ten years was Gillian Welch and Dave Rawlings at the Barras. The crowd was spellbound for the whole set. Pure magic. Probably my favourite singer around today, and this is the promo for Elvis Presley Blues: Were Gorillaz the best thing Damon did this decade? It’s a close thing, but for the use of the legendary Sean Ryder I had to choose Dare: I’m doing this over a few days, and today this is my favourite song ever. I need uplifted and this always does the trick. Lambchop and Up with People:

While I’m feeling all elegiac I think it’s time for Kate Bush. I love Kate Bush and this is King of the Mountains:

I imagine that The White Stripes will feature heavily in such lists elsewhere, but I listen to The Raconteurs albums more often. This was their debut release Steady As She Goes:

Next are two videos from albums I played almost constantly in the early part of the decade and I include them to represent the whole rather than loving these individual songs in particular. The first is Back of My Hand by Gemma Hayes from Night on My Side:

The next is from Zero 7’s Simple Things and features the fantastic voice of Sia who made some great music under her own name. This is Destiny:

Another of my favourite artists of all time is Polly Jean Harvey. Always brilliant even at her most challenging. One of the best albums of the decade was Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea, and one of the best singles was this, This is Love: One new voice that I fell for was Josh Rouse who released a string of albums that were effortlessly engaging, any of which I could have chosen from. This is Directions from the album Home: I can take or leave Beck normally, but 2002’s Sea Change is not only his best work, but one of the best of the decade. I listened to this more than anything else in the past ten years, which is perhaps slightly worrying, but this is Guess I’m Doing Fine:

To prove it wasn’t all doom and/or gloom as far as my listening tastes are concerned, a couple of tracks that are pure pop genius. The first was one of those songs which everyone loves, and Outkast were making some of the best music around. This is the brilliant Hey Ya!:

This is a lesser known track from a band that had critical kudos but little success. Yes it’s a return to the eighties, but they were hardly alone in that, and at least they took inspiration from the better bands. This is Captain with Glorious:

Another band who lit up the decade were Arcade Fire. Again I could have picked almost any track but here’s No Cars Go:

I’m going to finish with three legends, at least they are in my house. The first is the title track from Dig, Lazarus, Dig by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds who, for me, get better and better: This is a track from my artist of the decade, Will Oldham. Nobody produced so much consistently brilliant work in the last 10 years. This is from the Superwolf album that he did with Matt Sweeney, but to be honest I could have filled every slot on this list with his stuff and been satisfied. This is the beautiful I Gave You:

This list was originally going to be 20 songs long, but then I remembered the video that had me weeping uncontrollably when I saw it. A fitting tribute to a man and his music, made all the more poignant as it is sung by the man himself. Usually videos are used to promote the song, but when they are at their best the combine with the song to create something greater. This is a classic example. It’s Johnny Cash’s cover of Hurt:

So, for what it’s worth, that’s my list. I’m sure if I was to start again tomorrow there would be some changes, but it’s a good representation of what I was listening to. What do you think? Already I’m thinking where are The Guillemots, The Decemberists, Common, Rachael Yamagata, The Sleepy Jackson, Lucinda Williams, Phoenix, Brendon Benson, Costello etc, etc, etc..??

Look out for the Top 10 Scottish songs/vids of the decade which will be coming soon, along with some other best of lists.


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