March 16, 2010


I have a lot of great memories from 2003. Jenn and I had been dating since the previous year; she moved down to Oklahoma City to go to college which was inspired in no small part by her desire to be with me. We went to concerts, I played in a band (Google "Cessation Bustle" and see what happens), and lots of music came out that made 2003 feel like a great fucking year.

The Rapture came out with Echoes, but I still think it's overrated. The Strokes disappointed America with Room on Fire. Radiohead released Hail to the Thief, which while one of their weaker albums is still better than 95% of what's released. And for some fucking reason, everybody thought the Darkness was this awesome, ironic, kitschy band that was really a terribly cheesy piece of shit. Oh yeah, and that Iraq war thing was going down. Dude, if we could be fooled into thinking the Darkness's "I Believe in a Thing Called Love" was a great song, then the Bush Administration convincing the country that Iraq had Weapons of Mass Destruction was a sure thing. We had nobody to blame but ourselves.

There are some serious contenders for 2003's personal album of the year. Sufjan Stevens came flying out with Greetings from Michigan: The Great Lake State. That thing was monumental. Find a mid 20 something who fancies themselves a music fan and ask them if they had that album. If they didn't, they're a phony. Speakerboxx/Love Below made white suburban kids feel they were that much closer to being urban. Cursive's The Ugly Organ came out and showed us that Domestica was a one off. It pains me to say that. The Ugly Organ was good, but it was no Domestica. Beulah's Yoko released a terrific break up album.

But it's been established I'm a fairly lame dork. I remember making out to The Postal Service's Give Up and the emotions attached to this album give it a checkmark for 2003. Yeah, the lyrics display trademark Gibbardisms, but Jimmy Tamborello's production and Ben Gibbard's singing make up for the occasional lyrical disaster. The Postal Service's Give Up was clearly about seven years ahead of it's time because that little poof from Minnesota, Owl City, has blown the hell up by basically taking Ben Gibbard's vocal styling and throwing it on his own similar electronic bleeps and bips that Tamborello did with the Postal Service. The Postal Service was saccharine sweet but the toothache was worth it.