[retrospective] A Look Back To My 2002


Due to the rapid success of the reemergence of Tympanogram, I have been nostalgic all week. The natural cure for a nostalgic mood is to take a long walk down memory lane and relive age-old memories with the (false) intention of aiding future progress. My treat to myself was reliving music from 10 years past all week to fuel my future fire. I feel it working already.

More than anything, 2002 was the year of Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. I was always a peripheral Wilco fan, but I jumped right into that album. It was my Alpha and Omega a decade ago. “Kamera” was the track for me, and I still take pause when I hear it.

On the electronic front, Keith Fullerton Whitman and Jim O’Rourke ruled my airwaves. Whitman released records under his own name (Playthroughs) and as Hrvatski (Swarm & Dither), while O’Rourke (who also produced/played on Yankee Hotel Foxtrot) collaborated with Fennesz and Pita on the entirely improvised laptop mash Return of FennO’Berg and as a member of Sonic Youth on Murray Street.

Straight rock ’n’ roll records like Spoon’s Kill the Moonlight, Beck’s Sea Change, Interpol’s Turn on the Bright Lights and Sleater-Kinney’s One Beat were my real medicine. I enjoyed giving them a spin, and they brought me back through time in ways more vivid than even YHF.

Low’s Trust, The Flaming Lips’ Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, Deerhoof’s Reveille, the Liars’ They Threw Us All in a Ditch and Stuck a Monument on Top (which also earned the album title of the year!), Godspeed’s Yanqui U.X.O. and Sigur Ros’ () would also be worth talking about, while The Books’ Thought for Food and Out Hud’s S.T.R.E.E.T. D.A.D. put some bounce in my step. Splashes of krautrock highlighted Nurse with Wound’s The Man with the Woman Face. The Acid Mothers Temple gave Terry Riley’s In C a well-deserved re-do, and finally Tim Hecker’s Haunt Me, Haunt Me, Do It Again opened my eyes to the more entertaining directions in drone that built off releases by Whitman and O’Rourke.

So my offering to you, dear reader, is to not give you the trite music review that you may have expected; rather, I give you the permission to stop what you are doing, look over your shoulder and enjoy what you may have left behind. Trust me: you won’t turn into a pillar of salt or anything. Instead, I can almost guarantee that you will be better for it.

Make sure you stop listening to music long enough to see the new Spider-Man movie, though… it’s not like you already watched it a decade ago!

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