Best of the Decade: Special Mentions

11 Feb

Very soon now, I will be unleashing upon the world my top 50 albums of the 00’s.  I know you’re all just brimming with excitement now.  In order to get the ball rolling, I thought I’d share with you my favorite live album, my favorite comedy albums, and one album that is only not on my top 50 list because I didn’t realize until recently that it’s just a collection of b-sides and unreleased tracks.  I present to you:  The best of the rest!

Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band – Live in New York City

Right now there are four things on the walls in my room.  A calendar that still insists it’s January, a caricature a friend of mine drew of Robert Smith, Bono and Humphrey Bogart sitting around a table having drinks, a Netflix advertisement for Angels & Demons and a poster advertising Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band live in NYC.  If you promise not to tell on me, I’ll confess that I got this album from the local library.  Well, I didn’t take it, I just ripped it.  It’s their own fault for loaning out CDs!  This is possibly one of the main deal-sealers as far as my love of Springsteen goes.  It’s not just important to me as a fan, but it represents the beginning of a new era of amazing Springsteen material that would be forthcoming in the 00’s, a tour simply there to bring back the E Street Band from what was a lengthy and painful separation.

The set list on this one is a little strange, I admit.  Not sure what anyone was thinking when they closed with “If I Should Fall Behind”, but, if you get the chance, give this one a spin, even if you aren’t a big fan of the ‘Steen, the guy puts on an amazing live show, and it’s captured perfectly well here.

Enjoy a very different approach to “Atlantic City”:

Jim Gaffigan – Beyond the Pale; George Lopez – Right Now Right Now

I won’t pretend to know a lot about what goes in to making a good comedy album.  I won’t even pretend to know what goes into good comedy.  What I know is that these two gents crack my ass right on up.  The problem with both is that they are both fairly visually minded, so right away, I’d recommend viewing their stand-up over listening.  But, that’s not always possible (I don’t believe Right Now, Right Now is even available in any other format than audio) and so the comedy album must be a, suitable, replacement.  I first heard Right Now, Right Now while driving cross-country from Indiana to Texas, it was my very first time doing this drive, if I recall correctly, and, while not always understandable (the guy is speaking Spanish half the time, understandably so) listening to this 3 or 4 times through was enough to keep me awake for part of the 14 hour trip.

I haven’t said much about Jim Gaffigan, but what else is there to say? If you aren’t familiar with his material, I recommend you repair this right away.  I’ll wait:

I usually hate posting a “Hot Pocket” video, but it’s the best introduction to his work.  Talking to himself, talking about food, self-depreciation, it’s what Gaffigan does best.

The Dresden Dolls – No, Virginia

John, Curator of our happy little family over here at Ocean of Noise DEMANDED I listen to this album way back in 2008.  I went with it.  I knew nothing about the Dresden Dolls at that point except they were that weird band.  Well, I still kind of think of them as that weird band, but at least they’re that weird band that make incredibly infectious music.  One day, not too long into the future now, I will stop being lazy and I will listen to Yes, Virginia and then I can really begin to form an opinion on their music, until that time, I’m left knowing that their b-sides and unreleased tracks are this good.  Things bode well for the future.

I’ll be back very soon with the first post of my top 50.  Stay tuned!

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