I don’t like making such a negative post about something as broad as an entire decade without counterbalancing it with the positive about said topic. In my previous post, I listed the 10 worst things about music in the 2000s (in my humble opinion), and now I will list the ten best (also my opinion). Please note: I did borrow some of these from Rolling Stone.
1. The creation of the iPod. Whether you own a name brand iPod or general mp3 player, you cannot deny the revolution in music listening that is this little device. We have gone, in just 25 short years, from carrying around a ghetto blaster that required 4 D batteries, to the walkman, to the Discman, to the tiniest of iPods that simply charge by being plugged into your computer. They are tiny, portable, and are great for exercising because they don’t “skip” like Discmans do. Truly an amazing device.
2. The revival of outdoor festivals. Woodstock-style festivals got a bad rap in the ‘90s due to some out-of-control rioting that took place during some of the shows. Fortunately, the ‘00s brought back some of the original awesomeness with festivals like Bonnaroo and Lollapalooza. Tons of great bands, hippies selling handicrafts, a cloud of smoke that can be seen from space. I have unfortunately not been to one of these yet, but when I get the time and money, I’m going.
3. The Better Life by 3 Doors Down. 3 Doors Down had one of the best debut albums of the decade. They were just rock music, pure and simple. They sang about struggles with drugs, the desire to live life on your own terms, not having enough time in the day, and they even had a touching little pseudo-balled (“So I Need You”). Besides, who DIDN’T love “Kryptonite?”
4. The end of boy bands (sort of). Yeah, we still have the Jonas Brothers to deal with, but I don’t think they’re anywhere near the level of the Backstreet Boys or ‘NSync. The boy band craze hit its peak in the late 1990s, and carried over into the very early 2000s, but it had pretty much died out by 2001, much to the devastation of 12-year-old girls everywhere.
5. Southpark makes fun of Kanye West. “Golddigger” was a pretty funny and catchy song. But funny and catchy does not the genius voice of a generation make. Southpark skewered the heck out of Kanye West in the “Fishsticks” episode. I still don’t think he gets the joke.
6. Incubus, Tool, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and a few other bands from the ‘90s continued to make music.
7. Toby Keith tells off terrorists. Ok, so I’m not a big country fan anymore, even though I grew up listening to it, but I had to put this on here. Regardless of whether or not you like him, the mental image of Toby Keith (or anyone else, for that matter) putting a boot in Osama bin Laden’s ass is bound to make you chuckle, or at least crack a smile.
8. The release of Chinese Democracy. This is not on here because it was a great album – it wasn’t. But maybe now that it’s out and it flopped, Axl Rose will keep in mind that he’s not all that great without the rest of Guns N Roses. And hopefully, this will cure the ego disease that plagues many a frontman and causes them to leave a perfectly good band to pursue a solo career.
9. Fewer rappers got shot (I think). While I was researching the deaths in music in the 2000s for my last post, I found that yes, plenty of rappers still got shot in the 2000s. But the violence that seemed so prevalent (and that took out legends 2Pac and Notorious B.I.G) in the 1990s was less common in the 2000s, at least in mainstream rap. Gang violence doesn’t seem as common now as it did in the ‘90s, and drive-bys aren’t as glorified. It seems that rappers are battling it out on the mic instead of in the streets. Besides, who has time to orchestrate a gun battle when you’re busy pimpin’ your bitches and hos in da club?
10. The rise of online downloads. Napster might be gone (thanks a lot, Metallica), but dozens of new p2p software rose out of its ashes. Online downloads allowed young people to discover older bands that they might have heard of but didn’t know anything about, and it also allowed poor folks with computer access to loot and pillage the music industry from our desk chairs, even while the RIAA had a decade-long panic attack about it.
So there you have it: the good, the bad, and the ugly from the 2000s, in the humble opinions of one little Sheep.