October 27, 2009

Decade's end: The Year 2001

Paris photo by Stuck In Customs

We know 2001 as a demode Michael Bay movie come to life. Literally, a few hours when we thought civilization was ending, or at least that is what it seemed like here in Washington. I don't like documentaries about that day because they always begin with how pretty the weather was and how la dee da... and then you know what is coming and you can't do anything about it. You know that, in the space of one hour, wars will be spawned and there will be years of pain and tears. It's just beyond depressing, even now.

The nice thing about 2001 was that I spent Christmas in Paris [ed: this is not a normal occurrence]. One night I went out in a misty rain, alone, and walked the length of Île Saint-Louis, peeking in the windows of those tiny, dark restaurants with wood beams and little lamps on the tables. When I got near the end of the road, there was suddenly a choir singing - the voices filling the street from a Christmas concert inside the Saint-Louis-en-l'Île Church - and I literally started to cry. One of those rare moments when you know you're truly happy and that you will always remember this place at this time.

A bit more introspection and less pop on the music list for this year.

Top Songs Of 2001

Shelby Lynne Killin’ Kind
Alison Moorer No Next Time
Dar Williams After All
Mark Kozalek Up To My Neck In You
Rufus Wainwright Grey Gardens (or Tower Of Learning?)
Teddy and Richard Thompson Persuasion
Kings Of Convenience Winning The Battle…
Maxwell Lifetime
Mary J. Blige No More Drama
Kylie Minogue Love At First Sight
Lamb Gabriel
Mercury Rev Nite And Fog
Ewan MacGregor and Nicole Kidman Come What May
Pulp Trees
Ronan Keating Lovin’ Each Day
Prefab Sprout Blue Roses
Travis Side

Stevie Nicks Planets Of The Universe
Bjork Unison

I left a lot off this list!


Dan said...

I was so glad to see "Planets of the Universe" on that list - it is a latter day Stevie classic, even though the song is older than dirt! It took so long to find a home, and that album was the first of her solo albums since Rock A Little to really resonate.

xolondon said...

Yes! That album is in her top three (with Bella Donna - le sighhhh- and Wild Heart). Many great songs that year.

countpopula said...

I was very moved by this post, as your juxtaposition of the events of 9/11 mixed with Paris at Christmas illustrated. I awoke to a news story this morning that 25 innocent children were killed in the Baghdad carbombs yesterday while leaving daycare. Almost a decade on and the world can still be quite dangerous and full of hatred. However, your Paris story was a thing of beauty, and is the kind of thing that gives people hope for a brighter future. With all the economic crises going on, we need to feel inspired, as reflective moments like this can become moments of clarity. I always await the first blanket of fresh snow in winter on crystalline evenings.

I was unaware you enjoyed as many singer-songwriters as you do. The Lamb song, for me, was especially epic, and it was a shame they never really scaled those heights again.

Paul said...

How odd - we were in Paris that Christmas. I like to think that we passed you on the street, maybe smiled or offered a festive greeting not knowing that years later we would become friends :)

undisco_me said...

I loved Shelby's album, and Killin' Kind has that great severing moment before she goes 'I'm dying for you babe' at full pelt. Have been disappointed with her ever since. I honestly thought with that video it was going to be a massive hit.

Erika said...

Nice to see a little shout out to a fave: Moulin Rouge! Still love to curl up to Ewan singing when no one is watching...

D'luv said...

Love the Paris mini-story! Did you baguette yourself at midnight.

xolondon said...

I did D'luv, and boyyyy did it made me croque monsieur...

Anonymous said...

Great to see Rufus on your list! I first saw him in a small club in Toronto in 1998 on the eve of his first CD...

Also, Stevie Nicks' "Planets Of The Universe" was in my Top 25 of 2001. But the version I really enjoy is the 11 minute Tracy Young club mix - the song was a #1 hit on Billboard's dance club play chart.

D'luv said...

Mon dieu! Sacre bleu! Le Contre Hookerdou!