Welcome to the last of our decades playlists which concentrates on the first decade of the 21st century often referred to as ‘the noughties’ or the 00’s. It was a decade of sweeping changes in the world as new technologies bought us new ways of seeing the world, and as global events seemed to make the world a more dangerous place. It was also the decade that bought us endless reality television and the rise of Simon Cowell as a thing in our lives. It wasn’t all post-millennial doom and gloom though, and as we shall see plenty of pretty good stuff happened too…
As with all of our decade reviews this is by no means exhaustive but rather our personal take on things, so if we’ve left something out you feel was worth a mention… tough!
Although the internet really arrived in the 90’s it wasn’t until the 00’s that were really started to figure out what we wanted to do with it. One thing we definitely wanted to do was download lots of music illegally and through sites like Napster and via apps like Limewire we did so in a way that fundamentally altered both the music and technology industries. Basically, mp3’s were here to stay and thus Apple, which was at this point a slightly fading computer company, launched one of the most successful consumer items ever: the iPod…
…which gave us shuffle and playlists and trains and buses full of headphone-wearing people ignoring each other.
As the internet took over our lives and the technology became faster we would, via Friends Reunited and Myspace, find the internet’s true function in our lives: social networking. Facebook, launched in 2004 by 20 year-old Mark Zuckerberg and his college-dorm friends, would prove to be the site that changed not only the internet but in no small part has been responsible for a revolution in human communication.
And all of that by simply giving us a platform to share embarrassing picture of ourselves and endless memes full of cute animals. Latterly, Twitter would also arrive giving everybody a big platform with which to shout angrily about things we don’t like and call each other nasty names and share endless cute animal memes. Apparently this is a good thing.
Global events and politics.
The global events of the decade would be more influenced by one man(?) than any other. That man (or possibly a chimp who learned how to shave) was George W. Bush and on January 20th 2001 the U.S. population somehow contrived to elect this man-chimp to be the 43rd President of the United States, him being an oil-rich simian whose father had just happened to have had the same job a decade earlier.
Later that year, on September 11th, global politics would be changed forever as 2 planes hijacked by members of the Islamic militant group Al Qaeda we’re flown in to the twin towers of the World Trade Center causing them to collapse. Two further planes were also hijacked, and the eventual death toll was close to 3000. It was such a profoundly shocking and sad event that it’s fair to say the world irrevocably changed that day.
The knock on effect was Bush launching a “war on terror” (being of course too stupid to realize that they are basically the same thing) and a US/UK led coalition invading both Afghanistan and, somewhat inexplicably, Iraq. Apparently Saddam Hussein was hiding weapons of mass destruction although despite a very thorough inspection no WMD’s were ever found. Just lots and lots of oil. Which was handy when you think about it because wars cost a lot of money…
So later, on January 20th 2005 to be precise, and despite an election dogged by controversies regarding voting “irregularities” the USA managed to elect the chimp to be their President for a second term! This despite quite clearly showing that although he had learned how to shave and wage wars he still hadn’t quite mastered the art of language, being prone to utterances like “Rarely is the question asked: Is our children learning?” or “Well, I think if you say you’re going to do something and don’t do it, that’s trustworthiness”. Some time in the future we’ll look back and go “Do you remember when the U.S. had a shaved chimp for a president, what on earth was all that about??”
Thankfully they ended the decade on some kind of high note electing their first ever black president Barack Obama amid scenes of wild jubilation. In his viictory speech he proclaimed “It’s been a long time coming, but…change has come to America” paraphrasing Sam Cooke and bringing what may have proved to be false hope to both the USA and the wider world of a new, more inclusive and peaceful age.
Fashion, television and film
The highest grossing documentary of all time Fahrenheit 9/11 was released in 2004. It is a critical look at George W. Bush´ presidency. It makes Bush look like the bright mind he is.
The 00´s also saw the return of THE SAGA with The Lord of the Rings:The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers and The Return of the King.They are hugely enjoyable movies, thrilling, great photography and landscape, the first one is very similar to the books, and it has good actors and a good screenplay but most important of all it has this image
They were directed by Peter Jackson (who sadly could not stop there and has now brought us the Hobbit, the last one that was released I could not even bother to watch…why don´t people know when to stop?) In any case, I did enjoy the Lord of the Rings trilogy and will leave it on if I find it on TV.
Another SAGA in the 00´s was the entertaining Pirates of the Caribbean.
This trilogy is made up of: Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead´s Man´s Chest and Pirates of the Caribbean: At World´s End. Johnny Depp´s character Jack Sparrow was inspired by Keith Richards, and it is fun and as I said before: entertaining.
The 2000´s also had SAGAS for X-Men, Batman and Spider-Man. It was the start of the reign for super hero films, and they were pretty interesting, but we here at MVD think that one of the best films ever would be Batman´s second movie from The Dark Night´s trilogy, directed by Christopher Nolan and starred by Christian Bale and also, and more importantly by Heath Ledger, who´s performance of The Joker won him a a posthumous Oscar as Best Supporting Actor.
Reality Television dominated the 2000´s, with shows like American Idol, Dancing with the Stars, Survivor, The Apprentice. The decade saw an increase in forensic shows (no, never been a fan of them) like CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and it´s spin offs.
The decade was basically a revival of the 60´s, the 70´s and the 80´s. Cargo pants, the bell bottoms and then skinny jeans. Dyed hair for women and men. And the only “authentic” fashion movement was the EMO movements: it sucked.
Because of social media and the availability of music online, the exclusiveness of music blurred, now you could find anything online, the end searching for a record for weeks, months and years. It was suddenly there, as well as artists with their own websites, no need for a PR guy to release a statement, the artist can just contact the audience right away, the elimination of “the middle man”. The music business has been tumbling ever since and some companies see opportunities, like YouTube and Spotify but others cannot adapt.
Hip Hop and garage rock continued leading the market with Emimen as the best selling artist of the decade and bands like The Strokes, Interpol, The Killers and The White Stripes going mainstream. Autotune (an audio processor that measures and alters pitch in music recordings and performances) took over and sadly it is probably here to stay.Dark days are upon us. Let´s hope rock and blues and music with instruments makes a comeback.
Something About Us – Daft Punk
Guy-Manuel de Homen-Christo and Thomas Bangalter are the genius French musicians behind this duo.
They were already respected and recognized by the end of 1990´s but they went beyond everyone´s expectations with the release of their 2001 album Discovery. The album then became the soundtrack for the film Interstella 5555The 5tory of the 5ecret 5tar 5ystem, the movie was produced by the duo and tells the story (without dialogue and through Japaneses animation) of the abduction and rescue of an interstellar pop band. It is stunning: the song, the video, the band, everything!
Stranger Things Have Happened – Foo Fighters
Released in 2007, Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace is Foo Fighter´s 6th studio album, and next to In Your Honor it is another one of the band´s masterpieces. All the songs are written by Dave Grohl (who by the way at least one of us here at MVD thinks was the real talent behind Nirvana and is one of the greatest musicians of the 20th century).
Foo Fighters formed in the 1990s, after the death of Kurt Cobain and the dissolution of Nirvana, but it was in the 00´s when the band broke lose from Nirvana´s ghost and became the iconic rock band they are today.
You Know I´m No Good – Amy Winehouse
It has been almost 4 years since the world lost Amy Jade Winehouse, on July 23rd – 2011.
The now member of the famous 27 club (that of famous musicians who died at the age of 27 often as a result of drug and alcohol abuse, or violent means such as homicide or suicide) is jamming with Kurt Cobain, Jimi Hendrix, Brian Jones, Jim Morrison and Janis Joplin.
This English singer and songwriter released only 2 studio Albums: Frank, her debut album in 2003 and Back to Black in 2006. Both were critically and publicly acclaimed. She was a unique and talented and tormented blue eyed soul singer and there won´t be another one like her ever.
Without Me – Eminem
The biggest selling artist of the 00’s, Marshall Bruce Mathers III aka Slim Shady aka Eminem bestrode both hip-hop music and the world at large for pretty much the whole decade. Discovered by Dr. Dre who later recalled “In my entire career in the music industry, I have never found anything from a demo tape or a CD. When (I was) played this, I said, ‘Find him. Now.'”, he would go on to change the face of hip-hop by becoming it’s first white superstar, and quite simply one of the most famous musical stars of all time selling over 40 million records and creating an army of lookalike fans worldwide.
“Without Me” represents Eminem at his commercial peak. A number 1 single in something like 14 different countries it also sees the rapper displaying both the dazzling verbal dexterity and savage cartoon humor which have become his trademarks.
The Hardest Button To Button – The White Stripes
Detroit duo Jack and Meg White burst out of relative obscurity in 2002 with their third album White Blood Cells and quickly capitalised on that success with 2003’s Elephant which spawned this song and also the international smash hit “Seven Nation Army”. With their raw, stripped down blues and punk inspired sound they bought something rootsy and real back to rock and roll in an age of over-produced nu-metal bands and pretty boys with guitars. Jack played cheap guitars that he made fizz and spit as he played them and although Meg White was often slated for her simplistic drumming she compensated for lack of technique with an innate musicality and by meaning it. We think she’s one of the coolest drummers ever.
And finally… the playlist!