Chuck Klosterman’s 21 CDs From The Past 3 Years

By Stereogum / May 2, 2005 - 4:02 pm

Chuck Klosterman, the cool-obsessed pop culture essayist who loves Kiss but believes “Coldplay is absolutely the shittiest fucking band I’ve ever heard in my entire life” (Pg. 3), has compiled a list of recent “high-quality” albums May Esquire readers can namecheck to score cool points. It’s intended for people who stopped listening to new music when they went to law school (e.g., all of my friends). He warns:

If you already consider yourself cool, don’t read this article. This article is for people who realize they’re no longer cool (and who sometimes worry about that realization, perhaps more than they are willing to admit).

I love Chuck’s articles; he knows almost as much as me about Billy Joel. And I look forward to reading Chuck’s next book even though he was rude when I ran into him on my block last month and attempted to introduce myself. That said, feel free to tear this list apart and suggest alternatives (like I have to ask)…

21st Century Rock
21 High-Quality Albums From The Past Three Years (In No Particular Order)
by Chuck Klosterman

1. The Hold Steady Almost Killed Me (2004):
You will like this album if you used to like AC/DC but now you just read a lot.

2. The Exploding Hearts Guitar Romantic (2003):
You will like this album if you are happy to be alive.

3. My Morning Jacket It Still Moves (2003):
You will like this album if you like flying-V guitars and grizzly bears.

4. Coachwhips Peanut Butter and Jelly Live at the Ginger Minge (2005):
You will like this album if your problems with the White Stripes are with Jack (as opposed to Meg).

5. The Black Keys The Big Come Up (2002):
You will like this album if you support the reintroduction of blue-eyed, Mayallesque blues structures filtered through the artifice of slacker sloppiness, or if you used to work at the Akron Beacon Journal with the drummer’s father, reporter Jim Carney.

6. Suffrajett Suffrajett (2003):
You will like this album if you tend to be frightened by the women you’re attracted to.

7. Secret Machines Now Here Is Nowhere (2004):
You will like this album if you still occasionally buy drugs.

8. Electric Six Fire (2003):
You will like this album if you like the notion of Van Halen more than you liked any of their actual albums.

9. The Hellacopters Cream of the Crap! Vol. 2 (2005):
You will like this album if you always think that music on classic-rock radio stations should be slightly faster and slightly louder.

10. The Thrills So Much for the City (2003):
You will like this album if your apartment is actually a bar.

11. Courtney Love America’s Sweetheart (2004):
You will like this album if you are writing a dissertation on metacommunicative discourse and/or crack whores.

12. Drive-By Truckers Southern Rock Opera (2002):
You will like this album if you like America.

13. The Fiery Furnaces Gallowsbird’s Bark (2003):
You will like this album if you enjoy the music on NPR’s Fresh Air more than anything else on the radio.

14. Gonga Gonga (2004):
You will like this album if you think Queens of the Stone Age kind of seem like pussies.

15. Wilco Yankee Hotel Foxtrot (2002):
You will like this album if you ever have to rake the lawn.

16. Weezer Maladroit (2002):
You will like this album if you immediately understand the difference between those two things.

17. Elliott Smith From a Basement on the Hill (2004):
You will like this album if you enjoy the hypothetical possibility of a really depressed Beatle.

18. Belle and Sebastian Dear Catastrophe Waitress (2003):
You will like this album if you’re the kind of loyal companion who would be asked to take care of somebody’s hound.

19. The New Pornographers Electric Version (2003):
You will like this album if you generally like things that are good.

20. Evan Dando Baby I’m Bored (2003):
You will like this album if you are nostalgic for the very recent past.

21. TV on the Radio Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes (2004):
You will like this album if you are trying to nail some superhot hipster chick in your office who only sleeps with cool guys.