Something old and new: 2000-2009
Editor's Note: Like the '80s, a great deal of music between 2000-09 has been, well, crappy. Inundated with a safe formula that includes train-wreck divas and boring pop fare, music listeners were able to find a great deal of solace from old masters and an array of indie bands, who were looking at rock from a different angle.
The Gorillaz: "Clint Eastwood"
A not really band provides the music for a cartoon band who, in reality, are not a band. Who's the band, then?
I don't know, but they're awesome.
The Gorillaz are the brain child of Blur's Damon Albaron and comic book artist Jamie Hewlett ("Tank Girl"). Their first song, "Clint Eastwood," is a smooth ditty that gets its title from a line in "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly": "I got sunshine in a bag."
I was amiss in not including Weezer in the 1990s list. I will make up for that here.
"Crab" is a great rocker with cool harmonies. The song, written by singer/guitarist Rivers Cuomo, has one of my favorite lines of any song: "Crab at the booty, tain't gonna do no good."
Here's something else to think on: Weezer's first album was released 18 years ago.
The first song on the band's first album, "Untitled" opens the door by giving listeners a definitive intro of the band's unique sound. The song has a dark and echoey sound that makes for a beautifully haunting sound, which has led many to compare Interpol to Joy Division.
Johnny Cash: "Hurt"
A legend into his sixth decade of music covers a Nine Inch Nails song. Could be a recipe for disaster, but when the legend is Johnny Cash, it's flawless.
Cash owns this song. Years of pain run deep in Cash's well and he puts everything out there, and every misery in his life drips through his voice. Less than a year later, Cash and his wife, June Carter, would be dead.
Trent Reznor said he teared up after watching the now famous video for the song, "I just lost my girlfriend, because that song isn't mine anymore."
Foo Fighters: "Times Like These"
Before the Foo Fighters, Dave Grohl was famous for being the drummer for Nirvana. After Kurt Cobain's death in 1994, Grohl formed Foo Fighters. This time, instead of being behind the drum kit, Grohl moved front and center as guitarist and lead singer, proving his musical prowess.
Grohl also shows that he learned well from Cobain the ability to write a great song with a great hook.
Queens of the Stone Age: "Go With the Flow"
Singer/guitarist Josh Homme and former bassist Nick Oliveri put together this song, which moves and has an exceptional (no pun intended) flow. Even though the piano doesn't waver from the same chord, it somehow enhances the song rather than distracts from it. A great tune. "Go With the Flow" also features Dave Grohl on drums.
White Stripes: "Girl, You Have No Faith in Medicine"
Jack White channels his inner Jimmy Page as the unfortunately underrated Meg White keeps flawless time in this power-chord rocker. A lot of music for two-piece band.
Props also go to Jack White for rhyming "medicine" with "acetaminophen," the best unexpected rhyme since Dean Martin combined "drool" with "pasta fazool" in "That's Amore."
Jet: "Are You Going to Be My Girl"
Australian band Jet grabs the early '70s by the reins and doesn't let go. Singer Cameron Muncey screams in great voice and the rhythm is infectious, alluding to the Motown beat.
The song's rhythm is similar to that of Iggy Pop's "Lust for Life, but it also uses the Motown rhythms.
Like Johnny Cash, there are some artists that just keep making great music. U2 is one of those bands.
Twenty-four years after their first album, U2 releases "Vertigo," arguably one of the Irish band's best song.
Silversun Pickups: "Lazy Eye"
"Lazy Eye" has a melodic, hypnotic tone that picks up speed that well utilizes Brian Aubert's eclectic voice as well as Nikki Monninger's phenomenal bass playing.