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The Top 101 Best Songs of the 2000s (Part 1)

Jesse is a cofounder of SportsAlcohol.com even though he doesn't care for sports or alcohol. His favorite movie is Ron Howard's The Paper. I think. This is what happens when you don't write your own bio. I know for sure likes pie.

It started, appropriately enough, on LiveJournal. Back in 2010, we here at SportsAlcohol.com were still active enough on the preferred platform of Russian bots to use it as a vehicle for something we assembled purely for fun: a list of the best songs of the just-completed 2000s. A bunch of friends got together and voted, we counted up the votes, and put the list online with some notes. No big write-ups, really just a matter of trivia.

Now it’s 2018, and maybe we have some more perspective on the time from 2000 and 2009. Or maybe not. Or maybe it seems so much better now because of what happened since, or it seems so far away because time continues to pass, or we just talk about how that was the beginning of music-culture fragmentation because we can’t figure out what other identity will stick. But for whatever the reason (mainly, that we really like lists, and apparently free labor), we decided to revisit this list idea as a companion piece to our list of the Best Songs of the 90s from a few years ago.

In true niche-driven fashion, there was no consensus on whether this proved easier or harder than putting together a ‘90s list. All I know is that we finished it, and that the final product does at least some justice to the eclecticism of that decade, from the rock revival of its early years, to the domination of hip-hop near the top of the charts, to the anthemic-but-sensitive indie revival that took hold around mid-decade, and any number of retro mini-movements that flashed in the pan. Plus also the Postal Service. Because, you know: 2000s.

Before we begin the countdown in earnest, a word about methodology: Contributors, around 20 in total, were asked to send a list of 50 songs. Point value was assigned by ranking; that is, a #1 ranking received 50 points, a #2 ranking received 49 points, and so on. A few contributors took our alternate option, wherein all 50 songs were given an equal number of points (approximately the total number of points on a regular ballot divided by 50). Ties were broken by number of mentions and, if necessary, by which song had the highest individual ranking. Though some individual voters made rules for themselves involving, say, the number of times they could mention a particular artist, there were no formal rules except that the song in question had to come out between January 1, 2000 and December 31, 2009. Accordingly, we didn’t futz with the results. If an artist charted three songs when good sense said probably one or two would be fine, well, all three are on the list. If a beloved and/or important figure split votes or just plain didn’t make it with our crowd, we didn’t try to correct for it to make ourselves look hipper or smarter or savvier. The list is the list, and good luck to us.

“Us” would be the all-star team of nerds working on this, including some SportsAlcohol.com founders and regulars: your old pals Rob, Marisa, Jesse, Sara Batkie, Ben Morrison, Tim DeLizza, Jeremy Bent, Chris Adams, and Craig Iturbe.

We were joined by some more writers listed below. Several of them have written for us in the past, but this was a massive project that required even more stepping up. So super-special thanks to these contributors old and new:

Jeremy Beck runs the website MovieManifesto, where he writes many, many movie reviews that nobody reads.
George Briggs is a high school teacher who lives in Rhode Island.
Catherine Burgess is a first-time contributor to SportsAlcohol.com. She went to her first concert (Fall Out Boy) in 2005 at the tender age of fourteen, where she got involved in “moshing” and consequently lost a shoe but received a black eye! Her mother was not pleased.
Evan Dent is a writer living in Brooklyn, a candidate in the New School’s MFA program, and is a better looking person with better ideas, more talent, and he’s really, really nice.
Randy Locklair is a dad, software developer, cellist, and manages to exist in Brooklyn while being a fan of just three Arcade Fire and zero Hold Steady songs.
Michelle Paul runs a technology company and lives in Delaware. She enjoys both sports and alcohol, as shown in her blog about pumpkin beer and postseason baseball.
Bayard Templeton is a teacher, Mets fan, theater enthusiast, and dad.

We also received vital ballot contributions from A.A. Dowd, Jillian Quitko, Josh Sheff, Cristin Stickles, Erin Styne, and our buddy DH.

The first part of our opus appears below; songs from 60 through 21 will run on Wednesday, while the top 20 will finish things up on Thursday. We’ll also have two different podcast episodes making a deeper dive into the list-making process with several of our beloved writers, and some other ancillary materials in addition to yesterday’s kickoff pieces.

For now, though, let’s kick things off and think about the earliest years of the millennium, and feel our conflicted feelings!.
Continue reading The Top 101 Best Songs of the 2000s (Part 1)

I Love Kanye But

Jesse is a cofounder of SportsAlcohol.com even though he doesn't care for sports or alcohol. His favorite movie is Ron Howard's The Paper. I think. This is what happens when you don't write your own bio. I know for sure likes pie.

Previously, SportsAlcohol.com has been known primarily for its contentious listmaking and, secondarily, excellent writing and podcasting. But that doesn’t mean we don’t all have greater ambitions. For example, in light of recent Kanye West-related events, excitement, and assorted antics, we are currently shopping around our book proposal collecting a series of essays about Kanye West that all start with the words “I Love Kanye But…”

And it’s true. We do love Kanye West. Some of us might even make spirited arguments for why Yeezus was his best record yet. But these days it’s hard to be a fan without also wanting to write some essays and possibly secure a lucrative book deal, the money from which we would definitely not pour into the fashion industry, because come on.

Here is a look at the tentative table of contents:

I Love Kanye But I Refuse To Be Strongarmed Into Joining TIDAL
I Love Kanye But Why Does He Care How Many Mics The Source Gives His Albums?
I Love Kanye But Stop Bringing Your Baby To Fashion Shows
I Love Kanye But I Think Bill Cosby Raped Those Women
I Love Kanye But Why Does He Think Awards Are Genuinely Meaningful?
I Love Kanye But I Also Love Beck
I Love Kanye But I’ll Never Blame Chance
I Love Kanye (And I’m White) But I’m Pretty Sure Racism Isn’t A Dated Concept
I Love Kanye But the Price of Textbooks Has Nothing to Do With How Much Teachers Are Paid
I Love Kanye But He Should Have Given Me Some of That Yeezy Fashion Money
I Love Kanye But I Miss The Teddy Bear
I Love Kanye But the 808s-era Mullet Was Not A Good Look
I Love Kanye But I Wish His Album Release Shifted Fewer Paradigms and Also Made Sense Because Seriously, I Will Not Abide This TIDAL Bullshit
I Love Kanye But How Can Wiz Distract From Your Creative Process When You Only Follow One Person on Twitter?
I Love Kanye But Obama Called Him A Jackass In a Real Knowing Way
I Love Kanye But It’s Time To Chill With the Autotune
I Love Kanye But Twitter Isn’t for Everyone
I Love Kanye But I Wish I Didn’t Because Life Would Be Easier
I Love Kanye But How Can I Continue to Say It’s Really About the Music When I Can’t Buy His Album
I Love Kanye But … Kanye