Best of 2000: Staff Picks

Our favorites from the year 2000, the best we can choose on any given day.

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Rita Houston | Corny O'Connell | Lauren Stone | Jill Sternheimer | George Evans | Laura Fedele | Rich McLaughlin | John Platt | Darren DeVivo | Delphine Blue | Dennis Elsas | Karin Williams

Rita Houston

WFUV Music Director
Best of two thousand according to me...
(subject to change five minutes from now)

  • Shelby Lynne - I AM SHELBY LYNNE
  • David Gray - White Ladder
  • Nick Drake - Five Leaves Left and Pink Moon reissues
  • Martin Sexton - Wonder Bar
  • Ricki Lee Jones - It's Like This
  • Dusty Trails - Dusty Trails
  • Aimee Mann - Bachelor #2
  • Joan Osborne - Righteous Love
  • Jayhawks - Smile
  • Jurassic 5 - Quality Control
  • Bebel Gilberto - Tanto Tempo
  • Marvin Pontiac - Greatest Hits
  • Badly Drawn Boy - The Hour of Bewilderbeast
  • D'Angelo - Voodoo

Some additional thoughts:

  • Song of the Year: "Melt," by Phil Roy
  • Concert(s) of the year:
    - Beck at Radio City
    - Buddy and Julie Miller at the Bottom Line
    - Shelby Lynne at the Bowery Ballroom
    - Jungle Brothers at SXSW
  • Best Studio A sessions:
    - Shelby Lynne in April (the one we have no recording of)
    - Dan Hicks and his Hot Licks

Corny O'Connell

FUV Weekday Host
In alphabetical order:

  • Slaid Cleaves - Broke Down
  • Bebel Gilberto - Tanto Tempo
  • David Gray - White Ladder
  • Emmylou Harris - Red Dirt Girl
  • Mark Knopfler - Sailing to Philadelphia
  • Shelby Lynne - I Am Shelby Lynne
  • Paul Pena - New Train
  • Phil Roy - grouchyfriendly
  • Jill Sobule - Pink Pearl
  • St. Germain - Tourist

Lauren "Golden Ears" Stone

WFUV Music Department
(In no particular order, except for #1)

  • Shelby Lynne - I Am Shelby Lynne
  • The Jayhawks - Smile
  • Travis - The Man Who
  • Slaid Cleaves - Broke Down
  • Aimee Mann - Bachelor No. 2
  • Ramsay Midwood - Shootout At The OK Chinese Restaurant
  • Tahiti 80 - Puzzle
  • Jungle Brothers - VIP
  • Todd Snider - Happy to Be Here
  • Luke Vibert & BJ Cole - Stop The Panic
  • Will Kimbrough - This
  • Ryan Adams - Heartbreaker
  • Joan Osborne - Righteous Love
  • St Germain - Tourist
  • Dan Hicks & His Hot Licks - Beatin' The Heat

Honorable Mentions: Marvin Pontiac, Beachwood Sparks, Jurassic 5, Chuck Prophet, Cheikh Lo, Thievery Corporation, The Glands, Bebel Gilberto, Victoria Williams, Dusty Trails, Joseph Arthur, R.L. Burnside, O Brother Where Art Thou? (Soundtrack), Amy Correia, Sumack, Johnny Cash, Ursula 1000.

Jill Sternheimer

WFUV Promotions Director/Producer

  • Aimee Mann - Bachelor #2
  • Aimee Mann - Magnolia Soundtrack
  • Shelby Lynne - I Am Shelby Lynne
  • Jayhawks - Smile
  • Slaid Cleaves - Broke Down
  • David Gray - White Ladder
  • Rickie Lee Jones - It's Like This
  • Joan Osborne - Righteous Love
  • Dan Hicks - Beatin' the Heat
  • Emmylou Harris - Red Dirt Girl

George Evans

WFUV Director of Technical Operations/FUV Weekday Host

20. Tahiti 80 - Puzzle
19. Steely Dan - Two Against Nature
18. Marvin Pontiac - Greatest Hits
17. Slaid Cleaves - Broke Down
16. Dusty Trails - Dusty Trails
15. B.B. King and Eric Clapton - Riding with the King
14. Michael Penn - MP4
13. Aimee Mann - Bachelor #2
12. k.d. lang - Invincible Summer
11. Phil Roy - Grouchy Friendly
10. Dan Hicks and His Hot Licks - Beatin' the Heat
 9. Phish - Farmhouse
 8. Los Amigos Invisibles - Arepa 3000
 7. North Mississippi Allstars - Shake Hands With Shorty
 6. Bebel Gilberto - Tanto Tempo
 5. The Jayhawks - Smile
 4. Joan Osborne - Righteous Love
 3. Shelby Lynne - I Am Shelby Lynne
 2. R.L. Burnside - Wish I Was In Heaven Sitting Down
 1. David Gray - White Ladder

Laura Fedele

WFUV Web Site Director
In girl-boy-girl order, just to be (slightly) different.

  • Indigo Girls - Retrospective
  • David Gray - White Ladder
  • k.d. lang - Invincible Summer
  • Richard Shindell - Somewhere Near Paterson
  • Emmylou Harris - Red Dirt Girl
  • Martin Sexton - Wonder Bar
  • Shelby Lynne - I Am Shelby Lynne
  • John Hiatt - Crossing Muddy Waters
  • Aimee Mann - Bachelor #2
  • Phil Roy - Grouchyfriendly
  • Patty Larkin - Regrooving the Dream

Rich McLaughlin

WFUV Music Department
In alphabetical order:

  • Badly Drawn Boy - Hour of the Bewilderbeast
  • Belle and Sebastian - Fold Your Hands Child...
  • Clem Snide - Your Favorite Music
  • Coldplay - Parachutes
  • Eels - Daisies of the Galaxy
  • David Gray - White Ladder
  • John Wesley Harding - Confessions of St. Ace
  • Dan Hicks and His Hot Licks - Beatin' the Heat
  • Shelby Lynne - I Am Shelby Lynne
  • Aimee Mann - Bachelor #2
  • Marah - Kids in Philly
  • Radiohead - Kid A
  • Sigur Ros - Agaetis Byrjun
  • Travis - The Man Who
  • U2 - All That You Can't Leave Behind
  • Various - High Fidelity Soundtrack

  • Plus:
  • Most Anticipated Album of 2001 - R.E.M.

John Platt

Sunday Breakfast host and WFUV Development/Marketing Director
Some turn-of-the-century favorites:

  • Emmylou Harris - Red Dirt Girl
    We knew she had great taste in songs, now we know she can produce a great album of her own songs.
  • Richard Shindell - Somewhere Near Paterson
    Joan Baez compares Richard as a songwriter to Dylan; he's definitely right up there.
  • Dar Williams - The Green World
    Like Richard Shindell and Lucy Kaplansky, Dar followed Cry Cry Cry with what may be her best album...a coincidence?
  • Janis Ian - God & the FBI
    She's been so good for so long we may sometimes take her talent and versatility for granted.
  • Dave Carter/Tracy Grammer - Tanglewood Tree
    They call it "post-modern mythic American music"; you could also say simply, "great songs with impeccable arrangements."
  • B.B. King/Eric Clapton - Riding with the King
    Two blues masters at work.
  • Slaid Cleaves - Broke Down
    Six months ago, it was, "Slaid who?" Now he's an FUV fixture.
  • Mary Gauthier - Drag Queens in Limousines
    From New Orleans via Boston, another new talent to be reckoned with.
  • Mark Knopfler - Sailing to Philadelphia
    Long out of Dire Straits, he finally does a solo album that compares with his band work.
  • (tie) Terry Callier - Lifetime
    Phil Roy - Grouchyfriendly
    Two soulful, moody albums for late nights and gray days.
  • Not to forget:
    Shelby Lynne, Rickie Lee Jones, John Prine, U2, Dr. John and Patricia Barber

Darren DeVivo

FUV Weekday host
A Top 10 list like only Darren can write: 25 of them, and why:

  1. North Mississippi Allstars / Shake Hands With Shorty
    Swampy, muddy, gritty, booze-soaked, in-your-face modern blues rock from the Mississippi Delta. This "power" trio mixes pure Delta blues with today's attitude. The album of the year. Play it very loud.

  2. Steely Dan / Two Against Nature
    It was worth the 20-year wait. Picking up where they left off in 1980 with Gaucho, Donald Fagen and Walter Becker craft another collection of perfectly executed songs with all the Steely Dan trademarks.
    Honorable mention: Steely Dan guitarist Jon Herington cut a fine solo album called Like So. It shows his NYC pop rock smarts, at times like Marshall Crenshaw.

  3. Dion / Deja Nu
    The King of the New York Streets returns with his first album of original material in 8 years. This new album of "Bronx Blues" harkens back to the classic doo-wop sound of the late '50's / early '60's but never sounds dated. Instead, at 61, Dion is in excellent voice making a classic, vintage rock sound. May he wander forever.
    Honorable mention: His three-CD, career-spanning anthology called King Of The New York Streets.

  4. Paul Simon / You're The One
    A beautiful album that brings Paul Simon back to the singer-songwriter style that dominated his music up to his mid '80's /early'90's ventures into world music. But that doesn't mean he's totally abandoned the exotic sounds of Graceland and The Rhythm Of The Saints. To me, it sounds like Hearts And Bones and One Trick Pony crossed with The Rhythm Of The Saints. A mature work from an artist entering middle age.

  5. King Crimson / The Construkction Of Light
    Another thrillingly thunderous excursion into the joys of "prog rock"! Despite the absence of longtime drummer Bill Bruford and bassist Tony Levin, KC (now just Robert Fripp, Adrian Belew, Trey Gunn and Pat Mastelotto) conjures up an album that deserved some of the attention that Radiohead's Kid A received.
    Honorable mentions: The companion albums Heavy Construkction (King Crimson's three-CD live album of the current tour) and Heaven And Earth (a collection of recordings done during the rehearsals for and recording of The Construkction Of Light, released under the guise of King Crimson's alter ego, Project X).

  6. Neil Young / Silver & Gold
    Neil switches back to the acoustic based feel of Harvest Moon. It takes me back to After The Gold Rush and Harvest. It's such an improvement over Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young's Looking Forward.
    Honorable mention: Neil Young Friends & Relatives live album Road Rock V 1. An 18-minute version of "Cowgirl In The Sand," an 11-minute version of "Words" and a 10-minute rendition of "Tonight's The Night"! Oh yeah!

  7. Swan Dive / Swan Dive
    The team of Bill DeMain and Molly Felder emerge with their first U.S. release - a collection of material that has appeared on their overseas releases. Sunny, pleasant pop for a spring or summer day!

  8. Larry Carlton / Fingerprints
    I'm a sucker for this guy! One of my favorite guitarists emerges with yet another fine set. His first solo album of original material in nearly four years.
    Honorable Mention: Larry Carlton recently replaced Lee Ritenour as guitarist in the band Fourplay. This year they released the album Yes, Please!

  9. Air / Original Motion Picture Score For 'The Virgin Suicides'
    This soundtrack is not their second official U.S. album, but it is a wonderfully trippy, ethereal groove, man! At times reminds me of Pink Floyd circa 1970-1975. "The Virgin Suicides" is a film by Sofia Coppola.

  10. Radiohead / Kid A
    They are probably the best band making music today. They are true innovators and the future of intelligent rock. The one problem for me with this album is that I still don't get some of it!

  11. Joe Jackson/Graham Maby/Gary Burke / Summer In The City, Live In New York
    Recorded live during those fantastic NYC club shows in the summer of 1999. It's great to hear him dig out songs from his past and do a bunch of cool covers (including a Steely Dan song). The performance is powerful and Joe is having fun! Honorable mention: Joe's new studio album Night And Day II is a pleasant return to pop-based material, but the nostalgia of the live album is what moved me more.

  12. Hamish Stuart / Sooner Or Later
    He's a former member of the Average White Band. He also played rhythm guitar and bass for Paul McCartney from 1989 - 1994. This is a great sounding soul album that's great for a lazy summer day.
    Honorable mentions: Stuart's mate in Paul McCartney's band also released his first "solo" album in 2000. Two albums, actually. Former Pretenders guitarist Robbie McIntosh emerged with the rootsy Emotional Bends (credited to the Robbie McIntosh Band) and the solo, acoustic, instrumental Unsung.

  13. The Jayhawks / Smile
    I believe that the Jayhawks are one of the best bands out there. This album has a slightly different sound to it due to the production of veteran rock producer Bob Ezrin. Despite the new twist, the great sound of the Jayhawks still comes through!

  14. Warren Zevon / Life'll Kill Ya
    Simply put, this is Warren's best album in over ten years. With songs titled "Life'll Kill Ya," "For My Next Trick I'll Need A Volunteer," "Hostage-O," "Dirty Little Religion," "My Shit's Fucked Up" and "Don't Let Us Get Sick," you know you are in for vintage Zevon! I mean, the first line in the album is, "I had the shit 'til it all got smoked"! 'Nuff said!

  15. Peter Frampton / Live In Detroit
    Okay, okay! He's a guilty pleasure of mine! I have always thought Frampton was a great guitar player and rock singer who made a handful of poor decisions with his image in the '70's. This is his third live album (you know his first!).
    Honorable mentions: Most of Peter Frampton's 1970's albums getting reissued!

  16. Pat Metheny/ Trio 99>00
    He is a masterful guitarist and composer, adept in all styles of jazz. Here he is playing in the jazz trio setting with bassist Larry Grenadier and drummer Bill Stewart. Great jazz.
    Honorable mention: The newly released live companion album Trio>Live is a must, with a number of older Pat Metheny classics updated for the trio setting.

  17. The JazzTimes Superband (Bob Berg, Randy Brecker, Dennis Chambers, Joey DeFrancesco) / The JazzTimes Superband
    An enjoyable jam session featuring great jazzmen (Berg on sax, Brecker on trumpet, Chambers plays drums and DeFrancesco on organ). These guys got together to celebrate the 30th anniversary of JazzTimes magazine.

  18. Roger Waters / In The Flesh
    This live album from the former member of Pink Floyd is so new that I've yet to sink my teeth into it! Recorded during this year's stunning tour. Basically a Roger Waters/Pink Floyd overview with one new Waters song, "Each Small Candle."

  19. XTC / Wasp Star (Apple Venus Volume 2)
    The much-anticipated sequel to Apple Venus Volume 1.

  20. Gary Moore / A Different Beat
    This veteran blues, hard rock guitarist embraces electronica!


  21. ...and last, but not least...

  22. Liverpool Sound Collage
    Ambient, techno, electronica dance mixes featuring Paul McCartney, the Welsh band Super Furry Animals, Youth and the Beatles(!)

  23. Brian Wilson / Live At The Roxy Theatre
    Honorable mentions: The Beach Boys' Brother Records catalogue reissues (1970-1985) and the reissue of Brian Wilson's solo debut!

  24. Rick Danko / Times Like These
    His final recordings.
    Honorable mentions: The re-release of The Band's first four albums and the new Greatest Hits compilation.

  25. Eric Johnson Alien Love Child / Live And Beyond
    The guitarist's first album with his new band.

  26. Pink Floyd / Is There Anybody Out There? The Wall Live, Pink Floyd 1980-81
    It's here for sentimental reasons! The title says it all.
    Honorable mentions: The rerelease of Pink Floyd's classic albums from 1975-1981.


    ...I ordered it on the web, but it hasn't arrived yet!...
    Gerry Rafferty / Another World

    ...my wife Sherri's favorite...
    David Gray / White Ladder

Delphine Blue

FUV Weekday host
Delphine Blue's last but not least, up half the night, Best of 2000 (listed in rotating order depending on whim):

    Tied for first place:
  • Shelby Lynne - I Am Shelby Lynne

  • and
  • Marvin Pontiac - The Legendary...

  • and the rest:
  • RL Burnside - Wish I Was In Heaven Sitting Down
  • Roland Alfonso - Something Special-Ska Hot Shots
  • Jungle Brothers - V.I.P.
  • St Germain - Tourist
  • North Mississippi Allstars - Shake Hands With Shorty
  • Bob Holroyd - A Different Space
  • Bebel Gilberto - Tanto Tempo
  • PJ Harvey - Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea
  • DMX - And Then There Was X
  • Ex-centric Sound System - Electric Voodooland
  • Radiohead - Kid A
  • Marc Ribot Y Los Cubanos Postizos - Muy Divertido
  • Master Musicians of Jajouka - Featuring Bachir Attar
  • Air - 'Virgin Suicides' Film Score
  • Sinead O'Connor - Faith and Courage
  • Various Artists - Best of Cookin' Vinyl
  • Hamell On Trial - Choochtown
  • Fatboy Slim - On The Floor At The Boutique
  • Clinton - Disco And The Halfway To Discontent
  • Lofidelity All Stars - On The Floor At The Boutique
  • Thievery Corporation - The Mirror Conspiracy
  • Gilles Petersen - The INcredible Sounds Of
  • Johnny Cash - American III: Solitary Man

Dennis Elsas

FUV Weekday Host
In alphabetical order, 10 plus a few more:

  • David Gray - White Ladder
  • John Hiatt - Crossing Muddy Waters
  • Dan Hicks & his Hot Licks - Beatin the Heat
  • The Jayhawks - Smile
  • Mark Knopfler - Sailing to Philadelphia
  • Shelby Lynne - I Am Shelby Lynne
  • Aimee Mann - Bachelor #2
  • Phil Roy - Grouchyfriendly
  • Paul Simon - You're the One
  • St. Germain - Tourist
  • Travis - The Man Who
  • Neil Young - Silver and Gold

I also liked:
  • Belle and Sebastian - Fold Your Hands Child...
  • Will Kimbrough - This
  • Paul Pena - New Train
  • John Wesley Harding's "I'm Wrong About Everything"
  • and the song "Papa Was a Rodeo" by Kelly Hogan and the Pine Valley Cosmonauts from "Beneath the Country Underdog" (a great song written by Stephin Merritt and a potential hit record for someone)

Karin Williams

WFUV Membership Director
My top ten in order:

  1. Shelby Lynne - I Am Shelby Lynne
  2. Joan Osborne - Righteous Love
  3. R.L. Burnside - Wish I Was In Heaven Sitting Down
  4. St. Germain - Tourist
  5. Martin Sexton - Wonder Bar
  6. Joni Mitchell - Both Sides Now
  7. Dar Williams - The Green World
  8. Keb Mo - The Door
  9. Bebel Gilberto - Tanto Tempo
  10. Steely Dan - Two Against Nature