60. Jimmy Eat World – Static Prevails

Before they became the band with the underwear video, Jimmy Eat World was a pretty good indie rock band with a bright future, evident on Static Prevails, their major label debut and breakout album. Many saw this as a disappointing album, sales wise, since they were pegged to be the next big thing in music, but I enjoyed it quite a bit, even though many of the good tracks sounded like they were ripped off from a bunch of better bands. Still, it held promise. Unfortunately, they pussed out after this one.

One last good-bye may last the rest of your life – “Claire”

59. Elliott Smith – From a Basement On The Hill

This posthumous release from Elliott Smith was left unfinished, obviously, and was mixed and produced by friends and family, and rates as the highest rated 2004/5 release on the list simply because of what it is – Elliott’s last album. He was hoping to write and create a White Album-esque type album, and many have said that this sounds unfinished and not up to what he could have created on his own, but I say who cares? We’ll never know what it could have been, and it’s very good anyway, so let’s not split hairs over what it’s supposed to sound like.

She’s a pretty thing and she knows everything/But I’m already somebody’s baby – “Twilight”

58. Cursive – Burst and Bloom

Only five songs long, this EP could be looked at as a Cursive sampler – it has a little of everything that is good about Cursive, including a self-deprecating opening song about promoting an EP. Burst and Bloom was the first post-Domestica selection by Cursive, and I lapped it up like there was no other band in the world for a few weeks, I like liked it so much.

They’ve got a good fan base/They’ve got integrity/They’ve got a DC sound/Shudder to Think, Fugazi/And Chapel Hill Around The Early 90’s/This is the latest from saddle creek – “Sink To The Beat”

57. Seven Storey Mountain – Leper Ethics

Seven Storey Mountain was a band that I liked initially for no other reason than that they sounded very emo and had put out a cheap EP. Their first album, Leper Ethics, however, was pretty damn good, and it found a permanent place in my CD player for much of my first year of college. I attempted to play songs off of it when I would work Rock’n Bowl at Marshall Bowl, but was told by management that it was not “popular” enough, and that I should play more “Come on Ride It (The Train).” God I hated that job.

56. Tool – Ænima

Tool, the ultimate dark metal band, is a secret love of mine. I’ve got the CD’s, the DVD, everything, and I break it out every once in a while when I want to remember how good bands like that can be. Tool showed a bit of resurgence in my music collection when I started working at Software Etc. and I was able to discuss the finer points of Tool and Maynard with co-workers.

Learn to swim – “Ænima”

55. Frank Black – Teenager Of The Year

Always an indie rock classic, Teenager of the Year was a CD I had purchased three times and sold twice, but still always liked regardless of what my moods at the time were. This is the CD that had odes to spies and Pong, both of which were subjects close to Black’s heart, apparently. The first purchase of this CD was in high school, the last purchase was while I was working at the mall and in search of an old favorite to listen to at work.

My name is Chip/And I’m different/I don’t conform/I wear a different uniform – “Freedom Rock”

54. Grandaddy – The Sophtware Slump

Along with 764 Hero and Abbey Road, Grandaddy is a band that I’ll always associate with Seattle, even though there is no connection at all aside from “I bought this CD in Seattle, and so there you go.” It’s indie-meets-electronics, and it’s what The Postal Service would sound like if they had more members and were bigger hippies.

Did you hear them yell/Land damn it land?/You say you can’t/Well I hope you can/I hope you can – “He’s Simple, He’s Dumb, He’s the Pilot”

53. Hot Water Music – Live At the Hardback

Since Hot Water Music is an act better enjoyed live, obviously a live album would be an instant classic. Not surprisingly, this was. This was a live taping of what was supposed to be their last show at a local Gainsville bar, but, since they loved playing more than anything, they informed the crowd after their first song that, well, they’d rather just keep it going. No live CD has had more energy because of it.

I won’t lecture if you won’t pretend/If you’ll be the paper then I’ll be the pen – “Us & Chuck”

52. Chamberlain – The Moon My Saddle

Chamberlain, who had been known formerly as Split Lip, began as a Springsteen tinged emo band that morphed into the sound on this album, dropping the emo and going for straight forward alt-country. The result was a surprising, and successful, change for the band, which entered a realm most emo bands didn’t – it grew up with its listeners instead of rehashing the previous record again and again.

Where I am is where you’ll find me at the edge of many things/Hands outstretched/Doing circles in the rain/Grinning like a thief – “Try for Thunder”

51. Tenacious D – s/t

I had never seen the HBO show when I had downloaded clips of Tenacious D off of Napster, but from that day on, I was hooked. The self-proclaimed greatest band in the world stole my heart and shot their rocket-sauce all over it, returned it upside down, and laid a crispy deuce all over my face. Tenacious D, with Dave Grohl around to make the CD sound pretty, put this album out to a legion of new fans and cemented themselves as the greatest duo since Tasty Taint and Chubby Choad.

He asked us: “(snort) Be you angels?”/And we said, “Nay. We are but men.”/Rock! – “Tribute”

This was lovingly handwritten on March 11th, 2005