50. Modest Mouse – Good News For People Who Love Bad News

This, the newest Modest Mouse album, seemed like a drastic change from their previous albums – it’s better produced, a little more radio friendly, and Isaac Brock, reportedly, sounds like Bobcat Goldwaith. I, however, love it, and while it’s not as good as the next two higher than it on the list (obviously), I feel that it’s still as unpalatable as the rest of their stuff. I argued for it earlier, here.

Shouts from both sides/Well we’ve got the land but they’ve got the view! – “The View”

49. Travis – The Man Who

Ah, the stereotypical British band. This CD, actually, was very popular when I visited England, and therefore I heard “Why Does It Always Rain On Me” everywhere I went. Because of this, The Man Who reminds me, more than any other album, of England, and it has that “rainy brooding brit-pop” sound that, more than Coldplay or Blur, really conjures up the streets of London to me.

Still I can’t close my eyes/I’m seeing a tunnel at the end of all these lights – “Why Does It Always Rain On Me?”

48. Various Artists – High Fidelity Soundtrack

My favorite movie, the one that inspired doing a silly list like this, also has my favorite soundtrack. Many of the songs here are from artists that I would normally never really care much about, such as Stevie Wonder, The Velvet Underground, and The Kinks, but the combonation, with the memory of a great film in the back of my mind, makes for a great set of music. This is where I discovered The Beta Band for myself, and also where I realized how well Jack Black could really sing.

The many sounds that meet our ears the sights our eyes behold/Will open up our melting hearts and feed our empty souls – “I Believe (When I Fall In Love It Will Be Forever)” (Stevie Wonder)

47. Alkaline Trio – Goddamnit

I had never bothered to look into Alkaline Trio at all, even though my friends were all in love with their music, until I went to the Electric Fetus in St. Cloud and saw this CD in a box of “discounted, water damaged” merchandise. The liner notes were a little wet, but aside from that everything was fine, so I purchased it for the low price of $3.98. A great deal for some of the best punk ballads ever.

And if I hadn’t set aside the fact that you were broken hearted/Hell knows where your heart would be today/Maybe with me – “Sorry About That”

46. Braid – Lucky To Be Alive

Braid, like Hot Water Music, was a great live band, and their energy was captured on this album. This was also supposed to be their last show, but, unlike Hot Water Music, they actually stayed broken up and, as far as I know, this was their last release. The set-list spans their career, and, funnily enough, they even break out some new music on it. It was a great, though sad, album, in that it sounded wonderful, but was still the last we’d ever hear from Braid.

Wake up and dry your eyes/Cause you’ve been dreaming of mourning – “Please Drive Faster”

45. Whirlpool – Liquid Glass

Whirlpool was a side project for a few Sense Field members, and, though they only put out a few albums, this always stood out as one of the great Revelation Records of the late 90’s. It’s a little quirky, and it hasn’t really aged well, but Kerrie and I spent quite a few car rides singing along with it (with both female and male vocals, it’s perfect for just that.)

When will you learn you never die? – “Evolver”

44. Refused – The Shape Of Punk To Come

Along with Guilt, Refused is the only “hardcore” band I had any respect for after I hit my college years – not because I didn’t believe in what they were doing, but because my tastes had changed and I couldn’t handle the chug-chug much any more. Refused was a album picked up in Seattle by Kerrie — recommended by Jason Dannenbring, a person I’d never expect to be into Refused – and we still like to break it out to pretend like we’re “street” or “hard”…or whatever.

We dance to all the wrong songs/We enjoy all the wrong moves – “New Noise”

43. Ani Difranco – Living In Clip

Ani Difranco is at her best live – she’s brilliant at twisting her songs enough that you recognize it, yet fall in love with the new version and never think of them the same again. This was, actually, my first and only Ani Difranco album purchase (why buy the albums when Kerrie already had them all) and encompasses everything I like about her music – it’s raw, it’s unapologetic, and it’s different – it’s folk that doesn’t put you to sleep, and it’s political enough to be pertinent while maintaining a personal feel.

And I wonder if you’ll miss your old friends/Once you’ve proven what you’re worth/And I wonder when you’re a big star/Will you miss the earth – “Napoleon”

42. Jets To Brazil – Perfecting Loneliness

Blake’s third album from his second band. While I liked the previous album (Four Cornered Night), it was still a disappointment, coming after what I see as the greatest Jade Tree album every released. By the time Perfecting Loneliness came out, though, I was used to the softer Jets To Brazil, and I heard elements of their first CD mixed in with the rest of it. And even though it’s not my favorite Jets album, “The Frequency,” at almost seven minutes, is my favorite Jets song by far.

And the city kids/The angry with-it kids/Hate everything the first time. – “The Frequency”

41. Built To Spill – Live

Built To Spill’s live album toes the line between the Seattle scene and “jam band” territory, seeing them embark on songs from Perfect From Now On with an eye on making them long and, well, “jammy.” Thankfully, though, they still come through with the Built To Spill sound; namely, Doug Martsch vocals are still both whiney and though provoking, and their music still reserves the right to either jam out or play tight and reserved.

I want specifics on the general idea/I wanna think what I should know – “Car”

This was lovingly handwritten on March 14th, 2005