Archives – 2020  
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#10: A secret code carved
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Inevitably when you’re sorting out 64 tracks marked as indie, you’re going to find some which don’t really fit anywhere else. That’s this bracket, a buffet of leftovers with maybe an arthouse and experimental thread running through the core o[…]

#9: Sunshine in a bag
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I’m not totally sure this bracket ‘works’, in that it’s likely to feel unfair to one or both of the two streams of music I’ve pushed together here. There’s the more big-room, commercial end of dance music, like Superman Lovers’ “Starl[…]

#8: It’s got leather seats, it’s got a CD player
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We’ve already had a look at the scrappy, self-sufficient, grass-roots corner of indie. Of course that’s only part of the story. There’s also the parts of what used to be “indie” that were happening in, more or less, the mainstream. But that[…]

#7: Come sun come rain come hailstone pelt
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This is one of those brackets where I’ve pushed a few disparate things together. It’s a rap bracket, clearly, and rap that’s on the margins of pop (with a couple of big exceptions). But there are two distinct reasons why it’s on the margins. […]

#6: I’ll be the one to tuck you in at night
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In the 1990 poll we had a bracket for – to put it delicately – veteran rockers, acts like Fleetwood Mac and Van Morrison who were feeling their way into a fourth decade in the biz. The bracket returns for the 2001 poll, but its terms of e[…]

#5: Thought I wouldn’t sell without you, sold 9 million
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The music that excited me living through 2001 is spread across 4 or 5 of the brackets. This one has some of it – the bits where R&B was going pop, and pop was going R&B, with a sprinkling of other things which seemed to fit better here […]

#4: I cry when angels deserve to die
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One of the phenomena of the 1990 poll was that we managed to get an entire bracket out of baggy – the pie-eyed marriage of British indie and dance music. We haven’t managed to get an entire bracket of 2001’s great hybrid, nu-metal’s splic[…]

#3: When you’re lost I know how to change your mood
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This bracket is heavily informed by two European developments in the late 90s. The first was the release of Air’s Moon Safari in 1998, which pushed chillout music into the spotlight and (because dinner parties last more than 45 minutes) created a m[…]

#2: My head’s to the wall and I’m lonely
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A bracket dominated by indiepop – some established at this point, some emergent, some doing things a little differently. There was a lot of this stuff about in 2001; it found a natural home on internet mailing lists and proto-blogs, and if the […]

#1: La la la la la la-la-la
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This bracket is for what you might call ‘pure pop’, though in the 2001 context that has very uncomfortable overtones, since the stuff in here – Kylie, Steps, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, and others – is mostly music that’s resisting the pul[…]

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  1. Thanks for writing this series. I read all of Cerebus in College via a very generous school library. I always…

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  4. My introduction to Feiffer - and to be honest the only substantial collection of his I've seen - is The…

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