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“What really matters is what you like, not what you are like… Books, records, films — these things matter.”
— High Fidelity

Etcetera

Best Songs of 2000

Fifteen years after the fact, even I, maker of this list and fan of these songs, cannot fully comprehend how insanely eclectic this list truly is. Most astonishing might be the fact that I was listening to a very large chunk of these 100 tunes back in the year 2000.

So yeah, this list includes old dudes Steely Dan alongside not-old dudes SoulDecision, and plenty in between. This was a year smack dab in the middle of the teen pop craze, at the height of America’s (paying) music consumption craze, and at the tale end of my college experience. So maybe that explains why there is so much rap, hard rock and and R&B here—genres I have always loved, though to varying degrees, and less and less as the years move on.

Like most things from our college years, some of these songs might seem embarrassing now that I look back. And truth be told, apart from the exercise of making this playlist, there are a few songs on here I would not be able to say that I have heard all that much in the past decade and a half. But when I revisit them, I do not so much as cringe, but remember who I once was, and what I once liked. And that, really, is the point of these lists of mine. (Or at least the ones, like this, with which I can draw upon actual memory and experience.)

So, too, does this process allow me to find hidden gems from a past that I never actually lived, then place them alongside the familiar. It causes a temporal shift that I cannot help but love; sure, these songs were all released in the same year, but their connective tissue is more about how I have lived with them. And I continue to live with these tunes, every last one of them. Each time, fusing new memories with those from my past.

For these year-end lists, I like to undertake the seemingly impossibly task of creating an hours-long mix. The order you see below represents that effort, which you can listen to via Spotify. Sadly all 100 tracks aren't available in either case, but you get the general idea. Track notes to come eventually or—particularly if last year's un-annotated lists are a sign of future action—maybe never.

  1. Skittish

    All the Dirt

    Mike Doughty

    Skittish

    self-released

    Notes

  2. Your Favorite Music

    I Love the Unknown

    Clem Snide

    Your Favorite Music

    Sire

    Notes

  3. Brushfire Fairytales

    Flake

    Jack Johnson

    Brushfire Fairytales

    Enjoy

    Notes

  4. Maroon

    Baby Seat

    Barenaked Ladies

    Maroon

    Reprise

    Notes

  5. Veni Vidi Vicious

    Hate to Say I Told You So

    The Hives

    Veni Vidi Vicious

    Epitaph

    Notes

  6. Supergrass

    Jesus Came From Outta Space

    Supergrass

    Supergrass

    Capitol

    Notes

  7. Standing on the Shoulder of Giants

    Go Let It Out

    Oasis

    Standing on the Shoulder of Giants

    Epic

    Notes

  8. Greatest Hits

    Again

    Lenny Kravitz

    Greatest Hits

    Virgin

    Notes

  9. Lovers Rock

    By Your Side

    Sade

    Lovers Rock

    Epic

    Notes

  10. Fragments of Freedom

    World Looking In

    Morcheeba

    Fragments of Freedom

    Reprise

    Notes

  11. Mixed Bizness

    Mixed Bizness (Cornelius Remix)

    Beck

    Mixed Bizness

    Geffen

    Notes

  12. The Virgin Suicides

    Playground Love

    Air

    The Virgin Suicides

    Astralwerks

    Notes

  13. The Hour of Bewilderbeast

    Fall in a River

    Badly Drawn Boy

    The Hour of Bewilderbeast

    Twisted Nerve/XL

    Notes

  14. It Was Hot, We Stayed in the Water

    The Pull

    The Microphones

    It Was Hot, We Stayed in the Water

    K

    Notes

  15. Agaetis Byrjun

    Svefn-g-englar

    Sigur Rós

    Ágætis Byrjun

    Pias America

    Notes

  16. Flat Beat

    Flat Beat

    Mr. Oizo

    Flat Beat

    Mute

    1999 worldwide; 2000 U.S. release.

  17. Simply Mortified

    The Scrappy

    BS2000

    Simply Mortified

    Grand Royal

    Notes

  18. Quality Control

    The Influence

    Jurassic 5

    Quality Control

    Interscope

    Notes

  19. The W

    Gravel Pit

    Wu-Tang Clan

    The W

    Loud

    Notes

  20. Art Official Intelligence: Mosaic Thump

    Oooh

    De La Soul featuring Redman & Pharaohe Monche

    Art Official Intelligence: Mosaic Thump

    Tommy Boy

    Notes

  21. Stankonia

    Humble Mumble

    Outkast featuring Erykah Badu

    Stankonia

    La Face

    Notes

  22. Mama's Gun

    Didn’t Cha Know

    Erykah Badu

    Mama’s Gun

    Motown

    Notes

  23. Jazzmatazz Vol. 3: Streetsoul

    Plenty

    Guru featuring Erykah Badu

    Jazzmatazz Vol. 3: Streetsoul

    Virgin

    Notes

  24. Like Water for Chocolate

    The 6th Sense

    Common featuring Bilal

    Like Water for Chocolate

    MCA

    Notes

  25. Fantastic, Vol. 2

    Tell Me

    Slum Village featuring D’Angelo

    Fantastic, Vol. 2

    Good Vibe

    Notes

  26. The Velvet Rope

    Got ’Til It’s Gone

    Janet Jackson featuring Q-Tip

    The Velvet Rope

    Virgin

    Notes

  27. J.E. Heartbreak

    Promise

    Jagged Edge

    J.E. Heartbreak

    So So Def

    Notes

  28. TP-2.com

    I Wish

    R. Kelly

    TP-2.com

    Jive

    Notes

  29. Lucy Pearl

    Dance Tonight

    Lucy Pearl

    Lucy Pearl

    BMG

    Notes

  30. Bridging the Gap

    Request Line

    Black Eyed Peas

    Bridging the Gap

    Interscope

    Notes

  31. Sing When You're Winning

    Rock DJ

    Robbie Williams

    Sing When You’re Winning

    Capitol

    Notes

  32. Music

    Don’t Tell Me

    Madonna

    Music

    Maverick

    Notes

  33. Living in the Present Future

    Long Way Around

    Eagle-Eye Cherry

    Living in the Present Future

    Polydor

    2000 European release. U.S. release arrived in 2001 as Present/Future.

  34. Whoa, Nelly!

    Hey, Man!

    Nelly Furtado

    Whoa, Nelly!

    Dreamworks

    Notes

  35. No One Does It Better

    Ooh It’s Kinda Crazy

    SoulDecision

    No One Does It Better

    MCA

    Notes

  36. No Strings Attached

    Bye Bye Bye

    *NSYNC

    No Strings Attached

    Jive

    Notes

  37. Movement in Still Life

    Never Gonna Come Back Down

    BT featuring Mike Doughty

    Movement in Still Life

    Nettwerk America

    Notes

  38. Shifting Skin

    Slingshot

    On

    Shifting Skin

    Sony

    Notes

  39. King James Version

    You Miss the Point Completely I Get the Point Exactly

    Harvey Danger

    King James Version

    Sire

    Notes

  40. Come to Where I'm From

    Chemical

    Joseph Arthur

    Come to Where I’m From

    Real World

    Notes

  41. I Am Shelby Lynne

    Life Is Bad

    Shelby Lynne

    I Am Shelby Lynne

    Mercury

    Notes

  42. Heartbreaker

    To Be Young

    Ryan Adams

    Heartbreaker

    Bloodshot

    Notes

  43. Mermaid Avenue Vol. II

    Airline to Heaven

    Billy Bragg and Wilco

    Mermaid Avenue Vol. II

    Elektra

    Notes

  44. Time to Discover

    Baby

    Robert Bradley’s Blackwater Surprise

    Time to Discover

    RCA

    Notes

  45. Eat at Whitey's

    On and the Same

    Everlast

    Eat at Whitey’s

    Tommy Boy

    Notes

  46. Free the West Memphis 3

    Poor Girl

    Supersuckers featuring Eddie Vedder

    Free the West Memphis 3

    Koch

    Notes

  47. No Name Face

    Hanging by a Moment

    Lifehouse

    No Name Face

    Dreamworks

    Notes

  48. Breach

    Sleepwalker

    The Wallflowers

    Breach

    Interscope

    Notes

  49. Wonderboys

    Things Have Changed

    Bob Dylan

    Wonderboys

    Columbia

    Notes

  50. Perfect Day

    4th Time Around

    Chris Whitley

    Perfect Day

    Valley

    Notes

  51. O Brother, Where Art Thou?

    Hard Time Killing Floor Blues

    Chris Thomas King

    O Brother, Where Art Thou?

    Mercury

    Notes

  52. Outbound

    Something She Said

    Béla Fleck & The Flecktones

    Outbound

    Columbia

    Notes

  53. Nickel Creek

    The Lighthouse’s Tale

    Nickel Creek

    Nickel Creek

    Sugar Hill

    Notes

  54. Red Dirt Girl

    My Antonia

    Emmylou Harris featuring Dave Matthews

    Red Dirt Girl

    Nonesuch

    Notes

  55. Sharin' the Groove

    Waste

    Dave Matthews

    Sharin’ the Groove

    Mockingbird Foundation

    Notes

  56. Farmhouse

    Dirt

    Phish

    Farmhouse

    Elektra

    Notes

  57. Lost Souls

    The Cedar Room

    Doves

    Lost Souls

    Heavenly

    Notes

  58. Parachutes

    High Speed

    Coldplay

    Parachutes

    Parlophone

    Notes

  59. Mer de Noms

    3 Libras

    A Perfect Circle

    Mer de Noms

    Virgin

    Notes

  60. White Pony

    Change

    Deftones

    White Pony

    Maverick

    Notes

  61. Something Like Human

    Hemorrhage (In My Hands)

    Fuel

    Something Like Human

    Epic

    Notes

  62. Relationship of Command

    One Armed Scissor

    At the Drive-In

    Relationship of Command

    Grand Royal

    Notes

  63. All Hands on the Bad One

    You’re No Rock N’ Roll Fun

    Sleater-Kinney

    All Hands on the Bad One

    Sub Pop

    Notes

  64. Return of Saturn

    Simple Kind of Life

    No Doubt

    Return of Saturn

    Interscope

    Notes

  65. Warning

    Waiting

    Green Day

    Warning

    Reprise

    Notes

  66. Wheatus

    Teenage Dirtbag

    Wheatus

    Wheatus

    Columbia

    Notes

  67. Country Grammar

    Ride Wit Me

    Nelly

    Country Grammar

    Universal

    Notes

  68. Incognegro

    What’s Your Fantasy

    Ludacris

    Incognegro

    Disturbing Tha Piece

    Notes

  69. The Life and Times of S. Carter

    Big Pimpin’

    Jay-Z

    Vol. 3 … The Life and Times of S. Carter

    Roc-A-Fella

    2000 single release.

  70. The Marshall Mathers LP

    Stan

    Eminem

    The Marshall Mathers LP

    Interscope

    Notes

  71. Halfway Between the Gutter and the Stars

    Demons

    Fatboy Slim featuring Macy Gray

    Halfway Between the Gutter and the Stars

    Astralwerks

    Notes

  72. Tempovision

    Scratched

    Etienne De Crecy

    Tempovision

    V2

    Notes

  73. The Geometrid

    These Things

    Looper

    The Geometrid

    Sub Pop

    Notes

  74. Who Is Jill Scott? - Words and Sounds Vol. 1

    A Long Walk

    Jill Scott

    Who Is Jill Scott? - Words and Sounds Vol. 1

    Hidden Beach

    Notes

  75. Voodoo

    Untitled (How Does It Feel)

    D’Angelo

    Voodoo

    Virgin

    Notes

  76. Two Against Nature

    Two Against Nature

    Steely Dan

    Two Against Nature

    Giant

    Notes

  77. Twilight

    That’s Just How That Bird Sings

    The Twilight Singers

    Twilight

    Columbia

    Notes

  78. Shrek

    Hallelujah

    Rufus Wainwright

    Shrek

    Dreamworks

    Notes

  79. Figure 8

    Easy Way Out

    Elliott Smith

    Figure 8

    Dreamworks

    Notes

  80. We Have the Facts and We're Voting Yes

    Company Calls

    Death Cab for Cutie

    We Have the Facts and We’re Voting Yes

    Barsuk

    Notes

  81. The Proximity Effect

    Hyperspace

    Nada Surf

    The Proximity Effect

    Elektra

    Notes

  82. Poised to Break

    Indian Summer

    Sunday’s Best

    Poised to Break

    Polyvinyl

    Notes

  83. The Moon & Antarctica

    Paper Thin Walls

    Modest Mouse

    The Moon & Antarctica

    Epic

    Notes

  84. Ape Sounds

    Freediving

    Nigo featuring Ben Lee

    Ape Sounds

    Mo’ Wax

    Notes

  85. Abandoned Shopping Trolley Hotline

    Getting Better

    Gomez

    Abandoned Shopping Trolley Hotline

    Virgin

    Notes

  86. Mass Romantic

    Letters From an Occupant

    The New Pornographers

    Mass Romantic

    Matador

    Notes

  87. Smile

    I’m Gonna Make You Love Me

    The Jayhawks

    Smile

    Columbia

    Notes

  88. O Brother, Where Art Thou?

    I Am a Man of Constant Sorrow

    The Soggy Bottom Boys

    O Brother, Where Art Thou?

    Mercury

    Notes

  89. De Stijl

    Sister, Do You Know My Name?

    The White Stripes

    De Stijl

    Sympathy for the Record Industry

    Notes

  90. Furnace Room Lullaby

    Porchlight

    Neko Case

    Furnace Room Lullaby

    Bloodshot

    Notes

  91. Home

    Hey Porcupine

    Josh Rouse

    Home

    Slow River

    Notes

  92. Silver & Gold

    Silver & Gold

    Neil Young

    Silver & Gold

    Reprise

    Notes

  93. Binaural

    Parting Ways

    Pearl Jam

    Binaural

    Epic

    Notes

  94. Alone With Everybody

    You on My Mind in My Sleep

    Richard Ashcroft

    Alone With Everybody

    Virgin

    Notes

  95. The Man Who

    Turn

    Travis

    The Man Who

    Epic/Independiente

    Notes

  96. Stories From the City, Stories From the Sea

    The Mess We’re In

    P.J. Harvey featuring Thom Yorke

    Stories From the City, Stories From the Sea

    Universal

    Notes

  97. Kid A

    Optimistic

    Radiohead

    Kid A

    Capitol

    Notes

  98. White Ladder

    Say Hello, Wave Goodbye

    David Gray

    White Ladder

    ATO

    Notes

  99. American III: Solitary Man

    One

    Johnny Cash

    American III: Solitary Man

    Universal

    Notes

  100. All That You Can't Leave Behind

    Beautiful Day

    U2

    All That You Can’t Leave Behind

    Interscope

    Notes