The best music of 2002 

We asked several writers and musicians to share their picks for the best acts of 2002. What we found out is that there's no general consensus about the best CD of the year. While national critics went ga-ga for Eminem, the Strokes and Beck, only a few of our correspondents felt the same way.

On the local front, the Retreads and Pop Lolita received votes for best CD and The Slurs and Wesley Willis were mentioned for the best live show.

Steve Hammer - music editor, NUVO

Top 10 Local Albums

1. The Retreads
Highway to Helsinki
Perfectly written and performed hard rock. Not a bad note on the album.

2. Perfect Nothing
Ten Thousand Stars
The culmination of/coda to this great band"s career: an album as good as their live show.

3. Otis Gibbs
49th and Melancholy
Compassionate, witty and wise.

4. The Fuglees
Go Apesh*t
Some of the best-written music of 2002.

5. The Hooligans
Wearing Out Our Welcome
Bratty punk kids get in the studio and tear things up.

6. Brando
Instantly Spaceships
Intelligent pop.

7. Fiti Futuristic
All In A Day's Work
Christian rap that doesn't preach.

8. Citizens Band
Truck Stop Chapel
Twangy rockers with great songs.

9. The Dream Is Dead
Letter of Resignation
Intense, integrity-filled hardcore.

10. Amongst The Swarm
Crowning The Defeated
Metal heavier than it has any right to be.

Top 10 National Albums

1. Eminem
The Eminem Show
Self-absorbed yet compelling.

2. Flaming Lips
Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots
They get weirder and weirder but better and better.

3. Jurassic 5
Power In Numbers
Rap's great new hope.

4. Dirty Sweets
Bubblegum Damaged
Trashy garage-rock produced by The Slurs" Jim Kuczkowski.

5. Low
Typically tasteful and intriguing.

6. Luther Wright & The Wrongs
Rebuild The Wall
The Wall, country style.

7. Ani DiFranco
So Much Shouting, So Much Laughter
Great live set from a great live performer.

8. Elvis Costello
When I Was Cruel
A brilliant return to form.

9. Sonic Youth
Murray Street
The Youth's best album in 10 years.

10. N.E.R.D.
In Search Of ...
If this is the future of hip-hop, the future looks good.

Top 10 Local Shows

1. The Slurs
Battle of the Bands First Round at the Patio (April)
Maybe the best show ever.

2.Riverboat Gamblers/John Wilkes Booze
Melody Inn (July)
The Riverboat Gamblers gave Indiana's best a run for their money.

3. The Mighty John Waynes Farewell Show
Melody Inn (June)
A classy and triumphant good-bye.

4. The Pieces
Midwest Music Summit at the Patio (August)
A nearly flawless set.

5. Slurs/Dirty Little Secrets/dearnt.
The Monkey"s Tale (May)
One of the strangest nights imaginable.

6. The Hooligans
Battle of the Bands Second Round at the Patio (July)
Playing as a three-piece for the first time, they played with their most intensity to date.

7. Fiti Futuristic
Battle of the Bands First Round at the Patio (June)
A left-field surprise.

8. Danny Rollings Band/dearnt.
Battle of the Bands First Round at the Patio (June)
Sloppy, profane performance art.

9. Mong Hang/Perfect Nothing
Emerson Theater (May)
Structured performance art.

10. Slurs/Retreads/Dirty Sweets
Melody Inn (August)
Singer Penny Tration's yelps can break glass.

Summer Wood - staff writer, NUVO

Top 10 National Albums

One Beat

Sarah Dougher
The Bluff

Beth Orton

Kronos Quartet

Yankee Hotel Foxtrot

Handcream For a Generation

Smokey Hormel and Miho Hatori
Smokey & Miho

Billy Bragg and the Blokes
England, Half English


Yo La Tengo
The Sounds of the Sounds of Science

Best local album:
Pop Lolita
Smokerings and Halos

Jonathan Keith - Planet X Radio Network

Top 10 Local Albums

C Kahuna
Machine Says Yes

High Contrast
True Colors

Melody A.M.

Dj Shadow
The Private Press

A Hundred Days Off

Felix Da Housecat
Kittenz And Thee Glitz

Timo Maas

Zero 7
Simple Things

In Search Of ...

Dirty Dancing

St Mykal - NUVO music writer

Best Local Shows

Wesley Willis
Radio Radio (March)

Poster Children
Radio Radio (April)

Mong Hang
Emerson Theater (May)

Cave Catt Sammy
Rockabilly Rebel Weekend at the Fountain Square Theater (June)

Seven Degrees From Center
IMN Showcase 5 at Birdy's (July)

From Autumn To Ashes
Festivilla (July)

Battle of The Bands
Finals at the Vogue (August)

Midwest Music Summit
All of Saturday Night (August)

Faun Fables
Radio Radio (October)

Eight Ball Grifter
Melody Inn (October)

Top Five CDs

Pretty Girls Make Graves
Good Health

Slick Idiot
Dick Nitty

The Distillers
Sing Sing Death House

The Flaming Lips
Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots

Conjure One
Self Titled

Jill Brooks - music writer, NUVO

Top 10 National Albums

The Tragically Hip
In Violet Light

Yankee Fox Trot Hotel

A Rush of Blood To The Head
They make radio likeable. They somehow managed to improve upon their first album.


Sea Change

Mike Doughty

Linda Thompson
Fashionably Late

The Hives
Veni Vidi Vicious

Ryan Adams

Destination: Earth! - Space Invaders

The members of the mission codenamed DESTINATION: EARTH! have once again compiled a listing of their favorite auditory releases for the year 2002. (And while we generally hesitate to include our own music or that released prior to 2002, some exceptions have been made for cases in which a particular release may have become a vital listening experience throughout the year.)

Commander 007

1. Beck
Sea Change

2. Flaming Lips
Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots

3. Clem Snide
The Ghost Of Fashion

4. The Hives
Veni Vidi Vicious

5. Weezer

6. Simon & Milo
Ready Ready Set Go

7. They Might Be Giants

8. Fifty Foot Combo

9. Apples In Stereo
Velocity Of Sound

10. Bambi Molesters
13 From The Hip


1. Queens Of The Stone Age
Songs For The Deaf

2. White Stripes
White Blood Cells

3. The Strokes
Is This It?

4. Les Claypool's Flying Frog Brigade
Purple Onion

5. The Hives
Veni Vidi Vicious

6. Beck
Sea Change

7. Audioslave

8. Sparta
Wire Tap Scars

9. Rush
Vapor Trails

10. Weezer


1. Rob Halford

2. Les Claypool's Flying Frog Brigade
Purple Onion

3. Rush
Vapor Trails

4. Eminem
The Eminem Show

5. Various Artists
Continental Sampler #9

6. Destination: Earth!
Burned On Reentry soundtrack

7. Various Artists
Summer Of 2002 (Surf Compilation)

8. Xtc
White Music (Reissue)

9. Queens Of The Stone Age
Songs For The Deaf

10. Weezer

Todd Robinson - owner of LUNA music

Top 10 National Albums

Cinematic Orchestra
Every Day

Lazy Dog II

Sea Change

Nightmares On Wax
Mind Elevation

Thievery Corporation
Richest Man In Babylon

Beth Gibbons & Rustin Man
Out Of Season

Elf Power

Slater Hogan
Disco Sleeze I

Reindeer Section
Son Of Evil Reindeer

Single Wish

Jason Pierce - manager of LUNA music

Top 10 National Albums

Elf Power
Nothings Going To Happen

The Impossible Shapes
The Current

June Panic
Baby's Breadth

Jurassic 5
Power In Numbers

Little Wings
Light Green Leaves

Panty Lions
So Dang Rad

People Under The Stairs

Reindeer Section
Son Of Evil Reindeer

Josh Rouse
Under Cold Blue Stars

Soul-fu Villains
Nappy Mans Guide To Living

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