What Was The Sound Of The 00s?

7 years ago

Whether you call them the 00s, the aughts, the aughties, the noughties or the naughties the decade is over. I had this discussion with someone on another forum: what sound or musical style defined the decade? Maybe I'm just getting old, but digging through the last ten years of music, I don't hear a particular sound emerging like the grunge ushering in an ear of "commercial alternative" in the 90s, or the mainstreaming of hip-hop in the 80s. I don't think anyone would deny the 00s were more defined by how we listen to music that what we listened to. The iPod and subsequently, iTunes nearly sounded the death knell for the CD. Of course, the music industry was a little less than thrilled with the prospect. Carrie Brownstein from NPR's Monitor Mix on the biggest musical mistakes of the decade:

Limiting the usage of music files with Digital Rights Management proved to be a FAIL at large for the industry -- iTunes, for one, is entirely free of protected music now. But the most infamous of these failures was the copy protection based on "rootkit" technology on more than 100 CD releases. A rootkit is a software program which messes with the basic code in your computer's operating system, thus allowing viruses or spyware to infect your computer undetected. So not only was Sony's bid at DRM short-sighted, but it was also opening up security vulnerabilities in computers worldwide. (And it was hypocritical: Sony's rootkit developers illegally stole code from the LAME MP3-encoding technology.) When programmers discovered this, it led to several class-action lawsuits, not to mention the exact wrong kind of public attention.

The advent of blogging turned us on to new sounds, too. (Again at the consternation of the RIAA as numerous bloggers were sued for leaking unreleased songs.) We still turned to blogs like Idolator, Stereogum, Flux-Rad and gorillavsbear for our fixes. Bands turned to social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace for getting their music to the masses. I guess you could say the sound of the 00s was personal. Instead of relying on radio to guide us, we became our own djs creating our own playlists via iTunes and fine-tuning our own personal radio with Pandora, LaLa, and Last.fm. And as befitting a decade so varied and indescribable, nearly every blogger listed his or her "personal bests." lism from last year's girl posted a four-part series called "Child of the Noughties":

Surprisingly to nobody, in the end I couldn’t steer clear of the “best of the decade” chat that is dominating the blogosphere at the moment. Last time around, of course, there wasn’t a “blogosphere” – and I wasn’t really listening to music at all! This decade has seen my rebirth as a music fan and so, in a way, perhaps every album I call “special” or “personal” or “favourite” is could belong in this list – whatever nickname we ultimately give this decade. Personally, I’m more interested to see what trendy buzzword we come up with for the next one!

Whitney Matheson even pointed her readers to a site called You AUGHT to Remember, a blog dedicated to 00s, er, nostalgia? (Check out their post on the iPod.) So what were your "sounds of the 00s?"

Available Light & Five Dollar Radio

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