My favorite bands of 2002.

These aren't all new bands. Or even mostly. They're just ones I remember having enjoyed more than others (and there were a lot of others—I spent more time listening to music this year than I have in several), or newly discovered, or rediscovered. In the order they occur to me:

  • Wilco. As of just a few days ago. This is one of those bands I always suspected I would enjoy if I took the time to listen to them, but never did. Until the other day. I was in Denver, going to drive to Grand Junction (four hours on clear roads) and, upon discovering my rental car had a CD player, stopped at Target (which has a crappy music selection, turns out) to buy some CDs. One of them was Wilco's Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, partially because I suspected I would like them, and also the cover had a good quote from Spin, and also because they're playing at the Wired Rave Awards in a couple weeks, so now would be a good time. This album is amazing. I bought another yesterday. It's also very good. Not all my comments will be this long.

  • The Flaming Lips. Introduced to at the Unlimited Sunshine concert, which I was fortunate enough to get invited to, but mostly went to see Cake and De La Soul. Then bought Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, which blew me away. The Soft Bulletin is also excellent.

  • Cake. Cake didn't release anything interesting this year, but I downloaded a lot of their music, and saw them in concert for the first time and really dug them. Again. Favorite song? Comfort Eagle.

  • Ben Folds Five. Though I've had it for years, I played Whatever & Ever Amen constantly this year. And I didn't even get dumped by anyone. Weird.

  • The Counting Crows. Haven't even heard Hard Candy yet, which I hear is great, but picked up and listened to This Desert Life a tremendous amount.

That's all I have to say about that.

Oh, I have something more to say about that: My favorite band I had drinks with in 2002: Dealership. (I hope that doesn't sound condescending. Why would it? It's not.)