This will be a 3 part post because it was a 3 part DJ set. I will take a deeper dive into some of the songs below and then post the set at the bottom.

I feel the term “indie” never totally encapsulated the musical output of the first decade of the aughts. Musicians were really experimenting and there is an onslaught of tremendous music during this time period. This is probably a bit of a peak for me in my life as a music fan in terms of bands that I’ve grown to love putting out their best material and I am consuming at the moment it’s available.

A lot of artists I include on this first set (RJD2/DJ Shadow/Daft Punk) correctly wouldn’t have been considered “Indie” at the time but I contend the songs I’ve included on this set fit into that imperfect genre.

As mentioned this being a 3 part set, this first installment is has more of a mash-up of more straightforward indie rock and electronic tinged songs. The second set would probably be the most traditional indie rock set of the three. The last set bends towards the electronic more that the first two.

Where my mind goes when listening to these tunes

Below, I will check the artist page in Apple Music (where I stream/have all my music) and see if the track is included in any Essentials, Further Listening or Deep Cuts playlists that are curated by the Apple folks. I’ll also link to the Allmusic review (if it exists) for the album that the song is included on and convey anything else I feel I should regarding the song. maybe like a fun fact or something like that. Lastly, I’ll post the Mixcloud playlist.

  • “All We Have Is Now” The Flaming Lips. Not included on an Essentials or Deep Cuts list that are available. This song is on “Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots” which along with “The Soft Bulletin” is considered the best album the Lips every made. The Lips formed in 1983! in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Allmusic review 4.5/5 stars.
  • “Sunday Night” Lotus Plaza. Lotus Plaza is a side project, one-man band essentially, founded by Deerhunter guitarist Lockett Pundt. This is included in LP’s debut album “The Floodlight Collective” and he’s only released one other Lotus Plaza album, so no type of Apple Essentials or other lists. Allmusic review 4/5 stars.
  • “Spoons” Mali Music. Damon Albarn (my favorite musician of all-time) who headed the bands Blur, Gorillaz and numerous other musical projects headed to the African country of Mali and recorded music in many different venues with local musicians and created this album. Spoons is on a Damon Albarn Essentials Apple Music playlist. Allmusic review 4/5 stars.
  • “Paradise Circus” Massive Attack. So Massive Attack rose to fame as the (arguably) first trip-hop group that formed in 1987 and released their masterpiece “Blue Lines” in 1991. So they would by no stretch of the imagination be labeled an indie band, BUT this song was released in 2010 so it fits the timeline and the musical spirit of “indie” (in my eyes). This is included on the Massive Attack Essential Playlist and it’s on the album Heligoland. Allmusic review 3.5/5 stars.
  • All Fires” Swan Lake. Swan Lake is a Canadian supergroup that included Dan Bejar (Destroyer, New Pornographers) Spencer Krug (Wolf Parade, Sunset Rubdown) and Casey Mercer (Frog Eyes). They only released 2 albums so no Apple Music lists. Allmusic review 4/5 stars. Just have to mention after reading this review, it seems like the reviewer didn’t remotely enjoy the album but still have it a good review because of the people involved. I think this sort of thing was often a staple of indie music journalism during this decade.
Need an image to break this post up some
  • “The Sublimation Hour” Destroyer. Dan Behar’s (mentioned about) main gig! This song is included on the Destroyer Apple Essentials playlist and is on the album “Streethawk: A Seduction”. This is a great example of the phenomenon I mentioned previously. The reviewer absolutely slags Bejar as a Bowie knockoff but the Allmusic review ends up being 4/5 stars lmao.
  • “Unison” Bjork. Similar to Massive Attack, Bjork earned here stars in the 80’s and early 90’s as the lead singer of The Sugarcanes and as a solo star the rest of the 90’s. This song fits the indie ethos and mold though and was released in the correct time period to be included. This song is somehow not included on her Apple Essentials or Deep Cut playlists but is on her album “Vespertine”. Allmusic review 4.5/5 stars.
  • “Execution Day” The New Pornographers. Another Canadian supergroup! Canada was a force during the indie music boom and I’m positive the music produced during this time period is the most important thing Canada has ever brought to the table. A Bejar helmed song (his third group in the first 8 songs lol) and I’m sad he eventually left the group. Not included on The Apple Music Essentials or Deep Cuts playlists but included on their debut album “Mass Romantic”. Allmusic Review 4.5/5 stars.
  • Squares” The Beta Band. A Scottish Band formed in 1997, they had a seminal moment in the John Cusack movie High Fidelity. Not included in any Apple Music playlists but on their album Hot Shots II. Allmusic review 4.5/5 stars.
  • “I Was a Lover” TV on the Radio. As Apple music explains, “TV on the Radio are among the most sonically adventurous groups from the early 2000s Brooklyn indie renaissance”. I’d co-sign that. This is included on their Apple Essentials music playlist and on the album “Return to Cookie Mountain”. Allmusic Review 4/5 stars.
It’s ok to occasionally play with yourself
  • “Videotape” Radiohead. Fits in with my the Massive Attack, Bjork line of thinking regarding the playlist. Included in the Radiohead Chill Apple Music playlist and on the album “In Rainbows”. Allmusic Review 4.5/5 stars. Also, as a reminder, Radiohead released the digital version of this album as a pay what you want to own.
  • “The Cedar Room” Doves. These blokes are from Madchester and used to be an electronic act called Sub Sub until their studio burned to the ground. This song is included on the Doves Essentials Apple Music playlist and their debut album “Lost Souls”. Allmusic Review 4/5 stars.
  • “Compliments” Bloc Party. Londoners who formed the band in 1999. Not included on their Apple Essentials music playlist but included on their debut album “Silent Alarm”. Allmusic Review 4/5 stars.
  • “Sing” Travis. Not an actual dude named Travis but a band from Glasgow, Scotland that formed in 1990. Included on the Travis Apple Music Essentials playlist and their album “The Invisible Band”. Allmusic review 4/5 stars.
  • “Six Days” DJ Shadow. People might quibble with a DJ Shadow song being included on an “indie” music set but I explained above why I think it warrants inclusion. Shadow is a hip-hop/electronic (he prefers the hip-hop descriptor) music producer from San Jose, California. This song is included on the DJ Shadow Apple Essentials playlist and on his album “The Private Press”. Allmusic review 4/5 stars.
Image time!
  • “One Day” RJD2. A hip-hop producer/DJ who grew up in Columbus, Ohio. He’s most noted for supplying the Mad Men theme song. Not included on the RJD2 Apple Music Essentials playlist but included on the album “Since We Last Spoke”. Allmusic Review 3/5 stars.
  • “Paper Planes” M.I.A. She’s from London via Sri Lanka. Featured prominently in the films Pineapple Express and Slumdog Millionaire, this was a pretty big hit compared to most songs on these sets. This is included on her Apple Music Essentials playlist and also the album “Kala”. Allmusic review 5/5 stars.
  • “Diplomat’s Son” Vampire Weekend. These fellas met at Columbia University in NYC. Excluded from their Apple Music Essentials playlist but included on their album “Contra”. Allmusic review 4/5 stars.
  • “Caravan” Blur. Add this to the Massive Attack, Bjork, Radiohead group contained on these playlists. Not included on any of the Blur Apple Music Playlists but included on their album “Think Tank”. Absurd Allmusic review 2/5 stars.
  • “The Time We Lost Our Way” Thievery Corporation. From D.C. Apple Music notes, “The electronic music duo Thievery Corporation produces worldly downtempo electronica informed by bossa nova, dub, reggae, jazz, latin music and more”. Not included on any TC themed Apple Music Playlists, but included on their album “The Cosmic Game”. Allmusic Review 4/5 stars.
One More Time
  • “Sweatshop” Brazilian Girls. Not Brazilian and only 1 girl, this band named itself Brazilian Girls so they’d get Google hits from dudes who were, most likely, about to jerk one out (lol). The band met at the NYC East Village nightclub Nublu. Apple music somehow doesn’t have any artist centric playlist for this band (criminal) but you can find this song on the album “Talk To La Bomb”. Allmusic review 3/5 stars.
  • “Untitled” Interpol. The dark princes of NYC. This song is included on the Apple Music Interpol Essentials playlist and also their debut album “Turn on the Bright Lights”. Allmusic review 5/5 stars.
  • “Poor Places” Wilco. Another 90’s household who fits nicely into the “indie” category and really bolstered this genre of music during the early aughts. Based out of the windiest of windy cities Chicago. Not included on any Apple music playlists about the band, but included on their album “Yankee Hotel Foxtrot”. Allmusic review 5/5 stars.
  • “Ocean Breathes Salty” Modest Mouse. Cut and paste what I just said about Wilco. Included on the Modest Mouse Apple Music Essentials playlist and on their album “Good New for People Who Love Bad News”. Allmusic Review 4.5/5 stars.
  • “Ingenue” Atoms For Peace. Bit of a cheat here (I have 2 on the playlist) but supergroup headed by Thom Yorke. No Apple Music artist-centric playlists (this is their only album) but on their debut album “Amok”. Allmusic review 4/5 stars.
  • “Emotion” Daft Punk. Another controversial group for “indie” music but this song fits. We’d see further evidence that Daft Punk was greatly influenced by “indie” music on their last album “Random Access Memories” as well. Not included on any Apple artist playlists but included on their album “Human After All”. Allmusic review 3/5 stars.