Bradley's Almanac

2007: My Favorite Music

Posted on December 31, 2007 at 12:01 am | No Comments

Year-end lists used to be an annual tradition here on the ‘Nac, up until 2005, when the overabundance (and gun-jumping) of online list-makers prompted me to keep quiet. For the first time, I just didn’t feel like adding my signal to the overwhelming amount of noise, and the same held true at the end of ’06, as the listers grew exponentially, and the earlier-than-thou mentality got out of hand.

But a two-year break is just long enough (and a bunch of this year’s releases were just great enough) to get me to chime in again. One thing, though: I’ve decided I hate ranking my faves. Assigning a numerical order to the things I love is such an arbitrary exercise – things mean more to me depending on the day, week, or season – so what follows are my favorite albums and live shows of 2007, but with no numbers attached. Yeah, there are some of the usual suspects that you’ve seen on every other indie-slanted music blog, but hopefully a few surprises as well (though not too surprising if you visit here regularly). I’ve left off a few local Boston-area faves that filled my ears this year, as I’ll be spotlighting them in another post soon.

First, I’ll name the 20 albums released during the year that I listened to the most, with my favorite songs from each, and if there was one, an accompanying artist-approved or label-sanctioned Mp3 that was made available online. The label each album was released on also links to where you can purchase a copy of your own…



Arcade Fire“Neon Bible”
(on Merge Records)
faves: “No Cars Go”, “Keep The Car Running”
Mp3: Keep The Car Running



Band of Horses“Cease To Begin”
(on Sub Pop Records)
faves: “Ode to LRC”, “No One’s Gonna Love You”
Mp3: Is There A Ghost



Blonde Redhead“23”
(on 4AD Records)
faves: “Dr. Strangeluv”, “23”
Mp3: 23



Bottomless Pit“Hammer of the Gods”
(on Comedy Minus One Records)
faves: “Human Out Of Me”, “Dead Man’s Blues”
Mp3: The Cardinal Movements



Buffalo Tom“Three Easy Pieces”
(on New West Records)
faves: – “You’ll Never Catch Him”, “Hearts of Palm”
Mp3: Three Easy Pieces



Dinosaur Jr.“Beyond”
(on Fat Possum Records)
faves: “Back To Your Heart”, “Pick Me Up”
Mp3: Almost Ready



Fields“Everything Last Winter”
(on Atlantic Records)
faves: “Song for The Fields”, “You Don’t Need This Song”
Mp3: Song For The Fields



Film School“Hideout”
(on Beggars Banquet)
faves: “Two Kinds”, “Compare”
Mp3: Lectric



Interpol“Our Love To Admire”
(on Capitol Records)
faves: “Who Do You Think”, “Rest My Chemistry”
Mp3: The Heinrich Maneuver



Kevin Drew“Spirit If…”
(on Arts & Crafts Records)
faves: – “Safety Bricks”, “Bodhi Sappy Weekend”
Mp3: Tbtf



Kristin Hersh“Learn To Sing Like A Star”
(on Yep Roc Records)
faves: “Winter”, “Under The Gun”
Mp3: In Shock



The National“Boxer”
(on Beggars Banquet)
faves: “Mistaken For Strangers”, “Brainy”
Mp3: Fake Empire



New Pornographers“Challengers”
(on Matador Records)
faves: “Unguided”, “Myriad Harbour”
Mp3: Myriad Harbour



Ola Podrida“Ola Podrida”
(on Plug Research)
faves: “Cindy”, “Pour Me Another”
Mp3: Cindy



Pinback“Autumn of the Seraphs”
(on Touch & Go Records)
faves: “Good To Sea”, “From Nothing To Nowhere”
Mp3: From Nothing To Nowhere



PJ Harvey“White Chalk”
(on Island Records)
faves: “Grow Grow Grow”, “The Piano”
Stream songs @ MySpace



Radiohead“In Rainbows”
(self-released)
faves: “Videotape”, “All I Need”
Stream songs @ MySpace



Shellac“Excellent Italian Greyhound”
(on Touch & Go Records)
faves: “The End of Radio”, “Kittypants”
no online audio available



Ted Leo & the Pharmacists“Living With The Living”
(on Touch & Go Records)
faves: “La Costa Brava”, “The Lost Brigade”
Mp3: Sons Of Cain



Wheat“Everyday I Said A Prayer For Kathy
And Made A One Inch Square

(on Empyrean Records)
faves: “Little White Dove”, “I Had Angels Watching Over Me”
Mp3: Move=Move

I could’ve easily added another 10 or more on there, but that would’ve been a bit too self-indulgent. I should also mention that I shared some thoughts on a couple of the albums above on the year-end edition of Blog Fresh Radio, so if you feel like hearing me ramble, along with aural contributions from a bunch of ace fellow music bloggers, go here.

And here are the 20 Boston-area live shows I enjoyed the most this past year, in chronological order, with a link to my own write-up of each (many of which still have the live recordings available for download). There are a few that I’ll hopefully be sharing up in the coming weeks…



Caspian
@ Great Scott in Allston, MA
On Tuesday, January 9th, 2007
write-up



Sparklehorse
@ the Paradise in Boston, MA
On Thursday, February 27th, 2007
write-up



Asobi Seksu
@ the Middle East Downstairs in Cambridge, MA
On Wednesday, February 28th, 2007
live set forthcoming



Rob Crow (of Pinback)
@ TT the Bears in Cambridge, MA
On Wednesday, February 28th, 2007
write-up



Sebadoh
@ the Paradise in Boston, MA
On Friday, March 30th, 2007
live set



Low
@ the Somerville Theater in Somerville, MA
On Saturday, April 7th, 2007
live set



John Vanderslice & friends
@ the Middle East Upstairs in Cambridge, MA
On Friday, April 20th, 2007
live set



Dinosaur Jr.
@ Urban Outfitters in Cambridge, MA
On Thursday, May 10th, 2007
live set



The Arcade Fire
@ the Orpheum in Boston, MA
On Thursday, May 10th, 2007
live set



Kristin Hersh & the McCarricks
@ Hi-N-Dry in Cambridge, MA
On Sunday, May 27th, 2007



The Cal Robbins Benefit Shows
@ PA’s Lounge in Somerville, MA
with Ida, Secret Stars, Mark Robinson, Drew O’Doherty,
Geoff Farina, Chris Brokaw, Neptune, Helms, @ the Thalia Zedek Band
On Friday & Saturday, July 13th & 14th, 2007
live songs forthcoming



Darren Hanlon
@ the Lily Pad in Cambridge, MA
On Friday, August 17th, 2007
live set



Kevin Drew & Broken Social Scene
with Ryan Walsh (of Hallelujah the Hills)
@ TT the Bears in Cambridge, MA
On Tuesday, August 28th, 2007
Kevin’s live set / Ryan’s live set



The Lucksmiths
@ TT the Bears in Cambridge, MA
On Thursday, September 27th, 2007
live set



Kristin Hersh & Tanya Donelly
@ the Brattle Theatre in Cambridge, MA
On Saturday, October 6th, 2007
live sets shared soon



Film School
@ TT the Bears in Cambridge, MA
On Wednesday, October 24th, 2007
live set



The National
@ Paddy O’s in Boston, MA
on Friday, October 26th, 2007
live set



Drew O’Doherty, The Soft Drugs,
All Smiles, & David Bazan
@ TT the Bears in Cambridge, MA
On Saturday, October 27th, 2007
David’s live set / The Soft Drugs’ live set



Yo La Tengo
@ the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, MA
on Thursday, November 15th, 2007
live set



Spiritualized
@ the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, MA
On Monday, November 19th, 2007
live set


and not exactly musical (unless you count a song from “Annie”), but definitely rating a mention…

Zach Galifianakis
@ the Berklee Performance Ctr. in Boston, MA
on Saturday, July 7th, 2007

As usual, a ton of great live music filled my year, which is no minor feat considering my new dadness, and the diminished amount of show-going free time (that’s hardly a complaint, of course). It’s been a real challenge balancing the fatherhood, the day job, and the blog, and more than a few times I’ve considered putting the Almanac on the back burner for awhile. But the compulsion remains, and I find myself heading into 2008 with a full head of steam.

So until that momentum fades, I’ll keep on sharing live recordings, scattershot music-related info, and the occasional bit of tv/movie/books/comics randomness. I’ve got some cool posts planned, including a look at what a few Boston-area faves have in store for 2008, some amazing live stuff, and a pretty special giveaway. The comments and grateful emails you guys send really do keep me going, so thanks for those, and best wishes to all of you in the new year.

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  • About the ‘Nac

    This is Bradley's Almanac. I'm your host, Brad. Barely holding it together since February 2000.

    "I love this song. It's so true. I wish this song was a whole day long. Man, I would have the best day that day."
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  • Boston-Area Action

    Monday, February 20th
    Japandroids,
    Craig Finn & the
    Uptown Controllers
    @ the Royale

    Wednesday, February 22nd
    GZA
    Meyhem Lauren
    @ the ONCE Ballroom

    Thursday, February 23rd
    Rose Polenzani
    Dave Godowsky
    @ the Lizard Lounge

    Sunday, February 26th
    Shadow Band
    @ Great Scott

    Sunday, February 26th
    Queen Moo, The Superweaks,
    Leaner, No Thank You
    Weller, Who Loves You
    @ the Middle East Upstairs

    Sunday, February 26th
    The Griswolds
    Dreamers
    Parks
    @ the Sinclair

    Monday, February 27th
    Strange Mangers
    Funeral Advantage
    (album release/tour kickoff)
    Luna Tullgren
    Teenender
    Champagne Charm
    @ Great Scott

    Tuesday, February 28th
    Jon Langford (Mekons)
    a career-spanning solo
    acoustic show with artwork
    @ Atwood's Tavern

    Wednesday, March 1st
    Sad13 (Sadie from Speedy Ortiz)
    Bellows
    Christian Holden (of The Hotelier)
    Horse Jumper of Love
    @ ONCE Somerville

    Thursday, March 2nd
    The Joy Formidable
    (acoustic)
    @ the ONCE Ballroom

    Friday, March 3rd
    Robyn Hitchcock
    Emma Swift
    @ ONCE Somerville

    Friday, March 3rd
    The Flaming Lips
    @ the House of Blues

    Saturday, March 4th
    Aloud (7-inch release show!)
    Peter Buzzelle & the Academy
    @ the Plough & Stars

    Sunday, March 5th
    Save Ferris
    Baby Baby
    Petty Morals
    @ Brighton Music Hall

    Sunday, March 5th
    Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
    Steady Holiday
    @ ONCE Somerville

    Sunday, March 5th
    Adrian Belew Power Trio
    Saul Zonana
    @ The Sinclair

    Monday, March 6th
    The Game Of Thrones
    Live Concert Experience
    @ the TD Garden

    Tuesday, March 7th
    The Radio Dept.
    Germans
    @ Brighton Music Hall

    Friday, March 10th
    The Phil Aiken Army,
    Love Love,
    The Nickel & Dime Band
    (featuring Rick Berlin),
    Cujo
    @ the Midway JP

    Saturday, March 11th
    Los Campesinos!
    @ the Paradise

    Saturday, March 11th
    Dawes
    @ the Orpheum

    Monday, March 13th
    NEW MUSIC NIGHT
    with DJ Bad Squirrel (that's me)
    2 hours of new songs
    and ticket giveaways
    6pm-8pm @ ONCE Somerville

    Tuesday, March 14th
    Tennis
    @ the Sinclair

    Wednesday, March 15th
    Jens Lekman & his band
    Lisa/Liza
    @ Brighton Music Hall

    Wednesday, March 15th
    Deafheaven
    This Will Destroy You
    Emma Ruth Rundle
    @ the Paradise

    Wednesday, March 22nd
    Fishbone
    Rebuilder
    @ the Sinclair

    Saturday, March 25th
    At the Drive In
    @ the House of Blues

    Saturday, March 25th
    Allah-Las
    @ Brighton Music Hall

    Sunday, March 26th
    Minus The Bear
    Beach Slang
    Bayonne
    @ the Royale

    Tuesday, March 28th
    Thursday
    Basement
    Touche Amore
    Wax Idols
    @ the House of Blues

    Tuesday, March 28th
    Lambchop
    Animal Hospital
    @ Brighton Music Hall

    Wednesday, March 29th
    Richard Ashcroft (the Verve)
    @ House of Blues

    Friday, March 31str
    Dear Leader (reunion!)
    The Douglas Fir
    The Furniture
    @ the Emerson/Paramount Center’s
    Jackie Liebergott Black Box Theatre

    Saturday, April 1st
    Courtesy Tier
    When Particles Collide
    Sidewalk Driver
    The Upper Crust
    @ the Emerson/Paramount Center’s
    Jackie Liebergott Black Box Theatre

    Sunday, April 2nd
    Pile
    @ the Sinclair

    Sunday, April 2nd
    Six Organs Of Admittance
    Minibeast
    @ Great Scott

    Sunday, April 2nd
    King Gizzard and
    the Lizard Wizard,
    Orb,
    Stonefield
    @ the Royale

    Thursday, April 6th
    Son Volt
    Anders Parker & Cloud Badge
    @ the Paradise

    Saturday, April 8th
    "Welcome To Night Vale" podcast
    with music from Erin McKeown
    @ Berklee Performance Center

    Tuesday, April 11th
    Mark Eitzel
    (of American Music Club)
    Howe Gelb
    (of Giant Sand)
    @ ONCE Somerville

    Wednesday, April 12th
    Sondre Lerche
    @ the Sinclair

    Thursday, April 13th
    Modern English
    @ Brighton Music Hall

    Friday & Saturday
    April 14th & 15th
    The Magnetic Fields:
    "50 Song Memoir"
    50 songs over 2 nights
    @ Berklee Performance Center

    Sunday, April 16th
    The Wedding Present
    Colleen Green
    @ Great Scott

    Monday, April 17th
    PJ Harvey
    @ the House of Blues

    Wednesday, April 19th
    Surfer Blood
    @ Great Scott

    Thursday, April 20th
    Chairlift
    Kristin Kontrol
    @ Brighton Music Hall

    Sunday, April 23rd
    Tobin Sprout (of GBV)
    @ Brighton Music Hall

    Sunday, April 23rd
    Aimee Mann
    @ the Wilbur

    Tuesday, April 25th
    The New Pornographers
    Waxahatchee
    @ the House of Blues

    Thursday, April 27th
    Steve Winwood
    @ the Orpheum

    Friday, April 28th
    The Maine
    The Mowgli's
    Beach Weather
    @ the Royale

    Thursday, May 4th
    The Damned
    The BellRays
    @ the Paradise

    Friday, May 5th
    Real Estate
    Frankie Cosmos
    @ the Royale

    Monday, May 8th
    Mastodon
    Eagles of Death Metal
    Russian Circles
    @ the House of Blues

    Tuesday, May 9th
    Coheed and Cambria
    The Dear Hunter
    @ Blue Hills Bank Pavilion

    Wednesday, May 10th
    Ryan Adams
    Jenny Lewis
    @ Blue Hills Bank Pavilion

    Friday, May 12th
    Meat Puppets
    Mike Watt w/Jom + Terry
    Grant Hart
    @ Brighton Music Hall

    Tuesday, May 16th
    Laura Marling
    @ the Paradise

    Friday & Saturday
    May 19th & 20th
    Pixies
    Cymbals Eat Guitars
    @ House of Blues

    Sunday, May 21st
    Happyness
    @ Great Scott

    Sunday, May 21st
    Pixies
    Cymbals Eat Guitars
    @ the Paradise

    Wednesday, June 7th
    Southern Culture on the Skids
    @ the Sinclair

    Thursday & Friday
    June 8th & 9th
    Reverend Horton Heat
    Flat Duo Jets
    @ the ONCE Ballroom

    Saturday, June 9th
    Marcela Cruz
    Sidewalk Chalk
    Sam Trump
    @ the Emerson/Paramount Center’s
    Jackie Liebergott Black Box Theatre

    Monday, June 19th
    PWR BTTM
    @ Brighton Music Hall

    Wednesday, June 21st
    Third Eye Blind
    Silversun Pickups
    @ Blue Hills Bank Pavilion

    Sunday, June 25th
    U2
    The Lumineers
    @ Gillette Stadium

    Tuesday, June 27th
    Jason Isbell & the 400 Units
    The Mountain Goats
    @ Blue Hills Pavilion

    Monday, July 17th
    Foreigner,
    Cheap Trick, &
    Jason Bonham’s
    Led Zeppelin Experience
    @ Blue Hills Pavilion

    Thursday, July 20th
    Tom Petty &
    the Heartbreakers
    @ TD Garden

    Friday, July 21st
    Conor Oberst
    Hop Along
    @ the House of Blues

    Sunday, July 30th
    Blondie
    Garbage
    Deap Vally
    @ the Blue Hills Pavilion

    Wednesday, August 2nd
    Belle & Sebastian
    Andrew Bird
    Porches
    @ Blue Hills Pavilion

    Monday, August 28th
    Green Day
    Catfish & the Bottlemen
    @ the Xfinity Center

    Saturday, September 16th
    Sturgill Simpson
    @ the Blue Hills Pavilion

    Saturday, September 16th
    Chameleons Vox (featuring
    Mark Burgess of Chameleons UK)
    with Soft Kill & Way Out
    @ the Middle East Downstairs

    Thursday, November 9th
    Bruce Cockburn
    @ the Wilbur