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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  • Handy links

  • BOSTON-AREA LIVE SHOW ACTION
    Thursday, February 2nd
    Jennifer O'Connor
    Chris Brokaw
    @ Atwood's Tavern

    Thursday, February 2nd
    Ride
    The Charlatans
    @ Big Night Live

    Friday, February 3rd
    Patty Griffin
    Raul Malo
    @ the Wilbur

    Saturday, February 4th
    Dyr Faser
    Tequila Sirens
    Van Chamberlain
    Audrey/Karina
    @ the Loft, Somerville

    Saturday, February 4th
    Black Helicopter
    Cortez
    Z/28
    Mollusk
    @ the Midway Cafe

    Sunday, February 5th
    Major Stars
    Soft Fangs
    Nighttime
    @ O'Brien's
    Saturday, February 11th
    Kiwi Jr.
    @ the Lilypad

    Saturday, February 11th
    Maggie Rogers
    Del Water Gap
    @ Roadrunner

    Tuesday, February 14th
    Bush
    Candlebox
    @ MGM Music Hall
    Tuesday, February 21st
    The EARFULL Series
    with authors
    Douglas Bauer & Laura Zigman
    and musicians
    Colleen Green & Positively Daves
    (featuring the Daves from 0 Positive)
    @ the Burren

    Friday, February 24th
    Waiver Wire
    Early Exit
    Paper Tigers
    Indoor Friends
    @ the Jungle

    Friday, February 24th
    Walter Schreifels
    (Of Quicksand, Rival Schools, etc)
    Kevin Rheault
    DJ Dookie
    @ Zuzu

    Friday, February 24th
    The City Gates
    Iceblynk
    The Spearmint Sea
    @ O'Brien's

    Friday, February 24th
    Elle King
    Red Clay Strays
    @ Roadrunner

    Saturday, February 25th
    Topsy (Hannah from "And the Kids")
    Children of the Flaming Wheel
    Audrey/Karina
    @ the Loft, Somerville

    Saturday, February 25th
    Gramercy Arms
    (featuring Dave Derby
    of the Dambuilders)
    @ the Midway Cafe

    Sunday, February 26th
    Future Teens
    Macseal
    Shallow Pools
    @ the Sinclair

    Sunday, February 26th
    Kula Shaker
    @ Brighton Music Hall

    Monday & Tuesday
    February 27th & 28th
    The Beths
    Sidney Gish
    Hans Pucket
    @ the Sinclair

    Friday, March 3rd
    Pile (LP release)
    @ the Somerville Armory

    Friday, March 3rd
    Arctic Monkeys
    Fontaines DC
    @ the Garden

    Friday, March 3rd
    The "Remain In Light" Tour
    with Jerry Harrison
    & Adrian Belew
    @ House of Blues

    Saturday, March 4th
    Puppy Problems
    @ O'Brien's

    Saturday, March 4th
    Constant Smiles
    @ the Lilypad

    Sunday, March 5th
    Weyes Blood
    @ the Royale

    Tuesday, March 7th
    Clan of Xymox
    @ Crystal Ballroom

    Tuesday, March 7th
    Runnner
    Waveform
    @ The Rockwell

    Tuesday, March 7th
    Elvis Costello &
    the Imposters
    @ the Cabot, Beverly

    Friday, March 10th
    The Sheila Divine
    Tugboat Annie
    Vic Firecracker
    @ the Paradise

    Sunday, March 12th
    Blushing
    Pale Dīan
    Husbands
    Storax Sedan
    @ O'Brien's

    Tuesday, March 14th
    Quasi
    Bat Fangs
    @ the Sinclair

    Thursday, March 16th
    Bruce McCullouch
    of the Kids in the Hall
    @ the Wilbur

    Friday, March 17th
    Dawes
    @ Roadrunner

    Saturday, March 18th
    Hallelujah the Hills
    Eyelids
    @ Atwood's

    Sunday, March 19th
    White Reaper
    Mamalarky
    @ the Royale

    Monday, March 20th
    Bruce Springsteen
    & the E Street Band
    @ TD Garden

    Saturday, March 25th
    Bird Streets (duo show)
    @ the Village Social Club
    inside Garrison House, Brookline

    Tuesday, March 28th
    Sunset Rubdown
    @ the Crystal Ballroom

    Tuesday, March 28th
    The Residents
    @ the Sinclair

    Thursday, March 30th
    The Murder Capital
    @ the Sinclair

    Friday, March 31st
    The Church
    @ the Sinclair

    Friday, March 31st
    Jukebox The Ghost
    @ the Royale

    Sunday, April 2nd
    Robyn Hitchcock
    Kelley Stoltz
    @ City Winery

    Monday, April 3rd
    Tennis
    Kate Bollinger
    @ the House of Blues

    Thursday, April 6th
    Rick Berlin w/Orchestra Luna,
    Berlin Airlift, & Nickel & Dime Band,
    with guests The Sheila Divine,
    Hallelujah the Hills, & Nervous Eaters
    @ Brighton Music Hall

    Thursday, April 6th
    Caroline Rose
    @ the Sinclair

    Saturday, April 8th
    Sleaford Mods
    @ the Paradise

    Saturday, April 8th
    Emma Ruth Rundle
    @ Crystal Ballroom

    Sunday, April 9th
    Bikini Kill
    @ Roadrunner

    Thursday, April 13th
    Andrew Bird
    @ MGM Music Hall

    Friday, April 14th
    U.S. Girls
    Jane Inc.
    @ the Sinclair

    Friday, April 14th
    Widowspeak
    Duster
    @ the Paradise

    Friday, April 15th
    Harris
    Sidewalk Driver
    Stars Like Ours
    Aaron and the Lord
    @ Crystal Ballroom

    Sunday, April 16th
    Peter Case
    Ben de la Cour
    @ Atwood's Tavern

    Sunday, April 16th
    Dead Can Dance
    @ the Wang

    Wednesday, April 19th
    Sloan
    @ Brighton Music Hall

    Thursday, April 20th
    Black Flag
    @ the Middle East Downstairs

    Friday, April 21st
    The Feelies
    @ the Sinclair

    Friday, April 21st
    Fruit Bats
    @ the Royale

    Saturday, April 22nd
    Joywave
    Elliot Lee
    @ the Royale

    Saturday, April 22nd
    Unknown Mortal Orchestra
    @ Roadrunner

    Sunday, April 23rd
    M83
    @ Roadrunner

    Tuesday & Wednesday
    April 25th & 26th
    Built to Spill
    @ the Sinclair

    Wednesday, April 26th
    Andy Shauf
    @ the Royale
    Friday & Saturday
    April 28th & 29th
    The Town & the City Festival
    with so many artists, including...
    Buffalo Tom, Ted Leo, John Doe Trio,
    Vapors of Morphine, Rhett Miller,
    Pile, Dave Herlihy (O Positive),
    Robin Lane, Justine & the Unclean,
    and many, many more
    @ lots of walkable Lowell, MA venues

    Saturday, April 29th
    Lucius
    @ Roadrunner

    Sunday, April 30th
    Placebo
    Deap Vally
    @ Roadrunner

    Monday, May 1st
    Pedro The Lion
    performing
    "It's Hard To Find A Friend"
    and "Control" in full
    @ the Sinclair

    Friday, May 5th
    Fever Ray
    @ Roadrunner

    Saturday, May 6th
    Muna
    Nova Twins
    @ Roadrunner

    Saturday, May 6th
    David Cross
    Sean Patton
    @ the Wilbur

    Sunday, May 7th
    Goth Babe
    flipturn
    Yoke Lore
    @ Roadrunner

    Wednesday, May 10th
    Natalie Merchant
    @ the Emerson Colonial

    Thursday, May 11th
    Chisel
    @ the Sinclair

    Thursday, May 11th
    Graham Nash
    @ the Cabot, Beverly

    Monday, May 15th
    The New Pornographers
    Wild Pink
    @ the Royale

    Thursday, May 18th
    The Pernice Brothers
    perform "Overcome By Happiness"
    (with a string section!)
    @ the Crystal Ballroom

    Friday, Saturday, & Sunday
    May 19th, 20th, & 21st
    Taylor Swift
    Phoebe Bridgers
    Gayle
    @ Gillette Stadium

    Sunday, May 21st
    Blink 182
    Turnstile
    @ the Garden

    Tuesday, May 30th
    Crowded House
    @ the Wang

    Wednesday, May 31th
    Fenne Lily
    Christian Lee Hutson
    @ the Sinclair

    Friday, June 2nd
    Bruce Cockburn
    @ the Cabot, Beverly

    Thursday, June 8th
    Pixies
    Franz Ferdinand
    Bully
    @ MGM Music Hall

    Saturday, June 10th
    Bryan Adams
    Joan Jett & the Blackhearts
    @ TD Garden

    Friday, June 16th
    Steve Lacy
    James Blake
    Toro y Moi
    Fousheé
    @ the Stage @ Suffolk Downs

    Saturday, June 17th
    LCD Soundsystem
    Jamie xx
    Idles
    L'Rain
    @ the Stage @ Suffolk Downs

    Sunday, June 18th
    boygenius
    Clairo
    Dijon
    Bartees Strange
    @ the Stage @ Suffolk Downs

    Wednesday, June 21st
    Wednesday
    Tenci
    @ the Sinclair

    Saturday, July 1st
    Sparks
    @ the Wilbur

    Sunday, July 16th
    First Aid Kit
    The Weather Station
    @ Roadrunner

    Monday & Tuesday
    July 24th & 25th
    Le Tigre
    @ the Royale

    Saturday, August 5th
    Foreigner
    Loverboy
    @ Xfinity Center
    Friday, August 11th
    Glen Hansard &
    Marketa Irglova
    (of the Swell Season)
    @ the Wang

    Saturday & Sunday
    August 19th & 20th
    In Between Days Festival
    with
    Modest Mouse, Lord Huron, Metric,
    Trampled By Turtles, Sunny Day Real
    Estate, Cautious Clay, Yoke Lore,
    Blitzen Trapper, Allison Ponthier,
    Illiterate Light, Slothrust,
    Miko Marks, Weakened Friends,
    shallow pools, Kat Wright,
    Fantastic Cat, Dwight & Nicole,
    Paper Tigers, Dutch Tulips,
    Carissa Johnson, Mint Green,
    Gypsy Moths, & Sweet Petunia
    @ Veterans Memorial Stadium, Quincy

    Tuesday, September 5th
    Beck
    Phoenix
    Weyes Blood
    Sir Chloe
    @ MGM Music Hall

    Tuesday & Wednesday September 12th & 13th
    Death Cab For Cutie
    The Postal Service
    @ MGM Music Hall

    Wednesday, September 20th
    OSEES
    @ the Royale

    Wednesday, September 20th
    Death Grips
    @ House of Blues

    Wednesday, October 11th
    The Mission UK
    The Chamelons
    @ Brighton Music Hall