Bradley’s Almanac

[Nac Faves] My Favorite Music of 2004

Posted on January 17, 2005 at 10:41 am | No Comments

Without further ado, and later than most, I offer up my favorite discs and live shows from 2004. In no particular order…

Walking Concert – Run To Be Born

As Walter Schreifels gets older, his bands get mellower, step by sonic step. From Gorilla Biscuits to Quicksand, Rivals Schools to Walking Concert, it’s a progression strung together by his voice & guitar, and with songwriting that rarely lets me down.

download What’s Your New Thing? (mp3)

The Futureheads – Self-Titled

Wow. A little bit o’ Jam, a dash o’ Housemartins, borrows liberally from the old and ends up sounding, well, like the old. So it’s derivative as all get out, but it milks the good stuff. “Meantime” makes me want to jump around the room like a giddy schoolboy. One time I, uh, think I even did. And no, it wasn’t pretty.

download Decent Days and Nights (mp3)

The Album Leaf – In a Safe Place

No matter what mental state I’m in, Jimmy LaValle is able to relax me with just a couple keyboard notes and a programmed beat. The guy can do no wrong in my book, even with added guest vocals on a couple songs this time around.

download On Your Way (mp3)

The New Year – The End Is Near

With this album, the New Year fully embraces their Bedheady past and finds the perfect balance between what they are now and what got ’em here. Any wounds I suffered at Bedhead’s breakup are now entirely healed. I just wish ‘Chinese Handcuffs’ went on a little longer.

I wish that song was a whole day long… that’d be the best day, that day.” – kith

download Chinese Handcuffs (mp3) / download Disease (mp3)

The Arcade Fire – Funeral

Yeah, yeah. You knew it was gonna be here. From a slight buzz to all-out-hype faster than the strumming in “Power Out”, the supposed over-blogging and hipster backlash can all be ignored… not just because the songs on this album measure up, but because their live show exceeds it all.

download Wake Up (mp3) / download a complete live set (mp3s)

Pinback – Summer In Abaddon

While I’ve liked Pinback for a little while, it wasn’t until this record that I really loved ’em. Something clicked, and I’m digging through the back catalog with newfound enthusiasm. Looking forward to them live sometime this year.

download Fortress (mp3)

Ted Leo & The Pharmacists – Shake the Sheets

It’s a safe bet that any Ted release would end up in that particular year’s list, even it doesn’t reach the highs of the previous ones. Shake the Sheets is a solid record, with some great songs, but none that really hit me in that specific, receptive brainspot that certain songs do. That said, the tracks took on added impact when I saw them live, and made me appreciate the album even more.

download Me and Mia (mp3) / download some live tracks (mp3s)

Matt Pond PA – Emblems

Like Pinback, Matt Pond PA was a band I appreciated but wasn’t passionate about, but seeing them live and hearing Emblems all the way through changed that easily. Time to dive into the whole discography.

download Grave’s Disease (mp3)

Stereolab – Margerine Eclipse

I’d call this a much-appreciated return to form, but it’s not like they’d gotten terribly off-track with 2001’s Sound Dust. They’ve come full circle since the sterility of Dots & Loops, which nearly shoved me off of the Stereolab train. Glad I hung on, though.

download live tracks from 2004 (mp3)

Hot Snakes – Audit in Progress

They’ve got their sound, and they’ve got it down. A formula that works and works and works, that pummels and energizes and just makes me want to see them on stage again & again. As Chris wrote to me, “It’s no Rocket From the Crypt, but wow wow wow.” My sold-out-peel-session-seven-inch story ends sweetly: Chris bought an extra copy of that limited and long-gone Snakes’ vinyl, and sent it to me as a surprise. Most. Thoughtful. Friend. Ever.

download Hi-Lights (mp3)

Interpol – Antics

A disc that doesn’t only avoid the sophomore slump, but overcomes the worst leadoff track for a good album that I can remember. Took me awhile to get past that, but once I did… tracks 2 through 10 got constant play, with ‘Not Even Jail’ being one of my favorite songs of the year. And it’s not just because the ending of it gets me kinda nostalgic for Starlight.

watch Interpol videos

Snow Patrol – The Final Straw

While my Snow Patrol enthusiasm has faded a bit from where it was this time last year, I’d be remiss to leave this disc off the list. It spent a lot of time in my player, and I saw ’em no less than four times in ’04. Thing is, I enjoyed each show a little less than the previous one. Too much of a good thing? Could be.

download live acoustic tracks (mp3)

The Sixth Great Lake – Sunday Bridge

This album renders the title ‘favorite discs’ inaccurate, unless of course you’re talking about the black wax kind… because it’s vinyl only for now. This choice isn’t a favor for friends (and what a weak favor that would be), but one that came from repeated flips from side A to side B and back over again. These three songwriters have never blended better than they have here, with four songs from each of them, Zach then Chris then Mike and repeat.

They were kind enough to let me share ‘Fool’, transferred from colored vinyl to mp3. Order the vinyl direct from the band, or ask your favorite independent record retailer, since Carrot Top Distribution is now on board. Fingers crossed for a cd release sometime in ’05.

download Fool (mp3)

Rilo Kiley – More Adventurous

A really good album kept from total greatness by 2 or 3 weak songs (*cough* token blake ditty *cough*), but the first three alone are just pure pop genius. I don’t think it has the personal staying power of The Execution of All Things, but time and distance will tell.

download a complete live set (mp3s)

Explosions In The Sky – The Earth Is Not A Cold Dead Place

Technically released in late ’03, but undiscovered by me until ’04, America’s answer to Mogwai grabbed me from the first note of the first epic instrumental. They’re taking this year off to record a Travels in Constants EP, and to write their next record, due sometime in 2006.

download Memorial (edit) (mp3) / download live sets

Elliott Smith – From a Basement on the Hill

A farewell that wasn’t supposed to be, it’s impossible to listen to this and not get sad… to not imagine of what his next album might have sounded like. I still can’t believe that he’s gone, it still doesn’t make sense.

download Twilight (mp3)

Also really liked

  • Ambulance LTDLP

  • Pilot to GunnerGet Saved

  • Sonic YouthSonic Nurse

  • Audio Learning CenterCope Park

  • Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind soundtrack

  • Sufjan StevensGreetings from Michigan…

  • Camper Van BeethovenNew Roman Times

  • Twilight SingersShe Loves You

  • Guided By Voices (RIP) – Half Smiles of the Decomposed

  • Magnetic Fieldsi

  • KillersHot Fuss

  • Garden State soundtrack

    Favorite reissues & collections

  • Guided By VoicesBee Thousand [Director’s Cut]

  • PavementCrooked Rain Crooked Rain [expanded]

  • LowRarities Box Set

  • The CureThree Imaginary Boys [expanded] & Join the Dots b-Sides box

  • SlowdiveCatch the Breeze

  • CurveThe Way of Curve

    Looking forward to in ’05

  • LowThe Great Destroyer (Jan. 25)

  • Lou BarlowEmoh (Jan. 25)

  • Trembling Blue StarsSeven Autumn Flowers (out now)

  • Field MiceReissues (Jan. 31 / UK)

  • The Wedding PresentTake Fountain (Feb. 15)

  • IdaHearts Like a River (Feb. 22)

  • Crooked FingersDignity and Shame (Feb. 22)

  • The House of LoveDays Run Away (Feb. 28)

  • Yo La TengoPrisoners of Love 2-disc collection (Mar. 22)

  • New OrderWaiting For The Siren’s Call (Mar. 29)

  • Summer at Shatter CreekAll the Answers (Mar. 29)

  • Mary TimonyEx-Hex (April)

  • Rob Dickinson (Catherine Wheel) – debut solo lp (date tbd)

  • Stereolab3 disc collection (April)

  • Sigur Rostitle tbd (possibly May)

  • Nada Surftitle & date tbd

    And hoping for news of

  • Wedding Present live in Boston?

  • Some new Sparklehorse?

  • new Radiohead?

  • Built to Spill?

  • Sun Kil Moon?

  • Jason Loewenstein?

  • American Analog Set?

  • and how about… the return of Arcwelder? I’m just sayin’.

  • Previous year-end lists… 2001, 2002, & 2003


    Leave a Reply

    Notice: Undefined variable: user_ID in \\NAWINFS02\HOME\users\web\b498\rh.bsearles\wp-content\themes\elements-of-seo\comments.php on line 78

  • Handy links

    Friday, June 9th
    Mercury On Mars
    The Lights Out
    Fox Canadian
    @ the Jungle

    Friday, June 9th
    Steep Leans
    Kremlin Bats
    The Calendars
    Audrey & Karina
    @ the Loft, Somerville

    Friday, June 9th
    Tina Fey & Amy Poehler
    "Restless Leg Tour"
    @ MGM Music Hall

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

    Sunday, June 11th
    Matt Talbot (of HUM)
    live in a living room
    @ Somerville, MA

    Wednesday, June 14th
    The Magnetic Fields
    @ the Sinclair

    Thursday, June 15th
    @ House of Blues

    Friday, June 16th
    The Waco Brothers
    Matt York
    @ Haymarket Lounge
    @ City Winery

    Friday, June 16th
    Juliana Hatfield
    Kay Hanley
    Two shows! 4pm & 7pm
    @ the Burren Backroom

    Friday, June 16th
    Cloud Nothings
    @ the Paradise

    Friday, June 16th
    Toad The Wet Sprocket
    @ the Wilbur

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

    Friday & Saturday
    June 16th & 17th
    Chris Smither
    @ Club Passim

    Saturday, June 17th
    LCD Soundsystem
    Jamie xx
    @ the Stage @ Suffolk Downs

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

    Sunday, June 18th
    @ the Cantab

    Sunday, June 18th
    The Cure
    The Twilight Sad
    @ Xfinity Center

    Sunday & Monday
    June 18th & 19th
    Yo La Tengo
    @ the Paradise

    Wednesday, June 21st
    Lupo Citta
    Valley of the Weights
    Nat Freed
    @ the Silhouette

    Wednesday, June 21st
    @ the Sinclair

    Thursday, June 22nd
    Dave Hill
    with Tony Nagy
    @ the Burren

    Thursday, June 22nd
    Alice Austin
    @ the Porch

    Thursday, June 22nd
    Tiny Habits
    @ the Sinclair

    Friday, June 23rd
    Mike Gent (of the Figgs)
    Solo LP release show
    @ the Burren

    Saturday, June 24th
    Oldjack's Last Saturdays with...
    Phil Aiken
    Eric Salt & the Electric City
    @ The Lizard Lounge

    Saturday, June 24th
    Teen Suicide
    @ the Sinclair

    Monday, June 26th
    Gretchen Shae & the Middle 8
    Salem Wolves
    Graveyard of the Atlantic
    @ the Silhouette

    Tuesday, June 27th
    GZA performing "Liquid Swords"
    @ Roadrunner

    Thursday, June 29th
    Cozy Throne
    Gia Greene
    Josephine With A Cause
    @ Notch Brewing Brighton

    Thursday, June 29th
    Corin Ashley
    @ Medford Brewing

    Friday, June 30th
    Pile (solo Rick)
    @ Yellow Mailbox, Somerville

    Friday, June 30th
    Ronan MacManans
    with The Goon Squad
    (Ed Valauskas, Dan Kopko,
    Chris Anzalone, & Phil Aiken)
    @ Sally O'Brien's

    Friday, June 30th
    Major Stars
    Adult Learners
    Major Stars
    @ Faces Brewing

    Saturday, July 1st
    @ the Wilbur

    Sunday, July 2nd
    Squirrel Nut Zippers
    @ the Wilbur

    Sunday, July 2nd
    Dream Theater
    Devin Townsend
    Animals As Leaders
    @ the Pavilion

    Thursday, July 6th
    Elvis Costello & the Imposters
    with guest Charlie Sexton
    Nick Lowe & Los Straitjackets
    @ MGM Music Hall

    Sunday, July 9th
    @ Big Night Live

    Wednesday, July 12th
    The Dirty Nil
    Daniel Romano's Outfit
    Family Dinner
    @ Sonia

    Wednesday, July 12th
    They Are Gutting A Body Of Water
    & Teethe
    @ the Sinclair

    Saturday, July 15th
    Jenny Lewis
    Cass McCombs
    Hayden Pedigo
    @ Roadrunner

    Saturday, July 15th
    Counting Crows
    Dashboard Confessional
    Frank Turner
    @ the Pavilion

    Saturday, July 15th
    Noel Gallagher's
    High Flying Birds
    with Garbage
    @ MGM Music Hall

    Sunday, July 16th
    "Frame & Canvas"
    25th Anniversary Tour
    with J. Robbins (Jawbox)
    & Oceanator
    @ the Sinclair

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

    Tuesday, July 18th
    Panda Bear & Sonic Boom
    with Braxe + Falcon
    @ the Paradise

    Tuesday, July 18th
    Peter Frampton
    @ MGM Music Hall

    Tuesday, July 18th
    @ the Pavilion

    Thursday to Sunday
    July 20th to 23rd
    NICE, a fest, featuring...
    Karate, Swirlies, Guerilla Toss,
    Frances Forever, and over 70
    local-Boston artists
    @ Davis Square, Somerville

    Friday, July 21st
    Stand Still
    Rough Francis
    Stay Inside
    @ the Middle East Down

    Friday, July 21st
    Staring at the Sea
    (a tribute to the Cure)
    @ Medford Brewing

    Saturday, July 22nd
    Walter Sickert &
    the Army of Broken Toys
    with Sapling, Astral Bitch,
    and Dropbear
    @ the Sinclair

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

    Tuesday, July 25th
    Shady Bug
    Pet Fox
    Holiday Music
    Ski Club
    @ O'Brien's

    Tuesday, July 25th
    Culture Club
    Howard Jones
    @ Xfinity Center

    Tuesday & Wednesday
    July 25th & 26th
    Billy Strings
    @ the Pavilion

    Thursday, July 27th
    Iron & Wine
    Half Gringa
    @ Tree House Brewing, Charlton

    Thursday, July 27th
    Jason Isbell and
    the 400 Unit
    @ Roadrunner

    Friday, July 28th
    King Krule
    @ House of Blues

    Sunday, July 30th
    Please Don't Destroy (SNL)
    live on stage
    @ the Wilbur

    Monday, July 31st
    The Drums
    Cold Hart
    @ the Royale

    Saturday, August 5th
    Living Colour
    @ Roadrunner

    Saturday, August 5th
    Mellow Bravo
    Cask Mouse
    Hayley Thompson-King
    @ the Sinclair

    Saturday, August 5th
    @ Xfinity Center

    Wednesday, August 9th
    The Clientele
    @ Crystal Ballroom

    Friday, August 11th
    Band of Horses
    The Revivalists
    @ the Pavilion

    Friday, August 11th
    Glen Hansard &
    Marketa Irglova
    (of the Swell Season)
    @ the Wang

    Friday, August 18th
    Sarah Sherman (SNL)
    @ the Wilbur

    Saturday, August 19th
    The Baseball Project
    with Fenway organist Josh Kantor
    @ the Sinclair

    Saturday, August 19th
    Sigur Ros
    with an orchestra
    @ the Wang

    Saturday & Sunday
    August 19th & 20th
    In Between Days Festival
    Modest Mouse, The Beths, Metric,
    Trampled By Turtles, Lord Huron,
    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

    Thursday, August 24th
    Jimmy Eat World
    Manchester Orchestra
    Middle Kids
    @ MGM Music Hall

    Thursday, August 24th
    Bruce Springsteen
    & the E Street Band
    @ Gillette Stadium

    Friday, August 25th
    Alex G
    @ the Pavilion

    Friday, August 25th
    John Oliver
    @ MGM Music Hall

    Saturday, August 26th
    The Pixies
    Modest Mouse
    Cat Power
    @ Mass MoCA

    Sunday, September 3rd
    Future Teens
    @ Brighton Music Hall

    Sunday, September 3rd
    The Offspring
    A Simple Plan
    Sum 41
    @ the Xfinity Center

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

    Wednesday, September 6th
    Duran Duran
    Nile Rodgers & Chic
    @ TD Garden

    Wednesday, September 6th
    Damien Jurado
    Lilly Miller
    @ Crystal Ballroom

    Thursday, September 7th
    Ted Leo & the Pharmacists
    Tami Hart (MEN)

    Thursday, September 7th
    @ MGM Music Hall

    Friday, September 8th
    Speedy Ortiz
    @ the Somerville Armory

    Friday, September 8th
    Jeff Rosenstock
    Sidney Gish
    @ Roadrunner

    Saturday, September 9th
    Billy Idol
    @ MGM Music Hall

    Saturday, September 9th
    Buffalo Tom
    @ Bellforge Arts Center

    Monday, September 11th
    Mr. Bungle
    Tove Lo
    @ Roadrunner

    Monday, September 11th
    Ryder the Eagle
    @ the Paradise

    Tuesday, September 12th
    Psychedlic Furs
    @ the Wang

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

    Thursday, September 14th
    Gin Blossoms
    Sugar Ray
    @ the Chevalier

    Thursday, September 14th
    Peter Gabriel
    @ the Garden

    Friday, September 15th
    Cel Genesis
    @ the Middle East

    Tuesday, September 19th
    @ the Paradise

    Tuesday, September 19th
    @ Fenway Park

    Tuesday, September 19th
    Death From Above 1979
    @ the Middle East Downstairs

    Wednesday, September 20th
    @ the Royale

    Wednesday, September 20th
    Death Grips
    @ House of Blues

    Thursday, September 21st
    @ Crystal Ballroom

    Friday, September 22nd
    @ the Royale

    Friday, September 22nd
    Tegan & Sara
    Carlie Hanson
    @ Roadrunner

    Friday, September 22nd
    Lady Lamb
    celebrates 10 years
    of "Ripely Pine"
    @ the Sinclair

    Saturday, September 23rd
    Stevie Nicks
    Billy Joel
    @ Gillette

    Wednesday, September 27th
    @ Brighton Music Hall

    Wednesday, September 27th
    Royal Blood
    Bad Nerves
    @ Roadrunner

    Thursday, September 28th
    @ Brighton Music Hall

    Sunday, October 1st
    Explosions In The Sky
    @ Roadrunner

    Monday, October 2nd
    Neil Gaiman
    @ the Emerson Colonial

    Thursday, October 5th
    @ the Paradise

    Friday, October 6th
    Kingsley Flood
    The Shang Hi Los
    @ the Burren

    Friday, October 6th
    Pilot to Gunner
    @ the Middle East Upstairs

    Saturday, October 7th
    Agent Orange
    Spice Pistols
    @ the Middle East

    Tuesday, October 10th
    Nick Cave with
    Colin Greenwood (Radiohead)
    on bass
    @ the Wang

    Wednesday, October 11th
    Young Fathers
    @ the Royale

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

    Friday, October 13th
    Violent Femmes
    performing their debut LP
    @ MGM Music Hall

    Sunday, October 15th
    @ MGM Music Hall

    Sunday, October 15th
    @ the Garden

    Monday, October 16th
    Ric Wilson
    @ Roadrunner

    Tuesday, October 17th
    The Chats
    Cosmic Psychos
    @ House of Blues

    Wednesday, October 18th
    Christine and the Queens
    @ House of Blues

    Saturday & Sunday
    October 21st & 22nd
    Gregory Alan Isakov
    The Milk Carton Kids
    @ Roadrunner

    Monday, October 23rd
    @ the Sinclair

    Tuesday, October 24th
    My Morning Jacket
    @ Roadrunner

    Thursday, October 26th
    Hiss Golden Messenger
    @ the Sinclair

    Thursday, October 26th
    @ Brighton Music Hall

    Saturday, October 28th
    Jethro Tull
    @ MGM Music Hall

    Tuesday, October 31st
    Depeche Mode
    @ the Garden

    Wednesday, November 1st
    The Hives
    @ the Sinclair

    Thursday, November 2nd
    Henry Winkler
    @ First Parish Church

    Saturday, November 4th
    Blonde Redhead
    @ the Crystal Ballroom

    Saturday, November 4th
    Amyl and the Sniffers
    Die Spitz
    @ Roadrunner

    Wednesday, November 8th
    Barbara Manning
    @ the Sinclair

    Friday, November 10th
    @ Royale

    Wednesday, November 15th
    @ the Garden

    Sunday, November 19th
    Men I Trust
    @ Roadrunner

    Tuesday, November 21st
    Liz Phair
    @ Roadrunner

    Thursday, November 30th
    Nation of Language
    Miss Grit
    @ the Sinclair

    Tuesday, December 5th
    Bar Italia
    @ Brighton Music Hall

    Saturday, December 16th
    A John Waters Christmas
    @ Berklee Performance Center