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

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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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    Kristin Hersh
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    Pale Monsters (album release!)
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    Brett Dennen
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    Future Teens
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    Hunny
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    Born Ruffians
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    The Music of XTC
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    Albert Hammond Jr.
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    Pretenders
    Lowlight
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    Between the Buried and Me
    The Dear Hunter
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    Yo La Tengo
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    Superchunk
    Swearin'
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    Ought
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    Trace Mountains
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    bedbug
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    Wolf Alice
    The Big Pink
    @ the Paradise


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    Franz Ferdinand
    @ House of Blues Boston


    Wednesday, April 11th
    L7
    @ the Paradise


    Thursday, April 12th
    Bill Murray, Jan Vogler, & friends
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    Monday, April 16th
    Russian Circles
    King Woman
    @ the Sinclair


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    Stars
    @ the Royale


    Tuesday, April 17th
    Waxahatchee
    Hurray for the Riff Raff
    Bedouine
    @ the Somerville Theatre


    Tuesday, April 17th
    My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Tuesday, April 17th
    Ministry
    Chelsea Wolfe
    @ the Royale


    Wednesday, April 18th
    Preoccupations
    Freak Heat Waves
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Friday, April 20th
    The Afghan Whigs
    Built To Spill
    Rituals of Mine
    @ the House of Blues


    Friday, April 20th
    Buffalo Tom
    @ the Paradise


    Saturday, April 21st
    Jeff Rosenstock
    Martha
    Bad Moves
    @ the Paradise


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    The Darkness
    @ the Royale


    Tuesday, April 24th
    Minus the Bear
    The Coathangers
    @ the Royale


    Wednesday, April 25th
    Sofi Tukker
    @ the Sinclair


    Wednesday, April 25th
    Kate Nash
    @ the Royale


    Thursday, April 26th
    Matt & Kim
    Tokyo Police Club
    Future Feats
    @ the House of Blues


    Friday, April 27th
    They Might Be Giants
    @ the House of Blues


    Saturday, April 28th
    Peter Hook & the Light
    performing both of the
    "Substance" collections by
    Joy Division & New Order
    @ the Paradise


    Saturday & Sunday
    April 28th & 29th
    Turnover
    Camp Cope
    Summer Salt
    @ the Sinclair


    Monday, April 30th
    Unknown Mortal Orchestra
    Makeness
    @ the Royale


    Tuesday, May 1st
    No Age
    Behavior
    @ Once Somerville


    Tuesday, May 1st
    Soccer Mommy
    Long Beard
    @ Great Scott


    Tuesday, May 1st
    Calexico
    @ the Sinclair


    Wednesday, May 2nd
    Frankie Cosmos
    @ the Sinclair


    Wednesday, May 2nd
    Dr. Dog
    Son Little
    @ the House of Blues


    Thursday, May 3rd
    Haim
    Lizzo
    @ Agganis Arena


    Thursday, May 3rd
    Hop Along
    Saintseneca
    @ the Royale


    Friday, May 4th
    The Breeders
    @ the House of Blues


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    Panda Bear
    Geologist
    @ the Paradise


    Sunday, May 6th
    Loma
    (mems of Cross Record & Shearwater)
    Jessica Williamson
    @ Great Scott


    Monday, May 7th
    Sloan
    DJ Carbo
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Monday, May 7th
    Hinds
    @ the Sinclair


    Tuesday, May 8th
    Trampled By Turtles
    Hiss Golden Messenger
    @ House of Blues


    Thursday, May 10th
    This Will Destroy You
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Friday, May 11th
    Power Trip
    Sheer Mag
    Fury
    Red Death
    @ the Paradise


    Sunday, May 13th
    Wye Oak
    @ the Paradise


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    Melvins
    @ the Sinclair


    Wednesday, May 16th
    Editors
    @ the Paradise


    Friday, May 18th
    Jonathan Davis
    @ House of Blues


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    The Fratellis
    @ the Paradise


    Saturday, May 19th
    Damien Jurado
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Sunday, May 20th
    King Tuff
    Cut Worms
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Tuesday, May 22nd
    Helmet
    Prong
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Tuesday, May 22nd
    Suuns
    Facs
    @ Great Scott


    Tuesday, May 22nd
    Jukebox the Ghost
    The Greeting Committee
    @ the Royale


    Tuesday, May 29th
    Post Animal
    @ Great Scott


    Tuesday, May 29th
    Primus
    Mastodon
    All Them Witches
    @ Blue Hills Bank Pavilion


    Friday & Saturday
    June 1st & 2nd
    Japanese Breakfast
    LVL UP
    Radiator Hospital
    @ the Sinclair


    Sunday & Monday
    June 3rd & 4th
    Ben Harper &
    Charlie Musselwhite
    @ the Sinclair


    Tuesday, June 5th
    Middle Kids
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Friday, June 8th
    Nathaniel Rateliff
    & the Night Sweats
    with Deer Tick
    @ Blue Hills Bank Pavilion


    Friday, June 8th
    Eels
    @ House of Blues


    Saturday, June 9th
    Depeche Mode
    @ TD Garden


    Monday, June 11th
    Jimmy Eat World
    Alex Lahey
    @ House of Blues


    Tuesday, June 12th
    Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks
    @ the Sinclair


    Thursday, June 14th
    King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard
    @ the Royale


    Monday, June 18th
    Chromeo
    Pomo
    @ House of Blues


    Tuesday, June 26th
    Southern Culture on the Skids
    @ the Sinclair


    Tuesday & Wednesday
    June 26th & June 27th
    Frank Turner &
    the Sleeping Souls
    @ the Royale


    Wednesday, June 27th
    Styx
    Joan Jett & the Blackhearts
    Tesla
    @ Blue Hills Bank Pavilion


    Tuesday, July 3rd
    Phoenix
    @ House of Blues


    Friday, July 6th
    Steve Miller Band
    Peter Frampton
    @ Blue Hills Bank Pavilion


    Tuesday, July 17th
    Erasure
    Reed & Caroline
    @ the House of Blues


    Tuesday, July 17th
    Weezer
    Pixies
    Sleigh Bells
    @ Xfinity Center


    Saturday & Sunday
    July 21st & 22nd
    Foo Fighters
    @ Fenway Park


    Saturday, July 28th
    Sleep
    @ the Royale


    Saturday & Sunday
    July 28th & 29th
    Radiohead
    @ TD Garden


    Tuesday, July 31st &
    Wednesday, August 1st
    David Byrne
    @ Blue Hills Bank Pavilion


    Friday, August 3rd
    Jeff Beck
    & Paul Rodgers
    + Ann Wilson (Heart)
    @ Blue Hills Bank Pavilion


    Friday, August 10th
    Pedro the Lion
    H.C. McEntire
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Friday, August 10th
    Billy Joel
    @ Fenway Park


    Saturday, August 11th
    Journey & Def Leppard
    with Cheap Trick
    @ Fenway Park


    Sunday & Tuesday
    September 2nd & 4th
    Pearl Jam
    @ Fenway Park