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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  • Almanac Archives

  • Boston-Area Action

    Sunday, February 17th
    “Schitt’s Creek (the show):
    Up Close and Personal”
    @ the Orpheum


    Tuesday, February 19th
    Gang of Four
    Minibeast
    @ ONCE Ballroom


    Wednesday, February 20th
    J. Mascis (Dinosaur Jr.)
    Luluc
    @ the Sinclair


    Thursday, February 21st
    It Looks Sad.
    Lost Film
    Dewey
    @ O’Brien’s Pub


    Saturday, February 23rd
    Hallelujah the Hills
    Argo Arkestra
    @ the Lilypad


    Saturday, February 23rd
    Julia Holter
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Sunday, February 24th
    Rhett Miller (Old 97s)
    Mike Gent (the Figgs)
    @ City Winery Boston


    Sunday, February 24th
    Deerhunter
    Mary Lattimore
    @ the Royale


    Thursday, February 28th
    Ty Segall & White Fence
    Axis:Sova
    @ the Sinclair


    Thursday, February 28th
    Bad Bad Hats
    The Beths
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Thursday, February 28th
    Lloyd Cole
    “The Retrospective Tour”
    @ City Winery Boston


    Friday, March 1st
    Wicca Phrase Springs Eternal
    Angel Du$t
    Guardin
    @ the Sinclair


    Friday, March 1st
    The Monochrome Set
    The Very
    @ ONCE Ballroom


    Monday, March 4th
    Mike Krol
    Savak
    Earthquake Party
    @ Great Scott


    Friday, March 8th
    Tokyo Police Club
    @ the Sinclair


    Monday, March 11th
    Teenage Fanclub
    The Love Language
    @ the Paradise


    Thursday, March 14th
    The Flesh Eaters
    Porcupine (w/Greg from Hüsker Dü)
    @ City Winery


    Saturday, May 18th
    Dream Syndicate
    @ ONCE Ballroom


    Friday, March 22nd
    Jawbreaker
    War on Women
    @ House of Blues


    Tuesday, March 26th
    The Antlers
    “Hospice” LP 10-year
    Anniversary Acoustic Tour
    @ the Sinclair


    Wednesday, March 27th
    Swervedriver & Failure
    @ the Paradise


    Thursday, March 28th
    Spiral Stairs (Scott K. from Pavement
    & Preston School of Industry)
    @ O’Brien’s


    Thursday, March 28th
    Better Oblivion Community Center
    (Phoebe Bridgers & Conor Oberst)
    Lala Lala
    Christian Lee Hutson
    @ the Sinclair


    Friday, March 29th
    Vundabar
    Sidney Gish
    Future Teens
    @ the Paradise


    Saturday, March 30th
    Delta Sleep
    @ the ONCE Ballroom


    Sunday, March 31st
    & Tuesday, April 2nd
    Fleetwood Mac
    @ TD Garden


    Monday, April 1st
    Japanese Breakfast
    Long Beard
    @ the Royale


    Saturday, April 6th
    Japanese Breakfast
    Long Beard
    @ the Royale


    Saturday, April 6th
    Jeff Tweedy (Wilco)
    Buck Meek
    @ Berklee Performance Center


    Sunday, April 7th
    Charlotte Gainsbourg
    @ the Royale


    Tuesday, April 9th
    Mott The Hoople ‘74
    @ the Orpheum


    Tuesday, April 9th
    Patty Griffin
    Ruston Kelly
    @ Sanders Theatre


    Thursday, April 11th
    Mark Eitzel
    (American Music Club)
    @ an Allston living room


    Thursday, April 11th
    Nick Lowe
    @ the Wilbur


    Saturday, April 13th
    Telekinesis
    @ Great Scott


    Sunday, April 14th
    Spiritualized
    @ the Wilbur


    Monday, April 15th
    The James Rocket
    @ ONCE Lounge


    Friday, April 19th
    Foals
    Preoccupations
    Omni
    @ the House of Blues


    Friday & Saturday
    April 19th & 20th
    Todd Rundgren
    @ Berklee Performance Center


    Sunday, April 21st
    Laura Jane Grace &
    the Devouring Mothers
    @ the Sinclair


    Monday, April 22nd
    Black Lips
    Fucked Up
    Wooing
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Tuesday, April 23rd
    Girlpool
    Hatchie
    @ the Royale


    Wednesday, April 24th
    Camp Cope
    @ the ONCE Ballroom


    Thursday, April 25th
    Pup
    Diet Cig
    Ratboys
    @ the Royale


    Saturday, April 27th
    Jennifer O’Connor
    Thalia Zedek & Chris Brokaw
    @ an Allston living room


    Saturday, April 27th
    The Proletariat
    Moving Targets
    @ the ONCE Ballroom


    Saturday, April 27th
    Foxing
    Now Now
    @ the Royale


    Sunday, April 28th
    The Mountain Goats
    @ The Wilbur


    Monday, April 29th
    Tyler Ramsey (ex-Band of Horses)
    @ Great Scott


    Monday, April 29th
    Snow Patrol
    @ the Orpheum


    Thursday, May 2nd
    Son Volt
    @ the Paradise Rock Club


    Friday, May 3rd
    Stephen Malkmus
    (Pavement/The Jicks)
    solo electronic set
    @ the Armory, Somerville


    Saturday, May 4th
    The Drums
    Tanukichan
    @ the Paradise


    Tuesday, May 7th
    The Dandy Warhols
    @ the Sinclair


    Thursday, May 9th
    Nitzer Ebb
    @ the Paradise


    Thursday, May 9th
    Movements
    Boston Manor
    Trash Boat
    Drug Church
    @ the Royale


    Saturday, May 11th
    Pedro the Lion
    John Vanderslice
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Saturday, May 11th
    Graham Parker
    @ City Winery Boston


    Monday, May 13th
    The Mark Lanegan Band
    (of the Screaming Trees)
    with Simon Bonney
    @ the Sinclair


    Tuesday, May 14th
    Damien Jurado
    @ Great Scott


    Wednesday, May 15th
    Cursive
    mewithoutYou
    The Appleseed Cast
    @ the Paradise


    Wednesday, May 15th
    Jessica Pratt
    @ Great Scott


    Thursday, May 16th
    Meat Puppets
    Sumo Princess
    Stephen Maglio
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Friday, May 17th
    Guided By Voices!
    @ the Paradise


    Saturday, May 18th
    Dream Syndicate
    @ the ONCE Ballroom


    Saturday, May 18th
    The Felice Brothers
    @ the Sinclair


    Saturday, May 18th
    Pup
    Ratboys
    Casper Skulls
    @ the Royale


    Sunday, May 19th
    Mono
    Emma Ruth Rundle
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Wednesday, May 22nd
    Laura Stevenson
    Kississippi
    @ the Sinclair


    Wednesday, May 22nd
    American Football
    @ the Paradise


    Thursday, May 23rd
    Passion Pit
    @ the House of Blues


    Thursday, May 23rd
    Filthy Friends
    Dressy Bessy
    @ the Sinclair


    Friday, May 24th
    Undertones
    @ ONCE Ballroom


    Saturday, May 25th
    Slayer
    Lamb of God
    Amon Amarth
    Cannibal Corpse
    @ the Xfinity Center


    Wednesday, May 29th
    Glen Hansard
    @ the Orpheum


    Thursday & Friday
    May 30th & 31st
    Local Natives
    Middle Kids
    @ the Paradise


    Thursday, June 6th
    Coheed and Cambria
    Mastodon
    Every Time I Die
    @ the Pavilion


    Friday, May 31st
    Lady Lamb (full band)
    @ the Royale


    Friday & Saturday
    June 14th & 15th
    Jawbox
    @ the Sinclair


    Saturday, June 15th
    The Lemonheads
    Tommy Stinson (Replacements)
    @ the Paradise


    Saturday, June 15th
    The Specials
    @ the House of Blues


    Monday, June 17th
    Dido
    @ the House of Blues


    Friday, June 21st
    Spencer Krug
    (Wolf Parade/Sunset Rubdown)
    @ Cafe 939


    Tuesday, July 2nd
    Jackson Browne
    @ the Pavilion


    Monday, July 8th
    Third Eye Blind
    Jimmy Eat World
    Ra Ra Riot
    @ Blue Hills Pavilion


    Saturday, July 13th
    Belle & Sebastian
    Ex Hex
    @ the House of Blues


    Wednesday, July 17th
    Heart
    Sheryl Crow
    Elle King
    @ Xfinity Center


    Sunday, July 21st
    Weird Al Yankovic
    @ Blue Hills Pavilion


    Saturday, July 27th
    The Faint
    Ritual Howls
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Thursday, August 1st
    Iron Maiden
    with The Raven Age
    @ Xfinity Center


    Monday, August 5th
    Bryan Ferry
    performing Roxy Music’s
    “Avalon” & more
    @ Boston Opera House


    Thursday, August 15th
    Beck
    Cage The Elephant
    Spoon
    Sunflower Bean
    @ the Xfinity Center


    Tuesday, September 3rd
    Vampire Weekend
    @ Agganis Arena


    Wednesday, September 11th
    Jethro Tull
    @ the Chevalier, Medford


    Friday, September 13th
    The Who
    @ Fenway Park


    Thursday, September 19th
    King Crimson
    @ the Wang Theatre


    Sunday, September 22nd
    Mac DeMarco
    @ the Orpheum


    Thursday, Friday, & Saturday
    October 3rd, 4th, & 5th
    Three nights of Billy Bragg
    “One Step Forward, Two Steps Back”
    @ the Sinclair


    Saturday, October 5th
    Mudhoney
    Pissed Jeans
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Friday & Saturday
    October 18th & 19th
    The Town and the City Festival
    returns to Lowell, MA!


    Saturday, October 26th
    Peter Hook & the Light
    @ the Paradise