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

    Comments

    Leave a Reply





  • 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."
    - The Kids In The Hall
  • Almanac Archives

  • Boston-Area Action

    Sunday, October 15th
    Everything Everything
    @ the Sinclair


    Sunday, October 15th
    Peter Case (Plimsouls/Nerves)
    1pm @ Atwood's


    Sunday, October 15th
    Andrew W.K.
    Swivel
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Monday, October 16th
    Weakened Friends
    The Courtneys
    Versing
    @ Great Scott


    Tuesday, October 17th
    Pickwick
    @ Great Scott


    Thursday, October 19th
    Peter Wolf
    @ the Somerville Theatre


    Thursday, October 19th
    Jessica Lea Mayfield
    @ Great Scott


    Friday, October 20th
    Brand New
    Nada Surf
    @ the Wang


    Friday, October 20th
    Janeane Garofalo
    @ ONCE Somerville


    Friday, October 20th
    Wolf Parade
    Charly Bliss
    @ the Royale


    Saturday, October 21st
    Death From Above
    @ the Paradise


    Saturday, October 21st
    Scissorfight
    Roadsaw
    @ Great Scott


    Saturday, October 21st
    Queens of the Stone Age
    Royal Blood
    @ Agganis Arena


    Saturday, October 21st
    Hope Sandoval & the
    Warm Inventions
    with Holy Wave
    @ the Royale


    Sunday, October 22nd
    Kal Marks
    Rozamov
    Husbandry
    The Nomad Stones
    @ the Middle East Upstairs


    Saturday, October 28th
    Kristin Hersh &
    Tanya Donelly
    @ City Winery Boston


    Monday, October 30th
    Craig Finn (the Hold Steady)
    @ the Uptown Controllers
    with John K. Samson
    @ City Winery Boston


    Tuesday, October 31st
    Tera Melos
    Speedy Ortiz
    And The Kids
    @ the Sinclair


    Tuesday, October 31st
    Boris
    Mutoid Man
    Endon
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Wednesday, November 1st
    John Hodgman presents
    his new book "Vacationland"
    @ Coolidge Corner Theatre


    Wednesday, November 1st
    Grizzly Bear
    @ the House of Blues


    Wednesday, November 1st
    Elbow
    @ the Paradise


    Thursday, November 2nd
    Tori Amos
    Scars on 45
    @ the Orpheum


    Thursday, November 2nd
    The Rural Alberta Advantage
    @ the Sinclair


    Thursday, November 2nd
    The Dears
    @ Great Scott


    Friday, November 3rd
    The Breeders
    @ the Sinclair


    Friday, November 3rd
    Human Sexual Response
    Unnatural Axe
    @ House of Blues


    Friday, November 3rd
    Boston Rock 'n Soul Review
    with the Woggles,
    Muck & the Mires,
    Stupidity, and
    the Andrea Gillis Band
    @ the Middle East Upstairs


    Friday, Saturday, & Monday
    November 3rd, 4th & 6th
    The Dresden Dolls
    @ the Paradise


    Saturday, November 4th
    Courtney Barnett & Kurt Vile
    and the Sea Lice
    @ the Orpheum Theatre


    Saturday, November 4th
    Shout Out Louds
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Saturday, November 4th
    The Clientele
    Hoops
    @ the Sinclair


    Monday, November 6th
    The English Beat
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Tuesday, November 7th
    Blizten Trapper
    Lilly Hiatt
    @ the Sinclair


    Wednesday, November 8th
    Lee Ranaldo
    DJ Carbo
    @ the ONCE Ballroom


    Wednesday, November 8th
    Joyce Manor
    Wavves
    Culture Abuse


    Wednesday, November 8th
    David Bazan
    Michael Nau
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Thursday, November 9th
    Lydia Loveless (solo)
    @ the Red Room at Cafe 939


    Thursday, November 9th
    Bruce Cockburn
    @ the Wilbur


    Thursday, November 9th
    Tegan and Sara
    The Con X: Tour
    @ the Orpheum


    Friday, November 10th
    Ghosts of Sailors at Sea
    Brown Lasers
    MINIBEAST
    The Modern Voice
    @ the Midway in JP


    Friday, November 10th
    Channel 3
    The FUs
    Silver Screams
    Fast Times
    @ the Middle East Upstairs


    Saturday, November 11th
    Iron & Wine
    @ Berklee Performance Center


    Sunday, November 12th
    Bully
    @ the Sinclair


    Monday, November 13th
    Modern English
    @ ONCE Somerville


    Monday, November 13th
    The Mountain Goats
    Mothers
    @ the House of Blues


    Monday, November 13th
    David Crosby & friends
    @ City Winery Boston


    Monday, November 13th
    Joywave
    The Aces
    The Demos
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Tuesday, November 14th
    Slowdive
    Cherry Glazerr
    @ the Paradise


    Tuesday, November 14th
    The Black Heart Procession
    Sam Coomes (Quasi)
    Chris Brokaw
    @ ONCE Somerville


    Tuesday, November 14th
    The Drums
    @
    the Sinclair


    Wednesday, November 15th
    The Jesus and Mary Chain
    Mark Crozer & the Rels
    @ the Paradise


    Wednesday, November 15th
    Dream Theater
    @ the Orpheum


    Thursday, November 16th
    Bob Dylan
    Mavis Staples
    @ Agganis Arena


    Thursday, Friday, & Saturday
    November 16th, 17th, & 18th
    Letters To Cleo
    (playing full LPs)
    with the Blake Babies
    @ the Paradise


    Friday, November 17th
    Hot Snakes
    SAVAK
    @ the Middle East Downstairs


    Friday, November 17th
    Hot Water Music
    Big Jesus
    @ the Sinclair


    Sunday, November 19th
    Turnover
    Elvis Depressedly
    Emma Ruth Rundle
    @ the Royale


    Tuesday, November 21st
    Squeeze
    @ the Wilbur


    Tuesday, November 21st
    American Football
    Pure Bathing Culture
    Land of Talk
    @ the Royale


    Sunday, November 26th
    Ducktails
    @ the Sinclair


    Sunday, November 26th
    Cut Copy
    @ the Royale


    Thursday, November 30th
    St. Vincent
    @ House of Blues


    Thursday, November 30th
    Beach Slang
    Dave Hause & The Mermaid
    The Homeless Gospel Choir
    @ the Sinclair


    Friday, December 1st
    Maximo Park
    Ava Luna
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Friday, December 1st
    Dream Syndicate
    The Richard Lloyd Group
    @ the ONCE  Ballroom


    Saturday, December 2nd
    Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Saturday, December 2nd
    Jolie Holland &
    Samantha Parton
    (of The Be Good Tanyas)
    @ Great Scott


    Sunday, December 3rd
    Do Make Say Think
    @ the Sinclair


    Tuesday, December 5th
    Jake Bugg
    @ the Paradise


    Wednesday, December 6th
    Hiss Golden Messenger
    @ the Sinclair


    Thursday, December 7th
    Mogwai
    Xander Harris
    @ the Royale


    Thursday, December 7th
    The Bouncing Souls
    TSOL
    Rebuilder
    @ the Sinclair


    Thursday, December 7th
    Morrissey
    @ the Orpheum


    Friday, December 8th
    Converge
    Pile
    Give
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Friday, December 8th
    Pinegrove
    Saintseneca
    Adult Mom
    @ the Royale


    Friday, December 8th
    LCD Soundsystem
    @ Agganis Arena


    Sunday, December 10th
    Reverend Horton Heat
    & Junior Brown with
    The Blasters & Big Sandy
    @ the Sinclair


    Tuesday, December 12th
    The Dear Hunter
    The Family Crest
    Vavá
    @ the Royale


    Saturday, December 16th
    Bent Shapes (farewell show),
    Laika's Orbit, & Beware the
    Dangers of a Ghost Scorpion
    @ Great Scott


    Monday, December 18th
    Unsane
    Big Brave
    Child Bite
    Hepatagua
    @ Great Scott


    Thursday, December 28th
    Cymbals Eat Guitars
    @ Great Scott


    Saturday & Sunday
    December 30th & 31st
    Deer Tick
    @ the Sinclair


    Saturday, January 13th
    Lana Del Rey
    Jhene Aiko
    @ TD Garden


    Saturday, January 13th
    Camper Van Beethoven
    Cracker
    @ the Middle East Downstairs


    Sunday, January 21st
    Tennis
    @ the Royale


    Wednesday, January 24th
    Sleigh Bells
    @ the Paradise


    Wednesday, January 24th
    Destroyer
    Mega Bog
    @ the Sinclair


    Friday, January 26th
    The Posies
    @ City Winery Boston


    Wednesday, January 31st
    Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
    Night Beats
    @ the Royale


    Friday, February 9th
    Girlpool
    @ the Paradise


    Friday, February 16th
    Robert Plant
    @ the Orpheum


    Saturday, February 17th
    Noel Gallagher’s
    High Flying Birds
    @ the Boston Opera House


    Friday, March 9th
    OMD
    @ the House of Blues


    Sunday, April 22nd
    The Darkness
    @ the Royale


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


    Friday, May 18th
    The Fratellis
    @ the Paradise