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."
    - The Kids In The Hall
  • Almanac Archives

  • Boston-Area Action

    Thursday, August 17th
    Hallelujah the Hills (2 shows!)
    @ Charles Hayden Planetarium
    @ Museum of Science, Boston


    Friday, August 18th
    Marshall Crenshaw
    y Los Straitjackets
    @ the Sinclair


    Friday, August 18th
    Dick Dale
    with special guests
    @ the Middle East Downstairs


    Saturday, August 19th
    Waxahatchee (full band)
    Palehound
    Outer Spaces
    @ the Royale


    Saturday, August 19th
    Mark Lanegan Band
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Monday, August 21st
    Fable Grazer
    Brown Lasers
    Animal Hospital
    Numbers Have Names
    @ the Midway in JP


    Friday, August 25th
    Mercury On Mars
    Psychic Dog
    The Runouts
    Corner Soul
    @ the Midway in JP


    Saturday, August 26th
    Me In Capris
    Lubec
    Edgar Clinks
    Puppy Problems
    @ O'Brien's


    Monday, August 28th
    Simon Joyner
    Damon & Naomi
    David Nance
    @ the Middle East


    Monday, August 28th
    Green Day
    Catfish & the Bottlemen
    @ the Xfinity Center


    Monday, August 28th
    Washed Out
    @ the Royale


    Thursday, August 31st
    Cameron Keiber
    Sarah Borges
    Peterossi
    @ The Plough and Stars


    Friday, September 1st
    Silver Screams
    The Runouts
    Crimespree
    @ Koto in Salem


    Saturday, September 2nd
    Soft Fangs (LP Release!)
    Holiday Music
    Illiterate Light
    Kelsey Rose Francis
    @ O'Brien’s


    Tuesday, September 5th
    Pallbearer
    @
    Brighton Music Hall


    Tuesday, September 5th
    Laetitia Sadier Source Ensemble
    (of Stereolab)
    @ Great Scott


    Wednesday, September 6th
    Warpaint
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Wednesday, September 6th
    Kevin Morby
    Shannon Lay
    @ The Sinclair


    Thursday, September 7th
    The Novel Ideas (LP release!)
    The Red Room @ Cafe 939


    Friday, September 8th
    Widowspeak
    Clearance
    @ Great Scott


    Friday, September 8th
    Weakened Friends
    @ O'Brien's


    Saturday, September 9th
    7th annual JP Music Festival!
    19 acts on 2 stages over 7 hours
    12pm @ the Pinebank Field
    at Jamaica Pond in JP


    Saturday, September 9th
    Infinity Girl (Last Show)
    Kindling
    Elizabeth Colour Wheel
    Leaner
    @ the Middle East Upstairs


    Saturday, September 9th
    Swervedriver
    playing "Raise" & "Mezcal Head"
    DJ Carbo
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Saturday, September 9th
    The Brian Jonestown Massacre
    @ the Paradise


    Saturday, September 9th
    Buffalo Tom
    "Let Me Come Over"
    25th Anniversary
    @ the Royale


    Saturday, September 9th
    Cindy Wilson
    (of the B52s)
    @ the Middle East Upstairs


    September 10th
    A Giant Dog
    The Dazies
    Boston Cream
    @ O’Brien's Pub


    Sunday, September 10th
    GBH
    The Casualties
    Down With Rent
    Panzerbastard
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Monday, September 11th
    Roky Erickson
    Death Valley Girls
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Wednesday, September 13th
    Father John Misty
    Phosphorescent
    @ Blue Hills Bank Pavilion


    Wednesday, September 13th
    Thee Oh Sees
    @ the Sinclair


    Wednesday, September 13th
    Mount Eerie
    @ Arts at the Armory


    Wednesday, September 13th
    Alison Moyet
    @ the Royale


    Thursday, September 14th
    The Afghan Whigs
    Har Mar Superstar
    @ the Paradise


    Thursday, September 14th
    Jerkagram
    Numbers Have Names
    Brown Lasers
    Ghosts of Sailors at Sea
    @ O'Brien's


    Thursday, September 14th
    Bob Seger & The
    Silver Bullet Band with
    Nancy Wilson (Heart)
    @ the TD Garden


    Friday, September 15th
    Arcade Fire
    Preservation Hall Jazz Band
    @ TD Garden


    Friday, September 15th
    Wild Belle
    Fred Thomas
    @ the ONCE Ballroom


    Friday, September 15th
    Middle Kids
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Saturday, September 16th
    Matthew Sweet
    Tommy Keene
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Saturday, September 16th
    Kasabian
    @ the Royale


    Saturday, September 16th
    Sturgill Simpson
    @ the Blue Hills Pavilion


    Saturday, September 16th
    Chameleons Vox (featuring
    Mark Burgess of Chameleons UK)
    with Soft Kill & Way Out
    @ the Middle East Downstairs


    Sunday, September 17th
    Big Thief
    Twain
    @ the Sinclair


    Monday, September 18th
    Liars
    @ The Sinclair


    Wednesday, September 20th
    E
    @ the Midway, JP


    Wednesday, September 20th
    The Cribs
    @ the Middle East Downstairs


    Wednesday, September 20th
    X (40th anniversary tour)
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Wednesday & Thursday
    September 20th & 21st
    Gogol Bordello
    Lucky Chops
    @ the Paradise


    Thursday, September 21st
    The Cranberries
    @ House of Blues


    Friday, September 22nd
    The Hi-End
    Corin Ashley
    Modern Day Idols
    The Curtis Mayflower
    @ the Midway in JP


    Friday, September 22nd
    Brian Wilson does "Pet Sounds"
    @ the Orpheum


    Friday, September 22nd
    Alison Krauss
    David Gray
    @ Blue Hills Bank Pavilion


    Friday, September 22nd
    The Ataris
    The Queers
    @ the Middle East Downstairs


    Saturday, September 23rd
    Soft Fangs
    Puppy Problems
    Banana
    Night Nurses
    @ O'Brien's


    Saturday, September 23rd
    The War On Drugs
    Land of Talk
    @ Blue Hills Bank Pavilion


    Saturday, September 23rd
    Wire
    @ The Sinclair


    Saturday, September 23rd
    Bearstronaut
    Animal Talk
    Party Bois
    @ the Middle East Upstairs


    Sunday, September 24th
    Saint Etienne
    @ the Once Ballroom


    Monday, September 25th
    Selector Dub Narcotic
    (aka Calvin Johnson)
    @ the ONCE Lounge


    Thursday, September 28th
    Stiff Little Fingers
    Death By Unga Bunga
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Friday, September 29th
    Adult Swim's
    "On The Green" Tour
    @ Gore Place in Waltham


    Friday, September 29th
    Il Mostro
    Silver Screams
    BDSX
    The Von Traps
    @ O'Brien's


    Sunday, October 29th
    BOSTON FUZZSTIVAL 2017
    with Ovlov, Ava Luna,
    Horse Jumper of Love,
    A band Called E, Lisa/Liza,
    Laika's Orbit, Way Out,
    earthquake party!,
    Mint Green, & Bat House
    @ ONCE Somerville


    Saturday, September 30th
    All Together Now #7 with
    Wo Chan, Tom Bianchi,
    The Grownup Noise,
    Amy Cook, & Field Day
    @ the Midway in JP


    Monday, October 2nd
    METZ
    Uniform
    @ The Sinclair


    Monday & Tuesday
    October 2nd & 3rd
    Pinback
    SAVAK
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Tuesday, October 3rd
    Morrissey
    @ the Orpheum


    Tuesday, October 3rd
    Alvvays
    Birthing Hips
    @ the Paradise


    Wednesday, October 4th
    Yes
    (including Jon Anderson,
    Trevor Rabin, & Rick Wakeman)
    @ the Orpheum


    Wednesday & Thursday
    October 4th & 5th
    Dinosaur Jr.
    Easy Action
    @ The Sinclair


    Thursday, October 5th
    Ted Leo (solo set)
    6pm @ Dr. Martens


    Thursday, October 5th
    The National
    @ the Wang Theatre


    Thursday, October 5th
    Hundred Waters
    Kelsey Lu
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Friday, October 6th
    Paul Weller
    @ House of Blues


    Saturday, October 7th
    Sun Kil Moon
    @ the Sinclair


    Saturday, October 7th
    Paramore
    Best Coast
    @ Boston Opera House


    Saturday, October 7th
    Broken Social Scene
    Frightened Rabbit
    @ House Of Blues


    Saturday, October 7th
    Front 242
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Sunday, October 8th
    KMFDM
    OHGR
    Lord of the Lost
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Monday, October 9th
    Future Islands
    @ the Orpheum


    Tuesday & Wednesday
    October 10th & 11th
    Against Me!
    Bleached
    The Dirty Nil
    @ the Paradise


    Wednesday, October 11th
    Frankie Rose
    Suburban Living
    @ Great Scott


    Wednesday, October 11th
    Japanese Breakfast
    Mannequin Pussy
    The Spirit Of The Beehive
    @ The Sinclair


    Thursday, October 12th
    Beach Fossils
    Snail Mail
    Raener
    @ the Sinclair


    Friday, October 13th
    Silver Screams
    Idle Pilot
    Black Cheers
    Psychic Dog
    @ Koto in Salem


    Saturday, October 14th
    Atlas Genius
    Magic Giant
    Half the Animal
    @ the ONCE Ballroom


    Saturday, October 14th
    The Feelies
    @
    the Sinclair


    Saturday, October 14th
    Andrew W.K. (full band)
    Sidewalk Driver
    Shane Slaughter
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Saturday, October 14th
    The Psychedelic Furs
    "The Singles Tour"
    @ the Paradise


    Sunday, October 15th
    Everything Everything
    @ the Sinclair


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


    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
    Janeane Garofalo
    @ ONCE Somerville


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


    Saturday, October 21st
    Death From Above
    @ the Paradise


    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


    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
    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, 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


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


    Thursday, November 9th
    Bruce Cockburn
    @ the Wilbur


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


    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
    The Mountain Goats
    Mothers
    @ the House of Blues


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


    Tuesday, November 14th
    Slowdive
    @ the Paradise


    Tuesday, November 14th
    The Black Heart Procession
    Sam Coomes
    @ ONCE Somerville


    Tuesday, November 14th
    The Drums
    @
    the Sinclair


    Wednesday, November 15th
    Dream Theater
    @ the Orpheum


    Friday, November 17th
    Hot Snakes
    @ 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
    @ the Royale


    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
    @ Brighton Music Hall


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


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


    Wednesday, December 6th
    Hiss Golden Messenger
    @ the Sinclair


    Thursday, December 7th
    Mogwai
    Xander Harris
    @ the Royale


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


    Friday, December 8th
    LCD Soundsystem
    @ Agganis Arena


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


    Saturday, April 28th, 2018
    Peter Hook & the Light
    performing both of the
    "Substance" collections by
    Joy Division & New Order
    @ the Paradise