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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    “Songs: Molina
    a Memorial Electric Co.”
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    5pm @ the Rockwelll


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    Rooney
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    Now, Now
    Dem Yuut
    @ Sonia


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    Gorillaz
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    Jeffrey Lewis & Los Bolts
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    @ O’Brien’s


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    Boston
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    Echo & the Bunnymen
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    @ Blue Hills Bank Pavilion


    Saturday, July 15th
    Eldridge Rodriguez
    David Age & The Regrets
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    @ O’Brien’s


    Monday, July 17th
    Township
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    Love Love
    Weather Weapon
    @ the Midway Cafe, JP


    Monday, July 17th
    Foreigner,
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    @ Blue Hills Pavilion


    Wednesday, July 19th
    RIDE
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    Thurston Moore Group
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    Tom Petty &
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    Peter Wolf
    @ TD Garden


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    Tristen
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    The Alarm
    @ ONCE Somerville


    Friday, July 21st
    Ultimate Painting
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    Spoon
    The New Pornographers
    @ the Blue Hills Bank Pavilion


    Friday, July 21st
    Toad the Wet Sprocket
    @ the Wilbur


    Friday, July 21st
    Conor Oberst
    Hop Along
    @ the House of Blues


    Saturday, July 22nd
    Thalia Zedek Band
    Mr. Airplane Man
    @ the Lilypad


    Saturday, July 22nd
    The Aquabats
    @ the Paradise


    Sunday, July 23rd
    Primus
    Clutch
    @ the Blue Hills Bank Pavilion


    Tuesday, July 25th
    Slayer
    Lamb of God
    Behemoth
    @ the Blue Hills Bank Pavilion


    Friday, July 28th
    Alt-J
    @ the Blue Hills Bank Pavilion


    Saturday, July 29th
    The Head and the Heart
    Big Thief
    @ Blue Hills Bank Pavilion


    Sunday, July 30th
    Blondie
    Garbage
    Deap Vally
    @ the Blue Hills Pavilion


    Wednesday, August 2nd
    The Shins
    Tennis
    @ House of Blues Boston


    Wednesday, August 2nd
    Melvins
    Spotlights
    @ the Paradise


    Wednesday, August 2nd
    Belle & Sebastian
    Andrew Bird
    Porches
    @ Blue Hills Pavilion


    Friday, August 4th
    Alabama Shakes
    Emily King
    @ the Blue Hills Bank Pavilion


    Tuesday, August 8th
    Mew
    @ the Sinclair


    Tuesday, August 8th
    Poptone
    (mems of Bauhaus, Tones
    on Tail, Love & Rockets)
    with Pow!
    @ the Paradise


    Friday, August 11th
    LO TOM
    (Bazan, Walsh, Many, & Martin)
    TW Walsh
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Sunday, August 13th
    Slothrust
    Tancred
    @ Great Scott


    Tuesday, August 15th
    Goo Goo Dolls
    Phillip Phillips
    @ Blue Hills Bank Pavilion


    Thursday, August 17th
    Hallelujah the Hills
    @ Charles Hayden Planetarium
    @ Museum of Science, Boston


    Saturday, August 19th
    Waxahatchee (full band!)
    @ the Royale


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


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


    Monday, August 28th
    Washed Out
    @ the Royale


    Friday, September 1st
    Duck & Cover
    Silver Screams
    The Runouts
    @ Koto in Salem


    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


    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


    Sunday, September 10th
    GBH
    @ 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
    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
    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


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


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


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


    Thursday, September 21st
    The Cranberries
    @ House of Blues


    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
    The War On Drugs
    @ Blue Hills Bank Pavilion


    Saturday, September 23rd
    Wire
    @ The Sinclair


    Sunday, September 24th
    Saint Etienne
    @ the Once Ballroom


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


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


    Tuesday, October 3rd
    Alvvays
    @ the Paradise


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


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


    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, October 10th
    Against Me!
    Bleached
    The Dirty Nil
    @ the Paradise


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


    Saturday, October 14th
    Andrew W.K.
    @
    Brighton Music Hall


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


    Friday, October 20th
    Janeane Garofalo
    @ ONCE Somerville


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


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


    Wednesday, November 1st
    Elbow
    @ the Paradise


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


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


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


    Thursday, November 9th
    Bruce Cockburn
    @ the Wilbur


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


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


    Tuesday, November 14th
    Slowdive
    @ the Paradise


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


    Tuesday, November 14th
    The Drums
    @
    the Sinclair


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


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


    Friday, December 1st
    Maximo Park
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Thursday, December 7th
    Mogwai
    @ the Royale


    Friday, December 8th
    LCD Soundsystem
    @ Agganis Arena