Bradley's Almanac

[Nac Faves] My Favorite Music of 2003

Posted on January 5, 2004 at 10:58 am | No Comments

Well, here it is. The first of my year-end favorites lists, the records that helped me make it through 2003, in no particular order …

Mogwai – Happy Songs for Happy People

Scotland’s sons are still making the sounds of stars colliding.

download Hunted By a Freak (mp3)


Death Cab for Cutie – Transatlanticism

Their most beautiful record yet. ‘Passenger Seat’ gets me every time.

download The New Year (mp3) / Title & Registration (mp3)


British Sea Power – The Decline of …

My second favorite discovery of 2003, beat out only by the next band…

listen to Remember Me (realaudio)


The Stills – Logic Will Break Your Heart

Some say they’re the New Order to Interpol’s Joy Division, but they’re more than just that. Catchy as hell, stand-out bass lines, chiming, melodic guitar parts, fronted by a great singer. A well-hit homerun of a debut record.

listen to the entire album (stream)


Pretty Girls Make Graves – The New Romance

Energetic, angular, meticulously arranged, driving dual guitars… all enough to pull me in. But it’s Andrea’s vocals that set them apart, put them right over the top. Buy it, jump ahead to ‘Teeth Collector’, and play it loud.

download Something Bigger, Something Brighter (mp3)


Twilight Singers – Blackberry Belle

The long-awaited return of Afghan Whig Greg Dulli. Not quite as rockin’ on record as the Whigs, more on the slow-burning side, but the songs take on a whole new weight after seeing them live. The guys he brings on the road are just amazing… do not miss ’em if they come near you this year.

sample some clips.


Ted Leo & The Pharmacists – Hearts of Oak

Ted’s catchiest and most cohesive recording to date, ranking up there with the best his old band, Chisel, ever released. A genius guitar player, songwriter, and all-around rock star. Another live experience you’ve gotta have, either full-bandish or solo.

download Where Have All the Rude Boys Gone? (mp3)


The New Pornographers – Electric Version

The greatness of a few songs make up for the weakness of a couple others. A pure pop record that needed more Neko. But doesn’t everything?

download The New Face of Zero and One (mp3)


The Postal Service – Give Up

A total treat from start to finish. Death Cab’s Ben Gibbard brings brilliance to what could have been a simple new-wave-retrofest, his lyrics and vocal melodies revealing details in the tracks that could have easily been lost. This collaboration deservedly sits on many best-of-the-year lists, and here’s hoping a follow-up is planned.

download Such Great Heights (mp3)


American Analog Set – Promise of Love

Not as all-out amazing as some of their earlier stuff, but even lesser AmAnSet is so much better than the rest.

download Hard to Find (mp3)


Sun Kil Moon – Ghosts of the Great Highway

I’ll always be a sucker for Mark Kozelek’s songs, and while this is no Red House Painters, there’s enough magic inside to suffice. “Duk Koo Kim” is a masterpiece.

sample clips (amazon)


Nada Surf – Let Go

A super-solid pop album, full of hooks, ups n’ downs, and an occasional bit of beauty. A rare record that gets better in the second half. I never woulda thought I’d be so into the ‘Popular’ guys… that song screamed “one hit wonder” to some, but “Let Go” shows it just ain’t so.

check out audio clips and video (realplayer)

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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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    Wintersleep
    @ the Sinclair


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    @ Great Scott


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    @ Great Scott


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    @ the Midway


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    We Were Promised Jetpacks
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    @ Brighton Music Hall


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    Godspeed You! Black Emperor
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    @ Sanders Theatre, Harvard


    Friday, March 9th
    Lou Barlow
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    OMD
    @ the House of Blues


    Saturday, March 10th
    Nada Surf celebrating the 15th
    anniversary of their "Let Go" LP
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Saturday, March 10th
    Kristin Hersh
    & Tanya Donelly
    @ City Winery Boston


    Saturday, March 10th
    Pale Monsters (album release!)
    The Life Electric
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    @ the Lizard Lounge


    Saturday, March 10th
    Brett Dennen
    Dean Lewis
    @ Somerville Theatre


    Sunday, March 11th
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    @ Great Scott


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    The Music of XTC
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    @ the ONCE Ballroom


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    Glen Hansard
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    Between the Buried and Me
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    @ the Royale


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    Yo La Tengo
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    bedbug
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    @ the Paradise


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    Bedouine
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    Freak Heat Waves
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    Built To Spill
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    Tokyo Police Club
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    @ the House of Blues


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    Peter Hook & the Light
    performing both of the
    "Substance" collections by
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    @ the Paradise


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    Turnover
    Camp Cope
    Summer Salt
    @ the Sinclair


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    Unknown Mortal Orchestra
    Makeness
    @ the Royale


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    No Age
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    @ Once Somerville


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    Jessica Williamson
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    DJ Carbo
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    Editors
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    Damien Jurado
    @ Brighton Music Hall


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    Cut Worms
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    Suuns
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    Jukebox the Ghost
    The Greeting Committee
    @ the Royale


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    Post Animal
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    Primus
    Mastodon
    All Them Witches
    @ Blue Hills Bank Pavilion


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    LVL UP
    Radiator Hospital
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    Ben Harper &
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    Middle Kids
    @ Brighton Music Hall


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    & the Night Sweats
    with Deer Tick
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    @ TD Garden


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    Jimmy Eat World
    Alex Lahey
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    Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks
    @ the Sinclair


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    King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard
    @ the Royale


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    Chromeo
    Pomo
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    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