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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    @ the Royale


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    @ First Church, Cambridge


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    <PIG>
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    @ the Blue Hills Bank Pavilion


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    Palm
    @ Brighton Music Hall


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    with Sunflower Bean
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    NPR Music presents
    “Big Sound, Tiny Desk:
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    A conversation with the
    Tiny Desk sound engineer
    @ Cafe 939


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    Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever
    @ the Sinclair


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    Naked Giants
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    “MC50: Kick Out the Jams –
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    Nightmare Air
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    Outlaw Music Festival with
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    @ the Xfinity Center


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    Rooney
    Mating Ritual
    @ Brighton Music Hall


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    Lucius
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    @ the Rockwell


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    Joshua Hyslop
    @ the Sinclair


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    Wye Oak
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    Empath
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    Florence & the Machine
    @ the TD Garden


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    The Jayhawks
    @ the Somerville Theatre


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    The Vaccines
    @ the Sinclair


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    Little Dragon
    @ TD Garden


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    October 14th & 15th
    Death Cab for Cutie
    Charly Bliss
    @ the Wang Theatre


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    Goo Goo Dolls
    “Dizzy Up The Girl
    20th Anniversary Tour”
    @ House of Blues


    Thursday, October 18th
    Big Thief
    The Range of Light Wilderness
    michael
    @ the Paradise


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    The Proletariat
    Savageheads
    Silver Screams
    @ Sonia


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    Nine Inch Nails
    The Jesus & Mary Chain
    @ the Wang Theatre


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    Mitski
    Jessica Lea Mayfield
    @ House of Blues


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    Chvrches
    Lo Moon
    @ the Orpheum


    Sunday, October 21st
    Johnny Marr
    @ the Paradise


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    Courtney Barnett
    Waxahatchee
    @ House of Blues


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    The Church
    @ the Sinclair


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    Garbage
    @ House of Blues


    Wednesday, October 24th
    Lily Allen
    @ the Paradise


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    Minus the Bear
    Caspian
    @ the Paradise


    Thursday, October 25th
    Pile
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    @ the Sinclair


    Friday, October 26th
    The Bevis Frond (two sets)
    @ the Rockwell


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    Monster Magnet
    Electric Citizen
    Dark Sky Choir
    @ the Sinclair


    Tuesday, October 30th
    Minus the Bear
    Caspian
    @ the Paradise


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    Mom Jeans
    Just Friends
    Awakebutstillinbed
    Retirement Party
    @ the Once Ballroom


    Thursday, November 1st
    Tune-Yards
    @ the Paradise


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    Roky Erickson
    @ the ONCE Ballroom


    Monday, November 5th
    Maggie Rogers
    Mallrat
    @ the Royale


    Monday, November 5th
    Shannon & the Clams
    @ the Sinclair


    Monday, November 5th
    Tenacious D
    @ the House of Blues


    Tuesday, November 6th
    The Joy Formidable
    Tancred
    @ the Sinclair


    Thursday, November 8th
    Cursive
    Meat Wave
    Campdogzz
    @ the Paradise


    Friday, November 9th
    Low
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Saturday, November 10th
    Elvis Costello & The Imposters
    @ the Wang Theatre


    Tuesday, November 13th
    Pale Waves
    @ the Sinclair


    Wednesday, November 14th
    Richard Thompson (trio)
    @ the Paradise


    Wednesday, November 14th
    The Alarm
    The Gobshites
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Wednesday, November 14th
    Wild Nothing
    @ the Royale


    Friday, November 16th
    Jim James (from MMJ – solo)
    Alynda Segarra
    (from Hurray for the Riff Raff)
    @ the Shubert Theatre


    Saturday, November 24th
    Kurt Vile & the Violators
    Jessica Pratt
    @ the House of Blues


    Thursday, November 29th
    Peter, Bjorn, & John
    Georgi Kay
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Wednesday, December 5th
    Reverend Horton Heat
    & Junior Brown with
    The Blasters
    Big Sandy
    @ the Royale


    Sunday, December 8th
    Phosphorescent
    Liz Cooper & the Stampede
    @ the Royale


    Saturday, December 14th
    Night Birds
    @ Great Scott


    Thursday, February 14th
    Car Seat Headrest
    @ the Royale