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)


Leave a Reply

  • Almanac Archives

  • Boston-Area Action

    Friday, December 7th
    The Dazies (LP release!)
    The ModifierS
    Brother JT
    @ Sally O’Brien’s

    Friday, December 7th
    Soccer Mommy
    @ Brighton Music Hall

    Saturday, December 8th
    Marissa Nadler
    @ Great Scott

    Saturday, December 8th
    Liz Cooper & the Stampede
    @ the Royale

    Sunday, December 9th
    Old 97s Holiday Extravaganza
    Rhett Miller
    @ the Sinclair

    Sunday, December 9th
    Justus Proffit & Jay Som
    Kal Marks
    @ Great Scott

    Sunday, December 9th
    @ Once Ballroom

    Monday, December 10th
    @ Great Scott

    Wednesday, December 12th
    Gang of Youths
    @ Brighton Music Hall

    Thursday, December 13th
    J Mascis
    @ the Sinclair

    Saturday, December 15th
    Night Birds
    Dark Thoughts
    @ Great Scott

    Monday, December 17th
    Hiss Golden Messenger
    @ The Sinclair

    Tuesday, December 18th
    Beach Bunny
    Field Medic
    @ Great Scott

    Thursday, December 20th
    Anna Altman
    Mister Goblin
    @ Great Scott

    Friday, December 28th
    Bad Rabbits
    Haasan Barclay
    @ The Sinclair

    Saturday, December 29th
    Hop Along
    @ Paradise Rock Club

    Monday, December 31st
    The Felice Brothers
    @ Brighton Music Hall

    Friday, January 4th
    The Sheila Divine
    (interview & performance)
    1pm @ Great Scott

    Friday, January 4th
    The Sheila Divine
    Bethlehem Steel
    Mint Green
    @ the Royale

    Friday, January 11th
    A benefit for Chris
    Doherty of Gang Green
    with Slapshot
    @ the Paradise

    Saturday, January 12th
    A benefit for ZUMIX
    40 musicians form 8 new bands
    in the morning & perform that night
    @ the Sinclair

    Monday, January 14th
    The Lemon Twigs
    Jackie Cohen
    @ the Paradise

    Tuesday, January 15th
    Fifth Business
    Gold Muse
    The Fellowship of Feeding Wolves
    The Sound Down Cellar
    @ O’Brien’s

    Thursday, January 17th
    Camper Van Beethoven
    @ the Middle East Downstairs

    Saturday January 19th
    Shepherdess & Sister
    Split 7-inch release show!
    with Døwager & The Swettes
    @ the Midway in JP

    Sunday, January 20th
    @ Brighton Music Hall

    Thursday, January 24th
    Neko Case
    Margaret Glaspy
    @ the Royale

    Friday, January 25th
    @ Once Ballroom

    Friday, January 25th
    Diet Cig
    @ the Paradise

    Sunday, January 27th
    Sir Babygirl
    Cave People
    @ Brighton Music Hall

    Thursday, January 31st
    Steve Gunn
    Meg Baird & Mary Lattimore
    @ Great Scott

    Friday, February 1st
    Jon Spencer & the HITmakers
    @ Great Scott

    Wednesday, February 6th
    H.C. McEntire
    @ Great Scott

    Friday, February 8th
    Sharon Van Etten
    Nilufer Yanya
    @ the Royale

    Tuesday, February 12th
    Helado Negro
    @ the House of Blues

    Wednesday, February 13th
    Adrianne Lenker (of Big Thief)
    Luke Temple
    @ the Sinclair

    Wednesday, February 13th
    Metric & Zoe
    July Talk
    @ House of Blues

    Wednesday, February 13th
    Joe Jackson
    @ the Shubert Theatre

    Thursday, February 14th
    Car Seat Headrest
    @ the Royale

    Friday, February 15th
    Cherry Glazerr
    @ Brighton Music Hall

    Saturday, February 16th
    Royal Trux
    @ the Sinclair

    Saturday, February 16th
    Bob Mould
    @ the Paradise

    Saturday, February 16th
    Corrosion of Conformity
    @ Brighton Music Hall

    Sunday, February 17th
    “Schitt’s Creek (the show):
    Up Close and Personal”
    @ the Orpheum

    Tuesday, February 19th
    Gang of Four
    @ ONCE Ballroom

    Saturday, February 23rd
    Julia Holter
    @ Brighton Music Hall

    Sunday, February 24th
    Mary Lattimore
    @ the Royale

    Thursday, February 28th
    Lloyd Cole
    “The Retrospective Tour”
    @ City Winery Boston

    Monday, March 4th
    Mike Krol
    @ Great Scott

    Friday, March 8th
    Tokyo Police Club
    @ the Sinclair

    Monday, March 11th
    Teenage Fanclub
    The Love Language
    @ the Paradise

    Sunday, March 31st
    & Tuesday, April 2nd
    Fleetwood Mac
    @ TD Garden

    Saturday, April 13th
    @ Great Scott

    Sunday, April 14th
    @ the Wilbur

    Sunday, April 21st
    Laura Jane Grace &
    the Devouring Mothers
    @ the Sinclair

    Tuesday, April 23rd
    @ the Royale

    Monday, April 29th
    Snow Patrol
    @ the Orpheum

    Tuesday, May 7th
    The Dandy Warhols
    @ the Sinclair

    Friday, May 31st
    Lady Lamb (full band)
    @ the Royale

    Monday, June 17th
    @ the House of Blues

    Sunday, July 21st
    Weird Al Yankovic
    @ Blue Hills Pavilion

    Thursday, August 1st
    Iron Maiden
    with The Raven Age
    @ Xfinity Center

    Thursday, Friday, & Saturday
    October 3rd, 4th, & 5th
    Three nights of Billy Bragg
    “One Step Forward, Two Steps Back”
    @ the Sinclair

    Saturday, October 26th
    Peter Hook & the Light
    @ the Paradise