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."
    - The Kids In The Hall
  • Almanac Archives

  • Boston-Area Action

    Saturday, December 16th
    Bent Shapes (farewell show),
    Laika's Orbit, & Beware the
    Dangers of a Ghost Scorpion
    @ Great Scott


    Monday, December 18th
    Unsane
    Big Brave
    Child Bite
    Hepatagua
    @ Great Scott


    Thursday, December 21st
    Ceremony
    Nothing
    @ Sonia


    Friday, December 22nd
    Love Love & Friends Xmas Show!
    with special guests Rick Berlin,
    Field Day, Bob Kendall,
    Anna Rae/Hemway, & Martha Marin
    @ the Midway Cafe


    Thursday, December 28th
    Cymbals Eat Guitars
    @ Great Scott


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


    Sunday, December 31st
    Speedy Ortiz
    Ovlov
    Wendy Eisenberg
    @ Great Scott


    Saturday, January 6th
    Fur Purse (LP Release Party!)
    with Whore Paint,
    Shepherdess, and Sister
    @ the Midway Cafe


    Wednesday, January 10th
    Craig Finn & the
    Uptown Controllers
    with John K. Samson
    @ City Winery Boston


    Friday, January 12th
    Passion Pit
    @ House of Blues


    Saturday, January 13th
    ONE NIGHT BAND
    40 musicians form 8 new
    bands & perform that night
    @ the Sinclair


    Saturday, January 13th
    Lana Del Rey
    Jhene Aiko
    @ TD Garden


    Saturday, January 13th
    Wildhoney
    Horse Jumper of Love
    Mini Dresses
    Strange Passage
    @ Great Scott


    Saturday, January 13th
    Camper Van Beethoven
    Cracker
    @ the Middle East Downstairs


    Thursday, January 18th
    Deerhoof
    Family Planning
    Olivia Neutron-John
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Sunday, January 21st
    Tennis
    @ the Royale


    Wednesday, January 24th
    Sleigh Bells
    @ the Paradise


    Wednesday, January 24th
    Destroyer
    Mega Bog
    @ the Sinclair


    Friday, January 26th
    The Posies
    @ City Winery Boston


    Wednesday, January 31st
    Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
    Night Beats
    @ the Royale


    Saturday, February 3rd
    Steve Earle
    @ City Winery Boston


    Friday, February 9th
    Girlpool
    @ the Paradise


    Saturday, February 10th
    Weakened Friends
    @ Great Scott


    Saturday & Sunday
    February 10th & 11th
    Ian Hunter
    & the Rant Band
    @ City Winery Boston


    Friday, February 16th
    Steve Earle
    @ City Winery Boston


    Friday, February 16th
    Robert Plant
    @ the Orpheum


    Saturday, February 17th
    Porches
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Saturday, February 17th
    Noel Gallagher’s
    High Flying Birds
    @ the Boston Opera House


    Sunday, February 18th
    X Ambassadors
    Now, Now
    @ House of Blues


    Wednesday, February 21st
    Frightened Rabbit
    Wintersleep
    @ the Sinclair


    Thursday, March 1st
    Shopping
    French Vanilla
    @ Great Scott


    Tuesday, March 6th
    Jessica Lea Mayfield
    @ Great Scott


    Thursday, March 8th
    Godspeed You! Black Emperor
    @ the Sinclair


    Thursday, March 8th
    Tune-Yards
    @ the Royale


    Friday, March 9th
    Godspeed You! Black Emperor
    @ Sanders Theatre, Harvard


    Friday, March 9th
    OMD
    @ the House of Blues


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


    Friday, March 23rd
    Glen Hansard
    @ House of Blues Boston


    Saturday, March 31st
    S. Carey
    @ Great Scott


    Tuesday, April 3rd
    Yo La Tengo
    @ the Paradise


    Saturday, April 7th
    Ought
    @ the Sinclair


    Tuesday, April 10th
    Franz Ferdinand
    @ House of Blues Boston


    Tuesday, April 17th
    Ministry
    Chelsea Wolfe
    @ the Royale


    Friday, April 20th
    Buffalo Tom
    @ the Paradise


    Sunday, April 22nd
    The Darkness
    @ the Royale


    Friday, April 27th
    They Might Be Giants
    @ the House of Blues


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


    Saturday & Sunday
    April 28th & 29th
    Turnover
    Camp Cope
    @ the Sinclair


    Friday, May 18th
    The Fratellis
    @ the Paradise


    Saturday, June 2nd
    Japanese Breakfast
    @ the Sinclair


    Wednesday, June 11th
    Jimmy Eat World
    Alex Lahey
    @ House of Blues


    Tuesday, July 17th
    Weezer
    Pixies
    @ Xfinity Center


    July 21st & 22nd
    Foo Fighters
    @ Fenway Park


    Friday, August 10th
    Pedro the Lion
    @ Brighton Music Hall