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
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    Sunday, October 15th
    Everything Everything
    @ the Sinclair


    Sunday, October 15th
    Peter Case (Plimsouls/Nerves)
    1pm @ Atwood's


    Sunday, October 15th
    Andrew W.K.
    Swivel
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Monday, October 16th
    Weakened Friends
    The Courtneys
    Versing
    @ Great Scott


    Tuesday, October 17th
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    Peter Wolf
    @ the Somerville Theatre


    Thursday, October 19th
    Jessica Lea Mayfield
    @ Great Scott


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    Brand New
    Nada Surf
    @ the Wang


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    Janeane Garofalo
    @ ONCE Somerville


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    Wolf Parade
    Charly Bliss
    @ the Royale


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    Death From Above
    @ the Paradise


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    Scissorfight
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    @ Great Scott


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    Queens of the Stone Age
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    @ Agganis Arena


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    with Holy Wave
    @ the Royale


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    The Nomad Stones
    @ the Middle East Upstairs


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    @ City Winery Boston


    Monday, October 30th
    Craig Finn (the Hold Steady)
    @ the Uptown Controllers
    with John K. Samson
    @ City Winery Boston


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    Tera Melos
    Speedy Ortiz
    And The Kids
    @ the Sinclair


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    Boris
    Mutoid Man
    Endon
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Wednesday, November 1st
    John Hodgman presents
    his new book "Vacationland"
    @ Coolidge Corner Theatre


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


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    @ the Paradise


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    Scars on 45
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    The Rural Alberta Advantage
    @ the Sinclair


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    @ Great Scott


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    @ the Sinclair


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    Human Sexual Response
    Unnatural Axe
    @ House of Blues


    Friday, November 3rd
    Boston Rock 'n Soul Review
    with the Woggles,
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    Stupidity, and
    the Andrea Gillis Band
    @ the Middle East Upstairs


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    @ the Paradise


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    and the Sea Lice
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    DJ Carbo
    @ the ONCE Ballroom


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    Wavves
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    David Bazan
    Michael Nau
    @ Brighton Music Hall


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    Lydia Loveless (solo)
    @ the Red Room at Cafe 939


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    Bruce Cockburn
    @ the Wilbur


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    Tegan and Sara
    The Con X: Tour
    @ the Orpheum


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    Ghosts of Sailors at Sea
    Brown Lasers
    MINIBEAST
    The Modern Voice
    @ the Midway in JP


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    The FUs
    Silver Screams
    Fast Times
    @ the Middle East Upstairs


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    Iron & Wine
    @ Berklee Performance Center


    Sunday, November 12th
    Bully
    @ the Sinclair


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    Modern English
    @ ONCE Somerville


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    The Mountain Goats
    Mothers
    @ the House of Blues


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    David Crosby & friends
    @ City Winery Boston


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    Joywave
    The Aces
    The Demos
    @ Brighton Music Hall


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    Slowdive
    Cherry Glazerr
    @ the Paradise


    Tuesday, November 14th
    The Black Heart Procession
    Sam Coomes (Quasi)
    Chris Brokaw
    @ ONCE Somerville


    Tuesday, November 14th
    The Drums
    @
    the Sinclair


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    The Jesus and Mary Chain
    Mark Crozer & the Rels
    @ the Paradise


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    Dream Theater
    @ the Orpheum


    Thursday, November 16th
    Bob Dylan
    Mavis Staples
    @ Agganis Arena


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    November 16th, 17th, & 18th
    Letters To Cleo
    (playing full LPs)
    with the Blake Babies
    @ the Paradise


    Friday, November 17th
    Hot Snakes
    SAVAK
    @ the Middle East Downstairs


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    Hot Water Music
    Big Jesus
    @ the Sinclair


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    Turnover
    Elvis Depressedly
    Emma Ruth Rundle
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    @ the Wilbur


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    American Football
    Pure Bathing Culture
    Land of Talk
    @ the Royale


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    Ducktails
    @ the Sinclair


    Sunday, November 26th
    Cut Copy
    @ the Royale


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


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    Beach Slang
    Dave Hause & The Mermaid
    The Homeless Gospel Choir
    @ the Sinclair


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    Ava Luna
    @ Brighton Music Hall


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    The Richard Lloyd Group
    @ the ONCE  Ballroom


    Saturday, December 2nd
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    @ Brighton Music Hall


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    Samantha Parton
    (of The Be Good Tanyas)
    @ Great Scott


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    Do Make Say Think
    @ the Sinclair


    Tuesday, December 5th
    Jake Bugg
    @ the Paradise


    Wednesday, December 6th
    Hiss Golden Messenger
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    Mogwai
    Xander Harris
    @ the Royale


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    The Bouncing Souls
    TSOL
    Rebuilder
    @ the Sinclair


    Thursday, December 7th
    Morrissey
    @ the Orpheum


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    Converge
    Pile
    Give
    @ Brighton Music Hall


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    Pinegrove
    Saintseneca
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    @ the Royale


    Friday, December 8th
    LCD Soundsystem
    @ Agganis Arena


    Sunday, December 10th
    Reverend Horton Heat
    & Junior Brown with
    The Blasters & Big Sandy
    @ the Sinclair


    Tuesday, December 12th
    The Dear Hunter
    The Family Crest
    Vavá
    @ the Royale


    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 28th
    Cymbals Eat Guitars
    @ Great Scott


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


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


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


    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


    Friday, February 9th
    Girlpool
    @ the Paradise


    Friday, February 16th
    Robert Plant
    @ the Orpheum


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


    Friday, March 9th
    OMD
    @ the House of Blues


    Sunday, April 22nd
    The Darkness
    @ the Royale


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


    Friday, May 18th
    The Fratellis
    @ the Paradise