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


    Friday, December 7th
    Soccer Mommy
    Ratboys
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Saturday, December 8th
    Marissa Nadler
    @ Great Scott


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    Liz Cooper & the Stampede
    @ the Royale


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    Caseymagic
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    @ the Sinclair


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    Kal Marks
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    @ Great Scott


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    @ Brighton Music Hall


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    @ the Sinclair


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    @ Great Scott


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    Alexander
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    STL GLD
    Haasan Barclay
    @ The Sinclair


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    @ Paradise Rock Club


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    The Sheila Divine
    (interview & performance)
    1pm @ Great Scott


    Friday, January 4th
    The Sheila Divine
    Bethlehem Steel
    Mint Green
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    Friday, January 11th
    A benefit for Chris
    Doherty of Gang Green
    with Slapshot
    @ the Paradise


    Saturday, January 12th
    ONE NIGHT BAND!
    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


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    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


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    Tancred
    @ Brighton Music Hall


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    Margaret Glaspy
    @ the Royale


    Friday, January 25th
    Boyfriend
    @ Once Ballroom


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    Rubblebucket
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    @ the Paradise


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    Sir Babygirl
    Cave People
    @ Brighton Music Hall


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    Meg Baird & Mary Lattimore
    @ Great Scott


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    @ Great Scott


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


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


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    Beirut
    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
    Sneaks
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Saturday, February 16th
    Royal Trux
    @ the Sinclair


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    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
    Deerhunter
    Mary Lattimore
    @ the Royale


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


    Monday, March 4th
    Mike Krol
    Savak
    @ 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
    Telekinesis
    @ Great Scott


    Sunday, April 14th
    Spiritualized
    @ the Wilbur


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


    Tuesday, April 23rd
    Girlpool
    Hatchie
    @ 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
    Dido
    @ 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
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    Three nights of Billy Bragg
    “One Step Forward, Two Steps Back”
    @ the Sinclair


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