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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  • BOSTON-AREA LIVE SHOW ACTION


    Monday, January 24th
    Lomelda
    Alexalone
    @ the Sinclair


    Thursday, January 27th
    Ezra Furman
    @ the Crystal Ballroom


    Monday, January 31st
    The War on Drugs
    House of Blues


    Tuesday, February 1st
    We Are Scientists
    @ Sonia


    Thursday, February 3rd
    Reptaliens
    Yot Club
    Renata Zeiguer
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Saturday, February 5th
    An Evening with Bruce Dickinson
    @ the Shubert Theatre


    Saturday, February 5th
    Erasure
    @ the Orpheum


    Monday, February 7th
    STRFKR
    The Undercover Dream Lovers
    @ the Sinclair


    Tuesday, February 8th
    Courtney Barnett
    Shamir
    @ the Wang


    Thursday, February 10th
    Squirrel Flower
    Mia Joy
    @ the Sinclair


    Saturday, February 12th
    The Royal Arctic Institute
    Sleepyhead
    Chris Brokaw
    @ the Lilypad


    Saturday, February 12th
    Ian Sweet
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Friday, February 18th
    The Cribs
    @ the Sinclair


    Thursday, February 24th
    John Moreland
    Will Johnson
    @ the Sinclair


    Thursday, February 24th
    Sleigh Bells
    @ the Paradise


    Friday, February 25th
    Illuminati Hotties
    Fenne Lily
    Pom Pom Squad
    @ the Sinclair


    Saturday, February 26th
    The Beths
    Lunar Vacation
    @ the Royale


    Sunday, February 27th
    Bruce Cockburn
    @ the Wilbur


    Monday, February 28th
    Journey
    Billy Idol
    @ the Garden


    Tuesday, March 1st
    AFI
    Cold Cave
    @ the Royale


    Wednesday, March 2nd
    The Besnard Lakes
    @ O'Briens


    Wednesday, March 2nd
    Bruce Cockburn
    @ the Narrows, Fall River


    Thursday, March 3rd
    Punch Brothers
    Haley Heynderickx
    @ the Orpheum


    Friday, March 4th
    Nation of Language
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Saturday, March 5th
    Superchunk
    Torres
    @ the Paradise


    Saturday, March 5th
    Guided By Voices
    @ the Royale


    Monday, March 7th
    Pet Fox
    @ O'Brien's


    Monday, March 7th
    Microphones
    Emily Sprague
    @ Somerville Theatre


    Wednesday, March 9th
    Clan of Xymox
    The Bellwether Syndicate
    Aertex
    @ the Hard Rock Cafe


    Friday, March 11th
    Lady Pills
    @ O'Brien's


    Friday, March 11th
    Lewis Black
    @ the Emerson Colonial


    Saturday, March 12th
    Son Volt
    Jesse Farrar
    @ the Sinclair


    Monday, March 14th
    Ryley Walker
    TONSTARTSSBANDHT
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Tuesday, March 15th
    Marketa Irglova
    & Glen Hansard
    (The Swell Season)
    @ the Emerson Theatre


    Tuesday, March 15th
    Ministry
    Melvins
    Corrosion of Conformity
    @ House of Blues


    Wednesday, March 16th
    Tame Impala
    @ the Garden


    Saturday, March 19th
    Rick Maguire (Pile)
    @ Church of the Covenant


    Saturday, March 19th
    Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
    @ Sonia


    Saturday, March 19th
    The Dear Hunter
    The World Is a Beautiful Place...
    Tanner Merritt (of O'Brother)
    @ the Sinclair


    Sunday, March 20th
    Sleaford Mods
    @ the Sinclair


    Sunday, March 20th
    Dropkick Murphys
    Jim Lindberg (Pennywise)
    The Rumjacks
    @ Roadrunner


    Sunday, March 20th
    Henry Rollins
    @ the Wilbur


    Monday & Tuesday
    March 21st & 22nd
    Mitski
    Michelle
    @ Roadrunner


    Tuesday, March 22nd
    Nick Cave & Warren Ellis
    @ the Wang


    Wednesday, March 23rd
    Hrishikesh Hirway
    (The One AM Radio)
    Jenny Owen Youngs
    @ Crystal Ballroom


    Wednesday, March 23rd
    Hot Water Music
    @ the Sinclair


    Thursday & Friday
    March 24th & 25th
    Bleachers
    @ Roadrunner


    Thursday, March 24th
    Black Beach
    @ O'Brien's


    Thursday, March 24th
    They Might Be Giants
    'Flood' 30th annivesary
    @ the Royale


    Friday, March 25th
    Yard Act
    @ the Sinclair


    Saturday, March 26th
    Thao
    @ the Paradise


    Saturday, March 26th
    Car Seat Headrest
    Bartees Strange
    @ House of Blues


    Sunday, March 27th
    Kishi Bashi
    @ the Sinclair


    Wednesday, March 30th
    Sparks
    @ the Shubert Theatre


    Thursday, March 31st
    Parquet Courts
    Hailu Mergia
    @ the Royale


    Friday, April 1st
    Brian Jonestown Massacre
    Mercury Rev
    @ Roadrunner


    Friday, April 1st
    Low
    @ Columbus Theatre
    in Providence


    Sunday, April 3rd
    Andy Shauf
    @ the Paradise


    Monday, April 4th
    Holy F*ck
    @ Sonia


    Monday, April 4th
    Airborne Toxic Event
    @ the House of Blues


    Tuesday, April 5th
    Perfume Genius
    Hand Habits
    @ the Royale


    Wednesday, April 6th
    Spoon
    Margaret Glaspy
    @ the House of Blues


    Wednesday, April 6th
    James Vincent McMorrow
    @ the Royale


    Thursday, April 7th
    Bright Eyes
    @ Roadrunner


    Thursday, April 7th
    Circle Jerks
    7SECONDS
    Negative Approach
    @ the Paradise


    Friday, April 8th
    Mogwai
    @ the Paradise


    Friday, April 8th
    Snail Mail
    Joy Again
    @ the Royale


    Friday & Saturday
    April 8th & 9th
    The Town & the City Festival
    a stacked lineup of artists
    @ venues around Lowell, MA


    Saturday, April 9th
    Slow Crush
    @ Sonia


    Tuesday, April 12th
    We Were Promised Jet Packs
    Weakened Friends
    @ the Sinclair


    Wednesday, April 13th
    Big Thief
    @ Roadrunner


    Thursday, April 14th
    Alt-J
    Portugal. The Man
    Cherry Glazerr
    @ Agganis Arena


    Thursday, April 14th
    Cowboy Junkies
    @ Cary Memorial Hall


    Thursday, April 14th
    Yumi Zouma
    @ the Sinclair


    Sunday, April 17th
    Jack White
    @ Agganis Arena


    Sunday, April 17th
    Godspeed You! Black Emperor
    @ the Columbus, Providence


    Thursday, April 21st
    Fruit Bats
    @ the Sinclair


    Friday, April 22nd
    Letterkenny
    @ the Orpheum


    Saturday, April 23rd
    Aimee Mann
    @ the Chevalier


    Monday, April 25th
    Fontaines D.C.
    Just Mustard
    @ the Paradise


    Tuesday, April 26th
    Pedro the Lion
    Oceanator
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Tuesday, April 26th
    Guerilla Toss
    @ the Crystal Ballroom


    Friday, April 29th
    The Zombies
    @ the Cabot, Beverly


    Friday, April 29th
    Hovvdy
    Molly Parden
    @ the Sinclair


    Sunday, May 1st
    OMD
    @ House of Blues


    Monday, May 2nd
    Cat Power
    @ the Paradise


    Tuesday, May 3rd
    Olivia Rodrigo
    Holly Humberstone
    @ Roadrunner


    Thursday, May 5th
    Julianna Barwick
    Malibu
    @ the Sinclair


    Sunday, May 8th
    Destroyer
    @ The Sinclair


    Tuesday, May 10th
    Pup
    Cloud Nothings
    @ House of Blues


    Thursday, May 12th
    Beach Bunny
    @ House of Blues


    Sunday, May 15th
    Dry Cleaning
    @ Crystal Ballroom


    Wednesday, May 18th
    Shout Out Louds
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Thursday, May 19th
    Joe Jackson
    @ the Shubert


    Sunday, May 22th
    Eels
    @ the Paradise


    Tuesday, May 24th
    Royal Blood
    @ the House Of Blues


    Friday to Sunday
    May 27th to 29th
    Boston Calling Fest
    @ Harvard Athletic Complex


    Friday to Sunday
    May 27th to 29th
    Wilco's
    Solid Sound Festival
    @ MASS MoCA


    Sunday, June 5th
    The Antlers
    @ the Sinclair


    Saturday, June 11th
    Kraftwerk
    @ the Wang


    Thursday, June 16th
    Jonathan Richman
    with Tommy Larkins
    @ the Wilbur


    Saturday, June 18th
    The Zulus
    @ the Paradise


    Tuesday, June 21st
    Waxahatchee
    @ Roadrunner


    Wednesday, June 22nd
    Tears for Fears
    Garbage
    @ the Pavilion


    Monday, June 27th
    Ty Segall
    & Freedom Band
    @ the Royale


    Sunday, July 10th
    Brian Wilson
    Chicago
    @ the Xfinity Center


    Friday, July 15th
    Bikini Kill
    Alice Bag
    @ the Wang


    Friday, July 22nd
    Beach House
    @ Roadrunner


    Tuesday, August 16th
    Goo Goo Dolls
    @ Some Bank Pavilion


    Tuesday, August 16th
    Peter Hook & the Light
    Playing Joy Division's
    "Closer" & "Unknown Pleasures"
    @ the Paradise


    Thursday, August 18th
    Sharon Van Etten
    Julien Baker
    Angel Olsen
    Spencer
    @ the Pavilion


    Friday, September 10th
    Red Hot Chili Peppers
    St. Vincent
    Thundercat
    @ Fenway Park


    Thursday & Friday
    September 15th & 16th
    Vundabar
    @ the Sinclair


    Sunday, September 19th
    New Order
    Pet Shop Boys
    @ Some Bank Pavilion


    Wednesday, September 21st
    OSEES
    Bronze
    @ the Royale


    Wednesday, September 28th
    Pavement
    @ the Wang


    Monday, October 3rd
    The Killers
    Johnny Marr
    @ the Garden


    Saturday, October 22nd
    June of 44
    @ the Middle East Down