Best of the Year 2003

Steve | Alex | Dr. Billy | Lesley | Ellen | Dave | Peter | Ralph | Dan | Betty | Becky | Alison | Elise | Jimmy | James | Ashley | Fallen Comrades | Customers | Wrapup

Extracting Nuggets With Steve (ten faves followed by lotsa goodies in random order)

GRANDADDY: Sumday Another tremendous album, and those videos are a hoot; I’d like to buy these guys a drink!
ROBERT WYATT: Cuckooland Exceptionally strong stuff from the grizzled ol’ bloke with a voice that can stop time.
FRUIT BATS: Mouthfuls 2nd CD showers more of that warmth, charm, and originality which startled me on their debut.
CALEXICO: Feast Of Wire This durable combo is ever evolving, expanding, and improving. Hot, but not humid.
YO LA TENGO: Summer Sun + Today Is The Day! Of course they geek me out. C’mon, I work in a CD shop!
JESSE SYKES & The Sweet Hereafter: Reckless Burning She’s my favorite country/folk newcomer. Smoky.
STEPHEN MALKMUS & The Jicks: Pig Lib Mr. smarty pants dives into a pool of prog and emerges all shiny.
CAT POWER: You Are Free Her best yet? Hard to say, but close enough. She’s unique, but fans should check out:
MEGAN REILLY: Arc Of Tessa Gathering a crack indie all-star band, this songwriter drops a subtly stunning debut.
JOE STRUMMER (RIP) & The Mescaleros: Streetcore Too soon, a sterling finale from a truly admirable spirit.
The SHINS: Chutes Too Narrow
JEFF HANSON: Son
RY COODER & MANUEL GALBAN: Mambo Sinuendo
The CLIENTELE: The Violet Hour
MOSQUITOS: s/t
RICHARD THOMPSON: The Old Kit Bag
SUPER FURRY ANIMALS: Phantom Power
ELENI MANDELL: Country For True Lovers
The DELMONAS: Do The Uncle Willy
SUN KIL MOON: Ghosts Of The Great Highway
JON LANGFORD & His SADIES: The Mayor Of The Moon
CALIFONE: Quicksand/Cradlesnakes
EMMYLOU HARRIS: Stumble Into Grace
KRISTIN HERSH: The Grotto & THROWING MUSES: s/t
LOOSE FUR: s/t
MANITOBA: Up In Flames
BRITTA PHILLIPS & DEAN WAREHAM: L’Avventura
BUZZCOCKS: s/t
CHRIS SMITHER: Train Home
PERNICE BROTHERS: Yours, Mine and Ours
DEATH CAB FOR CUTIE: Transatlanticism
NINA NASTASIA: Run To Ruin
DANIEL LANOIS: Shine
NICK CAVE: Nocturama
EARLIMART: Everyone Down Here
JOE HENRY: Tiny Voices
BROKEN SOCIAL SCENE: You Forgot It In People
MOJAVE 3: Spoon And Rafter
QUASI: Hot Shit!
TRAILER BRIDE: Hope Is A Thing With Feathers
The NEW PORNOGRAPHERS: Electric Version
PORTASTATIC: The Summer Of The Shark
KATHLEEN EDWARDS: Failer
SWELL: Whenever You’re Ready
LILYS: Precollection
BETTIE SERVEERT: Log 22
THAD COCKRELL: Warmth & Beauty
The HANDSOME FAMILY: Singing Bones
GILLIAN WELCH: Soul Journey
(SMOG): Supper
BROADCAST: HaHa Sound
NADA SURF: Let Go
BEULAH: Yoko
JOSH ROUSE: 1972
TRACY SHEDD: Red
M. WARD: Transfiguration Of Vincent
IRON & WINE: The Sea & The Rhythm (ep)
The ROSEBUDS: Make Out
The ESSEX GREEN: The Long Goodbye
LUCINDA WILLIAMS: World Without Tears
ROYAL CITY: Alone At The Microphone
GUIDED BY VOICES: Earthquake Glue
BAXTER DURY: Len Parrot’s Memorial Lift
FOLK IMPLOSION: The New Folk Implosion
EVAN DANDO: Baby I’m Bored
DAMIEN JURADO: Where Shall You Take Me?
BONNIE ‘PRINCE’ BILLY: Master And Everyone
HOWE GELB: Howe Home
The DECEMBERISTS: Castaways And Cutouts
MARK EITZEL: The Ugly American
MATT SUGGS: Amigo Row
The SADIES: Stories Often Told
JAY FARRAR: Terroir Blues
CLEM SNIDE: Soft Spot
WARREN ZEVON (RIP): The Wind
The KINGSBURY MANX: Aztec Discipline
OKKERVIL RIVER: Down The River Of Golden Dreams
WEEN: Quebec
SPARROW: s/t
VIC CHESNUTT: Silver Lake
The TYDE: Twice
ALMOST YOU: Songs Of Elvis Costello (v/a tribute)
STOP ME IF YOU’VE HEARD THIS ONE BEFORE: 25 Rough Trade (various R.T. artists tribute other R.T. artists)

Croonless Cruise: Steve’s Instrumentals:

ERNEST DAWKINS N.H.E.: Cape Town Shuffle
JOHN FAHEY (RIP): +
DIRTY THREE: She Has No Strings Apollo
DAVID MURRAY L.B.B.: Now Is Another Time
HIM: Many In High Places Are Not Well
NICHOLAS PAYTON: Sonic Trance
MOGWAI: Happy Songs For Happy People
BILL FRISELL: The Intercontinentals
FOUR TET: Rounds
JEMEEL MOONDOC 10: Live @ Vision Festival
SUPER NUMERI: Great Aviaries
DAVE HOLLAND QUINTET: Extended Play
CUL DE SAC: Death Of The Sun

20 Pleasurable Performances (chronological order)
Camper Van Beethoven @ Luther’s
Calexico @ Luther’s
NoahJohn/Mudride @ Crystal Corner
The Shivers @ Glass Nickel
Leo Kottke @ Barrymore
Eugene Chadbourne + NoahJohn @ Crystal Corner
Richard Thompson Band @ Barrymore
Grandaddy/Charlemagne @ Annex
Ritt Deitz Band @ Mother Fool’s
His & Her Vanities @ Anchor
Pernice Brothers/Peter Bruntnell @ Annex
Fruit Bats/Waxwings @ Club 770
Jay Farrar + Canyon @ Luther’s
Yo La Tengo/Aislers Set @ Barrymore
Clem Snide/Califone/Okkervil River @ Luther’s
Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players/ Kimya Dawson/Reverend Jen @ Luther’s
Quasi/Aden/The Shivers @ Luther’s
Al Franken/Studs Terkel @ Orpheum
Kristin Hersh + Howe Gelb + Andrew Bird @ Luther’s
Guided By Voices @ Annex

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Reasons For Living 2003 (by Alex) :

Special Favorites
The SHINS: Chutes Too Narrow
CAT POWER: You Are Free
QUASI: Hot Shit!
The KILLS: Keep On Your Mean Side
GRANDADDY: Sumday
The NEW PORNOGRAPHERS: Electric Version
TRANSFORMER LOOTBAG: s/t

Others
OKKERVIL RIVER: Down The River Of Golden Dreams
RADIOHEAD: Hail To The Thief
The STROKES: Room On Fire
The POLYPHONIC SPREE: The Beginning Stages of…
MOJAVE 3: Spoon And Rafter
The CLIENTELE: The Violet Hour
TRAILER BRIDE: Hope Is A Thing With Feathers
ELENI MANDELL: Country For True Lovers
MY MORNING JACKET: It Still Moves
OUTKAST: Speakerboxx/The Love Below
BEULAH: Yoko
BELLE & SEBASTIAN: Dear Catastrophe Waitress
CLEM SNIDE: Soft Spot
The DARKNESS: Permission To Land
NEIL YOUNG: On The Beach (reissue)
DEATH CAB FOR CUTIE: Transatlanticism
IRON & WINE: The Sea & The Rhythm (ep)
WEEN: Quebec
P.W. LONG: Remembered
GILLIAN WELCH: Soul Journey
YO LA TENGO: Summer Sun/Today Is The Day! (ep)
BUZZCOCKS: s/t
The MARS VOLTA: De-Loused In The Comatorium
STEPHEN MALKMUS & The JICKS: Pig Lib
The GO-BETWEENS: Bright Yellow, Bright Orange
CALEXICO: Feast Of Wire
SONGS:OHIA: Magnolia Electric Company
FOUNTAINS OF WAYNE: Welcome Interstate Managers
DAMIEN JURADO: Where Shall You Take Me?
The ESSEX GREEN: The Long Goodbye
ROYAL CITY: Alone At The Microphone
PORTASTATIC: The Summer Of The Shark
ALMOST YOU: The Songs Of Elvis Costello (v/a)
The LADYBUG TRANSISTOR: s/t
MEGAN REILLY: Arc Of Tessa
TELEVISION: Marquee Moon/Adventure (reissues)
NINA NASTASIA: Run To Ruin
THROWING MUSES: s/t
AZURE RAY: Hold On Love
NADA SURF: Let Go
SPARROW: s/t
The DECEMBERISTS: Castaways And Cutouts
KRISTIN HERSH: The Grotto
DESTROYER: This Night
The DELMONAS: Do The Uncle Willy
PERNICE BROTHERS: Yours, Mine & Ours
The WHITE STRIPES: Elephant
SCOUT NIBLETT: I Am
TOBIN SPROUT: Lost Planets & Phantom Voices
CALIFONE: Quicksand/Cradlesnakes
CROOKED FINGERS: Red Devil Dawn
JEFF HANSON: Son
The DELGADOS: Hate
The RAVEONETTES: Whip It On
SMOG: Supper
FRUIT BATS: Mouthfuls
EVAN DANDO: Baby I’m Bored
JAY FARRAR: Terroir Blues
GOSSIP: Movement

Special Songs
The Shins “Gone For Good”
Quasi “Drunken Tears”
The Darkness “Get Your Hands Off My Woman”
Transformer Lootbag “Big Top Icon Contender”
The Kills “Cat Claw”
Cat Power “Good Woman”
Iron & Wine “The Sea & The Rhythm”
Rainer Maria “Ears Ring”

Special Shows
Quasi @ Luther’s (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)
Pilot Scott Tracy w/KPOWW & Brat @ the Annex
Transformer Lootbag … everywhere!
Buzzcocks @ the Terrace
Gossip @ the Annex
NoahJohn w/His & Her Vanities @ the Anchor
Calexico @ Luther’s
Eugene Chadbourne w/NoahJohn @ the Crystal
The Kills @ the Anchor
Granddaddy @ the Annex
The Blood Brothers @ the Terrace
Rhett Miller @ Luther’s
Atalanta w/The SuperEights @ the Crystal
Pernice Brothers @ the Annex
Yo la Tengo @ the Barrymore
His & Her Vanities … everywhere!
Clem Snide w/Califone & Okkervil River @ Luther’s
Mr. Brownstone @ the French Quarter Café
MaeRae @ Mickey’s

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Dr. Billy’s Five Faves: (special guest professor)

WEEN: Quebec
RESIDENTS: Demons Dance Alone
OUTKAST: Speakerboxx/The Love Below
FOUNTAINS OF WAYNE: Welcome Interstate Managers
LIFESAVAS: Spirit In Stone

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Derrick’s Musings ’03: (Amoeba S.F. spokesmodel)

First, let it never be said that, if there’s a decent band-wagon to jump on, Derrick McBride won’t be there to ride along. That OUTKAST album is one that everybody’s grandmother is going to have. “Hey Ya” is as much a radio gem as, say, “Maybelline” must have been in its day. Still, not my favorite. I think my fave is the PERNICE BROTHERS “Yours, Mine and Ours”. Perfection in the sense that it’s not quite perfect. But it feels so nice. Like all the best Beach Boys tunes.Lush production. Vulnerable, and warm. I hear a lot of stuff by accident. I hear a lot of stuff that couldn’t be returned to the distributors. And that’s how I heard BEXAR BEXAR “Haralambos”. This would be my favorite if it weren’t for the Pernice Bros. Bexar Bexar is one guy, I think. It’s acoustic guitar with programmed drums and samples. It reminds me a lot of Durutti Column. It’s all instrumentals. Very desert soundtrack. NOBUKAZU TAKEMURA is another person I don’t know a lot about, but his album “Songbook” is as beautiful & eerie as anything I’ve ever heard. Also electronic. Song structure is key. PREFUSE 73’s “One Word Extinguisher” makes my list. Genuis beats, song structures, and samples. Have you ever heard of PEA GREEN BOAT? “Two Way Traffic”. Seems aside from Pernice Brothers, all I’ve chosen is electronic based music this year. One more: DURUTTI COLUMN, “Someone Else’s Party”. What can you say about Vini Reilly? I’m just glad he’s still doing it. Okay, another one: LAIKA, “Wherever I am…”.

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Thank you 2003 for giving Lesley in L.A. these:

(not in order from best to less than best, although I’ll start with the quiet music and end with music for dancing and driving fast)
BONNIE “prince” BILLY: Master And Everyone
CAT POWER: You Are Free
NEIL YOUNG: On The Beach (reissue)
ENTRANCE: Honey Moon
The CLIENTELE: The Violet Hour
YO LA TENGO: Summer Sun
YO LA TENGO: Today Is The Day! (ep)
The SHINS: Chutes Too Narrow
TELEVISION: Adventure (reissue)
WIRE: Send
The RAPTURE: Echoes
OUTKAST: Speakerboxx/The Love Below
BRITISH HUSTLE: The Sounds of British Jazz Funk 1974-1982 (Soul Jazz comp. V/A)

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Some stuff I liked this year (by Ellen):

RADIOHEAD: Hail To The Thief
PREFUSE 73: One Word Extinguisher
FISCHERSPOONER: #1 Enhanced
CAT POWER: You Are Free
PEACHES: Fatherfucker
LOST IN TRANSLATION: soundtrack
ELLEN ALLIEN: Berlinette
CITY OF GOD: soundtrack

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Here they are: D.C.’s Oh-Three All-Stars:

(order as you please, all pleased me immeasurably)
RICKIE LEE JONES: Evening Of My Best Day
KING CRIMSON: The Power To Believe
JAY FARRAR: Terroir Blues
JOE STRUMMER (RIP): Streetcore
JEFF BECK: Jeff
NINA NASTASIA: Run To Ruin
CALEXICO: Feast Of Wire
RICHARD THOMPSON: The Old Kit Bag
QUASI: Hot Shit!
CHRIS SMITHER: Train Home
TRAILER BRIDE: Hope Is A Thing With Feathers
JOE HENRY: Tiny Voices
RANDY NEWMAN: Songbook Vol. 1
The KINGSBURY MANX: Aztec Discipline
ROBERT WYATT: Cuckooland
EUGENE CHADBOURNE & HAN BENNIK: Train Keeps A Rollin’
ROBYN HITCHCOCK: Luxor
DEREK TRUCKS: Soul Serenade
BRIAN SETZER: Nitro Burnin’ Funny Daddy
YO LA TENGO: Summer Sun
SUN KIL MOON: Ghosts Of The Great Highway

High Vaultage File : (Re-mix; Re-release; Expando Upgrades)
TELEVISION ! :Adventure and Marquee Moon
MILES DAVIS: Jack Johnson
MUDDY “Mississippi” WATERS: Live
The BYRDS: Sweetheart Of The Rodeo (D-Lx)
ROLLING STONES: (essentially the Brian Jones catalogue)
THE BEATLES: Naked
CREAM: BBC
MINIATURE: I Can’t Put My Finger On It

(Almost) Instrumental, Mr. Watson:
DAVE DOUGLAS: Freak In
MIROSLAV VITOUS: Universal Syncopations
RY COODER & MANUEL GALBAN: Mambo Sinuendo
BILL FRISELL: The Intercontinentals
TUATARA: The Loading Program

Up Close And In The Flesh:
Rickie Lee Jones @ Barrymore Theatre
Jay Farrar @ Luther’s Blues
Eugene Chadbourne @ Mother Fool’s
Yo La Tengo @ Barrymore Theatre
Joe Morris @ Wendy Cooper Gallery
Greg Taylor (welcome home extravaganza…feat. Endless, Tom H. and the guest of honor, etc.) @ Mother Fool’s
…And in an out-class by his own self:
Jeff Beck @ Madison Blues Festival

Onward to the NEXT WORLD: (& sorely missed in this one)
Elliott Smith (ARRRGH!)
Warren Zevon
Johnny and June Carter Cash
Compay Segundo
Celia Cruz
Benny Carter

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Friendly’s Final Judgments

Top Ten
DRIVE-BY TRUCKERS: Decoration Day I still love these guys, and this is
their best one yet.
TEN BENSON: Benson Burner My friends from London; Buttholes meet AC/DC.
CALEXICO: Feast Of Wire Another great one from the lads from Tuscon.
DAMIEN JURADO: Where Shall You Take Me? Gentle, but scary.
GILLIAN WELCH: Soul Journey Drums & bass on a G.W. cd? Sounds good to me.
GRANDADDY: Sumday This one is still growing on me, and I liked it right away.
JEFF HANSON: Son Elliott’s (RIP) little sister? What more could you want?
BONNIE ‘Prince’ BILLY: Master & Everyone Like Jurado, scary like Christian music should be.
CLEM SNIDE: Soft Spot More peppy than usual, with good effect.
The WHITE STRIPES: Elephant Like all their CDs, some kick-ass tunes and some filler. Best gritty guitar sound in many years.

Separate Category
The DARKNESS: Permission To Land So, here’s the story. In summer, I went to England with NoahJohn and some things went horribly wrong, and some things went horribly right. One of latter was my exposure to “the Darkness”, our driver Ryan’s favorite band. Everywhere in London, there were huge posters with Justin Hawkin’s flaming tattooed midriff covered “Growing On Me” 7”. I bought it on vinyl and brought it home, never expecting anyone here to care. Lo and behold, we get a promo of the album and never in my 6 year history at B-Side have I so consistently sold a CD from store play (mostly at night). It’s become my most played & most liked disc of the last 5 years. Dubbed a gay AC/DC, they prefer a straight Queen. Buy!

The Random Rest:
LYRICS BORN: Later That Day
JOE STRUMMER (RIP): Streetcore
MY MORNING JACKET: It Still Is
OKKERVIL RIVER: Down The River Of Golden Dreams
LOOSE FUR: s/t (Tweedy/O’Rourke/Kotche)
JON LANGFORD & His SADIES: Mayor Of The Moon
SOUTH SAN GABRIEL: Welcome, Convalescence
HOWE HOME (GELB): The Listener
PERNICE BROTHERS: Yours, Mine And Ours
The DELMONAS: Do The Uncle Willy
MATT SUGGS: Amigo Row
The RAVEONETTES: Chain Gang Of Love
The HANDSOME FAMILY: Singing Bones
SUN KIL MOON: Ghosts Of The Great Highway
BOTTLE ROCKETS: Blue Sky
GEMMA SMITH: Gemma Ray Ritual (e.p.)
IRON & WINE: The Sea & The Rhythm (e.p.)
Soundtrack:
PIECES OF APRIL: (Stephin Merritt)
Re-Issues:
NEIL YOUNG: (4 CD’s)
UNCLE TUPELO: (3 CD’s)
BEATLES: Let It Be:Naked

Songs:
“Get Your Hands Off Of My Woman (Motherfucker)” - The Darkness
“Dark Forces“ - Ten Benson
“Das Vidania” - Puerto Muerto
“Intoxicated Hands” - Damien Jurado
“Wayside/Back In Time” - Gillian Welch
“Living Through The Mistakes” - Steve Turner
“Calm Down” - Matt Suggs
“You Are The Reason” - Jeff Hanson
“Heard About Him” - The Delmonas
“Happy Birthday” - Clem Snide
“Little Red Light” - Fountains Of Wayne
“It’s Only Divine Right” - The New Pornographers

Shows:
Jon Langford/Sadies w/ Robyn Hitchcock @ Borderline (London)
Ten Benson @ the Garage (London)
Gillian Welch @ Barrymore
My Morning Jacket @ the Rave (Milw.)
Bottle Rockets @ Club Tavern
Drive-By Truckers @ Shenk Hall (Milw.)
Drunk Drivers @ Anchor Inn
Clem Snide/Califone/Okkervil River @ Luther’s
Quasi/Aden/The Shivers @ Luther’s
Woody Guthrie Tribute feat. Ellis Paul and Friends @ Stoughton Opera House

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Ralph Digs:

Jazz:
MILES DAVIS: Complete Jack Johnson (Sony)
LOL COXHILL/TORSTEN MULLER/PAUL RUTHERFORD: Milwaukee 2002 (Emanem)
DAVE DOUGLAS: Freak In (BMG)
DAVE HOLLAND QUINTET: Live At Birdland (ECM)
ESKELIN/PARKINS/BLACK: Arcanum Modern (Hatology)
NICHOLAS PAYTON: Sonic Trance (Warners)
JAMES CARTER: Gardenias For Your Lady (Sony)
ART ENSEMBLE OF CHICAGO: The Meeting (Pi)
Rock:
NEIL YOUNG & CRAZY HORSE: Greendale
WEEN: Quebec
JOHNNY CASH (RIP): The Man Comes Around
The DIRTBOMBS: Dangerous Magical Noise
LOVE: The Forever Changes Concert
BOTTLE ROCKETS: Blue Sky
SUPER FURRY ANIMALS: Phantom Power
JON LANGFORD and his SADIES: Mayor Of The Moon
DIXIE CHICKS: Top Of The World Tour
WARREN ZEVON (RIP): The Wind
GRANDADDY: Sumday
LUCINDA WILLIAMS: World Without Tears
DWIGHT YOAKAM: Population Me
The WHITE STRIPES: Elephant
ELVIS COSTELLO: Get Happy (reissue)

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DJ’s Sound System Style

HIM: Many In High Places Are Not Well
MATTHEW HERBERT BIG BAND: Goodbye Swingtime
MIYAZAWA: Deeper Than The Oceans
KING GEEDORAH: Take Me To Your Leader
MADLIB: Shades Of Blue
JOE STRUMMER: Streetcore
LUCIANO: Tell It From The Heart
SIZZLA: Da Real Thing
EASY STAR ALL-STARS: Dub Side Of The Moon
9 LAZY 9: Sweet Jones
TOSCA: Dehli 9
ROBERT WYATT: Cuckooland
KEVIN AYERS: Bananamour (reissue)
DJ WALLY: Nothing Stays The Same
MANASSEH meets the EQUALIZER: Step Like Pepper
TRONIKA (ex-YMO) : Sketch Show
MILES DAVIS: Complete Jack Johnson Sessions
DANIEL LANOIS: Shine
CEDRIC IM BROOKS: & the Light Of Saba (reissue)

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Betty’s Best Of 2003:

CAT POWER: You Are Free
The GOSSIP: Movement
QUASI: Hot Shit!
PRETTY GIRLS MAKE GRAVES: The New Romance
OUTKAST: Speakerboxx/The Love Below
RADIOHEAD: Hail To The Thief
NORTHERN STATE: Dying In Stereo
AGAINST ME!: As The Eternal Cowboy
LUDACRIS: Chicken And Beer

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Becky’s Short List Of Old-Seeming New Stuff:

JOE JACKSON: Volume 4
YEAH YEAH YEAHS: Fever To Tell
The TANDOORIS: Walking Blind
The RETURNABLES: So When Can I See You Again?…Plus
NIKKI CORVETTE: Love Me/What’s On My Mind (single)
THEE BUTCHERS’ ORCHESTRA: Drag Me Twice

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Alison's Essentials: (From Budapest, With Love*)

The WHITE STRIPES: Elephant
The NEW PORNOGRAPHERS: Electric Version
CAT POWER: You Are Free
The RAPTURE: Echoes
The SHINS: Chutes Too Narrow

(*My apologies to most good albums released after my plane left…)

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Elise’s Top 15 Albums Of 2003: (listen to elise’s radio station: www.somafm.com -> indie pop rocks!)

1.The POSTAL SERVICE: Give Up A collaboration between electronic artists DNTEL and Benjamin Gibbard of Death Cab For Cutie, The Postal Service took its name from the Institution of the same name, perhaps as a tribute after their extensive use of its services in the recording process. A delicious blend of electronic bleeps and indie pop.
2.The DECEMBERISTS: Her Majesty The Decemberists My favorite new discovery this year.After they were recommended by a co-worker who described them as “a weird cross between Neutral Milk Hotel and Belle & Sebastian”, I had to check them out. This is actually their second album - their first, “Castaways and Cutouts,” is equally fantastic. Don’t be fooled by the English accent, though - these boys are from Portland, OR.
3.BELLE & SEBASTIAN: Dear Catastrophe Waitress Yay! New Belle & Sebastian! Also, it’s got some poppier, more Beatles-y songs on it than past releases. Yay!
4.The SHINS: Chutes Too Narrow I was very impatient for this record to come out, because I LOVED their first record, “Oh, Inverted World”. It did finally come, and was well worth the wait. It’s a bit more acoustic than OIW, but still full of hooks and shimmery loveliness.
5.DEATH CAB FOR CUTIE: Transatlanticism One of my favorite bands, DCFC has a hard time missing the target for me. While I’m currently feeling that this newest release is not one of their best, I still think it kicks butt over most of the other releases this year. So there.
6.The JAYHAWKS: Rainy Day Music Although I live in San Francisco now, I’m originally from Minnesota; therefore, I’m genetically predisposed to love the Jayhawks. At least, that’s how I think it works.
7.The SEA AND CAKE: One Bedroom I’ve long thought that the Sea and Cake are one of the finest bands from Chicago. This latest release, I believe, proves me right once again, as they continue on their quest for the perfect lounging and drinking music (er, that’s what it’s for, right?), and even manage to freshen up their sound with some additional electronic-y
goodness.
8.MY MORNING JACKET: It Still Moves This 70s-jam-rock-meets-indie-rawk band is strangely infectious.
9.GRANDADDY: Sumday I love Grandaddy. Somewhat obsessively at times. This new album is yummy like their old stuff, with the same quirky weirdness, but it’s also poppier and a bit
smoother-sounding. I still don’t understand why they were touring with Pete Yorn, though.
10.METRIC: Old World Underground, Where Are You Now? As anyone who works in the music industry knows, you have to slog through lots of Really Crappy Promos before you hear a Good One. Metric was my reward for listening to some ridiculous quantity of Especially Bad promos. Female-fronted, they have incredibly catchy, clever pop songs with a touch
of that fashionable electro-clashness to them. I spend too much time driving around in my car singing along to them.
11. +/- (PLUS/MINUS): You Are Here James Baluyut from Versus continues on with his latest project, +/-, this time with more uplifting songs than the first album had (which was all about breaking up with his ex).
12.CALEXICO: Feast Of Wire The latest effort from the TexMex band all the indie rockers love. Moody and delightful.
13.AISLERS SET: How I Learned To Write Backwards The first Aislers Set album, “The Last Match”, was an indie rock monument in my eyes. Amy Linton, the main songwriter/singer,
continues on with this second album, but in a much quieter, sparser way. It’s easy to see why Belle & Sebastian like touring with these guys (and the Shins, too, for that matter).
14.PRETTY GIRLS MAKE GRAVES: The New Romance Yay! Punk rock girls kick ass! (er, if you like Sleater-Kinney, you’ll like PGMG…)
15.The INNOCENCE MISSION: Befriended I’ve been harboring a (not-so) secret love of the Innocence Mission since their first album came out in 1989. I think they’re even more
Christian or something, which normally would make me run for cover, but they’re just so *pretty* and soothing and mellow and nice. On this, their newest release,
they’ve learned some new studio techniques and their sound has been enriched as a result. Also, there are some pretty songs. ;)

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Jimmy’s Moods For Moderns

NADA SURF: Let Go
The SHINS: Chutes Too Narrow
The STROKES: Room On Fire
The WHITE STRIPES: Elephant
The NEW PORNOGRAPHERS: Electric Version
MY MORNING JACKET: It Still Moves
RADIOHEAD: Hail To The Thief
SUPER FURRY ANIMALS: Phantom Power
BELLE & SEBASTIAN: Dear Catastrophe Waitress
The SLEEPY JACKSON: Lovers
GRANDADDY: Sumday
LIBERTINES: Up The Bracket
CAT POWER: You Are Free
FOUNTAINS OF WAYNE: Welcome Interstate Managers
SUN KIL MOON: Ghosts Of The Great Highway
EVAN DANDO: Baby I’m Bored
CROOKED FINGERS: Red Devil Dawn
PERNICE BROTHERS: Yours, Mine & Ours
ALMOST YOU (v/a): A Tribute To Elvis Costello
STEPHEN MALKMUS: Pig Lib
YO LA TENGO: Summer Sun
LONGWAVE: The Strangest Things
KINGSBURY MANX: Aztec Discipline
The STILLS: Logic Will Break Your Heart
MARK EITZEL: The Ugly American
PANSY DIVISION: Total Entertainment
JAY FARRAR: Terroir Blues
BALL BOY: Guide For The Daylight Hours
The CORAL: s/t
The GO-BETWEENS: Bright Orange Bright Yellow
HIDDEN CAMERAS: Smell Of Our Own
SPIRITUALIZED: Amazing Grace
BROADCAST: HaHa Sound
BRITTA PHILLIPS & DEAN WAREHAM: L’Avventura
BROKEN SOCIAL SCENE: You Forgot It In People
JOSH ROUSE: 1972
The KILLS: Keep On Your Mean Side
BLUR: Think Tank
REISSUES:
TELEVISION (they finally fixed the reception)
NEIL YOUNG (especially On The Beach)
ELVIS COSTELLO (how many times do I gotta buy these???)
BOB DYLAN
DVD:
LED ZEPPELIN DVD
The CLASH: Essential Clash
The JAM: The Complete Jam
The WHO: The Kids Are Alright
24 HOUR PARTY PEOPLE
OLD GREY WHISTLE TEST

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James’ Jams:

I spent most of 2003 listening to King Tubby and Fela. However, in moments of pure existential dread (e.g. Arnold’s swearing in ceremony; Johnny Cash’s swearing out ceremony,
etc.) I sought refuge in the following albums:
The SHINS: Chutes Too Narrow
MISSY ELLIOTT: This Is Not A Test!
MILES DAVIS: Complete Jack Johnson Recordings
DEERHOOF: Apple O’
DEVANDRA BANHART: The Black Babies
FOUR TET: Rounds
SUNN O))): White 1
JAMES TENNEY: Selected Works 1961-1969
MATTHEW SHIPP: Equilibrium
APHEX TWIN: 26 Mixes For Cash
STEPHEN MALKMUS: Pig Lib (bonus cd)
CAT POWER: You Are Free
LOU REED: The Raven
See you in San Francisco! (heyheyjames@mac.com)

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Ashley enjoys these:

CAT POWER: You Are Free
The SHINS: Chutes Too Narrow
MADLIB: Shades Of Blue
LYRICS BORN: Later That Day
OKKERVIL RIVER: Down The River Of Golden Dreams
The KILLS: Keep On Your Mean Side
NEIL YOUNG: Greendale
MOGWAI: Happy Songs For Happy People
YO LA TENGO: Summer Sun
SPIRITUALIZED: Amazing Grace
CALEXICO: Feast Of Wire
IRON & WINE: The Sea & The Rhythm (e.p.)
OUTKAST: Speakerboxx/The Love Below
JOHNNY CASH (RIP): The Man Comes Around
NEW PORNOGRAPHERS: Electric Version
PREFUSE 73: One Word Extinguisher
TELEVISION: Marquee Moon (reissue)
BLOOD BROTHERS: Burn Piano Island Burn
QUASI: Hot Shit!
BROADCAST: HaHa Sound
ROOTS: Phrenology
PERNICE BROTHERS Yours, Mine And Ours
STEREO TOTAL: Musique Automatique (‘02)
NOTWIST: Neon Golden (‘02)
something to rediscover:
WIRE: Chairs Missing (‘78)

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In Homage to our recently fallen comrades…

Warren Zevon
Johnny Cash
Joe Strummer
Elliott Smith

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Customer’s Choice: Best Sellers at B-Side

OUTKAST: Speakerboxx/The Love Below
RADIOHEAD: Hail To The Thief
The WHITE STRIPES: Elephant
The STROKES: Room On Fire
The SHINS: Chutes Too Narrow
GRANDADDY: Sumday
YO LA TENGO: Summer Sun
The NEW PORNOGRAPHERS: Electric Version
DEATH CAB FOR CUTIE: Transatlanticism
CAT POWER: You Are Free

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Shaking it down: the shared tastes of B-Side 2003

NINE VOTES means this year’s most honored artiste is none other than: Cat Power

EIGHT VOTES sends the Silver Medal to: The Shins

SIX VOTES Bronzes the baby shoes of: Calexico…Grandaddy…Outkast…Pernice Brothers…Yo La Tengo

FIVE VOTES were cast for four popular combos: The New Pornographers…Quasi…Television (reissues)…The White Stripes

FOUR VOTES has a real nice ring to it: Jay Farrar…Iron & Wine…Stephen Malkmus…My Morning Jacket…Okkervil River…Radiohead…Joe Strummer…Sun Kil Moon…Ween…& these reissues: Miles Davis…Neil Young

THREE VOTES are significantly more impressive than a couple: Almost You: Songs of Elvis Costello…Belle & Sebastian…Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy…Broadcast…Clem Snide…The Clientele…Evan Dando…Death Cab For Cutie…The Decemberists…The Delmonas …Fountains Of Wayne…Jeff Hanson…Joe Henry…Damien Jurado…The Kills…The Kingsbury Manx…Jon Langford…Daniel Lanois…Nada Surf…Nina Nastasia…Prefuse 73…Super Furry Animals…Trailer Bride…Gillian Welch

Notice: This summary gathers and encapsulates the personal opinions of current (& some former) employees of B-Side Compact Discs, plus one invited guest. As usual, discussion of ballots amongst ourselves was discouraged, in an effort to Reach a more purely personal overview. Not that we can hide our enthusiasms, but still. We might say the purpose of this list is to encourage exploration of unfamiliar musical paths…Which may reward you with unexpectedly rich new listening experiences to enhance your day.Then again, some might think that’s a big lie; we don’t really give a damn about all this wack music. Skeptics might figure that all we really want is to trick you out of some cash. Who needs “art”, anyway? Our customers, that’s who. They allow us to offer alternatives to the “choices“ spewed by corporate media. So thanks, B-Side customers! Be sure to tell your friends about us, because, you know, we love the music. Just kidding. We’re only in it for the money.

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