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Sunday, December 21st, 2003

So Says I (The Best Of 2003)

My year-end list is a little late getting up, I know. Lazy, dontcha know. I wanted to dress it up a little bit more than just listing stuff off, and that equals more work, and… well, lazy. At least I’ve gotten it posted before Christmas. Oddly numbered lists seem to be the fashion, so I’ve gone with a happy baker’s dozen of top albums. After that, it became impossible to rank one album against another in terms of my preference – so the honourable mention should be read as “also good”. I’ve also elected to not give each album a writeup because, uh, I’m lazy. Maybe you haven’t been paying attention. I have linked the Metacritic review page for each record if you want to read some criticism/praise, and there’s a sample mp3 of one of my favorite tracks off each album linked for your enjoyment. And while it seems obvious/futile, if you like what you hear, for the love of God go out and buy the CD. All of these artists need you love and support.

The Postal Service
Give Up
(SubPop)

MP3 – “Nothing Better”

Metacritic reviews

The Shins
Chutes Too Narrow
(Subpop)

MP3 – “Fighting In A Sack”

Metacritic reviews

The Wrens
Meadlowlands
(Absolutely Kosher)

MP3 – “Hopeless”

Metacritic reviews

Ted Leo & The Pharmacists
Hearts Of Oak
(Lookout!)

MP3 – “Tell Balgeary, Balgaury Is Dead”

Metacritic reviews

Beulah
Yoko
(Velocette)

MP3 – “Landslide Baby”

Metacritic reviews

Death Cab For Cutie
Transatlanticism
(Barsuk)

MP3 – “The Sound Of Settling”

Metacritic reviews

Pernice Brothers
Yours, Mine & Ours
(Ashmont)

MP3 – “One Foot In The Grave”

Metacritic reviews

Belle & Sebastian
Dear Catastrophe Waitress
(Rough Trade/EMI)

MP3 – “I’m A Cuckoo”

Metacritic reviews

The New Pornographers
Electric Version
(Mint)

MP3 – “The Laws Have Changed”

Metacritic reviews

Fountains Of Wayne
Welcome Interstate Managers
(S-Curve/Virgin)

MP3 – “Hackensack”

Metacritic reviews

Broken Social Scene
You Forgot It In People
(Arts & Crafts/Paper Bag)

MP3 – “Almost Crimes (Radio Kills Remix)”

Metacritic reviews

Calexico
Feast Of Wire
(Quarterstick)

MP3 – “Sunken Waltz”

Metacritic reviews

The Weakerthans
Reconstruction Site
(Epitaph)

MP3 – “Plea From A Cat Named Virtue”

Metacritic reviews


Honorable Mentions:

My Morning Jacket / It Still Moves
Fruit Bats / Mouthfuls
The American Analog Set / Promise Of Love
Metric / Old World Underground, Where Are You Now
Nada Surf / Let Go
The Sleepy Jackson / Lovers
The Cardigans / Long Gone Before Daylight
Wheat / Per Second Per Second Per Second Every Second
Young & Sexy / Life Through One Speaker

There were a lot of great shows this year, but a handful stood out as outright celebrations of music and the effect it can have on people. “Transcendent” is a pretty loaded word, but sometimes it’s appropriate. I should also mention my top two shows that I am beyond sorry I missed – Ted Leo & The Pharmacists at the Rivoli in April and Steve Earle at the Kool Haus in May.

Belle & Sebastian, Rasputina
Massey Hall, Toronto
November 8, 2003

Photos and review

Broken Social Scene, Stars, Apostle Of Hustle, Jason Collett, Amy Milan
Lee’s Palace, Toronto
June 13, 2003

Photos and review

Billy Bragg
The El Mocambo, Toronto
July 11, 2003

Photos and review

Beulah, John Vanderslice
Lee’s Palace, Toronto
November 8, 2003

Photos and review

The American Analog Set, The Cansecos
The Horseshoe, Toronto
June 25, 2003

Photos and review

By : Frank Yang at 11:13 am
Category: Year-End List
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  1. rob says:

    great list. thanks for posting this.

  2. Rick says:

    I *know* Josh Rouse’s "1972" just slipped your mind, and that you shall amend the list to provide it a deserving place near the top. ;)

    Cheers,

    -R.

  3. Frank says:

    I saw Josh Rouse live maybe five years ago with Juliana Hatfield and Hayden, and he didn’t impress me. I haven’t paid any attention to him since. I will be seeing him open for the Jayhawks next month though, and will take an open mind to his set.

    But the list stands as it is…

  4. Rick says:

    I just noticed that show and I’m definitely going to head down – I’ve actually met Gary Louris a couple times, great guy, and the last album was awesome. As for Rouse, I’ll let the show speak for itself. But his last two albums have been insanely good, and 1972 comes with a free DVD movie. :)

    Toss me an e-mail (rickAToveranythingDOTcom) if you’d like to meet up for a drink or a bite before the show.

    Cheers,

    Rick.

  5. Colin says:

    Rouse is solid…certainly not up there though