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2003 Year End Best Of

Minion Name:
       My Favorite New Albums of 2003
(Not Necessarily in Order)

Hate by The Delgados. Lush, rich, full, and beautiful. Wonderful orchestration and fabulous musicianship combine with remarkable songwriting. Unbelievable. A must-have.

Everyone Down Here by Earlimart. Unbelievably underrated album from Aaron Espinozaís primary musical outlet. Not to be missed if you're a Elliott Smith or Grandaddy fan.

LíAvventura by Britta Phillips and Dean Wareham. A magnificent side project by members of Luna, this record is for people in love. Iím aware that this is cheesy to say.

You Are Free by Cat Power. Chan Marshall dazzles with her rough-around-the-edges voice and unassuming songwriting. Call her a wacko if you like, but that wonít stop her songs from being beautiful.

Televise by Calla. Minimalist drone no-wave in the vein of Joy Division, but without the suicidal overtones. Light some candles and zone out with this record on.

Live at Sin-e by Jeff Buckley. Technically a re-release of an EP from the late 1990ís, this new, expanded two disc (with a nifty DVD) version showcases nearly three hours of Buckleyís amazing early solo performances. Cool package, too.

Sumday by Grandaddy. Another great showing, though not as strong as their previous release.

Vintage Slide Collections From Seattle, Vol. 1 by The Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players. Certainly the most original disc on my list this year. This record is chock full of hilarious musings written about vintage slide collections (some of which are viewable on this disc with your CD-Rom). Cool!

Loneliness Knows My Name by Patrick Park. Perhaps it's just because I miss California that I find this CD endearing, but regardless it is full of great folksy Americana. Catchier than shit.

Songs For Dustmites by Steve Burns. That guy from Blueís Clues (Steve Burns) plus The Flaming Lipsí producer (Dave Fridmann) and drummer (Steven Drozd) equals one cool record!

       Local / Regional Records That Give Me Hope For the South’s Future  

Value Series vol. 1: Fools Gold by Summer Hymns. Absolutely stunning. Layer upon layer of subtle detail, all tucked into fantastic songs.

Fever in the Ice Age by 3d5spd. Technically released in Nov 2002 but Iím counting it anyway. These guys have been around forever (never getting the respect they deserve), and this record is their best yet.

Loki by The Black Kites. Very promising debut record from new Atlanta group. Hopefully they will have a bright future!

       Records I Can’t Believe I Actually Like  

Rainy Day Music by The Jawhawks. Great Americana with stellar songwriting and perfect vocal harmonies. Some of it is a bit too hippie-ish for me, but mostly itís great.

Give Up by The Postal Service. Retro-tinged electro-pop that is completely unpretentious. What makes this band so great is their ability to put intelligent lyrics into electronic songs, which is a bit of a rarity these days.

Room On Fire by The Strokes. I was one of the people who just couldnít get into the Strokesí debut record, but their sophomore offering shows them to have lasting potential in their own little niche.

       Really Disappointing Records From Bands Who Should Know Better  

Elephant by The White Stripes. Not a horrible record, but really lackluster in light of all the pre-release hype. Also has a really lame cover.

Take Them On, On Your Own by Black Rebel Motorcycle Club . This turd-in-candy barís-clothing is a real disappointment after the groupís great debut, BRMC. A second-rate rehash of their previous work, poorly executed.

Dear Catastrophe Waitress by Belle and Sebastian. I love Belle and Sebastian, but this record does not so them justice. About half of the LP is great, but the other half is abysmal! In light of my intense hatred of narrative videos/album covers/stage shows, this recordís cover shot of a waitressís catastrophe annoys me as well.

       Really Late-Running Local Shows:  
      1. Still suck, and
2. Prevent me from being able to see many bands
3. Because I insist upon behaving like an adult
4. By having real responsibilities
5. And enjoying a full night’s rest
6. So I will have the energy to
7. Succeed in life so that I don’t
8. End up bartending at The EARL
9. When I’m thirty-seven
10. Years old!
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