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Best Music 2004

Submit Your Picks for Best Music of the Year

Joe Heim
washingtonpost.com Music Editor
Tuesday, December 21, 2004; 12:00 PM

Narrowing down a list of the year's best concerts and CDs is no simple trask when you've seen more than 150 bands perform and listened to a boatload of albums over the past 12 months. But that's what people who write about music get paid to do, so I'm weighing in with my list of the top performances of 2004.

I'd also like to hear your nominations (sorry, we can't pay you) for the year's best music.


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A Dozen Great Shows (in chronological order):

1. Toby Keith, Baltimore, Md., Feb. 15 at 1st Marine Arena, Baltimore. His uber-patriotism can be off-putting, but Keith is a top-notch country singer and the energy never waned from start to finish.

2. Nellie McKay, Vienna, Va., Feb. 25 at Wolf Trap. McKay's frenetic, funny wordplay and oddball assertions mark her as a significant young talent. Keep an eye on her.

3. Jimmy Scott, Washington, D.C., March 10 at the Library of Congress. The 79- year-old jazz singer's voice is still a marvel to behold.

4. Bob Dylan, Washington, D.C., April 2 at 9:30 club. Even when he's not at his best, (and this was not his best night) Dylan is such an interesting performer that you're riveted to every move he makes.

5. Mary McBride, Arlington, Va., April 29 at Iota. With her great big bluesy barroom voice, McBride reminds you of such gritty singers as Janis Joplin and Bonnie Raitt.

6. Washington Social Club, Washington, D.C., May 21 at the Black Cat. Does this band ever put on a bad show?

7. Dizzee Rascal, Washington, D.C., July 1 at 9:30 club. The aptly named British rapper opened for (and outshone) the Streets, another British rapper.

8. John Prine/Kris Kristofferson, Vienna, Va., Aug. 27 at Wolf Trap. A fabulous singer-songwriter bill on a perfect summer night.

9. Solomon Burke, Alexandria, Va., at Birchmere, Sept. 9. Still the most commanding figure in the royalty of soul. Well, except for Queen Aretha, that is.

10, 11. Brian Wilson, Washington, D.C., Oct. 10 at Warner Theatre/Rilo Kiley, Washington, D.C., Oct. 10 at Black Cat. Different venues, same night. Managed to catch them both. A magical evening of rock harmonies, past and present.

12. Alan Jackson, Washington, D.C., Nov. 19 at MCI Center. Jackson didn't play long enough, but he's still blessed with modern country's best voice and he broke out all of the hits.

Five Must Have CDs:

1. Nellie McKay "Get Away From Me"
2. Kanye West "The College Dropout"
3. Modest Mouse "Good News for People Who Love Bad News"
4. Gretchen Wilson "Here for the Party"
5. Rilo Kiley "More Adventurous"

Editor's Note: Washingtonpost.com moderators retain editorial control over Live Online discussions and choose the most relevant questions for guests and hosts; guests and hosts can decline to answer questions.

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Silver Spring, Md.: Best Concerts --
Emmylou Harris Traveling Harmony Revue -- Wolf Trap
Scott Miller and Commonwealth (train tour)- Iota
Todd Snider -- 2x's Brookeville Inn & Black Rock Center (Germantown)
NRBQ, Funk Box
Richard Thompson, 1000 years of musi -- Birchmere
Ruthie's tribute to Emmylou Harris (with lots of local talents) -- Half Moon BBQ
Ben Kweller -- Messiah College, Harrisburg
Darrell Scott -- State Theater
Maynard Ferguson Big Bop Nouveau -- Blake HS
They Might be Giants & Fountains of Wayne -- Live on Penn
Susan Cowsill Band -- Iota

Joe Heim:

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Washington, D.C.: Best Shows:
Ted Leo at Black Cat, 12/1 and 2. High energy and heart in every song. He's always great.

Morrissey at DAR, 9/29. Came back with a pompadoured vengance this year. This show did not disappoint.

Pixies at DAR 12/8. They're just doing it for the cash but it was great anyway.

Wilco at 9:30, 6/9. Testing out 'Ghost is Born' material. Wilco always pleases.

Albums:
AC Newman "The Slow Wonder"
Ted Leo/Pharmacists "Shake the Sheets"
Wilco "A Ghost is Born"
Franz Ferdinand "Franz Ferdinand"
TV on the Radio "Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes"

Joe Heim:

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Sparta, Tenn.: I have to vote for the Cleveland Vote for Change concert with Bruce Springsteen, John Fogerty, R.E.M., and Bright Eyes. Springsteen is still the most compelling live performer in rock music, and hearing he and Fogerty sing "Fortunate Son" and "The Promised Land" together was simply stunning.

Joe Heim:

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Washington, D.C. : I think Prince's concert was without a doubt one of the biggest and best concert tours of the year. It sold over 1.4 million tickets and came in only second in total revenue to Madonna's concert. Prince's concert also has reasonably priced tickets (80 dollars for floor seats), and people certainly would have paid considerably more to see him live playing his classic songs for the last time.

Joe Heim:

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Warrenton, Va.: Hearty endorsement of John Prine at Wolf Trap. As Kristoferson mentioned, Prine's canon of songs is second only to Dylan and he is still writing great songs (new CD in March, I think?) A fabulous, funny show -- there was magic there that night; everybody felt it.

Joe Heim:

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Houston, Tex.: 1. U2 -- How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb
2. Loretta Lynn -- Van Lear Rose
3. Keane -- Hopes and Fears
4. George Michael -- Patience
5. Low Millions -- Ex-Girlfriends

Runner up -- Jamie Cullum 20Somthing

Joe Heim:

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Washington, D.C.: The Pixies -- Dec. 7th at DAR Constitution Hall

Joe Heim:

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Washington, D.C.: The Concert for Change was the best show ever. Bruce, REM, Dixie Chicks, James Taylor, Bruce singing Man on the Moon with REM ... it was a once in a lifetime event.

Joe Heim:

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Beautiful Silver Spring, Md.: Albums -

Handsome Boy Modeling School - White People

Madvillain (MF Doom and Madlib) - Madvillainy

Andrew Manze and the Academy of Ancient Music - Vivaldi: Concertos for the Emperor

Trouble Funk - Live and Early Singles (on Henry Rollins' lable, 2.13.61)

Kanye West - College Dropout (it needs to be said again)

Joe Heim:

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Anonymous: Best album(s) this year:

Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds -- Abattoir Blues/Lyre of Orpheus

Joe Heim:

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Silver Spring, Md.: Tony Bennett at Wolf Trap -- can't believe I've never seen him, and his mother lived a street over from us in New Jersey. His voice was like the recordings I've heard from years -- clear as a bell. Wonderful!

Joe Heim:

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Columbia, Md.: My favorite shows of a great year for shows.

Morrissey, September 19, DAR Constitution Hall.
The Brit crooner proved he had a sense of humor, playing in front of an Elvis-style bank of lights arranged in -- what else? -- his name. He pleased old and new fans with his style, grace, and especially intense versions of "How Soon is Now?" and "Irish Blood, English Heart".

Ted Leo and the Pharmacists, June 18th, SilverDocs Film Festival, Silver Spring, Md.
D.C. ex-patriate Leo followed Dick Rude's Joe Strummer tribute film, "Let's Rock Again" with his own punk-infused dissent rock. He showed off material from his October album, "Shake the Sheets," played the hits, and had the outdoor crowd stretching out their legs and dancing all night.

Honorable mentions: Guided by Voices at the 9:30, Pixies at Constitution Hall ...

Joe Heim:

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New York, N.Y.: The Pixies -- Hammerstein Ballroom, December 14. Not to be a music snob (OK, maybe a little), but any music fan who doesn't have this as the top show of the year has no concept of music and recent music history. This band is far more important to modern music than Toby Keith will ever be, not to mention they're not nearly as polarizing and hateful. And they're a heck of a lot more incisive, creative and enduring, too.

Joe Heim:

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Takoma Park, Md.: The Walkmen, "Bows and Arrows"

Joe Heim:

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Winchester, Va.: 5 Must Haves:

Mavis Staples -- Have a Little Faith
Buddy Miller -- Universal United House of Prayer
Anthony Hamilton -- Comin From Where I'm From
Big & Rich -- Horse of a Different Color
Dave Alvin -- Ashgrove

Best Shows I attended:

Etta James -- Warner Theatre
Solomon Burke -- Birchmere (Spring 2004?)

Joe Heim:

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washingtonpost.com: Sorry for the pesky "Joe Heim" after every response. That's a technical glitch. We're going to post your picks without any comment from me so just try and ignore the name. After this is over, we'll try and fix that. Thanks.

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Chevy Chase, MD: Seek out "Goodbye, Babylon," a 5 CD set of old-time black and white gospel that's incalculably weird, lovely, and profound.

Joe Heim:

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Fort Washington PA: My favorite albums of the year:

Brian Wilson SMILE (also my favorite concert of the year; the finished SMILE cd rendered all of my old Beach Boys SMILE bootlegs and outtakes irrelevant, and the SMILE concert made the CD seem like a souvenir)

Jonathan Richman - NOT SO MUCH TO BE LOVED AS TO LOVE

Skip Heller - FAKE BOOK

Ben Sidran - NICK'S BUMP

And a reissue... I loved The Beatles CAPITOL ALBUMS VOLUME ONE box simply because it feels so great to finally hear those old stereo tracks fresh and clean on CD. Joe Heim:

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Springfield, VA: Best Live show: Vexed Youth at Jaxx.

Best CDs:

Ted Leo & Pharmacists/Shake the Sheets
Green Day/American Idiot
Loretta Lynn/Van Lear Rose
Killers/Hot Fuss

Joe Heim:

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Washington, DC: When talking about best albums of 2004 Neko Case's "The Tigers Have Spoken" has to be included in the discussion. Case is no pert and poppy Simpson, relying on studio material. In fact, only two of the tracks on her live album come from previous recordings. "Tigers" is one of the rawest, bare bones live albums I've heard in a long time.

Joe Heim:

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Washington, DC: Best concert: Butch Walker vs American Hi-Fi, 9:30 Club on Dec 5.

Best album: Butch Walker, "Letters"

Joe Heim:

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Washington, DC: Favorite 5 Albums:

Ted Leo/Pharmacists, Shake the Streets
Arcade Fire, Funeral
Rogue Wave, Out of the Shadows
Brian Wilson, Smile
Interpol, Antics

Favorite Shows:

Ted Leo/Pharmacists, Black Cat, 12/1
The Pixies, Constitution Hall, 12/6
Rogue Wave, A.C. Newman, Black Cat, 8/14

Joe Heim:

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Falls Church, Va.: A couple of my favorite albums of the year have already been mentioned.. one that hasn't is Sister Hazel's "Lift".

Joe Heim:

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Owings, Maryland: Best concert of 2004: Bob Dylan at the Calvert Marine Museum in Solomons, Maryland. Ninety minutes of kick a-- rock and roll.
Best album of 2004: Elvis Costello's

Joe Heim:

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Washington, DC: Without a doubt: the best album of the year was the soundtrack to Garden State.

Joe Heim:

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Washington, DC: Polyphonic Spree's latest show at 930. I only wish it was two nights, and that I could have made the outdoor Ken Cen show later in the summer.

Joe Heim:

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Washington, DC: Masta Killah's "No Said Date"

Joe Heim:

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Arlington, Va: Best records:

John Vanderslice - Cellar Door
Loretta Lynn - Van Lear Rose
The Black Keys - Rubber Factory
TV on the Radio - Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes
Air - Talkie Walkie

Joe Heim:

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Washington, DC: Favorite 5 Albums:

Ted Leo/Pharmacists, Shake the Sheets
Arcade Fire, Funeral
Rogue Wave, Out of the Shadows
Brian Wilson, Smile
Interpol, Antics

Favorite Shows:

Ted Leo/Pharmacists, Black Cat, 12/1
The Pixies, Constitution Hall, 12/6
Rogue Wave, A.C. Newman, Black Cat, 8/14

Joe Heim:

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Arlington, VA: Vote for Change Tour - incredible

Joe Heim:

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Arlington, VA: Best Albums: Mission of Burma - OnOffOn, Blonde Redhead - Misery Is a Butterfly, Deerhoof - Milk Man, The Fall - The Real New Fall LP, Les Savy Fav - Inches, Hot Snakes - Audit in Progress, Xiu Xiu - Fabulous Muscles, David Garza - A Strange Mess of Flowers, Tom Waits - Real Gone, Q and Not U - Power

Best Live Bands/Shows: !;!;!;, Mission of Burma, Deerhoof (in Baltimore), Les Savy Fav, Black Eyes (last show), Blonde Redhead, Hot Snakes, The Apes + Gogogo Airheart, Ted Leo + Radio 4, El Guapo + Horses

Joe Heim:

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Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada: 1. Paul Westerberg, Folker
2. Franz Ferdinand
3. Green Day, American Idiot
4. Interpol - Antics
5. Les cowboys fringants - La grande messe

Joe Heim:

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Hayward, WI: Best show I've seen this year (and honestly in the last five years).
Megadeth, November 21st, Winnipeg, Manitoba. My husband and I drove eight hours to see the "Blackmail the Universe" Tour. Seeing Dave Mustaine live really helped me see and hear the poetry in his compositions. There really was beauty in the relationship between the guitars and the drummer. Not being a real hard rock fan, I enjoyed the show because of the superior songwriting and the skill of the performers, and I left the show not more of a hard rock fan, but a Megadeth fan.

Joe Heim:

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Washington DC: Phish's Coventry farewell show is my vote for the best show because of it's sentimental value and the fact that it was simulcast at theaters around the country so phans far and wide could boogie down.

Joe Heim:

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Washington, DC: Albums:

Neko Case - "Tigers Have Spoken"
Secret Machines - "Now Here is Nowhere"
Fiery Furnaces - "Blueberry Boat"
Delgados - -"Universal Audio"
The Scoundrelles - "Organic Molecules in Action"

Favorite Show:

The Frames at Black Cat. Hauntingly beautiful.

Joe Heim:

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Potomac, MD: The Rush album of covers was far from their best work, but their 3+ hour show at Nissan for their 30th anniversary tour this past summer was unforgettable.

Joe Heim:

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New York City: The Blue Nile's "High" was the best album of 2005. It is beautiful, timeless and rewards repeated listenings like a deepening love.

Other great CDs are Wheat's "Per Second, Per Second, Per Second....Every Second"; the latest "Hotel Costes" disk from France, I think it was #6;

Joe Heim:

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Fairfax, VA: Best concert - Jack Johnson at Merriweather in the pouring rain.

Joe Heim:

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Anonymous: 5 Great performances:

1.Metallica at the MCI Center 10/17-Say what you will abotu St. Anger, their love show is still on of music's most incredbile shows.

2.Rush at Nissan Pavillion 8/3-30 years young and still able to rock out for over 3 hours

3.Ozzfest 2004 at Nissan Pavillion 7/18-Full balck Sabbath lineup, full Judas Priest, classic Slayer. The finest that metal has to offer right now.

4.Aerosmith at Hershey Stadium 6/28-They may be grandpas now, but they can still shake it better then bands half their age

5.Weird Al at the 9:30 Club-basically for the hardcore fan only, but for those of us who are hardcore ALcoholics....

Joe Heim:

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Chicago, IL: "Funeral," Arcade Fire (hints of the Velvet Underground and Talking Heads but altogether original and riveting)

"Franz Ferdinand" (pop with plenty of muscle behind it)

"Smile," Brian Wilson (worth the 35 year wait? Ooh, yeah!;)

Some great Chicago concerts: Brian Wilson at the Auditorium Theatre; Bob Dylan at the Riviera and the Park West

Joe Heim:

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Columbia, MD: Have to agree with Potomac - the Rush show was GREAT - truly worth it to drive from Columbia to Nissan during rush hour!;

Joe Heim:

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North Potomac, Md.: Brian Wilson at the Warner. Absolutely amazing- a true American musical genius!

Joe Heim:

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Best Album: Patty Griffin, Useless Desires.

Joe Heim:

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Annapolis, MD: Bob Mould at the Ramshead Tavern. Tell me another artist/performer who has influenced as many bands? He puts on a great show all by himself.

Joe Heim:

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Gaithersburg, MD: Brian Wilson at the Warner theater. He is a national treasure and the concert was fantastic from the acoustic beginning to the rocking all-star end.

Joe Heim:

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Woodley Park, Washington, D.C.: Put down that mopey Modest Mouse and pick up Washington Social Club's 'Catching Looks'. You won't regret it.

Joe Heim:

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Absarokee, Montana: Best CD : Smile/Brian Wilson - It's like a "Theme CD" to life...at least mine!;

Joe Heim:

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Arlington, VA: Best Show: The Killers opening for Stellastarr- - The Black Cat in late March
(Honorable Mention would be SuperDiamond - 9:30 for Halloween)
Best Albums: Hot Fuss/The Killers
Hopes & Fears/Keane
Night on Fire/VHS or Beta

Joe Heim:

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Dayton OH: Queen Latifah - The Dana Owens Album
Jane Monheit - Live at the Rainbow Room

Joe Heim:

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Washington, DC: Must have album:

Black Keys: Rubber Factory!;!;!;!;!;

Joe Heim:

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Washington, DC:

1. Vote For Change, MCI Arena, October 11, Mellencamp, Fogerty, Springstein, REM, DMB, et al.

2. 21st Century Schizoid Band, Birchmere, April 24, early members of KING CRIMSON, the morphing band that defines Progressive Music.

3. Brian Wilson, Warner Theatre, October 10, a fantastic visionary of sound, playing and singing well accompanied by a fine cast including strings.

4. Pixies, Constitution Hall, December 8, even the mudding acoustics of the building could not dampen the sonic wave that is the Pixies.

5. David Byrne, Birchmere, June 3,

Joe Heim:

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Gaitherburg, MD: Best Album of the year:

Rammstein - Reise Reise

Joe Heim:

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Alt Country from Oldie Townie: Best CDs of '04

10. Elvis Costello - The Delivery Man
9. Raul Malo - Nashville Acoustic Sessions
8. Tift Merritt - Tamborine
7. Neko Case - The Tigers Have Spoken
6. Norah Jones - Feels Like Home
5. John Fogerty - Deja Vu All Over Again
4. The Notorious Cherry Bombs (self titled)
3. Steve Earle - The Revolution Starts Now
2. Drive-By Truckers - The Dirty South
1. Loretta Lynn - Van Lear Rose

Joe Heim:

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Arlington VA: The Vote for Change Concert finale in DC, first, because every one of my favorite bands over the past 30 years played: Bruce/E St Band, REM, Pearl Jam, Dave Matthews; second, because of the duets: Bruce/REM, Eddie Vedder/REM, Fogarty/E St, Stipe/E St; and third because of the great cause.

Joe Heim:

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Germantown MD: Best Shows:
Los Lobos - 9:30 Club
Los Amigos Invisibles - The Black Cat
Bad Religion, Rise Against - 9:30
Damageplan, Shadows Fall, The
Haunted - 9:30 (RIP Dime)

Best CDs:
• Clutch - Blast Tyrant
• U2 How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb
• Rise Against - Siren Song Of The
Counter Culture
• Lamb of God - Ashes of the Wake
• Los Lobos - The Ride
• Los Amigos Invisibles - Venezuelan
Zinga Son
• The Desert Sessions - Volume 9 & 10
• Monster Magnet - Monolithic Baby!;
• Social Distortion Sex, Love and Rock ‘n'
Roll
• Probot - Probot
• Reverend Horton Heat - Revival
• A Perfect Circle - eMOTIVe (DVD)
• Bad Religion The Empire Strikes First
• The Haunted - rEVOLVEr
• Ministry - Houses Of The Molé
• Shadows Fall - The War Within
• Drive By Truckers - The Dirty South
• Eagles of Death Metal - Peace, Love,
and Death Metal

Joe Heim:

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Atlanta, GA: Best Albums

1. Bjork-Medulla
2. Loretta Lynn-Van Lear Rose
3. Scissor Sisters-Scissor Sisters
4. Blonde Redhead-Misery Is A Butterfly
5. Sterolab-Margerine Eclipse
6. Telefon Tel Aviv-Map Of What Is Effortless
7. Rufus Wainwright-Want Two
8. Magnetic Fields-I
9. Air-Talkie Walkie
10. The Postal Service-Give Up
11. PJ Harvey-Uh Huh Her
12. Savath and Savalas-Apropat
13. Mum-Summer Make Good
14. Tortoise-It's All Around You

Joe Heim:

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Washington, DC: Best concerts of 2004: Morrissey at DAR Constitution Hall Sept 29, 2004 and Stereolab at the 9:30 (not sure of the date, but it was spring.)

Joe Heim:

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Tulsa, Oklahoma : Top recordings:

1. Pixies 2004 Live Recordings.

This was a great idea, a chance for the fans to hear this wonderful tour from the beginning...

2. "A Ghost Is Born"- Wilco

3. Brian Wilson presents "Smile".

4. "Blueberry Boat" - The Fiery Furnaces

I like to call it "The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway" for the aughts....

5. "Delivery Man" - Elvis Costello and the Impostors.

Not as good as he was in 1978-82, but who else ever was?

6. "Now Here is Nowhere" - Secret Machines

7. "I" - Magnetic Fields

8. "The Slow Wonder" - A.C. Newman

9. "Blue Cathedral" - Comets on Fire

I haven't heard the new Ted Leo/Pharmacists, unfortunately, but his previous 2 albums were very good.

Shows:

1. The Pixies (10-04) at Nokia Live in Grand Prairie, TX.

2. Wilco (9-04) at the Granada Theatre in Dallas, Tx.

3. Bob Dylan (2-04) at the legendary Cain's Ballroom in Tulsa.

4. The Red Stripes/Deathray Davies/Starlight Mints (4-04) at the Venue in Tulsa.

The Red Stripes are a White Stripes cover band from Broken Arrow, OK. They are a 14 year bot and his 10 year old sister. Great fun!;

Joe Heim:

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Waltham, MA:: Best concerts:
1. Andrew W.K., 9:30 club, Washington, DC: May 2004.
2. Presidents of the United States of America w/
Washington Social Club, Paradise Lounge, Boston, MA:
October 2004.
3. Ted Leo, Fort Reno, Washington, DC: July 1st 2004.
4. Warped Tour w/ Atmosphere, Washington Social Club,
Coheed and Cambria, NOFX, Glue, etc, Nissan, Virginia:
August 4th 2004.
5. The Bad Plus, 9:30 club, Washington, DC: August 1st
2004.

Best CDs:
1. Say Anything - Say Anything... Is a Real Boy
2. TV on the Radio - Desperate Youth, Bloodthirsty Babes
3. Head Automatica - Decadance
4. Ted Leo + RX - Shake the Sheets
5. Beastie Boys - To the 5 Buroughs

Joe Heim:

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Washington, DC: John Mayer, Nissan Pavillion
Alan Jackson, MCI Center
Martina McBride, MCI Center

Joe Heim:

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Washington, D.C.: Okay, maybe this one is toooooo easy, but the Vote for Change concert at the MCI Center is by far the best concert I've seen (and I've seen lots - not as many as you, perhaps - but lots). Political ideals or non-ideals aside, the music was top-notch with so many great performers in one place (including the surprisingly good Jurassic 5), it had to be good. The energy behind the cause only elevated what would have already been a talent showcase.

Joe Heim:

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Liverpool, U.K.: Best gigs: The White Stripes, Liverpool Royal Court---they came to the home of the Beatles & wowed an initially sceptical audience into levels of ecstacy not seen round these parts since you-know-who played at the Cavern club & Punk/New Wave at Eric's in the same street 30 years' ago.
Glenn Tilbrook, Liverpool Masque Theatre---an artist who could coast on the back of old Squeeze his, yet has the [guts] to record new material & take it on the road, to startling effect.
Worst gig: Ryan Adams, Liverpool Royal Court---self-indulgent, arrogant & stoned, Adams finished the evening in front of an increasingly [annoyed] sell-out audience by falling headlong into the safety-pit 10ft below, breaking his wrist in the process. Some of us were only sorry it wasn't his neck.
Best albums: The Streets; Kings Of Leon; Snow Patrol; Elvis Costello.

Joe Heim:

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Dulles, Va.: Graham Parker's "Your Country" is a must-have. It's as biting as you'd expect, but not bitter. An Englishman in the new world, taking on country tunes... Joe Heim:

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College Park, MD: Top 10 Albums of the Year

10. To The 5 Boroughs, Beastie Boys
9. Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge, My Chemical Romance
8. Good News For People Who Love Bad News, Modest Mouse
7. Catalyst, New Found Glory
6. ...is a Real Boy, Say Anything
5. Take This To Your Grave, Fall Out Boy
4. Get Away From Me, Nellie McKay
3. A Grand Don't Come For Free, The Streets
2. American Idiot, Green Day
1. The College Dropout, Kanye West

Most Disappointing Album:

"How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb," U2

Joe Heim:

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Minneapolis, Minn.: Best Shows of 2004
Vote for Change, St Paul, Minn: REM, Fogerty, Bright
Eyes, Springsteen and special guest Neil Young.
Unbelievable.

Paul Westerberg and His Only Friends, Pantages
Theater, Minneapolis, Minn. Three nights of hits and
misses and more misses...with a band again. Heaven.

Bob Mould and Grant Hart renunion, part of the Rock
for Karl (Mueler) Benefit, The Quest, Minneapolis,
Minn. 2-song set featuring "Hardly Getting Over it"
and "Never Talking to You Again"

Pixies, Roy Wilkins Auditorium, St. Paul, Minn. Even
the concrete slabs holding up the roof of the subpar
venue couldn't mar this show.

Joe Heim:

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Washington, D.C.: Must-Have CDs:

The Killers - "Hot Fuss"
U2 - "How to Build an Atomic Bomb"
Pavement - "Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain" (10 year anniversary addition, with lots of special tracks)
Rilo Kiley - "More Adventurous"
Velvet Revolver - "Contraband"

Joe Heim:

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Northern NJ: Best concerts of 2004:
#1 was Jason Mraz at The Beacon Theater (NYC)last May. It was the first time I had seen him live, but I will now grab any opportunity to do so--he's a fantastic entertainer!; I already knew he was a phenomenal songwriter, but really didn't expect to be so WOWed seeing him live. Only down side for this 38 yr old was that the place was full of KIDS!;
#2 was Ryan Adams, also at The Beacon, on October 1st; the key was that the show the night before was his self-indulgent one, so the next night, he was dead on fantastic. According to friends who read up on that week's shows, this is a common occurrence--one night he's awful, and the next, he's brilliant.

Best Album: Jason Mraz--Tonight, Not Again (cd + dvd set, so you can see just how great his is live!;)

Joe Heim:

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Arlington, VA: My favorite albums this year:

Animal Collective "Sung Tongs" (Paw Tracks)
Battles "EPs" (Monitor)
Comets on Fire "Blue Cathedral" (Sub Pop)
Devendra Banhart "Rejoicing in the Hands" (Young God)
The Fever "Red Bedroom" (Kemado)
Kanye West "The College Dropout" (Roc-A-Fella)
Keren Ann "Not Going Anywhere" (Metro Blue/Blue Note)
Lansing-Dreiden "The Incomplete Triangle" (Kemado)
Phantom Planet "S/T" (Epic)
Ratatat "S/T" (XL/Beggars)
Rilo Kiley "More Adventurous" (Brute/Beaute)
Scissor Sisters "S/T" (Universal)
Sonic Youth "Sonic Nurse" (Geffen)
Wilco "A Ghost is Born" (Nonesuch)
Wolf Eyes "Burned Mind" (Sub Pop)

Joe Heim:

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Springfield, MA: Keith Urban's CD "Be Here". Best all around cd I have purchased this year.

Best Concert: Again Keith Urban in concert in Lowell, MA. Best concert I have ever attended. Terrific entertainer, singer and musician. Everyone should see him in concert.

Joe Heim:

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Washington, DC: Best album of the year, no question:
Arcade Fire, Funeral
haven't seen them live yet but the buzz is good. they'll be at the 930 in late Jan

Other notable:
Fiery Furnaces, Blueberry Boat
I missed their black cat show.

And what about Madvilliany???

Joe Heim:

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West Bethesda, MD: 5 Favorite Albums of 2004 (no particular order):

Unearth - The Oncoming Storm
Eighteen Visions - Obsession
Dillinger Escape Plan - Miss Machine
Head Automatica - Decadence
Velvet Revolver - Contraband

Favorite Concerts of 2004:

Children of Bodom - 9:30 Club
Killswitch Engage & In Flames - 9:30 Club
all Darkest Hour shows at the Black Cat this year

Joe Heim:

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West Bethesda, MD: Ooooh, one more record I forgot:

With Honor - Heart Means Everything

Joe Heim:

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Paris, France: U2's ``How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb'' is terrific. A candidate for one of the best of the year.

Joe Heim:

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Washington, DC: The best concert this year was Prince - the MCI centre. He tore the roof off in a tasteful fashion. And the best CD of the year was Usher's "Confessions" it was everything.

Joe Heim:

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Brooklyn, NY: CD List 2004

1. ‘Brian Wilson Presents SMiLE' (Nonesuch)
2. Hem, "Eveningland" (Rounder)
3. Mindy Smith, "One Moment More" (Vanguard)
4. Alison Krauss and Union Station, "Lonely Runs Both Ways" (Rounder)
5. Green Day, "American Idiot" (Reprise)
6. Loretta Lynn, "Van Lear Rose" (Interscope)
7. Lloyd Cole, "Music in a Foreign Language" (One Little Indian)
8. Neko Case, "The Tigers Have Spoken" (Anti)
9. Sonic Youth, "Sonic Nurse" (Geffen)
10. Butterfly Boucher, "Flutterby" (A&M)

11. Andrew Bird, "Weather Systems" (Righteous Babe 2003)
12. ‘Bonnie "Prince" Billy sings Greatest Palace Music' (Palace)
13. Lloyd Cole, "Etc., Lost Songs and Tunes 1996-2000" (One Little Indian)
14. U2, "How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb" (Interscope)
15. Kate Rusby, "Underneath the Stars" (Compass)
16. Wilco, "A Ghost is Born" (Nonesuch)
17. Cosmic Rough Riders, "Too Close to See You" (429)
18. Steve Earle, "The Revolution Starts…Now" (Artemis)
19. ‘The Notorious Cherry Bombs' (Universal)
20. The Sadies, "Favourite Colours" (Yep Roc)

21. Badly Drawn Boy, "One Plus One is One" (EMI)
22. Gretchen Wilson, "Here for the Party" (Epic)
23. ‘Franz Ferdinand' (Epic)
24. Magnetic Fields, "I" (Nonesuch)
25. Youssou N'Dour, "Egypt" (Nonesuch)
26. Various Artists, "The Unbroken Circle: The Musical Heritage of the Carter Family" (Dualtone)
27. Darden Smith, "Circo" (Dualtone)
28. Jonatha Brooke, "Back in the Circus" (Bad Dog)
29. Mary Chapin Carpenter, "Between Here and Gone" (Columbia)
30. Wynton Marsalis Quartet, "The Magic Hour" (Blue Note)

Re-Issues

1. Elvis Costello, "Almost Blue" (Rhino)
2. The Jayhawks, "Live from the Women's Club" (Jayhawks Official Bootleg)
3. Neil Young, "On the Beach" (Reprise)
4. The Stanley Brothers, "An Evening Long Ago" (Legacy/Columbia)
5. 10,000 Maniacs, "Campfire Songs" (Elektra/Rhino)
6. ‘The Name of this Band is Talking Heads' (Sire/Rhino)
7. ‘The Essential Earl Scruggs' (Legacy/Columbia)
8. Merle Haggard, "40 #1 Hits" (EMI)
9. Oumou Sangare, "Oumou." (Nonesuch)
10. Linda Ronstadt, "Jardin Azul/Las Canciones Favoritas" (Elektra/Rhino) Joe Heim:

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Washington D.C.: Hands down the two CDs that never left my stereo were Green Day's American Idiot and Elliott Smiths From a Basement on a Hill. Green Day amazed me with their sound and brought me back to the days of Nimrod in high school. Elliott Smiths was a haunting tribute to a man whose life ended too soon.

Joe Heim:

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Gainesville, VA: Alan Jackson is still the best - he has the best voice is country music and looks great too!;!;

Joe Heim:

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Los Angeles, California: You've forgot one of the most poweful concerts this year:

Earth, Wind and Fire and Chicago.

I went to the stop in Los Angeles and in all of my concert going, I never saw anything SO powerful. The audience had R&B and Rockers and everyone was on their feet!;!;

The best concert attraction of 2004, if you ask me.

Joe Heim:

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Charlottesville, Va.: Among the best, certainly Green Day's American Idiot, as well as Mastodon's Leviathan.

Joe Heim:

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Washington, DC: Best CD's of 2004 (in no particular order)

Elliott Smith - From a Basement on a Hill
Interpol - Antics
Green Day - American Idiot
U2 - How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb
Iron and Wine - Our Endless Numbered Days
Morrissey - You Are The Quarry
Brian Wilson - SMiLE
Simon and Garfunkel - Old Friends (live on stage)

Joe Heim:

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Atlanta, GA: Bright Eyes- Lua

Joe Heim:

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Boston, MA: My pick for best CD of the year is The Killers - Hot Fuss - both US and UK versions. I also consider their live performance the best I've seen this year. Who'd have thought a bunch of young kids from Vegas could turn out such a timeless, touching tribute to 80s alternative and glam. Really, the best of that type this year...

Joe Heim:

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Washington, D.C.: Sarah McLachlan at Merry Weather Post

Joe Heim:

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Detroit, Mich.:
Best of 2004

Loretta Lynn/Jack White collaboration
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - Abattoir Blues
Interpol - Antics
Blues Explosion - Damage
Pink Grease - The Pink G.R. Ease (ep)

Joe Heim:

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Washington D.C.: Best Albums:
1. Social Distortion-Sex, Love and Rock N Roll
2. Bad Religion-The Empire Strikes Back
3. Green Day-American Idiot
4. Beastie Boys-To the 5 Boroughs
5. Sonic Youth-Sonic Nurse

Best Shows:
1. Beastie Boys/Talib Kweli - Patriot Center
2. Social Distortion - Nation
3. Bad Religion - 9:30 Club
4. Sonic Youth - 9:30 Club
5. Deftones - 9:30 Club

Joe Heim:

_______________________

McLean, VA: Best album - A Ghost is Born, Wilco

Joe Heim:

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