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best of 2002    best of 2003    best of 2004

A Very interesting year to say the least. While we we're unable to have bands visit us
in studio we did have the opportunity to do some on-site interviews. We also had the
chance to expand our vision a bit when David Bash, founder of the
International Pop Overthrow series of annual shows came by for a visit. Congratulation
on IPO's jump to the international scene with their first festival in Liverpool, England
this year.....which featured show favorites The Lazybirds and Lous Eliot among others.

Sadly we saw the demise of several bands. From Pulp and Suede (each have left a
possible reunion open) to Shed Seven and Mansun. The RIAA continued to work
with the record labels against file sharing, even releasing a very "Stalinist" commercial
stating "Share files and we'll pillage your home and hold your family hostage". Makes
you wonder what they do behind the scenes.......

A huge word of thanks to those who helped us this past year. Those at WPMD who
have brought the show to you, Berny for all her help through to this year, those who
helped with Club Pop, those listeners who kept us strong with their encouragement
and thoughts, and anyone else who escapes our minds at the moment......

Enjoy our little retrospective below. As always, great music carries us through the
difficult times and serves as a bookmark for the memorable. So on to 2004.........

The Indie Shop '
Best Of 2003'

The top 20 albums of the year

01- The Dears – No Cities Left
02 - Phaser - Sway
03 - The Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Fever To Tell
04 - My Favorite - These Are The Best Days Of Our Lives
05 - Saybia – The Second You Sleep
06 – The Lucksmiths – Naturaliste
07 – Belle And Sebastian – Dear Catastrophe Waitress
08 – The Guild League – Private Transport
09 – South – With The Tides
10 – Metric – Old World Underground, Where Are You Now?
11 – The Lazybirds – Come To Life
12 - Laguardia - Welcome To The Middle
13 – Muse – Absolution
14 – Turin Brakes – Ether Song
15 – The High Dials
16 – The Raveonettes
17 – The Aislers Set – How I Learned To Write Backwards
18 –
Mosquitos – Boombox – Mosquitos
19 – Steadman - Revive
20 –
The Incredible Moses Leroy - The Soft.LIGHTES

.......and a few others albums

Kicker – On Your Floor – FiveFortyFives
The Libertines – The Babyshambles Sessions(web release rarities)
Travis – 12 Memories
Clearlake – Cedars
Placebo – Sleeping With Ghosts
Chicklet - Indian Summer
Lupine Howl – The Bar At The End Of The World
The Bluetones – Luxemborg
Plight – The Romance Of Travel
The Fountains Of Wayne - Stacy's Mom - Welcome Interstate Managers
MJ Hibbett & The Valdators - This Is Not A Library
Ugly Duckling - Taste The Secret
Elbow - Cast Of Thousands

The top 20 songs of the year

01 - The Young Tradition – California Morning - ep
02 - The Cardigans – And Than He Kissed Me – Long Gone Before Daylight
03 - The Keys – Gurl Next Door - The Keys
04 - The Arrogants – Nobody’s Cool – Nobody’s Cool
05 – Phaser - Sway - Sway
06 – The Lucksmiths - There Is A Boy That Never Goes Out - Naturaliste
07 – The Suns - Fell So Hard - Love & Death ep
08 –
Cosmic Rough Riders - She's Never Around - Too Close To See Far
09 – Grandaddy - I'm On Standby – Sumday
10 -
The Buffseeds – Sparkle Me – Sparkle Me ep
11 - Andy Stochansky - 22 Steps - Five Star Motel
12 – My Favorite - These Are The Happiest Days Of My Life - These Are The Happiest Days Of Our Lives
13 –
Denise James - Love Has Got Me Crying Again - It's Not Enough To Love
14 – Spearmint - Left Alone Among The Living - My Missing Days
15 – Goldfrapp - Train - Black Cherry
16 – Ugly Duckling - Opening Act - Taste The Secret
17 – The Guild League - Jet Set....Go - Private Transport
18 – ballboy - You Can't Spend Your While Life Hanging Around With Arseholes - A Guide For The Daylight Hours
19 – The White Stripes - It's True That We Love One Another - Elephants
20 - The Hidden Cameras - Ban Marriage - The Smell Of Our Own

 .......and a few others songs

The Boxer Rebellion - Palisade
Holy Hydraulics - What Went Wrong
Midway – Shadows - ep
Stampead – Crack - ep
Paloalto – Breathe In - Heroes And Villains
Margana – Heading North
The Sea And Cake - Four Corners - One Bedroom
The Shins - So Says I - Chutes Too Narrow
The Postal Service - Such Great Heights - Give Up
Stars – Elevator Love Letter - Heart
Placebo – English Summer Rain - Sleeping With Ghosts
Yo La Tengo - Little Eyes - Summer Sun
Tim Burgess – Only A Boy – I Believe
Pala - Celebrity - Artists Against Success label 'No Sellout No Sales' compilation
Steadman - Carried - Revive
The Melodie Group – Emmanuelle Beart - Matinee 50!
Rufus Wainright – Vibrate – Want One
Stereolab – Sudden Stars – Instant O In The Universe ep
Ben Folds - There's Always Someone Cooler - Sunny 16 ep
Ambershades - Too Much - Clap Clap Clap single


Matinee Records 50
Ragazza Pop
Rough Trade 25
Stamp Collecting (for beginners)
Artists Against Success Sampler 'No Sellout No Sales' (also best cd label)

Live shows

There's nothing like finally having a chance to see a band you've waited
patiently for. Even better, to be able to see them in a small, intimate setting...
That's the case with each of the show's below. Each came from quite a distance,
with The High Dials driving all the way from Vancouver, Canada for the one
show. The Lucksmiths had only one show in LA as well and were forced to
settle for an in-store performance. "Settling" was the furthest thing from the
truth as they put on a great show and stuck around to chat with all those who
made the trip to see them.

Divine Comedy @ The Detroit Bar, Costa Mesa
High Dials @ Spaceland, Los Angeles
The Lucksmiths @ Sea Level Records, Los Angeles 10 August

Belle & Sebastian, Bright Eyes @ The Greek Theatre, Los Angeles

Local favorites

We've always made an attempt to connect with local bands (local being an
open ended term for un-signed). Fortune has given us quite a few memorable
moments in the past with bands like The Arrogants and The Lassie Foundation
among others. While we've been unable to invite a band into the studio this
past year we have had the pleasure of playing the new music that's come across.
Hopefully we can have some

Holy Hydraulics
The Electromagnetic
Los Abandoned


Videos haven't been the largest priority as late. That said, there are a few
memorable releases this past year......

Gene - Live
Yes! I can't tell you how long we spent looking for myself in the crowd...
only to realize it was only my arm that made the video, and the original cd
release insert.

Coldplay – Live 2003
This is how a "grand" band like Coldplay should come across live. This
video does a magnificent job of catching the panoramic scope of the music
and performance. Does make me wish I had been able to catch them during
their "pre-fame" tour......

Best Packaging

MJ Hibbett & The Validators – This Is Not A Library

NO ONE has included the breadthe of ‘extras’ that this cd includes.
Links to unreleased tracks, full explinations and history….

And a bit of a side note.......MJ Hibbett's label, Artists Against Success,
released several samplers this year. The second,  No Sales, No Sellout, celebrates
the labels five year anniversary. This had perhaps the best cd label art.
The art was composed by Giles Woodward, a member of the band
Johnny Domino who also happen to be featured in the compilation.

Best Tour Name 

Bens Over Australia
Ben Kweller, Ben Lee & Ben Folds in Australia

MIA..what happened to….

Johnny Marr & The Healers.

Remember all the media hype when Johnny Marr’s debut release came out?


Cancelled Tours/Shows

The Dears (nice to see they finally made it in March '03)
The Bluetones

The Caesars:

What happened? While their prior release (which I’ve still not managed
to track down) was full of great, catchy and upbeat songs, their US release
seemed to be an attempt to cash in on the whole “Scandinavian rock” trend.
It’s almost like watching Blur record a crap rock record just to break the
states (which Song 2 wasn’t!) Too bad…..perhaps next release……

The continuing ignorance of major labels:

Surely they would have gotten it by now. Alas no. With the RIAA acting like
teenage, sex-crazed, boys, looking to get laid at every corner. They saw evil
downloaders everywhere, and made attempts to sue them all. I’m sure this is
just the beginning, for many of us who have been guilty of this on at least
one count will bid our time. In the meantime we now have the growth of ‘legal’
music sites such as Apples’ IMUSIC and to name a few. But with a
number of different file formats it’s beyond simple. So share wisely if at all…….

Suede – breakup/Attitude

So it’s perhaps the band is going out on a high. The series of shows
where they played each release, other sold out shows, the cd & dvd greatest hits.
But to end it all with the single Attitude seems far from glorious. Sadly one of
the worst songs of the year.

Perhaps Suede can hold out for some hip-hop band or artist to sample the track.
Surely, their only hope with this one. At least a few of the b-sides were worth
listening to…..

 So farewell to the band that many see as the first “brit-pop” band
(whatever that means). We can be disappointed that seeing them live here in
the states involved flying oversees, that they stretched their career one album
too long (though there was at least one glorious track), or that they became
charactures of themselves. In all, we do have an amazing album or two to look
back on and enjoy. Surely glorious.