Posted by: cousinbrandon | December 24, 2009

The “Miscellaneous” Mixes: The Best of 2003

Today we’ll be taking a look at Cousin Matt’s Best of 2003 compilation. As a special bonus, here’s how they went down, in Cousin Matt’s own words:

2003 – the year with probably my most surprising #1 of all the mixes. It’s also probably my favorite cover, overall. I suppose the back is a little jumbled – and I think it confused the shit out of people (the primary reason I went with a cleaner look the next year). But I liked the way the front worked out with the numbers.

This was also my first two-disc Best Of, and since I wasn’t writing any notes on the inside cover, I used it to make the front cover reversible. So depending on your preference, you could pick green or white.

I was picking top Albums back then, but I hadn’t yet come up with the snazzy way to post them on the cover. Thus, you get songs and only songs.

A couple notes on Cousin’ Matt’s comments. First, as you’ll see starting with his 2004 mixes, he moved to copying the layout of the Billboard charts to list his song selections. Pretty remarkable, really, considering he once again did it in Word. Second, his “snazzy way to post them on the cover” also begins with his 2004 mixes, so this will all make sense in the near future.

As Cousin Matt points out above, a surprising #1 indeed. The question, really, is whether or not it still holds up, or if it’s now kind of annoying and doomed to be on one of those compilations advertised on television, nestled next to nuggets like “Closing Time” and “Stacy’s Mom.” (Oh, shit. Sorry about that, CM, but I never liked “Stacy’s Mom.”) Don’t get me wrong; his #1 was on my 2003 compilation, as well. Still, even I have to question how well it holds up. Oh, well. I guess that’s the point of these mixes, right: to capture the musical zeitgeist, so to speak. Still, in the back of my mind, I’m always wondering about sustainability when I put these things together, and I often wonder how that factors into Cousin Matt’s decisions, too.

In looking over his 2003 choices, all I can say is, wow, there were a lot of really good songs available that year. Among my favorites below are four songs in particular: Need New Body’s “Show Me Your Heart,” The Unicorns’ “Les Os,” Songs: Ohia’s “Farewell Transmission,” and, of course, “No Culture Icons” by The Thermals. This last song was the first track I’d ever heard of my now beloved Thermals, and even though it is grainier and “less produced” than their current sound, it still holds up amazingly well. (And if, by the way, you do no own Songs: Ohia’s Magnolia Electric Co., as well as The Unicorns’ Who Will Cut Our Hair When We’re Gone?, I insist you rectify that immediately.)

As is always the case with Cousin Matt’s year-end mixes, this is a “countdown” as opposed to a compilation. (Again, Track 1, in this case, is his 32nd favorite song of the year.)

The Best of 2003 front cover.

The Best of 2003 alternate cover.

The Best of 2003 back cover.

The Best of 2003 (Disc 1):

1. The Sea and Cake – “Four Corners
2. Belle and Sebastian – “Step Into My Office, Baby
3. The Exploding Hearts – “I’m a Pretender
4. The Delgados – “All You Need is Hate
5. The Fire Theft – “Summertime
6. The Darkness – “Givin’ Up
7. Fountains of Wayne – “Stacy’s Mom
8. Wheat – “Closer to Mercury
9. Ted Leo & The Pharmacists – “Where Have All the Rude Boys Gone?
10. Ween – “I Don’t Want It
11. The New Pornographers – “Miss Teen Wordpower
12. The Oranges Band – “OK Apartment
13. Absinthe Blind – “Shields
14. Single Frame – “Post Daydream Forecast Endeavor
15. The Mars Volta – “Roulette Dares (The Haunt of)
16. The Wrens – “Everybody Choose Sides

The Best of 2003 (Disc 2):

1. The Thermals – “No Culture Icons
2. Summer at Shatter Creek – “Home for the Holidays
3. The Kingsbury Manx – “Pelz Komet
4. The Decemberists – “Billy Liar
5. The Rapture – “Echoes
6. Broken Social Scene – “Almost Crimes
7. Radiohead – “A Wolf at the Door
8. My Morning Jacket – “Dancefloors
9. Guided By Voices – “Secret Star
10. Stephen Malkmus – “Dynamic Calories
11. TV on the Radio – “Staring at the Sun
12. Need New Body – “Show Me Your Heart
13. The Unicorns – “Les Os
14. The Shins – “Saint Simon
15. Songs: Ohia – “Farewell Transmission
16. Outkast – “Hey Ya!

Next up, obviously, is 2004 in all its glory. And, once again, my Best of 2009 CDs be posted soon enough for your listening pleasure.

Until next time, have at it, you vultures!



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