I finished The Persistence of Memories in one marathon session on 11 November, having realized I’d started it exactly one year earlier. That’s not something I normally do, but considering that it had been my first novel to be finished in under one year I wanted to see if I could pull it off. It was Veterans Day and I had the day off from work, and if I’m not mistaken it was an extremely lengthy six-hour session (my longest ever to date, with the occasional break for food and whatnot, as well as a few FreeCell games to keep my eyes from crossing).
Thankfully, clearer heads won the day and I didn’t start Book 3 until early January 2004!
Lamb, Between Darkness and Wonder, released 3 November 2003. This duo’s last album before going on an extended hiatus (and not returning until 2011) is a quiet and somber affair, more about contemplation and comfort than their previous experimentations in electronic pop.
P.O.D., Payable On Death, released 4 November 2003. Their follow-up to their mega-selling Satellite may not have been able to reach the same heights, but it certainly had its share of great alt-metal tunes.
Guided By Voices, The Best of Guided By Voices: Human Amusements at Hourly Rates, released 4 November 2003. I’d known about this band for ages thanks to my HMV years but never got around to picking any of their albums up, primarily because they seem to drop four or five records a year! I figured this was a good place to start. And yes, there were a few “oh, that song!” moments upon first listen.
Explosions in the Sky, The Earth Is Not a Cold Dead Place, released 4 November 2003. Another post-rock band to add to my collection, this one got some considerable play during my writing sessions when I needed background but not necessarily mood.
Loveless, Gift to the World, released 11 November 2003. A Boston group comprised of singer Jen Trynin and members of Expanding Man and Letters to Cleo, their one album is full of crunchy fun indie pop.
Mixtape, Re:Defined 07, created 16 November 2003. This is an interesting one as it’s more of a ‘favorites so far that didn’t make it to previous mixes’ tape than one of new songs. Still, it’s another one of my favorites.
The Beatles, Let It Be…Naked, released 17 November 2003. An interesting compilation that kind of flew under the wire, it’s pretty much all the major songs from the 1970 original minus most of Phil Spector’s, er, mishandling by overproduction. Mostly released for completists like myself, it also contains a twenty-minute bonus track of chat and soundbites from the sessions.
Blink-182, Blink-182, released 18 November 2003. The meathead-punk band of the 90s seems to have chilled out a bit on this record, writing some surprisingly intelligent and straightforward tracks, a few of which have become radio favorites.
Various Artists, Feedback to the Future, released 25 November 2003. A single-disc collection of shoegaze and Britpop I discovered on the pages of CMJ and had Newbury Comics special order for me. This is only a small sampling but it’s a great mix nonetheless. This one got a lot of play in the Belfry.
+/- (Plus Minus), You Are Here, relesased 25 November 2003. The band follows up their fantastic EP with a full record of twitchy indie rock that’s kind of hard to pin down into one style yet worth multiple listens.
Next up: End of the year releases and mixtapes!