The best of 2003 mix tape
Wow, 2003 turned out to be a really tough year to cut down to one 60-minute mix tape. I’ve edited this list about 10 times since I first created it, and I’m still feeling bad about having to cut My Morning Jacket, White Stripes, Death Cab for Cutie, and others from the final list of 16 songs. In the end I think this is likely the best list possible, but who knows. Regardless, there were some killer records released this year that demanded inclusion, including Mars Volta’s epic De-Loused in the Comatorium and Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ Forever to Tell, as well as no-brainer entries from Postal Service and OutKast, so space was tight right out of the gate.
Such Great Heights – Postal Service
This song has been basically everywhere, including a not so subtly ironic ad for UPS, and I still can’t get enough of it, which must mean it’s pretty great.
Coma Girl – Joe Strummer & the Mescaleros
Released months after the great man’s death, Streetcore was a pretty fitting way for him to exit the stage. The cover of Redemption Song is also worthy of inclusion here, but I thought the more upbeat and rocking number was a better fit.
Inertiatic Esp – Mars Volta
There’s only one way to listen to this or any other song from De-Loused, and that’s earsplittingly loud.
Where Have All The Rude Boys Gone – Ted Leo & the Pharmacists
Two questions: Why wasn’t Ted Leo a way bigger deal? How did Pulp or Blur miss out on this song title?
My Sweet Annette – Drive-By Truckers
Patterson Hood’s version of “Southern Rock” >>> all other alleged “Southern Rock.”
Los Angeles, I’m Yours – The Decemberists
A fabulously quirky and sunny slice of Decemberists pop gold. Who else could get away with “I can see your undies” as non-ironic line in a pop song?
Water and a Seat – Stephen Malkmus
Speaking of slices of gold, this one is a slice of fried gold, to steal a phrase I heard somewhere, and 100% Malkmus.
The Electric Version – The New Pornographers
Remember that song on the original Rock Band that nobody had ever heard of before? This is it, and it’s pretty great.
Hey Ya! – OutKast
I can’t remember a more ubiquitous song from the decade than Hey Ya!, can you? Thanks for putting out a radio edit so I can actually include one of your songs on a mix, fellas.
Remember Me – British Sea Power
I remember being totally sold on these guys at the time, and thought they were going to be the next Coldplay, or at least the next Blur. Not quite, to say the least, but this song remains outstanding.
Super Duper Love – Joss Stone
Remember the mini golden age of white female artists with huge pipes doing old school R&B numbers that peaked with Any Winehouse and Adele (and the jury is still out on whether or not Adele’s star is still rising)? Joss Stone secretly had one of the better of those records. What a voice. And go back and look at some of the talent that played/contributed to this album—it’s borderline ridiculous.
So Says I – The Shins
I forget how big The Shins were at the time, at least in the indie rock world. I remember hearing this song non-stop for what seemed like months.
Cliche Guevara – Against Me!
Hands down one of the best song titles ever. And a great tune to boot.
A Wolf At The Door – Radiohead
Thom York rapping? In 3/4 time? Well kinda. Whatever it is, it works.
Lucky You – The National
Sad Songs For Dirty Lovers was the first blast of true goodness from The National. There’s definitely some great stuff to come, but this remains one of my favorite songs they’ve done.
There you go. I highly recommend spending some time with this mix, as it turned out to be one of favorites so far, and one that’s going to get worn out in the coming weeks in my house. Here’s the Spotify playlist for your listening/subscribing pleasure.
Which one of your favorites did I miss?