What you're about to witness -- the latest installment of "Don't Tell a Soul" -- is a mix tape of the "awesomest" caliber.
I only wish I were kidding.
ANYWAY, to encourage the consumption of music that doesn't suck, I have provided -- wherever available -- links to free, artist-sanctioned MP3s of the songs.
(Questions or comments? E-mail mperrine [at] duluthbudgeteer [dot] com.)
1. Rancid - "Tropical London"
I love Rancid to death, but how can they still be considered punk? This is some of the shiniest pop I have ever heard.
2. Daft Punk - "The Brainwasher"
This brash "aggro-techno" number is like Black Sabbath's "Iron Man" soaked in Justice's face-melting sauce and ... acid, I guess.
3. Luscious Jackson - "Naked Eye"
And, on the sweeter side....
4. Atmosphere - "The Keys to Life vs. 15 Minutes of Fame"
Guess who's launching their lengthy national tour with a two-night stand at the little ol' pizzeria on the corner of Superior and Lake?
5. The Rentals - "Life Without a Brain" (live version available here)
After a lengthy hiatus -- and some musical missteps courtesy of frontman Matt Sharp -- everybody's favorite Weezer-is-old-news project is back on track.
6. Brother Brick - "See You Tonight"
I just heard this the other week, but it feels like I've been listening to it for ages -- almost like I was raised on it. <- And that's a quality more songs should have.
7. Rogue Wave - "Lake Michigan"
What a great year for records -- not just here in Duluth, but all over the world! The New Pornographers just dropped their fourth masterpiece, "Challengers," today, and both Rogue Wave and Hot Hot Heat will soon also have contenders (for the crown*) on the shelves. (Preorder Rogue Wave's "Asleep at Heaven's Gate" here to get a free 7" or download another track, "Chicago X 12," here.)
8. Black Lab - "The Real You"
Do you like your rock "earnest"? Step to it. (CAUTION: If you're offended by inoffensive "naughty" artwork, don't follow the above link!)
9. Jeremy Enigk - "Oh John"
Hey, remember the Fire Theft? Probably not, but you most likely remember Sunny Day Real Estate and all the joy Enigk brought to us with that outfit. (And a special thanks to him for his original compositions throughout "The United States of Leland.")
Recommended if you like all of the above and the Pumpkins' quieter moments, like "Disarm."
10. Cheap Trick - "Scent of a Woman"
Misheard rock 'n' roll lyrics have always made for interesting conversations (Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Bad Moon Rising," for one), so, on that note, I humbly present this song's half-muttered line "A man ain't a man in a one-night stand."
What do you hear?
11. Dropkick Murphys - "Hey Little Rich Boy" (Sham 69 cover)
Speaking of songs fun to sing along with, more dive bars should have this one on their karaoke machines.
12. Garbage - "#1 Crush"
I can't say much for Shakespeare at the cineplex, but I certainly support a certain soundtrack in 1996.
13. Dressy Bessy - "Tag"
I miss Denver.
14. Basement Jaxx - "Jump N' Shout"
And I miss working at Disc-Go-Round. (If just for blowing my paychecks on shiny pieces of plastic and unleashing hours and hours of Basement Jaxx on unsuspecting Sunday shoppers....)
15. MF Doom - "Potholderz" (listen here)
Speaking of record releases (see No. 7), it's also been a great year for hip-hop: a MF Doom reissue, Grayskul (soon enough), Aesop Rock and two superb Atmosphere EPs.
16. Cadillac Blindside - "True and Cold"
Don't hold any association with Fueled by Ramen against Minneapolis' (now-defunct) Cadillac Blindside: This is some catchy stuff. (Another Cadillac Blindside track, "The Bottom Line," is available here.)
17. KISS - "Strutter"
I can't say I've ever been drawn to any of KISS's "masterworks," but, dammit, "Guitar Hero" is getting to me....
18. Robbers on High Street - "Crown Victoria"
Enjoyable, for sure, but not nearly as saliva-inducing as anything on the group's last effort.
19. The White Stripes - "You're Pretty Good Looking (For a Girl)"
20. Okkervil River - "Plus Ones" (listen here)
Right here's a solid track, but I struggle to hear anything more than "second-rate Golden Smog."
21. MK Ultra - "Red Cross"
I love John Vanderslice. Not only is he an unparalleled talent, but he's posted nearly everything he's ever done for free online -- including the work he did with MK Ultra.
22. The Who - "Getting in Tune"
Masterful -- yet sweet and "lofty" -- bass playing on this here classic.
23. The Jayhawks - "What Led Me to This Town"
Does it get any better than this? (If you answered "yes," then, well, sorry to break it to ya, but ... you're an asshole!)
*For Matthew R. Perrine's No. 1 album of the year, of course! (Look for my annual year-end list in the Budgeteer come December.)