What you're about to witness -- the latest installment of "Don't Tell a Soul" -- is a mix tape of the most 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. Slow Runner - "Lower Your Standards"
Just something to remember when more than a month passes between each and every awesome mix tape!
2. Baboon - "Airplane"
Baboon is an enigma, wrapped in a riddle, shrouded in mystery ... I mean, their songs are as beautiful as anything offered up by ever-popular Nada Surf -- yet they never seem to get any R-E-S-P-E-C-T and/or G-R-O-U-P-I-E-S outside of their native Texas? For shame, America! (Super-secret p.s. The group's last album, "Something Good is Going to Happen," is available for only $5.99 here. It's a plain shame if you don't own that one, because it's easily one of the most rewarding records ever produced.)
3. Matthew Good Band - "Truffle Pigs"
Similarly, I have yet to run into a Matthew Good fan in these here "nifty 50." As far as earnest, enjoyable rock 'n' roll goes, Canada has got it made.
4. Weezer - "Love Explosion"
Lyrics that demand attention: "Take a listen around you / All the people that crowd around in your house / They've been wanting / To kill you in your sleep."
5. Rick Springfield - "Love is Alright Tonite"
In case I haven't said so before ... Netflix NOW: "Wet Hot American Summer."
6. Rick Henrickson - "Cool Dry Place" (listen here)
The best power pop I've heard in some time -- and I listen to a lot of power pop!
7. Super Furry Animals - "Run-Away" (listen here)
Recommended if you like Frank Black when he does his best to ape David Bowie and the Beach Boys (at the same time), with a slight hint of Roy Orbison's Grade A crooning.
8. The Bigger Lovers - "Slice of Life"
Remember what I just said about Rick Henrickson? Well, that statement also applies to this infectious track from the Bigger Lovers.
9. The New Pornographers - "Fortune"
What A.C. Newman had to say about this gem of a "Challengers" B-side on Matador's "Buy Early, Get Now" Web site: "It was a shocker when this one ended up getting cut, like when Melinda Doolittle got voted off 'American Idol.' This song is about my old neighborhood, Carroll Gardens, and the girl that I fell in love with there, much like the songs 'Challengers,' 'Unguided' and 'Go Places.' Actually the song starts off in Greenwood Cemetery and then ends up in Carroll Gardens. Same difference."
10. Ten seconds of crowd noise
11. Imperial Teen - "Everyone Wants to Know"
For some reason, I really wasn't excited when I found out there was going to be another Imperial Teen album -- and this is weird, because I've celebrated each and every I.T. release like most would with the arrival of a new child or puppy -- but, after just 30 seconds of this gem, you'll realize what a dumbass I was being.
12. Christian Erickson - "Your Stupid Car"
Sweet title, no? It should come as no surprise from a member of the group Astronaut Wife.
13. Pilot - "She Sits in Sunlight" (listen here)
Can you believe this is the same group that released the delicious ELO ripoff track "Magic" in 1974? Well, I can't ... and it's not. Common misconception, really -- and an unfortunate one. (This Pilot features the talents of the Dharmu Bums' Jeremy Wilson.)
14. Fleetwood Mac - "Think About Me"
Man, classics like this just make me want to sell all of my earthly possessions (save for my record collection, that is) and move out into the vast Wisconsin Outback.
15. Minus the Bear - "Pachuca Sunrise"
Someone took a few too many Modest Mouse pills....
16. Fluf - "The Chooser" (listen here)
I know, I know; "Don't Tell a Soul" isn't supposed to rock but, dammit, robot voices calling me an "ass-munching pig" is just too funny to resist.
17. Grayskul - "Scarecrow"
Are you, like me, nostalgic for the very recent past? I just can't shake that recent Luckyiam/Grayskul/Mac Lethal/Atmosphere quadruple whammy at Pizza Luce ... I'm afraid I'll never be able to witness another hip-hop bill quite like that ever again.
18. Edsel - "Empire" (unrelated Google results here)
One of the many nameless, faceless indie rock groups from the mid-'90s inhabiting my record collection. I love 'em, but I couldn't tell you a single thing about them.
19. Motion City Soundtrack - "Broken Heart" (listen here)
It's getting harder and harder to defend this band ... especially after Friday's show St. Scholastica, where they played with the OK Mae, the shitty Anberlin and the even shittier Metro(sexual) Station.
But, hey, MCS put on a great show!
20. Gaunt - "Maybe in the Next World"
Some light, mindless quasi-punk before ...
21. David Mead - "Girl on the Roof"
The one good thing to come out of "Van Wilder."
22. Medication - "Kool Kid"
This deserves to be in a TV commercial -> "Hey, wanna buy this blazer?!"
23. Fair-Weather Friend - "Elegy for Crash Perfecto"
Duluth perfection. (p.s. Some Fair-Weather Friend MP3s available here.)
24. Ed Harcourt - "All of Your Days will be Blessed" (watch the video here)
For better or worse, Harcourt's beautiful songs evoke those very few memories I have of Bismarck, N.D.
25. Bob Mould - "See a Little Light"
This guy just never stops making music, does he? Here's one from way back when (1989).