This right here is the latest installment of "Don't Tell a Soul." Like those that came before it, it is a mix tape of the "most awesome-est" caliber ... and I only wish I were kidding.
Like usual, to encourage the consumption of music that doesn't suck, I have provided -- wherever available -- links to free, artist-sanctioned MP3s of the songs.
Also, too, please be advised that I am, first and foremost, a dumbass.
(Questions? Comments? Want one of your band's songs to be considered for an upcoming awesome mix tape? E-mail mperrine [at] duluthbudgeteer [dot] com.)
1. Northern State - "Better Already"
The girls in Northern State are "all grown up," returning with a sound influenced by (as far as I hear it) the post-punk sheen of Seattle's Pretty Girls Make Graves.
2. Sloan - "The Best Part of Your Life"
The late-period-Beatles worship never ends with these guys, but that's OK because -- let's face it -- Sloan's early affinity for American grunge music was only going to get them so far. (To get this "Never Hear the End of It" bonus track, sign up for a free "My Stash" account at YepRoc.com.)
3. Nada Surf - "See These Bones"
If this leadoff single is any indication of what we can expect from its respective album, "Lucky" may as well be renamed "The Weight is a Gift, Pt. 2." Hey, there's still time ... the album's not supposed to ship until '08. (These comments may come across as "jerky," but, believe you me, I have all the love in the world for Nada Surf ... I'm just saying that if any Nada Surf album should have a sequel, it's "The Proximity Effect." That album all but got me through 2002.)
4. New Pornographers - "Showstoppers" (demo vers.)
That's how talented these Great White North guys (and gal) are: This is almost more invigorating than the final, polished-up studio version.
5. Frank Black and the Catholics - "Somethings I Can't Get Used To"
Why ever was this perfectly beautiful rocker relegated to being-on-an-album-hardly-anyone-has-ever-heard status? (Hint: Do yourself a favor and seek out "Snake Oil.")
6. The Standard - "You Will"
Underrated to the most tragic extreme. In a perfect/McMatt(hew R.) world....
7. Foghat - "Terraplane Blues"
Dearest people who select the songs I rock out to on "Guitar Hero": "Slow Ride" was definitely the highlight of "Legends of Rock," but will you not consider this out-of-this-world cosmic groover for the next installment of your ever-so-awesome game series?
By the by: Is there a support group I can join ... maybe one created for people who enjoy pretending to be rock gods a little too much? I mean, I kind of sprained my wrist trying to beat Rage Against the Machine's* Tom Morello on the "hard" setting this weekend -- that ain't right.
8. The Darkness - "English Country Garden" (listen here)
Oh, and while you're at it, why don't you stop hating the Darkness and also include this heavenly rocker on "Guitar Hero IV: Half of Yous Guys Buying These Games are Probably Bitter Rock Critics Who Never Learned How to Play a Real Instrument."
9. John Fogerty - "Don't You Wish it was True"
10. Eddie Vedder - "Far Behind"
Hey, Billy Corgan, these two songs are proof that solo albums don't have to suck.
Bitter? Who's bitter?!
(p.s. You'll probably be hearing this a lot in the coming weeks, but "Far Behind" may be the greatest song recorded since "Intervention." It'll be a dead heat between Arcade Fire and Ed Ved come the end of the record-buying year.)
11. Les Savy Fav - "Comes and Goes" (listen to some LSF tunes here)
Les Savy Fav may not be the most consistent band, but, man, when they're on, they're on. That said, "Comes and Goes" does not -- by any means -- rock. It's more of an experiment in "balladry." Very, very interesting.
12. Okkervil River - "Unless it's Kicks" (listen here)
I don't know where this "new" Okkervil River came from, but I sure am grateful. (For whatever reason, I could never seem to get into "Black Sheep Boy.")
13. Tangier 57 - "Beethoven Five"
From communist Duluth with love.
Err, I mean: It's not a band, it's a vibe.
14. Atmosphere - "Lyndale Avenue User's Manual"
Slug ... Ant: Do either of you two ever sleep?
15. Thurston Moore - "Fri/End"
This brings me right back to "A Thousand Leaves." (p.s. Did anyone else see Sonic Youth touring for that album in Minneapolis -- with Helium opening?)
16. The 1900s - "When I Say Go" (listen here)
Piano-y goodness. Amen.
17. Fitzgerald - "And All I Got was this Lousy T-Shirt" (some free MP3s here)
So far my favorite Pawn America "find" this year. Every single Fitzgerald track is infectious (in the good way ... not in the Holiday Center way).
18. Stars - "Midnight Coward" (listen here)
Stars sit alone on a planet not all that close to Earth ... kind of like Space Boy, if you think about it.
19. Broken Social Scene presents ... Kevin Drew - "Fucked-Up Kid" (listen here)
Kevin Drew doesn't need that "Broken Social Scene presents ..." before his name; his music has the legs to stand on its own. "Aww...." (How cute, I know. LOL)
20. Radiohead - "Faust Arp"
Personally, the jury's still out on "In Rainbows," but this one at least caught my attention right away.
21. Electrelane - "To the East"
Is it impossible to be both epic and laidback at the same time?
22. Band of Horses - "Is There a Ghost?"
I wasn't trying to be cheesy or anything, but I listened to this record on repeat this Halloween. What a killer song. It's like one part Built to Spill and two parts My Morning Jacket -> how great is that?
*I purposely chose not to associate his highness with the mediocre "pap" that is Audioslave.