As always, to encourage the consumption of music that doesn't suck, I have provided -- wherever available -- links to free, artist-sanctioned MP3s of the songs.
Hail Canada ... apparently!
(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. Self - "Busy Sending Me"
A veritable "DTAS" classic: Outside of Built to Spill's "Center of the Universe" and Les Savy Fav's "Who Rocks the Party" (my old radio show's back-to-back theme songs), I can't think of a song that's been on more Matthew R. Perrine-produced mix tapes than this one.
2. Atmosphere - "Don't Stop"
All right, who else thinks that Slug sounds like Jay-Z circa "The Black Album" on this mesmerizing track?
3. Weakerthans - "Hymn of the Medical Oddity" (other MP3s here)
If Winnipeg ever gets you down, there's always the Weakerthans (to write about it).
4. Chad VanGaalen - "Flower Gardens"
Speaking of the Great White North, here's that country's bona fide jack-of-all-trades; effortlessly floating between Melvins riffs and crafty Wolfmother wordplay on one track to something a wee-too-sweet on the next.
5. Mono Puff - "The Devil Went Down to Newport (Totally Rocking)" (video here)
As lame as it sounds, this side project from They Might Be Giants' John Flansburgh is *ahem* totally rocking!
6. John Davis - "Watch Me Walk Away" (live Superdrag MP3s here)
7. Wooden Stars - "Orphans"
Hey, wow, go Canada! I just found out these superb indie rockers hail from Ottawa.
8. Magic Numbers - "This is a Song" (Daytrotter vers.)
No matter where these blokes rate on your Chuck Klosterman "rate scale," there is no denying the power and ageless beauty of their songs -- and this track is one of the best ones to start with (read: not as hopelessly tragic as some of the others).
9. Phonograph - "Nu Americana" (listen to some tracks here)
This group, otherwise known as "the new Wilco," never ceases to deliver that it's-like-I-grew-up-with-this-record feeling. Love it up.
10. Belle and Sebastian - "I'm a Cuckoo" (The Avalanches Mix) ("Another Sunny Day" available here)
I'm only a fair-weather fan of Belle and Sebastian, but I would give my left nut for a new Avalanches record. (It's OK, I have three....)
11. DeBarge - "Who's Johnny?"
I grew up hearing this song played incessantly throughout "Short Circuit," so guess what the first song I downloaded was after I recently found a used copy of that excellent trip down Nostalgia Lane?!
12. M.I.A. - "Boyz"
Again, M.I.A., I am so sorry for snubbing you on all of my obsessive year-end music lists. "Kala" just isn't the sophomore slump I once thought it was.
13. Unknown Prophets feat. DJ Abilities - "The Wrong Route" (listen to others here)
Day 43 of my DJ Abilities obsession....
14. Ol' Dirty Bastard - "Cold Blooded"
Blah blah blah Neptunes production blah blah blah how could you leave us so early ODB?
15. Common feat. Lily Allen - "Drivin' Me Wild" (listen here)
Let's face it: I'm a sucker for the P.O.P.
16. Wintersleep - "Archaeologists"
Oh, Jesus Christ, not another fucking Canadian band! (Do you think God is trying to tell me something? ha ha ha)
17. The Julies - "Love Scene Seventeen" (Cedar Creek mix)
This is one of those amazing underground bands where, if I were to meet just one fellow fan in real life (as in that life you used to have before MySpace), I would die a happy man. (I know you're out there!)
18. Giljunko - "Quit Your Low Down Ways" (Bob Dylan cover)
Here's a question for you: Isn't it a little weird that, as I get older, I hear more Bob Dylan covers than songs actually performed by him?
19. The New Pornographers - "Fugue State"
An exclusive "Challengers" B-side for iTunes and Buy Early, Get Now customers ... while it's not great enough to kick the band in the head over, I'd still be a little upset if I purchased the album elsewhere.
20. Jim Bryson - "The Wishes Pile Up"
Oh, no, not again ... guess where this bastard's from? Ontario ... for fuck's sake! (Jokes aside, I'm really starting to admire Canada's indie rock scene.)
21. The Fontanelles - "Keepsake" (listen to others here)
I can't understand why this group's albums are worth so much on Amazon. It's like the Keep Aways if they learned to love the pop (well, for the most part). It's decent enough, but should only be purchased at bargain-bin prices.
22. The Alrights - "In a Way" (listen to others here)
R.I.Y.L. Maroon 5 (but not Kara's Flowers).
23. Illness Project - "Dance Outro" (from KRFC's "Live at Lunch")
R.I.Y.L. Cloud Cult ... like a lot.