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.
(Questions? Comments? E-mail mperrine [at] duluthbudgeteer [dot] com.)
1. Nada Surf - "Everyone's on Tour" (free MP3s here)
Recommended if you like Nada Surf the underdog, not Nada Surf world champion. (It's OK to like both, but, damn, if "The Proximity Effect" isn't one of the best albums of all time....)
2. Polysics - "Electric Surfin' Go Go" (free MP3 here)
3. DJ Abilities - "Abilities Reactivation" (free MP3 here)
R.I.Y.L. "South Park" samples and top-notch turntablism.
4. Beck - "Minus"
R.I.Y.L. fumes and tenth-anniversary deluxe editions that miss the boat by almost two years.
5. Dog Pookah - "Scarlet and Bea"
R.I.Y.L. the Cheer Up Poems and manic depression.
6. Goldfrapp - "A&E" (listen here)
R.I.Y.L. beautiful women (from other countries!) and songs you don't always want to own up to.
7. The Magnetic Fields - "California Girls" (listen here)
R.I.Y.L. static, the Beach Boys and Superstar DJ Walt Dizzo's weekly radio transmissions.
8. British Sea Power - "Waving Flags" (download "Atom" here)
R.I.Y.L. rock music. You like rock music, don't you?
9. The Hold Steady - "Chips Ahoy!" (free MP3s here)
R.I.Y.L. Lifter Puller, Springsteen circa "Darkness On the Edge of Town."
10. The Grass Roots - "Wait a Million Years"
R.I.Y.L. Fargo in the summertime (specifically Trollwood Performing Arts School) and circulating the NDSU Spectrum to all the good, good people.
11. Sia feat. Beck - "Academia" (listen here/download "Electric Bird")
R.I.Y.L. Keri Noble but wish she had more of an edge (and friends like Beck Hansen...).
12. Hey Willpower - "Hundredaire" (listen here)
R.I.Y.L. Imperial Teen and the fact that the members of Faith No More are all enjoying fruitful post-FNM careers (to the best of our knowledge).
13. Redd Kross - "Yesterday Once More" (Carpenters cover)
R.I.Y.L. that Carpenters logo, man ... it's that logo!
14. Pedro the Lion - "Transcontinental"
R.I.Y.L. the genius of David Bazan and some other guys (I keed!).
15. China Forbes - "Everybody Needs Somebody"
Hey, it's better than Maxim of the Great White North, isn't it? Eh?
16. Hot Hot Heat - "Ladies and Gentlemen" (free MP3s here)
R.I.Y.L. Cheap Trick and special ones named "Apollonia."
17. Eels - "Your Lucky Day in Hell (Michael Simpson Remix)"
R.I.Y.L. the original. The Dust Brothers are great, but, let's face it, this doesn't sound horribly "remixed."
18. Mac Lethal - "The Brunes" (free MP3s here)
R.I.Y.L. Joseph Cotten's famous monologue in Alfred Hitchcock's mesmerizing "Shadow of a Doubt" (sample: "How do you know what the world is like? Do you know the world is a foul sty? Do you know if you rip the fronts off houses, you'd find swine?") and the soundtrack to Rob Zombie's "House of 1,000 Corpses."
19. The Alrights - "When I Get Born" (listen here)
R.I.Y.L. the sound of Duluth's the Alrights shedding those "alright" tags.
20. Bob Mould - "The Silence Between Us"
R.I.Y.L. Sugar and, to a lesser extent, Blowoff. (Doesn't sound so much like Husker Du though.)
21. Joe Rathbone - "Like Some Angel" (listen here)
R.I.Y.L. cheesy titles, pretty decent rock 'n' roll.
22. Parlour Steps - "Hot Romance" (free MP3s here)
R.I.Y.L. Pleasant (the band and the feeling).
23. The Beatifics - "This Year's Jessica"
R.I.Y.L. Dylan Hicks, early Sloan.
24. Blood on the Wall - "Hibernation"
R.I.Y.L. Combine, if and only if they utilized five or six less distortion pedals.
25. The Promise Ring - "Nothing Feels Good" (free MP3s here)
R.I.Y.L. songs about east Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, the location of Atlanta and Indianapolis summers (?).