Wednesday, January 14, 2009


It feels good to be doing this again. Sincerely, Vern-o!

1. Mama Cass - "Make Your Own Kind of Music"
"We're stuck in a bloody snow globe."

2. (Olympic) Hopefuls - "Shy"
I know I say this every week, but this is my favorite John Hermanson-related track.

3. Deastro - "The Shaded Forests"
Pure bliss, somewhere between Dealership's "Action/Adventure" and any given Snow Patrol release.

4. Oranger - "New Comes and Goes"
For whatever reason, I can see other fans of Beulah and/or Super Furry Animals digging this cool-as-shit song as much as yours truly. Highly recommended.

5. Kimya Dawson - "Tire Swing"
I know this song suffers from "Juno" overkill for most of you, but, seriously, "I had a dream that I had to drive to Madison / To deliver a painting for some silly reason / I took a wrong turn and ended up in Michigan" are some of the coolest lyrics out there.

6. Johnny Berlin - "Minus Eden"
Like "The Shaded Forests," but Belgian. (Oh, you can tell....)

7. Barbie Bangkok - "New Dehli" [Listen Here]
Belgium’s Barbie Bangkok went from a decent-enough (but largely mainstream-repellant) alternative rock outfit on its 2003 debut mini-LP, “Oh My God,” to what it is now: a lean, mean, New Wave-courting machine. Nowhere is this more evident on “People and Geometry,” the group’s first full-length, than on “New Delhi.” This instantly addicting nugget is actually a rewrite of the 2003 track “Hold On,” and what a rewrite it is. Where that earlier “Oh My God” track leaned toward the cool, nuanced Talking Heads of “Take Me to the River” and a little grandiose posturing, this new(ish) song bursts out of your speakers with all the nervous energy of that legendary group’s mid-’80s commercial heyday. It’s bouncy and unpretentious, and, most importantly, it’s an undeniable pleasure.

Deja vu all over again, eh, brother?

8. Jonny Polonsky - "Long Gone"
Even though he'll probably never step out of Frank Black's long shadow, there is one thing no one can ever take away from Jonny Polonsky: his knack for creating unbelievably catchy, time's-a-wastin' rock 'n' roll tunes.

9. The Streets - "Never Went to Church"
This one goes out to my sister's fiance, who's dealing with one of the hardest things a son ever has to go through. Our thoughts are with you, Lonney.

10. She & Him - "Sweet Darlin'"
And, on the lighter side of things, one of the most uplifting songs ever written -- by the No. 1 indie rock crush (according to me and Stereogum).

11. Matthew Sweet - "Tomorrow"
I wasn't expecting much from the late-in-the-game release "Living Things," but this beautiful track won me over in seconds. Like a souped-up (and slightly sappy) Big Star.

12. Aesop Rock with Jeremy Fish - "Tomorrow Morning" [MP3]
Had I actually finished my "Best Singles of 2008" list, this White Zombie-meets-P.O.S. track would've been right up there. It's monumental, man!

13. Does it Offend You, Yeah? - "With a Heavy Heart (I Regret to Inform You)"
This one's a builder, too. Hot Hot Heat meets Justice? (I just love these semi-meaningless comparisons....)

14. Kaiser Chiefs - "Never Miss a Beat [Don Gosh Bad Nothing Remix]" [MP3]
A nice mindless excursion.

15. The Psychedelic Furs - "Love My Way"
I wish I could say I feel a certain affection for this classic because its host album, "Forever Now," was released just a few months before my birth, but, nah, it's probably just the magical Todd Rundgren production!

16. Mike Mictlan - "Soul Survivor"
A rough-around-the-edges early track from Hand Over Fist's emcee half and/or one of the 12,000 Doomtree rappers.

17. Kenna feat. the Cool Kids - "LooseWires [Remix]"
I've always felt Kenna was one of the most underrated mainstream(ish) rappers, so a little help from the Cool Kids couldn't hurt his street cred.

18. Both - "777"
A highlight from the "Homegrown Rawk and/or Roll: Lindquist's Mix." Here's what Mark Lindquist had to say about it in an interview with the Duluth News Tribune's Christa Lawler: "I just think Greg Connolly is a really good songwriter. He can write for a lot of genres. I picked the song that was an old B-side of a Shaky Ray vinyl we put out. Anything on vinyl in this town should be represented somewhere."

19. Blackpool Lights - "This Town's Disaster" [MP3]
According to the most reliable source on the planet (...), this band was formed after former Get Up Kids guitarist Jim Suptic recorded "Guilt Show" with his old band. While I love that album to death, I can see why he wasn't afraid to go it alone. This is pretty great stuff.

20. Bunny Clogs - "Midtown Greenway"
“More! More! More!” is a triumph in every sense, and this track, featuring the New Standards' John Munson on stand-up bass, is just one of its many highlights. One of the few examples of kids-as-backup-singers actually working.

21. St. Dominic's Trio - "I Thought We Were Friends"
Though he didn't write any of the songs or anything (that'd be the amazing Terry Walsh), there's something I have to say about Rich Mattson: everything this man touches turns to gold.

22. Eric Bachmann - "Lonesome Warrior"
Mellow gold from the Archers of Loaf/Barry Black/Crooked Fingers mastermind.

Thus concludes your thirty-seventh dose of SHAKE*YOUR*SHORES, the awesome mix tape series formerly known as "Don't Tell a Soul."

1 comment:

Devon Reed said...

Don't count Matthew Sweet out yet! Check out the great song he performed for the soundtrack to The Bigtop, streamable here.