Saturday, March 21, 2009


"Equating oneself with royalty is such a female thing to do. We dress up as princesses and queens and we wear crowns, but Freddie [Mercury] created this image of himself as rock royalty. That performance screams, 'Watch me! I'm a legend!'" Lady Gaga

1. The Minutemen - "Corona"
Perhaps best known nowadays for its twangy guitar lick being used incessantly on "Jackass."

2. Future of the Left - "The Hope that House Built"
A mammoth, punchy rocker from one of the several brilliant projects to emerge after Welsh post-rock greats Mclusky disbanded in '05.

3. Wild Light - "California on My Mind"
While this welcome-any-day pop nugget from an early Arcade Fire collaborator and his New Hampshire cronies is getting a little notoriety for its nonchalant cries of "Fuck California," I believe the true magic lies in the lines "Give me a lake that I can dive into / Bury my head in the shit at the bottom."

4. RH+ - "What About" [MP3]
Like Dealership, Starfighter, Cinerama and Fleetwood Mac? Well, then, I like you. ... Oh, and you'll like this song. A lot.

5. Marah - "The Closer" [Live at 100 Metro, August 2006]
A breezy, even-more-essential rendition of one of Marah's best tracks. Can't beat lyrics like "Beer can stumblin' in the wind down Metropolitan / I'm all over the place / Trying to walk like nothing's happening / Lonesome goats like me / We got more balance than cheese on an onion ring."

6. M. Ward feat. Jason Lytle - "To Save Me"
If you thought She & Him was good (and it is, believe you me), wait 'til you hear M. Ward's collaboration with the now-solo Grandaddy frontman. It's like the Beach Boys never recorded any crappy pap for the "Cocktail" soundtrack!

7. Small Sins (f/k/a The Ladies and Gentlemen) - "It's Easy"
One of my most mind-blowing "finds" in the last couple weeks, this Toronto act (actually, studio-wise, it's just the Carnations' Thomas D'Arcy) makes electronica-tinged rock 'n' roll that is sure to make any Sloan, Turin Brakes or Sondre Lerche fans out there go ga-ga. His streamlined sound worked on me, at least.

8. Shearwater - "Century Eyes"
While I don't have the patience for many of Shearwater's fragile lullabies, this (relative) rocker hums along like something from the Standard — and there's definitely nothing wrong with that!

9. The B-Sides - "The Inventor"
An experimental little interlude before ...

10. P.O.S. - "Out of Category"
... one of (semi-)underground hip-hop's most forward-thinking, genre-defying trunk rattlers. Per my review of the "Never Better" album in the Budgeteer: This one reminds me of “Gander Back,” P.O.S.’s aurally adventurous contribution to the aforementioned Doomtree crew album. Like that instant classic, there’s so much going on in the background (someone’s finger was on the “bass trigger,” among other things) that I’m having trouble concentrating on what’s been rapped about — will definitely require a few listens to take it all in.

11. Fol Chen - "Cable TV"
Some of the most instantly addicting obviously-inspired-by-Prince pop music since the last Self album (a free download, by the way).

12. The Lonely Island - "Like a Boss"
Just when you thought music-comedy albums were too played out for their own good....

13. Sahara Hotnights - "Alright, Alright (Here's My Fist Where's the Fight?)"
We all have our different ways of celebrating Women's History Month.

14. The Misfits - "Hybrid Moments"
Danzig's sure covered a lot of ground in his career, eh?

15. Riddle of Steel - "Our Guitars are Haunted"
Still a little sour about this Cars & Trucks-y group's breakup....

16. Mercury Rev - "Fable of a Silver Moon" [MP3]
A beautiful, free instrumental track before ...

17. N.A.S.A. feat. Spank Rock, M.I.A., Santogold and Nick Zinner - "Whachadoin?"
... yet another heavyweight production in which M.I.A. steals the show.

18. Black Gold - "Detroit"
After an unsuspecting, unsure (as in, Will it? Won't It? R.O.C.K.) intro, the answer comes soon enough: Yes, yes, a thousand times yes! In other words, I really like this track and hope you give it a spin.

19. Alva Star - "Tornado Girl"
Same goes here for one of the 10,000 sweet, sweet pop/rock songs dreamed up by Storyhill's John Hermanson. <- Who is, if you haven't heard, coming to Beaner's soon.

20. Stephen Malkmus - "Mama"
People talk about wanting to have the kind of romance you'd see in the movies. Not me; give me the type of songs that can make or break a great scene (like this gorgeous S.M. anthem) and I will die a satisfied man.

21. Say Hi (To Your Mom) - "Oh Oh Oh Oh Oh Oh Oh Oh"
Does this have anything to do with that joke from "Office Space"?

22. Pacific Phonograph Co. - "Brickbats" [LISTEN HERE]
Finally, the A-side from this wonderful new Duluth group's debut "45." Great song, solid sound, highly recommended — especially to the few of you out there who have heard the original Nothing Jive About Jupiter recordings.

23. Stuart Davis - "8 Days in the Lotus" [Live at Fitger's Brewhouse]
Davis, the eccentric genius that he is, really makes a case for this one with this goofball introduction: "This is a great song for Duluth coming up here. It's a combination of hockey and Eastern spirituality. I think it's gonna hit close to home for a lot of us."

24. Storyhill - "White Roses"
I still can't believe it: Storyhill is holding its inaugural Midwest festival near Deerwood, Minn. That's right next to my hometown!

25. The Damnwells - "Everything" [MP3]
Pretty mainstream-friendly for these here mix tapes, but, hey, sometimes something just strikes you. (I was going to write "rubs you the right way," but ... nah; don't even want to go there.)

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

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