Tuesday, April 6, 2010


Submitted for the approval of the Mix Tape Appreciation Society, I humbly present ... "The Muster of the Last Watch":

1. Free Energy - "Free Energy"
Because in the latest issue of Rolling Stone, a member of Free Energy asserts that they're kindred spirits to Alex Chilton re: Big Star's magnificent power pop sound. I can hear that, but even more immediately I also sense the vibe of fellow Big Star disciple Brendan Benson (The Mood Elevator, The Raconteurs) in this highly contagious track.

2. The Ataris - "The Cheyenne Line"
Because back when I was living in Denver's smallest suburb (the teenie Federal Heights), I would occasionally escape to Cheyenne. I can't say for sure that this song is actually about Wyoming's blissful capital city, but it evokes the same feelings. And I'm the one with the keyboard, so I can say whatever I want! ha ha

3. The Lonely Forest - "We Sing in Time"
Because if Death Cab for Cutie's Chris Walla says a group is good, it is. Thanks for introducing this fantastic group to the masses, C.W.

4. Fugazi - "Waiting Room"
Because I recently heard it in the standup-comedy documentary "Selling Laughs" (which features my boy Andy Beningo). And because it's a great song, of course.

5. Backyard Tire Fire - "Good to Be"
Because when I was blessed with the opportunity to interview Cracker's Johnny Hickman, this is one of the things he told me: "I’ve been listening lately to a band called Backyard Tire Fire, which I really, really like. They opened some shows for us, and I’m still crazy about their record 'Vagabonds & Hooligans.'"

Again, when one of your favorite musicians tells you they're into a certain band, you check said band out.

6. Bonedome - "Better"
Because high-octane rock 'n' roll (that you actually want to listen to again) is hard to come by these days.

7. T.L. Barrett - "Like a Ship"
Because getting down with Jesus and his disciples is akin to spiritual money in the bank.

Am I right?!

8. The Budos Band - "Chicago Falcon" [FREE MP3]
Because the best part of murky '70s films was always the music.

9. Atmosphere - "Watch Out" [FREE MP3]
Because Slug will always be the king: "If you don't like the sound, f--- you / I'm just trying to put it down for my hometown."


10. Rusko - "Da Cali Anthem" [FREE MP3]
Because this "bass-heavy track, which samples 2Pac and Dr. Dre’s 'California Love,' just screams to be included on your next party-starting mix tape — especially if you’re a fan of Rusko’s Mad Decent labelmates Major Lazer, Diplo or Crookers." (Yes, I'm totally OK with ripping myself off from time to time.)

11. Happy Birthday - "Subliminal Message" [FREE MP3]
Because it was featured in my fourth Song of the Week featurette for the Budgeteer. (Follow the link to see why it was picked!)

12. Archeology - "Memorial"
Because I've already expressed my love for Archeology's "White Walls" this week, and I wouldn't want to include too many of my Song of the Week selections on this here mix tape, now would I?

13. INXS - "Not Enough Time"
Because Michael Hutchence and crew never "lost it" -- despite "Welcome to Wherever You Are" receiving a two-star review in Rolling Stone when it was released in '92....

14. Phoenix - "Girlfriend" [Live in Sydney] [FREE MP3]
Because vocalist Thomas Mars urges his group's Aussie fans to strike up a dance party before they jump into this terrific single, and dance parties are cool.

15. Tokyo Police Club - "Breakneck Speed" [FREE MP3]
Because of all the obnoxiously buzzed-about bands, this TPC (not to be confused with the Plastic Constellations) actually lives up to the hype.

16. Lifter Puller - "4 Dix" [FREE MP3]
Because it's Craig Finn's favorite LFTR PLLR song. And, as the now-Hold Steady frontman told Cloak and Dagger, "the one that goes the furthest in telling people that if they party too much, they die."

17. Orangutang - "Best of Enemies" [Live on WMBR]
Because I didn't know anything about this Toadies-esque group, so I turned to Google and found this gem from a Jae-Ha Kim article in the Chicago Sun-Times (circa 1993): "When a Boston newspaper nominated Orangutang for best local heavy metal band, the group didn't expect to win, and it didn't. There was a good reason, too: They don't play heavy metal music. (Of course that didn't stop Jethro Tull from beating out Metallica at the Grammys. But that's another story altogether.)"

18. Theft by Swindle - "NEON!" [FREE MP3]
Because frontman Tony Rubin is the young whippersnapper behind AM rubin -- with his "pop," Mark Rubin, of course -- and Pacific Phonograph Co. And he's got a sense of humor: He told me this early demo was recorded live in an "underground laboratory in Upper Smithville."

<a href="http://theftbyswindle.bandcamp.com/track/neon">NEON! by Theft by Swindle</a>

19. Marc Robillard - "So Much More" [FREE MP3]
Because this song was used in a SunChips commercial, and I have fond memories of munching down on Harvest Cheddars with my buddy Andrew. (To wash it down? OK Soda. Oh, yeah!)

20. Cheap Trick - "Reach Out"
Is this really "Heavy Metal"? Not quite, but a must-have non-album track for all your Cheap Trick diehards out there.

Just me? Oh well....

21. OK Go - "I Want You So Bad I Can't Breathe"
Because even though they've turned their backs on pure pop bliss (thanks, Dave Fridmann...), I'll never forget Denver.

22. Acumen Nation - "Never the Bride"
Because it sounds like something me and my buddy Matt of Skillsaw Symphony would've been into in high school. (Think KMFDM meets Static-X.)

BONUS VIDEO TRACK: She & Him's "In the Sun"
Because M. Ward and Zooey Deschanel know how to party:

She & Him - In The Sun from Merge Records on Vimeo.

Thus concludes your sixty-ninth dose of SHAKE*YOUR*SHORES, the awesome mix tape series formerly known as "Don't Tell a Soul." I hope you enjoyed yourself immensely.


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