Friday, July 23, 2010

Mix Tape Appreciation Society No. 2 :: RED-LETTER READERS OF THE GOOD NEWS

Here lies a mix tape. Plays its contents at maximum volume.

Recorded for The Onion/A.V. Club's Undercover series. The accompanying introduction: When Motion City Soundtrack agreed to participate in A.V. Undercover, we assumed they'd pop-punkify Pavement's "Cut Your Hair" with energetic abandon. But they went a different (and awesome) route, gathering five acoustic guitars for a five-man acoustical jam of Tesla-like proportions. Stick around for the "no big hair" line! 

2. Blitzen Trapper - "Laughing Lover"
It may be a tad childish to have a favorite song, but ... move over, "Baba O'Riley"! This song literally gives me chills.

Somewhere between the instant appeal of Rusted Root and the indie cred of Fol Chen lies this very lovely group.

I know everybody is doing this these days, but it's still pretty cool: Stars is letting fans remix some song "stems" (get 'em here) and having them upload the results to the group's website so other fans can check them out. Who knows, maybe the next Owl City will be found this way.

As far as honesty goes, this track's right up there: "I don't know how to fix the world / I don't know how to fix myself / Seems like we both need some love / Seems like we both need some help."

Rap groups don't get much bigger than the Weathermen. This hip-hop Traveling Wilburys features the talents of Aesop Rock, El-P and Cage.

To get another taste of this hot new track, head over to, where they've got a free remix of it by Yip Deceiver for your downloading pleasure.

8. Fort Minor - "The Battle"
A quick little intro before ...

9. Ke$ha - "Dinosaur"
... one of the funniest Bangles-referencing club hits to come to prominence in the post-Gaga pop world.

Recorded for Levi's Pioneer Sessions/Revival Recordings series. From the accompanying introduction: Passion Pit's Michael Angelakos says he was listening to a lot of “softer rock” when he first heard the sweeping Smashing Pumpkins song “Tonight, Tonight,” which was a Top 40 hit for the guitar-driven band in 1996. ... Passion Pit’s re-crafting of the song strips away some of the ambitious bombast, losing the strings but none of the business. Angelakos’ high voice fits comfortably with Corgan’s lyrics, but instead of a piece of grandiose rock, he’s instead created a synthy underwater symphony.

11. The Killers - "For Reasons Unknown"
From a random "review" of this song at (don't ask...): "God, this song is so freaking good, it is just amazing what songs like this can do to your mind. I could just listen to this song all day and all night. I hope the killers keep on rocking, 'cuz it'd be a shame if they didn't."

And, no, its author, Diana, is not actually code for Matthew R. Perrine.

12. Pavement - "Cataracts"
A must-have outtake from the group's 1996 album, "Brighten the Corners." And, thanks to Matador's dedicated series of deluxe Pavement reissues, you can now have this song if you get the "Nicene Creedence" edition of "BTC." Great stuff.

13. Yo La Tengo - "Stockholm Syndrome"
From the nearly flawless "I Can Hear the Heart Beating as One" record.

If you don't know the story behind the "lost" Toadies album "Feeler," which was only recently re-recorded and released by the group, I highly suggest you read one of the numerous accounts online ... like this one.

15. Sparkplug - "Feet Back on the Ground"
Definitely not to be confused with the Sparklplugs. Holy hell....

16. Spazzys - "Hey Hey Baby"
Likewise, not to be confused with the not-as-appealing "Hey Baby"....

17. Spookey Ruben - "U Don't Know What You're Missing"
You really don't. I've always felt that Canadian wunderkind Spookey Ruben, whom I recently interviewed for the Budgeteer, is one of the music world's best-kept secrets.

18. Nathan Beaver - "Someone Else"
Not since Dwight Yoakam have I so enjoyed anything with such strong C&W overtones. This Atlanta native definitely knows what good music with mass appeal sounds like.

19. Trampled by Turtles - "Bloodshot Eyes" (Live at Paste)
Instead of telling you what already know -- as in, this is one bandwagon you need to be jumping on (besides, my feature on "Banjo Dave" Carroll probably already alluded to my feelings on the matter...) -- I'm just going to let this clip from Paste speak for itself:

20. Bette & Wallet - "Family Photo"
This DIY, back-to-basics folk duo from Canada features Mary Beth (Bette) Carty of the Johnson Sisters and Gabriel F. (Wallet) Ouellette of Les Queteux (The Beggars). 

21. Superchunk - "Digging for Something"
Despite sporting a tried-and-true sound, it's still worth your time because, well, it's from the first Superchunk album in nine years.

From the soundtrack to Chris Malloy's surf documentary "180 Degrees South." (Man, what's with Seattle groups and oceans lately?)

23. Brad - "Runnin' for Cover"
It's been too long, Brad, it really has. (In fact, just yesterday I was rocking out to "La, La, La" -- which, as reported here earlier, used to be known as "Be with Me.") I can't wait to hear the rest of "Best Friends?"

Even though he hasn't had a regular radio gig since he was the program manager at Thunder Web Radio (now KDSU) in Fargo, Budgeteer editor Matthew R. Perrine likes to make mix tapes like he's going to play them on the air someday. This here Mix Tape Appreciation Society is a continuation of SHAKE*YOUR*SHORES, the awesome mix tape series formerly known as "Don't Tell a Soul." Enjoy!

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