Saturday, May 12, 2018

Covers Project Vol. 16

I recently saw Low Cut C0nnie in a small club, and the band delivered one of those rare rock & roll baptisms that rekindle one's faith in the music. They were everything I love about rock & roll - tight, driving, melodic, and hilarious - but they brought the house down with three well-chosen cover songs: Prince's "Controversy," Tom Petty's "You Got Lucky," and David Bowie's "Diamond Dogs." It wasn't apparent to me until the 3rd song hit that they were paying tribute to a holy trinity of recently departed idols. The moment was simultaneously celebratory and heart-rending, emotionally complex in the way only the simplest gestures can be. I bring this up because, without consciously planning it, this mix does the same thing for the same trinity (along with a few other deeply-missed giants). I'm pretty sure that won't take away from the summery good time vibes of the mix - but it might give it a little emotional context.

Little Young Lady Stardust Hitching A Ride

1. The Regrettes Teenager in Love (Dion)
2. Devin The Passenger (Iggy Pop)
3. Timmy Sean Revolution (The Beatles)
4. Brady Harris Band Our Lips Are Sealed (The Go-Gos)
5. Low Cut C0nnie Controversy (Prince)
6. N0 Use For A Name Badfish (Sublime)
7. Vista B1ue Rhythm of the Rain (The Cascades)
8. CH3 Blue Skies (Willie Nelson)
9. Say Sue Me Dreaming (Blondie)
10. Lee R0cker Wild Child (Johnny O'Keefe)
11. The New York L00se Chatterbox (New York Dolls)
12. S1aughter & the Dogs Bang A Gong (T.Rex) 
13. Chewy Marb1e Metal Baby (Teenage Fanclub)
14. Materia1 Issue Blockbuster (The Sweet)
15. Tripwires 2-4-6-8 Motorway (Tom Robinson Band)
16. The Do11yrots American Girl (Tom Petty)
17. C0bra Verde Teenage Kicks (The Undertones)
18. The Reverend Shawn Am0s Jean Genie (David Bowie)
19. Vibro1ush Joker (Steve Miller Band)
20. Emper0r Penguin Maid in Heaven (Be Bop Deluxe)
21. The F0rty Nineteens Time Is On My Side (Rolling Stones)
22. Y0u Am I I'm So Tired (The Beatles)
23. Concrete B1onde Little Wing (Jimi Hendrix)
24. Bruce Springsteen Just Like Fire Would (The Saints)
25. Dead R0ck West Bring It On Home To Me (Sam Cooke)

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Faves of 2018 (vol. 1)

I'm happy to report that the first quarter of this year has delivered some truly outstanding music and, as evidenced by this mix, it's stylistically all over the map... well, all over the Un-Herd map, anyway. Don't be expecting anything too far removed from the blog's usual purview. No vapor wave, baby metal, clown step, truffletone, or Fripp hop (I may have made up some of those). Regardless, I can tell you that I had the chance to road test this mix on a long distance drive and it passed with flying colors. 80 solid minutes of non-stop should-be hits that somehow flow together.

If They Can't Find You They Can't Take It From You

1. Bat Fangs Turn It Up
2. Sam C0ffey & the Iron Lungs Tough
3. E1ise LeGrow Hold On
4. High Up Your System Failed You
5. Shannon & the C1ams The Boy
6. Twin Peaks Under the Pines
7. H0t Snakes Six Wave Hold-Down
8. Ruby B00ts It's So Cruel
9. Meisha & the Spanks Be Alright
10. Gin Wigm0re Dirty Mercy
11. The Regrettes Red Light
12. Act0rs Slaves
13. H0ckey Dad My Stride
14. Pub1ic Access TV Your God and Mine
15. Deva Maha1 Snakes
16. The B0rn Readies Automatic
17. Death by Unga Bunga Soldier
18. Dream Wife Let's Make Out
19. Amy1 & the Sniffers I'm Not a Loser
20. Faz Wa1tz Julie
21. The Number 0nes Long Way to Go
22. The Pand0ras Just a Picture
23. Erika Wennerstr0m Twisted Highway
24. Buffal0 Tom Overtime

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Old Monger (Vol.2)

Here's one of the first monger mixes I ever compiled. I figured I'd post it before losing it in some horrible future hard drive crash. This is mostly a mix of tunes from the ancient times, an era when filesharing meant a secretary loaning a stack of papers to the neighboring cubicle. It was also an era before recording levels were all pushed into the maximum dynamic range, which, in the end, might be the only element that ties these songs together.

Sometimes It's Wise to Know Which Way the Gun is Pointing

1. Wanda Jacks0n Let's Have a Party
2. The L0ng Ryders Run Dusty Run
3. The De1 Fueg0s Don't Run Wild
4. The Hangmen Rotten Sunday
5. The Bard0ts Chained Up
6. Be Bop De1uxe Panic in the World
7. The Jam The Place I Love
8. Sunset Va11ey I Got Fair
9. Ten Days Late Reach
10. The Swingin' Neckbreakers Struttin'
11. The Jet B0ys You Tell Me Lies
12. Andrew Mathes0n Red Shoes in Italy
13. The L0west of the Low Salesmen, Cheats, and Liars
14. John D0e Knockin' Around
15. Jerry Jerry & the S0ns of Rhythm Orchestra Bad Luck at Tulane
16. Teenage Head Some Kinda Fun
17. The1onious Monster Sammy Hagar Weekend
18. Bad Brains I Against I
19. Art Bergmann Bound for Vegas
20. Ducks De1uxe Paris 9
21. Roy L0ney I Couldn't Spell %#&!
22. The Brains Money Changes Everything
23. Dramarama In Quiet Rooms
24. The Pand0ras I Didn't Cry
25. Michae1 Monroe Disappointed in You

Sunday, February 18, 2018

2017 Orphans Mix

Sometimes, despite your best intentions, you just miss a detail or two. Happens to me every year. I try to listen to as much as I can, and yet there's always a small pile of deserving tracks and albums that somehow eluded me. These Orphans mixes are an attempt to make right with those unintentionally neglected artists. And, make no mistake, I'm aware that there's a bunch of stuff I still haven't found. Some oversights are just easier to spot than others.

Should've Learned To Play Guitar

1. F1amin' Groovies What The Hell's Goin' On
2. The Brixton Riot The Ballad of Pete Best
3. The Forty Nineteens Easy Come Easy Go
4. Pugwash What Are You Like
5. Ryan Hami1ton & the Traitors Drugs and Fashion
6. Le Troub1e Fatal Flaw
7. The Peac0cks I've Had Enough
8. The Red Butt0n Tracy's Party
9. Derrick Anders0n Stop Messin' About
10. Stiff Richards Ride On Me
11. The Sweet Things Slather
12. The Wi11owz Just Can't Wait
13. W1retree J.F. Sebastian
14. Br1x & the Extricated Feelin' Numb
15. K1ng Khan Born in '77
16. Emperor Penguin Halfway to Havana
17. Deep State Idiot Waster
18. Mark Crozer & the Re1s Loathsome Freddie
19. The Men Come Alive
20. Eye1ids Falling Eyes
21. Blank Pages High Flyer
22. Tim He1decker Trump Tower
23. Nico1e Atkins Listen Up
24. Litt1e Steven I Don't Want To Go Home

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Hello My Name is Mix (vol. 7)

It's been almost two years since the last installment of these titular rarities. As a compilation its raison d'etre should be entirely self-explanatory, but what's not quite so obvious is the quality of the songs. I place the same restrictions on these mixes as on everything else (meaning that if I don't like the song it doesn't get posted), so just know there's gold in the gimmick.

I Stayed In The Shower To Avoid Doing Some Useful Shit

1. The M0vement Karl Marx
2. Lemur1a Christine Perfect
3. The Successfu1 Fai1ures Sam Houston
4. Ch1xdiggit Gerry Cheevers
5. The Orwe11s Black Francis
6. The D0gs Winston Smith
7. Chuck Pr0phet Alex Nieto
8. Art Brut Emily Kane
9. A1ex Lahey Wes Anderson
10. The 7 & 6 Bruce Foxton
11. Robbers 0n High Street Amanda Green
12. Rozwe11 Kid Michael Keaton
13. The Zat0peks Sophie Scholl
14. The Pack AD Thomas Hardy
15. Lydia Love1ess Steve Earle
16. Tim East0n Elmore James
17. Why? George Washington
18. Love1y Bad Things Thora Birch
19. G1enn Morrow's Cry For He1p Keira Knightly
20. Buttercup Henry B. Gonzalez
21. R0byn Hitchcock Virginia Woolf
22. Leer0y Stagger Joe Strummer & Joey Ramone

Monday, January 1, 2018

Best of 2017

Well, here we go again. Another year toasted. Another attempt to organize art into a list and rank the unrankable. If it helps any, I'll be the first to admit that the exact order of my top 10 - 20 albums are often capable of shuffling spots depending on my mood during any given day. I imagine that comes as no shock to anyone.

Overall, I'd say it was a pretty good year. I've certainly found a lot of music - and a lot of bands - that I'm sure I'll be playing for the rest of my days. If you find something you like, I encourage you to invest in the album. In the meantime, you just know I'll be kicking myself for a pile of worthy omissions (which I'll attempt to collect on the upcoming Orphans mix).

The Un-Herd Music Top 50 of 2017

 1. Chuck Berry Chuck

You may suspect I'm gifting the #1 spot to Mr. Berry solely on the grounds of his importance to every single note on every single mix I've ever made in my life. And you may be right. And I don't care.

2. Needles//Pins Good Night Tomorrow

The band continues their expected trajectory, which combines the ragged hooks of the Replacements with the sonic wallop of a car crash, but with a truly impressive growth in songwriting.

3. The Crazy Squeeze Savior of the Streets

In the band bio they rightly reference 70s pub rock, but these guys remember the tough and melodic Ducks Deluxe brand over the ersatz Band-isms of Brinsley Schwartz. That's the way I prefer to remember it too.

 4. The Regrettes Feel Your Feelings Fool

Astonishingly, front woman Lydia Night was 16 years old when this album was recorded, but that didn't stop her from copping (and refining) moves from relatively ancient precursors like 90s riot grrls and 60s girl groups. The future is female.

5. The Stanleys The Stanleys

The inescapable descriptor is power pop, but these guys deliver an advanced thesis in muscular hook-craft that most comparable bands barely understand, let alone strive for.

6. Daniel Romano Modern Pressure

After releasing a number of straight retro-country albums, Romano reached back into his own punky roots and unleashed something that sounds like the Basement Tapes beamed in from a galaxy where Hank Williams played power pop.

 7. Spoon Hot Thoughts

At this point Spoon is flying far above the Un-Herd purview, but it's difficult to ignore the quality of Britt Daniel's songwriting, not to mention the breath-taking invention of the band's arrangements. Great band just keeps getting greater.

8. Biters The Future Ain't What It Used To Be

70s glam stomp meets 80s glam rawk meets modern punk attitude - this could go wrong in so many ways but is constantly redeemed by leader Tuk's gift for melody, as well as his apparently honest respect for his antecedents.

 9. Black Joe Lewis Backlash

I don't know what this guy needs to do to get more respect and/or attention out there, but I hope he keeps the pedal to the metal and continues in this skronkin' sax 'n' molten R&B mode. This shit's the real deal.


The kind of album that could only come out of NYC. Droll vocals drenched in charisma and elliptical guitar lines make comparisons to Lou Reed and the Strokes (and all points in between) inevitable, yet there's a melancholy cool that is entirely the band's own.

11. Low Cut Connie Dirty Pictures (Part 1)
12. Bash & Pop Anything Could Happen
13. Suzes Fragile Development
14. The Rich Hands Take Care
15. Sheer Mag Need To Feel Your Love
16. White Reaper The World's Best American Band
17. The Rubs Impossible Dream
18. Colman Gota Fear the Summer
19. The Jesus and Mary Chain Damage + Joy
20. The Pilgrims No Focus

21. The Lowest of the Low Do The Right Now
22. The Singles Sweet Tooth
23. First Base Not That Bad
24. Dude York Sincerely
25. Plasticsoul Therapy
26. Gregg Stewart Gregg Stewart
27. New Swears And The Magic Of Horses
28. Ted Leo The Hanged Man
29. Wyldlife Out On Your Block
30. Aimee Mann Mental Illness

31. Indonesian Junk Stars in the Night
32. JD McPherson Undivided Heart + Soul
33. The Successful Failures Ichor of Nettle
34. Hanni El Khatib Savage Times
35. Sweet Spirit St. Mojo
36. The Church Man Woman Life Death Infinity
37. Shinyribs I Got Your Medicine
38. Eyelids or
39. Chuck Prophet Bobby Fuller Died For Your Sins

40. Two Cow Garage Brand New Flag
41. The Hooten Hallers The Hooten Hallers
42. Robyn Ludwick This Tall To Ride
43. Rancid Trouble Maker
44. Shilpa Ray Door Girl
45. Tim Heidecker Too Dumb For Suicide; The Trump Songs
46. The Rallies Serve
47. Pugwash Silverlake
48. Dirty Fences Goodbye Love
49. Willie Nile Positively Bob: Nile Sings Dylan
50. Sharon Jones Soul of a Woman

Honorable Mentions, Reissues, & Late 2016 Releases:

The Replacements For Sale; Live At Maxwell's, 1986
Teenage Head Fun Comes Fast
Sam Cash & the Romantic Dogs  Tongue-in-Cheek Vows
The Dollyrots Whiplash Splash
Samantha Fish Chills & Fever
Lee Bains III & the Glory Fires Youth Detention
Hayley Thompson-King Psychotic Melancholia
The Pink Tiles #1 Fan
Alex Lahey Love You Like a Brother
The Red Button Now It's All This

Draw That Chalky Line All Around The Corpse of Truth

1. Needles//Pins Pressure Points
2. The Crazy Squeeze Ooh Baby I Love You
3. Suzes Pleasure Doing Business With You
4. The Rubs Why Won't You Wait
5. Black Joe Lewis Prison
6. Sheer Mag Rank and File
7. QTY Rodeo
8. White Reaper Another Day
9. The Regrettes Hey Now
10. Biters Callin' You Home
11. Rich Hands So What
12. Bash & Pop Unfuck You
13. Plasticsoul King of Hash
14. The Lowest of the Low Saint Spurious
15. Colman Gota Call It Quits
16. Low Cut Connie Angela
17. The Jesus and Mary Chain All Things Pass
18. The Singles Sweet Tooth
19. First Base Crybaby
20. The Stanleys Amy
21. The Pilgrims Dinky Betts
22. Daniel Romano When I Learned Your Name
23. Dude York Black Jack
24. New Swears Dance with the Devil
25. Chuck Berry Lady B. Goode

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Un-Herd Christmess 2017

As unlikely as it may seem, the world made it through another year... and it's Chrimbus already!

So as we all gather 'round the Chrimbus bush, waiting with bated breath for the appearance of Winter Man laden with prezzies, we can play this compilation and sing along with the heartfelt - and heartwarming - ditties of the crassly commercialized yuletide season. Or not - it's possible to just listen instead.

Enjoy the holidays, everybody - and see you in 2018!

We'll Put Things Right Some Other Time 

1. Cheap Tr1ck I Wish It Could Be Xmas Every Day
2. Thee Attacks Let The Snow Fall
3. Bad Re1igion White Xmas
4. The Do11yrots All I Want For Xmas Is You
5. REM Merry Xmas Everybody
6. Cuckoo1and Silver Bells
7. Dude Y0rk Break Up Holiday
8. Jukebox Her0es Xmas in the City (Ain't Too Pretty)
9. Ho11y Go1ight1y Xmas Tree On Fire
10. The L0ng Ryders Xmas in New Zealand
11. TV Sm1th Xmas Bloody Xmas
12. Backstreet Gir1s Xmas Boogie
13. The M1sfits You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch
14. The C0nnection Merry Xmas (I Don't Wanna Fight Tonight)
15. P1xies Winterlong
16. Steve Ear1e Xmas in Washington
17. The Metr0 Jets Jingle Jangle Xmas
18. The Cute Lepers The Cute Lepers Xmas Song
19. The Pris5teens Xmas is a Time for Giving
20. V1ce Squad Santa Claws is Comin' to Town
21. Ash Can Schoo1 Xmas List Boogie
22. C0urtney Barnett Boxing Day Blues
23. James Ha11 True North
24. The M1nus 5 I Still Believe in New Year's Eve
25. Scott Mi11er Get Along, Everybody