Saturday, December 7, 2013

Un-Herd Christmas 2013

This year, folks, let's all remember to keep the Chris in Christmas. And there's no better start to a drug 'n' alcohol-fueled holiday season than to download this collection of new Xmas classics and revel in the honorably pessimistic spirits on display. I'm trying out a new file service here, so with any luck it'll make the download an easier experience for all - let me know how it works - and in the meantime, have a great holiday (even you, christian conservatives) and I'll see you in 2014!

1. Mojo Nixon Christmas Christmas
2. The Ravers (It's Gonna Be A) Punk Rock Christmas
3. The Sonics Don't Believe In Christmas
4. Graham Parker Christmas Is For Mugs
5. Nick Lowe Silent Night
6. Attic Lights Why Should Christmas Be So Hard?
7. The Breakdowns Christmas Time Alone
8. Dwight Twilley Christmas Night
9. The Dollyrots Messed Up Xmas
10. Bad Religion White Christmas
11. Fenix TX Feliz Navidad
12. The Connection Christmas Time Again
13. The Rosebuds I Hear (Click Click Click)
14. The Mr. T. Experience Merry Fucking Christmas
15. Eux Autres Teenage Christmas
16. Two More Weeks Father Christmas
17. New Bomb Turks Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)
18. The Lazy Cowgirls Sock It To Me Santa
19. The Bellrays Christmas Train
20. The Psycho Daisies Santa Is Comin' Down Again
21. The Mighty Mighty Bosstones Christmas Time
22. Warm Soda Without You By My Side
23. The Long Winters Christmas With You is the Best
24. Gruff Rhys Slashed Wrists This Christmas

Thursday, November 7, 2013


Diamond Dogs - samples two decades worth of rockers & rave-ups from the extensive Diamond Dogs discography

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Faves of 2013 (vol. 3)

I'm posting this Faves compilation mere moments after learning of the passing of Lou Reed. It's difficult to place this kind of event into perspective without delving into exactly the kind of maudlin sentimentality that would probably make Lou himself scoff in derision, but I think it's safe to say that there isn't a band on this mix that would have existed if not for the  direct influence of Mr. Reed. A lot of artists are deemed influential, but precious few of them can lay claim to the profound impact the Velvet Underground unleashed upon the world. "Sweet Jane" alone would place Lou in the pantheon of rock & roll immortality, nevermind the towering achievement of the entire VU catalogue, nevermind the always interesting output of his solo career, and nevermind all the bands and artists that followed in his hallowed wake. So RIP, you beautifully cantankerous contrarian, may your footsteps forever echo.

As for the mix itself, this is the last one of this year. The next task will be compiling the absolute best albums of 2013, and this mix presents a number of contenders. Albums by James Younger (Feelin' American), the Grimm Generation (The Big Fame), Bad Sports (Bras), Glitz (It'z Glitz), Barrence Whitfield (Dig Thy Savage Soul), and J. Roddy Walston (Essential Tremors) are pretty much certainties for the Top 30, but I wouldn't rule out any full-length release by any artist included here. Somewhere, Lou Reed is tapping his foot.

My Life Was Saved By Rock & Roll

1. The Grimm Generation  The Next Indie Boy
2. James Younger  Monday Morning
3. Brand New Hate  Sinners and Preachers
4. Black Joe Lewis  The Hipster
5. The Strypes  Hometown Girls
6. Deer Tick The Dream's In The Ditch
7. The Cheap Thrills  Midnight Sun
8. The Temperance Movement Be Lucky
9. The Suburbs Turn The Radio On
10. Bare Mutants Cunt
11. Propeller Might Never Be The Only One
12. The Dirtbombs Crazy For You
13. Mark Crozer & the Rels Tell Me You Want Me
14. Star Anna Smoke Signals
15. Diarrhea Planet Babyhead
16. The Julie Ruin Just My Kind
17. The Charlie Watts Riots Metal
18. Bad Sports Rockin' The Noose
19. Glitz Don't Think About It
20. Needles//Pins Date Night (You Bring the Napalm)
21. Drivin' n Cryin' Hot Wheels
22. Barrence Whitfield & the Savages The Corner Man
23. J. Roddy Walston & the Business Marigold
24. Timmy Sean & the Celebrities Back to the Middle

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Hello My Name is Mix (vol.5)

Listen, I totally cop to the fact that these names mixes are a tad on the crazy side and, frankly, I'm as surprised as anyone that it's even possible for so many volumes to exist. But here's the thing: these songs are out there. And they're awesome. And, godammit, somebody has to compile 'em. And so it may as well be this little backwater blog that almost exclusively places its attention on non-mainstream oddities and confections, amirite? I mean, if not here, where else?

 Walking 'Round the House in My Underpants

1. The Redwalls Robinson Crusoe
2. Dipsomaniacs Syd Barrett
3. Supraluxe Lester Bangs
4. Bad Books Forest Whitaker
5. Late Cambrian Ryan Gosling
6. Art Brut Martin Kemp
7. Barrance Whitfield Oscar Levant
8. Jet Electro Walter Cronkite
9. American Aquarium Abe Lincoln
10. The Prime Ministers Ron Wood
11. Bronx Cheerleader Ann Coulter
12. Dick Diver Michael Jackson
13. Cherry Blossom Clinic Bobby Baccalieri
14. Terry Andersen & the Olympic Ass-Kickin' Team Willie Mays
15. Big Dipper Robert Pollard
16. Boxer the Horse Karen Silkwood
17. Saint Motel Benny Goodman
18. The Breakup Society Mary Shelley
19. Lily Wood & the Prick Joni Mitchell
20. The Rifles Robin Hood
21. The Courtneys KC Reeves
22. Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin Harrison Ford
23. This Many Boyfriends Tina Weymouth
24. Bodeens Jay Leno

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Faves of 2013 (vol. 2)

I guess the thing I find most puzzling about this digital age is how it's so incredibly easy to get the word out and yet the word still don't get out. I just don't understand why some indie bands come out of nowhere riding a wave of internet buzz while others are doomed to rage into an echo chamber of disinterest. Why, for example, do artists like Ty Segall and Thee Oh Sees become Pitchfork-approved, while scores of other garage/punk/pop rockers - either more vicious, more fun, or more melodic - can't get even a whiff of a hipster's Pabst-stained neckbeard?

This new Faves mix is a case in point. So many of these bands have just released albums or EPs that deserve to get them enshrined in the hallowed halls of rock&roll immortality, and yet I'm not seeing much about them anywhere. Little Steven (godbless that awesome suminabitch) might be playing the hells out of the new Connection, and King Khan & the Shrines continue an upward trajectory, and maybe two or three others have received reviews in major(-ish) web zines, but the rest appear to have been roundly and unfairly ignored. If you haven't yet, search out the albums these songs come from (album titles included in the info) - and maybe we can get some of that buzz started.

These Are The Things I've Come to Love

1. The Bamboo Kids Batshit Crazy
2. The Connection Wrong Side of 25
3. Wyatt Blair Sugar Lips, Cinnamon Hips
4. The Computers Love Triangles, Hate Squares
5. The Cliks Savanna
6. Rooni Ambulance
7. Jesse Dee Sweet Tooth
8. Beech Day Wasting All My Time
9. Primitive Hearts Falling Apart
10. Radio Days Get Some Action
11. Nick Piunti On The Way Out
12. Rev Gusto Click-Click
13. The Mergers Caught Beneath
14. King Louie's Missing Monuments Covered In Ice
15. Pat Todd & the RankOutsiders 14th & Nowhere
16. Jumgle Midnight Limousine
17. The Sharks Blow
18. Modern Kicks Crew'n Up
19. Rich Hands Tease (Pretty Pretty Please)
20. Attic Lights Say You Love Me
21. Indian Rebound Backlash
22. The Solicitors DDT
23. King Khan & the Shrines Bad Boy
24. Crocadiles Marquis De Sade

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Summer 2013

These are the best days. Blue skies and sweltering heat, long hours of sunlight, and a warm fleeting assurance that our time is infinite and all things are possible. And these summer mixes try to catch that sense of lazy optimism in an hour (or so) of music. These tunes stretch all over the last 40 years and generally don't land in any one specific genre, although given the established preference of this blog you can assume they lean primarily towards guitar-based poprockwhatever with a little girl group goodness thrown in for variety.

I've included a few vinyl rips from my LP collection here as well. A couple bands, After All and the B-Sides, have almost zero web presence these days. After All was a Vancouver band that only released a single album, How High the Moon (1988), before their lead singer left. The remaining members morphed into a band called Pure, who had some minor success in the 90s. The B-Sides were from Victoria, and spent the early part of the 80s skanking the hell out of every joint they played. They put out the Red to Black LP on Radioactive Records back in 1981, and after that I have no idea what happened to them. Other fairly obscure artists from those early days (like Pagliaro and the Secrets) have been championed by various blogs, so info on them is readily available.

Oh, and ignore the intentional misspellings in the tracklist. It's a new strategy. A lame strategy, but a strategy nonetheless.

Anyway, I hope this mix hits you the way it's been hitting me while lounging on the deck with a frosty martini in hand. Enjoy the heat, everybuddy.

Grab Your Shades and a Bottle of Pop

1. GRMLN Summer Days
2. Imani Copola Sah-Weet (Sweet)
3. The Addies Summertime
4. Free Enrgy Girls Want Rock
5. Sleeper Agent Love Blood
6. American Heartbreak Last of the Superheroes (of the 1970s)
7. The Dahlmans Dumb Me Down
8. Propeller Summer Songs
9. Pagliaro Magic Moments
10. The Allah-Las Busman's Holiday
11. Ryan Powers & the Secret Weapons Mr. Sunshine
12. Jungle Summer Heat
13. River City Rebels Sick Kids
14. Wild Belle Love Like This
15. The Secrets Radio Heart
16. J. Geils Band Give It To Me
17. After All Here I Am Again
18. Matt Costa Good Times
19. Reno Bo You Don't Know
20. Asteroids Galaxy Tour Sunshine Coolin'
21. The Raveonettes Ode to L.A.
22. The B-Sides Bedtime for Ronald

Saturday, July 20, 2013


Full-On Monger: You Know How to Eat Ice Cream?  - Trashy, foul-mouthed, horn-laden punk-fueled rock 'n' roll. You know you want it.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Covers Project Vol. X

Awright, here we go for the tenth time. Some of the best songs ever written, some of the worst, and all of them made awesome by bands that grabbed something familiar and made it their own. Or something like that. There's usually two ways a band can go with a cover. One is to play it close to the original, and the other is to re-invent the song into something entirely different. In either strategy, I tend to prefer the ones that maintain the melody. Those hooks were put there for a reason, people - mess with 'em at your peril. 

Twelve of these twenty-two songs come from the '70s, which is still the great goldmine of classic bubblegum pop. Of course, that might be a declaration made by my own prejudice and preference - but, let's face it, something like the Sweet's "Little Willy" couldn't have existed in any other decade. It's equal parts hook-riddled genius and cloyingly saccharine; you just know the hippies of the 60s would've shunned it with the same fervor as the noo wave disco mavens of the 80s would have banned it from the VIP room. In one sense, the same could be said about every tune included here, regardless of era: it's all so cool it ain't cool no mo', which only makes it cooler. Or, y'know, something like that.

Someday You'll Remember Me

1. Tsar Pool Party (The Olsen Twins)
2. Needles//Pins Picture My Face (Teenage Head)
3. Rocket Rocket (Mud)
4. Bamboo Kids Jet Boy, Jet Girl (Elton Motello, by way of Plastic Bertrand)
5. Howler Up the Bracket (Libertines)
6. Best Coest Rhiannon (Fleetwood Mac)
7. London Calling Just Got Back (Cheap Trick)
8. Nushu My Best Friend's Girl (The Cars)
9. Tina & the Total Babes Tell That Girl To Shut Up (Holly & the Italians)
10. Kasey Anderson & the Honkies Save It For Later (English Beat)
11. Warm Soda Waiting For The Man (Velvet Underground)
12. DM3 Sweet Hitch-Hiker (Credence Clearwater Revival)
13. Material Issue Little Willy (The Sweet)
14. Imperial State Electric I Don't Know What I Want (Raspberries)
15. Yesterday's Kids Tired of Waking Up Tired (Diodes)
16. Ko & the Knockouts If I (Nolan Strong & the Diablos)
17. Superchunk Cruel Summer (Bananarama)
18. Boys School S.O.S. (Abba)
19. The Connection Yeah Yeah (Ramones)
20. The Dollyrots Dream Lover (Bobby Darin)
21. Bayside Oliver's Army (Elvis Costello)
22. Ash Teenage Wildlife (David Bowie)

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Faves of 2013 (Vol. 1)

Spring has sprung, which means I'm a little overdue for the first faves mix of the year. But never fear, good things come to those who wait (usually in the form of a 20% gratuity).

The first four months of 2013 have produced some outstanding music. Too much for a single mix, in fack, which means a) there's already a fine chunk of Volume 2 primed for posting, and b) this one is chockful of greatness. Among the new(-ish) finds you may note the reappearance of some of my longtime obsessions (for example, I'll be pushing the Yum Yums, Zachary James, and the Biters until they all become as hugely popular as they deserve), as well as new ones by 80s faves the Del-Lords and the Grapes of Wrath. There's also a bonus track, hidden more out of my paranoia of major label assholeishness than any sense of added value.

Let the sun shine in. And remember: SPF 30 or above is not sunscreen, it's a shirt.

The Bands I Like They Don't Sell A Lot Of Records

1. Slam Dunk Dying Breed
2. Purling Hiss Rat Race
3. The Yum Yums I Like Good Music
4. Biters So Many Nights
5. Night Marchers Big in Germany
6. Warm Soda Jeanie Loves Pop
7. Two Hours Traffic Ready For a Look
8. The Postelles Caught By Surprise
9. Grapes of Wrath Good To See You
10. Polly Put a Little English On It
11. Bed Wettin' Bad Boys Sally
12. Red Jacket Mine Someone Else's Cake
13. The Del-Lords When the Drugs Kick In
14. Sugar Sugaar Stoned
15. Dirty Fences King's Cross
16. Dick Diver Alice
17. Mount Mariah Bright Light
18. Matt Costa Shotgun
19. Har Mar Superstar Lady, You Shot Me
20. The Virgins Prima Materia
21. Zachary James & the All Seeing Eyes Runnin' Outta Tyme

Saturday, April 13, 2013


Okay, so now that Mediafire has become virtually useless, I'll have to slowly start migrating almost all my files elsewhere. Here's the first few:

Faves of 2012 (Vol. 3)

Faves of 2012 (Vol. 2)

Summer 2012

Suck it, Mediafire.

Friday, March 22, 2013

2012 Orphan Mix

Too much of a good thing, y'all. Sometimes there's just too much goodness for a single sitting. 2012 was like that for music, so I figured I'd make a mix of all the great stuff I didn't get around to including last year. This mix may seem a tad schizo, eclectically darting around between a late night vibe, some cool R&B grooves, and upbeat power pop, but overall it finds a mood all its own.

I've included a couple songs from 2013  (James Hunter Six and Lady, both of which are orphaned from the upcoming first volume of Faves of 2013) and, randomly, one from 2004 ("Satisfied Fool" by the awesome Nathaniel Mayer, which is included simply because I've been obsessing over it recently). Everything else is 2012 and deserving of ears and money.

And a note of thanks to Mr. Rick Laferriere, who turned me on to a whole swack of great stuff (most notably the band Games and, specifically to this mix, Chains of Love and the Deer Tick track).

Chow down.

I Could Open Up A Bakery

1. Lady Tell The Truth
2. Mark Crozer & the Rels Put Those 80s Records On
3. Chains of Love In Between
4. Low Cut Connie Boozophilia
5. Beth Hart Swing My Thing Back Around
6. Sean Hayes Bam Bam
7. Electric Guest The Bait
8. Kelly Hogan Pass On By
9. Miss Li You Could Have It (So Much Better Without Me)
10. Amy Stroup & Trent Dabbs I Think I Said Too Much
11. Successful Failures Mickey Mantle's Knees
12. Alexandra Starlight Without My Sunshine
13. James Hunter Six Look Out
14. Eli Paperboy Reed w/ the Pepperpots There Ain't No Man That Can't Be Caught
15. Deer Tick Born at Zero
16. Nathaniel Mayer Satisfied Fool
17. Night Moves Colored Emotions
18. Two Wounded Birds I'm No Saviour
19. The Jazz Butcher Shame About You
20. The Heavy Curse Me Good

Friday, January 11, 2013

Best of 2012

Another year down the tubes and, in the case of 2012, I say good riddance to bad mojo. Personally speaking, it was a nasty dickish suminabitch to get through (career-wise, anyway) and I'm happy to have it in the rearview mirror. Musically speaking, however, it was pretty damn awesome. A whole fleet of new bands appeared to give hope for the future, and a number of old faves reappeared as well.

The Un-Herd wheelhouse was particularly well-served in 2012. So much so, in fact, that a simple Top 30 can't contain all the albums that deserve end-of-the-year attention, so I've also made a non-ranked list of honorable mentions - and in the weeks ahead I'll try to write up reviews of as many of these great albums as possible. Thanks, as always, to the bands and artists - and if you find something you like, please support 'em! I'll offer purchasing options at the end of each review.

The Un-Herd Music Top 30 of 2012

1. Foxy Shazam - The Church of Rock and Roll

Exploding with ideas, strafing hooks and demented debauchery in every direction, this album made good on the band's unbelievable live show. Full review

2. My Jerusalem - Preachers

A new kind of cosmic American music, incorporating strains of 80s goth and 90s alt.rock along with the more expected folk and Americana. Full review

3. Ian Hunter & the Rant Band - When I'm President

The one elder statesman who truly delivered. Profound, pissed-off, and still tapped into the rock 'n' roll source. Full review

3. Pilgrims - It's Not Pretty

Desperate in the best way, it sounds like it took as long to record as it took the band to run through a first take, and at the same time it sounds like a buncha guys putting it all on the line, reaching for the moon and stars, and taking a shot at greatness. Full Review

 5. Needles//Pins - 12:34

The brittle concision of Pink Flag meets the pure pop instincts of Singles Going Steady. Garage trash that hits the sweet spot. Full review

6. Nick Waterhouse - Time's All Gone

Nick Waterhouse starts with a foundation of 50s rock ‘n’ roll and rhythm ‘n’ blues, tosses in some soul and a modern eye to cool, and comes up with something that struts more than it rocks. Full review

 7. Devin - Romancing

A collection of fairly straightforward and conventional rock & roll, distinguished by the excellence of the songwriting and Devin's impossible rasp.

8. Salim Nourallah - Hit Parade

Nourallah knows his way around the Beatles-esque hook, no doubt, but he also knows how to play against that hook with surprising arrangement touches. The end result is power pop that transcends its own genre. Full review

 9. Archie Powell & the Exports - Great Ideas in Action

Brainy powerchord pop with hooks that dig a little deeper every play. Archie Powell may not challenge the poppunkrockwhatever paradigm in any meaningful way, but he does manage to inject these songs with his unerring sense of dynamics. Full review

 10. Blackfoot Gypsies - On the Loose

Whenever someone rhymes "baby" with "don't mean maybe" you know they're not trying to challenge tradition, which is just as well here because these guys sound a whole lot like ’65 Dylan fronting ’65 Stones. Some things you can't improve on. Full review

11. Chris Devotion & the Expectations - Amalgamation & Capital
12. Erin Costelo - We Can Get Over Full review
13. Budokan - Spin a Little Gold
14. Nude Beach - II Full review
15. Hacienda - Shakedown
16. Wanderlust - Record Time Full review
17. Oh Mercy - Deep Heat Full review
18. Waves of Fury - Thirst Full review
19. Yukon Blonde - Tiger Talk Full review
20. The White Wires - WWIII

21. Electric Guest Mondo
22. Shovels and Rope O Be Joyful
23. Caroline & the Treats Saturday Night Rock & Roll
24. New Electric Sound New Electric Sound
25. Justin Townes Earle Nothing's Gonna Change the Way You Feel About Me Now
26. Divine Fits A Thing Called Divine Fits
27. The Walkmen Heaven
28. AC Newman Shut Down The Streets
29. Diamond Dogs Set Fire To It All
30. The Connection Connection Collection

 Honorable Mentions:

Spencer P. Jones Spencer P. Jones & the Nothing Butts
The Breakups Running Jumping Falling Shouting
Various Cruelties Various Cruelties
One Like Son Start the Show
Kid Koala 8 Bit Blues
Kurt Baker Brand New Beat
Tim Rogers Rogers Sings Rogerstein
Two Wounded Birds Two Wounded Birds
Alabama Shakes Boys and Girls
Steve Adamyk Band Forever Won't Wait
Crusaders of Love Take It Easy... But Take It
Howler America Give Up
Bare Wires Idle Dreams
Prima Donna Bless This Mess
Chuck Prophet Temple Beautiful
Natural Child For The Love of the Game
Honeymoon Stallions Honeymoon Stallions
Stag Chameleon
Jimmy Cliff Rebirth
Successful Failures Here I Am
The Undecided by Default Totally Undecided
Lissy Trullie Lissy Trullie
The Living Deadbeats Living Deadbeats
Throwback Suburbia Shot Glass Souvenir
Chelle Rose Ghost of Browder Holler


Tsar The Dark Stuff
The Sharks Leave Me Alone/ Pop! Punk!/ Good Ecstasy/ Burn London Down
The Van Buren Boys Hit It Quick
Eli "Paperboy" Reed Meets The Pepperpots Time and Place
The Dahlmanns Dumb Me Down
Dum Dum Girls End of Daze

And, finally, here's a mix of the top 20. I've thrown in a couple extra tracks from #s 21-30 as well.

There Was A Time When I Used To Care 

1. Foxy Shazam Holy Touch
2. My Jerusa1em Preachers
3. 1an Hunter When I'm President
4. Pi1grims Snow Storm
5. Need1es//Pins I Heart Your Drugs
6. Nick Waterhouse I Can Only Give You Everything
7. Devin You're Mine
8. Salim Noura11ah Everybody Knows
9. Archie Powe11 & the Exports I Need Supervision
10. B1ackfoot Gypsies Been Down This Road
11. Chris Devotion & the Expectations The Girl Is Leaving
12. Erin Coste1o Let It Go
13. Budokan You Don't Stop Lovin' The Band
14. Nude Beach The Endless Night
15. Hacienda Don't Keep Me Waiting
16. Wander1ust Lou Reed
17. Oh Mercy Drums
18. Waves of Fury I Don't Know What To Make of Your Fucked-Up Friends
19. Yukon B1onde Oregon Shores
20. The White Wires Down on My Own
21. Shove1s and Rope O' Be Joyful
22. E1ectric Guest This Head I Hold
23. New E1ectric Sound What If I Disappear
24. The Sharks Bye Bye Baby