Friday, December 19, 2014

Faves of 2014 (Vol. 3)

I've been seeing a pile of Best of 2014 lists, and they all seem to offer a puzzling consensus on what are supposed to be the best albums of the year. Predictably enough, very few of them are part of the Un-Herd universe. So while the members of the mainstream (and mainstream indie as defined by the likes of Pitchfork - I mean, at this stage of the game, is there any notable difference between the two?) suck on each others' faces, I'll just continue on as the uninvited third wheel, promoting the unfairly neglected... or the gloriously ignored, depending on how you want to look at it. And, as always, there's lots to sort through before I attempt a UHM Best of the Year. Keep an eye out, though - it's coming.

We Got A Good Thing Going

1. Jamee T Zombie
2. Cowbe11 Change Her Ways
3. Ex Hex How You Got That Gir1
4. The Pau1 & John Long Way Back
5. Linus of Ho11ywood Don't Fuck It Up
6. Shove1s & Rope Coping Mechanism
7. Litt1e Jackie Lose It
8. King Tuff Eddie's Song
9. Broncho C1ass Historian
10. LVL UP Annie's a Witch
11. Mote1 Beds Smoke Your Homework
12. The Soft White Sixties You Are Go1d
13. Mathew Ryan Suffer No More
14. Ming City Rockers I Wanna Get Out of Here But I Can't Take You Anywhere
15. Doug Gi11ard On Target
16. The Vase1ines Crazy Lady
17. Team Spirit Teenage Heart
18. James Wi11iamson w/ Richmond S1uts Wet My Bed
19. Watts Rocks
20. Sing1e Mothers Money
21. The Jeanies The Girl's Gonna Go
22. Eight Rounds Rapid Dostoevsky
23. The Popguns If You Ever Change Your Mind
24. The Grates What's Wrong With You

Monday, December 8, 2014

Un-Herd Christmess 2014

Listen, I'm not saying that it's necessarily a bad thing to open your house to a fat, unshaven old man who wants to ply your child with gifts, I'm just saying a background check might first be prudent.

Bring Some Noise To The Girls And Boys

1. The Connection Rock 'n' Ro1l Christmas
2. The JAC I Don't Want Your Presents
3. The Dol1yrots I Saw Mommy Biting Santa Claus
4. Karen Basset It's A1most Christmas Time
5. The Undecided By Defau1t This Christmas
6. Te1evision City The Night Johnny Thunders Saved Christmas
7. Greg Pope Christmas Snow
8. The Davnports Whore for the Ho1idays
9. Dum Dum Gir1s On Christmas
10. The New Mendicants A Very Sorry Christmas
11. Ash I Wish It Cou1d Be Christmas Every Day
12. The Kavanaghs Kinda Cool
13. The So1icitors Help Me Forget
14. Katte Nash I Hate You This Christmas
15. Los Campesinos! Lone1y This Christmas
16. Fitz & the Tantrums Santa Sto1e My Lady
17. The Sp1it Squad Another Lonely Christmas
18. Cathy Harrington Sha La La
19. TV Smith Xmas B1oody Xmas
20. The Legendary Tiger Man Fuck Christmas, I Got The B1ues

All previous cynical, jebus-hatin' Santa-baitin' Xmas mixes here.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Rock 'n' Roll (Part One)

The fact that it took this blog over 4 years to reach the landmark of 100,000 hits pretty much outlines the very notion of Un-Herd. This will never be a popular site (and let me just thank those few kindred souls out there who continue to visit and comment - it's both appreciated and comforting), and likewise most of the bands championed will tragically never be huge sellers, but neither of those dour predictions take anything away from the greatness of the music. So I'm using this occasion as an opportunity to offer some gratitude by returning to the primal source of the music I cherish.

Rock 'n' roll. It's a name that sounds so quaint and old-fashioned now, easy to forget that it started as a hip euphemism for sex. Every time I say it out loud I can't help visualize Dick Clark heartlessly uttering it just before introducing some anti-rock abomination on American Bandstand. Ol' Dick talked it, but sure as shit didn't walk it, and his show was quite obviously uncomfortable with the real deal and instead sought safety in whitewashed treacle by Fabian, Frankie Avalon, and their ilk and, ultimately (and predictably), sided with the cold, mechanical conservatism of disco over the untamed beast of rock 'n' roll.

I've long held the belief that a band is entirely worthless if they can't master the simple 4/4 beat of rock 'n' roll. It's seemingly so simple, usually scoffed at by musicians and prog fans, but here's the thing: most of the people scoffing can't do it. Oh, they can play a 4/4, but they can't make it move. It's like Bob Seger's attempted tribute to the music, "Old Time Rock & Roll." All the elements are there (and hey, Seger was a true fan with some stone cold classics to his credit) but in the years between "Rambling Gambling Man" and Night Moves Bob had lost the plot. As a result, "Old Time Rock & Roll" just lied there, static, unmoving. Devoid of swing. Dead on the carpet. A dusty museum piece that was more of an embalming than a celebration. I fucking hate that song so much, because so many people can't hear the difference between it and the real thing.

Another key element to a band's worth is a sense of humor. And that's not to mean comedic. A great rock 'n' roll band holds two key contradictory beliefs: 1) they take it utterly seriously, and 2) they know it's all a little ridiculous. Take as an example my fave band of all time, the New York Dolls. Their sartorial choices poked fun at the very notion of teen idol sexuality, turning the Jagger/Richards model into an awesome cartoon. You couldn't look at them without at least a smirk, and you could see them smirking back. And yet, those guys lived and died for the music (three fifths of them quite literally). You can extrapolate that same sentiment to all the greats along the continuum, from Elvis's self-parodying hip gyrations to the Sex Pistols and Johnny Rotten's simultaneous hatred for rock 'n' roll and his absolute commitment to singing it. It was funny, and they meant it, man.

True rock 'n' roll is about transcendence. It's about breaking out of the mortal bounds, both societal and psychological, however briefly. It taps into religiosity. That's why the lyrics are often incidental. Exhortations to dance, to rock, to roll, to get crazy; demands for more and, if not more, at least for something else. It's what that smug Steve Allen couldn't comprehend back in the day when he intoned the lyrics of "Be Bop A Lula" in an attempt to demonstrate its idiocy. Of course it was idiotic; that's what made it genius! Steve Allen only managed to show he didn't get it. Plus he helped draw the battle lines that still exist to this day (and if they've faded at all, I'm always available with my chalk to redraw them).

This mix, then, is straight rock 'n' roll. You'll hear a lot of the Holy Trinity of Chuck Berry, Little Richard, and Jerry Lee Lewis. Guitars, drums, bass, pounding 88s, saxophones that squeal and honk. Background vox as gang chants. Vocalists that whoop and holler and shred their larynx in the pursuit of that unexplainable Other. No genre splicing. No experiments. Just the real hairy deal.

This music doesn't attempt to reinvent the wheel; this is the wheel.

I Never Washed Dishes In Macon, Georgia

1. The Yum Yums Let's Rock & Roll
2. JD McPherson North Side Gal
3. The Meows This Man's Crazy
4. The F1eshtones Hard Lovin' Man
5. River City Rebe1s Her New Man
6. Heavy Trash The Loveless
7. Barrence Whitfie1d & the Savages Hey Little Girl
8. De1 Moroccos I Want Some More
9. Two Wounded Birds Daddy's Junk
10. The Computers Se1ina Chinese
11. The Detroit Cobras Shout Bama Lama
12. Jim Jones Revue High Horse
13. Lucero Women & Work
14. The Bamboo Kids Bad Man
15. Brand New Hate Hoochie Coochie Baby
16. Nick Curran & the Low Lifes Baby You Crazy
17. Janis Martin As Long As I'm Movin'
18. The New Trocaderos Real Gone Kitty
19. Joe E1y & Sue Fo1ey Great Balls of Fire
20. Teenage Head You're Tearing Me Apart
21. Lars Fredriksen & the Bastards 6 Foot 5
22. The Outrageous Va1entinos Action Man
23. The Fondas Might As Well Go
24. The Dozen Dimes All I Wanna Do Is Roll
25. The Stompers Rock, Jump, and Holler
26. The Swingin' Neckbreakers Rip It, Rip It Up
27. Nikki Hi1l Strapped To The Beat
28. Screamin' Stukas Action
29. Chuck E. Weiss Jimmy Would
30. 1an Hunter Still Love Rock 'n' Roll

Monday, October 20, 2014

12 by You Am I

Popular in their home country of Australia yet puzzlingly obscure everywhere else, You Am I occupy that gray area in the UnHerd universe. A populist band whose only sin was to favor those heralded virtues of the past: melody, hooks, guitars, and passion packed into the 3 minute glory shot. They combined go-for-broke rock & roll with wit and wounded romanticism in a way that's comparable to the Replacements, with front man Tim Rogers equally liable to pen a heart-on-the-sleeve confessional ballad as a raging slab of punk insolence. That unclassifiable range, of course, might be the aspect that kept them from the larger audience they so clearly deserved - but it's also what turned me into such a fan. Their last transmission as a band was in 2010, so let's hope this story isn't finished yet.

Hit Me Hard and Hit Me Low

1. Baby Clothes
2. If We Can't Get It Together
3. Heavy Heart
4. Radio Rumble
5. ...And Vandalism
6. Kick a Hole in the Sky
7. One Cent Coins
8. Deliverance
9. Crash
10. Gunslingers
11. Givin' Up and Gettin' Fat
12. We Hardly Knew You

Tracks 1, 2 from Hourly, Daily (1996)
Tracks 3, 4, 5 from You Am I's #4 Record (1998)
Track 6 from Dress Me Slowly (2001)
Track 7 from Damage EP (2000)
Track 8, 9 from Deliverance (2002)
Track 10 from Convicts (2007)
Track 11 from Dilettantes (2008)
Track 12 from You Am I (2010)

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Faves of 2014 (Vol. 2)

Still behind any regular schedule, but still finding the gems. This past third of the year has seen some amazingly good releases, and some equally amazing teasers for upcoming releases. It looks like when it's all said and done, and after a slow start, 2014 will be as good a year for UnHerd music as any.

And on an up note, I've recently heard the new Spoon reckid blasting from a yuppie mansion and at the local gym. That suggests Spoon have wormed their way into the consciousness of the greater public, which is extremely gratifying for someone that's been a fan since their days of being booted off the A&M label. "The Agony of Lafitte" must seem like a million years ago to Britt Daniel. Congrats to him and them. And even further congrats for They Want My Soul, the album and the song. The album is completely awesome, and the song might be my favorite track the band has yet produced (which is why it's leading off this mix's hit parade).

It's a small victory for the good guys. Next task: get the rest of these bands blasting outta gyms, houses, and clubs.

 I'm an Anarchist Communist Feminist Phlebotomist

1.  Sp00n They Want My Soul
2.  S1oan Keep Swinging (Downtown)
3.  Brand New Hate Feeling Bad Feels Good
4.  Happiness It's On You
5.  Army Navy The Mistakes
6.  Lydia Love1ess I Really Wanna See You
7.  Har1an Pepper TV/ Let It Slide
8.  Stephen Lawrenson Obscuriosity
9.  The So1icitors If You Let Me Hold You
10. Bitrs Indigo
11. The #1s Sharon Shouldn't
12. Twin Peaks Making Breakfast
13. Reining Sound My My
14. Blue Skies for B1ack Hearts The Past
15. The Dwarves Sluts of the USA
16. Suger Stems Some Might Say
17. Nude Beech For You
18. Sp1it Squad  Feel The Same About You
19. A1vvays Archie, Marry Me
20. The Orwe11s Bathroom Tile Blues
21. The Phenomenauts One in Seven Billion Girl
22. Strand of 0aks Goshen '97
23. The Muffz Paint By Numbers
24. The Empty Harts I Don't Want Your Love (If You Don't Want Me)

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Summer 2014

This year's summer mix comes when there's not much summer left. Suffice to say, life has been considerably too busy to enjoy the sun as much as the little guy above. This mix is the usual sweltering smorgasbord of different eras and genres, and should work nicely for those last few pool parties - or even for that first hint of Fall. Summer's coming ----> summer's gone.

There's No Need To Be An Asshole

1.  Adam Danie1 Summer's Coming
2.  James Younger Quiet Life
3.  Pa1ma Violets California Sun
4.  Si1ver Sun Last Day
5.  Beach Day Walking On The Streets
6.  Bedouin Soundc1ash When The Night Feels My Song
7.  Brownsvi1le Station Go Out And Get Her
8.  The Vio1et Archers Time To Kill
9.  Ween Flutes Of Chi
10. The Zutons Valerie
11. Pa1oma Faith Taste My Own Tears
12. The Mounties Tokyo Summer
13. Dead Professiona1 Hold Back
14. Happiness Great Minds Think Alike, All Brains Taste The Same
15. Ted Leo + the Pharmacists Already Too Late
16. Auburn Day Dreamin'
17. Foxygn No Destruction
18. The F1eshtones Tear For Tear
19. Average Times Summer Nights
20. Nikki & the Corvettes Summertime Fun
21. The Lo1as Having A Party
22. Phonagraph Waiting For The Sun
23. Chrissy Hynde You Or No One
24. The Proper Ornaments Summer's Gone

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Covers Project Vol. XI

It's fairly obvious I'm a fan of covers. The reason for that has less to do with a recreation of the familiar (although that's part of it) and more to do with the reveal of a band's acknowledgement of the continuum and their self-awareness of where they stand in it.

One of the best examples of that notion was delivered by Marah during their tour for If I Didn't Laugh, I'd Cry. They opened the show with their version of the Jam's "In The City" and then closed it with Willie Nelson's "On The Road Again," and in between Marah played their original material, which sonically and unmistakably connected those two poles. I mean, there's almost no better description of Marah's music than first generation punk rock crossed with an outlaw cowboy. And Marah knew it and proclaimed it proudly, as musicians and as fans themselves.

For exactly that reason, I love hearing Joan Jett's uncontainable glee as she rips into one of the Stones' nastiest songs, or Daniel Ash exposing the glam undercurrent of Love & Rockets (or Bauhaus or Tones on Tail), or young upstarts the Strypes paying homage to spiritual granddaddy Nick Lowe. Ditto all of these tracks. Ditto all previous ten volumes.

And they're also kick-ass songs.

Your Tricks With Fruit Are Kinda Cute

1. Daniel Ash Rock on (David Essex)
2. Joan Jatt Star Star (Rolling Stones)
3. Uncle Tupalo I Wanna Destroy You (Soft Boys)
4. Aimee Mann Baby Blue (Badfinger)
5. The Jags Here Comes My Baby (Cat Stevens)
6. Reno Bo I'll Feel A Whole Lot Better (Byrds)
7. Frankenstein 3000 Tenement Funster (Queen)
8. The Flashcubes Do Anything You Wanna Do (Eddie & the Hot Rods)
9. The Hold Steady Hard Luck Woman (Kiss)
10. Del Amitri Cindy Incidentally (Faces)
11. Me First & the Gimme Gimmes Believe (Cher)
12. The Sirens Glycerine Queen (Suzi Quatro)
13. Supersockers Never Let Me Down Again (Depeche Mode)
14. Hoodoo Gurus I Heard Her Call My Name (Velvet Underground)
15. Locksley It's No Use (Gene Clark)
16. The Redbeards Gudbuy T'Jane (Slade)
17. Tommy Keane Have You Seen My Baby (Flamin' Groovies)
18. Rachel Gordon Goodbye to You (Scandal)
19. The Cry! Louie Louie (The Kingsmen)
20. The Strypes Heart of the City (Nick Lowe)
21. Los Straitjackets w/ Raul Malo Black is Black (Los Bravos)
22. Jim Keays Tell Me When It's Over (Dream Syndicate)
23. Mathew Sweet & Susana Hoffs All The Young Dudes (Mott the Hoople)
24. M.O.T.O. Dancing in the Moonlight (King Harvest)

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Faves of 2014 (Vol. 1)

Definitely running late on this first collection of fave tracks. I'd apologize, except that it's not due to laziness. I grab 'em as I find 'em, and the fact is 2014 has been a tad slow so far. It took a full five months to gather a mix's worth of songs that I like enough to pimp.

That's not to say the year has been lacking for awesome. The first third has already brought the return of blog faves the Breakdowns and Needles//Pins, as well as great new albums from Chains of Love, the Rich Hands, and the Cry! There's also Ted Leo and Aimee Mann teamed up as The Both (with an album that surpasses all expectation), and semi-supergroup Sweet Apple (with a guest list that includes Mark Lanegan, Bob Pollard, and J. Mascis), and the perennial blast from supa-rock stalwarts the Fleshtones. As well there's a swack of new discoveries (for me) like J.J. & the Real Jerks, Stagecoach, Role Models, and the totally awesome Nuclears. And everything else on the mix is guaranteed 100% Grade A quality UnHerd hits.

And that quality acts as my excuse. The process takes time. It takes searching and scouring. So much listened to, so much rejected, so many important chores ignored. Until, finally, there's the few gleaming nuggets left to compile. After all, you can't expect gems like these to just fall from the heavens.

I Got A New Tattoo And Money From Home

1. The Breakdowns Sweet Pamela Jayne
2. The Cry! Discotheque
3. The Both Milwaukee
4. The Nuclears Suburban Gurls
5. Stagecoach 56k Dial-Up
6. Sweet Apple Wish You Could Stay (A Little Longer)
7. Pink Mountaintops New Teenage Mutilation
8. Penny Blacks The Digital Age
9. J.J. & the Real Jerks Out Of My Means
10. Needles//Pins Only Call Me When You're Drunk
11. Tweens I'm Gonna Steal Your Boyfriend
12. The Rich Hands No Harm Blues
13. Chains of Love It's a Shame
14. Sacret Sisters Black and Blue
15. Sleeper Agent Me On You
16. Steve Cante Dark in the Spotlight
17. Role Models Saturday Night
18. Sky Pilots Only When It Rains
19. Phonograph California
20. The Fleshtones Hipster Heaven
21. Petter Baarli Don't Start Again
22. Honeyblood Killer Bangs
23. The Men Going Down

Saturday, May 10, 2014


Well, who'da thunk it, but it turns out that Netkups deletes files with no warning, so fuck them and fuck that. A new game plan has become necessary.

What I'll do from here on out is first post mixes with a temporary link from a reliable source like Zippyshare (and, yes, maybe even Netkups). That link will be for the first rush of downloads. And then after that the files will be archived in Mediafire.

"But why Mediafire," I hear you ask, "When they've totally boned you in the past?" That's a good question, and I'm glad you brought it up. Because Mediafire may not always work, but the files don't get deleted. And frankly, I'm getting pretty annoyed at constantly needing to do these re-up posts.

And besides, this site has so few downloads that any kind of archive will suffice for the handful of latecomers. As far as I can tell, there's less than a hundred of you who've found this corner of the net and bother to return on a regular basis. Which is the way it should be. It can't be Un-Herd if there's a herd involved, after all.

So, all that said, here are a pile of re-ups:

Faves of 2013 Vol 1
Faves of 2013 Vol 2
Faves of 2013 Vol 3
Best of 2013
Summer 2012
Summer 2013
Covers Vol. 10
Christmas 2013
Hello My Name is Mix Vol 5
Greatest Songs in the History of the Universe
Orphans 2013
12 Songs By Link Wray 

Dig in.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

2013 Orphans Mix

Here's the deal: I try to stay caught up with new music, and try to pimp it on a timely basis, but there's just so much great stuff that manages to slip by without me noticing (or, more precisely, without me noticing until after I compile my Best of the Year list). That means there's always a batch of truly worthwhile songs and albums from every year that get stranded on their lonesome, ignored on the Faves mixes and unfairly left off the year-end round-up; unheard even by Un-Herd.

So the Orphans mixes do their best to rectify that, even if it's frustratingly too late. There are songs from singles and EPs, songs that didn't fit on other collections, and tunes - from the Mayflowers and the Scruffs - that date back to 2012 (I'm really late to the party on those). As well, this mix contains songs from two albums (The Bad Lovers Wild Times and Wyldlife The Time Has Come To Rock & Roll) that would have easily been in my 2013 Top 20 had I known about them. They're both spectacular and distinct takes on the kind of sleazy, punk and glam-inspired rock & roll this blog lives for, and it's a crime neither got the major attention they deserve.

A big thank-you goes to Sir Rick Laferriere, who has once again hepped me to the existence of a slew of artists and bands. And, as always, the biggest thanks goes to all the bands out there on the front lines, fighting the good fight. You are, eventually, heard.

It's Just Another Case of Here We Go Again

1. Gringo Star The Start
2. The Mayflowers Cat's Boro Blues
3. Wyldlife Trash
4. Mozes & the Firstborn What's Wrong Momma?
5. Miss Chain & the Broken Heels Don't Look Back
6. Dirt Farmer All I Know
7. Sugar Stems Love You To Pieces
8. Bye Bye Blackbirds Shook Down Softly
9. Kim Salmon & Spencer P. Jones It's All The Same
10. The Danks Experimental Fiction
11. Super Wild Horses Heavy Step
12. The Menzingers The Shakes
13. Nato Coles & the Blue Diamond Band See Some Lights
14. Giuda Yellow Dash
15. Lisa Mychols Foolin' the World
16. Imperial State Electric Underwhelmed
17. The Bamboos Your Lovin' Is Easy
18. Tranzplants Something's Different
19. The Woggles Take It To The People
20. Sweet Talk Pickup Lines
21. The Scruffs Take Me Downtown
22. The New Trocaderos The Kids
23. The Bad Lovers Got It Bad
24. Willis Earl Beal (w/ Cat Power) Coming Through

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Greatest Songs in the History of the Universe

There are a number of songs that I keep returning to throughout my life, and they act as a sort of re-set, a yardstick for all others to be measured against. If there's a brand spankin' new fave tune in 2014, for example, it has to stand against "Sweet Jane" in order for me to comprehend where it belongs in the great rock & roll continuum. So I had this notion to compile those songs on a single mix. It seemed do-able at the time.

What I neglected to take into account was the sheer amount of stone cold classics I would be dealing with. That might seem like an obvious oversight - it's certainly obvious to me now.  So then it became a matter of defining exactly what basis I'd have for including a track on the mix, and then attempting to remain consistent. What I ended up doing was focusing on the songs that are my bedrock. These are the songs that created my music preferences, for better or worse, and I can project forward or back from all of these songs to account for pretty much everything I like. Obviously I had to make some harsh omissions: there's barely anything from the 50s and 60s, there's no reggae, no soul or R&B or girl groups or anything recorded within the past 30 years. But like I said, all of those genres and eras are referenced directly or indirectly somewhere in these 22 tunes.

There's some odd choices, for sure. Out of the entire Stiff Little Fingers discography, I picked an obscure deep cut over "Alternative Ulster" or "Roots Radicals Rockers and Reggae" - and the only explanation I can offer is that I just fuckin' love "Silver Lining." Ditto picks from the Stones and the Ramones. And what's a Michel Pagliaro track doing on here? I dunno, man. That song just spears me between the ears. Sometimes it's just the little details in the arrangement that push a song over the top for me. I've been listening to Mott the Hoople's "All The Way From Memphis" for over 40 years now, and I still get shivers during the instrumental coda when Mick Ralphs' guitar shoulder-checks Andy MacKay's sax outta the way and rides the song home. That stuff is magic. It's alchemy. It's catching lightning in a jar. And each of these tracks caught it.

And yeah, I'm sure I've missed many of your favorite tracks, so leave a comment telling me which one(s). I'd love to read them, plus they might force me to compile a second (or third) volume.

Look Out Honey 'Cuz I'm Using Technology

1. Ve1vet Underground Sweet Jane
2. Mott the Hoop1e All The Way From Memphis
3. Chaap Trick Southern Girls (Albini mix)
4. Big Star September Gurls
5. Ro11ing Stones Sway
6. The Sex Pisto1s Holidays in the Sun
7. The Beat1es Revolution
8. The Undertones Teenage Kicks
9. The On1y Ones Another Girl, Another Planet
10. Genya Ravan Jerry's Pigeons
11. The Saints Know Your Product
12. Bruce Springstaen Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out
13. Pretanders Precious
14. Iggy & the Staoges Search and Destroy
15. The Heartbreakers Born to Lose
16. The New York Do11s Personality Crisis
17. The Ram0nes Swallow My Pride
18. A1ice Cooper Under My Wheels
19. Stiff Litt1e Fingers Silver Lining
20. Pag1iaro Time Race
21. Faces Ooh La La
22. Patti Smith Gloria

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Best of 2013

I don't know how 2013 will be remembered, but, personally speaking, I'm pretty damn happy to get out of it alive. It was most definitely a weird year overall. Our mainstream culture seemed entirely obsessed with a minimally talented flap-assed skanklet who ran around with her tongue lolling out like an overheated dog on the streets of Calcutta. Meanwhile, the outsider underground continued to benefit from a resurgence of rock & roll true believers. I guess it's all just a matter of picking your kicks.

The Un-Herd Music Top 30 of 2013

1. The Bamboo Kids - Safe City Blues

30 songs chockful of everything these guys can think of, which amounts to a glorious sprawl of punk rock, Stones licks, pianos, horns, hooks and gutter wisdom.


 2. J. Roddy Walston & the Business - Essential Tremors

An unlikely mix of Southern blooze rock, indie rock, and 70s UK glam rock, somehow pieced together in a way that makes complete sense.

3. The Computers - Love Triangles, Hate Squares

Takes their soul/R&B/rock&roll impulses and polishes it to a sheen that illuminates the hooks, often sounding like what Elvis Costello aimed at on Get Happy!, but incorporating a stronger hardcore edge (as well as nabbing quotes from Little Richard).

 4. Zachary James & the All-Seeing Eyes - Space Case

Zachary James and the All Seeing Eyes have reanimated the corpse of Ziggy Stardust and dragged it into the new millennium,with lyrics of sci-fi romance and more musical nods to T.Rex than Bowie (and more to the Stones than either).

 5. Pat Todd & the Rankoutsiders - 14th & Nowhere

Rocks hard enough to frighten away most Americana fans, but Todd's also capable of simmering it all down to a quiet fury, which seems to quest after transcendence with equal parts pessimism and romance like a secular, faithless Van Morrison.

 6. James Younger - Feelin' American

This is expansive guitar pop, pulling a major influence from the Strokes debut even while summoning comparisons to artists like Tom Petty, Elvis Costello, and Paul Simon.

 7. The Connection - Let It Rock!

Although the Connection plow the same field the Ramones already dug (albeit with an even stronger influence from the 50s rock & roll source) they miraculously have that same Joey Ramone gift for melody that prevents them from falling into mere revivalism.

 8. Black Joe Lewis - Electric Slave

Steamrollers out of the gate like some unholy mutant cross between ACDC and James Brown, and then picks up intensity from there. It's a violent maelstrom of sound that might just reclaim 50 years of music to its rightful originators.

 9. Chris Wilson - It's Flamin' Groovy!

Enlists help from fellow ex and future Flamin' Groovies Cyril Jordan and Roy Loney and creates an album that miraculously combines Shake Some Action with Teenage Head.

 10. Various - Rockin' Here Tonight: Songs For Slim

There's enough of a major artist guest list to interest something close to the mainstream, but it's the 2nd tier indie royalty that really pushes this over the top.

 11. The Grapes of Wrath - High Road
12. The Yum Yums - Play Good Music
13. Barrence Whitfield & the Savages - Dig Thy Savage Soul
14. Glitz - It'z Glitz
15. Greg Pope - Pop Motion Animation
16. Attic Lights - Super De Luxe
17. The Cliks - Black Tie Elevator
18. The Suburbs - Si Sauvage
19. Red Jacket Mine - Someone Else's Cake
20. Modern Kicks - Rock 'n' Roll's Anti Hero

21. Missing Monuments - Missing Monuments
22. Bad Sports - Bras
23. Deer Tick - Negativity
24. Beach Day Trip Trap Attack
25. The Charlie Watts Riots A Break In The Weather
26. Wyatt Blair - Banana Cream Dream
27. Neko Case - The Worse Things Get...
28. Dirty Fences - Too High To Kross
29. The Crunch - Busy Making Noise
30. Night Marchers - Allez! Allez!

Honorable Mentions:

Grimm Generation - The Big Fame
Warm Soda - Someone For You
Ulysses - Kill You Again
Rich Hands - Dreamers
Primitive Hearts - High & Tight
Foxygen - We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic
Jungle - Pacific Oblivion
Wild Belle - Isles
The Bamboos - Fever in the Road
Nick Piunti - 13 In My Head
Roman Candle - Debris
Howe Gelb - The Coincidentalist
Oblivians - Desperation
Willis Earl Beal - Nobody Knows
No Tomorrow Boys - Bad Luck Baby Put The Jinx On Me
Vegas With Randolph - Rings Around The Sun
King Khan & the Shrines - Idle No More
Silver Seas - Alaska
The Julie Ruin - Run Fast
The Dirtbombs - Ooey Gooey Chewy Ka-blooey!

Don't You Know The World Is Still Unfolding

1. Bamboo Kids Ain't A Man
2. J. Roddy Walston & the Business Black Light
3. The Computers Mr. Saturday Night
4. Zachary James & the All-Seeing Eyes Star People
5. Pat Todd & the Rankoutsiders You & Your Damn Dream
6. James Younger Two of a Kind
7. The Connection Girls in This Town
8. Grapes of Wrath Mexico
9. Chris Wilson Heart in Her Hand
10. Lucero (from Songs for Slim) From the Git Go
11. The Cliks Sleeping Alone
12. Black Joe Lewis Skulldiggin
13. The Yum Yums Too Much of a Good Thing
14. Barrence Whitfield & the Savages Bread
15. Glitz Paranoia
16. Greg Pope The Mattress
17. Attic Lights Don't You
18. The Suburbs Dumb Ass Kids
19. Red Jacket Mine Engineer
20. Modern Kicks So Many Nights
21. Beach Day Stay
22. Missing Monuments Another Girl
23. Bad Sports Let Me In
24. The Crunch A Matter of Time
25. The Sharks Turn On The Radio
26. The Charlie Watts Riots The More That You Change