Monday, December 19, 2016

Un-Herd Christmess 2016

2015 may have been a year of personal catastrophe, but 2016 aimed its hurt at everyone. In terms of music we lost an astounding amount of artists, and in terms of global politics we've collectively turned the corner towards some very dark times. All of which explains why this year it felt a little superficial to post a bunch of novelty Xmas tunes. Instead I've compiled a mix of bittersweet songs (some from 2016, most from whenever) with, ultimately, a message of hope. Stay warm out there, my friends.

Life's About Changes

1. Find1ay Brown Everybody Needs Love
2. Is1ands Christmas Tree
3. Butch Wa1ker Can We Just Not Talk About Last Night
4. Chuck Proffet Tell Me Anything
5. Chris Mi11s All's Well That Ends
6. Attic Lites Winter On
7. Tim Easten Killing Time
8. Secrat Sisters I Cannot Find A Way
9. La Rocca Ripping Down
10. Pernice Bros. Let That Show
11. Izzie Bizzu Lost Paradise
12. The Breakers If You Need Someone
13. Over the Rhine Last Night On Earth Again
14. Shove1s & Rope w/ JD McPherson Nothing Takes The Place of You
15. Justin Townes Ear1e Slippin' and Slidin'
16. Cash Bros. Night Shift Guru
17. Belleville Universe
18. Mark Sandman Patience
19. Push Starz Drunk Is Better Than Dead
20. Driveby Truckers Everybody Needs Love

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Faves of 2016 (Vol. 3)

Teetering on the very brink of societal collapse tends to put me a little on edge. If you're feeling the same, then maybe this is the time to appreciate a small sprinkling of good vibes in the form of another Faves mix.

This one's been a long time coming, so you know it's crammed full of the best of what I've found out there. It also breaks my primary, if arbitrary, rule of keeping the running time down to what fits on a CDR: it's one minute over, for those who care. That means you'll have to customize your burn by deleting your least fave track. I have to admit, I'm kind of curious what that would be. Use the comments if you feel like volunteering that info (regardless of whether or not you use the primitive technology of CDs) .

In the meantime, let's all try to stay on the same side.

It Doesn't Have To Be This Way

1. The Dah1manns P1ay It (On Repeat)
2. Te1ephone Lovers Downtown Girl
3. S1ick! Mother Fucker!
4. Pa1e Lips Doo Wah Diddy Shim Sham Shimmy (Bama Lama Loo)
5. The F1eshtones Rick Wakeman's Cape
6. Dot Dash The Infinite
7. The Richmond S1uts I Wanna Know
8. The Loved How Do You Fall In Love
9. Steve Adamnyk Band Broken Arms
10. The Legal Matters Short Term Memory
11. Cymba1s Eat Guitars Wish
12. Luke Hanes Marc Bolan B1ues
13. C.R.X Ways to Fake It
14. Margaret G1aspy You and I
15. Bosco Rogers The Midd1e
16. The Ro1e Mode1s The Ditch
17. Ginger St James Hair of the B1ackdog
18. Nik Waterhouse The Old P1ace
19. Somerdale The Coolest Kid in the Room
20. A1ejandro Escovedo Shave the Cat
21. Fashionism Subcu1ture Suicide
22. Night Schoo1 Last Disaster
23. Ryan Allen & His Extra Arms Watch Me Explode
24. Sweet Thangs Love to Leave
25. Belleville Looking For My Place
26. Car Seat Hedrest Drunk Drivers/Ki11er Whales

Saturday, September 17, 2016

U.H.M. O.M.G. W.T.F.


1. Tonio K H.A.T.R.E.D.
2. Chixdiggit C.G.I.T.
3. Ike Rei11y B.I.G.O.T.
4. Wy1d1ife S.W.A.K.
5. Ginger T.W.A.T.
6. Joen Jett A.C.D.C.
7. White Reeper B.T.K.
8. The Godfathers S.T.B.
9. The Nomads T.C.P.
10. The 1nsomniacs E.G.A.R.A.G.
11. The So1icitors D.D.T.
12. Rache1 Sweet B.A.B.Y.
13. Nathanie1 Rate1iff & the Night Sweats S.O.B.
14. Steve Ear1e N.Y.C.
15. Drivin 'n Cryin R.E.M.
16. JD McPherson B.G.M.O.S.R.N.R.
17. The Doits U.G.L.Y.
18. The Dogs M.A.U.R.E.E.N.
19. Ravonettes D.R.U.G.S.
20. E1astica S.O.F.T.
21. Dirty Fences R.S.C.
22. The Rep1acements I.O.U.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Not That Kind Of Girl

Here's a close cousin to the All Kindsa Girls mix from early in 2015. The theme is fairly obvious - maybe a little too obvious, because there's so many awesome "girl" songs to pick from that I've got a Volume 2 (which even kicks off with a whole different song called "Not That Kind of Girl") compiled already. It's not too late for suggestions though. In fact, I'd appreciate it because, in the realm of the obvious, I feel like some of the most obvious are eluding me.

He Looks Like Pete Murphy To Me

1. Rocket Not That Kind Of Girl
2. The YoYos Sunshine Girl
3. Nick Curran & the Low1ifes Reform School Girl
4. Materia1 Issue Ordinary Girl
5. Coyote Shivers Bisexual Girl
6. Miss 45 Weekend Girl
7. The Lime Spyders Slave Girl
8. Sun Wizard Golden Girl
9. Ike Rei11y Assassination Farm Girl
10. The Boyz Punk Rock Girl
11. The Paybacks Black Girl
12. The Stemms Sad Girl
13. The Undecided By Defau1t Nobody's Girl
14. Giant Sand Milkshake Girl
15. The Sorrows Lonely Girl
16. The Prissteens Party Girl
17. John Wes1ey Harding Goth Girl
18. The Muffz Rock and Roll Girl (Beat cover)
19. The Yum Yumz Imaginary Girl
20. Matthew Sweet American Girl (Petty cover)
21. The Nice Boyz Another Girl
22. The Greatest Liar Motel Girl
23. The Pogues London Girl
24. Brins1ey Schwarz Country Girl
25. S'Coo1 Girls Destiny Girl

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

A Tragic Sampler

Last week, the Tragica11y Hip's last show snuck up on me. I don't mean that I didn't know it was coming; I mean I didn't fully realize the magnitude of meaning the event would have on me. As the show began, I told my girlfriend (who is American) that I didn't know much of the band's music, and explained that for me they were like Pearl Jam or REM: all long-lived bands that followed their own peculiar muses with little consolation to the mass market and earned my respect more than my fandom. Nothing wrong with any of them, but I'm not getting the tattoo. And then, as the concert continued, I realized how many of the songs weren't just songs I knew, but songs that seemed part of my DNA.

This will not be a mix for Canadians. These songs most will already know all too well. These songs are the reason the band's final concert was such a big deal it facillitated the national broadcaster to postpone their coverage of the Olympics to air the entire show, uninterrupted and sponsor-free. These songs are why an entire nation was forced - relunctantly, tragically, and ultimately jubilantly - to come to terms with their own mortality as vocalist Gord Downie faced his own grim diagnosis so valiantly. These are the tracks that your typical Canadian will roll their eyes at while complaining that I forgot "Blow at High Dough" or "Nautical Disaster" or "place favorite Hip song here."

But these are also the songs that will be revelatory to people who are new to the band and remain kinda confused by it all - and that's who it's aimed at. If you find nothing here to like, then go no further. If, on the other hand, you find an entry point or two, then there's a 30 year discography to dig into. Take it slow and - as an entire nation learned so profoundly - enjoy every fleeting minute while you do.

One Nation Under Gord

1. Small Town Bringdown
2. Last American Exit
3. New Orleans is Sinking
4. Boots or Hearts
5. Little Bones
6. Long Time Running
7. Courage
8. Locked in the Trunk of a Car
9. Grace, Too
10. Ahead by a Century

Tracks 1, 2 from self-titled EP (1987)
Tracks 3, 4 from Up To Here (1989)
Tracks 5, 6 from Road Apples (1991)
Tracks 7, 8 from Fully, Completely (1992)
Track 9 from Day For Night (1994)
Track 10 from Trouble At The Hen House (1996)

Monday, August 1, 2016

BC Day

On the occasion of BC Day, August 1st, 2016, the Un-Herd Music presents a hastily assembled mix of artists hailing from the great province of British Columbia. I'm sure there's a bunch of omissions I'll remember tomorrow, but this isn't meant to be any kind of organized comprehensive best-of anyway. Maybe it'll become an annual event.

I Think We Can Overlook That Tonight

1. The Smugg1ers Vancouver BC
2. Mark K1einer Power Trio So Good To See You
3. The Yoko Casionos Cigregrettes
4. Jody Burch Rock & Roll Karma
5. Pink Mountaintops Through All The Worry
6. Sons of Freedom Super Cool Wagon
7. Art Bergmann (She) Hit Me
8. Rich Hope & His Evi1 Doers Sweet Vanilla
9. Vea1 Everybody Wants More Cocaine
10. Need1es//Pins Outta This Place
11. Jerk With a Bomb Those Hard Wrecks
12. Chains of Love In Between
13. The Manvi1s Pretty Bleed
14. John Ford Bullets For Dreamers
15. Jung1e Come Into My Life
16. New Pornographers The Slow Descent Into Alcoholism
17. Rat Si1o Oh, Fuck Off Tony
18. Pure Denial
19. S1ow Have Not Been The Same
20. Bum Bent on Being Bent
21. Grapes of Wrath Good To See You
22. The Circus in F1ames Down on the Fraser

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Summer 2016

It may be worth reiterating that the summer mixes are meant as something to play when no one's really listening too closely. A backyard get-together, drinks poured, some good talk, and, in the background, a playlist that matches the mood and (maybe) pleases a variety of tastes. That's not to say these songs don't warrant closer inspection, of course - just that there's no grand theme binding them together. It's all about mood. And the mood is summer.

Y'know, now that I think of it, that's probably a mood entirely peculiar to myself. Goddammit, that just sent a pall over my backyard get-together. Oh well. Have you heard the new Fergie single? Did you know there's a Nicke1back greatest hits album? Yeah. So, uh...mood schmood. Shit could be a LOT worse.

Sometimes You Wait For a Band of Sunshine to Appear

1. Tommy & the Rockits Here Comes Summer
2. Weazer (Girl We Got A) Good Thing
3. Admira1 Freebee Let It Shine
4. Wor1d Party Sunshine
5. Bever1y Crooked Cop
6. Keeps I Don't Mind
7. Mott the Hoop1e Alice
8. The Iguanas Oye Isabel
9. Waxwings Keeping the Sparks
10. Minky Starshine Lady London
11. Trashcan Sinatras Ain't That Something
12. The Suffers Slow It Down
13. Wild Be11e It Was You (Baby Come Back To Me)
14. Tanika Char1es  Two Steps
15. Teenage Frames Totally Inconsiderate
16. Baby Shakes Summer Sun
17. Thee Attacks It's Alright
18. The Verbs I Saw The Light
19. Wet Willy Keep On Smiling
20. Mick Rodes & the Hard 8 Last Summer

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Faves of 2016 (Vol. 2)

2016 continues to bring the rawk, along with the promise of more in the fall. This particular collection will work as a somewhat wilder/louder companion to the upcoming summer mix - upbeat, melodic tunes that'll nicely soundtrack a  martini* weekend.

 Sometimes I Wonder What I'm Doing

1. The Hunches Whatcha Gonna Do?
2. The Crazy Squeeeze To The Lonely Ones
3. Is1ands Back To It
4. The Ki11s Heart of a Dog
5. Twin Peeks Keep It Together
6. The Serotones Don't Need It
7. Byrd of Youth Sons & Daughters
8. Mi1es Nei1sen Stranger
9. The Coathangers Dumb Baby
10. Papernut Cambredge Radio
11. James Hunter 6 Stranded
12. East of Venus Jane September
13. The Gee Strings Situations
14. Misty Mi11er Other Girls
15. Cu1ture Abuse Yuckies
16. The Maine Grains Unscrewed
17. Tido Stone To The Marshes
18. Cheep Trick Blood Red Lips
19. So What Why Can't I See You Tonight
20. Giuda It Ain't Easy
21. Radio Days Rock 'n' Roll Night
22. Fuzzy Vox Don't Leave Me Behind
23. Mick Rodes & the Hard 8 Since You
24. Pat Todd & the Rankoutsiders Gone Are the Days

*can be substituted for beer, wine, or cocktail of your choice

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Hello My Name Is Mix (Vol. 6)

In my continued, unexamined quest to make this blog the sole repository on the entire internet of songs named after people, here are some more (*cough*) songs named after people.

Hello My Name Is...

1. Curt Baker Emma Stone
2. Hot Panda Linda Ronstadt
3. The Apers Jamie Oliver
4. Matt Whipkey Gary Flanagan
5. Admira1 Freebee Kim Basinger
6. Simon Love Elton John
7. Grizfo1k Bob Marley
8. Night Moves Carl Sagan
9. Swedish Po1arbears Norman Blake
10. Lydia Love1ess Chris Isaak
11. Nerf Herder Allie Goertz
12. Tacocat Dana Katherine Scully
13. Bent Shapes Samantha West
14. The Nasty On Lester Bangs
15. S1ow Faction Woody Guthrie
16. The Tranzmitors Alma Blackwell
17. Razorbats Betty Boop
18. Cowboy Mouth Joe Strummer
19. Gospe1beacH Mick Jones
20. Free Time Peter Green
21. The Sugarp1astic Polly Brown
22. Any Troub1e Glen Campbell
23. Cliff Hi11is David Crosby
24. The Phi11y Craw1ers Lee Remick

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Covers Project Vol. 14

If I learned one lesson from my last harddrive crash, it was that it's pointless to stash a pile of mixes solely in iTunes playlists. Fuggers disappear without a trace. So from here on in I'm gonna try to post 'em as I compile 'em, which should explain why this covers mix follows so closely on the heels of the most recent faves mix.

I'm not promising this kind of frequency as the norm. There's no way I can realistically expect good intentions to compete in any way with my inherent laziness. Also, while I'm coming clean about expectations - and pic to the contrary - don't expect any disco on this one (or any one). Although please feel free to rollerskate to yer heart's content.

The Radio's Playing Some Forgotten Song

1. Wi11ie Ni1e Sweet Jane (Velvet Undergound)
2. The Stripes Come Together (Beatles)
3. Sober Sisters & the Dirty Four Radar Love (Golden Earring)
4. The Do11yrots Rock 'n' Ro11 All Nite (Kiss)
5. The Verbs Baby Blue (Badfinger)
6. The Cherry Drops I Wanna Be With You (Raspberries)
7. Wy1dlife Rock Candy (Brats)
8. The Sirens Gudbuy T'Jane (Slade)
9. Waco Bros. All Or Nothing (Small Faces)
10. The Nomads American Slang (Jack Oblivion)
11. The C1arks I Want You Bad (NRBQ, via the Long Ryders)
12. Downtown Boys Dancing in the Dark (Bruce Springsteen)
13. The Dah1manns Teenage News (Sylvain Sylvain)
14. Frankenstein 3000 Star (David Bowie)
15. 69 Cats Werewolves of London (Warren Zevon)
16. Nikki Hi11 Twistin' The Night Away (Sam Cooke)
17. V.V. Brown Video Killed The Radio Star (Bruce Wooley, via the Buggles)
18. Baby1on Zoo Honaloochie Boogie (Mott the Hoople)
19. Rooney Metal Guru (T.Rex)
20. Robyn Hitchcock Let Me Roll It (Wings)
21. Tim Armstrong Ooh La La (Faces)
22. Lords of A1tamont Gimme Shelter (Rolling Stones)

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Faves of 2016 Vol. 1

This first faves mix is coming a little earlier than in most years. That means one of two possibilities: either 1) this year is gonna be packed full of the punkpopglamtrash'n'roll this blog is dedicated to, or 2) my quality control has jumped the shark along with a variety of other sea creatures. And frankly, I don't believe that last one for a second.

Only extra note is that the Wy1dlife song is from 2015 - but I missed it and it's awesome, so it's included with the hopes that the boys have a new reckid comin' down the pike for this year.

Don't hesitate. Jump on in.

I Believe in Underachieving as a Systematic Tactic to Preserve Your Freedom

1. The Wi1d Feathers Happy Again
2. Muncie Gir1s I Don't Want to Talk About It
3. Jack Ob1ivion & the Sheiks Fast Friends
4. Javier Escovedo Downtown
5. The 1 Don't Cares Born for Me
6. B1eached Sour Candy
7. Hinds Chi1i Town
8. Prope11er You Remind Me of You
9. Aubrie Se11ers Dreaming in the Day
10. Dany Laj & the Looks Sma11 Town Kid
11. M. Ward Time Won't Wait Up
12. Mother's Chi1dren No Rules
13. Pub1ic Access TV On Location
14. Tacocat I Hate the Weekend
15. Cheap Star The Other Side
16. The Breakdowns Your Hand in Mine
17. Dr. Dog Dead Record P1ayer
18. Wy1d1ife (It's Ca11ed) Rock 'n' Roll
19. Ginger Wi1dheart Do You?
20. Bent Shapes Rea1ization Hits
21. Benji Hughes Longshot
22. Basia Bu1at Long Goodbye

Saturday, March 5, 2016

2015 Orphans Mix

I always hold off on compiling my Best of the Year list until deep into January, and even then there's always a stack of shoulda-been hits I never managed to hear in time. Subsequently, I use the Orphans series as a place to house such lost gems - as well as being a repository for some of the tracks that just never quite sonically fit in during the year. This time out, however, I'm breaking my own rule by including tracks by the Ravyns and CVB (which date back to 2014), Va11ey Lodge (2013), and the Nomads (2012). All the rest obediently adhere to the established UHM tenets, meaning they're from 2015. Also meaning they totally rock.

I'll Be Your Oyster, If You Be My Pearl

1. B1itzen Trapper Rock & Roll Was Made For You
2. The Be11furies Bad Seed Sown
3. Jetbone Fifth Time Loser
4. Honeymoon Disease You're Too Late
5. The Pi1grims Smokes Too Much
6. The Ravyns Incidentally Baby
7. Shove1s & Rope w/ Butch Wa1ker Bullet Belt
8. At1antic Thri11s Treat My Baby
9. Thee Tsunamis Cry Baby
10. Va11ey Lodge Kiss Me, I'm Drunk
11. The New Trocaderos I'm So Bad
12. Modern Kicks Up All Night
13. Curt Baker I Can't Wait
14. Camper Von Beethoven It Was Like That When We Got Here
15. Matt Whipkey 1:59
16. Nick Waterhouse It No. 3
17. Graham Parker & the Rumour Swing State
18. The Stone Foxes New York Ta1k
19. The Breakdowns I Know Your Name, I Lost Your Number
20. The Vo1canics What I Found
21. The Nomads You Won't Break My Heart
22. Cristopher the Conquered I'm Giving Up On Rock & Roll

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Best of 2015

The Un-Herd Music Top 40 of 2015

1. The Barreracudas Can Do Easy

Power pop punk glam trash armed with an amazing arsenal of hooks and a fearless hold on that old rock & roll rhythm. True believers.

2. Ike Reilly Born On Fire

Connects the dots between '65 Dylan, '77 punk, ancient blues & right fuckin' now with an earned swagger.

 3. Royal Headache High

Band crashes & bashes, the singer soars, the album targets nothing less than pop immortality & hits it right between the eyes.

 4. JD McPherson Let The Good Times Roll

JD flirts with the rock & roll revivalist retro ghetto but imbues every classic move with a modern sheen, turning old dead ends into a freeway of fresh thrills.

 5. Dot Dash Earthquakes & Tidal Waves

Dot Dash have expanded from the brittle post-punk of their previous albums to incorporate ever more melodic strains in their DNA, from the 80s all the way up to the immediate future.

 6. Minky Starshine Pop Jewelry

Streamlined and sleek power pop with its focus squarely set on gorgeous, laid-back songcraft.

7. Diane Coffee Everybody's A Good Dog

It turns out the true follow-up to Foxygen's masterful "We Are The 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic" was by drummer Shaun Fleming's side project Diane Coffee. A cuinsinart of genre fuckery that doesn't forget the tunes.

 8. The Role Models The Go-To Guy

Rough, tough Replacements-style what-the-fuck, complete with the requisite doses of hopelessness and world-beater arrogance.

9. Simi Stone Simi Stone

There's equal streaks of 50s doo wop and 70s Laurel Canyon singer/songwriter cool running through Simi's mellow take on modern R&B that is endlessly awesome.

 10. Lucero All A Man Should Do

Lucero all grown up and glossed with big time production. Old time fans might miss the sharp punk edges, but Ben Nichols' songs carry the depth and melody to merit a place in the Memphis soul tradition.

11. The Sonics This Is The Sonics
12. Simon Love It Seemed Like A Good Idea At The Time
13. The Ballantynes Dark Drives, Life Signs
14. Sugar Sugaar - Strange Kicks
15. Orange Humble Band - Depressing Beauty
16. Terra Lightfoot - Every Time My Mind Runs Wild
17. Turbo Fruits - No Control
18. Donald Cumming - Out Calls Only
19. Dr. Boogie - Gotta Get Back To New York City
20. Dan Kelly - Leisure Panic

21. Low Cut Connie - Hi Honey
22. Ryan Hamilton - Hell Of A Day
23. Baby Shakes - Starry Eyes
24. Biters - Electric Blood
25. Downtown Boys - Full Communism
26. Leon Bridges - Coming Home
27. Barrence Whitfield & the Savages - Under A Savage Sky
28. Shovels & Rope - Busted Jukebox Vol. 1
29. White Reaper - White Reaper Does It Again
30. Nikki Hill - Heavy Hearts, Hard Fists

31. Reno Bo - Lessons From A Shooting Star
32. Courtney Barnett - Sometimes I Sit And Think...
33. Blow Monkeys - If Not Now, When?
34. Ryan Allen & His Extra Arms - Heart String Soul
35. Andra Day - Cheers to the Fall
36. The Connection - Labor of Love
37. Jesse Malin - New York Before The War
38. Thunderbitch - Thunderbitch
39. Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats - Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats
40. Prima Donna - Nine Lives & Forty Fives

Favorite EPs of 2015:

The Breakdowns - Heavy Metal Bombs
Modern Kicks - The Kicks Ain't All Right
The Pilgrims - Shred Savage
Rooni - Yodo
Rooni - Pilot

And, finally, a sampler mix of some of my absolute favorites from that list. There's no specific order to the mix - just tried to keep the flow - and to that end I've picked fairly randomly from the entire top 40. I'm hoping you'll find something that'll lead you to an entire album (or albums) of new faves.If that's ever the case (or is never the case), let me know in the comments. 

And thanks for hangin' around and hangin' in.  All the best in 2016!
Final Boarding Call For The Chosen Ones

1. Ike Rei11y Notes from the Denver International Airport
2. Roya1 Headache Wouldn't You Know 
3. Dot Dash Flowers
4. The Ro1e Mode1s Lie For Today
5. The Barreracudas Long Explanation
6. JD McPherson It's All Over But The Shouting
7. Ryan Hami1ton Records and Needles
8. Minky Starshine Drive
9. Simi Stone Good Girl
10. Simon Love The New Adam and Eve
11. Terra Lightfoot Never Will
12. Diane Coffee Mayflower
13. White Reaper Sheila
14. Low Cut Connie Both of My Knees
15. Nikki Hi11 Nothin' With You
16. Lucero Young Outlaws
17. Sugar Sugaar Sweet City
18. Turbo Fruits Don't Change
19. Downtown Boys Wave of History
20. Baby Shakes Teenage Cloud
21. Dona1d Cumming Workin' It Out
22. The Ballantynes My Place Your Town
23. Dr. Boogie Life On The Breadline
24. Biters Dreams Don't Die