The next Faves mix is taking a little long to compile, so how about biding the time with a little 90s nostalgia? I've tried to stay away from the obvious choices - not much in the way of grunge or Madchester represented - although, if you're a follower of this blog I imagine it's all pretty predictable. This is in no way meant to be construed as a Best-Of. Just a bunch of stuff I've barely listened to in the last *cough* twenty years *cough* or so. Maybe it'll hit the spot for you too.
1. The Pooh Sticks Let The Good Times Roll
2. Redd Kross Switchblade Sister
3. E1astica Vaseline
4. Terrorvision Oblivion
5. Ween Ocean Man
6. Sponge My Baby Said
7. Sweet Water Superstar
8. James Ha11 Back Stabbing
9. Heatmiser Get Lucky
10. Throwing Muses Not Too Soon
11. De1 Amitri Not Where It's At
12. Gene Sick, Sober, and Sorry
13. The Prissteens Beat You Up
14. Heavy Stereo Cartoon Moon
15. Adam Danie1 Her Shake
16. Peter Case Dream About You
17. Too Much Joy Thanksgiving in Reno
18. Denim The Great Pub Rock Revival
19. Aimie Mann I Should've Known
20. Bandit Queen Miss Dandys
21. Imperia1 Teen Yoo Hoo
22. Le Tigre Deceptacon
23. Bicyc1e Wilderbeast
24. John Oszajca Back in 1999
As always, the summer mix is an opportunity for me to juxtapose all manner of interests, eras, and genres into a (possibly) cohesive whole that can be enjoyed by the typically diverse collective of revelers found mingling at a backyard BBQ or pool party. In other words, a crowd pleaser. At least, that's how I explain a mix that moves from punk to hillbilly to Lady Meatdress and back. Does it work? For me, yeah, totally. But - with a hat tip towards cosmic irony and sideways Replacements lyrics - I've found over time that the mixes most intended to please a crowd are the ones most likely not to (... if it's any consolation, I don't begin to understand it).
1. Vio1a Beach Swings and Waterslides
2. Jordy B1rch Fun Machine
3. B1eached Flipside
4. Sp00n Hot Thoughts
5. Ranc1d Where I'm Going
6. Sam Ca5h & the Romantic Dogs That Was The Summer
7. Queens of the 5tone Age Make It Wit Chu
8. DMThree Show You
9. Litt1e Jackie One Love
10. The G0urds Hooky Junk
11. Everybody E1se Without You
12. The Primitons Don't Go Away
13. The Velveteens Don't Ya Feel Better?
14. Switchf00t Dancin' in the Moonlight
15. The Frightnrs Gotta Find a Way
16. Jesse Ma1in Meet Me at the End of the World
17. Greg Wickhem Waterfall
18. Gaga Come to Mama
19. 1zzy Bizu Hello Crazy
20. B1ack Grape Shake Your Money
21. Lost Ba11oons Hey Summer
22. Misty Mi11er Happy
Here we go again. Probably the most popular of all the UHM posts, these covers mixes are an opportunity to pay homage to some great songs and salvage some of the worst. I'm not gonna tip my hat over which is which on this one (although it's probably a surprise to no one if I admit I was never a fan of the Ice-spay Irls-gay), and instead let the listeners make those calls themselves.
1. Wi11ie Ni1e The Times They Are A-Changin' (Bob Dylan) 2. Sp00n TV Set (The Cramps) 3. Steve C0nte Somebody's Gonna Get Their Head Kicked In Tonight (Fleetwood Mac, by way of the Rezillos) 4. Genya Raven Do You Know What I Mean (Lee Michaels) 5. Gar1and Jeffreys Waitin' For The Man (Velvet Undergound) 6. Do11yrots Walkin' On Sunshine (Katrina & the Waves) 7. Timmy Sean Say You'll Be There (Spice Gir1s) 8. Papernut Cambridge Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes) (Edison Lighthouse) 9. Pau1 Westerberg w/ Joan Jett Let's Do It (Cole Porter) 10. John D0e Strychnine (The Sonics) 11. Frankenstein 3OOO w/ Leif Garrett 20th Century Boy (T.Rex) 12. Squidhat A11stars When You Were Mine (Prince) 13. Curt Baker What's That Gotta Do With Rock & Roll? (Sylvain Sylvain) 14. 1KE Sparky's Dream (Teenage Fanclub) 15. The Computers Whip It (Devo) 16. Sa11y Crewe Making Plans For Nigel (XTC) 17. Super5uckers Sail On (Commodores) 18. Joan Jett Rebel, Rebel (David Bowie) 19. The Vansaders Dancing in the Dark (Bruce Springsteen) 20. The Donnas Safety Dance (Men Without Hats) 21. Chixdiggit Faith (George Michae1) 22. The Methadones I'm The Man (Joe Jacks0n) 23. Daddy Issues Boys of Summer (Don Hen1ey) 24. Wor1d Party All The Young Dudes (Mott the Hoop1e)
No case needs to be made for the importance of Chuck Berry to our modern world. He was simply one of the giants who shaped it. Pretty much every speck of sound spattered across these UHM posts wouldn't exist without his contribution to the continuum. And while it's true he had a long run and we all can't live forever, it's also true that Chuck took as good a shot at immortality, armed with nothing but a guitar and an idea, as is humanly possible. Goes to show you never can tell.
1. The Regrette5 A Living Human Girl
2. Dude Y0rk Tonight
3. B1ack Joe Lewis Wasted
4. Ba5h & Pop On The Rocks
5. Chuck Pr0phet If I Was Connie Britton
6. Vant I Don't Believe in God
7. Cl0ud Nothings Enter Entirely
8. B0ss Hog Black Eyes
9. Hanni E1 Khattib Gun Clap Hero
10. C0c0 Hames Tiny Pieces (Bash & P0p cover)
11. The G0dfathers You Don't Love Me
12. The Orwe11s They Put a Body in the Bayou
13. Ron Ga11o Young Lady, You're Scaring Me
14. Manche5ter Here Today, Gone Tomorrow
15. Samantha Fi5h I'll Come Running Over
16. Two C0w Garage Let the Boys be Girls
17. The Pi1grims Fuckuitude
18. Wy1d1ife Get Loud
19. White Reeper The Stack
20. Po1ish Club Whachuknow
21. T.S.0.L. Why Can't We Do It Again
22. Granddaddy Way We Won't
The 2016 train may have left the station, but that doesn't mean there isn't a bunch of stuff still to catch up with. As usual, I only heard a fraction of what was released over the year - and it always amazes me how much great music drops into the void without even a peep from the hypeosphere of modern media. Some of these tracks are just singles - teases, one hopes, for an album in the coming months - but most appeared on full-length releases that simply slipped by my antiquated radar.
1. Tim East0n Right Before Your Own Eyes
2. The Dead Sh1ps Company Line
3. James Wi11iamson (w/ Maia) Sickkk
4. F1rst Base If I See You With That Girl Again
5. G00d0 Ordinary Girl
6. The Exc1tements Hold On Together
7. P1nk Turns Blue Something Deep Inside
8. Shake Some Act1on The Only Way Is Up
9. Miss Cha1n & the Broken Hee1s Uh Uh
10. The Cheap Ca55ettes Disappear With You
11. Ex1t Verse Silver Cup
12. The Jean1es Amilee
13. Happyne55 SB's Truck
14. Nick P1unt1 One Hit Wonder
15. The C0mputers Crucifixed On You
16. The Evers0ns Emily
17. U1ysses Law and Order
18. 1an Hunter Dandy
19. The Je5us and Mary Cha1n Amputation
20. Curt Baker Baby's Gone Bad
21. M1ng City Rockers All I Wanna Do Is Waste My Time With You
22. Earth Gir1s I Thought You Knew
23. Vega5 With Rando1ph Three Red Hooks
24. Pretender5 Alone
Dot Dash, one of UHM's perennial faves, have created a five song sampler (one song from each of their releases), and the generous souls have made it available for a free download on Soundcloud! Jump on it, then support the band by picking up one or all of their albums. My personal fave is Earthquakes & Tidal Waves, but they're all of an amazingly high quality. We're barely two months into the new year, and I'm already anticipating whatever they do next - definitely a band to watch!
Sometimes I don't know if I should be proud or embarrassed that the UHM year's best lists are always so far removed from our pop culture status quo. All I can say in my defense is that these lists aren't mere obstinate contrarianism; they honestly represent the albums I listened to and enjoyed the most over the past year. That is my only criteria (although, in the interest of full disclosure, this year I actually found myself enjoying Lady Gaga's Joanne (which by itself should be bad news for her, at least economically speaking) but disqualified it on the basis of not quite fitting in the Un-Herd purview, so there is a certain conscious avoidance of the mainstream at work). Next up: the '16 Orphans mix that compiles everything I missed over the year - so let me know if I missed one of your faves!
The Un-Herd Music Top 40 of 2016
1. Hunters Dead End
Shaggy pack of garage punks from Finland summon the typical scuzz lineage from the Stooges to the Dead Boys, but also have the style and sense to throw in a classic pop sense of melody, with the end result sounding a lot like what you'd get if Rancid's Tim Armstrong fronted the New York Dolls while mangling a cover of "Suffragette City."
2. Public Access T.V. Never Enough
Comparisons to a certain NYC nu-garage band seem to accompany every review of Never Enough, but a) the Strokes haven't managed this amount of ear candy hooks since Is This It, and b) Public Access T.V. is less a summation of 70s Noo Yawk and more a party hearty compendium of every cool sound since.
3. Twin Peaks Down in Heaven
Continuing their trajectory towards a growing command of pop song perfection, this time out Twin Peaks opted for a cleaner, clearer production style that allowed their seemingly effortless melodicism to stand on its own.
4. Slick! Slick!
The songs mostly clock in under the two minute mark and yet they still manage to touch on 50s rock 'n' roll, 60s bubblegum, 70s glam, and classic punk.
5. The PrettysSoirée
Vancouver band came out of next to nowhere with this one. What could have been standard indie punk bamalama gets rudely goosed by an ultra-melodic guitarist, an advanced sense of dynamics, and a honking, squealing saxophone. More please!
6. Elijah Ford & the Bloom As You Were
Extremely satisfying album that hues closely to conventional classic rock - think Tom Petty for the old school, James Younger for the new - without sacrificing energy or hooks.
7. Pat Todd & the RankOutsiders Blood & Treasure
Madman rock 'n' roll alchemist continues his noble life pursuit of mixing equal parts Johnny Cash and the New York Dolls, which might be slightly less impressive if the songs weren't so damn good.
8. Pale Lips Wanna Be Bad Slammin' Montreal sirens play girl group melodies at Mach III speed with lyrics (sample title: "Mary Lou Sniffin' Glue") that refuse to give a single inch of ground to the patriarchy. All hail.
9. Nick Waterhouse Never Twice The cover image perfectly places Waterhouse in a classy black & white past, out of time with current trends but no less hip for it. This is sleek old time rhythm 'n' blues that moves and grooves without the need for over-bearing volume or hysterics.
10. Telephone Lovers Telephone Lovers
Twelve great proofs that rock 'n' roll is most effectively delivered in a three minute single. Somewhere, Paul Collins must be smiling with an "I told ya so" glint in his eye.
11. Role Models Forest Lawn
12. The Fleshtones The Band Drinks For Free
13. Javier Escovedo Kicked Out of Eden
14. Sheer Mag III (ep)
15. Ronnie Spector English Heart
16. Tim Easton American Fork
17. The New Frustrations Dee-Bacle (ep)
18. Somerdale Shake It Maggie
19. The I Don't Cares Wild Stab
20. The Connection Just For Fun
21. Ryan Allen & His Extra Arms Basement Punk
22. Hey! Hello! Hey! Hello! Too!
23. The Seratones Get Gone
24. Dot Dash Searchlights
25. The Excitements Breaking the Rule
26. Farewell Milwaukee FM
27. Propeller Fall Off The World
28. Margaret Glaspy Emotions and Math
29. Steve Conte International Cover Up
30. Ulysses Law and Order
31. Izzy Bizu A Moment of Madness
32. Belleville Turn the Medicine Down
33. Watts The Black Heart of Rock & Roll
34. Lydia Loveless Longer
35. Kurt Baker In Orbit
36. Ian Hunter Fingers Crossed
37. Papernut Cambridge Love the Things Your Lover Loves
38. Car Seat Headrest Teen Denial
39. Earth Girls Wanderlust
40. D Generation Nothing is Anywhere
1. Hunters Before You
2. S1ick! Coming Down
3. Pub1ic Access T.V. Evil Disco
4. E1ijah Ford The Way We Were
5. Farewell Mi1waukee Figure You Out
6. Twin Peaks Wanted You
7. Ronnie Spector Because
8. The New Frustrations Right as Rain
9. The Prettys Uneasy
10. Te1ephone Lovers Take You Home
11. Pa1e Lips Jangaroo
12. Ro1e Models Bullshit Corner
13. Pat Todd & the RankOutsiders Ole Fortune and Fame
14. Prope11er It's Kinda Why I Like You
15. The Seratones Chandelier
16. Javier Escovedo It's So Easy
17. Hey! He11o! A History of Lovers
18. Sheer Mag Worth The Tears
19. Dot Dash Dumb Entertainment
20. The Connection Stay With Me
21. Somerdale Waiting For You
22. Nick Waterhouse L.A. Turnaround
23. The 1 Don't Cares King of America
24. Watts Bye & Bye
25. The F1eshtones Before I go
Power pop, garage, R&B, Americana, soul, glam, and punk all mixed, matched, masticated, and otherwise mulched.
Everything on this blog is an attempt to support bands and artists that I feel deserve more attention. If you have a problem with my use of a song or a link, please contact me directly and I'll simply remove it. T'ain't no big thang.