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

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Faves of 2017 (vol. 3)

Well durn, it took a lot longer than usual, but here's the final installment of UHM Faves for this year. Of course, that doesn't include the inevitable Orphans mix that'll show up sometime early in the new year, which will compile all the great stuff I somehow missed in 2017. Nor does it include the upcoming Best Of 2017, which will join the yearly summation of my favorite albums (many of which are represented on this very mix). And there's probably still a Xmas compilation to post before the year is over.

I guess what I'm trying to say is sorry for taking so long. And, as usual, let me know what's missing! 

Discount Bins of Broken Things

1. Stag The Bedazzler
2. The Crazy Squeeze Twisted Little Secrets
3. The R1ch Hands Fast and Loose
4. First Base Sandra
5. Twin Temp1e Girl Trouble
6. QTY Dress/Undress
7. The Stan1eys What Are We Gonna Do
8. Terra Lightf00t Stars Over Dakota
9. Kitty, Daizy & Lewis Just One Kiss
10. Sweet Sp1rit Pretty Baby
11. Justine & the Unc1ean I'm In Love With You, Jackass
12. The Cheep Cassettes Hieroglyphics in Lipstick
13. JD McPhers0n Crying's Just a Thing That You Do
14. The High-tai1s So Long
15. A1ex Lahey I Love You Like a Brother
16. Ind0nesian Junk I'll Run Away
17. The Pink Ti1es Rocky Road
18. Shi1pa Ray Shi1pa Ray's Got a Heart Full of Dirt
19. Fuzzy V0x I Fell In Love With the World
20. Bu11et Proof Lovers One Last Night
21. D1rty Fences Never Over
22. The Dah1manns Conny Converse
23. Ha1ey Thompson-King No Room For Jesus
24. Watts All Done With Rock & Roll
25. Backstreet Gir1s Back Again

Sunday, November 12, 2017

10 Years of UHM

It's been 10 years to the month since I first created this blog, so allow me a quick fling with some self-reflection (and self-indulgence).

A lot has changed since I started. Streaming services (like Spotify) have made this blog almost pointless. Why bother going through the extra step of downloading when streaming a playlist is so easy and immediate? Of course, the fact a lot of what you'll find on UHM isn't available on sites like Spotify is a mitigating factor - but there's no doubt that our constantly evolving technology will eventually terminate this blog. That's okay - and no big loss, I'm sure - but I do wonder and worry about the future of the underdog music that I love. I'm not convinced the ease of the streaming sites will be a positive development in the financial viability of any band, let alone ones that get championed here.

And look, I know that the very concept of a shared mix involves a level of piracy. You may remember, back in the cassette days, there used to be a music industry campaign based around the claim that "Home Taping Is Killing Music." But I've never bought into that. In fact, in my own experience the very notion had been proven as bullshit. I've witnessed at least a couple of occasions when I made a mix for someone and they subsequently went out and bought an album by every band on the mix. Usually the end result isn't quite so sweeping - but at least a few bands on every mix will find a new member in their fan club. And that's my argument for what I do here - and, as evidenced by the corrupted spellings of the tracklists, also an acknowledgement that what I do is not condoned by the labels (even if it's mostly condoned by the bands themselves).

So that's where it all is. And for now I'll continue my sporadic uploads. And I'll probably never stop making mixes, even if they're only for me, because I'll forever hold the belief that people would love all these songs if only they could hear them. I believe UHM should exist like the old corner record store - no advertising and precious little traffic, but I have faith that all the people out there who need to find it will find it.

And I thank each and every one of you who have already found it. Let's all keep fighting the good fight.

The Ballad of UnHerd Music

1. Michae1 Monroe Ballad of the Lower East Side
2. Arke11s Ballad of Hugo Chavez
3. The Phant0ms Ballad of Overend Watts
4. Dada Ballad of Earl Grey and Chamomile
5. XTC Ballad of Peter Pumpkinhead
6. The Tomorrows Ballad of a Lesser Man
7. Luke D0ucet Ballad of Ian Curtis
8. The New P0rnographers Ballad of a Comeback Kid
9. Nikki Sudden Ballad of Johnny and Mariane
10. Ted Le0 + the Pharmacists Ballad of the Sin Eater
11. Cheap Tr1ck Ballad of TV Violence
12. Ike Rei11y Ballad of Jack and Haley
13. Pernice Br0s. Ballad of Bjorn Borg
14. A1oud Ballad of Emily Jane
15. The S0 So Glos Ballad of a So So Glo (King's County II)
16. Mu11 Historica1 Society Ballad of Ivor Punch
17. Evan Dand0 Ballad of El Goodo (Big Star cover)
18. S1im Dun1ap Ballad of the Opening Band
19. E11iot Smith Ballad of Big Nothing
20. Jerry Jerry & the Sons of Rhythm 0rchestra Ballad of John Card & the Booze Rookie
21. The Loud Fami1y Ballad of How You Can All Shut The Hell Up

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Power Pop Primer

This is one of those mixes I've been meaning to put together forever but never mustered the energy for it. I guess most of the entries just seem so obvious and well-known that it feels like a pointless exercise, especially given this blog's goal of exposing the underexposed (plus it runs the risk of appearing condescending to the seemingly encyclopedic music knowledge of this blog's visitors). But then again, exactly how popular are these songs? Answer: not as popular as they deserve to be! So that puts 'em all right in my wheelhouse. If I need justification, there it is.

So I stuck to the verities of power pop (imho); music released between 1970 and 1980. I didn't go hunting for proto-power pop (although feel free to harangue me about missing the early Who or Beatles or John Fred or whoever), and didn't want to sink into absolute obscurity (again, feel free to point out that it's inexcusable for me to have left off the Toms or 20/20 or whoever). If it alleviates your annoyance, I did leave off some of my own faves too (where's the mofuggin' Artful Dodger anyway?). There will be later volumes, however - so suggestions are as welcome as criticism.

She Hates The Same Things That I Hate

1. The Nerve5 Hangin' On The Telephone
2. The Cryer5 Shake It Up (Ain't It Time)
3. The F1amin' Groovies Shake Some Action
4. B1g Star September Gurls
5. The Heat5 Nights With You
6. The Jag5 Back of My Hand
7. Pag1iaro Lovin' You Ain't Easy
8. Cheap Tr1ck Oh Candy
9. The J00k Aggravation Place
10. Dwight Twi11ey Band I'm On Fire
11. The Fabu1ous Pood1es Work Shy
12. Badf1nger No Matter What
13. The Rec0rds Starry Eyes
14. The Raspberrie5 Cry
15. The P1imsou1s Now
16. Nick L0we So It Goes
17. The M0ve California Man
18. Sy1vain Sy1vain & the Crimina1s Teenage News
19. T0m R0binson Band 2-4-6-8 Motorway
20. Eddie & the H0t Rods Do Anything You Wanna Do
21. Phi1 Seym0ur Baby It's You
22. B0b Segarini Laurel Ann
23. Menta1 As Anything The Nips Are Getting Bigger
24. The Undert0nes Teenage Kicks

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Faves of 2017 (vol. 2)

It's been a long time coming, but the new UHM faves mix is finally ready to rock dad's pants off at your next family gathering.

This one's chock full of stuff from albums that will undoubtedly be featured in my Best of the Year list. It's been great to hear some of this blog's all-time favorites return with maybe the best music of their careers (so far). But there have been some disappointments too. I try to stick with only the positive here, however, so my thoughts on long-awaited releases by Jim Jones and J. Roddy Wa1ston - as well as longer-awaited releases by the Dream Syndicate and the F1amin' Groovies - will have to be saved for elsewhere.


1. Sunshine & the Ra1n Come On Baby
2. The Real Sick1es Everywhere You Go
3. Shear Mag Just Can't Get Enough
4. Need1es//Pins Violet
5. Ho11erado I Got You
6. Biter5 Gypsy Rose
7. The P0pguns We Don't Go Around There Anymore
8. D0wntown Boys A Wall
9. Sam Cash & the R0mantic Dogs Carmen
10. Waxxahatchee Never Been Wrong
11. C0tton Mather Hijinks Dad
12. Successfu1 Fai1ures Misguiding Light
13. L0w Cut Connie Revolution Rock n Roll
14. Gregg Stewert R is for Rock Star
15. Fi1thy Friends Come Back Shelley
16. The Preature5 Lip Balm
17. Duncan Re1d & the Big Heads Bombs Away
18. Cyanide Pi11s Government
19. The Strype5 Get It Over Quickly
20. Boogie Patro1 Foolish Mind
21. New Swear5 Comfortably Hungover
22. Ted Le0 Can't Go Back
23. Danie1 Romano Pride of Queens
24. T0gether Pangea Alison

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Back in 1999

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.

Back in 1999

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

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Summer 2017

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).

I just do what I do. Enjoy the summer, y'all.

 We Can Get Drunk and Try to Kiss Girls

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

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Covers Project Vol. 15

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.

You May Think It's Funny That I Like This Stuff

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)

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Faves of 2017 (vol. 1)

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.

Let's a-Rock n' Roll Till the Break of Day

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

*Super secret hidden bonus track included

Sunday, February 26, 2017

2016 Orphans Mix

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.

Better Than The Beatles Or The Stones

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

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Dot Dash (free download)

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!


1. The Infinite
2. Satellite (Far Out)
3. Broken Halo
4. Live To Tell
5. Learn How To Fly

Searchlights (2016)
Earthquakes & Tidal Waves (2015)
Half-Remembered Dream (2013)
Winter Garden Light (2012)
spark>flame>ember>ash (2011)

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Best of 2016

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 Prettys Soirée

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

You're On The List Now

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