SLS ~ Smells Like Sour


SLS Submission: This Could Be Anywhere In The World

SLS SubmissionI just submitted a tune for SLS16 consideration. I submitted "This Could Be Anywhere In The World" from AlexisOnFire.

Is St. Catherines' Dallas Green the hardest working musician in Canada today? Possibly. There's City and Colour, his collaboration with Neverending White Lights and his work with Alexisonfire. This song grew on me and now I'm digging it. Another great vocal performance from DG.

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SLS Submission: No Heaven

SLS SubmissionI just submitted a tune for SLS16 consideration. I submitted "No Heaven" from DJ Champion.

I mentioned I've been digging this tune lately. I'm a man of my word.

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SLS Submission: Sing Me Spanish Techno

SLS SubmissionI just submitted a tune for SLS16 consideration. I submitted "Sing Me Spanish Techno" from the The New Pornographers.

I don't care if they're the new pornographers or the same old pornographers, this porno is rated XXX for exxxcellent.

The entire Twin Cinema CD is exxxcellent and that's why it was my favourite CD of 2005. Exxxcellent!

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SLS Submission: Fake Tales Of San Francisco

SLS SubmissionI just submitted a tune for SLS15 consideration. I submitted "Fake Tales Of San Francisco" from the Arctic Monkeys.

Sometimes a tune is just so cool it's begging for SLS attention. "Fake Tales Of San Francisco" has it all, a catchy beat, fun lyrics and a heavy dose of the next big thing. You're not from New York City, you're from Rotherham, and don'tcha forget it!

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SLS Submission: Heaters

SLS SubmissionI just submitted a tune for SLS15 consideration. I submitted "Heaters" from illScarlett.

I liked "Heaters" the first time I heard it. Of course, one of my favourite discs of all time is Sublime's self-titled disc and "Heaters" sounds as if it came from that disc, so there's no wonder why I dig it. There's a definite ska influence in the rocky punk sound and it's ideal for a hot summer's day. As an added bonus, illScarlett is a local band.

Sounding like Sublime isn't necessarily a bad thing. I've been singing this tune all week.

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The New SLS Guide

SLSPop quiz, hot shot. What is SLS? If you don't know, you're new to these parts, and that's perfectly alright. This entry is going to bring you up to speed lickety-split.

Consider this an updated sequel to the original SLS101 guide. We'll call this SLS 2.0.

What does SLS stand for?
SLS stands for Smells Like Sour. The phrase was coined before I got involved with SLS, but I hear it has something to do with a road trip, a Nirvana song and an aroma.

What exactly is SLS?
SLS is a "hypothetical" collection of new tunes that we "release" twice a calendar year. Henceforth, all editions of SLS will consist of 20 songs the SLS committee deems to be the best new music since the previous installment of SLS. We "release" new editions of SLS around Canada Day and Christmas Day.

How did you get involved in SLS?
A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, I worked with this guy. It turned out we had similar taste in music, so he lent me a copy of the second installment of SLS. It was simply another mix of new rock tunes for the car and not intended to be much more than that. We began collaborating on the playlists of the next couple of installments, which were "released" periodically, at non-specific intervals. It occurred to me that we should normalize the "release" dates so that they were every six months. Independently we'd come up with our choices for the next edition, we'd meet up and we'd negotiate until we arrived at a consensus.

Does SLS have a home on the web?
Absolutely. There's the Smells Like Sour home page which I've been maintaining since September 16, 2003. From this page you can access the songs that have appeared on the previous installments and suggest a song for the next edition. It's also become a popular destination for those who wish to discuss the latest releases and such. Although we only went public with the SLS site a few years ago, we had been using the web as a way to track tunes we each thought was SLS worthy for a couple of years prior, only it was our little secret.

What makes a song SLS-worthy? This is a tough question to answer. If a song is going to qualify as part of the best 80 minutes of music from the previous six months, it's gotta be good. We know an SLS-worthy tune when we hear it, but it's difficult to quantify. There's a spirit to an SLS tune that makes you want to turn it up and get lost in it's aura. System of a Down's "Chop Suey" was SLS-worthy. Simple Plan's "Perfect" was not.

Who decides the final playlist for SLS? Anyone can submit a song for SLS consideration via the Smells Like Sour home page, but the final decision is made by Mark and I. Since I maintain the page and have my ear closer to the ground, I usually come up with a 20 song mix of music and give Mark an opportunity to veto a track or suggest another. We typically come to an agreement pretty quickly.

What edition are you on? We are currently accepting submissions for SLS16 which will be "released" in late December. SLS15 just came out last week. SLS17 will be out in June 2007, SLS18 in December 2007, and so on, and so on, and so on...

Isn't this illegal? There is nothing illegal about compiling hypothetical mixes. Any resemblance to a compilation we share with friends and family is completely coincidental.

What tunes are looking good for SLS16? The best way to catch hints about what the next edition of SLS might look like is to monitor this site. When I submit a tune for SLS consideration, I'll mention it here. I also periodically write about potential track lists and tunes that look good for inclusion. All my SLS-related entries are conveniently located on one page.

That about does it. You now know what SLS is, what it stands for, how it came to be and where you can go to learn more. SLS 2.0: all the tunage and twice the love.

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Deconstructing SLS15

SLSNow that SLS15 is in the bag, it's time to deconstruct the 22 tunes that made the final cut. How much of SLS15 is CanCon? How many artists are making their first appearance on SLS? Find out the answers to these questions and more below.

  • Canadian Content - 8 (The New Pornographers, Broken Social Scene, Billy Talent, Death From Above 1979, Metric, Wolf Parade, Elliott Brood & The Miniatures)
  • Making Their SLS Debut - 11 (The New Pornographers, The Raconteurs, Arctic Monkeys, Bloc Party, Wolf Parade, Wolfmother, Gnarls Barkley, The Subways, Elliott Brood, Hard-Fi & The Miniatures)
  • Artists That Also Appeared On SLS14 - 7 (Metric, Death Cab For Cutie, Franz Ferdinand, The Strokes, Death From Above 1979, System of a Down & Foo Fighters)
  • Providing a Female Voice - 2 (Metric & Yeah Yeah Yeahs)
  • Longest Current SLS Streak - 5 (Franz Ferdinand)
  • Longest SLS Drought Ended - 6 (Pearl Jam)

By the way, here's the cover of SLS15. If you want a high resolution one with the song list that's ripe for printing, go here. Yes, it was subconsciously Vs. inspired

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SLS15 Unveiled

slsIt is with great privilege and honour that I unveil to you the final song list for SLS15. For an SLS primer, go here and to see what appeared on SLS14, go here.

We listened to hours and hours of new rock before deciding upon these 22 tracks totalling more than 75 minutes. Without further adieu, I give you SLS15.

  1. Use It - The New Pornographers
  2. 7/4 (Shoreline) - Broken Social Scene
  3. Steady As She Goes - The Raconteurs
  4. I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor - Arctic Monkeys
  5. Devil in a Midnight Mass - Billy Talent
  6. Banquet - Bloc Party
  7. Poster of a Girl - Metric
  8. Crooked Teeth - Death Cab For Cutie
  9. The Fallen - Franz Ferdinand
  10. I'll Believe In Anything - Wolf Parade
  11. Woman - Wolfmother
  12. Gold Lion - Yeah Yeah Yeahs
  13. Crazy - Gnarls Barkley
  14. You Only Live Once - The Strokes
  15. Rock and Roll Queen - The Subways
  16. Blood On Our Hands - Death From Above 1979
  17. The Bridge - Elliott Brood
  18. Cash Machine - Hard-Fi
  19. Dead Flowers - The Miniatures
  20. World Wide Suicide - Pearl Jam
  21. Lonely Day - System of a Down
  22. Miracle - Foo Fighters

I just updated The Complete SLS Database. Look for SLS16 in late December, 2006.

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SLS Submission: You Only Live Once

SLS SubmissionI just submitted a tune for SLS15 consideration. I submitted "You Only Live Once" from The Strokes.

I was itching to submit the B-side unheard, but that violates a cardinal SLS rule. No song can be submitted until it's actually listened to at least once. "You Only Live Once" is another great tune from The Strokes and it will fit SLS15 like a glove.

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Counting Down to SLS15

slsI blinked and we were a week into June. How the hell did that happen? As you know, we finalize each edition of SLS at the end of June and December. That means we're only a couple of weeks away from releasing the final track listing for SLS15.

In the olden days, each edition of SLS was a hypothetical audio CD, and that meant we were limited to 80 minutes per edition. We're no longer technically married to such a cap, having moved away from audio CDs some time ago, but old habits die hard and we continue to respect this 80 minute constraint. If nothing else, it keeps us honest and prevents things from spiralling out of control. Here's how our 80 minutes of the best new rock of the last six months looks thus far.

  • I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor - Arctic Monkeys
  • Banquet - Bloc Party
  • 7/4 (Shoreline) - Broken Social Scene
  • Crooked Teeth - Death Cab For Cutie
  • Blood On Our Hands - Death From Above 1979
  • The Bridge - Elliott Brood
  • The Fallen - Franz Ferdinand
  • Crazy - Gnarls Barkley
  • Cash Machine - Hard-Fi
  • Poster of a Girl - Metric
  • Dead Flowers - The Miniatures
  • Use It - The New Pornographers
  • World Wide Suicide - Pearl Jam
  • Steady As She Goes - The Raconteurs
  • Dani California - Red Hot Chili Peppers
  • Rock and Roll Queen - The Subways
  • Lonely Day - System of a Down
  • I'll Believe In Anything - Wolf Parade
  • Woman - Wolfmother
  • Gold Lion - Yeah Yeah Yeahs

There's still time to influence the outcome of SLS15 so submit a tune or comment on a previous submitted one. The SLS tradition continues.

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