SLS ~ Smells Like Sour


Deconstructing SLS12

Deconstructing SLS12Now that SLS12 is in the bag, it's time to deconstruct the 21 tunes that made the final cut. How much of SLS12 is CanCon? How many artists are making their first appearance on SLS? Find out the answers to these questions and more below.

  • Canadian Content - 5 (Billy Talent, The Marble Index, Auf der Maur, Jakalope and Sum 41)
  • Making Their SLS Debut - 6 (The Von Bondies, The Marble Index, Muse, Auf der Maur, Jakalope and Sum 41)
  • Artists That Also Appeared On SLS11 - 9 (The Killers, Franz Ferdinand, Modest Mouse, Billy Talent, Beastie Boys, Linkin Park, Velvet Revolver, Incubus and Jet)
  • Providing a Female Voice - 2 (Auf der Maur and Jakalope)
  • Artists I've Seen Live - 4 (Eminem, Papa Roach, Auf der Maur and Green Day)
  • Songs In My MP3 Collection - 16 (The Killers, Franz Ferdinand, Modest Mouse, Billy Talent, The Hives, Eminem, Papa Roach, Jimmy Eat World, Beastie Boys, Linkin Park, Sum 41, Marilyn Manson, Velvet Revolver, Incubus, Green Day and Jet)

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SLS12 Unveiled

SLS12 UnveiledIt is with great privilege and honour that I unveil to you the final song list for SLS12. For an SLS primer, go here and to see what appeared on SLS11, go here.

It is the opinion of the SLS committee that this has been a less than stellar six month period for tunage. We listened to hours and hours of new rock before deciding upon these 21 tracks totalling more than 78 minutes. There are songs that were left on the cutting room floor during the selection period for SLS11 that would easily make this edition.

We've played the cards we were dealt and below is SLS12.

  1. The Von Bondies - C'mon C'mon
  2. The Killers - Mr. Brightside
  3. Franz Ferdinand - This Fire
  4. Modest Mouse - Ocean Breathes Salty
  5. Billy Talent - River Below
  6. Marble Index - I Believe
  7. Muse - Hysteria
  8. The Hives - Walk Idiot Walk
  9. Eminem - Mosh
  10. Papa Roach - Getting Away With Murder
  11. Jimmy Eat World - Pain
  12. Beastie Boys - Triple Trouble
  13. Linkin Park - Breaking the Habit
  14. Auf der Maur - Followed The Waves
  15. Jakalope - Pretty Life
  16. Sum 41 - We're All To Blame
  17. Marilyn Manson - Personal Jesus
  18. Velvet Revolver - Fall To Pieces
  19. Incubus - Talk Shows On Mute
  20. Green Day - Boulevard Of Broken Dreams
  21. Jet - Look What You've Done

Check out the hypothetical cover for this hypothetical mix. Look for SLS13 in late June, 2005.

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U2 & SLS

U2This weekend we're putting the finishing touches on SLS12. For an SLS primer, go here.

A number of people have written me or approached me about U2's "Vertigo". People seem to really dig the tune and consider it one of the top singles of the year. In reality, "Vertigo" never had a prayer of making SLS12. It's an okay tune, but I feel completely indifferent towards it, and SLS is all about passion and spirit. I would never intentionally listen to "Vertigo", in fact, I'm completely tired of the whole U2 sound.

I used to really like U2. I liked them through their mega-selling "The Joshua Tree" and I even liked "Rattle and Hum". When "Achtung Baby" came out, I bought it as a reflex action because I liked the band. Although people raved about it and it spawned several hits, I almost never listened to it and haven't really liked a U2 song since. I was actually offered "How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb", their new album, and turned it down. I have no interest in this boring U2 sound the past fifteen years have brought us.

Is it just me?

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SLS12 Countdown

SLS12 CountdownThere's only about six weeks to go before we in the SLS commitee finalize the tracklist for SLS12. For those of you who need an SLS refresher, visit the guide.

Here are the tunes that will get serious consideration. I'm listing them in order of their likeliness to make the cut, so the shoe-ins are listed first and the tunes on the bubble are listed last.

The Von Bondies - C'mon C'mon
The Killers - Mr. Brightside
Franz Ferdinand - This Fire
Modest Mouse - Ocean Breathes Salty
Billy Talent - River Below
Muse - Hysteria
Eminem - Mosh
Marble Index - I Believe
Beastie Boys - Triple Trouble
The Hives - Walk Idiot Walk
Jet - Look What You've Done
Velvet Revolver - Fall To Pieces
The Tragically Hip - It Can't Be Nashville Every Night
Jakalope - Pretty Life
Green Day - Boulevard Of Broken Dreams or American Idiot
Auf der Maur - Followed The Waves
Papa Roach - Getting Away With Murder
Sum 41 - We're All To Blame
Incubus - Talk Shows On Mute
Linkin Park - Breaking the Habit

There's still six weeks to go. That's plenty of time for some new tunes to blow us away.

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Your Guide to SLS

SLSAnyone who isn't arriving at this site for the first time has seen references to SLS sprinkled throughout these pages. I occasionally receive emails asking me what it is and why I nominate songs for SLS consideration. Why is one song SLS-worthy and another not? What does SLS stand for? What's the story behind SLS?

Quite frankly, I'm tired of going over the whole spiel every time so this entry is an attempt to explain all. In the future, when I want to explain SLS, I'll simply refer to this entry.

This is going to be a long one, but necessary I believe, especially in light of the increased traffic to this site of late. Here is SLS101...

What exactly is SLS? SLS is 80 minutes of what the SLS committee deems to be the best new music since the previous installment of SLS was "released". A new edition is "released" every year around Canada Day and Christmas Day. The reason we cut each edition of SLS off at 80 minutes is because that's the length of time on a standard CDR.

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.

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. I even maintain an SLS Blog. Although we only went public with the SLS site about thirteen months 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 potential 80 minutes of music and give Mark an opportunity to veto a track or suggest another. We typically come to a consensus pretty quickly.

What edition are you on? We are currently accepting submissions for SLS12 which will be "released" in late December. SLS13 is due by Canada Day 2005 and SLS14 will be in the can by Christmas 2005. You get the idea.

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 SLS12? 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. In fact, I intend to write such an entry sometime this weekend. Stay tuned!

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. And yes, there will be a quiz.

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SLS Submission

SLS SubmissionI just submitted a song via the Smells Like Sour website for SLS12 consideration.

I submitted "Ocean Breathes Salty" by Modest Mouse, another good tune off of Good News For People Who Love Bad News. It's rather likely this song will make the cut when we make our final selection for SLS12 in late December.

In the spring, as we were paring down the songs for SLS12, we found we had a good trifecta of singles with an 80s-ish feel from Modest Mouse, Franz Ferdinand and The Killers. Here we are, six months later, and it looks like we have another great trio of tunes from these same artists to lead the way. "Ocean Breaths Salty", "This Fire" and "Mr. Brightside" will be staples of the next edition.

It's deja vu all over again.

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Jakalope's SLS Boost

Jakalope's SLS BoostHave you ever heard of Jakalope? This bio calls them the "brainchild of world-renowned studio genius Dave "Rave" Ogilvie". Their official site is nothing more than an elaborate countdown clock which will probably contain all sorts of information when the clock runs down Monday at midnight. With their single "Pretty Life" getting some serious exposure, including thirteen weeks on CFNY Edge 102's Thursday 30, people everywhere are hitting Google to learn what they can about this band with the strange name.

Back in September I liked the tune "Pretty Life" enough to submit it for SLS12 consideration. For the unaware, SLS stands for Smells Like Sour and is another site I maintain that aims to "release" the best 80 minutes of new rock twice a year. Here you will find the SLS page for Jakalope's "Pretty Life".

Because there is so little on the web about this project, that SLS page is receiving a large influx of hits from people looking for information on the band. People are Googling and our page is ranked rather high. A search for Jakalope has us ranked #5, a search for Jakalope lyrics has us ranked #3 and a search for Jakalope Pretty Life has us ranked an impressive #1.

So, until Jakalope's official site launches next week, we're your main source for Jakalope info. That's just pathetic.

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Cleaning Out My SLS Closet

Cleaning Out My SLS ClosetEminem once wrote, "I never meant to make you cry, but tonight I'm cleanin' out my closet." This afternoon, I'm cleanin' out my SLS closet.

I've submitted three songs for SLS12 consideration over the past week. Those are Muse's "Hysteria", The Killers' "Mr. Brightside" and Franz Ferdinand's "This Fire".

I dig all three tunes and think all three have a great chance of being selected to represent the best 80 minutes of music from the previous six months when we select the final playlist for SLS12 this December.

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C'mon C'mon

C'mon C'monWhen we were putting together the final playlist for SLS11, it was pretty clear it was shaping up to be a pretty spectacular edition. In very early April I first read this submission for The Von Bondies' "C'mon C'mon". I secured an MP3 of the song and reviewed it, which I do for all potential SLS tunes. I distinctly remember liking it but it didn't blow me away and with only 80 minutes available for SLS11 it was left on the cutting room floor.

I rediscovered "C'mon C'mon" again in July, well after the final playlist for SLS11 was finalized, and regretted we couldn't find room for it on SLS11. Now it's mid-October and I think "C'mon C'mon" should be made eligible for SLS12. The CD Pawn Shoppe Heart wasn't released until March 2004 and I think we can resurrect this under appreciated gem from The Von Bondies.

In fact, I think it's our duty to ensure this tune is deemed SLS-worthy. Besides, who's going to stop me?

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Half Way There

Half Way ThereSeptember is winding down and that means we're just about half way through the period of SLS12 submissions. We'll choose the final playlist for SLS12 just before Christmas.

Thus far it's shaping up to be a pretty weak edition. Typically, better material shows up in the final three months of an SLS cycle, but I'm a little concerned with what we've got at this point.

There's only a few tunes out there I really dig. My favourite songs of 2004 all appeared on SLS11. Where are the killer tracks? Where are the SLS-worthy releases? For the record, here's what I like so far.

  • The Hives - Walk Idiot Walk
  • Billy Talent - River Below
  • Green Day - American Idiot
  • Beastie Boys - Triple Trouble
  • Velvet Revolver - Fall To Pieces
  • Marble Index - I Believe

We can do better.

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