Clipse, "Fast Life" — So it's official: This hyper-articulate Virginia crack-rap duo can flow sick over non-Neptunes beats. It must be said, though, that Scott Storch's stuttering-synth track is, like, expert counterfeit 2002 Neptunes or something — to the extent that it took more than a few spins for Clipse's metaphors to draw blood.
Drakkar Sauna, "The Weapon of Prayer" — The Louvin Brothers songs Kansas's Drakkar Sauna dug up for its Wars and Tornadoes covers album are hokey mid-1900s populist dreck. But "Weapon" — message: you can't fight the enemy, but you can pray for those who do — resonates in this era as much as it did back during WWII. Better this than the Fugs' "Kill for Peace," anyway.
Flo Rida featuring will.i.am, "In the Ayer" — As it happens, Mr. Ayer is not a friend or associate of the performer or his august guest star. Rather, Mr. Ayer is a stockbroker and Phil Collins fanclub president from Detroit who won a BET-sponsored contest in which...oh, okay, I'll quit while I'm ahead.
Grupo Fantasma featuring Maceo Parker, "Gimmie Some" — This is like a generous slice of heaven with a cherry and whipped cream on top, seriously. A frenetic mash-smash of Latin genre staples? And Maceo wilding out on his horn? Fucking-A right!
Negativland, "Virginia's Trip" — How would these art-fringe copyright daredevils react if I said this shredded-tone sploosh kinda reminds me of the Butthole Surfers' "Pepper"? You know, the song where those nonconformist misfits played the Beck card and actually made it onto alt-rock playlists?
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene each week with music news, trends, artist interviews and concert listings. We'll also send you special ticket offers and music deals.