The first track is by Sage Francis. The weird, nuanced Rhode Island-based MC burns his references, punchlines and cold truths through a batch of X-acto-sharp beats, focusing his strong opinions, sense of imagery and lyrical abstraction inward.
Sage Francis - Got up in the morning
Elliott Smith has a new album out now. It's the second posthumous release for Smith, and judging by the high quality of the songs, probably his last. "Thirteen" used to be one of Smith's live favourites and his affection for the song can be heard on this simple recording : Big Star's brilliant song became one of his most moving pieces.
Elliott Smith - Thirteen
Jamie T has been making ripples with his ragg inspired lad rock all the way from the UK.
Jamie T - Sheila
Full disclosure: Before tucking into A-Trak's latest release, I might have grumpily muttered something about how another mixtape of cleverly juxtaposed indie and hip-hop mashups sounded a little bit like my personal idea of hell. So give the Montreal native credit: Not only is Dirty South Dance completely enjoyable, it's also proof that maybe the form itself isn't played out, just bogged down by an internet's worth of shitty bedroom DJs and their artless mixes. Really, there's lots to like about Dirty South Dance-- "Call That Girl Margherita"'s pairing of Margueritas' eponymous Italo romp with Pitbull's "Bojangles" is bound to evoke at least a smile-- but our vote goes to "Get on My Pony", which melds New Young Pony Club's frigid "The Get Go" with Trillville's rowdy "Neva Eva". Turns out the former's icy motorik thing is a perfect backdrop for Lil Jon and Co. The Interpol/Lil Scrappy tour rumors start here... (Pitchfork)
A-Trak - Get on my Pony