Free downloads: Bjork, Kristofferson, Ziggy Marley and Carly Simon
1. Various Artists: Enjoyed: A Tribune To Bjork's "Post"
Bjork (pictured left) ranks as one of the most versatile and enigmatic artists of the past two decades, so it isn't surprising to find her seminal 1995 album "Post" earning its own tribute disc. The hipsters at Stereogum thought of the concept and called upon indie rock's current class to take a loving stab at "Army of Me" (Liars), "Hyperballad" (Dirty Projectors) and "It's Oh So Quiet" (No Age), along with everything else from the 1995 project.
2. Kris Kristofferson: Daytrotter Session
No matter what genre he tackles, Kris Kristofferson is one of the world's most provocative and stylized songwriters with an unmistakable vocal warble. On his latest roots rockin' collection "Closer To the Bone, he turns intentionally personal with the songwriting subjects, as evidenced on these live renditions of "Sister Sinead," "Closer To the Bone" and "From Here To Forever."
3. Ziggy Marley featuring Paul Simon: "Walk Tall"
Everyone knows Ziggy Marley as the son of reggae legend Bob Marley and Paul Simon as one half of the legendary pair Simon & Garfunkel. But when the two team up for this sun-stroked tune on rhythmic overload, it shows both artists expanding their wings and cross pollinating fan bases. Think of this as an extension of Simon's Graceland era, but with a joyfully Jamaican twist.
4. The Plimsouls: "Zero Hour"
Long before Fall Out Boy and the mall punk movement, The Plimsouls were cutting their teeth in sweaty clubs with authentic rebelliousness and plenty of pent up aggression. That's why this deep cut from the newly restored "Live! Beg, Borrow & Steal" is a dual treat for both those were there during its early 1980s conquest and for those who missed the first round. This track was culled from a Halloween show in 1981 at the legendary Whiskey A Go Go, and while it may be a bit raw (as was the case with many club recordings back then), it captures the band in all is gritty, ballsy glory.
5. Sleeping At Last: "All This To Say"
Between time spent on tour with Zwan and Something Corporate, plus appearances on "Grey's Anatomy" and Fuse TV, Sleeping At Last is one of alternative rock's most prized treasures for those in the know. However, for anyone who's yet to hear the ethereal act in action, the group's offering this taste of "All This To Say" (off its latest CD "Storyboards"), complete with a backing choir comprised of fans' voices. For those that enjoy this preview, consider checking out "Clockwork" off the same album, which features cinematic arrangements from the legendary Van Dyke Parks (Brian Wilson, Rufus Wainwright).
6. Girl Talk: "Play Your Part"
What happens when someone mixes fast action rapping with snippets of Spencer Davis Group's "Gimme Some Loving," Pete Townshend's "Let My Love Open the Door," Twisted Sister's "We're Not Gonna Take It" and Sinead O'Connor's "Nothing Compares 2 U" (to name a mere smattering of samples)? Well, that's Girl Talk's "Play Your Part," a fresh and incredibly ambitious mash-up of seemingly divergent tunes unified under an unconventional hip-hop umbrella.
7. Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings: "My Man Is a Mean Man (DJ Spinna remix)"
Laced in 1960s soul, sweaty funk and a little bit of mainstream recognition from an appearance on Michael Buble's latest CD, Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings are well on the way to a mainstream breakthrough. This remixed jam throws some extra percussion grease on the wheels of an already horn-soaked, dance floor friendly original.
8. Carly Simon's "Let the River Run"
It's hard to improve on a soft-spoken singer/songwriter standard, but Carly Simon's giving her lauded songbook a fresh coat of paint across the recent Never Been Gone. This particular stripped down arrangement finds the diva in top notch vocal form, sure to provide an introduction to the younger generation, though old school fans may prefer the original. In any case, there's nothing to loose with this sample, so judge it first hand and decide if there's a reason to dig deeper on the disc.
9. Hacienda: HearYa Live Session 43
The guys who comprise south Texas' Hacienda are so serious about their spicy swamp rock sound that they're naming the next album Big Red & Barbacoa. Be sure to grab this Tex-Mex meets rock n' roll performance appetizer from the last tour and measure it up against the new studio tunes, which features production from Dan Auerbach, the highly in demand solo star and singer of The Black Keys.
10. Drive-By Truckers: "Birthday Boy"
The Southern rock rebels blow off some steam with this new whiskey-soaked rocker from The Big To-Do. Expect the foot stomper to not only carry on the group's irreverent, genre-bending traditions, but have no problem fitting perfectly into the set list when the band opens for Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers on tour this summer.
E-mail tips for Free Downloads to MoneyCollege@walletpop.com.