Free Downloads: Gogol's gypsy punk gangbuster, Slash stages solo comeback
1. Gogol Bordello: "Pala Tute"
While "pirate punk" might not be an official genre just yet, the always rebellious and over the top Gogol Bordello, pictured at right, are most certainly leading that pack. This brand new track continues in its bombastic concoction of pub-friendly sounds and lyrics to bring out the inner gypsy in us all, serving as a preview of the Trans-Continental Hustle, available April 27 on American Records.
2. Slash: "Watch This"
Between his time in Guns N' Roses and Velvet Revolver, Slash is considered the ultimate heavy metal guitar god, complete with all the stereotypical behind the scenes excesses to match. But there's no knocking his more than competent playing on this technically precise instrumental, which also includes special guests Dave Grohl (Foo Fighters, Nirvana) and Duff McKagan (GNR, Velvet Revolver).
3. The National: "Bloodbuzz Ohio"
Indie rockers The National command attention with a brooding alternative rock track akin to Joy Division or Editors in the form of "Bloodbuzz Ohio." The track sets the tone for the new disc High Violet (4AD) out May 11, preceded by a headlining slot at the Big Ears Festival in Knoxville, TN on March 28 (co-curated by the band's own guitarist Bryce Dessner).
4. Bad Company: "Rock Steady"
Remember when Paul Rodgers quit Bad Company for a solo career and then wound up being the lead singer of Queen? Well he's come full circle after those less than entirely successful side steps and brings fans back to a time when rock was boss on this live reunion rendition taken from a greatest hits set called Hard Rock Live (Image).
5. Smashing Pumpkins: "A Stitch In Time"
The ongoing, song by song release of the next Smashing Pumpkins album continues with this relatively charming acoustic ditty sung by the unmistakable Billy Corgan, alongside his new faceless players. Not only is it the best of the bunch thus far from the forthcoming Teargarden by Kaleidyscope, but it's the closet track to resembling a hit since the great bald one's '90s heyday.
6. Year Long Disaster: "Show Me Your Teeth"
With previous tour dates alongside Foo Fighters, Clutch and The Sword, plus a recent SxSW appearance before Motorhead, Year Long Disaster is steadily evolving into one of hard rock's most celebrated newcomers. Catch the first single from Black Magic: All Mysteries Revealed (Volcom Entertainment) in all its spellbinding, shred-heavy glory (courtesy of some fast action fretwork from Daniel Davies (who just so happens to be the son of The Kinks' Dave Davies).
7. Yawn: Yawn EP
Don't mistake the group's misnomer to be any indication of the sounds packed within this otherwise endearing self-titled introduction. The Chicago-based band blurs boundaries throughout this lo-fi but incredibly complex initiative, which includes sweetly sung harmonies, understated programming and clanging percussion that could steer some hype away from Vampire Weekend.
8. Blitzen Trapper: "Heaven and Earth"
The Portland folk rockers are gearing up for its second full-length on Sub Pop with this haunting, piano-centered ballad of spine chilling proportions. The track is perfect for fans of the band's past work or former tour mates Iron and Wine, while also hinting at the soft-spoken and experimental direction throughout June 8's Destroyer of the Void.
9. Josh Rouse "I Will Live On Islands"
If Paul Simon had a musical lovechild with The Broken West, it might sound something like this acoustic ear candy from the Tennessee troubadour. The alt-country nugget comes from the new self-released effort El Turista, which continues in this track's rousing (no pun intended), dust-soaked tradition.
10. Extreme Party Animals: "Ain't No Mountain High Enough"
Between striking Motown gold as a Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell duet, followed by Diana Ross' solo rendition, this track is a certified soul classic. However, be prepared to hear it in a brand new light thanks to Extreme Party Animals, who not only give it a post-millennial facelift, but tailor it towards the dance floor.
Money College Free Downloads is a weekly column by Money College blogger Andy Argyrakis. Send column tips to MoneyCollege@walletpop.com.