Dave Hillyard & The Rocksteady Seven, "Someone Else's Love Song"
Dave Hillyard has been in a bunch of ska bands during his time, most notably as part of The Slackers from the beginning. He has his own solo project where he plays his own compositions and sings. He put out a new record this year, The Giver, and this song gives you an idea of what you're in for.
Eels, "Railroad Man"
It's like, how much more Uncle Tupelo could this be? And the answer is none. None more Uncle Tupelo.
Rocket From The Crypt, "I Drink Blood"
I wonder what it is about overdriven mics and distorted guitar that just works so damn well. The alchemy that is garage rock continues to delight after all these decades. Garage rock was old when I was born and still sounds fresh today. Also, "I Drink Blood" is a fantastic name for a garage rock song.
St. Vincent, "Rattlesnake"
St. Vincent (Annie Clark's nom de rock) is one of the most consistently inventive and interesting rock acts operating today. Her self-titled record, St. Vincent, felt like a pretty big leap forward, with songs that are poppier than her previous work while retaining all of her edge. This is the opener from that record, but it's hard to really draw conclusions about the record from the song given how varied it all sounds.
Common has had a really uneven career, often following highlights with strangely flat records. In this case, he followed up the outstanding Be with Finding Forever, a record you'd think would be strong given that he again collaborated with Kanye West a bunch. But, alas, it somehow just sounds a little off. The beats aren't as memorable, the rhymes don't hit as hard, and it doesn't hang together as well. It's not bad, but it's also not really a record I can recommend.