Unwound, "All Souls Day"
I just kinda want to hug the drums from this song. And then the guitars kick in, and goddamn, you guys, this is what I want in my ears.
Matthew Sweet, "Sick Of Myself"
This is from 100% Fun, his second best album after the magnificent Girlfriend. As with that album, he's breaking no new ground here at all, but it doesn't matter when you have just a shamelessly huge pop song like this.
Calvin Scott, "A Sadness For Things"
I don't know much about Calvin Scott, other than this song being from mid-period Stax, it being a typically fun Memphis soul production, and how much I like the non-specificity of having a sadness for "things".
Hi-Tek, "The Illest It Gets"
Hi-tek, DJ for Black Star, had a solo career like his compatriots Talib Kweli and Mos Def. It's the least illustrious of the three solo careers, unfortunately. While Tek's beats are solid, like many DJs, he's somewhat at the mercy of the MCs he has on each track. When he's got someone great like his former band mates, things can really pop. But he doesn't have the same chemistry with all the guests on this album (Hi-Teknology), so it's pretty uneven.
Jay-Z, "Izzo (H.O.V.A.)"
A song from The Blueprint, my favorite album of his, thanks in no small part to the great work on the beats from Kanye West and Just Blaze. Anyway, this song was huge, so I'll just shut up.
(NB: the studio versions can't be found on YouTube, so I linked a live version.)