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A hip-hop take on ''Sunglasses at Night''

A hip-hop take on ”Sunglasses at Night” and three other cool tunes Ryan Dombal recommends checking out this week

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A hip-hop take on ”Sunglasses at Night”

It was only a matter of time before a hip-hop group twisted Corey Hart’s ’80s mega-smash ”Sunglasses at Night” into an amped-up tribute to hot shades. I’m surprised it took so long, really. Northern California hyphy upstarts the Federation enlist Bay Area vet MC E-40 to add even more shade to their cool on the synthed-up throwback. Somewhere, Corey Hart is having trouble seeing things under moonlight — and smiling. Stream the track with Windows Media or at MySpace.

Eccentric singer/songwriter/Aussie Luke Steele heads up this outlandish art-rock project. The cover of Steele’s recently released second LP, Personality, looks like a garish Photoshop explosion, featuring the mastermind — sans shirt — holding another shirtless version of, um, himself (check it out here). The singer puts his bombastic ego to good use on this wispy single, throwing in strings, horns, and lofty backup vocals all while recalling David Bowie’s famed ’70s excursions into Philly soul. Watch the video at the official Sleepy Jackson site, or stream the track on MySpace.

In many ways, this Brit group is like the Seven Mary Three of the overrun neo-post-punk trend — just as SMT watered down grunge in the ’90s, the Editors’ songs often seem like blurry Interpol facsimiles or less catchy Franz Ferdinand echoes. But even Seven Mary Three had a couple (okay, one) good track(s). This choice rarity finds Editors slowing down their typical high-hat jitters while aping the chanting, delayed-guitar crescendos of ’80s U2. To these ears, they’ve never sounded better. Download the track for free here.

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Characteristically smart, cynical lyrics accompany this new track from Portland punks the Thermals, who will unleash their quasi-concept album The Body, the Blood, the Machine at the end of this month. The record’s theme centers around rebels railing against a U.S. ruled by Christian fascists, but their fiery, brakeless attack is sure to raise blood pressure regardless of religious preference. Download the track for free courtesy of Sub Pop Records.