Ryan Dombal recommends new tracks by Kanye, Drive-By Truckers, and others

By Ryan Dombal
May 10, 2006 at 04:00 AM EDT

Kanye’s ”M:I-3” track, and more

KANYE WEST FEATURING TWISTA, KEYSHIA COLE & BJ, “IMPOSSIBLE”
Hip-hop’s most accomplished braggart continues to back up the bluster on this single, which he wrote at the request of none other than Tom Cruise to coincide with the release of Mission: Impossible III. The rapper is still trying to bring the wild experimentation of the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band to hip-hop here, working with conga drums, freak-out electric guitar, old-school samples, and a choir, not to mention the Micro Machines-style speed rap of Chicago cohort Twista. The song is definitley all over the place and overambitious but — somehow, some way — it works. Buy the track on iTunes.

DRIVE-BY TRUCKERS, ”FEB 14”
”Flowers flying ‘cross the room/ Vases smashed against the floor,” sings Trucker Patterson Hood, recounting a not-so-Hallmark Valentine’s Day on this track. As these veteran Southern rockers crank and wail with verve, Patterson’s bittersweet ode chronicles a dicey break-up and its awkward aftermath. Though all hope seems lost, he can’t help pleading, ”Be my valentine.” Download a Drive-By Truckers podcast featuring ”Feb 14” for free, courtesy of New West Records.

THEO AND THE SKYSCRAPERS, ”LAY ‘EM OUT”
Everything about this NYC punk-rock band’s frontwoman, Theo Kagan, is gloriously severe, from the tattoos that spread down her arm to her platinum hair to her impossibly long, thin frame. The look fits in with hard-edged tunes like ”Lay ‘Em Out,” a robust riff monster with loads of ear-chomping attitude. Kagan’s feisty vocals smack somewhere between Karen O and Gwen Stefani, and her brash presence makes it easy for her to infiltrate punk’s male-dominated domain. Download the track for free here.

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ASOBI SEKSU, ”LIONS AND TIGERS”
Of all the bands with a bunch of guitars and even more echo pedals trying to ape the immaculate lusciousness of early-90s shoegaze gods My Bloody Valentine, this foursome — led by the girlish vocals of Japanese lead singer Yuki — is among the best. Proof positive is found on their excellent second album, Citrus, due at the end of this month. Marked by piles of euphoric six-string blasts, this highlight is the ultimate daydream soundtrack. Download it for free here.

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