Ryan Dombal recommends Beck's ''Nausea.'' Plus: a tribute to Vans, and two other tracks worth a listen this week

By Ryan Dombal
Updated September 15, 2006 at 04:00 AM EDT
Beck: Tibor Bozi/Vanit.de/Retna Ltd.

Beck’s ”Nausea,” a tribute to Vans, and more

BECK, ”NAUSEA”
The alt-rock chameleon makes a quick return after last year’s Guero with this junk-blues stomp from his upcoming album, The Information. The lively drums and bassline offer a deep groove for the blue-eyed eccentric’s queasy lyrics (”I’m a seasick singer on a ship of noise”). No Tums necessary, though. Buy the track on Rhapsody and watch the video on YouTube.

THE PACK, ”VANS”
Northern California hip-hop quartet the Pack render TV commercials for Vans shoes redundant with this infectious, lo-fi tribute to the much-loved footwear. ”It’s a punk-rock shoe so they get real dirty,” the intrepid newcomers explain, as a squelching synth turns what should be shameless product placement into one of the best, weirdest rap songs of the year. Buy the track on iTunes and watch the video on YouTube.

THE GRATES, ”ROCK BOYS”
Whether this song is a sneering middle finger at the male-dominated world of indie rock or not, female-fronted Aussies the Grates turn its marching-band drums and escalating guitar crunch into a cathartic experience. The best part comes when Karen O-style singer Patience Hodgson goes for a big, loud, long ”Yeah!,” releasing more frustration in a single utterance than most emo troops can muster across an album. Download the track for free here. (PC USERS: RIGHT-CLICK on the link above and save to your desktop. MAC USERS: CONTROL-CLICK on the link to save to your desktop.)

BIRDMONSTER, ”ALABAMA”
These newly minted indie poster boys manage to meld twitchy post-punk and arena-size Springsteen-isms on ”Alabama.” ”It’ll be okay, it’ll be all right, to make some noise tonight,” urges singer Pete Arcuni, summing up his band’s elation. There’s even that moment where they bring it all the way down only to — that’s right — bring it all the way back up, kind of like a pogoing rock & roll physics lesson.

…… Download the track for free here. (PC USERS: RIGHT-CLICK on the link above and save to your desktop. MAC USERS: CONTROL-CLICK on the link to save to your desktop.)

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