Each week, Playlist’s Glenn Peoples looks at special tracks offered by the iTunes Music Store and other select online music merchants. Here are the selections for the week of May 23rd.
Jermaine Dupri was hired by Virgin to head its urban music division and bring some artists and vitality to the roster through his So So Def Records. He’ll release his own music through Virgin, too. First up, a pre-release single,
“>“Gotta Getcha” from the upcoming album Young Fly and Flashy Vol. 1 . The track is on iTunes (radio edit) and all the usual online outlets (Rhapsody, for example, has an album version…that’s the same length as the radio edit.)
There are two heavily anticipated upcoming releases that can be pre-ordered at iTunes with bonus tracks exclusive to the pre-release orders. Black Eyed Peas’
Monkey Business will be available June 7th. A pre-order will get three videos and a digital booklet. Coldplay’s
X&Y also has bonus pre-order material: the exclusive tracks “Proof” and “Things I Don’t Understand.”
iTunes has a few albums that come with exclusive bonus tracks. One is Common’s
Be, much of which was produced by Kanye West. The iTunes version of
Be comes with a video interview with both Common and Kanye. Indie rock heroines Sleater-Kinney also have an iTunes special.
The Woods comes with two exclusives: “Everything” and a live version of “The Fox.”
Former Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan has returned. iTunes has an exclusive on the pre-release track
“>“Mina Loy (M.O.H.)” from the upcoming album TheFutureEmbrace.
The late country singer Chris LeDoux is still a popular figure in country music. iTunes (as well as some other sites) has the single
“The Ride” from his 2003 album Horsepower . LeDoux was a rodeo star before taking up music, and on July 16th he’ll be inducted into the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame. That day has been proclaimed as Chris LeDoux Day in Wyoming by Governor Dave Freudenthal.
They’ve been at iTunes for a while, but it’s worth pointing out two live tracks by The Futureheads recorded live at The Garage,
“>“Le Garage” and
“>“He Knows.” Rare is the person who comes away unimpressed from a concert by The Futureheads.
One new rock band worth checking out is Diamond Nights. They’ve got an EP on Kemado Records called
Once We Were Diamonds. It’s available at the usual places. Diamond Nights are equal parts Thin Lizzy and Loverboy (with faint traces of Billy Idol as well) — rock music for Friday nights and cheap beer.
The free download of the week at iTunes is a
“>radio edit of “Galang” by up-and-coming U.K. rapper M.I.A. Critics have fallen over themselves while heaping praise on the wide-ranging styles (hip hop, dancehall, grime) of influences of her debut album
Arular and her bootleg-only release Piracy Funds Terrorism .
It’s been a while since MSN Music has anything worth mentioning, but right now it has an exclusive Son Volt track, “Flow” recorded live at MSN’s Acoustic Cafe. A 20-song Son Volt retrospective was released yesterday by Rhino Records. It’s a significant band that has been overshadowed in recent years by the other Uncle Tupelo splinter band, Wilco.
There are other Son Volt exclusives at other stores: Yahoo! Music has “Going, Going, Gone” from the Switchback EP, Napster has “Medicine Hat” from WFUV, and Rhapsody will have a four-track demo of “Driving the View” on May 31st.
Rhapsody has a few exclusives that definitely merit mention. First there are two tracks from Motown Remixed : hip, new versions of “Keep on Truckin’” by Eddit Kendricks and “ABC” by the Jackson 5. Both offer a new spin on classic songs, though they’re probably better for people who are more unfamiliar with the Motown legacy. True soul fans should stick to the originals. There’s also a Rolling Stone Original EP by Keane for fans of the popular Brit pop-lite band.
One interesting item that’s new to Rhapsody is the score to “The Graffiti Artist” by French DJ, Kid Loco (it’s out on the Mettray Reformatory label). The album is an entrancing collection of laid back hip hop fused with Eastern themes and a delicate ambience.
Yahoo! Music doesn’t have many exclusives, but right now it has at least one good one: “Street of Your Town” (Live) by The Go-Betweens. The song comes from a first-pressing bonus disc of live songs recorded in London in June of 2004. The veteran band’s latest album, Oceans Apart , was called “an instant classic” by Mojo magazine.
Since MySpace.com is becoming such a popular way to hear new music it merits inclusion in the column. Right now Oasis is streaming their single “Lyla” at
the band’s MySpace page.
Piebald’s page has streams of four songs. Rapper
Atmosphere also has four songs. If you’re into psychedelic rock (i.e. Byrds meets Spacemen 3) check out
The Quarter After’s page.
At Calabash Music, the current
free single is Jean Noel’s “Neny Baby.” He’s from Madagascar and plays a guitar-driven style of music called tsapika .