by Bruce Springsteen
I thought my friend Joe Keyes was kidding when he said on his blog that this song sounded like Tommy Tutone. Nope—the "Radio Nowhere" of Bruce's dreams apparently plays a hell of a lot of "867-5309 (Jenny)" in the midst of its "million different voices all speaking in tongues." That's a great, populist Springsteen line, and it's also a complete anachronism, unless he intends to hire this song out to either Air America (why not?) or Sirius Satellite (on which both Bruce's biographer Dave Marsh and ex–E Street Band guitarist Little Steven have shows). Then again, anachronism becomes the guy: Springsteen might sing "I just wanna hear some rhythm," but beat-wise he makes do with his usual, eternal clomp. He sounds livelier than he has in a while, though.
"Peacebone (Pantha duPrince Remix)"
by Animal Collective
Speaking of quoting people on the internet, I was happy to read Jeff Kirby on Line Out casting a suspicious ear on Animal Collective, a feeling I've shared since catching 10 minutes of ululation rehearsal disguised as a concert in New York a few years back—not to mention the fact that there are people who actually think the band makes—no kidding—"pop." Or, as other web wags have noted, I've gone to the woods and taken mushrooms, too. But as demonstrated by This Bliss, released earlier this year, Pantha du Prince (aka Hendrik Weber of Hamburg, Germany) puts just as much stock into generating creeping, unsettling, spellbinding atmosphere. His 10-minute remix takes a while to rev up, but it does so almost subliminally: By the five-minute mark, you realize you're surrounded, and that it's a great feeling.
by Danuel Tate
This four-track 12-inch comes from a member of the well-loved Canadian jazz-techno trio Cobblestone Jazz, but its first cut, "Bloss," reminds me more of early Basement Jaxx, with a jazz tinge replacing their Brazilian feel. It's juicy, maximal, and ultra-playful, with stretched-out horns laying out over the squinched-up rhythm guitar and digitally blurred vocals the track runs on, before Tate tosses the horns into his laptop and juggles them over the beat, too. "Pushcard" is more straight-ahead, and maybe more exciting: unison brass theme, lustrous keyboard stabs, flute to singe people who don't like flutes, all riding a hectic 4/4 pulse to a supper club on the moon, with "Slim Jim Boko" its sustaining coda. One of my favorite records of the year.