"Sensual Seduction"

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Paid for by Committee to Reelect Judge North, P.O. Box 27113, Seattle, WA 98165

by Snoop Dogg

(Geffen)

The video for this extravaganza depicts our hero in various costumes honoring the synth-funk slow jams he came up on as a young pup, and it's ace, simultaneously tongue-in-cheek and a fun play-acting exercise. Hearing Snoop croon his way through a straightforward makeout ballad is certainly a mindfuck, though he does so well enough. The real twist comes when you hear the MP3 and it turns out the song is actually called "Sexual Eruption" ("Orgasm," Snoop helpfully overdubs 20 seconds before the fade), and that he's back in coarse voice swearing on the hook intended for bro-downs. Your move, R.

"Hercules Theme"

by Hercules and Love Affair

(DFA/EMI)

Idly checking MySpace the last day of November, I saw an offer from DFA Records on the bulletin board for a free MP3 by Hercules and Love Affair, the nom de disque of producer Andrew Butler. H&LA's "Classique #2"/"Roar" 12-inch, from September, features scrumptiously abstracted vocals over rubbery-timbred dark house. But "Hercules Theme" is something else entirely. A friend refused to believe it was new: "They found this in a thrift store." From the squelchy bass line to the sharp decay of the high hat to the zinging strings, this is the most precise, exacting replica of underground '70s disco imaginable, a kind of son of "Sessomatto," the first release on the legendary NYC disco label West End. The Boy George-ish vocals smear into the violins, but the horns own this number, especially in the second half, when they huff and puff and blow your house (music) down.

"Year of the Pig"

by Fucked Up

Support The Stranger

(What's Your Rupture?)

By contrast, this song by a Toronto punk quintet just blows your house up. It takes its time doing it, too: 18-and-a-half minutes. Yet it never drags—its slow build doesn't just guide you by the hand to a turbo breakdown; it's an attraction in itself. When the band make a sudden stop about five minutes in, their swift reentry is a relief—we want to know where this thing is going. Straight to hell, it turns out: Father Damian, the Drano-voiced singer, plugs the ugly into the pretty parts, and he's right on top of it when things break loose around the seven-and-a-half-minute mark. There's unrelenting tension throughout, whether they're slowing it down and revving it into a straight-up krautrock groove, or swerving that motorik drive into the hardcore junkyard. Needless to say: fucking epic. recommended

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