Surfing the Web for new music, video and MP3 downloads can be a serious time investment. Tips from Times staff and contributors will help take the drag out of your click-and-drag. Some downloads may contain explicit lyrics. Except as noted, all of the selections are free and available online at latimes.com/downloads.
“Someone to Love”
Fountains of Wayne
Fountains of Wayne get those eighth-notes pumping, the snare cracking and the harmonies stacked on the chorus. No band since Jellyfish has more studiously absorbed the components of power pop than these guys, and “Someone to Love” has all of the above and more -- the disco drums on the chorus, the ‘80s keyboards. Its goofy, exuberant, often darkly amusing lyrics provide the recognizable portraits we’ve come to expect (remember “Stacy’s Mom”?). This first single from the group’s upcoming album is an opening volley in its continuing quest for pop perfection.
Speaking of borrowing on traditions, New York trio Earl Greyhound knows its Zeppelin. But this particular track offers more than your standard blues qawwali workout. A bridge owes much to that great psychedelic master composer J.S. Bach, but it’s the chorus, “I S.O.S. across the universe,” that howls like its inspirational banshee, Robert Plant. The video, really no more than a home movie, contains enough refracted rainbow colors to dislodge anyone’s synapses.
When this beguiling track begins, Fort Worth-based Keite Young sounds like a Sly Stone imitator who’s been produced after the budget ran out. Oddly emaciated production at the top, with Young even slightly out of sync with the drum track, will lead the listener astray, but it’s a feint designed to confuse. Everything opens up on the chorus when he brings in the troops. The playing is spare and perfectly funky for this song of faith, resilience and family unity. His debut album is due in June.
Book of Knots
Tom Waits is the guest singer on this track from an upcoming album that hauntingly examines industry and its decay in the Rust Belt. Waits’ voice becomes one with the machinery that accompanies him. A slow drone of clangs and bangs proceeds inexorably as Waits entreats one and all to “Pray now. Pray now!” with a zombie missionary zeal. Book of Knots is a fascinating communal enterprise that includes the Battle of Mice rhythm section, members of Sleepytime Gorilla Museum and Carla Bozulich