The Songs We Can't Escape
"Kissing your sweaty face is like kissing every member of the human race," frontman Tim Tsurutani quails, distressed. That doesn't say much for his summer babe, unless he's just a Seinfeld-level germophobe or was born with telescopic vision. Anyhoo: Don't sleep on this Chicago trio just because they'd sweep a "world's shittiest band name" contest; they're quite a kicky, manic-in-an-OCD-way bit of fun.
"Where Were You"
No matter how often one encounters this type of thing—brute noise sadomasochism that sounds like the performer's actively beating himself to a pulp—it never becomes any less striking or disturbing an experience. There's a sense of invading privacy, of overstepping boundaries, of observing when we shouldn't—and yet it's impossible to turn fully away. See also: Sword Heaven, generally.
Juelz Santana feat. Skull Gang
This electronic chill-out zone was originally titled "Alright" and belonged to Freeway—courtesy of producer Just Blaze—who used the beat to passionately equate street hustling with providing for one's children. Santana and his scrub mates co-opt it to explain exactly how they'd sex lasses up given half a chance. A piece of advice for the Gang: When sweet-talking a woman into the sack, try not to call her a bitch.
Kings of Leon
"Sex on Fire"
Doesn't sound like a good time. Then you hear the song and it's fairly dope in a U2/Pearl Jam fist-pumping sense, and it occurs to you that sex on fire might not be so horrible if you were listening to "Sex on Fire" during. Irony would protect you, of course—at least until the flames melted your ear canals.
So Ron Killings isn't just the WWE's waaay-after-the-fact, hulked-out DMX surrogate—he's an actual rapper with actual albums to his credit. Dude. The ludicrously contagious "What's Up?"—shades of T.I.'s "What You Know" to these ears—is the anthem Killings delivers when making his way down to the ring through the crowd—taking his time, shaking hands, really nailing the title chorus home as if he seriously wants to know what's up with each and every one of us. Long after his matches are over, it's tough to resist the urge to put the same question to pets, children, spouses, anyone who'll possibly listen. I mean, you know...what's up?
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene each week with music news, trends, artist interviews and concert listings. We'll also send you special ticket offers and music deals.