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The Songs We Can't Escape

Plague-contagious agitprop synth wonder is content to be addictive, generalist in its revolutionary fervor, and vaguely subversive as long as it gets to top your iPod play count, someday. It's not topping mine just yet, but it's well on its way there.

Jack Rose
"Woodpiles on the Side of the Road"

When the late Jack Rose employed his slide guitar technique in performance—as he did to great effect on new disc Luck in the Valley—it underlined, or highlighted, the instrumental folk chops on display while suggesting the warps and imperfections one finds in now-bygone film reels, a reminder (in a sense) that what he was vehemently playing was something more than music.

Shining
"Healter Skelter"

Wait, what? Do you want some of this? Yeah? Shining wants to take this outside. Shining has spiked brass horns stashed in its midnight-black Impala. Shining will meet you in the alley behind the bar for a no-holds-barred jazz-punk throwdown, sucker.

U.S.D.A.
"Stuntin'"

Don't let shyster salesmen shortchange you during those post-Christmas auto-dealership extravaganzas: "This bitch came with everything, 'cept a machine gun/A money-counting machine, you ever seen one?/Ain't come with your shit?/Fuck you mean, son?"

Zola Jesus
"Nativity"

Zola Jesus major domo Nika Roza Danilova throws a shit fit that rolls, thrashes, and flares like a noise-rock orgasm, a heat-seeking grind of buzzing jackhammer snares, decentralized guitar roar, and thrown-up cries recycled to blissful effect.