Surfing the Web for new music, video and MP3 downloads can be a serious time investment. These picks can help take the drag out of click-and-drag music choices. Some downloads may contain explicit lyrics. All are free, except as noted.
"Mighty 'O'" by OutKast, available at outkast.com: The track is available as a buyable download from iTunes, Napster and Rhapsody, but you can hear it stream on OutKast's Web site. It provides a good example of how Andre 3000 and Big Boi's talents are undiminished since the supernova of Speakerboxxx/The Love Below. So many smart, hilarious lines fly by that it is impossible to select just one, but taking center stage is an organ that sounds like an old Hammond B-3 taken right out of a local Baptist church.
"You Got Away With It (A Tale of Two Fraternity Brothers)" by Todd Snider, available at rhapsody.com/toddsnider (click "The Devil You Know" in the left corner): Snider blithely strums his acoustic, talking about his criminal running buddy from a misspent childhood. Of course, this rogue turns out to be someone we all know. But when the electric guitar kicks in and the harmonies are wailing on the chorus, we're shouting and laughing along with the track, knowing, deep in our souls, that this fellow is a baaaaad man.
"Maybe Sparrow" by Neko Case, available at nekocase.com/news: The animated video is exquisitely drawn and, for much of it, a sparrow is escaping a predatory owl. In this message about holding out for hope and rebirth, it becomes a move toward a defiance against forces that may conspire against us.