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Jay-Z has moved some 26 million units, so he’s allowed to spend a whole verse rapping about his record sales. “I crush Elvis in his blue suede shoes/ made the Rolling Stones seem sweet as Kool-Aid too,” he rhymes, sort of, on “Reminder,” a track from his upcoming record The Blueprint 3. But if Jay-Z’s hoping to overtake The Beatles on this go-round, he’s going to need a track with stronger sauce than this. Burdened with a leaden hook and some namby-pamby synth leads, “Reminder” drags hard. The production is credited to Timbaland, but there’s a chance this track was actually put together by the Flight of the Concords dudes, just for a laugh.
Professor Genius & Grackle Speculator: “Jive“
Beyond a few bleeps and bloops, the original arcade version of Galaga didn’t have much in the way of music. Could be that the programmers were just sitting around and waiting for producers Professor Genius and Grackle Speculator to write “Jive.” The song’s motorik rhythms, vintage synths, and laser-beam noises make the perfect soundtrack for lo-bit space warfare.
No Age: “You’re A Target“
My Bloody Valentine bankrupted its label while recording the ear-shattering shoegaze masterpiece Loveless. Sub Pop, on the other hand, probably isn’t too stressed about No Age’s woozy new EP, Losing Feeling breaking the bank. On “You’re A Target” the Los Angeles-based punk duo gets the same dreamy sounds—walls of fuzz, spaced-out drones, whale noises, the works—on a lo-fi budget.
King Khan & BBQ Show: “Invisible Girl“
King Khan & BBQ Show’s latest single finds the band feeling kind of blue. They love a girl, but she’s invisible. Also, she’s at the bottom of the ocean. Unless you grew up inside a ’50s sci-fi flick, the story’s specifics are probably pretty alien. But the sentiments—the loss, the hurt—are universal and so are the chugging vibrato guitar chords. Khan sells them both pretty well here.