Pod Picks for Oct. 10, 2013

October 9, 2013 

This week we recommend new tracks from some rock darlings and hip-hop royalty for downloading (legally, of course) or streaming to you iPod, iPad, iPhone or other personal media device.

"Wait for Me" by Kings of Leon

For all the drama and breakup rumors, the Followill boys can put it all together when they need to. On the Tennessee band’s sixth album, “Mechanical Bull,” it sounds like a continuation of the new Southern Rock they’ve been laying down for the last 10 years – let’s call the sound “newsourock.” Yes, the band seems to walk a creative line between brotherly love and family feud. And sometimes it appears they have a hard time balancing the egos of small-town boys done good. But when these three brothers and one cousin fall into their strutting grove, it all feels alright.

"Change" by Jack Johnson and Ben Harper

Yeah, yeah, yeah – we know Jack Johnson is way laid back. But the collaborations between Johnson and his longtime friend Ben Harper have been going on for years, and they are always tasty. This is no exception. Johnson lolls and rolls along on acoustic guitar, and Harper mirrors Johnson’s vocals with his falsetto. All while Harper’s Weissenborn slide moves like the tide against the piano. Yes, it’s laid back. Sometimes kicking back is exactly the kind of “Change” that you need.

"Berzerk" by Eminem

Back in ’99, “The Slim Shady LP” made Eminem a shocking novelty act. But the next year he released “The Marshall Mathers LP,” which is still thought of as one of the greatest hip-hop albums of all time. It was disturbing and funny and brutal and brilliant. Over a decade we’ve seen Eminem rise and fall, on the charts, in real life. Most of the damage done was by his own hand, and he seems to accept those circumstances, at least according to his lyrics. Now, he’s making a sequel, “The Marshall Mathers LP 2,” his eighth studio album. Rick Rubin’s production gives Em’s rhymes the Beastie Boys treatment, circa “License to Ill,” with some sampled Billy Squire thrown in. It’s a big gritty song, and a forward start at looking back.

Derrick Bracey, for Weekly Surge

Derrick Bracey, for Weekly Surge

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