Friday Extra: Hot n’ Fresh!

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Let’s take a little break from our Christmas music onslaught and share some tunes we’ve been bobbing our heads to lately.  Jenny Lewis, the comely former child actress-turned-rock-singer, has a scorching new solo album out.  Acid Tongue is a major effort from this indie darling – its straightforward rock has hints of of jazz, folk and soul.  And it’s kind of all-star affair: M. Ward, Chris Robinson (Black Crowes) and Jonathan Rice make appearances, as does our old buddy Elvis Costello, on the tune included here.  As a bonus, we’ve tossed in the duo’s rockin’ appearance on the David Letterman TV show a while back.

MP3: “Carpetbaggers” by Jenny Lewis with Elvis Costello

YouTube: Jenny Lewis and Elvis Costello on “Late Show With David Letterman”

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Speaking of chick singers, try out the latest warbler from across the pond: Adele, from South London, who has been making some waves stateside with her album 19.  At the moment she seems to be a U.K.-only phenom but don’t count her out just yet; “Cold Shoulder” just may be enough to warm you to her charms.

MP3: “Cold Shoulder” by Adele

Just who are these King Khan and the Shrines?  Well, they seem to know their way around some rockin’ songs.  Their new CD what is? comes straight out of left field with a bracing one-two rock punch.  Go to their website to download two more songs for free.

MP3: “Torture” by King Khan & the Shrines

We’ve liked Michael Franti & Spearhead ever since we heard their incendiary “Yell Fire!” a few years ago on the great rock station WDST (“Radio Woodstock”) deep in the heart of New York state.  This danceable little ditty comes from their latest, All Rebel Rockers.

MP3: “Say Hey (I Love You)” by Michael Franti & Spearhead

You know what happens in December and you know what happens in January.  But around the first of February, our thoughts start turnin’ to South by Southwest, the big springtime music festival in Austin.  So let’s wrap up with a few selections from some recent guests to SXSW — first up, Lily Allen.  Our favorite little U.K. trainwreck (sorry, Amy W.) is set to drop her second album It’s Not Me, It’s You any day now, and “Everyone’s At It” is a bit of a finger-wagger, the pot calling the kettle black if you ask me.

MP3: “Everyone’s At It” by Lily Allen

Carbon/Silicon are our buddies from this year’s festival; led by former Clash guitarist Mick Jones and former Generation X shredder Tony James, they put out socially conscious tunes like this little tartly titled number.

MP3: “Total F***ing Madness” by Carbon/Silicon (Language NFSW)

And finally, we’ve thinking about Alabama 3, best known for providing the opening credits theme for “The Sopranos.”  This British outfit’s next  album “will be created and disseminated without interference from labels, shops, manufacturers or distributors – a virus transmitted directly to the people,” according to its website.  In the meantime, savor this golden oldie, from way back in 1997.  Have a good weekend!

MP3: “Bourgeoisie Blues” by Alabama 3

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