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I know I said I didn't like reggae. But, I lied. Mostly I just don't like people who like reggae, especially people in San Francisco who like reggae. Take a shower! But, ensconced in my relatively tidy house, with running water and clean air that doesn't reek sourly of weed (I swear! It doesn't!) sometimes that loping dancehall beat hits the spot. Thus, the presence of four, count 'em, four reggae or kinda-reggae tracks on this week's Top Ten, plus the usual techno and stuff. Welcome to Jamrock:
10. Tegan & Sara - "The Con" (from The Con, out 7/24 on Sire)
Not reggae, and not quite as instantly catchy as 2005's "Walking With a Ghost," the Canadian duo still bring infectious melodies to this slightly rockier single. Their lyrics are as obtuse as ever ("I'm capsized, staring on the edge of safe") but clearly impart the pain and confusion of a breakup.
9. Built to Spill - "They Got Away" (single on Warner Bros.)
(mp3s just taken down from Stereogum here, but they promise a stream soon, or, wow, buy it on iTunes)
Hey whoa, remember this band? Ten years ago (!) they made Perfect From Now On, a near-masterpiece of epic, heartbreaking 7- and 8-minute songs reminiscent of Neil Young. Now they've put out a, er, one-off reggae single, but somehow it works. Don't worry, it's still in a minor key, with lead singer Doug Marsch lamenting "they got the things that they came for," before the band launches into an echoey instrumental dub.
8. People Press Play - "These Days" (from the self-titled album on Morr) (mp3 via Boule a Facettes)
This icy track from the Copenhagen quartet could fit on your mix tape with Air and Swayzak, but they're unapolagetically synthy, with glitchy percussion and bubbling bass owing more to Aphex Twin, and a theremin-reminiscent solo at the end. Plus I think I have that same Ikea stool from their publicity photo. Flüggi or whatever.
7. Justice - "Genesis" (from on Ed Banger / Vice)
(mp3 via Hate Something Beautiful)
The first track on the French duo's new album makes explicit the hard-rock connection with what sounds like a Sabbath sample. But then it heads straight for techno-land, with acid squelches rising up in pitch until you can just imagine the hands-in-the-air cheers of the basement crowd.
6. The Pack - "Robocop" (from the forthcoming Based Boys)
(Stream at The Fader blog here)
This Bay Area rap crew had trouble getting their last video, "Vans," on MTV, seeing as it's about a trademarked shoe product; can somebody tell the Pack that their latest song title is shared with a movie that
starred our freakin' Governator er, features a robotic cop?! Thankfully it makes sense: as The Fader points out, you can totally do the robot all day to the song's Kraftwerky beats.