Arch Enemy, "Marching On A Dead End Road": A just-under-two-minutes instrumental interlude. I always think, whenever my iPod starts me off with something like this, that it's got a plan for the rest of the sequence.
Darkthrone, "Sno Og Granskog (Utferd)": Maybe not, though. This is from one of Darkthrone's more ambitious albums; it's the final track, and it's a weird Laibach-ian chant-and-pound-the-big-drums thing, not a staticky-guitar-and-hoarse-screeching thing.
Eddie Henderson, "Omnipresence": A track from the extended Mwandishi family of albums (see Herbie Hancock's Mwandishi, Crossings and Sextant; Eddie Henderson's Inside Out and Realization; Bennie Maupin's The Jewel In The Lotus, which I just copped three tracks from the other day courtesy the fine folks at destination out; Buster Williams' Pinnacle; Julian Priester's Love, Love; and probably a bunch of others, too. Those three Herbie albums are the best things he's ever released under his own name. Fuck the Headhunters; Mwandishi was a progressive, staggeringly talented ensemble that did damn near as much to make fusion worthwhile as Miles himself.
The Cars, "Shake It Up": Not my favorite Cars song - that'd be "Candy-O" - but pretty solid.
Twilight, "Winter Before": Twilight is a black metal supergroup of sorts, a collaboration between five guys each of whom records as a solo act. The combination of approaches doesn't actually yield anything world-shaking, but they do come up with some surprises, like this cut; it almost sounds like the psychedelic doom of Esoteric, particularly when the hellhounds-roaring-in-the-fiery-pit vocals come in.
Scorpions, "Mysterious": A mid-90s experimental track from these boys. "Experimental" in this case means it's a cross between U2's "Mysterious Ways" and the Cult's "The Witch" (you know, that weird track from the Cool World soundtrack that was the best thing they'd done since Electric, so naturally it represented a direction they immediately abandoned).
Howlin' Wolf, "Tell Me": What can you say about the Wolf? Some of his phrasing and rhythms are so weird they make Captain Beefheart wholly unnecessary, that's what.
Ved Buens Ende, "You, That May Wither": Arty death metal, recently reissued to little or no fanfare. The vocalist sounds kinda like Mike Patton.
Miles Davis, "Side Car II": One more nugget of awesomeness from Miles' mid-60s acoustic quintet. Some days their stuff is too pretty for me, and I prefer the raw headlong mania (and frequent clams from the so-called leader [so-called because come on, Tony Williams was in charge of that band and we all know it]) of the live Plugged Nickel box, or some of the bootlegs I've got around the house. But this track, from Circle In The Round, is more than a footnote, and well worth checking out.
Son Of Bazerk Featuring No Self Control And The Band, "The Band Gets Swivey On The Wheels": This guy sounds so much like DMX that frankly the dog should send him a royalty check. I love love love this album, and couldn't believe my luck when it popped up on a hip-hop file-sharing blog a few weeks back.
The Jesus & Mary Chain, "In A Hole": The best thing about this song is the echo that comes in on the vocals toward the end, which hits like a steel garage door slamming shut, over and over and over. And the drumbeat and the guitar noise are so brutal at the beginning that when this first started playing, I thought it was early Godflesh.
Pitbull, "Que Tu Sabes D'Eso (Feat. Fat Joe & Sinful)": El Mariel is one of the top five hip-hop albums of the year, for real. The Clipse are fine, but Pitbull's tales of Miami are just as hard, and just as pithily phrased. Seriously, don't write this guy off as a bilingual party clown. This album is the shit.
Can, "Bel Air": A pleasing 20-minute interlude.
Slayer, "Temptation": A great riff emerges about 2/3 of the way through this. It's a very good song from a very good album (the weakest of a trilogy that, taken as a whole, pretty much smokes anything any other metal band's ever put out). The lyrics are dumb, but ignorable (not always the case with Slayer - they've come up with some fascinating lyrics in the past, and even on their new album).
Gang Of Four, "History's Bunk": I like the off-beat ranting vocal on this. He's not even attempting to make it into a "song," he's just yelling about all the anonymous ones who got it in the neck. That's as it should be. Real injustice outweighs melody. Napalm Death knew that on their first couple of albums, too.
Rammstein, "Wollt Ihr Das Bett In Flammen Sehen": Rammstein are just great. My wife hipped me to them after getting seriously into their discography while studying German, and now that I've read translations of their lyrics, I have a lot more respect for them than I did after I interviewed them. A horrible experience, that; Till Lindemann (vocals) just sat there staring at me and smoking in Nasty Little Man's conference room like Peter Stormare's character in Fargo. Occasionally, he'd make some guttural joke at my expense. The guitarist was moderately personable, but I'm not even sure any of the others spoke English, because they didn't say a word the whole time. The piece never ran.
Deftones, "Street Carp": The new album is their version of Disintegration, and this comes from White Pony, which was their version of Amnesiac. Electronic soundscapes, crunching guitar riffs, and agonized wailing from a weepy fat Mexican. You can't fuck with that combination.