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Sean Daly's CD picks: T-Pain, Civet, Waylon Jennings & the 357s, the Clash

T-Pain

Album: Thr33 Ringz (Jive)

In stores: Now

Why we care: Just like Old Man Jenkins yelling at kids to stay off his lawn, I'm old-aging into my own cranky ways. Auto-Tune drives me frothy. Sure, everyone from Kanye to Kellie Pickler opts for a lil' digital fixing. But Tallahassee hip-hopper T-Pain uses the voice-altering gizmo as his primary (and soulless) gimmick. Heck, when wolfish Ludacris shows up on new jam Chopped N Skrewed, Luda sounds like Sinatra next to tin-man T-Pain.

Why we like it: T-Pain (real name: Faheem Najm) is a master of the tight, tidy hook, a reason why he's the king of the ringtone. You gotta dig through 21 robo-tracks (and umpteen special guests), but there's an occasional prize.

Reminds us of: The Hall of Prezidentz

Download this: Freeze (feat. Chris Brown)

Grade: C-

Civet

Album: Hell Hath No Fury (Hellcat)

In stores: Now

Why we care: The four "femme fatale punk rockers" in L.A. band Civet look like inked-stained crosses between assassins and porn stars. (Note to self: Call Spielberg. Have awesome movie idea!) Singer Liza Graves, guitarist Suzi Homewrecker, bassist Jacqui Valentine and drummer Danni Harrowyn shred out three chords and 13 songs in little more than 30 minutes, leaving a trail of corpses and claw-his-eyes-out anthems.

Why we like it: Whereas the Donnas talked tough but ultimately opted for sleepover silliness, power-rocking Civet seems truly interested in knocking your teeth out. Or at least stealing your car for a three-state crime spree.

Reminds us of: The Ramonas

Download these: Brooklyn and Sin City

Grade: B

Waylon Jennings & the 357s

Album: Waylon Forever (Vagrant)

In stores: Now

Why we care: This eight-song merging of old Nashville and new marries a weary, but still on'ry, vocal from the late, great Waylon Jennings and a backing band of son Shooter and his 357s. Some of it was recorded years before Waylon's death in 2002; some was given posthumous paint.

Why we like it: Critics have griped that this is more Shooter show (metallic licks, trippy twists) than Waylon record. But I hear father and son trying to find common ground. On Are You Ready for the Country?, the 357s discover a natural path from outlaw menace to pyschedelic mellow. Southern-rockin' Ain't Livin' Long Like This could (and might) be a hit today.

Reminds us of: Papa would be proud.

Download this: Ain't Livin' Long Like This

Grade: A-

SONG OF THE WEEK

The Clash

Song: Police on My Back

Album: Live at Shea Stadium (Sony BMG)

In stores: Now

Why we care: Oct. 13, 1982, in the home of the New York Mets. The Clash were the middle act on a bill with New York Doll David Johansen and the Who. Joe Strummer and the London scruffs were given less than an hour to play — but managed to cram 16 life-affirming slamdances into an unforgettable set.

Why we like it: On this exuberantly unlawful Eddy Grant cover, Strummer gives up the mike to slurry tough guy Mick Jones. Has there ever been a band that made sticking it to the Man sound so tuneful and fun? In the song's odd finale, Jones asks the crowd to "stop yakking," a request for civil as they preach disobedience.

Reminds us of: "When the law break in / How you gonna go?"

Song and album grade: A

Sean Daly's CD picks: T-Pain, Civet, Waylon Jennings & the 357s, the Clash 11/11/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, November 12, 2008 6:54am]

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