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Sean Daly's music picks

Be Your Own Pet!

Album: Get Awkward (Universal)

In stores: Now

Why we care: Led by a 20-year-old prom queen from hell, this Nashville noise-pop quartet celebrates sinful destruction on its wild, vertebraking sophomore disc. Even though the boys outnumber the girl three to one, pretty blond singer Jemima Pearl (who'd stab me for calling her "pretty" and "blond") rules with damn-the-dudes fury.

Why we like it: "Everybody here parties all the time / Everybody here has got sex on their minds / It could be dangerous . . ." Look beyond the nihilistic slamdance and there's smart social commentary, as BYOP takes the temperature of a feverish young nation.

Reminds us of: If I have a third daughter, I'm totally naming her Jemima. Love it.

Download this: The Kelly Affair and Food Fight

Grade: B+

Lindsey Buckingham

Album: Live at the Bass Performance Hall (Reprise)

In stores: Now

Why we care: The Fleetwood Mac picker and upholder of the SoCal sound is the most underrated guitarist in the pop pantheon. (Discuss.) His baroque flurries on this CD/DVD set sound like the work of five players, and the 58-year-old's gift for stuck-in-yer-head hooks is menacing.

Why we like it: There has never been a Buckingham hits collection, so this does the trick just fine. His reworkings of such solo goodies as Trouble and Go Insane are positively faboo, and the cross-current harmonies on Cast Away Dreams and It Was You were made for late-night headphone listening.

Reminds us of: "Loving you / Isn't the right thing to do..." There, now it's stuck in yours, too.

Download these: Trouble and Holiday Road

Grade: A

The Black Keys

Album: Attack & Release (Nonesuch)

In stores: Now

Why we care: Gnarls Barkley's DJ Danger Mouse produces this new full-length from the Akron blues-rock duo. That's a little like Buck Rogers joining Indiana Jones to fight Nazis. So it's cool.

Why we like it: Singer-guitarist Dan Auerbach and drummer Patrick Carney lay down Hendrixian licks and assorted crunchery as Danger Mouse drops in subtle psychedelic shimmer and related trippery. The result is more gnarly than Gnarls, and when it works best, it's totally intoxicating in a puff-puff-pass sorta way.

Reminds us of: Wolfmother — which means they remind us of the greatest new rock band of the 21st century. The Keys rule.

Download these: Strange Times and

Psychotic Girl

Grade: A



Song: Everything She Wants

Album: George Michael's Twenty-Five (Aegean/Epic)

In stores: Now

Why we care: This 1984 hit kicks off Twenty-Five, George Michael's new two-CD collection of Wham! and solo stuff. The troubled pop star is also launching a world tour, including his first U.S. dates in 17 years. That includes an Aug. 2 stop at the St. Pete Times Forum. I'll be there. Will you?

Why we like it: Tabloid shenanigans have made Michael a cautionary tale. But there's no denying his talents or his way with facial hair. On the midtempo Everything She Wants, he pours heat and charisma into a catchy keeper about a paramour with overpriced demands.

Reminds us of: My second-favorite George Michael tune? Praying for Time.

Song grade: A

Album grade: B (One problem: Where is I Want Your Sex? All of sudden he's a prude?)

Sean Daly's music picks 04/12/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, April 16, 2008 10:41am]
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