The Times They Are A-Changin’
Michael Moore, from the forthcoming Occupy This Album (Music for Occupy); streaming here
The lefty director has his open-Mike moment, credibly singing Bob Dylan’s protest anthem gently, as if to an audience of children. The pipe tootling and soft tones then give way to a crowd-rousing bullhorn excitation: “We are here to conduct an intervention.”
Live to Rise
Soundgarden, from Avengers Assemble (Marvel Music); streaming here
“Like the sun, I will live to rise.” For their first new song in 15 years, Chris Cornell and company blatantly rip off their own riff. Fittingly, for the soundtrack to The Avengers, it is the Soundgarden hit (and little-known superhero) Spoonman that is revisited.
Eddie Vedder, from Every Mother Counts 2012 (Starbucks); streaming here
Aw, so sweet: The heartfelt acoustic ballad begins with a cute cameo by the Pearl Jam singer’s daughter, Olivia. In benefit of a maternal-health advocacy campaign, Vedder and others, including Faith Hill, Lauryn Hill and Paul Simon and Edie Brickell, contribute mom-friendly tuneage.
I’m a Memory
Sara Watkins, from Sun Midnight Sun (Nonesuch); streaming here
The former Nickel Creek singer-fiddler goes big with a sweeping, galloping chorus of a song that has “play me, radio” written all over it.
ESSENTIAL VIDEO: HIP HOP
Lost in the Word
Kanye West, with Justin Vernon; streaming here
In an artful, bling-less video by Ruth Hogben, West staggers on a mirrored surface of clouds, while a beauty in a white T-shirt does things more dancerly. Strobe effects induce seizures and a chanting, rumbling and tumbling outro features beautiful women throwing abandon and hair to the wind.