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music: essential video

Gord Downie, lead singer of the Tragically Hip performs with his band at the Pemberton Festival on July 26, 2008.JENNIFER ROBERTS


Streets Ahead

The Tragically Hip, from the forthcoming Now For Plan A; streaming here

The second single from the Hip's next album drives strict and muscled, like a Humvee in a mood and on a hard deadline. Clear a path – the bass line slows for no one.


Talkin' to Jehova

Kelly Joe Phelps, from Brother Sinner & the Whale (Black Hen); streaming here

"Crashing waves, don't you break no bones; we're just holding on." Soulful, graceful and bluesy in a Chris Whitley way, this slide-guitar-driven beauty is based on Bible verses and suggests that a glory-bound march is about to pay off.


We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together

Taylor Swift, from the forthcoming Red; streaming here

The eyelashed icon doubles down on the dumb-down, issuing an unambiguous message in as plain-spoken a way as possible. This is highly juvenile pop, downloaded at inexcusably record-setting levels, with Swift singing "we" in the chorus as if she's enjoying a roller-coaster ride to the bottom.


Into the Waves

Lisa Bozikovic, from This Is How We Swim; streaming here

Sombre, haunting stuff from the Toronto songstress, who neither fears oceans nor Cat Power comparisons.


Praise You

Fatboy Slim, from the DVD Live: From the Big Beach Bootique; streaming here

The Brighton-born DJ Norman Cook praises a soccer stadium full of hometown fans like he should, with confetti streams, fire-extinguisher blasts, knob twiddles and a big bow from dance-floor maestro.

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