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The Strokes get zippy, and other new songs worth a listen

The Strokes in 2006


ROCK: One Way Trigger
By the Strokes; free download at

Rolling Stone magazine says the new single from the Strokes is the first song off the "long-awaited follow-up" to the garage-rock dandies' last album, Angles. But that record came out less than two years ago – hardly a lengthy delay, and a new LP hasn't even been announced yet. If Rolling Stone is jumping the gun, so are the Strokes, who sound anxious on One Way Trigger, an accelerated, blip-bleepy synth tune with Julian Casablancas alternating between falsetto and a deeper Marlboro-tar drawl. Not that the words are easy to make out – it sounds like he's just laying down a guide vocal – but Casablancas could be singing about suicide: "There's a million reasons to leave." As for the track's zippy style, we could say that it is litigiously similar to an Oslo band's 1985 hit Take on Me, but let's not go and ruin the Strokes' A-ha moment.

ROCK: Screwdriver
By Prince; streaming here

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The artist formerly known as a funkster goes all glam-rock and heavy backbeat with his ripping, all-gal band. Prince's voice strains and growls – "I'm your driver, and you're my screw." Beep beep'm, beep beep yeah!

JAZZ: Thank You
By Amy McConnell and William Sperandei, from Stealing Genius; streaming here

The title of an album of adventurous jazz covers was motivated by an Oscar Wilde quote about theft and borrowing, and the breezy, graceful piano-and-trumpet take on a Led Zeppelin classic does right by the original. "Inspiration is what you are to me," it goes, "inspiration, look and see." When the dreamy singer McConnell and the sublime brassman Sperandei say Thank You, messrs. Plant and Page can only reply, "Most welcome."

ROCK: You Make Loving Fun
By Besnard Lakes, from Rumours Revisited (Mojo magazine); streaming here

The Telegraph published a piece on how the hipsters have discovered Fleetwood Mac, which might explain a couple of recent indie-music compilations saluting rather than tisk-tisking the Tusk band. Here, on a magazine-stand CD from Britain's Mojo magazine, the Montreal space-rock-deluxe unit Besnard Lakes flies space-station high while orbiting planet Beach Boy, making us happy with the things that they do.

By Lonely Island, featuring Adam Levine and Kendrick Lamar

Lampooning the youngster anthems from the band Fun and the like, the video-making pranksters Lonely Island and high-priced guests offer advice on a catchy, rap-happy piece of work that offers advice – sometimes paranoid and sometimes sage. Backyard beagles, titanium bomb shelters, piranhas and saunas, Kendrick Lamar as an accountant, and falling pianos (twice) are just part of the comedy (which aired as an SNL digital short) involved on a tune with a motto: You only live once.

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About the Author

Brad Wheeler is an arts reporter with The Globe and Mail. More


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