- Tom Waits
"I Love to Say Dada," Beach Boys (Capitol) At long last, the Beach Boys 1966 "Smile" sessions have been officially issued. Fans will no doubt already own these legendary recordings from bootlegs but it's time that a larger audience hears what the fuss was all about — the lovely and unsettling "Dada" is but one highlight.
"Hessa," El Rego (Daptone) A raw and upbeat slice of funk from the addictive reissue label by singer and bandleader El Rego, of the '60s Beninese soul scene, who sounds half-Fela, half-James Brown on this dance-floor shaker.
"The Dream," Thee Oh Sees (In the Red) From the San Francisco band's new "Carrion Crawler/The Dream" CD comes this unrelenting six-minute opus, blending snaky guitar riffs, distorted vocals and a stately floating keyboard into a head-bobbing experience that you wish could last forever. Aural bliss!
"Tell Me," Tom Waits (Anti) Troubadour Tom Waits proves why he's a living legend on this heartwarming guitar and glockenspiel number — an outtake from his new album, "Bad as Me," available on the deluxe edition. It would be a highlight on anyone else's record.
"Peso," A$AP Rocky (mixtape) Some people would say he's the next great hope for New York rap, but Harlem's A$AP Rocky draws mainly from laconic Southern flows, like on this hazy standout track from his narcotic mix tape.