13 Beats for the Week

1. “I Need A Dollar” by Aloe Blacc

This song is featured in the intro to HBO’s new show How to Make it in America, New York’s answer to Entourage. On a side note, this show has a great soundtrack set every week, something I have learned to expect from any show produced by “Marky Mark” Wahlberg.

2. “Hello Brooklyn” by Jay-Z and Marvin Gaye (Mick Boogie)

Two of life’s constants are death and taxes. I would venture a guess and say that there is a third: Jay-Z rapping over any sample. You could put Jay-Z rapping over a lawnmower and I would listen to it, let alone the soulful stylings of Marvin Gaye.

3.”Resurrection” by Lupe Fiasco and Kenna

Rapper/humanitarian Lupe Fiasco joined up with singer Kenna to contribute to a compilation album to benefit those displaced by the earthquake in Haiti. Keep an eye out for Fiasco’s upcoming album, Lasers, set to release this spring after delays and countless rumors.

4. “Gentlemen Remix” by Said the Whale feat. Shad (w/Holy Fuck, MGMT & The Who)

This is a melting pot of a mashup, which features “Gentlemen” by Said the Whale, “Time to Pretend” by MGMT, “Baba O’Riley” by The Who and vocals by the Canadian Rapper Shad. It all comes together in a glorious manner with Shad’s verse capping off the short, but oh so sweet track.

5. “White Flag” by Gorillaz

Damon Albarn, the mastermind behind the world’s most successful virtual band of all-time, Gorillaz, has done it again. He is so brazenly confident in what he believes sounds good, you will believe in anything he churns out. This is particularly evident in the song “White Flag,” which features two less than noteworthy British rappers along with the Lebanese National Orchestra thrown in for a little contrast, I guess.

6. “Over” by Drake (Dekk Remix)

This is an interesting electro pop/rock spin on Drake’s latest radio killer that’s well worth a listen.

7. “Don’t Think Twice” by K’naan

Back in August, DJ/Producer J. Period and Somali MC K’naan collaborated on a mixtape tribute to three of the most influential music icons of the past century: Fela Kuti, Bob Marley and Bob Dylan. One track that shines through is K’naan’s mix of Bob Dylan’s “Don’t Think Twice” along with a few other Bob Marley mixes, including “Stir It Up”.

8. “Where Is My Mind” by the Pixies (Bassnectar Remix)

Just picture the final scene of Fight Club.

9. “Congratulations” by MGMT

MGMT’s sophomore album Congratulations is set to release in the upcoming weeks and early reviews are optimistic, but it remains to be seen if there is to be a “Kids” or “Time to Pretend” on this album. While it might not become the anthem to your summer, “Congratulations” is yet another solid, whimsical track put forth by these psychedelic rockers.

10. “Giving Up the Sunshowers” by The Hood Internet (M.I.A. vs. Vampire Weekend)

Mashup gods, The Hood Internet spew mashes with varying degrees of success, but they get it right more often than not. This is no exception as the duo mixed the frantic beat of the Vampire Weekend single with the eclectic sound of M.I.A.

11. “Symphonies” by Dan Black feat. Kid Cudi

This song has been receiving some heat lately for being unoriginal, recycled and plain. I personally just think it sounds good.

12. “11th Dimension” by Julian Casablancas

Julian Casablancas, lead singer and songwriter of the Strokes, proves he can do it on his own with this lead single from his solo debut album, Phrazes For the Young, which released last fall. Casablancas channels much of his past work with the Strokes but creates a futuristic, yet inviting sound. Be on the look out for a new Strokes album this fall as well as a possible headline at the music festival, Mecca Lollapalooza, this summer.

13. “Gay Human Bones” by Harlem

I know little about this band based out of Austin, just that they are receiving some recent praise for their second album entitled Hippies, which will be out this April. You can look forward to an extremely laid-back and almost retro vibe from their music.