The Legendary K.O., "George Bush Doesn't Care About Black People" (MP3).
DangerDoom ft. Talib Kweli, "Old School" (Epitaph).
Lawless Element, "The Shining" (Babygrande).
Fiona Apple, "Tymps (The Sick in the Head Song)" (Sony).
Jaguar Wright, "Ecstasy" (Artemis).
Holopaw, "Losing Light" (Sub Pop).
Dungen, "Stadsvandringar" (Astralwerks; originally released 2002)
Franz Ferdinand, "This Boy" (Sony).
Unknown, "Oh Mother the Handsome Man Tortures Me" (Sublime Frequencies; originally released c. 1980s).
Dr. Nelle Karajlic, Dejan Sparavalo & Vojslav Aralica, "Duj Sandale" (Essay).
L.O.C., "Ring Ding Ding" (Jet Star).
Black Rhino, "Pon Dah Thing Yah" (Greensleeves).
Damian "Jr. Gong" Marley, "Welcome to Jamrock" (Atlantic).
Augustus Pablo, "Peace and Love Dub" (Pressure Sounds; originally released 1973).
Hugh Le Caine, "Dripsody" (Ellipsis Arts; originally recorded 1955).
Brinkmann, "Maschine" (Max.Ernst).
Richie Hawtin, "The Tunnel" (Mute).
Fennesz/Sakamoto, "Sala Santa Cecilia" (Sub Rosa).
Every occupation has its hazards—in the case of mine, the primary one being the gnawing fear of lateness or irrelevance, what Lester Bangs called "be-the-first-on-your-block syndrome." As print media play catch-up with and/or try to make sense of stuff you can read about on the Internet far, far earlier than even the most stringent print deadline will allow, it's easy to wonder how much effort it's worth to try to keep up—especially with music, the fastest-moving, and therefore most daunting, art form there is.
That's one reason I feel a bit foolish that I didn't get a bead on the opening track of this installment faster. It isn't my favorite 2005 recording (that's still Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings' "How Long Do I Have to Wait for You?"), but the Legendary K.O.'s Internet-only "George Bush Doesn't Care About Black People," which runs Kanye West's greatest beat and his public moment across the end goal, is probably the single of the year. It's still relevant, but I'd probably feel better including it if I'd done so a month ago, when it was still freshly up on the Houston rappers' Web page (where you can still find it: www.k-otix.com) instead of, in Net time, ancient history.
The same thing applies to the smattering of Jamaican ragga on here. I got both the CD single of L.O.C.'s "Ring Ding Ding" and Damian "Jr. Gong" Marley's Welcome to Jamrock a couple months ago, enjoyed both thoroughly . . . and let them sit fallow on my hard drive until now, well past when they were dominating their corners of the world (and beyond, in Marley's case). Summer hits sound good anytime, but really, mid-November? Still, I get to acknowledge another hit by animated amphibians (well, that's how L.O.C. are drawn on the CD-5 cover). Take that, Crazy Frog!
At least I was early on Fiona Apple; "Tymps" is the reworked version of "Used to Love," which I included in the May 4 column. And sometimes lateness happens for a reason, like Richie Hawtin's "The Tunnel"—the track itself isn't old, but its source materials are. (It's a segment from Hawtin's new mix-CD, DE9: Transitions.) So here's a hat-tip to Detroit Grand Pubahs' "Dr. Bootygrabber"; Jay Haze, "Groove (Losoul Remix)"; Galoppierende Zuversicht, "Linguini al Denta"; 0's "Rontgen"; Hawtin's "SixFourSeven"; and the Floyds/Sleeparchive's "Elephant Island"— the individual tracks that make up "The Tunnel." Hey—better late than never.