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Posted at 4:07 PM ET, 05/ 7/2008

May Mixtape

By David Malitz

In this edition of the mixtape, you'll find plenty of stuff to make you dance (Steve Riley & the Mamou Playboys, Hot Club of Cowtown), reminisce (Polvo, Urban Verbs) and lay down and do nothing (Pontiak, Ida).

"Where's Da G's" - Dizzee Rascal (May 8, 9:30 Club)
Everyone's favorite grimey boy in da corner teams with Bun B and the late Pimp C of UGK for this irresistible anthem.

"Tragic Carpet Ride" - Polvo (May 9, Black Cat)
The reunited indie rockers offer plenty of choppy, bendy, piercing guitar sounds. It doesn't sound anything like Steppenwolf.

"Volatile" - The Old Haunts (May 11, The Red & the Black)
Former Bikini Kill drummer Tobi Vail pounds the skins for this Pacific Northwest band, whose album "Poisonous Times" is as perfect a collection of ragged, tuneful garage-punk as you'll hear this year. Highly recommended.

"Come Closer" - Indian Jewelry (May 14, The Red & the Black)
The experimental weirdos somehow manage to take a bunch of disturbing beeps, gurgles and squeals and turn it into a spooky mood piece.

"The Healer" - Erykah Badu (May 14-15, Constitution Hall)
By now you know what to expect from Badu -- something weird and political but with plenty of soul and groove.

"So Haunted" - Cut Copy (May 15, Black Cat)
Just in time for summer, these Aussies bring some breezy, sunny electro-pop that can comfortably sit next to songs by New Order and Depeche Mode on a playlist.

"We Throw Parties, You Throw Knives" - Los Campesinos! (May 16, Black Cat)
This Welsh indie-pop septet is sometimes on the verge of sounding too cute (they even have a lyric about "trying to find that perfect match between pretentious and pop") but they hit on the right formula in this one.

"La Danse De Mardi Gras" - Steve Riley & the Mamou Playboys (May 18, Glen Echo)
It's always Mardi Gras for these Cajun traditionalists who get crowds dancing to their zydeco-flavored tunes.

"Taking the Farm" - The War on Drugs (May 18, Black Cat)
Suffice it to say, the Philadelphia band's slightly synthed-up version of Springsteen's "Nebraska" sound is a lot more successful than the band's namesake.

"To the Country" - Laura Veirs (May 20, Jammin' Java)
She may look like your librarian (or at least what you'd like your librarian to look like) and her quirky, low-key brand of folk would score at least an 843.28 on the Dewey Decimal Rating system. No, I have no idea what that means.

"Lost" - The Mary Onettes (May 21, DC9)
This Swedish electro-pop group is loved by the bloggers, but its retro sound would be a perfect fit as openers for, say, Duran Duran.

"Shell Skull" - Pontiak (May 21, Black Cat)
The Virgina trio recently signed to Thrill Jockey Records (home of Fiery Furnaces, Sea and Cake, etc.), which will release the band's next album of heavy, dark sludge rock.

"Orange Blossom Special" (YouTube video) - Hot Club of Cowtown (May 23, Jammin' Java)
The band's fiddle-focused Western Swing is best appreciated in a live setting, so enjoy this live performance from "Later with Jools Holland."

"Axis of Evil" - Atomic Mosquitos (May 23, Velvet Lounge)
It's surf rock and it's done well, so how can you not like it?

"Your Song" - Kate Walsh (May 24, Iota)
No, it's not the "Gray's Anatomy" actress, just another young, U.K. singer-songwriter ready to take on the world. There's nothing cheeky or especially soulful about this sensitive ballad; it's simply heart-on-sleeve coffeehouse folk.

"Jar My Blood" - The Urban Verbs (May 24, 9:30 Club)
This overlooked D.C. new wave act from the early '80s was like the local version of Talking Heads, and not just because singer Roddy Frantz's brother played drums for the Heads. Hopefully the band will sound as wonderfully weird 25 years later.

"Lovers Prayers" - Ida (May 26, Iota)
Progenitors of that slowcore sound that makes you want to pull the blanket over your head and stay in bed all day.

"The Reflex" (YouTube video) - Duran Duran (May 27, Merriweather Post Pavilion)
Just for fellow GOG Jen, here's one of the best songs from everyone's (especially Jen's) favorite new wave act.

"The Witch" - Clinic (May 28, Black Cat)
The Liverpool band has an instantly recognizable sound -- propulsive, organ-drenched rock with Ade Blackburn's twitchy vocals.

"Underground" - Ben Folds (May 28, Wolf Trap)
Here's an old, live version of the piano man's first minor hit.

By David Malitz  | May 7, 2008; 4:07 PM ET
Categories:  Music  
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Sweet, esp Old Haunts, Cut Copy Campesinos and BFF. But Clinic link doesn't work. (sad face) And it would be awesome if the links opened in a new tab/window. Anyway, keep up the good work!

Posted by: danj | May 8, 2008 3:19 PM | Report abuse

I fixed the Clinic link -- I think. You can always just right click and save on the MP3s, too. And I can't say enough good things about the Old Haunts, one of my favorite albums of the year.

Posted by: David | May 8, 2008 6:00 PM | Report abuse

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