Backyard Tire Fire | Bar Room Semantics
Yes, their music rules as hard as their name does. Just when you thought alt-country went out with Pokémon, Backyard Tire Fire bring something new to the table, blending Moog with twangy rock and whiskey-pickled vocals. "The Daze" is undoubtedly the best narrative ever about a guy in a band (sorry "Juke Box Hero" fans). - Eric Shea

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The Rolling Stones | Rarities 1971-2003
This collection of collectors' rarities does not have the totally awesome "Claudine," or those legendary outtakes from Exile (which sound like a garage band and rule) but it's the Stones in the '70s (for the most part) that is the draw on this collection, so you're gonna wanna hear it. Not that the Stones need to put out *another* album (this makes 46 full-length Rhapsody albums), but the live "Tumblin' Dice" and "Beast of Burden" are worth the price of admission. - Mike McG

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Dr. Dre | The Chronic
Without question one of the most important and influential albums ever, The Chronic brought Gangsta Rap to MTV in 1992 and made superstars out of Dre & Snoop, putting the izzle in sizzle for years to come. Fueled by Dre's revolutionary G-Funk production, the album merged streetwise rhymes with irresistible beats, spawning several platinum hits ("Let Me Ride," "Nuthin' But a "G" Thang") and inspiring a legion of wannabe Gs worldwide. What digital service got it up first? That's right, beeeatch. Rhapsodizzy in tha hizzy. Just chill...til the next episode...

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Sound Directions | The Funky Side Of Life
Four years ago, the hip-hop producer Madlib built his own jazz sandbox: a half-instrumental, half-sampled project he called Yesterday's New Quintet that played a spaced-out version of early 70's hazz funk. He played all the parts himself...but now that he has hired great studio musicians- including Malcolm Catto, a much better drummer- and renamed the band Sound Directions, things are looking up. This new album, The Funky Side Of Life (Stones Throw) has dense, delirious grooves, perhaps despite the fact that it's also serious record-junkie stuff." - Ben Ratliff, New York Times

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Wilco | Kicking Television
You knew it would happen, a double live CD after the loooong and lucrative Ghost is Born tour. The new classics are deliciously Wilco, great live versions of "The Late Greats," "Hummingbird," and "Jesus, Etc.". Nels Cline really shines as the strongest addition to the band on "Hell Is Chrome" and the end of "Handshake Drugs". But where are the old classics? Thanks for comin' home "Via Chicago," but the "Kingpin" on tour was stellar, so why not release it? - TK

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School for the Dead | The New You
When I found out that Troubled Hubble was breaking up, I was sad. But then I got an email (and a Rhaplink) from Henning Ohlenbusch of School for the Dead, and my spirits were raised. Their album The New You is catchy, witty, funny and easy to sing along to. "Photobooth Curtain" has become one of my favorite songs of the year, so poppy and happy. "I got a lot to learn from that girl." Yeah, you right, Henning. "Thug" is quite catchy too. Give it a whirl. - TK

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Bedouin Soundclash | Sounding A Mosaic
Montreal's Bedouin Soundclash has made a splash in 2005, most notably on this summer's Warped Tour. Now before you think I'm going punk on you, give the album a listen. It's more ska/reggae than punk, and at it's core, it takes the Clash to create Bedouin Soundclash. Jay Malinowski's raspy, soulful wail will draw you in. Give a listen to the single "When the Night Feels My Song"- it has become a huge crossover hit on commercial Canadian radio. This album was produced by Bad Brains' Daryl Jennifer, if you're looking for punk cred. - TK

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My Morning Jacket dressed up the Fillmore last weekend, literally bringing us "Into the Woods"- an enchanted forest of sound and feeling. It has been a long time since two nights of music had completely taken me over and helped me to see so clearly. If you are uninitiated, going to see My Morning Jacket is like taking a bath in good energy, it is spiritually cleansing and leaves you with a higher level of consciousness than you had before the experience. There was not a person in that room that was unaffected by this music. This band is really firing on all cylinders, after winning the unofficial Best of Bonnaroo set for two years running, they did a great long in-studio at KCRW in LA and then moved up the coast for multiple nights in the west coast's capital city for music.

The songs played at the Fillmore from the new album, Z, were played impeccably, opening with "Wordless Chorus" both nights. "Off the Record" and "Lay Low" were just huge on both evenings, stretched out and groove inducing. From It Still Moves, "Run Thru" and "One Big Holiday" were exceptional, everyone yelling "Caaaaliffoorrniaaaaa" - still giving me chills to think about how great it felt in there. Maybe it was the comfort that the Fillmore brings, or not having to load in on Saturday and getting to chill all day in SF, but the amazing vibe from Friday was turned up a little notch for Saturday's throwdown. After what seemed like a 18 song first set, the hard rocking was interspersed on both evenings by beautiful acoustic songs like "Bermuda Highway," "Golden" and on Saturday, "The Bear" before kicking it up another few notches for the requisite "Mahgeetah" (which is not a complaint). I would go see MMJ any night of the week, because as Deb says, "There are no bad MMJ songs, no need to press." It's true, there's always a groove to catch, a building rhythm section, the intertwined guitars, the tight rhythm section of Tommy and Patrick dialed in like the aorta of the band, vertically placed between the axes of Carl and Jim, the texture of Bo's keyboards, and then The Voice of Jim James that brings it all together in the most epic of ways. J said, "It's been quite sometime since i have felt that type of anticipation before a show and the show lived up to and surpassed it."

Before it was all said and done, the song that closed the last of the encores on the second night, was an absolutely stellar rendition of the song that has most affected me mentally on the Z album, "Anytime." Read the "Anytime" Lyrics:
Is This Climbing Up To The Moon?
Or Did It Bail Out Too Soon?
I Hope We Didn't Wait Too Long.
All That I Wanted To Say
Words Only Got In The Way.
But Then I Found Another Way To Communicate.

Is This "Climbing Up To The Moon?"
Or Did It Fade Out Too Soon?
I Know We Didn't, I Know We Didn't Wait Too Long
Cause Anytime's A Good Time To Move On.

Things I Could Say To Myself
I Could Never Say To Anyone Else.
But What Madonna Said Really Helped
She Said: "Boy - You Better Learn To Express Yourself!"
I Know We Didn't, I Know We Didn't Wait Too Long.
Cause Anytime's A Good Time To Move On.

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Rogue Wave | Descended Like Vultures
Rogue Wave continue their mad scramble to the top of the indie heap with this confident second full length record. Besting their debut (2003's Out of the Shadow, they mix the catchy, polished appeal of breakthrough indie acts ("Love's Lost Guarantee" and "Are You By My Side" can match anything by Death Cab) without sacrificing their innovative use of studio effects, as heard in the clanging "10:1." The kids love 'em, they've scanned over 4,000 units in two weeks since the album came out, almost half of them digitally. - Michele K-tel

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Beastie Boys | Solid Gold Hits
Well, Paul's Boutique it is not, but the Beasties finally have some classic tracks up on Rhapsody, in the form of this new greatest hits package from Capitol. Rhapsody already streams the 1986 masterpiece Licensed to Ill from the Def Jam era, before they moved west when they were still from Manhattan (MCA from Brooklyn). Solid Gold Hits features some Paul's classics like "Shake Your Rump" and "Hey Ladies," as well as Check Your Head staples like "So What'cha Want" and "Pass The Mic", as well as some more recent stuff that was less inspiring as they became wealthier and not as irreverent/irrelevant. -TK

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Buckethead | Enter The Chicken
Moving beyond the great late Bruce Lee kung-fu flick Enter The Dragon, the man with the bucket on his head brings his axe and his friends to a new release, just live in Rhapsody. BUCKETHEAD & FRIENDS make their striking debut with Enter The Chicken on Serjical Strike Records, the label spearheaded by System of a Down's Serj Tankian. Joining Buckethead is a wide spectrum of vocalists and players including Tankian, Efrem Schulz of Death By Stereo, Saul Williams, Gigi Laswell, and Azam Ali of Vas, just to name a few. 11 different singers specializing in musical styles ranging from opera, metal, rap, indie rock, grindcore, world and everything in between found their way onto Enter The Chicken. It's intense, entering the chicken. - TK

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Santana | All That I Am
Tonight (11.01) Real is hosting a special Carlos Santana performance Hammerstein Ballroom in NYC, celebrating the release of his new album, All That I Am. Rhapsody Presents a free, live webcast of the event, that you can get to from this micro-site at 8pm EST/5pm left coast time. In addition to the concert, select performances from the concert and other videos will be available through Rhapsody, RollingStone.com, and the RealGuide in the coming weeks, with proceeds benefiting Santana's Milagro Foundation, which serves at-risk youth through educational programs and health services.
More info at rhapsody.com/santana.

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