1. "Boyz" by MIA
This video's a hell of a lot more fun than the boilerplate that passes for entertainment at MTV. It's like someone took over your local access channel and devoted the entire shoestring budget towards awesomeness. It's jam-packed with dancers and graphics, with MIA as the ringmaster. Watch it here.
2. "Break Down Here" by Julie Roberts
So many critics hate modern country that you'd almost expect them to call it "Gnashville." Some make fun of the voices, some the Republican ideals, and some - amazingly - the lyrics. Okay, maybe it's not so amazing (ever hear the pro-lynching anthem "Beer for My Horses"?) But for every Toby Keith, there's a Julie Roberts -- or rather, a team of songwriters like Julie Roberts' (this is Nashville, after all). And that's when you get songs like this one, with lines like
Under fifty thousand miles ago
Before the bad blood and busted radio
You said I was all you'd ever need
As you might guess, this song is about two kinds of breaking down. Like I said, this is Nashville. [Available here. Don't let the fact that she was on Wheel of Fortune scare you.]
3. "Hands on a Hardbody" - Benny Perkins
This is an interview from This American Life, so it isn't technically a song.
OR IS IT??
::fog machine turns on, adding to the mystery of Rahul's last comment::
The interview's with Benny Perkins, a resident of Longview, Texas, who's participating in a contest that a Nissan dealership holds every year: 24 people each put a hand on a pickup truck, and whoever's the last person standing gets to keep it. The producers did a really nice job with the music they play while Benny's talking -- Yo La Tengo's "Green Arrow" is perfect for when he's talking about what the sleep deprivation does. You can listen to the piece here.
::fog machine off::