Top 5: Peter Bjorn & John Get Bouncy, A Slumdog Standout, and More

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We’ve been rather dry around the Riff lately (D.R.M.! TV News!) so I think it’s time to get back to basics: New Tunes That Are Good. This week, a Swedish stomper, Texas tempos, a Slumdog standout, Bogota boogie, and, er, Scottish self-hatred.

1. Peter Bjorn & John – “Nothing to Worry About” (from Living Thing, out March 31)

Kanye could barely contain his enthusiasm, and neither can I. If you thought PB&J were only about shuffly, twee little ditties, get ready to have your mind blown by this stompy, shouty number. A bunch of kids scream the chorus while a wobbly guitar noodles over the beat from “Lip Gloss.” What’s not to like? (mp3)

2. Aether – “Orfeu Negro” (from Artifacts, out now on Exponential)

Aether is San Antonio producer (and graphic designer) Diego Chavez, and if you go look at some of his pretty pictures on his MySpace page whilst listening to this groovy number from his new album, you may notice some similarities: both his music and art are experimental but warm, detailed but instantly catchy, undeniably new but with a delicate retro patina.

3. A. R. Rahman & M.I.A. – “O… Saya” (from Slumdog Millionaire OST)

Rahman may be a longstanding pillar of the Indian film industry, but this track for the scrappy Danny Boyle movie sounds utterly, urgently contemporary. The drums pound away, reminiscent of nothing so much as Kanye West’s nod to tribal percussion in “Love Lockdown,” and when M.I.A. comes in for a verse, the track morphs into funky electro and back again.

4. Monareta – “Llama” (from Picotero on Nacional)

This duo has apparently moved to New York City from their native Bogota, but the swinging, loping rhythms of cumbia and champeta still flow through their quirky hip-hop. “Llama” combines a hypnotic reggae beat with what sounds like a sample of an old ’20s big band number.

5. Glasvegas – “It’s My Own Cheating Heart that Makes Me Cry” (from Glasvegas on Sony BMG)

Okay, I know I’ve already covered these guys a couple times around Riffland, but with their album out this week in the US (finally) I figure I gotta give ’em another shout-out. While the singles “Geraldine” and “Daddy’s Gone” may have the soaring choruses that made this album a huge UK hit, “Cheating Heart” has a wry, Poguesy charm: “infidelity and my good friend ecstasy doesn’t work, it makes you worse.” Boy, tell me about it.

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Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

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Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

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Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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