Surfing the Web for new music, video and MP3 downloads can be a serious time investment. Selections from Times staff and contributors will help take the drag out of click-and-drag music choices. Some downloads may contain explicit lyrics. All are free, except as noted.
-- CASEY DOLAN
"Sweet Little Corrina"
Vince Gill appears to have taken over Chet Atkins' role as the ambassador of country music to the world, the industry's smiling, diplomatic face. Country could not have a better representative. Honey-voiced Gill is a chameleon, wearing many hats on his new four-CD set and doing each role well. This track is part of the "Country & Western" CD and showcases a duet with Phil Everly that purposefully and seamlessly pays homage to the very best qualities in the Everly Brothers' summery epiphanies. The backing vocals, the tinkling Floyd Cramer-like piano and a happy guitar signature line, it all meshes together perfectly.
Ying Yang Twins, feat. Wyclef
It's a fun "Sin City"-inspired video with enough tight black leather to make the proceedings a mite sweaty. The Ying Yang Twins examine the voodoo of a fascination that could lead to an encounter with possibly mortal consequences. They function as a sort of Greek chorus warning of the dangers in the dance club, but the musical high point is when Wyclef comes in with "I love the scandal" like a ululating Rasta. You can visualize his uvula vibrating while the vampires shimmy.
www.josepharthur.comThe new album "Nuclear Daydream" streams as soon as you hit the website. "Too Much to Hide" is the catchy opening track, but fast-forward on the pop-up audio player to Track 2, "Black Lexus," which displays Arthur at his fragile, heartbreaking best. He may be the king of contemporary songwriters in reducing listeners to blubbering wrecks, recalling Neil Young in his most naked, "helpless" moments. Few singers rival Arthur in expressing the fundamental ache of the human condition. When the chorus comes, with its unimaginably lovely stacked harmonies, Arthur sounds like the loneliest man on Earth. The website also offers the opportunity to download, for a small fee, entire gigs that have been recorded recently.
"Bottom of the World"
Tom Waits, like Vince Gill, is going for the gusto and releasing a three-CD set, "Orphans," and, it too is thematic by disc. In this song, included on the "Brawlers" disc -- the others are "Bawlers" and "Bastards" -- Waits gives us his best barroom drunk, talking of dining on "tilapia fish eggs and fried black swan" with a friend who "balanced a diamond on a blade of grass." You'll want to hoist a glass and join Waits on the chorus as he celebrates his own decline. Special mention must be made of the ambient recording sound; you feel as if you're listening to Waits in the bar, an Irish bar.