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Downloads

January 20, 2007|CASEY DOLAN

Surfing the Web for new music, video and MP3s can be a serious time investment. Tips from Times staff and contributors will help take the drag out of your click-and-drag. Some downloads may contain explicit lyrics. Except as noted, all of the selections below are free and available online at latimes.com/downloads.

-- CASEY DOLAN

"Not a Criminal"

Chamillionaire featuring Kelis

www.hhnlive.com/media/more/audio/481

Kelis hardly features in this manifesto of greed from Chamillionaire; she's only a backup vocalist, low in the mix on the chorus, possibly just another employee for this "self-employed CEO" who emphatically states

that he is "not a criminal." The song will certainly find a broad audience among the proud materialists among us. Chamillionaire is good at what he does, employing striking imagery as well as a dark sense of humor in his rap. That is also what makes the single so infuriating; you expect better from the guy who made "Ridin' Dirty," which was light years more complex than this. But given his handle, maybe not.

*

"Suffer for Fashion"

Of Montreal

www.ofmontreal.net/flashsite/index.html

This utterly intoxicating track from the group's new album, "Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?," feels like spinning in a room buck nekkid with nitrous oxide pumping through the vents and old Sparks records blasting at 45 rpm. Sound like a madhouse? Well, it is. A pop madhouse, or maybe a ride through an amusement park fun house. Kevin Barnes' lyrics may touch on dark themes, but it's clear that he loves making music and never loses his committed allegiance to the almighty hook.

*

"Play This"

Keller Williams

www.scifidelity.com/video/play.this.wmv

This might be written off as a sour-grapes tirade about the state of the music business if it weren't so catchy and well-played. Williams, a.k.a. K-Dub or Jam Man, may be mocking every new band that's coming up these days, but they all probably wish they could play as well as he does. It's an old theme -- the Byrds wrote a template with "So You Want to Be a Rock 'n' Roll Star" in 1966 -- but one that hardly goes out of fashion for an industry built on fashion. Williams plays every last variant of pop musician, but the hooded-parka band in the basement (how many punk-emo bands look like this?) is especially funny. The only weak moment is the "psychedelic" wah-wah half-time section that diverts the energy for a few seconds.

*

casey.dolan@latimes.com

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