Arts Desk

Leak Proof: Elvis Costello, Lindstrom + Prins Thomas, Animal Collective, The Dead Weather

Elvis Costello: "The Crooked Line"
It's hard to tell what's more shocking here: the twangy vibe, or the fact that Elvis Costello is singing about love without sounding poisonous and bitter. "The Crooked Line," snatched from his upcoming record Secret, Profane, & Sucarcane, finds Costello going full-on country for the first time since King of America (that album's producer, T-Bone Burnett, is again at work here) and it's a welcome return. Strangely enough, those big glasses do sit pretty well alongside a cowboy hat.

Lindstrom + Prins Thomas: "Rothaus (Groove Edit)"
Norwegian disco producers Lindstrom and Prins Thomas have always looked to the past for inspiration, but this time they're looking further back than usual. Where they were once content to tune the way-back machine into the '80s, to better feel the pulse of italo-disco, their second collaborative record, Lindstrom + Prins Thomas II, knocks off another ten years, going all the way back to the krautrock-era. "Rothaus" is more than a little jammy, with a handful of keyboards randomly gurgling over a steady rhythm, recalling the more transcendent moments of fusion-era Miles Davis or Ash Ra Tempel.

Animal Collective: "Summertime Clothes (Dam Funk Remix)"
Animal Collective's much loved Merriweather Post Pavilion proved once and for all that the Baltimore-bred trio could make decent use of bottom end. But getting all of those newfound bass frequencies into the pocket? Well, they aren't quite there yet. Perhaps that's why the band commissioned smooth-sounds maven Dam Funk for this remix of "Summertime Clothes." The Los Angeles-based producer scrapes off the atmospheric gook and rolls in the analog synths, re-shaping the song into something tight and slinky enough to fit comfortably on Prince's 1999.

The Dead Weather: "Treat Me Like Your Mother"
Speaking of Prince, since when did Jack White become alterna-rock's answer to The Purple One, jumping from instrument to instrument, and from band to band? "Treat Me Like Your Mother," by Dead Weather–White's new super-group with Kills singer Alison Mosshart–finds him serving two roles, drummer and hype man.
Doing both simultaneously must be a bit of a task, given the song's jagged and bombastic rhythms. But White nails it here with impressive dexterity or, possibly, just a few overdubs. Never the less, for a guy who's on his second side project, this isn't too bad.

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