I've been having some fantastic luck with new music lately, something that hasn't happened in a long time. In addition to the new Wilco tracks I mentioned earlier I've got three new discoveries to share: Call Me Evil by Evil (left), "Fake Empire" (a leaked track from the upcoming National record), and a couple of leaked tracks from the upcoming Dinosaur Jr. album.
I discovered Evil -- a rap artist from Vancouver -- purely through happenstance. I don't listen to a ton of rap, and haven't bought a rap CD in over a year, but Call Me Evil has been a revelation. He's got an Eminem-esque gift for storytelling and persona, but where Eminem trades on anger and shock, Evil has a more nuanced and intelligent worldview. The production feels like Dr. Dre or Timbaland when they're at their most interesting, but with more of a rock/folk (!) flavor. The album pulled me in right away on the strength of "I'm Leaving" -- one of the best rap songs I've heard in years.
Stream that and a few other tracks over at his MySpace page.
As for the National...well, what can I say? They're one of the best bands around right now, and "Fake Empire" finds them at the top of their game. You can find it all over the internet -- try Stereogum. If that link rots out a quick Google search will yield other sources.
Dinosaur Jr., meanwhile, was easily my favorite band in high school, but I was mad skeptical about the reunion. No need for that, as it turns out. They haven't missed a beat, and these new tracks sound like 1993 all over again. Which, in this case, is a good thing.
(remember, kids: if you like leaked tracks you should always go out and pay for them when the albums eventually come out. These people work hard for the money. So hard for the money.)
On top of all that, co-conspirator Tony Larson forwarded me some tracks he's been working on, and they've likewise been in heavy rotation. If/when they go public I'll be sure to share 'em.