If The Shoe Don't Fit
Jackson 5, from Come and Get It: Rare Pearls ; streaming at http://www.npr.org/blogs/allsongs/2012/08/20/159400793/song-premiere-jackson-5-if-the-shoe-dont-fit
A forthcoming book, Untouchable: The Strange Life and Tragic Death of Michael Jackson , paints, among other things, an unflattering portrait of some of the members of the late superstar's family (particularly sisters Janet and La Toya). It has to do with estate executors, alleged abductors and hyena-like conduct.
Amid all this fuss, an odds-and-sods music compilation was released, which, if nothing else, enforces the reality that Michael was peerless among his siblings.
One track, If The Shoe Don't Fit , is a peppy I Want You Back knockoff from 1972, notable for the painful, ill-fitting vocals from two of the vocally incapable older brothers. There is Michael and his precocious pleading, and then there is the rest.
Years after his death, he's still the meal ticket.
Other essential tracks
Mustache is King
Jack Pine and the Fire; streaming at http://jackpinefire.bandcamp.com
Until Guns 'N Roses records Movember Rain, this mandolin-plucked ditty will capably represent the mustache month. A man admits to the fallibility of his lower lip, but the upper one is reliable and truthful. The fuzz, then, rules.
The Souljazz Orchestra, from Solidarity (Strut); streaming at http://www.souljazzorchestra.com
Trying to keep your body still while listening to this horn-led instrumental is an impossibility, not to mention a worthless pursuit. Snaky-saxed, tequila-splashed and with an organ solo from someone clearly out of his or her gorgeous mind, this track from the Ottawa troupe is a bedazzling three-and-a-half-minute affair.
Colin Linden, from Still Live (File Under Music); clip streaming at http://ca.7digital.com/artist/colin-linden/release/still-live
The soothing guitar reverb comes by a vintage Fender amplifier; the honeyed organ tones, from the inimitable Spooner Oldham. And the song and sentiment, recorded live at a small Nashville club? From the blues-ace Colin Linden, who dreams of a nirvana full of sweetness, or at least a taste now and then.
Solange (directed by Melina Matsouka), from the forthcoming True (Terrible); streaming at http://www.solangemusic.com
It's been out a month, but we still can't take our eyes off (and our ears away from) a sartorially splendid short that features Congolese dandies in all their finery, with the rhythmically appropriate singer blending in breezily. The song itself is a sublime mix of retro-Madonna pop, cool-headed beats and a sad romantic conclusion, with the little sister of Beyoncé wearing it all flawlessly.