Singles: Chester French, Dean & Britta, Love Is All, Vaselines, Reba McEntire
A weekly playlist for the listener with a one-track mind.
Chester French featuring Janelle Monae: "Nerd Girl"
The Ivy League-educated hip-pop ironists return with a star-studded mix tape. With assistance from the criminally unfamous Monae, they sing the praises of braces-wearing, Dostoevski-appreciating dweeb love.
Dean & Britta: "Silver Factory (Song for Billy Name)"
The ex-Luna members recently assembled a soundtrack for the new DVD "13 Most Beautiful . . . Songs for Andy Warhol's Screen Tests." This distinctly Velvet Underground-ish track, a tribute to Factory mainstay Billy Name, is one of its finest, though the collection has to be seen to be appreciated.
Love Is All: "Pappas Tant" (Tant Strul cover)
Tant Strul was Sweden's answer to the Go-Go's except with more irony, and yelling. The group, which used to count Lykke Li's mother as a member, had a minor '80s hit with this zippy punk-pop track, now faithfully resuscitated by fellow Swedes Love Is All.
The Vaselines: "Son of a Gun"
Once beloved by Kurt Cobain and "120 Minutes"-watching college students, the Vaselines, a Scottish outfit specializing in dirty-but-twee pop, haven't gotten the reissue love they deserved until now. This poppy, circa-'87 track (covered by Nirvana on "Incesticide") hails from Sub Pop's upcoming rerelease/compilation package "Enter the Vaselines."
Reba McEntire: "Strange"
McEntire salves her relationship woes by eating chocolate, channeling Carrie Underwood and just cold being adorable on this chipper new breakup track.
-- Allison Stewart