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For their own good
Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
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Listen to this
By SEAN DALY
Published May 6, 2007
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
Album: Baby 81 RCA
In stores: Now
Why we care: Named after the biker gang in Brando's The Wild One, this noisy Brit-U.S. trio excels at fuzzed-out Americana: blues, rockabilly and rebellion all coated with raunchy grit. This one's a lot louder and more electric than their last disc, 2005's Howl.
Why we like it: We here at Listen to This have macho fantasies about being in a barroom brawl, and this is the perfect soundtrack for such mayhem. The way I imagine it, I'll smash a chair across someone's back at the exact moment the guitar squeals in on Berlin.
Reminds us of: Leather jackets and switchblade combs.
Download these: Took Out a Loan, Berlin and Cold Wind
Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen
Album:Lucky You: Music From the Motion Picture (Columbia)
In stores: Now
Why we care: Director Curtis Hanson's poker flick features Dylan's first new material since 2006's Modern Times. It's only one song, mind you, but Huck's Tune is a slow, sad keeper that sounds very much part of Bob's recent "trilogy" (especially 2003's Love and Theft).
Why we like it: Dylan and Hanson have hooked up before: Bob recorded middle-aged lament Things Have Changed for 2000 dramedy Wonder Boys. Huck's Tune isn't as sturdy, but it's still a thrill to hear Dylan, over weepy pedal steel, use poker as a metaphor for bad love. "The game's gotten old/The deck's gone cold/I'm gonna have to put you down for a while." Hanson is a music nut, so the rest of the soundtrack is solid, with cuts from Springsteen, George Jones and Bonnie Raitt.
Reminds us of: That for all his complexities, Bob's always been an obvious and incurable romantic.
Download these: Huck's Tune and Springsteen's The Fever
Album: One Man Revolution (Epic)
In stores: Now
Why we care: The Nightwatchman is the solo handle of Tom Morello, whose day gigs include Rage Against the Machine and Audioslave. A guitar icon, Morello goes acoustic here. He also takes a decent crack at singing.
Why we like it: Even though the virtuoso ax man has unplugged, his picking remains muscular, the perfect accompaniment to his proletarian angst.
Reminds us of: Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan - deep, growly protesters with hard heads and big hearts.
Download these:California's Dark and House Gone Up in Flames
Why we care: The Australian fuzzballs are back! Anchoring the soundtrack for the latest Spidey flick, the shaggy trio contribute this herky-jerky Hendrixian pounder. Guitar theatrics galore.
Why we like it: Lead singer-guitarist Andrew Stockdale - he of the sagebrush hair and high piercing wail - is in particularly frisky, circa-'67 form. Now if they'd only stop touring and make that second album.
Reminds us of: Why Wolfmother's '06 debut was our album of the year. We still can't believe how good that sucker is.
Song grade: A
Sean Daly can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (727) 893-8467. His Pop Life blog is at blogs.tampabay.com/popmusic.