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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

Grade: B

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

Grade: B

The Nightwatchman

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

Grade: B

SONG OF THE WEEK

Wolfmother

Song: Pleased to Meet You

Album: Spider-Man 3 Soundtrack (Record Collection)

In stores: Now

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 sdaly@sptimes.com or (727) 893-8467. His Pop Life blog is at blogs.tampabay.com/popmusic.