By Bree Davies
By Emerald O'Brien
By Gina Tron
By Jon Solomon
By Drew Ailes
By Courtney Harrell
By Kyra Scrimgeour
Musicians might not have a 401(k) to fall back on, but at least they can make a small fortune on eBay. A corset worn by Neko Case recently fetched $300 for charity, but don't expect the alt-country goddess to open up her hamper to the highest bidder just yet. Her side project with A.C. Newman and Dan Bejar, the New Pornographers, is readying Challengers for an August release. Head over to the band's site to download the first single, "My Rights Versus Yours." Full of sputtering guitars and impeccable harmonies, the album's opener suggests the members of this Vancouver nine-piece won't have to resort to the shirts on their backs anytime soon (www.thenewpornographers.com).
After posting exclusive mixes for the Definitive Jux and Stones Throw record labels earlier this year, Cartoon Network's Adult Swim is hooking up its indie-rock fans. Available only online, Warm and Scratchy includes fourteen new and rare cuts from bands such as TV on the Radio; the Raveonettes; Broken Social Scene; and the Good, the Bad and the Queen. Best of all, it's free. While you're downloading, put your Sunday-school knowledge and Tekken skills to good use with a friendly game of Bible Fight. We dare you to go pre-medieval on Jesus's ass without feeling guilty (www.adultswim.com).
You probably haven't heard of Cajun Dance Party yet, but across the pond, the indie-pop quintet is the next big thing. Since winning its high school battle of the bands, the Party has been selling out shows and sorting through label offers. Its debut seven-inch, "The Next Untouchable," was limited to only 500 copies, but luckily, one was sent to My Old Kentucky Blog last month. Download the track and head over to the group's page at iSound.com for a few demos. By the time the full-length drops, Cajun's members should be able to celebrate with a pint — in their home town of London, at least (http://myoldkyhome.blogspot.com).
Expect the median age in the mosh pit to be a bit older this summer. Reunions are running rampant, but if your self-defense mechanisms aren't what they used to be, head over to Stereogum.com for "Disappear," the first single from the upcoming Meat Puppets LP, Rise to Your Knees. The album, released by Kansas City's Anodyne Records, hits shelves July 17 and is the first to feature both Kirkwood brothers since 1995. Afterward, fulfill your craving for alt-rock nostalgia with the title track from Buffalo Tom's Three Easy Pieces, also due this summer. Both tracks are free to download, and neither requires a fight-or-flight response (www.stereogum.com; search Meat Puppets, Buffalo Tom).