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Toots and the Maytals cover Radiohead, and more: Ryan Dombal recommends four cool tunes worth checking out this week

POST-PUNKY REGGAE PARTY OK, computer, bring us Toots and the Maytals' cover of a Radiohead song
Image credit: Toots and the Maytals: Anthony Pidgeon / Retna
POST-PUNKY REGGAE PARTY OK, computer, bring us Toots and the Maytals' cover of a Radiohead song

Toots and the Maytals cover Radiohead

TOOTS AND THE MAYTALS, ''LET DOWN'' (RADIOHEAD COVER)
This song is taken from an upcoming album featuring various reggae groups giving Radiohead's heralded OK Computer a track-for-track makeover. The concept seems ridiculously ill-conceived — the record's title, Radiodread, sounds like a bad stoner punchline, and the chasm between Radiohead's art rock and reggae's dub grooves seems too wide to cross. Although some of the album's tracks do end up in a preposterous limbo, others — including this horn-laden surprise from old-schoolers Toots and the Maytals — tease out life-affirming bliss from Radiohead's depressing future vision. Reinvention rarely sounds this good. Buy the track on iTunes.

KASHMERE STAGE BAND, ''DO YOU DIG IT, MAN? (LIVE)''
Like most normal high school bands, mine had to play stuffy pieces by the likes of Aaron Copland and John Philip Sousa. Luckily, the Kashmere High School Stage Band is not your normal high school band. Instead of slogging through vintage marches, this Texas group exploded with a plethora of raw funk between 1968 and 1978. This rollicking live track is included on a new double album, Texas Thunder Soul, that serves as a one-stop shop for the prodigious, overlooked group. Download the song for free here.

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CIBELLE & DEVENDRA BANHART, ''LONDON, LONDON (VIDEO)''
Burgeoning chanteuse Cibelle drafts friend and fellow half-crazy neo-folkie Banhart to help her resurrect this song, originated by veteran Brazilian songwriter Caetano Veloso in 1971. The song was made while Veloso was living in the U.K., after being exiled by his home country's government, and it has a trippy vibe of curious-yet-lonesome exploration. Cibelle and Banhart do it justice, re-creating the tune's casual, acoustic vibe with quiet grace. The accompanying video finds the eccentric pair taking an anachronistic trip around town in full 19th-century garb. Watch the video at Cibelle's official site or YouTube.

GOLDEN BEAR, ''TEN THOUSAND ORCHESTRAS''
Indie-rockers Golden Bear take their grizzly moniker seriously: There's a drawing of a bear with wings and a shield on the cover of their self-titled debut LP, and their website's background image features a drawing of a guitar with a big bear bite chomped into it. I don't think this song — with its dreamy chorus, trumpet blasts, and bluesy guitar solo — has much to do with honey-loving furries, but it's likely to please fans of bands like Modest Mouse and Built to Spill all the same. Download the song for free here.

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Originally posted Jul 26, 2006