Just press play

Nick Baker

Editor’s Note: In a continuous effort to bring you, the reader, fun pieces you can use, we’ve decided to start including a playlist from a different staff member each week. We all have different music tastes, and we’re hoping some of our selections might just make their way onto your iPod.

Souls of Mischief – “Tour Stories”

Souls of Mischief, of Del tha Funkee Homosapien’s Hieroglyphics crew, recently dropped this track to promote the pending release of their Prince Paul-produced album “Montezuma’s Revenge.” Laid-back and smooth, the track hearkens back to the group’s classic “93 ’til Infinity.”

GZA/Genius – “Paper Plates”

Wu-Tang Clan’s most seasoned veteran, known as both GZA (pronounced “jizza”) and Genius for his formidable use of thematic and cerebral word play, dropped one of the most clever diss tracks ever as he rips apart 50 Cent and the G-Unit crew without using a curse word. You need to do your homework before understanding how deep this burn goes.

James Chance and the Contortions – “Designed to Kill”

This track serves as a good introduction into the funky-bluesy-jazzy pre-punk jam that was James Chance and the Contortions. It’s got a funk feel and plenty of Chance’s signature saxophone action.

Poison Idea – “Plastic Bomb”

This is a classic track from one of Portland, Ore.’s most blistering hardcore acts. It kicks off the album with a moody piano and Iron Maiden-esque dramatic flair, then quickly rips into Poison Idea-style time-warp speed. The wordless, echoing “whoa” chorus is hypnotic.

Dub Trio – “Screaming at the Sea”

Dub Trio is one of the most mind-blowing bands that no one has ever heard of. This track is a perfect example of the band’s combination of tripped-out dub, thunderous metal and hardcore and effect-pedal wizardry.

Bad Brains – “Big Takeover”

Bad Brains has a few versions of this track, but this live version from 1989 is high-quality and very raw. It captures one of the band’s quintessential elements: its chaotic live show. And Darryl Jenifer’s bass never sounded so good.

The MC5 – “Skunk (Sonicly Speaking)”

The MC5 are best known for their live debut album “Kick Out the Jams,” but this track from their follow-up album is a fist-pumping jazz-from-the-jungle effort in bluesy, distorted rock ‘n’ roll, complete with a horn section.

Manu Chao – “Machine Gun”

I have no idea what Manu Chao is saying most of the time, but this Spanish-language song, originally performed by Chao’s previous band Mano Negra, is one of the catchiest damn songs I’ve ever heard. It’s fast, upbeat and will make you want to put on your dancin’ shoes.