Erykah Badu, "Phone Down." Texas R&B priestess delivers spare and hypnotic rap-singing in which she boasts of having the ultimate power in this digital day and age: "I can make you put your phone down." From her But You Caint Use My Phone mixtape.
David Bowie, "Blackstar." The 10-minute title track (and trippy video) from Bowie's forthcoming album, due on his 69th birthday on Jan. 8, takes the Brit-rock changeling back into an experimental sci-fi direction. An enticing intro to an album whose goal, producer Tony Visconti says, "was to avoid rock."
"Blood, Salt, Water," by Denise Mina ((Little, Brown, $26). A new Alex Morrow novel from Mina, the superb Scottish crime-fiction storyteller. She's up there with Ian Rankin among practitioners of character-driven Scottish noir.
Eerily quiet and contemplative Vermont-bred singer, guitarist, and banjo player, most recently heard from on 2014's becalmed Lily-O. Not above covering Katrina and the Waves. Opening for San Fermin, 8 p.m. Wednesday at World Cafe Live at the Queen in Wilmington.
Bottle Rockets, "Dog."
"Sometimes life is just that simple," Brian Henneman sings on the Festus, Mo., roots-rock quartet's South Broadway Athletic Club. The video celebrates canine companionship, with appearances by pooches of a slew of Americana acts, including Neko Case, Kelly Hogan, and Carlene Carter, all of whom seem to agree with the song's to-the-point declaration: "I love my dog."