So, Pavement’s Stephen Malkmus has kept himself active releasing albums on Matador Records with The Jicks, and now Pavement’s Spiral Stairs, aka Scott Kannberg, has his own solo album slotted for Matador this fall. What are the chances they get the old band back together? Oh, probably none, but a boy can dream, right? Pavement reunion wishes aside, Spiral Stairs’ “Maltese Terrier” sounds like a Pavement song, if the boys in Pavement had cared about playing in tune all those years back. In other words, it won’t kill the urge for that Pavement reunion.

MP3: Spiral Stairs – Maltese Terrier

The debut album by the fun loving, garage rock ‘n’ country trio, Those Darlins’ comes with one of the more interesting pre-order freebies I’ve seen a while. Stop in to your local indie store, like Music Saves, and with the purchase of the vinyl/cd combo and you get a free pair of BluBlockers. Of course, you get music, too. Like this jam, “Red Light Love,” where they come off as the Southern version of the Detroit Cobras.

MP3: Those Darlins’ – Red Light Love

So, let’s say you’re Ezra Koenig of Vampire Weekend and you’re tired of people saying that you ripped off the music of Africa for your own benefit when you recorded your debut album. What do you do? Work with a bona fide African like Esau Mwamwaya, of The Very Best, of course.

I kid. I really, do. And the only reason I kid is because “The Warm Heart of Africa,” and its mix of dancehall, reggae, and American pop music has some serious summer jam potential going on.

MP3: The Very Best feat. Ezra Koenig of Vampire Weekend – Warm Heart of Africa (Download via RCRD LBL)

It’s unfair to throw names like Lennon or McCartney around when talking about modern songwriters, but, damn, Brian Olive’s sunny, sleepy-eyed, bundle of optimism, “There is Love,” sure does make me think Lennon.

MP3: Brian Olive – There is Love

“Lost Words” is type of song I’ve always wanted to hear from Animal Collective — Start with that Brain Wilson infatuation, add some studio twiddling, a little bit of re-verb, and, most importantly, a honest to goodness melody — and it’s not by Animal Collective, but Ganglians. Go figure.

MP3: Ganglians – Lost Words