This week’s seven is being brought to you during commercial breaks for the Emmy Awards, which is surprisingly funny and entertaining this year.

Ah, and if anyone would like to do a Guest Sunday Seven, please let me know. Let’s get busy.

Track 1: “The Blast (live)” by Talib Kweli & Erykah Badu

This is a live version of Kweli’s hit taken from “Dave Chappelle’s Block Party”, a show I actually had an invite to and skipped. Because it was raining and I’m a lazy bastard. I regretted going for a while, and then while sitting in the movie theater watching the movie version, I realized I had a much better view of what was going on at the show than I would have had I actually gone to the show.

This version has more energy than Kweli’s studio version on “Reflection Eternal”, and Badu is a nice touch on the chorus. He’s a little husky here, but he sounds energetic, something he didn’t when I saw him in an underwhelming performance opening for the Beastie Boys three years ago.

Track 2: “You & Me” by Rockie Robbins

Hmmm…I only know this song because we had the 45 of it when I was a kid. Rockie was a one-hit R&B wonder who scored with this smooth ballad back in 1980. Let’s run off to wikipedia to find out whether there’s an entry on him and we can find out what’s new with him, yes? (checks wikipedia). Hmm…nothing after 1985. Anyone who knows what this guy is up to now, give us a shout. Meanwhile, here’s the song. Smooth as shit, heh?

Track 3: All at Once” by The Fray

I admit it. I like The Fray. I’m eagerly anticipating their second album (due in early 2009). “All At Once” is one of my least favorite songs from “How to Save a Life”, but it’s still pretty decent, and it’s one of the more rocking songs from the band who are basically an American version of “Parachutes”-era Coldplay, albeit with a slight contemporary Christian twist and a much cuter lead singer.

Track 4: “Somebody (Changed Your Mind)” by Alexander O’ Neal

Alexander O’ Neal was the original lead singer of The Time. Reasons for Prince firing him from the band have never been officially nailed down. Some say he was fired over a money dispute, some say he was jettisoned in favor of Morris Day for “sounding too Black”. Either way, O’Neal carved out a fairly decent solo career for himself, almost always in tandem with two other former Time members: Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis. This song isn’t much of an actual “song”: the tinny new-jack percussion track is kind of annoying. However, Alexander sings the hell out of even the worst material. This is the only track in this week’s Seven (so far, anyway) that is no longer available, as “All True Man”, the album this song appeared on originally, is now out of print.

Track 5: “In Between Days” by Ben Folds

This drummer is blazing. How the hell do you play that fast? You know something else? Even when Folds is being somewhat serious on this song, he just sounds like a smart ass. I’m pretty excited for his new album, “Way To Normal”, which comes out on September 30th. Hmmm…none of these songs have videos. This is gonna be a boring-ass column. Sorry, folks.

Aww shit, Christina Applegate is performing. Christina Applegate, you gotta put me on. What is she now? 40? Still hot. Whew, and a chance to post a video. Thanks,Christina, for providing me with this segue.

Track 6: “You Owe Me” by Nas feat. Ginuwine

I’m stunned that I have this song on my iPod. It stinks. This is widely and justifiably criticized as the nadir of Nasir’s career (ooh…a funny!!). Timbaland’s production is atypically lazy, and this is the most obviously “pop” grab Nas ever made. I need to uncheck this bad boy. However, it does have a video, which is as bad as the song is.

Track 7: “My Girl” by Rod Stewart

I’ve actually never heard this song before, and judging from the beginning I thought it might be a cover of the Temptations classic. Rod’s stated his love for Motown many times (remember 1990’s “Motown Song”?), but this is not a remake. It’s a slow-jam all his own, with a slight resemblance to 1976’s “Tonight’s the Night (Gonna Be Alright)”. It also kinda sounds like “Sad Eyes” by Robert John. Same swaying arrangement, and…aw shit, here’s a sax solo. I don’t think “Sad Eyes” had one of those. Very pop ballad circa 1980-sounding, although Rod sings his ass off here. Damn, this dude had-and still has-a voice. Why the hell is he wasting it on tired standards now?