Matthew Santos exists in two pop worlds. For Top 40 listeners, Santos is the hookman on Lupe Fiasco's 2007 hit "Superstar." The other is a grayish folk area, which showcases the soft-and-loud dynamics of the Minneapolis singer-songwriter. He has the ability to thrive in both: "Superstar" is charming for one reason and it's not Lupe Fiasco. On "Burning Up," Santos' latest single, he takes a driving beat and a pounding acoustic guitar and kneeds it into something affirming and urgent.
"Burning Up" comes from Santos' latest album, "Quickly Disappearing," a title we'll try not to read into too much. Santos plays D.C.'s Black Cat on Saturday. It's a cheap night ($12) and a short drive. (And yes, I can already hear the moans about a D.C. concert being picked this week, but after Saturday's J Dilla tribute at Ottobar, there's no other obvious Baltimore-area show to this writer, sorry Less Than Jake fans.) Watch Santos perform "Burning Up" live below.