THE MILKMAN'S UNION are building up a nice head of steam. Hot off a show at One Longfellow with MILAGRES last weekend, they've recently released a five-song acoustic EP and a one-off with LADY LAMB THE BEEKEEPER and PETE MORSE, "Texas Hold Me," which has a lot of WES HARTLEY to it, and Milkman singer HENRY JAMISON meshes with Lady Lamb wonderfully. Plus, they've been touring their tails off lately. Definitely a band to keep an eye on.

• People bummed about the loss of GRUPO ESPERANZA should be psyched to hear about EL MALO, a new "salsacore" group that's risen from the Esperanza ashes. Similar vibe, but with maybe a more expansive repertoire. With drums/timbales, bass, guitar, and violin, they're more stripped-down, as well, but you never know what it might turn into. El Malo hit the scene with a CD release May 5 at Little Dog Coffeehouse in Brunswick.

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