FOR YOUR AUNT, JUST UP FROM MEMPHIS You gotta make a gal feel at home, right? For decent blues in this town, turn first to Bob Rasero (of Renovators fame). His latest, Not Gonna Worry, sees him turning in his electric for a mean acoustic guitar that lets him get more breathy with the vocals and more subtle with his delivery. The recording, done down in Bronxville, New York, at the Loft, is mint — the solos are so crisp you can hear every hammer-on and slide and it feels like Rasero is right across the room from you. My favorite is "Who's to Blame," with a solo that spits right in your eye even as it fades out, but there's plenty for everyone here — even a Christmas tune.
FOR YOUR FRIENDS WITH KIDS Maybe they're not hip to Laurie Berkner and they're playing Wiggles drivel? Hand them Rob Duquette's Love Is Contagious, a charming EP of five songs targeted at a decidedly younger audience (although I think "Brush Everyday" is solid advice at any age). Unless you've got an aversion to xylophone, songs like "Friends Forever" and the title track are very listenable, which is pretty crucial for parents who enjoy their sanity.
FOR ANYONE WHO'S BEEN AROUND A LITTLE BIT An underappreciated album by a local supergroup that came and went awfully quickly, Army of Squirrels' Pirates Vs. Temperature is a sneering, sarcastic, hard-driving rock album that pokes fun and revels in our local scene, from "Break up the Band" to the closing "The Skinny," which sadly might not even resonate much with people nowadays. "Your Life is Like an Emo Song" is worth the coverage charge, and contributions from Brian Chaloux, Nick Lamberto, Walt Craven, and Neil Collins are easy to hear. Great stuff.
: Music Features
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