CD Reviews

Make Way, Discoma, Space Fapping

Indie rock

Rusty Maples, Make Way (Self-released)

Every song here rules, but one really stands out. Introduced by Max Plenke’s galloping beat and Ian Dewane’s octave-vamping guitar, “Pockets” opened into a prayer, picking locks of grief and rage. “You’ve been dealt the cruelest fate,” sang frontman Blair Dewane. “One-too-many hardships than your heart can afford.” A hundred Maples fans sang along. I can’t stop playing it or the rest of this stunning EP. If you find a better band in town, or anywhere, let me know. ★★★★☆

What We’re Buying

1. The Game, Jesus Piece
2. T.I., Trouble Man: Heavy is the Head
3. Imagine Dragons, Night Visions
4. Kendrick Lamar, good kid, m.A.A.d. city
5. 2 Chainz, Based on a T.R.U. Story
6. Bruno Mars, Unorthodox Jukebox
7. Django Unchained, Soundtrack
8. Mumford & Sons, Babel
9. Rihanna, Unapologetic
10. Led Zeppelin, Celebration Day

According to sales at Zia Record Exchange on 4503 W. Sahara Ave., Jan. 1-7.

Instrumental prog

Backhouse Lily, Discoma (Self-released)

Here’s a full-bloomed debut from duo Carl Adami (bass) and Bill Maihen (drums), specializing in atmospheric, rockin’ instrumentals that sound unlike anything else. There are familiar influences—Tool’s Lovecraftian menace, The Police’s pop-prog minimalism, Rush’s sci-flying grandeur. But Lily’s lovely “Dark Harmonic,” with Adami’s volume-swelling waves and Maihen’s funky foundation, is unique. The driving, riff-layered “Push” will push you along the highway, while tricky time-signatured “Under the Radar” will rattle you awake en route to Burning Man. ★★★☆☆

Geek rock

3d6, Space Fapping (Self-released)

The three bad boys from the comics-shop backroom are back with a sophomore disc as hilarious as their 2011 debut. New frontman Dave Thomas exudes poise in “Save Does Not End,” the band pledging to “fuck your ears with our nerdpunk dicks.” The music is sophisticated, from the Dead Milkmen jangle of “I Love Star Wars Anyway,” which (mostly) defends George Lucas, to Nirvana-chorded escapist manifesto “I’d Rather Live in an R.P.G.” “Reality can go away,” insists Thomas. God, if only. ★★★☆☆

Disc Scan

Upcoming albums on Jarret’s radar …

JAN. 15: Indie mainstay Yo La Tengo shows no sign of fading away with the release of Fade, the band’s 13th album, on Matador. Early reviews insist it’s the band’s loveliest effort to date. JAN. 22: Ska-punk/folk-rock icon Camper Van Beethoven (which has always starred Cracker’s David Lowery) turns 30 and makes yet another comeback with La Costa Perdida. Definitely a strong Eagles-esque, country-pop groove on single “Northern California Girls.” JAN. 29: Lisa Loeb returns to her power-pop roots with seventh album No Fairy Tale, featuring indie duo Tegan and Sara on a couple of tracks. Chad Gilbert of punk band New Found Glory co-produces.

Suggested Next Read

Daring But Boring


Daring But Boring

By Roger Moore - Tribune Media Services

Cirque du Soleil movies are a lot like ballet films—long on beauty and artistry, short on story. Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away is a 3-D catalog of the wonders of the Cirque company’s Las Vegas shows, from Criss Angel Believe and Mystére to O and Viva Elvis (which closed last August). It is a feast for the eyes and an appreciation of the accomplished art of the jugglers, tumblers, mimes, contortionists, acrobats and aerialists who have made Cirque a global brand.