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Lyrics Born struts to New Orleans to jam with some jazz veterans.

Lyrics_BornJoining forces with Galactic, Ivan Neville, Preservation Hall Jazz Band and Trombone Shorty; LB MCs over a heavy dose of funk and rock from the big easy. The result is happy, silly and crazy – making you want to get up and boogie. Sing along with the Real People. –J. Boogie

 

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CURATOR’S CHOICE

Best Coast return with a heavier, more polished sound on this sonic love letter to their home state (and the state of mind it inspires).

Best_CoastThis time around, the guitars are crunchier, the drums more pounding and Bethany Cosentino’s vocals more commanding. California Nights borrows liberally from ‘90s alt-rock, fusing squalls of shoegaze swirl to the group’s warm, fuzzy jangle. –Andee Connors

 

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Full-Time Magic offers clean comedy for all ages.

Nate_BargatzeNate Bargatze’s sophomore album is filled with jokes about dining in Wal-Mart, career options for his time-traveling self, and his ideal workout regimen. While he does repeat some material from his debut Yelled at By a Clown, the late night regular delivers plenty of new laughs in his signature laconic drawl. –Kelly Anneken

 

Nashville tunesmith delivers stunning Americana solo album.

Chris_StapletonAfter writing hits for Darius Rucker and Kenny Chesney, you’d think that Chris Stapleton’s solo recordings might sound primed for Nashvegas. But Traveler is much more sophisticated. From the opening title-track to the rootsy closer, these songs span the top shelf of Americana subgenres without pandering to truck jingles or spring break anthems. –Eric Shea

If art is the decoration of space, music is the decoration of time.

Spanish_DonkeyThe Spanish Donkey is an avant-noise trio comprising Joe Morris (electric guitar), Jamie Saft (keys) and Mike Pride (drums). Recorded in three, elongated, instrumental compositions; Raul plays like sludge metal free jazz. The standout title track spans over 30 minutes with Morris’ amplified distortion howling and crumbling. –Eric Shea

Damogen Furies rides a fine line between abstraction and accessibility.

SquarepusherSquarepusher is often compared to other adventurous electronic artists like Aphex Twin and Autchre. While not wrong, what sets Squarepusher apart is a strong pop sensibility, maybe because he is a fantastic bass player. Even when he’s getting super abstract, he writes great melodies and solid grooves into his tunes. –Diego Gonzalez

Charlie Aponte exited the stage for the last time as frontman of El Gran Combo this past December.

Charlie_AponteThis closes a prolific 41-year stretch with the legendary salsa group. Tears were shed, but fear not. Para Festejar marks a promising new direction for Mr. Aponte, under the guidance of industry vet, Sergio George. Todo eso sin perder el ritmo! –Marcos Juarez

 

 

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