Janet Jackson returns, unbroken.

1. Janet JacksonWhen I think of Janet, I think of innovation, social consciousness and silky, seductive pop. Unbreakable (her first release since brother Michael’s death in 2009) delivers on all counts, aided by fresh yet restrained production from Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. Janet herself waxes reflective: “Wherever life takes me,” goes “Well Traveled,” “I’m willing to go.” –Party Ben



A decidedly sophomore UN-slump from these San Francisco post punks.

2. Dirty GhostsWhile Let It Pretend shares plenty of sonic DNA with Dirty GhostsMetal Moon debut, the new songs sound more like Patti Smith fronting ‘70s era Devo – or a grittier, garage rockier Pretenders. Tracks like “Cataract” fuse ‘80s MTV rock to sinewy, angular, post-punk; delivering some seriously addictive, retro-pop action! –Andee Connors


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Miley Cyrus debuts award-worthy new ballad.

3. Miley CyrusThe Linda Perry-penned “Hands Of Love” is an emotional anthem for the new gay-rights biopic, Freeheld, starring Ellen Page and Julianne Moore. Using her gravelly falsetto to sound as powerful and heartbreaking as ever, could this soundtrack’s single possibly score Miley an invitation to next year’s Oscars? –Michelle Solomon


Los Lobos: The California ZZ Top?

4. Los LobosOn the surface they both seem to keep on keepin’ on, but that belies the relentless experimentation that drives both bands to continue making interesting records 30-plus years on. And make no mistake: Gates of Gold is an interesting record as well as a beautiful one. Hats off to a true American classic! –Diego Gonzalez


Americana veterans bestow a near-perfect 10th studio album.

5. The Bottle Rockets

Unlike many Americana newcomers and reunion acts, The Bottle Rockets never stopped recording and touring after their 1992 eponymous debut. In a just world, they’d be as popular as Drive-By Truckers or Lucinda Williams. South Broadway Athletic Club is a roots rocking LP rife with catchy workingman anthems sung over jangly twang-rock. –Eric Shea


Coming to the Stage: Season Two doubles down on new comics.

6. Comedy Dynamics

The Hulu comedy showcase comes out strong in its second season. Dan Levy hosts up-and-coming talents Eddie Della Siepe, Megan Koester, Josh Fadem, Rhea Butcher, Ashley Barnhill and many more as they slay the crowd in this series of shows recorded in Burbank, CA. –Kelly Anneken



Swedish quartet rocks as though the last few decades never happened.

7. Old Man's Will

What is it with Swedish rockers? Like Dungen, Graveyard, Witchcraft, Ghost Horisont, etc.; Old Man’s Will are so period-correct in their winsome retro-rock that they even dress like rotary telephone users. Hard Times – Troubled Man would sound best blasted from the 8-track deck of a 1973 Plymouth Road Runner. –Eric Shea



  1. Erik
    October 13, 2015 at 10:41pm
    Dirty Ghosts! Yes!! Is SF making a musical come back. Well done
  2. Chasity
    October 14, 2015 at 12:08pm
    Hi Send Song The Weekend
  3. Sappy
    October 15, 2015 at 3:12am
    It came as a surprise for me to hear about the new Janet Jackson album. I didn’t know she was planning with a new one. I’m excited to hear the songs.
  4. Desota
    November 11, 2015 at 3:02pm

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