The Dandy Warhols, ...Earth to the Dandy Warhols... (Beat Records). Every other album or so, Courtney Taylor-Taylor decides that the best way to prove he doesn't care about being a rock star is by taking a bunch of otherwise accessible tracks and goofing on them until they seem like impenetrable in-jokes — like, for instance, "Welcome to the Third World," a nod to the Stones' disco period. Ha. Ha. Ha. — Roberts
The Dirty Heads, Any Port in a Storm (EMG Records). If the Beastie Boys ever had an heir to their Caucasian hip-hop throne, these Golden State natives would be on the short list. With a backbeat consisting of reggae flow and prose that is both side-splitting and unifying at once, it's easy to see potential for future growth. — Brandon Daviet
Donavon Frankenreiter, Pass it Around (Lost Highway). With the help of longtime buddy Jack Johnson (who co-produced his self-titled solo debut), Donavon Frankenreiter first wrote his name in the sand of surf rock with the sunny anthem "Free." His latest efforts find the laid-back wave rider throwing down more of his easy yet engaging grooves and crafty songwriting. — Nick Hutchinson
Inara George, An Invitation (Everloving). While Van Dyke Parks has made good albums of his own, including 1984's Jump, he's at his best as a facilitator. And so it is on this charming disc, which mates the delicate tuneage of George, who fronts The Bird and the Bee, with Parks's lavish, distinctive orchestration. It's one Invitation everyone should accept. >— Roberts
Little Feat and Friends, Join the Band (429 Records). Little Feat revisits some of its rootsy hits and sizzles on a few covers with help from an impressive roster of musical friends, including Dave Matthews and Sonny Landreth, who breathe new life into "Fat Man in the Bathtub," and Bob Seger, who lends his gravelly vocals to "Something in the Water." — Hutchinson
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Various Artists, Pineapple Express Soundtrack, (Lakeshore). Marvel comics once had a title called "Doctor Strange" that was a terrible read but fun to look at under certain trippy circumstances. This collection is kind of the same thing. It's no chart-worthy masterpiece, but fun tracks by Robert Palmer and Public Enemy are okay for recreational use. — Daviet