Blue States, First Steps Into (Memphis Industries). Blue States has a three-record discography primarily composed of chillout room wallpaper, the kind of music made for boutiques and club-drug comedowns. This return takes a page from M83 and Caribou, working with heavier drums and icy feedback to create something less absent and more intensely arresting. — Terry Sawyer
Caribou, Andorra (Merge). Caribou's Dan Snaith is essentially a one-man band, but on Andorra, his Merge debut, he sounds like a cast of thousands. Numbers such as "Melody Day" and "Desiree" are rich and atmospheric, replete with giddy harmonies, faux orchestration, swelling choruses and mind-bending effects. The results are far from masturbatory, despite the hours he spends playing with himself. — Roberts
Billie Holiday, Remixed & Reimagined (Columbia/Legacy). Billie Holiday gets some new rhythm as she's updated for the 21st century. Holiday still swings mightily through classics like "Summertime" and "Billie's Blues" despite the heavy beats, electronic effects and occasionally chopped-up remix style. DJ Logic, Jazzeem and Nickodemus lead the charge.— Glenn BurnSilver
Leigh Marble, Red Tornado (Laughing Stock). Raw, rough and sensuous, Leigh Marble makes American rock and roll with a flare for the dramatic. Battling bad dreams, bad relationships and bad attitudes with unfurled emotion, Marble adds some cool effects to his poignant, insightful lyrics. Not exactly the new Dylan, but a damn powerful album nonetheless. — BurnSilver
Prinzhorn Dance School, Prinzhorn Dance School (Astralwerks). For fans of Crass and the Fall (aesthetically, at least) comes a dour and dire record sparsely populated with gnashing drums and bass lines portending something wicked and hungry. Despite the anti-melody presentation, the chanty lyrical nonsense and snide presentation, Prinzhorn Dance School creates contrary toe-tapping sneers delighting in their desolation. — Sawyer
Various Artists, Love Is the Song We Sing: San Francisco Nuggets 1965-1970 (Rhino). This four-CD set, gorgeously packaged in a coffee-table-book format, includes many Summer of Love staples courtesy of Jefferson Airplane, Country Joe & the Fish, etc. But it also documents the fringes of a fringey scene by unearthing weird, worthy and/or wacked-out obscurities from Frumious Bandersnatch, the Mystery Trend and more. Drop out and tune them in. — Roberts
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene each week with music news, trends, artist interviews and concert listings. We'll also send you special ticket offers and music deals.