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New music from Ken Karsh, There There, Candy Apple Blue and Call to Attraction

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Ken Karsh
Conversations
(Alanna Records)

The venerable local jazz guitarist burns it up on this new collection, mostly originals with a few covers ("My Girl," "Scarborough Fair") thrown in. While a lot of the tunes are downtempo, opener "Polkaboppin'" and "Down Pat" are upbeat pleasures. Good stuff.

— Andy Mulkerin

KEN KARSH CD RELEASE. 7:30 p.m. Fri., April 27. Red Ring, 1015 Forbes Ave., Uptown. 412-396-3550


There There
Work, Sex, Learning EP
(Self-released)

Six songs of straightforward guitar rock from the locals. Influences range from a bit of Britpop to '90s guitar bands like Cracker. There There is at its best when it keeps the energy high, and even the hard rockers here could use a shot of caffeine, but it's a respectable first release for sure.

— Andy Mulkerin

THERE THERE CD RELEASE. 9 p.m. Sat., April 28. Bloomfield Bridge Tavern, 4412 Liberty Ave., Bloomfield. 412-682-8611


Candy Apple Blue
Prone to Panic
(Self-released)

Dramatic vocals and flashy, synthesized noise makes Prone to Panic come off as an avant-garde take on electropop. While the duo of Carly and Hoyt Emerick demonstrates an obvious awareness of a synthesizer's capabilities, their vocals, whiny at times, distract from some of their best dance beats and could use some polishing.

— Nicole Chynoweth


Call to Attraction
What Comes Next
(Self-released)

Four slickly produced pop anthems from the locally based four-piece. The tunes range from pop-punk to what — if not for the nasal, Blink 182-inspired vocals — could basically be considered a country ballad ("I Feel Alive"). Well-crafted songs, if a bit melodramatic for my personal tastes at times.

— Andy Mulkerin

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