Jill West and Blues Attack
Bootleg Blues Live!
Some originals and some interpretations of older tunes on this new live offering from one of Pittsburgh's best-known and most-loved blues singers and her spot-on band. Interestingly, the originals are the songs that stray most from the standard blues construction, which shows that the band has a streak of originality that's absent in a lot of electric-blues groups. Good stuff.
JILL WEST AND BLUES ATTACK CD RELEASE. 8:30 p.m. Sat., May 11. Moondog's, 378 Freeport Road, Blawnox. 412-828-2040 or www.moondogs.us
Fight or Flight Mode
About 60 minutes of new tracks from battle-rapper Real Deal, whose wordplay continues to slay. Real Deal is at his best when he's flaunting a certain confidence; he brags more about his intellect than anything, but does so in a way that's not dorky. Some of the more contrived tracks are hit-or-miss ("Ignorance Is Bliss," which references tons of Pittsburgh stuff, starts to feel forced by the last verse), but he does sensitive right on "When Silence Isn't Golden." Several of the best tracks are produced by Engineer.
Eat Shit and Die!
Hardcore, punk and thrash metal meet on the second release by this local three-piece with the silly name. The recording has a raw, live sound that befits the band; it's not overproduced or overdone, and that helps make this album a good listen. Nothing earth-shattering, but a nice mix of slow chugs and blast-beat breakdowns to mosh to. And how can you complain about songs with titles like "Olestra"?