The 2nd Coming
New concept album from the local rapper. Stone alternates between documenting anger, disappointment and fear — and apocalyptic thought — and hope and positive thought. ("There is no good and evil / There's only power and those too weak to seek it / You see, I'm half good and half bad," he says in "Milk & Honey.") Recorded at MCM Studios, the beats are largely minimal and chill, using lots of conventional-instrument sounds; plenty of food for thought here, as we've come to expect from Stone.
Grandpa Egg's second release is a twisting, tumbling narrative about a praying mantis named Pellapetisimo and a host of other meadow-dwellers. Self-described as psych-folk, it's clearly a concept album, but don't be surprised if it takes a few listens to grasp exactly what songwriter Jeb Morris is communicating. It's reminiscent of Willie Nelson's Red Headed Stranger with regard to its recurrent themes; stylistically, it plays more like a Lemony Snickett novel. A very good offering from the recent Nashville transplant.
— Seth Pfannenschmidt
Pete Bush and the Hoi Polloi
A Beginner's Guide to the End
New seven-track EP from the songwriter and his band: catchy pop songs that show off Bush's impressive vocal range and sense of fun, tempered by a few more emotional ballads. The whole thing sounds impressive from the start, with masterful recording done at Red Caiman Studios. Nods to jazz complexity and upbeat funky pop leave this one somewhere between Ben Folds Five and maybe what Jason Mraz would do if he didn't do that embarrassing rapping thing he does.
— Andy Mulkerin
PETE BUSH AND THE HOI POLLOI CD RELEASE. 9 p.m. Fri., Sept. 27. Thunderbird Café, 4023 Butler St., Lawrenceville. $10. 412-682-0177 or www.thunderbirdcafe.net