**** Big Baby Jesus
*** Dirt Megirt
** ODB
* Russell Jones

Rumors of the Faithful
(Spirit of Orr Records)

Let's say you're on a road trip with a friend. You're a big Built to Spill/Modest Mouse indie fan. Your friend is a Bob Dylan/folk-music hero. You both love Cool Ranch Doritos, but not the same CDs; Moviola is a great compromise. Their slow, quiet guitar strumming, keyboards, and background clapping are contented and head-waggy, and the vocals expertly slide along with the mellow music. You can tell that these guys are old school, meaning they've probably been playing together for a long time and they've got their slightly country shtick down. Their biggest flaw, however, is that they never surprise. Every song glides along like the other, never becoming extremely complicated, or extremely anything--which is great if you're driving over a mountain pass, because Moviola is so the opposite of stressful music. KATIE SHIMER

The Funky Precedent, Vol 2

This is a compilation CD and, just like ordering an appetizer plate at a restaurant, it's a full sampling of the restaurant's famous caramelized onions and disappointing, soggy calamari that the cook defrosts out of a plastic bag. The restaurant, in this case, is NoMayo Records, who've put together this CD in order to benefit certain schools in the Bay Area. The overall strength of the album is the scratching, which really shines through with artists like Live Human--"Lagoona's Bliss" has as much integrity as a live symphony, with lots of jazz and layers of minced beats with super-tight jams. Other caramelized onions include Zion I's "We Got It," and Pep Love's "Warrior Poet." But even though this menu is more comprehensive and interesting than recent competitors, I'd still probably just buy the artists' individual albums and get a whole plate of something good. KATIA DUNN

Someday My Blues Will Cover the Earth

This feel-good, bluesy urban record is by His Name is Alive? The same band that's put out experimental, gothy noise albums for ten years (with a pop album in between)? It's weird, but it's probably a pretty natural progression, considering Warn Defever never runs out of interesting ideas. Apparently, Defever met this Detroit gospel singer named Lovetta Pippen, they fell in love, and made a record. Pippen's voice is rich and sandy, lilting over her words in a well-trained jazz, R&B, and gospel tone. Defever's beats and keyboard lines behind her harmonies sound very much executed by a musician who's never made R&B before--not amateur; just very cautious in their groove. It all ends up sounding very mature--one of those albums for adults who live in New York City and describe themselves as "funky" and "urban." It'll take some getting used to, but if you pretend it's Des'ree or somebody, it feels more natural. JULIANNE SHEPHERD