What Comes After the Blues
(Secretly Canadian)
Time has stood still for Jason Molina since he chanced across his perfect sound in the windswept, sparse alt-country rock band Songs: Ohia a few years back. He changed his band's name to that of their final album just around the time his music crystallized into a formula, and with it seemingly announced that he was prepared to live the same moment over and over again. There's nothing wrong with mournful, violin-tinted epics like "Northstar Blues" or the lonesome "Leave the City" here--indeed, if this was the first time you'd heard Molina's groove, you'd probably be impressed at his haunted, mournful voice. Trouble is, Molina has been here before. Plenty of times before. EVERETT TRUE
Magnolia Electric Co. plays Tues May 3 at Doug Fir Lounge, 830 E Burnside, 8 pm, $8-$10

The Earth Is Blue
On The Earth Is Blue, Damon Krukowski and Naomi Yang deliver more sad (non) hits, to paraphrase the title of their 1992 debut album. The married couple's last full-length, Damon & Naomi With Ghost (2000, Sub Pop), was a dozy affair, but not without its languid charms. Damon & Naomi's fifth studio album features Ghost's sensitive electric guitarist Michio Kurihara and guests Greg Kelley (trumpet) and Bhob Rainey (soprano sax), but they don't deviate from the long-standing D&N template. Poignancy is D&N's mtier--they're soaking in it. While Earth could've appeared at any point in D&N's career, its water-treading is undeniably touching and romantic. DAVE SEGAL
Damon and Naomi perform Fri April 29 at Doug Fir Lounge, 830 E Burnside, 9 pm, $8-10


This new two-disc release of course comes with Moby's standard branding--a partnership with W Hotels and a book about/named after his tea house Teany. But the core of all these cross-promotions is a gooey womb of dewy-eyed songs of love/lament ("Forever"), Hallmark spirituality ("Let peace and beauty reign/and bring us love again"), and hokey calls to "Hold on to people/they're slipping away" ("Slipping Away"). As the name does imply, these CDs are perfect for placating modern travelers--you can especially hear the ambient tendrils of disc two working their way through minimalist hotels around the country. With more recent electronic trends like grime and garagey dance punk filling out the dance floors, though, Moby's antiseptic mix feels two steps behind the times--stuck in some ecstasy-fueled coma from days gone by. JENNIFER MAERZ
Moby plays Sun May 1 at the Roseland, NW 6th & Burnside, 8 pm, $26.50-40

**** Montgomery Burns
*** Caleb Nichol
** J.R. Ewing
* Windom Earle