Pig Lib
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Steve Malkmus can do no wrong in my eyes. Pavement has been one of my favorite bands forever, and no matter how many times I hear them, Steve's stream of consciousness lyrics ("got your ballerina tights on my head"), goofy attitude, and signature guitar twang always lull me into complete adoration. I even forgive all his pretentious "Super Secret" shows. This album is no exception. The production is awesome; the songs are slow paced but dense as hell, with back up vocals, synths, keyboards, and inexplicable noises battling for attention against Steve's ennui vocals and guitar squeals. Added wiles include the booming Hendrix-style guitar on "Sheets," one of the album's masterpieces. It's only been a couple days, but so far Pig Lib has been a new experience with each spin. A modern Steve Malkmus--that's crazy great. KATIE SHIMER

Babies are for Petting EP
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When 2001's Find Your Home (Sub Pop) hit, Vue were San Francisco's sexiest band. They sounded like a garage band with midnight sex appeal, delivering a heavy-lidded bedroom vibe that slunk around the room before burning a hole straight through you. There was something carefully manipulative about their songs, accented by cinematic keyboards and a kiss of harmonica melody. With their move to a major label, Vue have scrubbed off most of the moody dirt that made them so sexy in the first place. On first listen this record is too clean, like everything's been tucked into place where it used to sound so perfectly disheveled. But the more you let these four songs sink in (including a revision of "Find Your Home" and the fabulous "It Won't Last"), the more the band sounds like they're simply growing into new territory. Vue flirt with a heavily atmospheric attitude, still all hips and heart-over-head. JENNIFER MAERZ

Hello Doctor
(Kill Rock Stars)
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With all the eruditic subtlety of Too Short's finer moments, San Francisco four-piece Gravy Train!!! combines Raw Like Sushi beats, covered-and-smothered JJ Fad rhymes, and impossibly off key diva vocals in a wince-inducing, queer-centric stew of sex, fast food, sex, and more sex. Gravy Train!!!! returns with Hello Doctor, their debut full length on Kill Rock Stars--and, well, it's just filthy. Not in that alluring, female empowerment, electro kind of way either--in a repugnant, neighbors-making-amateur-porn, Miami booty bass way--and despite a few hiccups throughout, the package is nearly flawless. Ten titty-bouncing, burger-fucking spurts that--once your cheeks regain their natural hue--are pretty difficult to resist. Don't get me wrong--Hello Doctor is nothing if not a novelty record, but I'll be damned if it isn't an addictive one. ZAC PENNINGTON

* * * * freedom fries
* * * freedom toast
* * freedom dressing
* freedom tickler