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Arts and Entertainment

Top Five New CD Releases

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Elf Power Back to the Web (Rykodisc) – They’re an Athens, GA band and part of the Elephant 6 collective of indie rockers. They’ve got a record label and a commune. Apparently this album is less poppy and more acoustic folk. Appearing live at Spaceland on 5/13. Sample tracks on MYSPACE.

Mark Knopflerand Emmylou HarrisAll the Roadrunning (Nonesuch/Warner Bros.) – This is more a Mark Knopfler album than an Emmylou album. It’s probably worth downloading the Emmylou tracks even if you don't like Dire Straits. Appearing live at Gibson Amphitheater (Universal City Walk) on 6/28. You can stream the new album HERE.

Secret Machines Ten Silver Drops (Reprise) – Longtime fans and the indie press seem disappointed by the direction of the new album, but it got solid reviews from British mags, Entertainment Weekly and Urb. The bombastic drums are gone and there are more Coldplay-type moments. It's a little disappointing compared to the last record, but still worth checking out. Stream the album HERE. They appear live at Amoeba on 5/2 at 7:00 PM and at the El Rey on 5/4.

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Bruce Springsteen We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions (Columbia) – He gathered 13 musicians for two sessions and recorded these covers live. The record is getting universally good reviews. He’s touring with the band and appearing live at the Greek Amphitheatre on 6/5. Stream the album HERE.

The Streets The Hardest Way to Make an Easy Living (Vice/Atlantic) – Some of the critics seem to think the British electro-rapper has lost his way. Instead of the social commentary it’s more about the pitfalls of fame. Download When You Wasn’t Famousor stream the album HERE and see videos of Mike Skinner talking about the record HERE