Though Joe Dirt Car comes with a hefty helping of new material, like the uplifting "Closer to Free" and the melancholy "Idaho," the recording has a comfortable, unified feel. It's as if the BoDeans had written every song in one night of guitar-pickin' on the porch after a fine home-cooked meal.--Scott Blair BoDeans are scheduled to perform on Saturday, October 14, at Desert Sky Pavilion as part of the AirZONa festival. The festival begins at 1 p.m.Dove ShackThis Is the ShackTwinzConversation(RAL/G Funk Music)

Partial Cliffs Notes history of Compton/Long Beach rap: N.W.A begat Ice Cube, Eazy E and Dr. Dre; Dre begat Snoop Doggy Dogg and Warren G; now, Warren G hopes to beget his own brood of disciples.

With the simultaneous debuts of Twinz and Dove Shack--both of whom performed last year on Warren's smash album Regulate ... G-Funk Era--Dre's No. 2 protg is looking to start construction on a hip-hop empire to call his own.

Twinz--identical sibs Deon (Trip Locc) and Dewayne (Wayniac) Williams--rip through Conversation with muscular rhyme skills. But their best material rides on the shoulders of G's exquisite production. "Hollywood," for instance, relies on a silky Chaka Khan interpolation and guest rap from female duo Five Footers (the real stars of Warren's stable).

The members of Dove Shack, meanwhile, display more than the requisite vocal skills on This Is the Shack. The three rappers nimbly fly a freestyle course through their recording's R&B-flavored title cut (which originally appeared on Regulate), and the single "Summertime in the LBC"--an instant West Coast classic. Unfortunately, the Shack fails to live up to that track's promise, filling out This Is with unimaginative raps celebrating misogyny and racism. Been there, heard that.--Roni Sarig

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