Recent releases from local acts

Now that's what we call music!

Now we turn over the proceedings to the White Demons -- not the ones who control the media, but the ones who hail from Phoenix and play great pile-driving Motor City rock like it's second nature. Other reasons to be cheerful: They got a drummer named Vern and a singer/guitarist, Tony Krank, who plays some forceful slide and yelps like either Chip Z'Nuff or a strangled Merrill Osmond (no slam intended; check out the Provo bros' "Crazy Horses" and be prepared for the irrefutable shock and awe). If that isn't reason enough to wanna check out four leather-jacketed youths, consider that they've got the apathy-anthem department all sewn up with "Say Go" ("Well I guess I'm here to entertain you/Well I guess you're right/And you can just sit and stare, man/This culture's in a rut . . ."). Like most great rock 'n' roll, White Demons have come up with a bumper crop of throwaway statements that sound deep but really are just unaffected ("Eight chairs in your living room and I don't need a mouth to feed," "I've got eyes dripping down my sleeve/You like the way I underachieve," "If you ran my smear campaign, would you turn around and do it again?") Being nonplussed was never such a welcome addition. Check out the White Demons CD release party on August 9 at Gimme Danger at Hollywood Alley in Mesa. (www.whitedemons.com)

Admittedly saddled with a dull name and even duller album art, Poster Wall still manages to hit the nail on the proverbial head where it counts most. One, the band maintains consistent '80s pop guitar hooks on every track, the kind that Heartbreaker Mike Campbell tosses off to make the most forgettable Petty tunes memorable. And two, this song "Springfield" is about an obsessed fan stalking the author of "Jessie's Girl" and star of Baywatch knockoff High Tide. Even though the track fails to deliver a satisfying narrative punch line like "The Fan," it's still a hoot to picture the unleashed terror taking place at a casino or state fair gig near you: "Rick Springfield's getting older/And his fans are getting bolder." (www.posterwall.net)

The Society of Invisibles is 12 rappers and producers who've got more opinions than a jury of yo' peers. Although space prevents us from listing all of them, the coalition includes such notables as Guttamouth (who looks and threatens like an Eye-talian), Judgment (a black guy with a gas mask on his head who claims lyrically to be "Albert Einstein and Joseph Stalin combined"), and The Invisible Man (with a taped-up head and sunglasses like, yep, that guy), who may or may not be rapping behind his bandages but deserves praise just for braving three-digit temperatures in his trench coat and gauze getup. The Society does it old-school all the way, with skits and mostly undetectable samples lifted off scratchy records of different genres. "Watching You" is the logical single, with its R&B extract and its fair warning that the SOI are watching you from their little back-room bunker filled with crumpled paper and album covers tacked on the wall like the set of Hullabaloo (you can see it on the group's video, along with blatant Pabst Blue Ribbon product placement). TSOI's album release party is scheduled for Friday, July 29, at the Old Brickhouse Grill. (www.geistaudio.net)

And since every Now! album seems to end with a wild-card selection -- and since we don't have any country CDs -- how about an Arizonan who specializes in Hawaiian music? Dana "Moon" Kahele goes a great distance to bring the song of the islands to this oceanless oven we call home, in a calm and peaceful singer-songwriter fashion. And being a grandfather, he explains a lot of things on A Walk Across the Ocean, like what the Hawaiian word for gourd plant is, what's on the windward side of Oahu, or what a slack key tune guitar is. If Parrotheads want a legitimate reason to wear loud print silk shirts, they now give a big mahalo to Moon. (www.kkohawaii.com)

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