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New releases from Pedro the Lion and Sir Richard Bishop & W. David Oliphant 

Pedro the Lion, Phoenix
  • Pedro the Lion, Phoenix
Pedro the Lion, Phoenix (Polyvinyl Record Co.) – Don’t be fooled by the formless electronic drone in the first minute of Pedro the Lion’s first album in 15 years. The chiming guitars and stark, frank lyrics that characterized David Bazan’s best work in the 1990s emerge in the opening track, “Yellow Bike,” and never let up as Bazan returns to his Arizona roots. The songwriter has recorded albums continuously since the band name was retired in 2005, but this reuniting propels Pedro the Lion to stunning new levels. Only hints of Bazan’s former Christian faith are found here, since Phoenix focuses on the changes the Valley of the Sun and Bazan himself have encountered since his 1980s childhood.

Sir Richard Bishop & W. David Oliphant/Karkhana with Nadah El Shazly, Carte Blanche
  • Sir Richard Bishop & W. David Oliphant/Karkhana with Nadah El Shazly, Carte Blanche
Sir Richard Bishop & W. David Oliphant/Karkhana with Nadah El Shazly, Carte Blanche (Unrock) – The last time Sun City Girls guitarist Sir Richard Bishop paired up with W. David Oliphant, the result was India-influenced raga sounds of praise. This time, the influences are global and dazzling in two extended tracks. The flip side of this split LP introduces Beirut-based ensemble Karkhana, linking Egyptian vocalist Nadah El Shazly with such jazz superstars as Sam Shalabi and Michael Zerang.

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