The Hypnotist Collectors, Worn Out Factory
The members of this local rock four-tet obviously enjoy wallowing in minor-key blues, even if their tempos are upbeat. Rock-country murder ballad "Tale of the White Thief" typifies the sound of this album, with its gritty guitar licks and woeful violin. The other tunes rely on familiar tropes: shanty towns; rambler tales; heartbreak; addiction; the Bible. (self-released)
At Thee Parkside (1600 17th St., San Francisco) on Saturday, Aug. 6. 2 p.m., $12.
Waheed & the Resistance, The Singles — 2011
The name of this group doesn't exactly scream subtlety, so it's no surprise that the songs — there are only two of them — are actually protest chants. "Money" is about "corporate slaves," "credit slaves," and other unwitting victims of the market-based economy. "What Kinda World" is more of an abstract lament about racial inequity, poverty, and, again, the unfairness of capitalism. Both songs hover on a single chord tone. (Power Surge Recordings)
Grupo Falso Baiano, Simplicidade: Live at Yoshi's
There's no questioning the dexterity of these four musicians. The songs all represent Brazil's choro tradition (a blend of jazz and African rhythms); many of them require the mandolin and saxophone to play complex melody lines at hair-trigger tempos. Percussionist Ami Molinelli and seven-string guitarist Brian Moran supply the rhythm section. (Massaroca Records)
At Casa Cultura (1901 San Pablo Ave., Berkeley) on Sunday, Aug. 7. 5 p.m., $5.
Edmund Welles, Imagination Lost
Writing and arranging for four bass clarinets is certainly no easy task, particularly if you're aiming for the full wallop of a rock band. But apparently, no order is too tall for local composer and reeds expert Cornelius Boots, who developed the concept for Edmund Welles in 1996, and spent more than a decade refining it. The group's new album has bass clarinets alternating on the lead parts, bass lines, and percussion. It includes one doo-wop tune, and some chamber metal. (self-released)