Ends of the Earth
(Green Jeans Records)
Pinkerton, now a longtime Pittsburgher, is known for her tendency to mix North American and South American folk traditions. Here, she pulls from Americana as well as Chilean and Venezualan folk to make a beautiful, subdued full-length. She alternates English- and Spanish-language tunes to keep it interesting.
EMILY PINKERTON CD RELEASE. 7:30 p.m. Sat., May 26. First Unitarian Church, 605 Morewood Ave., Shadyside. $10-15. All ages. 412-621-8008
I'm not 100 percent sure about some of the production decisions on this one — some of the lo-fi, fuzzy vocals are distracting, and the hooks aren't always amazing — but that doesn't take away from the local MC's lyrical skills, which are top-notch. Thoughtful, borderline nerdy (I mean, the cover isn't just a map of Pittsburgh — it's one that names every neighborhood), but confident and cool. He may not be quite there yet, but he's well along the way. Good stuff.
Under a Blueberry Moon
Ten tracks of percussion-centered instrumental tracks from the drummer from Mercury (the band, not the planet). A standard rock set-up is augmented with specialized percussion (the Bali steel pan, for example), giving the record a world-music vibe, though it's largely instrumental New Age-y pop. Borders on a little cheesy at times, but nice sounds.