"Weird Paul" Petroskey
Still Going Strong
The first new full-length in a couple of years from local treasure Weird Paul starts with characteristically dry and funny introspection on his recent success with YouTube videos he made from home movies from his childhood. (The track is called "Delusions of Grandeur.") And who else would write a song called "Peanut Butter Recall," and make it simply about remembering all of the kinds of peanut butter you've eaten?
WEIRD PAUL CD RELEASE. Sat., Oct. 19. Bloomfield Bridge Tavern, 4412 Liberty Ave., Bloomfield. $5 (or $10 with CD). 412-682-8611 or www.bloomfieldbridgetavern.com
In Our Keystone State
Southside American — the project of Pittsburgh-based songwriter Benjamin Sweet — mixes classic Americana/country-rock songwriting and recording techniques more common to lo-fi garage rock, and that's a large part of what makes this six-track disc stand out in a crowded field. There aren't a ton of surprises in the songwriting, but there also aren't any cringeworthy moments to speak of — it's all decent stuff. This one puts a lot of good elements together to make a whole that's greater than its parts, and better than most singer-songwriter fare.
Ambition "The Kid"
Ambition did a stint with Miami R&B group Pretty Ricky as lead singer, but also spits hip-hop verses as "The Kid," which is the basis for this mixtape: Ambition vs. The Kid. Some of the tracks are straight-up singing — mostly baby-making stuff — and some are raps. (Some mix both.) While the raps are good, Ambition's got a great voice, and those R&B tunes really shine. The mixtape also serves as an introduction to the artist, with soundbytes from a radio interview peppered in. It's available free as a download from datpiff.com.