• Sean Lennon, 'Friendly Fire' (Capitol)

    Reminiscent of half-brother Julian's undervalued 1999 album Photograph Smile, Lennon's sophomore outing is a whole step up from his debut, Into the Sun. On this uniformly pleasant affair, John's son struggles, with surprising success, to overcome the burden of surname-related expectations. Though not blessed with the strength of his father's voice, he makes the most of Dad's knack for pretty melody, crafting a nicely textured album of wistful waltzes, rainy-day ballads, and pinwheel pop tunes. Now Watch This: Sean Lennon - "Dead Meat" WINDOWS MEDIA HIGH | LOW BUY: iTunesAmazon

  • Breaking Out: Giant Drag

    Los Angeles duo Giant Drag are only halfway through shooting the video for their forthcoming single, the droning, lyrically baffling "Kevin Is Gay," and frontwoman Annie Hardy has already been drenched in faux rainwater, flattened by a clumsy fatso in fetish gear, and -- in effigy at least -- thrown off a cliff. "If this video doesn't come out well," she says, "I'm going to fucking kill everybody here." Other than that, things are going remarkably well for the 24-year-old singer/guitarist and her one-man rhythm section, 27-year-old Micah Calabrese. The pair are preparing for the release of their fuzzy rock album Hearts and Unicorns, just two years after their first gig at L.A. hipster hotspot Silverlake Lounge.

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