Sonic Reducer

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Oh, to live in Zach Gill’s world. The troubles of the planet are miles away, and the biggest concerns of the day involve people touching his stuff. It’s nice to visit this fantasy land, complete with a thick slice of organ, a lazy ocean wave tempo and Gill’s deep, whispery voice. Unfortunately, there’s not much to do in this surfer theme park, and sometimes you’d rather tell the good vibes to buzz off. But Gill, who’s also Jack Johnson’s go-to piano man, provides a release from life’s pressures, if only for a moment. (SM)

One Day As A Lion One Day As A Lion (Anti-)

The hunger never dies in an artist/activist like Zach de la Rocha (Rage Against the Machine). And, oh, what a beast of a duo de la Rocha and Jon Theodore. One Day As A Lion erupts from the first count, displaying the catalytic nature of both artists. Theodore, former drummer for The Mars Volta, carries this EP while de la Rocha drives it with Rage-like lyricism and a lion-like tone. This album makes good on the words of venerated Chicano photographer George Rodriguez: “It’s better to live one day as a lion than a thousand years as a lamb.” (JH)

Cordero De Donde Eres (Bloodshot Records)

When Cordero played this year’s South by Southwest music festival, just one-fourth of the band took the stage. Ani Cordero, creative force behind Cordero and the drummer for alt.folklorico band Pistolera, was the only member able to make the trip. Guest musicians joined Cordero and her acoustic guitar from time to time as she belted her song/stories exclusively in Spanish. Alone, Ani Cordero is powerful. Backed up by her band, Cordero is shattering. De Donde Eres merges Latin roots and a penchant for indie rock, using finger picking and brassy highlights to empower Cordero’s already heart-wrenching lyrics. The fourth track, "La Música es la Medicina," is easily the album’s thesis statement. (AD)

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