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SLEEP­ING IN THE AVIARY Great Vacation! (Sci­ence of Sound) When you en­ter Sleep­ing in the Aviary’s web­site, you have some in­ter­est­ing choices to make. Sure, you’ll run across tags for news, mer­chan­dise, pics, fan-club info, and videos. But there are also links la­beled “Horny Teens” and “Hornier Teens” Click on one, if you dare, and feast your eyes on se­niors gum­ming ice cream. Visit the other, and a re­clin­ing Weimaraner puppy stares back at you flir­ta­tiously. Dis­turb­ing on many lev­els? Yes. And you should ex­pect noth­ing less from this Min­nesota-based quin­tet, whose pre­vi­ous re­leases in­clude the pop-punk-in­dul­gent Oh, This Old Thing? and the low-fi folk-pop-driven Ex­pen­sive Vomit in a Cheap

Ho­tel. Great Vacation! finds Sita ex­pand­ing on a solid lyrical and in­stru­men­tal plat­form of neo-folksy weird­ness with nods to death, love, and S-M re­la­tion­ships that in­clude an awk­ward yet com­i­cal com­bi­na­tion of both. Lead track “Y.M.C.A. (No, Not That One)” finds fuzzed-out elec­tric gui­tars, string-harp in­ter­ludes, and a gar­gling man back­ing up a twisted tale of mar­itime lust and stingray attacks. The first 22 sec­onds of “Maria’s Ghost” sound like a tour-van col­li­sion be­tween Primus and Big Black be­fore set­tling into love-bal­lad mode à la The Bea­tles’ “Michelle.” In this tune, Maria ex­pires while wear­ing a pair of hand­cuffs with “lips like fresh-cut hon­ey­dew, dried and cracked, cold and blue, doo-bee-doo … I taught Maria all the joys of ball and gag.” David Lynch: if you’re hard-up for script fod­der, call these song­writ­ers im­me­di­ately. And give them my re­gards. — Rob DeWalt

GIRLS Bro­ken Dreams Club (True Pan­ther) In 2009, San Fran­cisco group Girls re­leased an al­bum called Al­bum. It was a promis­ing de­but that show­cased an orig­i­nal voice (that of singer and song­writer Christo­pher Owens) but was stuck on some sloppy and fairly de­riv­a­tive clas­sic-rock sign­posts. No big whoop: that’s what de­but al­bums are for, and this six-song fol­low-up prom­ises a brighter fu­ture for the band. Girls still gob­bles up what it can from clas­sic rock and soul mu­sic, but this time the group in­cor­po­rates more pol­ished pro­duc­tion val­ues and folds its in­flu­ences more con­vinc­ingly into a sound that’s its own. Owens shows em­pa­thy for his fe­male pro­tag­o­nists with lines like “He’ll never know about the times you cried in your bed­room,” and his ca­pa­ble croon­ing evokes a time when most pop­u­lar mu­sic was writ­ten for the fairer sex. The lyrics of the ti­tle song show un­flat­ter­ing emo ten­den­cies — first Owens moans about never be­ing the right guy for a cer­tain girl and then veers into wor­ries about be­ing too sen­si­tive to cope with the world’s ills — but the band res­cues the song from pre­cious­ness with a del­i­cate melody and a per­fect pedal-steel ac­com­pa­ni­ment. Girls closes with “Carolina,” a seven-minute slow-cooker that morphs into a juke-joint jam with “doo ron ron” back­ing vo­cals. And yet, it sounds like Girls the whole way through. — Robert B. Ker

Vir­tu­ally ev­ery song on ‘Our Se­cret World’ is a cap­ti­vat­ing ad­ven­ture.

JOSQUIN DE­SPREZ Sta­bat Mater, Pater Noster/Ave Maria, Dé­plo­ration (Ars Mu­sici) He has been called “the Beethoven of the Re­nais­sance,” but Josquin De­sprez (or des Prez, or des Près, or how­ever you care to spell it) re­quires no com­par­i­son to any­body to sup­port his sta­tus as one of Western mu­sic’s supreme com­posers. Even dur­ing the height of his ca­reer — from the 1480s un­til his death, in 1521 — many of Josquin’s con­tem­po­raries viewed him as primus in­ter pares. This disc of his sa­cred (or at least spir­i­tual) vo­cal works proclaims the as­ton­ish­ing va­ri­ety of his style, from the chaste as­per­ity of two-part canons to the tex­tu­ral mag­nif­i­cence of the six-part Pater Noster he wrote late in life, in­struct­ing that, when he died, it should be sung in re­li­gious pro­ces­sions that passed his home in Condé-surl’Es­caut, on what is now the French-Bel­gian border. The seven gentle­men of the a cap­pella Du­fay En­sem­ble (di­rected by Eck­e­hard Kiem, one of the group’s basses) achieve cham­ber sing­ing of the high­est or­der; their tone, blend, in­to­na­tion, and rhyth­mic flow are im­pec­ca­ble. And yet, what is per­haps most stun­ning about this Su­per Au­dio CD is its vivid acous­tic pres­ence. Not­with­stand­ing a six-sec­ond re­ver­ber­a­tion in the St. Ge­orge’s Church in Freiburg, Ger­many (the group’s home town), where these tracks were cap­tured in May 2009, the sound is pel­lu­cid, and attacks and dic­tion emerge so clearly that you’ll imag­ine you’re sing­ing in the group your­self. — James M. Keller

KURT ROSEN­WINKEL AND OJM Our Se­cret World (Wom­mu­sic) The 16-piece Or­ches­tra de Jazz de Matosin­hos took the ini­tia­tive on this col­lab­o­ra­tive project back in 2007. The seven works are all pre-ex­ist­ing orig­i­nals by gui­tarist Kurt Rosen­winkel, and ev­ery track but one was ar­ranged by OJM mem­bers with­out his in­volve­ment. And the en­tire disc is just alive with cre­ativ­ity. On the ti­tle track (at 6:36, the al­bum’s short­est piece) Rosen­winkel leads in­ter­est­ing ex­plo­rations against Mar­cos Cavaleiro’s strong drum­ming and surges by var­i­ous brass play­ers. The mu­sic is mul­ti­lay­ered and com­mand­ing, but with an air of enigma. Next up is a sprawl­ing piece of mu­sic called “The Clois­ter.” You al­most get a Chick Corea feel­ing from Rosen­winkel’s col­or­ful sense of sto­ry­telling. There’s nice ac­tion here from the trom­bones and trum­pets, but Rosen­winkel is un­ques­tion­ably the leader of both melody and mood on the in­trigu­ing com­po­si­tion. On “Dream of the Old,” al­though there are some quiet, lyrical sec­tions, the gui­tarist plays wildly and beau­ti­fully. “To be hon­est,” he says in the liner notes, “I couldn’t have done this record a few years ago, be­cause it’s only now that I’m get­ting the strength in the sound, all the di­men­sions of voice and tim­bre and depth.” He ex­ulted in pur­su­ing “what­ever my fan­tasy dreamed up” within the “fas­ci­nat­ing tex­tures and col­ors” of the or­ches­tra. Vir­tu­ally ev­ery song here is a cap­ti­vat­ing ad­ven­ture. — Paul Wei­de­man

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