Khingz, Cold-Hearted In Cloud City (self-released)
Okay, literalists, I'm going to cut your criticisms off at the pass: Yes, I know Khingz doesn't live here anymore. But since he is releasing a new EP this Thursday at Gabriel Teodros' last show before he leaves for Ethiopia (with some European touring en route), I think it's well worth mentioning. No word on when exactly Teodros will be back, and his upcoming album, Colored People's Time Machine, isn't going to come out until he's back from Ethiopia, so if you want to hear the new tunes, this is your one and only opportunity until Teodros returns. According to his blog, he will be offering up a special mixtape at the show, though, so that's something.
Try before you buy: You can't, so go to the show. It's at Chop Suey, costs $10 advance and is all ages. The lovely Cristina Orbe and DJ WD4D will be there, as well.
Betsy Olson, Lonely Woman Blues (self-released)
Betsy Olson's got a superb voice for the blues -- might be how she got a spot opening for Sub Pop folk songstress Sera Cahoone -- but judiciously applied organ gives her music a gospel sheen. Sometimes, she manages to sound smooth and languid as a river of maple syrup, but she's got the requisite pipes to belt it out from the gut like a true blueswoman. You can pick up a copy of her new album at her Tractor Tavern CD release show tomorrow night, where she'll be performing with Jeff Fielder & the Dinosaurs and Jack Wilson. Anyone who listens to the Gossip or the Black Keys (from the earlier end of their careers, especially) will probably dig Olson.
Try before you buy: There are exactly two songs on MySpace, but they were more than enough to convince me that this woman's really got something.
Supersones, Son Para Ti (self-released)
If you like son music (the precursor to salsa music), Supersones will release their sophomore album of warm Cubano tunes -- traditional and original -- at the Tractor Tavern on Thursday, the 15th. There will be dancing. I also recommend this one.