Local Licks 

This week, we review Recliner, Joe Bagale, Stegosaurus Rex, and Julia Francis.

Recliner, After the Fog. Behold: indie rock for people who hate indie rock. Recorded on analog tape by Aaron Prellwitz (the Mountain Goats, John Vanderslice, Hella) at San Francisco indie haven Tiny Telephone, After the Fog should, presumably, sound pretty hip. Instead it sounds like brash, run-of-the-mill garage rock. (Poison Pen Records)

Joe Bagale, Joe Bagale. This 25-year-old Oaklander's distillation of vintage soul, funk, and R&B has a patently modern sensibility: it refuses to settle in one sound and can feel as gritty as it does slick. Bagale wrote, produced, played all the instruments, programmed samples, and sang both lead and backup vocals. (1 Beat Productions)

Stegosaurus Rex, The Dino Soars. Opening track "East Bay Kickback" says it all, with promise of slick electro jams bearing few vocals and no hang-ups. Some cuts, such as "Polar" and "Fleeting Disco Do" pump the energy up to club levels. Most hit the sweet spot between relaxed and ready-to-go — a good place to be, but tough to sustain for seventy minutes. (Unfun Records)

Julia Francis, Lucky Penny. Not just another pop-rock singer-songwriter record, but close. Francis' self-indulgent kiss-and-tells, however eloquently expressed, don't help. They are thankfully more than redeemed by a proficient cast of session musicians who provide invaluable accompaniment on guitar, bass, and drums. (No Shrinking Violet) 

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