sound check

By Michael Swanger


Flashbulb Fires
Fiance Music

Denver-based, indie-rock quartet Flashbulb Fires releases its debut full-length album, “Glory,” two days after its show in Des Moines, but fans won’t want to miss a sneak preview of its well-crafted content, the likes of which make “Glory” one of the best indie-rock albums of the year. The album’s nine original songs were written and recorded while the band took up residency in a house-turned-studio during the winter of 2008. The results are nine short, but lushly arranged incandescent songs that reflect singer Patrick McGuire’s conflicted religious past and suburban upbringing. Highlights abound, including the country-tinged “Pyramid Scheme” and “Ambulance,” the early-U2-like “Revenge Song,” the Arcade Fire-esque “Sleep Money Dawn,” the jazzy ballad “Rope and River” and the gray morning ballad “Blind Leading The Blind.”

(Flashbulb Fires opens for Why Make Clocks for an all-ages show at 6 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 13 at the Vaudeville Mews. $5.) CV


Roger Salloom
“Last Call”
Florence Records

Singer-songwriter-guitarist Roger Salloom was part of the 1960s psychedelic scene in San Francisco, playing the Fillmore with Santana, Van Morrison, Procol Harum and B.B. King. In the 1970s, he moved to Nashville to pursue songwriting, then disappeared for 20 years to raise a family as a single parent and ended up drawing a syndicated cartoon. Riding high after last year’s successful album, “La Te Da,” Salloom returns with another collection of heartfelt, poignant tunes for his latest recording, “Last Call.” Salloom’s relaxed vocals, wry sense of humor and musical diversity characterize this well-executed album that ranges from reggae (“O’Nello”), to folk-country (“Here’s To the Life”), to blues (“Spend It”), to roots-rock (“I’m In Trouble Again”). “Life Is Short” and “Little Stevie,” songs with deep meanings, however, epitomize Salloom’s wisdom, realness and happiness. A musician’s musician, if you like John Hiatt or Rodney Crowell, you’ll like Salloom. CV

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