· The Goose is finally loose! The local four-piece — which features ex-Throneberry members Paul Cavins and Jason Arbenz, former Love Cowboys guitarist Jordan Arbenz (yes, Jason's younger bro) and Stapletons bassist Lance Stapleton — celebrates the completion of its long-in-the-works debut disc, Live It Up, Turn It Goose, downtown this weekend. Friday, they play the Courtyard Café with Brad Schnittger of The Sundresses and Dan Mecher of Turnbull ACs. Saturday, at alchemize, Goose is joined by Staggering Statistics (featuring ex-Throneberry guitarist Sam Womelsdorf) and Mike Detmer from The Spectacular Fantastic. Fans of Arbenz and Cavins' work with Throneberry will be thrilled with Goose's similar knack for climbing, irresistible melodies and a to-the-point Pop/Rock musical approach. The album — which was started in 2003 — was recorded by Cavins and he allows the songs to breathe naturally, without a trace of effects or other studio "fixes." Background vocals, engaging, crafty guitar work, piano and organ help create a full sound, though. Highlights include opener "Cannot Wrap Her Thoughts," which epitomizes Arbenz's strength as a brilliant melodic sculptor, "Roosevelt Square," which has the sleepy, soulful organics of The Band, the old Stones boogie of "Johnny Q. Fanfare" and the gushing, expansive closer, "Winter Guilty," featuring towering background vocals from Lavender Drags' Lee Gallagher.
· Local Pop/Rock trio The Flight Station unleash their new EP, Falling Star, Saturday in conjunction with a show at Covington's Mad Hatter. The group had gone through several lineup changes and genre shifts before landing on The Flight Station sound, inspired by the band members' love of bands like Lovedrug, Waking Ashland and The Get Up Kids.
It was a good place for them to land — the EP shows off the group's sharp songwriting skills, which exude effective, heart-wrenching Emo melodies and lyrics. Falling Star is as crisply recorded and musically accomplished as any Emo/Pop release you'll hear on the radio. The intricate guitar interplay is powerful, brimming with passionate, youthful energy, but it's the overriding musical maturity that makes The Flight Station ready for the bigger time. The broad chorus hooks detonate on highlight tracks like "California" and the luxurious "Memories in the Sky." The band's bio says the group hopes the new disc will help them make "a dent, a dime and a whole lot of fans and friends." Shouldn't be a problem. (theflightstationmusic.com)
· Friday and Saturday, Jazz singer Ms. Jaz returns to Chez Nora for the release of her new CD recorded at the Covington restaurant/music venue. Me Too Live was recorded at Chez Nora last spring and features Jaz's breathy, robust take on classics like "Route 66," "My Funny Valentine," Oleta Adams' "Get Here" and Sade's "Sweetest Taboo." Music starts at 8:30 p.m. both nights. (msjaz.com)
· At 7 p.m. Saturday, Rock trio The Electric Souls are having a party (with free beer, food and wine!) in honor of their new CD, House On Fire, at 7th Street Gifts in Newport. The band shows a peculiar yet enjoyable versatility on the album, with practically every track sounding different from the last. Opening cut "The Light" feels like Echo and the Bunnymen, "General Lee" has the lo-fi Pop effusiveness of Robert Pollard, "Conjure You Up" grinds heavily like an old Mountain outtake and "Hear My Baby Calling" and "Roll & Tumble" are minimalistic, haunting Blues numbers.
· Extraordinary bassist Nate White presents a free CD release party for his new disc, So Beautiful, at the Havana Martini Club Thursday at 8 p.m. White was/is a member of RAMP, the Cincinnati-bred, Roy Ayers-mentored/produced Soul/Funk/Jazz band that had a hit with "Everybody Loves The Sunshine" in the '70s and has more recently become something of a "rare groove" legend, thanks to Hip Hop producers and collectors' attention from around the world (the group is reformed and performing again; check myspace.com/ramp77 for more info). So Beautiful showcases White's dazzling bass skills and his strength as a writer of smooth "Contemporary Funk Jazz." (natewhitemusic.com)
· Singer/actress Lauren Dragon garnered a lot of attention with her star-making turn in the play Love, Janis, which drew raves when it was staged at the Playhouse in the Park last year. In between gunning for the lead in the Janis Joplin biopic and readying her one-woman-show for Las Vegas next month, Dragon has been working on her sophomore album, Mosaic. The soulful, versatile singer returns to the area to perform Saturday at Fairfield's Crystal Palace, where she will be releasing her new single, "Reflections." (laurendragon.net)
CONTACT MIKE BREEN: mbreen(at)citybeat.com