Please Release Me

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Fans of the local music scene have no shortage of newly released albums to choose from this month.

Rock quartet Novillero will release its eagerly-awaited sophomore effort, Aim Straight for the Holes in their Lives, at the West End Cultural Centre on May 6 with openers The Paperbacks and Chords of Canada. The Mint Records release went on sale in stores on May 3. After its critically-acclaimed debut The Brindleford Follies, the band disappeared from the scene in early 2002. With some line-up changes and new energy, Novillero is poised to be the next indie rock thing in the Canadian scene.

Also releasing an album on May 6 is rock trio National Monument. The band's show will be at the Royal Albert with opening acts Edmonton's Fractal Pattern and Medicine Missile, including members of Mahogany Frog, Redsayno, and Absent Sound.

Indie rock singer/songewriter Mike Petkau has also made his fans wait a long time for his sophomore release. Don't Say A Word, which follows up his acclaimed 2002 release Parapet, will be released at the West End the night after Novillero's release, on May 7. The multi-talented Petkau produced, engineered, and mixed the album himself in his own Czaar Studios and is releasing it on his own label, Head in the Sand Records. He's recently released and produced Darren Day's debut, among others.

Flin Flon-born jazz chanteuse Jennifer Hanson will release her second album, How the Night People Pray, at Finn McCue's on May 4.

A little later in the month, celtic artist Jennifer Clarke will release her latest, Prairie Celt at the Berney Theatre on May 15. Produced by ex-Winnipeg Folk Festival artistic directory Pierre Guérin, the album features guest spots by Papa Mambo's Rodrigo M­uño and violist Richard Moody.

Popular hip-hop trio Mood Ruff offers up I Do My Own Stunts on May 28 at the Energy Lounge. This latest album, the trio's fourth, follows up the nationally-recognized Antarctica, and should solidify Mood Ruff as one of Canada's most successful urban acts.

At the very end of the month on May 30, singer/songwriter Stephen Johns will release his an album named after the number of tracks he's recorded. Seven Songs will be released at the Grant Park Prairie Ink Cafe with support Manitoba Hal, Dan Donahue, and James Hickerson. The album, produced by Donahue at his Lion's Den Studios, features guest appearances by Nicky Mehta and Ruth Moody of Juno-winning folk act The Wailin' Jennys.

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