(Barboza) If pain makes you beautiful, John Grant is a supermodel. On his 2010 solo debut, Queen of Denmark, the former Colorado resident forged addiction, homophobia, and bad boyfriends into ’70s AM radio reveries that underscored the transcendent power of pop music. A new set of woes informs its follow-up, Pale Green Ghosts, and while his lyrical bite remains as sharp as Greta Garbo’s cheekbones, this time the brooding baritone renders his hurt and frustration in different timbres. “Ernest Borgnine” and the murky club cut “Black Belt” reflect Grant’s love of electronic music and film soundtracks more than childhood comforts—think John Carpenter, not the Carpenters—and now his live show features a full band, rather than the self-effacing entertainer seated alone behind a keyboard. Beautiful? More like drop-dead gorgeous. KURT B. REIGHLEY
Musical paneer! This 30-minute mix of Indian pop covers (We Will Rock You, I Will Survive, Macarena, Lambada, Can’t Take My Eyes Off You, Mas Que Nada, Light My Fire, Barbie Girl, The Final Countdown) has left me craving chana puri for lunch.