Parker Paul Lemon-Lime Room

Parker Paul fills his friendly vaudeville debut Lemon-Lime Room with cheerful sentiment and sharp social observation, and while it’s a current favourite of mine, not everyone will dig it — or even get it. Despite the penchant for ivory-pounding rock’n’roll piano, Parker is more Randy Newman and Loudon Wainright III than Ben Folds. His voice recalls Lou Reed without the range, or the speak-singing of Silver Jew David Berman, whose “Pet Politics” he covers. Parker is an inspiration little corner of rockin’ good cynicism, full of lyrical gems, such as his opening ode, “Lemongrass.” (“Lemongrass you grow and grow/Never welcome at the garden show.”) His rock credentials include now-defunct Virginia rock groups Curious Digit and the Fledglings, as well as a brief tour of duty playing keyboards with Royal Trux, but it’s as a solo performer that Parker Paul demands attention, at least from the few of us who like this sort of thing. (Jagjaguwar)