Feature ·

Jan 23, 2006 Heading to the record store? Here's what's new.

 

Oh, the heady days of 2005. University of Southern California was better than every other college football team in America,
we were blissfully unaware that our president was spying on us, and
Prefix published a weekly guide to all the new releases worth checking
out.

Well, we now know that USC is better than every other college football team in America except Texas,
and someone's furiously scribbling the chicken soup recipes we're
getting from mom, just in case it's a secret code. But at least Prefix
is back with the inaugural edition of the many (forty-nine to be exact)
First Look previews for 2006.

The
slow days of early January are over, folks. Thousands of records will
be released this year, and we intend to argue over as many of them as
we can. We've got video-game noise, sexy singers of song, and some
hip-hop fare for you to feast upon. Find them here, buy them out there,
and listen for yourselves. And try to talk about it on the phone. Those
nerds in Washington could use a little musical excitement in their lives.

Here's
a quick look at a handful of new albums, as well as a list of the rest
of the stuff that's supposed to hit shelves this week:

 

 



The Advantage
Elf-Titled
5 Rue Christine

To the
generation of boys that was weaned on Nintendo and ushered into
teenagedom by rock 'n' roll: The Advantage plays for you. With the
stated intention of recording every single NES theme song by the time
they die (take that, Sufjan!), the members of the Advantage offer up
their second LP of immaculately recreated 8-bit melodies arranged for a
four-piece rock band. Those who accuse the band of doing nothing with
the original melodies are missing the point. This isn't music, it's a
form of worship, and anything more elaborate would cheapen the austere
majesty of the source material. Elf-Titled is a most welcome addition to the '80s revivalism canon. ~Etan Rosenbloom
MP3 Clips



Tha Alkaholiks
Firewater
Koch Records

Underappreciated West Coast rappers Tha Liks, er, Tha Alkaholiks, issues its - wait for it - last call with Firewater.
This group's been holding it down with sharp rhymes and party scenarios
since Heavy D was skinny. And unlike Jay-Z's exit from hip-hop, this
retirement is likely definitive. ~Eric Solomon
Tha Alkaholiks Web site



Cat Power
The Greatest
Matador Records

Let the record show that 2004's Speaking for Trees
should be considered the indie equivalent of hip-hop's mixtape, and
thus will not be counted as an official release. So, returning to the
music scene nearly three years removed from the release of You Are Free, Chan Marshall, a.k.a. Cat Power, offers her seventh full-length, The Greatest.
Backed by some of the finest soul and R&B musicians Memphis has to
offer, Marshall lends her signature sultry voice to twelve tracks
including lead single "The Greatest." It appears that this revamped,
more soulful Cat Power has laid down the gauntlet for the upcoming solo
efforts of contemporaries Neko Case and Jenny Lewis. ~Adrian Covert
"The Greatest" MP3



Cunninlynguists
A Piece of Strange
L.A. Underground/QN5

The members of Cunninlynguists may be accused of being a tease, tonguing around the issue with their Sloppy Seconds Vol. 2 mixtape
last year, but they haven't quite hit the right spot for a while. The
duo from Kentucky should come with more clever honey with their third
studio album, A Piece of Strange, with freak-nasty partners in rhyme Cee-Lo and Immortal Technique. ~Eric Solomon
QN5 Web site
Streaming audio



Delta 5
Delta 5: Singles and Sessions 1979-81
Kill Rock Stars

On
their theme song, the members of Delta 5 confidently chorus "We're
ready when you are." And twenty-five years after the band's breakup,
Olympia's Kill Rock Stars has decided that the public is indeed ready
for its return. The co-ed post-punk group once shared a social circle
and accusations of communism with fellow Leeds residents the Mekons and
Gang of Four, whom bass player Ros Allen claims were far more
intellectual than Delta 5 was. This compilation offers some great bits
of Delta 5's brief lifespan, though there's so much bass on most tracks
here that songs such as "You" will have you asking for more bass as if
it were Ovaltine. ~China Bialos
"Now That You've Gone" MP3



East River Pipe
What Are You On?
Merge Records

What Are You On? finds
East River Pipe (a.k.a. reclusive bedroom-rock icon F.M. Cornog)
exploring the nooks and crannies of drug dependence in a way that
illuminates rather than celebrates. Although his name sounds like a
character out of a precocious children's novel, only the most fucked-up
children would be able to identify with Cornog's downer odes to the
dark side of human existence. Children can identify with corndogs,
however, but that's neither here nor there. ~Benjamin Hill
"What Does T.S. Eliot Know About You?" stream



The Elected
Sun, Sun, Sun
Sub Pop

Rilo
Kiley fans are just going to have to get used to the fact that your
little band (even though it's not so little anymore) likely isn't going
to put out an album every year or two anymore. Jenny Lewis is doing the
solo thing now, and Blake Sennett has put the seal on the sophomore
album from his other band, the Elected. Sun, Sun, Sun reflects
upon what it's like to live life on the road, something Sennett is used
to. Of course, the release of another album from a Rilo Kiley side
project might not slow those prolific songwriters down. Either way, the
Elected is back. ~Austin L. Ray
"Not Going Home" MP3
Sub Pop Web site
The Elected Web site



Film School
Film School
Beggars Banquet

Debuts
LPs come and go like White House scandals on the front page, but we
should offer a few nods to San Francisco's Film School nonetheless.
Since 2003's eerily brilliant EP Alwaysnever, the band's only
recording of note, it's been all hush-hush and ho-hum from this
shoegaze quintet. Still despite the dearth of material (or maybe
because of it), Film School's self-titled debut on Beggars Banquet is
garnering a rash of anticipation from the likes of Britain's NME and
The Fly. Here's to hoping Film School proves Albion's fickle music
press right this time. ~John MacDonald
Album player



The Gossip
Standing in the Way of Control
Kill Rock Stars

After a crappy live album (2003's Undead in NYC),
a new drummer (Shoplifting's Hannah Blilie), and a teaser split with
Tracy and the Plastics, the Gossip is finally back with its fourth
studio release. Wait a sec is the low-budget, queer-friendly, smutty
blues-punk trio heading down the dreaded DIY disco path? Nah, the
Gossip is still sassy and bluesy, it's just that Guy Picciotto's
production may have taken the band's sound from the garage to the
formal dining room. Five bucks says that between you and Beth Ditto,
she's still got the better voice and more hair under her arms. ~China Bialos
"Standing in the Way of Control" MP3



Jenny Lewis with the Watson Twins
Rabbit Fur Coat
Team Love

Rilo Kiley frontwoman (and Stereogum's Miss Indie Rock 2005) Jenny Lewis revisits her childhood in more ways than one with her debut solo disc Rabbit Fur Coat.
Aesthetically, it's a throwback to the country records she grew up
listening to. Lyrically, she addresses many of her childhood
experiences, including dealing with the stress of being a child actor.
It couldn't have been all bad, though. She did get to star opposite Fred Savage in The Wizard. ~Justin Sheppard
"Rise Up With Fists!" MP3



José González
Stay in the Shade EP
Hidden Agenda
Last year's Veneer LP from this Sweden
native swept through September like a small whirlwind of fallen leaves.
Now there's a huge goddamned pile of leaves. A Sony commercial,
critical acclaim, and massive blog love have dragged González's hushed
sentiments reluctantly into the spotlight. The follow-up EP will
feature a couple b-sides and yet another carefully chosen cover - this
time from Kylie Minogue. ~Dominic Umile
Jose Gonzalez Web site



MF Doom
Special Herbs Box Set: Vols. 0-9

Nature Sounds
So
you need some spices for your shelf but hate buying them piecemeal?
Don't worry: Metal Fingers has planted his entire spread of herbs and
wrapped them up in a tasty box set that includes ten volumes of his
special recipes for instrumental goodness. But wait! Act now and he'll
toss in a spicy bouillabaisse of well-aged treats from the KMD years. ~Eric Solomon
Nature Sounds Web site



Robert Pollard
From A Compound Eye

Merge
As
talented as he is, it'd probably be a lot easier to get excited about
Robert Pollard's first post-Guided by Voices full-length if he'd leave
us the hell alone for two minutes and give us a chance to miss him.
Since the band ushered in 2005 with its final performance, Pollard has
released an EP, an album of stage banter and another hundred-song suitcase of
unreleased Guided by Voices material. Did I forget to mention the
biography and DVD of the aforementioned final performance? And people
give Ryan Adams a hard time ~Justin Sheppard
Streaming audio



Tortoise/Bonnie "Prince" Billy
The Brave and the Bold
Overcoat

With
the manifold success of last fall's Calexico/Iron & Wine
collaboration, little-known Overcoat Records gets set to release yet
another, even more unexpected match-up. Ageless post-rock spacemen
Tortoise fly a few orbits with salt-of-the-earth singer/songwriter Will
Oldham (a.k.a. Bonnie "Prince" Billy) as they cover ten tunes by the
likes of Elton John, Devo and Bruce Springsteen. The results will
probably have fans of the originals scratching their heads, but
everyone should be taking advantage of parings that only come once in a
blue indie moon. ~John MacDonald
'The Brave and the Bold' on Domino Records' Web site



Test Icicles
For Screening Purposes Only
Domino

No,
Test Icicles don't sound like Bloc Party, the band members just wear
similar attire and there's a black dude who sings on occasion. A better
comparison would be a juiced-up, thrashy version of the L.A. dance-punk
band that never made it, Moving Units. The band's debut full-length, For Screening Purposes Only,
is already causing massive hype-convulsions across the U.K. and Europe,
with its blistering roster of spastic, schizo, shotgun-blast songs and
the edgy (well, Hot Topic edgy) personas of the band members.
Domino Records is frothing at the mouth waiting for the U.S. audience
to wrap its ears around this one. ~Andrew Bradick
Audio/video
 



Town & Country
Up Above
Thrill Jockey

For its fifth long-player, minimalist chamber quartet Town &
Country assimilates Japanese instrumentation into its already eclectic
mix of guitar, string bass, cornet, hand chimes and harmonium. Recorded
in the wake of a tour with Tony Conrad, a pioneer of minimalism, Up Above consists of ten hypnotic tracks of ethnic drone music that cannot be categorized. ~Etan Rosenbloom
Clips

 



Action Action: An Army of Shapes Between Wars (Victory)
The Advantage: Advantage (5 Rue Christine)
Akimbo: Forging Steel and Laying Stone (Alternative Tentacles)
Al Green: Al Green Is Love (Capitol)
Al Green: Full of Fire (Capitol)
Al Green: Have a Good Time (Capitol)
Al Green: Livin' for You (Capitol)
Al Green: Truth N' Time (Capitol)
Tha Alkaholiks: Firewater (Koch)
Aretha Franklin: Precious Lord (Passport Audio)
Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti: House Arrest (Paw Tracks)
Audio Bullys: Generation (Astralwerks)
Ayatolla: Now Playing (Nature Sounds)
B.B. King: Best Of (Emi Special Markets)
Benassi Bros.: Phobia (Ultra)
Bob Marley & The Wailers: Kaya
Bob Marley: Soul Shakedown Party [1999]   
Bob Marley: Stop That Train (DBK Works)
Cat Power: Greatest (Matador)
Catfish Haven: Please Come Back (Secretly Canadian)
Cathedral: Garden of Unearthly Delights (Nuclear Blast America)
Chamillionaire: Man on Fire (BCD Music Group)
The Class of '98: Touch This and Die! (Militia)
Clearlake: Amber (Domino)
Crosby, Stills & Nash: Crosby, Stills & Nash [Expanded Edition] (Rhino / Wea)
Crosby, Stills & Nash: Daylight Again [Expanded Edition] (Rhino / Wea)
The Crystal Method: London [Original Soundtrack] (Reincarnate Music)
Cunninlynguists: Piece of Strange
Darondo: Let My People Go (Luv N' Haight)
Delta 5: Singles & Sessions 1979-81 (Kill Rock Stars)
Demiricous: One (Hellbound) (Metal Blade)
Diecast: Tearing Down Your Blue Skies (Century Media)
DJ Quik: Trauma: Instrumentals (Mad Science)
DJ Screw: Syrup City Ballas Screwed (BCD Music Group)
The Duhks: Your Daughters and Your Sons (Sugar Hill)
Earl Klugh: Music for Lovers (Blue Note)
East River Pipe: What Are You On? (Merge)
East West Blast Test: Popular Music for Unpopular People (Ipecac)
The Elected: Sun, Sun, Sun (Sub Pop)
Electric President: Electric President (Morr Music / M.M.)
Ella Fitzgerald/Louis Armstrong: Love Songs 
Elton John: Legendary Covers as Sung by Elton John (DBK Works)
Ester Drang: Rocinate (Jade Tree)
Excepter: Sunbomber (5 Rue Christine)
Film School: Film School (Beggars Banquet)
Fivespeed: Morning Over Midnight (Virgin)
Four Tet: Everything Ecstatic [Films & Part 2] (Domino)
The Gibson Brothers: Red Letter Day (Sugar Hill)
Good Clean Fun: Between Christian Rock and a Hard Place (Equal Vision)
Gorefest: Muerte (Nuclear Blast America)
Gossip/Le Tigre: Standing in the Way of Control (Kill Rock Stars)
The Gourds: Heavy Ornamentals (Eleven Thirty)
Hank Mobley: Music for Lovers (Blue Note)
His Name Is Alive: Detrola (Reincarnate Music)
Horace Silver: Music for Lovers (Blue Note)
Ike & Tina Turner: Ike & Tina Turner [Passport] (Passport Audio)
The Isley Brothers: Bedroom Classics, Vol. 3 (Rhino / Wea)
Jah Wobble: Mu (Sanctuary)
Jenny Lewis with the Watson Twins: Rabbit Fur Coat (Team Love)
Jim Croce: Have You Heard: Live (Shout! Factory)
Jimmy Smith: Music for Lovers (Blue Note)
John Coltrane: Bye Bye Blackbird (Passport Audio)
John Zorn: John Zorn: Film Works XVII (Tzadik)
John Zorn: Film Works, Vol. 17: Notes on Marie Menken (Tzadik)
Johnny Maestro: Best of Johnny Maestro: 1958-1985 (Shout! Factory)
Jon Gibson: Criss X Cross (Tzadik)
Jose Gonzalez: Stay in the Shade (Hidden Agenda)
Junior Kelly/Bounty Killer/Capleton: Good, Bad & Blazing (Groove Attack)
Kenny Rogers: 21 Number Ones (Capitol)
King Tubby: 100% of Dub: Select Cuts     
Lee Morgan: Music for Lovers (Blue Note)
Level 42: Greatest Hits Live    
Linda Ronstadt: Best of the Capitol Years (Capitol)
Lisa Loeb: Very Best of Lisa Loeb (Geffen)
Livingston Taylor: There You Are Again (Chesky)
Liz Durrett: Mezzanine (Warm)
Lou Rawls: Simply the Best (Disky)
Lou Rawls: Finest Collection (Emi Gold)
Louis Armstrong: Definitive Collection (Hip-O)
Marc Bolan & T. Rex: Work in Progress (Rhino / Wea)
Mark Feldman & Sylvie Courvoisier: Malphas: Book of Angels, Vol. 3 (Tzadik)
MC Hammer & Vanilla Ice: Back to Back Hits (Emi Special Markets)
MF Doom: Special Herbs: The Box Set (Nature Sounds)
Miles Away: Consequences (Bridge Nine)
Muddy World: Finery of the Storm (Tzadik)
Nasum: Grind Finale (Relapse)
Natas: N of tha World (Warlock)
The National Trust: Kings and Queens (Thrill Jockey)
Nausea: Punk Terrorist Anthology, Vol. 1 (Alternative Tentacles)
P.O.D.: Testify (Atlantic / Wea)
Pansy Division: Essential Pansy Division (Alternative Tentacles)
Patsy Cline: Revisited (Compendia)
Pearls & Brass: Indian Tower (Drag City)
Plastic Constellations: Crusades (French Kiss)
Pointer Sisters: Greatest Hits Live    
Portugal. The Man: Waiter: You Vultures! (Fearless)
Rare Essence: Live Pa, #7: Live at the Tradewinds 10.25.05 (Rare One)
Richard Ashcroft: Keys to the World (EMI)
Robert Pollard: From a Compound Eye (Merge)
Rocky Votolato: Makers (Barsuk)
Rosanne Cash: Black Cadillac (Capitol)
Röyksopp: What Else Is There? (Astralwerks)
Saint Etienne: Tales from Turnpike House (Savoy Jazz)
Savage Garden: Truly Madly Completely: The Best of Savage Garden (Sony)
Some Girls: Heaven's Pregnant Teens (Epitaph / Ada)
Sound the Alarm: Sound the Alarm        
Stan Getz: Music for Lovers (Blue Note)
Stanley Turrentine: Music for Lovers (Blue Note)
Starsailor: On the Outside (EMI)
Sullivan: Hey, I'm a Ghost (Tooth & Nail)
Super Numeri: Welcome Table (Ninja Tune)
Sworn Enemy: Beginning of the End (Abacus)
T. Duggins: Undone (Thick)
T. Rex: Bolan's Zip Gun [Expanded Edition] (Rhino / Wea)
T. Rex: Futuristic Dragon [Expanded Edition] (Rhino / Wea)
T. Rex: Tanx [Expanded Edition] (Rhino / Wea)
Tarkio: Omnibus (Kill Rock Stars)
Test Icicles: For Screening Purposes Only (Domino)
Thievery Corporation: Sounds from the Thievery Hi-Fi [Bonus Tracks] (Eighteenth Street)
Tina Dico: In the Red (DeFend Music)
Tortoise & Bonnie Prince Billy: Brave and the Bold (Overcoat Recordings)
Town & Country: Up Above (Thrill Jockey)
Various Artists: Otis Opuses (Kill Rock Stars)
Various Artists: Love Sucks (Rhino / Wea)
Various Artists: Ultra Dance 07 (Ultra)
Watashi Wa: Eager Seas (Tooth & Nail)
Waterdown: All Riot (Victory)
Yellowcard: Lights and Sounds (Capitol)



*Release dates may change. E-mail brandon@prefixmag.com with corrections or additions. 
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Mark Gardener - Show Review (Knitting Factory, Los Angeles) The Breed Love Odyssey Show Review (B.B. Kings Club, New York)
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