Feature ·

[April 11, 2006] Heading to the record store? Here's what's new.

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:



Big Joe Williams: Sonet Blues Story

Bukka White: Sonet Blues Story

Champion Jack Dupree: Sonet Blues Story

Earl King: Sonet Blues Story

Juke Boy Bonner: Sonet Blues Story

Mighty Joe Young: Sonet Blues Story

Snooks Eaglin: Sonet Blues Story


Verve dips into its extensive vaults to feature blues releases from the Scandinavian Sonet label. An outgrowth of the Danish Storyville label, Sonet became known from the '50s to early '90s for its lucrative stable of European jazz and distribution of American labels such as Roulette and Chancellor. Verve resurrects the label here with a grab bag of blues artists, spanning time (Jack Dupree's early Delta to Joe Young's '60s/'70s Windy City guitar-slinging) and stature (the criminally overlooked Juke Boy Bonner to '60s folk circuit star Bukka White). This seven-part installment is notable for shedding light on other Crescent City and Delta-born artists, including Snooks Eaglin, the stinging guitarist with a throaty delivery to match; Earl King, a guitarist and songwriter that bridged blues and rhythm 'n' blues; and Joe Williams, the booming voice and banging guitar. ~Dan Nishimoto

Verve Records Web site

Built to Spill

You in Reverse

Warner Bros.

There is this bar in Arlington, Virginia called Dr. Dremos. Its clientele is a catch-all cast of odd social breeds; grunge leftovers, hippies, confused frat boys and respite-seeking hipsters all converge in its post-tacky belly. It's a welcoming place indeed. Built to Spill and its iconic frontman, Doug Martsch, remind me of this bar. It has never actually been "hip" to like this band, but Martsch's bizarrely beautiful guitar noodling has earned his band a legion of loyals. I'm not even going to be objective here; Built to Spill is awesome. You should probably pop for the version of You in Reverse that doesn't leave you wondering who Mike Jones is. ~Andrew Bradick

Built to Spill Web site

"Conventional Wisdom" MP3 (Right Click Save As)

Buttless Chaps

Where Night Holds Light


Formed in 1998, the Buttless Chaps have garnered modest success in Canada with their quirky country. Where Night Holds Light, the group's seventh release, just might be the record that gets them noticed worldwide. With the addition of Ida Nilsson (a.k.a. Great Aunt Ida) on vocals and other instruments, the record promises a fuller sound than its predecessors'. ~Josiah Hughes

Streaming audio


Garden Ruin


Returning with their first album in three years, these Arizonian veterans have made a marked attempt to do something new. This is in no small part to the band's recent forays into the collaborative, world with Iron & Wine on the In the Reins EP, and on Neko Case's latest, Fox Confessor Brings the Flood. The result is epic -- and possibly not what you'd expect from this Southwestern band. ~Austin L. Ray

Calexico Web site

Touch and Go Records Web site

"Cruel" video


Death Cab for Cutie



Ben Gibbard and his sensitive indie band get the sensitive indie film treatment. All eleven tracks of the band's major-label debut, 2005's Plans, have been styled into short films by different avant-garde filmmakers. Introduced on the band's Web site throughout the year, Directions will be available on DVD and iTunes. Pretentious abstract imagery has never been this hummable. ~Mike Legat

Short films

Death Cab for Cutie Web site

Eagles of Death Metal

Death by Sexy


In their March 29 interview with the L.A. Weekly, Josh Homme and Jesse Hughes promised that Death by Sexy would be the album to rip off better Rolling Stones songs than they've previously offered. I could take this time to use some painful tie-in. ("Holy popcorn, Batman! These guys kill me with their sexy songs. Pow!") Instead, I'll tell you that "Solid Gold" is the most embarrassingly catchy pop song this side of Ween and provides a nice complement to the moustache rock that fills the rest of the album. Oh, and that Rolling Stones rip-off is a track that sounds suspiciously like "Start Me Up" -- see if you can spot it. ~China Bialos

"I Want You So Hard" MP3 (Right Click Save As)

Eagles of Death Metal Web site 

Eddie Murphy



When Richard Pryor passed in December, obituaries frequently mapped the same timeline of comic progression: Pryor, Murphy, Rock. Pryor, Murphy, Rock. PRYOR, Murphy, ROCK (and, to stay current, occasionally flourished the end with a "Chapelle"). It's hard bein' in the middle, but it sure as hell is easy to forget the importance of Eddie Murphy. While old and young recognize the man for wading through the kiddie pool of Nutty Professor, Shrek and Pluto Nash, the comic connoisseur remembers Mr. Robinson, relishes Raw and quotes Comedian. Though his debut, Eddie Murphy, arrived a year prior, his 1983 effort established another tier in his career. From his socio-economic ruminations on "Ice Cream Man" to his dissection of pop sexual politics on "Singers," Murphy's material still knocks the crowd out more than two decades later. Of course, his controversial "Faggots" dates the record, but much of his raw talent remains firmly intact and funny as fuck. ~Dan Nishimoto

Sony Records Web site

Imaad Wasif

Imaad Wasif

Kill Rock Stars

Imaad Wasif is one scary-looking dude. After spending time in an array of bands including Alaska, the New Folk Implosion, Lowercase, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Christian nu-metalers Zao, he finally decided to settle down and make his own record with Mark Nevers (who has worked with Bonnie "Prince" Billy, Tindersticks, and Silver Jews). With song titles such as "Out in the Black," "Coil" and "Isolation," the record promises to be eerie -- and probably good. ~Josiah Hughes

"Out in the Black" MP3 (Right Click Save As)

Kill Rock Stars Web site

Streaming audio


The Decline of Country and Western Civilization Part II: The Woodwind Years


Lambchop's sound has always been hard to define, but if the band is anything it's prolific. Following in the footsteps of 2004's double album, Aw C'mon/No, You C'mon, is this collection of singles, rarities and everything in between. Look closely and you might notice that some of the same songs here showed up on 2001's similar odds-and-sods goody bag Tools in the Dryer. ~John Zeiss

Lambchop Web site

Merge Records Web site 

Larry Levan

Journey Into Paradise: The Larry Levan Story


The glory days of New York disco have been relegated to celluloid and text. The haven that was Paradise Garage has been stored in memories. And the star that should have been Larry Levan's has been preserved by the select few. Fortunately, as Jeff Chang recently noted, "What becomes pop in America must return as nostalgia and prophecy." So, all hail the new old star. Reliable Rhino Records leads the charge in celebrating the life and work of Levan by collecting two discs of spun hits and hits that he re-spun into orgies of extended breaks and choruses. Look out: Larry's revival has just begun. ~Dan Nishimoto

Rhino Records Web site


You Are There

Temporary Residence

If last year's split with Pelican didn't scare you enough, Mono is back to unleash another teeth-shattering wall of sound. Produced by Steve Albini, You Are There is apocalyptic post-rock for people who'd rather listen to some Japanese dudes (and girl) attack their guitars than endure some beardo from Montreal fiddling with found sound. Crushing, epic and perfect. ~Josiah Hughes

"The Flames Beyond" MP3 (Right Click Save As)

Mono Web site (streaming audio)

Parts & Labor

Stay Afraid


Groundswell, the 2003 debut from Brooklyn natives Parts & Labor, is one of the more notable noise records of the past few years, combining blistering screeches with a knack for melody. Three years after that album's release -- with a split CD with Tyondai Braxton sandwiched in circa '03 -- the trio returns with a new drummer for the larger-sounding and politically themed Stay Afraid. ~Kevin Dolak

"A Great Divide" MP3 (Right Click Save As)

Streaming audio 

Pretty Girls Make Graves

Elan Vital


Andrea Zollo crafts haunting tunes with shelf life, first as the keyboardist for Murder City Devils, now taking the lead with Pretty Girls Make Graves. Elan Vital is the band's second full length for Matador, and it's proof that riot grrrl and the Seattle sound aren't going anywhere anytime soon. ~John Zeiss

"The Nocturnal House"" MP3 (Right Click Save As)

Pretty Girls Make Graves Web site

Saves the Day
Sound the Alarm

Saves the Day, which has toured with acts such as Weezer, Blink 182 and Green Day, finally releases Sound the Alarm after nearly a year of searching for a label to distribute. The New Jersey quartet offers thirteen new tracks on what may be its most raw, anger-driven album yet. ~Seth Berkman

Saves the Day Web site

Streaming audio

Tom Brosseau

Tom Brosseau


So graceful, so timeless, so blond. Meet Tom Brosseau: North Dakota native, Los Angeles resident, Camus lover, Ventura thrift-store shopper, old soul. His new release is actually a collection of out-of-print songs from 2003, released one week before his FatCat debut (Empty Houses Are Lonely, a compilation of his work from 2001 to 2003). A folk singer-songwriter who'll gladly cover Hank Williams with a frail Jeff Buckley-via-1936 croon, the doe-eyed Brosseau will likely woo you until you cry out, "Enough with the wooing! I must be wooed no more!" ~China Bialos

Streaming audio

Loveless Records Web site 

Ugly Duckling

Bang for the Buck

Fat Beats

The likeable trio from Long Beach returns with another likeable record featuring some very likeable music ... that's kinda fast! No, we're not talking about the new Dogg Pound; we're talking about Ugly Duckling. And, yes, the members have actually changed their formula. A bit. Perhaps as a favor to hipsters' fifteen-years-behind-the-times attention span, Yudee throttles through a full-length of (relatively) fast rap. From the game show ding-a-ling of "Yudee!" to the skip-tastic "Smack," Bang for the Buck dances to a familiar beat. ~Dan Nishimoto 


Vessel States


Prefix's John MacDonald wants you to believe that Vessel States is pretty much more of the same from this Baltimore-based arty rock band. And since Prefix writers are always correct in their assessments, you should take his word for it. Still have doubts? Well, then, it does bear mentioning that Wilderness' self-titled debut was quite the barn burner, and can more of that really be all that bad? ~Andrew C. Bradick

Wilderness Web site

Jagjaguwar Web site

2Mex/Life Rexall: Are Smartyr (Cornerstone)

Albert Lee: Road Runner (Sugar Hill)

Aloha: Some Echoes (Polyvinyl)

The Ark: State of the Ark (Rebel Group)

Avail: 4AM Friday [Bonus Tracks] (Jade Tree)

Avail: Dixie [Bonus Tracks] (Jade Tree)

Avail: Over the James [Bonus Tracks] (Jade Tree)

AWOL One: War of Art (Cornerstone)

B Real: Gunslinger, Pt. 2: Fist Full of Dollars (BCD Music Group)

The Beatles: Capitol Albums, Vol. 2 (Capitol)

The Beatles: Capitol Albums, Vol. 2 [Longbox] (Capitol)

Belle & Sebastian: Blues Are Still Blue [CD-SINGLE] [IMPORT] (Rough Trade)

Big Mello: Wegonefunkwichamind (Chopped & Screwed) (Asylum / Rap-A-Lot)

Bird Show: Lightning Ghost (Kranky)

Bizzy Bone: Thugs Revenge [Clean] (Thump)

The Black Angels: Passover (Light In The Attic)

Blanket Music: Love/Love Translation (Hush)

Bossanova: Hey Sugar (Teenbeat)

Brian Eno/David Byrne: My Life in the Bush of Ghosts [Bonus Tracks] (Nonesuch)

Buckcherry: 15 (Eleven Seven Music)

Built to Spill: You in Reverse (Warner Bros.)

Buttless Chaps: Where Night Holds Light (Mint)

Calexico: Garden Ruin (Quarterstick)

Cam'ron Presents Dukedagod: Dipset: The Movement Moves On (Asylum / Rap-A-Lot)

Celebrity: Mining for Twilight [Bonus DVD] (Doghouse)

Christopher O'Riley: Home to Oblivion: Elliott Smith Tribute (World Village)

Chromatics: Nite (Troubleman Unlimited)

Crystal Skulls: Outgoing Behavior (Suicide Squeeze)

Daniel Menche: Concussions (Asphodel)

Daniel Powter: Daniel Powter (Warner Bros / Wea)

Death Cab For Cutie: Directions DVD (Atlantic)

Devics: Stars at Saint Andrea (Bellaire)

Eagles of Death Metal: Death by Sexy (Downtown)

Earl King: Sonet Blues Story (Verve)

Earth, Wind & Fire: Greatest Hits Live (Music Brokers Arg)

Eddie Murphy: Comedian (Sony)

Edwin McCain: Lost in America (Vanguard)

Euphoria: Precious Time (Dig) (Zoe)

Field Music: Field Music [Bonus Tracks] (Memphis Industries)

Gotan Project: Lunatico (XL / Beggars Us Ada)

Growing: Color Wheel (Troubleman Unlimited)

Helvetia: Clever North Wind (Up)

Imaad Wasif: Imaad Wasif (Kill Rock Stars)

Jane Birkin: Fictions (EMI)

Jesu: Silver (Hydrahead)

John Coltrane: Introducing John Coltrane (WEA International)

Josephine Foster: Wolf in Sheep's Clothing (Locust Music)

Josh Ritter: Animal Years (V2 Ada)

Judas Priest: Essential Judas Priest (Sony)

Keith Fullerton Whitman: Lisbon (Kranky)

Kenny Rogers: Through the Years (Madacy)

Knights of the New Crusade: Knight Beat (Alternative Tentacles)

Koffin Kats: Straying from the Pack (Hairball 8)

Ladyhawk: Ladyhawk (Jagjaguwar)

Ladytron: Extended Play (Rykodisc)

Lambchop: Decline of Country & Western Civilization, Pt. 2: (Merge)

LL Cool J: Todd Smith (Def Jam)

Mecca Normal: Observer (Kill Rock Stars)

Moneen: Red Tree (Vagrant)

Mono: You Are There (Temporary Residence)

Morrissey: You Have Killed Me Pt.2 [CD-SINGLE] [ENHANCED] [IMPORT] (Attack)

Mr. Anonymous: Mr. Anonymous (Kab America)

Mtv2 Headbanger's Ball: The Revenge: Mtv2 Headbanger's Ball: The Revenge (Roadrunner)

Naughty by Nature: Hip-Hop Hits (Rhino Flashback)

Negative Trend: EP (2.13.61)

Parts & Labor: Stay Afraid (Jagjaguwar)

Paul Anka: My Way: Very Best of Paul Anka (BMG Germany)

Paul Anka/Helen Reddy: Their Greatest Hits (Fuel 2000)

Peter Walker: Young Gravity (Dangerbird)

Pretty Girls Make Graves: Élan Vital (Matador)

Queen: Stone Cold Classics (Hollywood)

Ram Jam: Portrait of the Artist As a Young Ram (Rock Candy)

Ray Charles: Ray Charles: Unreleased (Night Train)

Robin Williams: Night at the Met (Sony)

Royden: Best Friends Our Worst Enemies [EP] (Hopeless)

Saves the Day: Sound the Alarm (Vagrant)

Saving Jane: Girl Next Door [Universal] (Universal)

Scissorfight: Jaggernaut (Tortuga)

Sebadoh: III (Domino)

Shonen Knife: Genki Shock (Glue Factory)

Shot X Shot: Shot X Shot (High Two / Aum Fi.)
Simply Red: If You Don't Know Me by Now and Other Hits (Rhino Flashback)
Siouxsie & Banshees: Kaleidoscope [ORIGINAL RECORDING REMASTERED] [IMPORT] (Universal Int'l)
Snoop Doggy Dogg: Snoop Doggy Dogg & Friends, Vol. 1 (K-Town)
Stanton Warriors: Stanton Sessions, Vol. 2 (V2 International)
Sun Ra: Concert for the Comet Kohoutek (Esp Disk Ltd.)
Thrice: Red Sky [EP] (Universal International)
Toby Keith: White Trash With Money (Show Dog Nashville)
Tom Brosseau: Tom Brosseau (Loveless)
Ugly Duckling: Bang for the Buck (Fatbeats)
Uniform: Protocol (Planet Mu)
Various Artists: 5RC Sur La Mer Samp-Le-Mer (5 Rue Christine)
Various Artists: 80s Heavy Metal Monsters (Madacy)
Various Artists: Bollywood Dance: Bhangra (Arc)
Various Artists: Kajmere Sound (Kajmere Sound)
Various Artists: MTV2 Headbanger's Ball: The Revenge (Roadrunner)
Various Artists: Soul Jazz Records Presents Tropicalia (Soul Jazz)
Various Artists: Tommy Boy Story, Vol. 1 (Rhino / Wea)
Whirlwind Heat: Reagan [IMPORT] (Brille)
Wilderness: Vessel States (Jagjaguwar)
Wire: 154 (Pink Flag)
Wire: Chairs Missing (Pink Flag)
Wire: Pink Flag (Pink Flag)

*Release dates may change.
E-mail brandon@prefixmag.com with corrections or additions.  

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