Feature ·

First Look: 03.22.05 (Bloc Party, Prefuse 73, M.I.A.)

Heading to the record store? Here's what's new this week.

Bloc Party 

Silent Alarm

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"Come, all you tired, you hungry, you pawnshop-haunting, angular-guitar playing, Joy Division-loving. Make us dance again!" So commands the whim of popular culture, and Britain's Bloc Party has heard the call. If Scotland has its Franz Ferdinand and America has its Interpol, than by golly, Blair's gotta have his Bloc Party. We shan't be worried, though. Despite the NMEcover spots, Silent Alarm stands up to the hype. Singer/guitarist Kele Okereke injects a welcome dose of sincerity without dulling an iota of Bloc Pary's post-punk throw-down.


Prefuse 73
Surrounded by Silence

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As Scott Herren (a.k.a. Prefuse 73) prepares to release his third full-length, the Barcelona-based homeboy has gone from cuttin' up emcees on vinyl to chillin' with them live in the studio. Check the first single, "Hidyaface," a luscious collaboration with EL-P and Ghostface that's got equal parts Bronx grit and art-house sheen. And with Aesop Rock, Broadcast and Beans making additional appearances, just to name a few, Surrounded by Silence should shape out pretty close to how Prefuse himself describes his new record -- a "radio station of my mind."



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The Philadelphia Inquirer called her "the most accessible face of [the] British hip-hop scene," and the New Yorker called her music "the sound of a carnival, or a riot." But you can just call her a badass with a Groovebox. Sri-Lankan born and runway-gorgeous Maya Arulpragasam (a.k.a. M.I.A.) has made quite a racket with a few simple beats, a couple of choice rhymes and a world of musical influences. Amazingly, her stuff is smart, politically conscious and club-ready. If knowing her father is a leader of the Tamil Tigers, the Hindu rebel group involved in a twenty-year struggle against Sri Lanka's Buddhist regime, doesn't turn your head, than the line "Fed's gonna get you pull the strings on your hood/ One paranoid youth blazin' through the hood," from her recent smash "Galang," surely will.


Yo La Tengo
Prisoners of Love: A Smattering of Scintillating Senescent Songs, 1985-2003

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What does a band do after it just celebrated its twentieth anniversary with a marathon eight-straight menorah-lovin' shows at Maxwell's in its Hoboken, New Jersey hometown this past Hanukah? It releases a marathon two-disc, fan-appreciatin' career retrospective ... clearly. With everything from later-day classics like "Big Day Coming" to early gems from the trio's self-released seven-inch, we can only wish they were more candles to light.


Thee Silver Mt. Zion
Horses in the Sky

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Godspeed You! Black Emperor and its numerous offshoots, of which A Silver Mt. Zion is but one, are certainly not known for its transparency. Take, for example, the band's own description of its fourth full-length for Montreal's Constellation Records: "our nervous unit collapsing across sing-song eruptions of anxious light and clumsy heat." A radical departure? A studied return to form? A foray into Brazilian folk? Who knows? Your best bet is to grab the latest Chomsky tome and a pair of headphones and hear for yourself what orchestrated revelations Efrim and Company have thrown together this time.


A Frames: Black Forest (Sub Pop)
Acetate: This Band Makes Me Feel (Sanctuary)
Adolescents: Complete Demos: 1980-1986 (Frontier)
Akron/Family: Akron/Family (Young God)
Alasdair Roberts: No Earthly Man (Drag City)
Anders Parker: Wounded Astronaut EP (Baryon)
Angels of Light: Angels of Light Sing Other People (Young God)
Aqualung: Strange and Beautiful (Red Int / Red Ink)
Billy Idol: Devil's Playground (Sanctuary)
Black Market Militia: Black Market Militia (Nature Sounds)
Bloc Party: Silent Alarm (Atlantic)
Blood or Whiskey: Cashed Out on Culture (Punkcore)
Brendan Benson: Alternative to Love (V2)
Brian Eno: Apollo: Atmospheres & Soundtracks (Astralwerks)
Brian Eno: More Music for Films (Astralwerks)
Brian Eno: Music for Films (Astralwerks)
Brian Eno: Thursday Afternoon (Astralwerks)
Burn the Priest: Burn the Priest (Sony)
Caribou: Yeti (Domino)
Cat Stevens: Majikat: Earth Tour 1976 (Eagle)
Cex: Know Doubt (Record Label)
The Chemistry: Chemistry (Razor & Tie)
Chicks on Speed and the Noheads: Press the Spacebar (Chicks on Speed)
Clinton Sparks: Get Familiar, Vol. 1: Maybe You've Been Brainwashed (Landspped)
C-Murder: Truest Shit I Ever Said (Koch)
Cocorosie: La Maison De Mon Reve (Touch and Go)
Coheed and Cambira: Live at the Starland Ballroom (Columbia)
Converge: Petitioning the Empty Sky (Equal Vision)
Converge: When Forever Comes Crashing (Equal Vision)
Count Bass D: BEGBORROWSTEEL (Ramp Recordings)
Crystal Skulls: Blocked Numbers (Suicide Squeeze)
Curtis Mayfield: Move on Up (Prism)
DDM: Snow on the TV (Dim Mak)
The Decemberists: Picaresque (Kill Rock Stars)
Dinosaur Jr.: Bug (Merge)
Dinosaur Jr.: Dinosaur (Merge)
Dinosaur Jr.: You're Living All Over Me (Merge)
Dizzy Gillespie: Dizzy: The Music of John Birks Gillespie (Verve)
Dizzy Gillespie: Jazz Biography (United Multi Consign)
Do or Die: D.O.D. Die Hard (ATL)
Doris Henson: Give Me All Your Money (Desoto)
Drive By Truckers: Live at the 40 Watt August 27 & 28, 2004 (DVD)
Dutch Dub: Dutch Dub (Record Collection)
Edit Sedgwick: Her Love Is Real... But She Is Not (Desoto)
El Toro: May and Mariella (Undecided)
Fannypack: Nu Nu (Single) (Tommy Boy)
Fat Joe: Things of That Nature (Atlantic)
Fingers Cut Megamachine: Fingers Cut Megamachine (Thick)
Fog: 10th Avenue Freakout (Lex)
The Four Tops: 20th Century Masters - The MiIllennium Collection (Motown)
Ghost: Metamophosis: Ghosts Chronicles 1984-2004 (Drag City)
Gil Scott-Heron: Greatest Hits Live: Collectors Series (Compendia)
Gogol Bordello - East Infection (Rubric)
Gogol Bordello: East Infection (Rubric)
Hella: Church Gone Wild/Chirpin' Hard (Suicide Squeeze)
High Speed Scene: High Speed Scene (Interscope)
Holy Shroud: Ghost Repeaters (Level Plane)
Human League: The Very Best Of (Caroline)
Human League: Very Best of (Blue Plate)
Isan: Clockwork Meagerie (Morr Music)
Isan: Luck Cat (Morr Music)
Isis: Oceanic: Remixes/Reinterpretations (Hydra Head)
James Brown & Friends: 20th Century Masters - The MIllennium Collection (Polydor)
John Doe Forever: Hasn't Happened Yet (Yep Roc)
Johnny Cash: Live at Montreaux, 1994 (Eagle Vision)
Kanye West College Dropout: Video Anthology (DVD/CD) (Rocafella)
Kem: Kem Album II (Motown)
KHZ: Reality on a Finer Scale (Propain Wreckords)
Letters Organize: Dead Rhythm Machine (Nitro)
Likwit Junkies: L.J.'s (ABB)
The Locust: Safety Second, Body Last (Ipecac)
Loretta Lynn: Coal Miner's Daughter (Dynamic)
Lou Rawls: Lou Rawls (Simply the Best)
Louis XIV: Best Little Secrets Are Kept (Atlantic)
M.I.A.: Arular (XL)
Mac Dre: Mac Dre's The Name (Suo)
Mahjongg: Raydoncong 2005 (Cold Crush)
Mark Farina: Mushroom Jazz 5 (OMM2)
Med: Push Comes to Shove (Stones Throw)
MF Doom: Live from Planet X (Nature Sounds)
Mice Parade: Nights Wave EP (Bubble Core)
Midnight Evils: TCBS (Estrus)
Moby: Hotel (V2)
New Edition: 20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection (Geffen)
Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds: B-Sides and Rarities (Mute)
Nottz Presents: DMP: The MIxtape (Fast Life)
Out Hud: Let Us Never Speak of It Again (Kranky)
Pacifics: Sunday Chicken (All Natural)
Perceptionists: Black Dialogue (Definitive Jux)
Picastro: Metal Cares (Polyvinyl)
Polysics: Polysics or Die (Tofu)
Prefuse 73: Surrounded by Silence (Warp)
Purple City: Road To The Riches - The Best Of The Purple City Mixtapes (Babygrande)
Queen Latifah: 20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection (Motown)
Queens of the Stone Age: Lullabies to Paralyze (Interscope)
Radar Bros: Fallen Leaf Pages (Merge)
Robot Ate Me: On Vacation (5 Rue)
Rockethouse: Weapons of Mass Distortion (Kanine)
Rush: Chronicles: Sound+Vision [2 CD & DVD] (Mercury
Scott H. Biram: Dirty Old One Man Band (Bloodshot)
Screeching Weasel: My Brain Hurts (Asian Man)
Shipping News: Flies the Fields (Quarterstick)
Sinch: Clearing the Channel (Rockridge)
Slits: Cut (4 Men With Beards)
Smoke or Fire: Above the City (Fat Wreck Chords)
Solvent: Think Like Us (Ghostly)
Stereophonics: Language. Sex. Violence. Other? (v2)
Stevie Wonder: 20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection (Motown)
Subtitle Young: Dangerous Heart (Gold Standard Labs)
Super Furry Animals: Fuzzy Logic (Beggars XL)
Super Furry Animals: Guerilla (Beggars XL)
Super Furry Animals: Mwng (Beggars XL)

Super Furry Animals: Outspaced (Beggars XL)
Super Furry Animals: Radiator (Beggars XL)

Tarwater: The Needle Was Traveling (Morr Music)
Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra and Tra-La-La Band: Horses in the Sky (Constellation)
Thunderbirds Are Now!: Justamustache (French Kiss)
Tweet: It's Me Again (Elektra)
Various Artists: Definitive Jux Sampler 2005 (Definitive Jux)
Various Artists: Instrumental Icons: Music of Lil Jon (Fastlife)
Various Artists: International Deejay Gigolo Records Compilation 8 (International Deejay Gigolo)
Vic Chesnutt: Ghetto Bells (New West)
Weerd Science: Friends and Nervous Breakdowns (Equal Vision)
Yo La Tengo: Prisoners of Love: A Smattering of Scintillating (Matador)
*Release dates may change. E-mail brandon@prefixmag.com with correction or additions.


- First Look: 03.15.05 (Daft Punk, The Soundtrack of Our Lives, David Bowie) First Look: 03.29.05 (Beck, The Bravery, Beanie Sigel)
First Look

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