[April 1, 2008] Heading to the record store? Here’s what’s new.

    This week: the Black Keys call on Dangermouse, Devin the Dude hits the streets smoking, and R.E.M. returns to the rawk.




    Black Keys
    Attack & Release

    In 2004 the Black Keys made the needed transition from the mom-and-pop-scale Fat Possum to the global reach of Nonesuch. The resultant Magic Potion delivered the duo’s familiar neo-blues bashment, but to a broader audience. For the band’s fifth, Attack & Release, they further broaden their perspective by working with producer Danger Mouse and engineer Paul Hamann. Though a slick pop sheen is reasonably expected, the album is also sure to remain true to the group’s rhythm ‘n’  blues roots — the collaboration began as a project for the now-late Ike Turner, after all. Check the trailer for the lead single "Stranger Times" for a quick example. ~Dan Nishimoto


    Band: http://www.theblackkeys.com
    Label: http://www.nonesuch.com
    Audio: http://www.myspace.com/theblackkeys

    Devin the Dude
    Smoke Sessions, Vol. 1
    Well, it’s not exactly the follow-up to our culti-fave album Fadanuf Fa Evrybody!!, but it’ll do for now. Devin the Dude has just left his career-long label Rap-A-Lot and comes out, um, smokin’ on this mixtape, which included appearances by his Coughee Brothaz brothers. ~Dan Nishimoto


    Band: http://www.myspace.com/devinthedude

    Last Night
    Moby has made it through the initial popularity of electronica, charges of being a commercial sellout, a feud with Eminem, and seeing declining artistic returns since 1999’s career highlight, Play. Undaunted, it’s quite clear that Moby is just going to keep on making music, even if some people think of him more as a socio-political blowhard than a talented musician. With many songs on Last Night sporting vocals from diva-tastic females, it looks like Moby is looking back to electronic music’s roots in disco. A skilled deejay, Moby just wants to keep the party rocking with songs like “I Love to Move in Here” and “Ooh Yeah,” because having a good time is something everyone can agree on. ~John Zeiss


    Artist: http://www.moby.com
    Label: http://www.mute.com
    Audio: http://www.myspace.com/moby

    Willie Nelson
    One Hell of a Ride
    Call it a hunch, but I imagine the vast majority of the Prefix population is not the type to drop fifty clams on a boxed set (unless it’s that mega-deluxe, limited-edition, signed, sealed and delivered Radiohead joint). I’ll also concede that the boxed set should probably go the way of the museum retrospective and be used selectively, especially considering their unwieldy nature. (Hell, how many artists truly deserve such attention?) However, Willie Nelson undeniably deserves the comprehensive perspective on account of his long-standing influence in western swing, country, and pop — and pop culture, in general. Some how the legend has escaped such attention, save for the mid-’90s three-disc set Revolutions of Time. One Hell of a Ride tries to rectify this by offering a perspective of the man’s career, from the mid-’50s to 2007. ~Dan Nishimoto


    Artist: http://www.willienelson.com
    Label: http://www.columbiarecords.com
    Audio: http://www.myspace.com/willienelson

    Warner Brothers

    It’s always dubious to hear an aging band’s new album called a “return to rock,” but R.E.M.’s Accelerate might actually do that term justice. Of course, the band has never really rawked that hard. Chronic Town, Life’s Rich Pageant, and Document all had their louder moments, and the divisive Monster dressed the band up in stomping, sludgy glam, but R.E.M. has arguably been better known for its subtler, prettier side, expressed on hits like “Losing My Religion” and “Everybody Hurts.” Accelerate hits some of those same soft notes on songs like “Until the Day Is Done.” But on the whole, the album revs up into full-bore rockers like “Man-Sized Wreath” and “Living Well’s the Best Revenge.” No matter where they fall on the quiet/loud R.E.M. divide, most of the band’s fans are likely to find Accelerate a more enjoyable album than the band’s previous two records, 2004’s Around the Sun and 2001’s Reveal. ~John Zeiss  


    Band: http://remhq.com
    Label: http://www.warnerbrosrecords.com
    Audio: http://www.myspace.com/rem

    Sun Kil Moon
    Caldo Verde
    Mark Kozelek has released solo albums and has lead the bands Red House Painters and Sun Kil Moon. Whatever guise he’s recorded under, the output has usually been gorgeous, poetic indie-folk. April finds Kozelek and his Sun Kil Moon bandmates focusing on original Kozelek material, after the odd, unsuccessful Modest Mouse-covers album that was 2005’s Tiny Cities. That should mean April will be more on par with Sun Kil Moon’s 2003 debut, Ghosts of the Great Highway, which remains one of this decade’s underappreciated masterpieces. Two songs on April feature guest vocals from indie journeyman Will Oldham. ~John Zeiss


    Band: http://www.sunkilmoon.com
    Label: http://www.caldoverderecords.com  
    Audio: http://www.myspace.com/sunkilmoon  

    My Blueberry Nights
    Blue Note
    Hot, sexy people having torrid, erotic nights on big, pulsing screens celluloid need to do it long and hard to hot, sexy, torrid, erotic, big, pulsing, long and hard music. Thankfully the lawyers behind director Wong Kar Wai’s English-language debut, My Blueberry Nights, worked overtime to get the rights cleared on this soundtrack. Now, dreamy stars like Norah Jones, Jude Law, Rachel Weisz and Natalie Portman get to romp around to the sounds of Cat Power, Otis Redding, Ruth Brown and, yes, Norah Jones. Two snaps! ~Dan Nishimoto


    Film: http://www.myblueberrynights.de
    Label: http://www.bluenote.com
    Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=86kckraMXtI