Feature ·

[April 24, 2007] Heading to the record store? Here's what's new.

Each week, we
preview a handful of notable albums scheduled to hit the shelves, plus
offer a full list of the current new releases.

 

[more:]


Alex Delivery
Star Destroyer
Jagjaguwar

Don't know
about stellar bodies, but Alex Delivery is definitely out to destroy some
eardrums with its debut full-length. The band has been picking up good buzz
lately, and Jagjaguwar compares its music to the eclectic likes of Can, Terry
Riley, and the Dead C. The band, a quintet, includes married Eastern Europeans
Nik Bozic and Marika Kandelaki. Alex Delivery has recently been picked up by
Frog Eyes to open some of that band's shows. ~John Zeiss

***

Band: http://www.alexdeliverymusic.com/
Label: http://www.jagjaguwar.co
Album
stream: http://www.address0.com/sc/player/pl.php?playlistid=473



All Smiles
Ten Readings of a
Warning

Dangerbird

With
Grandaddy now in the grave, that band's members have moved on to new musical
projects. Former Grandaddy guitarist Jim Fairchild is now the man at the center
of All Smiles. Fairchild wrote the songs and played guitar as he recorded these
songs on eight-tracks in various different living rooms. Drumming on the album
is supplied by an elite list of indie-rock skin-pounders: Janet Weiss (who we
can think of as the new Dave Groehl because she's drumming for everyone these
days), Menomena's Danny Seim, Great Northern's Solon Bixler, and Joe Plummer,
who's spent time with Black Heart Procession and Magic Magicians. The album was
mixed by Brian Deck, who has worked with Modest Mouse and Iron and Wine. ~John
Zeiss

***

Label: http://www.dangerbirdrecords.com
Audio: http://www.myspace.com/allsmilesmusic


Leonard Cohen
Songs of
Leonard Cohen
; Songs from a Room; Songs of
Love and Hate
[reissues]
Columbia/Legacy

If the
Beatles typify the youthful optimism of the early '60s, then Leonard Cohen
makes a strong contention to represent the ambivalence of the decade's close.
An accomplished novelist and poet before turning to music in 1967, Cohen, like
Bill Withers, brought a heretofore nonexistent maturity to rock 'n' roll.
Though the genre had been rollin' along since the '50s, most rockers recycled
the "forever young" ethos by setting aflame pianos then guitars;
middle-aged "elder" statesmen like Cohen and Withers instead walked an austere
path through familiar emotional fireworks. Which perhaps explains why almost thirty
years after the release of Cohen's debut, Songs
of Leonard Cohen
(1968), the album still resonates. Columbia/Legacy has reissued his first three albums -- works that
actually define the superlative "classic" -- and included some
welcome bonus tracks of previously unreleased studio sessions. ~Dan Nishimoto

***

Artist: http://www.leonardcohen.com/
Label:
http://www.columbiarecords.com/


Cornelius
Sensuous
EverLoving

Keigo
Oyamada, the artist/musician known publicly as Cornelius, often garners
comparisons to Beck for his ability to filter broad influences and interpret
them in a number of media. That he became a pop darling in his native Japan is
only another confounding fact in the case of "Why isn't Cornelius a
household name in the States?" Could it be he just needs a "Devil's
Haircut" to put him over? Should he work on his English pronunciation?
Maybe it's the whole prejudice that an Asian male cannot be a sex symbol. In
any case, Oyamada plugs away on album number five with his characteristic
hybrid art-pop. ~Dan Nishimoto

***

Artist: http://www.cornelius-sound.com
Label:
http://www.everloving.com
Audio:
http://www.myspace.com/corneliusofficial


Dntel
Dumb Luck
Sub Pop

The
youngsters who helped the Postal Service's Give
Up
spearhead the Sub Pop resurgence might not even know the back story of
how Ben Gibbard and Jimmy Tamborello got together. You see, kiddos, back in
2001 Tamborello, recording under his Dntel moniker (just one of his many),
released the album Life is Full of
Possibilities
. One of the numerous guest vocalists on the album was
Gibbard, who added pipes to "(This Is) The Dream of Evan and Chan." Now, after
that whole Postal Service diversion, Tamborello is releasing another Dntel
album. Gibbard doesn't show up, but a lot of other A-list guests do: Conor
Oberst, Jenny Lewis, Ed Droste, Mia Doi Todd, and members of Fog, Moving Units,
and Mystic Chords of Memory are just some of Tamborello's collaborators on Dumb Luck. ~ John Zeiss

***

Artist: http://www.dntelmusic.com/
Label: http://www.subpop.com
Audio: http://www.myspace.com/dntel
"Dumb
Luck": http://www.subpop.com/assets/audio/3131.mp3


Fishbone
Still
Stuck in Your Throa
t
Sound in Color
The
whys behind Fishbone's elusive success are obvious: a racist industry; internal
turmoil; and recordings that hardly live up to the group's frenetic live
performances. Everybody knows this, but no one wants to accept it. On a
comments board, one fan exclaimed incredulously that 1988's Truth and Soul, the band's second album,
predated and better articulated the urban(e) depression of Red Hot Chili
Peppers' mega-hit "Under the Bridge." Which is precisely why, as far
as popular music goes, Fishbone will forever be the most popular un-popular
band; on the industry's and its market's terms, truth and soul, such as the
variety Fishbone deals in, is too disconcerting to be purchased. Yet the band
soldiers on in a way even its fans cannot comprehend: an acceptance of its reality's
surroundings. Down to two original members (bassist John Norwood Fisher and
saxophonist/vocalist/lead personality Angelo Moore), this incarnation reunites
with former producer David Kahne and thereby promises to keep things as nutty
as evar. To expect a groundswell to read this blurb, raise a finger to the
industry, and purchase this album seems overly optimistic, so I offer the
following plug instead: Fishbone was featured as the house band in OutKast's
motion picture Idlewild and Christina
Aguilera's "Ain't No Other Man" video. Now, please, get the
knowledge. ~ Dan Nishimoto

***

Artist: http://www.fishbone.net
Label:
http://www.soundincolor.com
Audio:
http://www.myspace.com/fishboneisredhot


Charlotte Gainsbourg
5:55
Atlantic/Vice

Know
why I won't ever get mad at Maurice Starr or Lou Pearlman for creating New Kids
on the Block or Backstreet Boys? That same creationist philosophy allowed Berry
Gordy to build a Motown empire. And, arguably, led to the rise of Charlotte
Gainsbourg, pop singer extraordinaire.
The daughter of the infamous Serge Gainsbourg and British actress/singer Jane
Birkin, she received little occupational choice; her father thrust her into the
spotlight when she was barely a teenager. Though her debut, 1986's Charlotte for Ever, came and went, she managed to build a successful acting career;
recent turns in high-profile English-language films like 21 Grams and The Science of
Sleep
brought her greater stateside attention. The confidence must have
done her body good: a meeting with Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich and Air
prompted her return to music. This time, the junior Gainsbourg has taken the
reins and recruited her own A-Team, including Pulp's Jarvis Cocker and famed
drummer Tony Allen, to construct her dream pop album. Released last fall in
Europe, the album finally secured U.S. distribution. Now, I'm just waiting for
the introspective Mark Wahlberg follow-up. ~ Dan Nishimoto

***

Artist: http://www.charlottegainsbourg.fr/
Label:
http://www.vicerecords.com/
Audio: http://www.myspace.com/charlottegainsbourg


Bebel Gilberto
Momento
Six Degrees

This is
quite the week for releases from international, beautiful female singers with
beautiful voices. Not only do we get Charlotte Gainsbourg's long-awaited 5:55, we also get a new album from
Brazilian chanteuse (I wonder if there's a Portuguese word for that?) Bebel
Gilberto. This is the Grammy-nominated singer's third solo album. Making things
even more global, Gilberto recorded Momento
in Rio de Janeiro, London, and New York. It contains an eclectic mix of
electronica, samba, pop, and bossa nova. ~John Zeiss

***


Artist: http://www.bebelgilberto.com/
Label: http://www.sixdegreesrecords.com
Audio: http://www.myspace.com/bebelgilberto


iLiKETRAiNS
Progress*Reform
Beggars Banquet

Rock press
has made much of this new Leeds quintet's seemingly ironic appearance (period
British Rail outfits), obscure subject matter (historic human interest stories
such as Robert F. Scott's fatal expedition to the South Pole in 1912), and
obvious vocal parity with Ian Curtis, suggesting a certain freakish finger
pointing. Which is curious considering the ubiquity
of ironic
airs,
nonsensical content,
and Ian Curtis aping).
In point of fact, these blokes fit in the current soundscape precisely because
of the aforementioned qualities. The band revels in the safe distance of
history, employing vintage equipment and garb (brass and visuals round out the
requisite guitar-bass-drums combo) while presenting a distinctly modern
multimedia performance. Much like Brooklyn's Piñataland, iLiKETRAiNS
is a rare blend of apparent aloofness and obsessive self-consciousness. Seizing
on the moment, Beggars Banquet collects the band's singles and B-sides on Progress*Reform for all the young
Americans. Gather 'round ye, 'ere's a story for those who swoon or geek. ~Dan Nishimoto

***

Artist: http://www.iliketrains.co.uk/
Label:
http://www.beggars.com/
Audio:
http://www.myspace.com/iliketrains



Lifesavaz
Gutterfly
Quannum

Concept albums hold as much water in hip-hop as they
do in rock: a mix of high expectations and deep ambivalence. For every De la
Soul, Kid Koala, and Kool Keith and/or Automator package, there is a litany of
Flatlinerz, Nastradamus, and Kool
Keith and/or Automator sprawls. Across genres, few albums maintain conceptual
consistency, let alone quality.
So for the Lifesavaz, the first group signed to the pioneering indie
hip-hop label Quannum, to propose a concept soundtrack as its sophomore release
sounds like risky business. Based on an unmade blaxploitation film of the same
title, Gutterfly soundscapes the
adventures of three hood characters working together to move on up. Appended
with a prestigious guest list that includes George Clinton, Oh No, Vernon Reid,
Smif'N Wessun, Fishbone and Dead.Prez, the album immediately draws comparison
to Prince Paul's "hip-hopera" A
Prince Among Thieves
(1999). So, will these Portland hoodlums learn from
the master's missteps and craft a consistent whole or show themselves as some
rat soup-eatin' motherfuckas? ~ Dan Nishimoto

***

Artist: http://lifesavas.blogspot.com/
Label:
http://www.quannum.com/
Audio:
http://www.myspace.com/lifesavas


Midnight Movies
Lion the Girl

New Line

The
members of Midnight Movies are good friends with their fellow L.A. band Darker
My Love, and if the two bands ever wanted to, they could switch names. Midnight
Movies plies a dark sound, all reverb and fuzz, recalling the glory days of
Jesus and Mary Chain and other goth-y if not straight-out goth Brit bands. Over
the often-macabre-sounding music floats the lovely voice of the lovely Gena
Olivier, who sings about the thrills and chills of love. Who else does Midnight
Movies sound like? The band's soon-to-be tour partners Blonde Redhead and the
Raveonettes. ~John Zeiss

***

Audio: http://www.myspace.com/midnightmovies
Band: http://midnightmovies.net/
Label: http://www.newlinerecords.com/



Joell Ortiz
The Brick
(Bodega Chronicles)

Koch

As much as
hip-hop offers a lens for analyzing contemporary aesthetics, the fact all
emcees must confront the Rakim credo at some point: "I start my mission, leave my residence/ Thinking how
could I get some dead presidents." Which is to say artists are no
different than any other professional in that they need to bring a healthy
income to the table in order to live. So, kudos to Joell Ortiz for foregoing
the standard pitch of bringing "it" or bringing "it back,"
and instead presenting his C.V. in music video format
-- call it a hip-hop PowerPoint presentation. On the strength of such
savvy, the talented Brooklyn-based emcee gained the attention of Dr. Dre and
has rightly created the buzz for himself; "Who the fuck is Joell
Ortiz?" The Brick, a preview
prior to the release of his official debut, promises to shed a few more layers
to whet your appetite. ~Dan Nishimoto

***

Artist: http://www.joellortiz.com
Label:
http://www.kochentertainment.com
Audio:
http://www.myspace.com/joellortiz



Phat Kat
Carte
Blanche

Look

As popular
as Kanye West and Common are, they cannot receive credit for raising their
hometown's visibility in the way Jay Dee did for Detroit. The difference is
that Kanye's and Common's celebrity identities are not contingent upon or
consistent with any particular Windy City sound; the city's biggest follow-ups,
Twista and Rhymefest, have a few West beats on their resumes but little else in
common. In Dilla's case, his extensive production opened doors for a number of
artists and groups, from Platinum Pied Pipers to Frank'N Dank to Slum Village
and so on. Yet, their collaborations also cultivated an identifiable group
personality, particularly a rugged, almost industrial approach to rhythm. In
this sense, Phat Kat, former 1st Down member and another Dilla affiliate, can
surface with both a familiar and distinct sound. His second album, Carte Blanche, admittedly has six Dilla
productions, but with the help of friends like Black Milk and Slum Village, the
album promises a familiar trip through the D's sound library. ~ Dan Nishimoto

***

Artist: http://ronniecash.com/
Label:
http://www.lookrecords.com/
Audio:
http://www.myspace.com/phatkatakaronniecash


Sa-Ra Creative Partners

The
Hollywood Recordings

Babygrande

I have a
recurring dream where Jay Dee is alive and well. In it, he is hard at work in
his studio. I can hear his music, but it sounds different: It has become
spacious and relaxed. The change could be a response to his near fatality, or a
nod to his transplanted home in Los Angeles, or both. In any case, his beats
still stutter, but they feel spacey and smile broadly like the medicated
automobiles floating past on the highway. The moment is broken by a knock at
the door: It's Dr. Dre. The two clasp hands and exchange pounds before
speaking. The words are unclear, but the two are clearly talking shop. Soon,
the two idle up to the mixing board and play tracks for each other. Before I
can contain my excitement, their tracks merge: rhythms march with a more even
pace but are dubbed out like a dull migraine's pound; slight keyboards tinkle
out melodic hints while samples of metallic squeals sputter about; and the rest
is simply indescribable. That is, until I listen to the output of Dre and Dilla
peers Sa-Ra Creative Partners. Although the trio has produced some of the most
progressive yet unrecognized hip-hop tracks in the last five years, it has yet
to strike out with a complete album of its own; hence, the dream remains a
dream. However, with the release of The
Hollywood Recordings
, the prequel to the group's major-label debut (not to
be confused with the preceding Second
Time Around
, an apparent prequel to the prequel), Sa-Ra takes another step
closer to realizing an ultimate music fantasy. ~ Dan
Nishimoto

***

Artist: http://www.sa-ra.net/
Label:
http://www.babygrande.com
Audio:
http://www.myspace.com/saramusic


Patti Smith
Twelve
Columbia

The
legendary Patti Smith is no stranger to covers. She opened her 1975 debut, Horses, with a radical reworking of Van
Morrison's "Gloria" and later surprisingly stormed the charts with "Because the
Night," which, while not technically a cover, was Bruce Springsteen's song. And
a few years ago, she deftly handled Prince's "When Doves Cry." Smith has never
put out an entire album of covers, however, until now. Twelve finds Smith honoring her heroes the Doors ("Soul Kitchen")
and Jimi Hendrix ("Are You Experienced"). Other older tunes covered include the
Beatles' "Within You Without You" and Neil Young's "Helpless." And more recent
material reworked by Smith included Tears for Fears' "Everybody Wants to Rule
the World" and Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit." ~John Zeiss

***

Audio: http://www.myspace.com/pattismith
Artist: http://www.pattismith.net/
Label: http://www.columbiarecords.com/


Various Artists
A Tribute to Joni
Mitchell

Nonesuch

Here's a
musical scene to imagine: Prince, Bjork, Elvis Costello, Emmylou Harris, and
Sufjan Stevens all jamming together in one room. Okay, they may not have
recorded their tracks at the same time in the same place, but they all do
contribute to this Joni Mitchell covers set. Those five handle "A Case of You,"
"Boho Dance," "Edith and the Kingpin," "The Magdalene Laundries," and "Free Man
in Paris," respectively. Other artists doing Joni's songs here include Brad
Mehldau, Annie Lennox, and Caetano Veloso. ~John Zeiss

***

Artist: http://jonimitchell.com/
Label: http://www.nonesuch.com/
Audio: http://www.atributetojonimitchell.com/index.html




50 Cent/DJ Whoo Kid: Are You a Window Shopper: G-Unit
Radio, Pt. 15 (BCD Music Group)

Aa: Gaame (Gigantic)

The Alchemist: Rappers's Best Friend (DeCon Inc)

Alex Delivery: Star Destroyer (Jagjaguwar)

All Smiles: Ten Readings of a Warning (Dangerbird)

Amandine: Solace in Sore Hands (Fat Cat)

Arctic Monkeys: Favourite Worst Nightmare (Domino)

Armand Van Helden: Guetto Blaster (Ultra)

Avey Tare & Kria Brekkan: Pullhair Rubeye (Paw Tracks)

Awol One/Factor: Only Death Can Kill You (Cornerstone)

Balboa/Rosetta: Project Mercury (Level Plane)

The Band: Best of a Musical History (Capitol)

Bassnectar: Undrground Communication (Om)

Benny Benassi: Cooking for Pump-Kin Special Menu (Ultra)

Big Noyd: Co-Defendants, Vol. 1 (Traffic Ent.)

Bill Callahan: Woke on a Whaleheart (Drag City)

Bloody Panda: Pheromone (Level Plane)

The Blow: Poor Aim: Love Songs (K.)

Boot Camp Clik: Still for the People (Duck Down Music)

Calvin Johnson and the Sons of the Soil: Calvin Johnson
and the Sons of the Soil (K.)

Charlie Parker: Anthology 1948-1953 (Cabu)

Charlotte Gainsbourg: 5:55 [Bonus Tracks] (Vice)

The Cliks: Snakehouse (Tommy Boy)

Cormega: Best of Cormega (Traffic Ent.)

Cornelius: Sensuous (Everloving)

Deerhunter: Flourescent Grey EP (Kranky)

DJ Food/DK: Now, Listen! Again (Ninja Tune)

Dntel: Dumb Luck (Sub Pop)

Dr. John: Trader John's Crawfish Soiree (Blue Label)

Duke Ellington: Anthology 1928-1954 (Cabu)

The Electric Soft Parade: No Need to be Down-Hearted
(Better Looking)

The Fall: Live at the Garage (United States Dist)

The Fall: Punkcast 2004: Live at the Knitting Factory, New
Y (United States Dist)

Fishbone: Still Stuck in Your Throat (Sound in Color)

Fred Anderson & Hamid Drake: From the River to the
Ocean (Thrill Jockey)

The Fucking Champs: VI (Drag City)

The Go Find: Stars on the Wall (Morr Music / M.M.)

Golden Smog: Blood on the Slacks (Lost Highway)

Grails: Burning Off Impurities (Temporary Residence)

Growing: Vision Swim (Troubleman Unlimited)

ILiKETRAiNS: Progress Reform [Beggars Banquet] (Beggars
Banquet)

Infinite Livez/Stade: Art Brut Fe de Yoot (Big Dada)

Intelligent Hoodlum: Intelligent Hoodlum/Saga of a Hoodlum
(Nature Sounds)

Irving Fields And His Trio: My Yiddishe Mama's Favorites
(Tzadik)

Jimi Tenor & Kabu Kabu: Joystone (Ubiquity)

Joanna Newsom and the Ys Street Band: Joanna Newsom and
the Ys Street Band EP (Drag City)

Joe: Ain't Nothin' Like Me (Jive)

Joel Ortiz: Brick (Koch)

Joshua Redman Trio: Back East (Nonesuch)

Kalli: While the City Sleeps (One Little Indian Us)

Keiko Matsui: Moyo (Shout! Factory)

Kenny "Dope" Gonzalez: Mixes P&P Records
(Suss'd)

Lotus Eaters: Wurmwulv (Troubleman Unlimited)

Lou Reed: Hudson River Wind Meditations (Gemini Sun)

Louis Armstrong: Anthology 1945-1955 (Cabu)

Mando Diao: Ode to Ochrasy (Mute U.S.)

Maria McKee: Late December (Cooking Vinyl)

Mase/DJ Whoo Kid: 10 Years of Hate: G-Unit Radio, Pt. 16
(BCD Music Group)

McCarthy Trenching: McCarthy Trenching (Team Love)

Melt Banana: Bambi's Dilemma (A-Zap)

Midnight Movies: Lion the Girl (New Line)

Ola Podrida: Ola Podrida (Plug Research)

OOIOO: OOEYEOO: Eye Remix (Thrill Jockey)

Pamelia Kurstin: Thinking Out Loud (Tzadik)

Part Chimp: Cup (Monitor)

Patti Smith: Twelve (Sony)

Peder: And He Just Pointed to the Sky (Ubiquity)

Pela: Anytown Graffiti (Great Society)

Phat Kat: Carte Blanche (Look)

Playradioplay!:            Frequency
(Island)

Polyrhythm Addicts: Polyrhythm Addicts (Babygrande)

Porcupine Tree: Fear of a Blank Planet (Atlantic / Wea)

Pterodactyl: Pterodactyl (Jagjaguwar)

Robert Pollard: Silverfish Trivia (Prom Is Coming)

Royksopp: Back to Mine (Back to Mine)

Sa-Ra: Hollywood Recordings (Babygrande)

Silver Daggers: New High and Ord (Load)

Simply Red: Stay (Simplyred. Com)

Snoop Dogg: Presents the Big Squeeze (Koch)

Spank Rock: Fabriclive 33 (Fabric)

Spice 1: Thug Reunion (Triple X)

State Property: Out on Bail (CMR)

Test Your Reflex: Burning Hour (RCA)

The Teeth: You're My Lover Now (Park the Van)

Thee More Shallows: Book of Bad Breaks (Anticon)

Valet: Blood Is Clean (Kranky)

Vanna: Curses (Epitaph / Ada)

Various Artists: Kurtis Blow Presents: Tha Block Iz Hot
(Emi Gospel)

Various Artists: Essential Underground, Vol. 3 (Fastlife)

Various Artists: Plea for Peace, Vol. 2 (Asian Man)

Various Artists: Tribute to Joni Mitchell (Nonesuch)

Young Galaxy: Young Galaxy (Arts & Crafts)

Young Gods: Super Ready/Fragmente (Ipecac)


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

Holly Golightly - Show Review (Subterranean, Chicago) TV on the Radio Show Review (Henry Fonda Theatre, Los Angeles)
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