Feature ·

[August 29, 2006] Heading to the record store? Here's what's new.

Our writers highlight a handful of notable records scheduled to hit the shelves this Tuesday. Plus, check the full list of this week's releases:




Original Fire [Single]


Like most super-groups, the members of Audioslave perform subtraction by addition. By culling the members of two hugely successful rock bands, they have created an insipid caricature of their former selves. What can you expect from this, their first single from their soon-to-be-released full-length, Revelations? Crazy guitar manipulation courtesy of activist/musician/hat-wearer Tom Morello. Dynamic (and recently, soulful) elocution by the ever-shirtless Chris Cornell. And perhaps most important, a rhythm section comprised of the buff guy and the goateed guy from Rage Against the Machine. The band's recent decision not to tour has sparked rumors of an impending breakup. Could egos be to blame? Naw. ~Zach Hothorn

Band: http://www.audioslave.com

Label: http://www.sonymusic.com/home.html

Stream: http://www.myspace.com/audioslave


No Midnight

Spin Out

San Francisco quartet Birdmonster spits on the '80s-throwback side of indie-rock, preferring the hard-hitting straight-ahead rock that makes listeners you smile and bang your head. The involvement of Brad Cook (Foo Fighters, Queens of the Stone Age) certainly suggests a boot-stomping good time. "We wanted to have every single note, everything that was played, have as much heart as possible," singer Peter Arcuni said. Hook-heavy, unpredictable and melodic, No Midnight is a debut worth paying attention to. ~Chris Sahl

Band: http://www.birdmonster.com/

Label: http://www.spinartrecords.com/

Audio: http://www.myspace.com/birdmonster 

The Dirty Dozen Brass Band

What's Going On

Shout! Factory

Musical memorials don't get any heavier than this. It�s now been a year since Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans. A less sad anniversary is that it's been thirty-five years since Marvin Gaye released his classic album of R&B social commentary, What's Going On. One of the Big Easy's premiere brass bands is putting the two together. The band members have remade What's Going On with help from guest vocalists such as Chuck D., G. Love, Bettye LaVette, and Guru from Gang Starr. Some of the proceeds from each sale will benefit the Tipitina's Foundation, which is focused on helping the Crescent City music scene revive. The Dirty Dozen band has always thrown quite a party; partying for a cause will feel even better. ~John Zeiss

Band: http://www.dirtydozenbrass.com/

Label: http://www.shoutfactory.com/

Stream "What's Going On" featuring Chuck D

Sasha Dobson

Modern Romance

Secret Sun

Recently featured in a Time magazine profile of up-and-coming jazz singers, Sasha Dobson is trying to revive the lost art of jazz vocals. Jazz is in her blood. Her parents, the late pianist Smith Dobson and singer Gail Dobson, are among the Bay Area's most distinguished musicians. Tapping into legends such as Sarah Vaughan and Ella Fitzgerald as well as contemporary jazz-poppers such as Norah Jones, the magazine says Dobson's voice "goes down as easily as frozen margaritas." Will Modern Romance be saccharine and precious or a make-out record for the ages? Probably somewhere in between. ~Chris Sahl

Band: http://www.sashadobson.com/

Label: http://www.secretsunrecordings.com/

Stream Modern Romance: http://www.secretsunrecordings.com/sashadobson/index.html 

Bob Dylan

Modern Times


Damn, Bob's a busy man for his age. Here comes the forty-fourth album of his career. As usual, he's been pretty mum about what the new arrival is going to entail, but a quick glance at the track listing -- with song titles such as "Spirit on the Water" and "Workingman's Blues" -- tells you it's not going to stray far from Time Out of Mind or Love and Theft. In fact, this is supposed to be the closing segment in a trilogy started by those two. The one song that has been heard from the album, "Thunder on the Mountain," has Dylan name-dropping Alicia Keys, which shows he must be keeping up with a lot of current music. What else is he up to? He's got a weekly show over on XM radio, "Theme Time Radio Hour." He's touring minor-league baseball parks with Merle Haggard. And have you heard about this movie about his life in the works? Apparently various actors, including an African-American man and Cate Blanchett, will be playing him at different points in his life. Didn't a controversial play do that same trickery with Jesus a while back? So is it now official: Bob is God? ~John Zeiss

Artist: http://www.bobdylan.com/

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

Audio: http://www.myspace.com/bobdylan 


Beyond Hell

DRT Entertainment

Beyond Hell is the tenth album from the Scumdogs of the Universe and their most evident grab for mainstream success, featuring a cover of the Alice Cooper classic "School's Out." (I'm no marketing genius, but why release that the week before Labor Day?) Known for its raunchy lyrics and ability to leapfrog various genres for the first fifteen years of its career, Gwar's last two albums have had a more conventional death-metal feel, burying the members' inimitable sense of humor behind unoriginal music in a seeming attempt at gaining credibility from metalheads. Does anyone remember laughter? ~Chris Sahl

Band: http://www.gwar.net/

Label: http://www.drtentertainment.com/

"School's Out" stream: http://www.gwar.net/schoolsout 

John Lithgow

The Sunny Side of the Street

Razor & Tie

A truly alien idea, indeed. Renaissance man John Lithgow's most recent children's album features mainly cover songs heavy on nonsensical lyrics. Lithgow's no spotlight hog. A number of guest-stars drop by, including fellow sitcom veteran Wayne Knight ("Hello, Newman"), who joins Lithgow for a spirited take on the old chestnut "Inka Dinka Doo." And Lithgow's not afraid to resort to animal noises if it makes little kids laugh. Most songs are timeless covers from the 1920s and 1930s, so adults might find reason to smile as well. ~Chris Sahl

Band: http://www.johnlithgow.com/

Label: http://www.razorandtie.com/

"Getting to Know You"

"You Gotta Have Pep" video

Charles Manson

Live From San Quentin

United States Distribution

I know what you're thinking: Why on earth should I care about an album by a convicted murderer and all-around wacko like Uncle Charlie? Because the man -- despite his eccentricities -- can write one heck of a song. Just ask the Beach Boys. Although details are sketchy about what exactly constitutes this record, I can testify to the quality of his previous works, including "Garbage Dump" and the song Guns 'n Roses would go on to cover, "Look at Your Game Girl." And, let me assure you, California laws prohibit Mr. Manson from profiting from this release in any way. And, as we all know, cigarettes are the real currency in the big house. ~Zach Hothorn

Artist: http://www.charliemanson.com/ 


Capillarian Crest Pt.1, 2 [Singles]


Throughout its short but storied career, Mastodon has consistently displayed a flair for the ambitious. From its complex instrumental opuses to its album's decidedly high-brow packaging and cerebral song titles, the Atlanta, Georgia four-piece has repeatedly pushed the boundaries of metal. The band has decided to issue two distinct versions of the first single from its highly anticipated major-label debut (Blood Mountain), each including a different previously unreleased live track. The second part is the one to look for. It includes a live version of fan favorite "Blood & Thunder" as well as the video for "Capillarian Crest." Major label money is nice, ain't it? ~Zach Hothorn

Band: http://www.mastodonrocks.com/

Label: http://www.warnerbrosrecords.com/

Stream: http://www.myspace.com/mastodon 

The Roots

Game Theory

Def Jam

Seems like every new Roots album that's come along since 1999's Things Fall Apart has supposed to have been the group�s big breakout record, the one that finally got it the airplay on hip-hop radio that its members so massively deserve. Now that Jay-Z has paid the boys back by bringing them over to Def Jam -- the Roots made Jay's Unplugged so great -- maybe this will finally be the case. But don't expect the group members to turn their backs on their signature mixture of brainy lyricism and live instrumentation for the easy sell of trap music and studio sound mongering. Game Theory starts out with a tribute to the Roots' fallen friend, J Dilla. From there, it's twelve more tales of what's going on and what's going wrong in the world from that ever-conscientious emcee, Black Thought. ~John Zeiss

Band: http://www.theroots.com/

Label (streaming audio/video): http://www.defjam.com/

Audio: http://www.myspace.com/theroots 

The Tyde

Three's Co.

Rough Trade

There's something thrilling about a band that deceives its audience. In the case of the Tyde, a carefree, youthful voice springs from the mouth of a man close to forty-five (vocalist Darren Rademaker has indeed reached gentleman status). The band's Byrds-ish, sunny pop shows off the members' (some of whom are in Beachwood Sparks) love of L.A.'s beaches, but they're based in Echo Park -- the last hometown of Elliott Smith and the current hometown of numerous burrito stands. And they can disguise lyrics about drug habits by layering them with jangly, feel-good melodies (give another listen to "Henry VIII" off 2003's Twice). So when the Tyde continuously denied that the album rounding out predecessors Once and Twice would be called Three Times a Lady because making jokes ruins the music's meaning, opting instead for Three's Co. seemed like just as much of a bastard move. Que será
. ~China Bialos

Band: http://www.thetyde.com/

Label: http://www.roughtrade.com/

"Brock Landers" video: http://www.thetyde.com/brocklandersvideo.html

Audio: http://www.myspace.com/thetyde 

M. Ward


Merge Records

We all should've seen it coming, should've known as soon as M. Ward started palling around with Conor Oberst that he'd get all political. And here it is: Post-War. Ward says the album is a rumination on what it�s going to be like in the U.S. when all of the soldiers in Iraq come home. (Maybe a more fitting title would've been Wishful Thinking; hate to say it, M., but all signs point to those boys not coming back for a long, long time.) Apparently, a lot of the inspiration for the album came from his recent reads of Slaughterhouse Five and A Farewell to Arms. Did he recently complete a high school senior AP lit class? Omnipresent producer Mike Mogis helps out on the album. Other guests include Jim James and Neko Case. ~John Zeiss

Artist: http://www.mwardmusic.com/

Label: http://www.mergerecords.com/

Audio: http://www.myspace.com/mwardmusic

*Release dates may change. E-mail brandon@prefixmag.com with corrections or additions.  
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Mew - Open to anything Week in Preview [September 5, 2006] Heading to the record store? Here's what's new.
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