Feature ·

[June 26, 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.



Ryan Adams

Easy Tiger

Lost Highway

Easy Tiger finds Ry-guy returning to, you know, releasing an actual album in CD format after months of pouring out new music (even hip-hop!) via his website. Wasn't he even posting phone messages and other ephemera there for a while? The new album features a mere thirteen songs from the always-prolific Adams, including "Goodnight Rose" and "Everybody Knows" (which isn't a cover of the Leonard Cohen classic). This is the alt-country legend's ninth solo album and first without backing band the Cardinals since 2005's 29. ~John Zeiss



Artist: http://www.ryan-adams.com/

Label: http://main.losthighwayrecords.com/

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

Album stream: http://www.muchmusic.com/music/firstspin/ryanadams/  

Bad Brains

Build a Nation


Not only does Adam Yauch show up this week slappin' the bass on the Beastie Boys' The Mix-Up, he also produced this reunion set from the legendary Bad Brains. Build a Nation features the band's original four members and is the first release from the group in over a decade. Yauch reportedly helped the band achieve a rawer, harder-edged sound more akin to Bad Brains' early live sound. Build also leans heavily on Bad Brains' dub and reggae roots with songs like "Jah People Make the World Go Round" and "Natty Dreadlocks 'pon the Mountaintop." ~John Zeiss



Band: http://www.badbrains.com/

Label: http://www.megaforcerecords.com/

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

Beastie Boys

The Mix-Up


The Mix-Up finds Adrock, Mike D, and MCA going back to the all-instrumental stylings of the compilation The in Sound from Way Out! after the old-school New York hip-hop direction of 2004's To the 5 Boroughs. Which is going to be good news for those who think the Three have gotten a little too creaky with age but bad news for fans who never did like the filler feel of the instrumental interludes on classic albums like Check Your Head and Ill Communication. Songs like "The Rat Cage" and the "The Gala Event" feature all the dub, funk, and other musical elements we've come to expect in a Beasties instrumental. Adrock on guitar, MCA on bass, and Mike D on drums are joined by long-time collaborators Money Mark on keys and Alfredo Ortiz on percussion. ~John Zeiss



Band: http://www.beastieboys.com/

Label: http://www.capitolrecords.com/

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

Frank Black

Best of Frank Black '93-'03

Cooking Vinyl

Frank Black continues to plug away at copious amounts of solo material. (And maybe, just maybe, a new Pixies full-length?) The folks over at Cooking Vinyl have compiled a two-CD set of highlights from the decade's worth of time when a Pixies reunion seemed about as likely as a Dennis Kucinich presidential victory. Highlights include Black's infamous take on La-La Land, "Angeles," and the noggin-throbbing rock (literally) of "Headache." ~John Zeiss



Artist: http://www.frankblack.net/

Label: http://www.cookingvinyl.com/  


Les Ondes Silencieuses


Colleen is the performing name of Cecile Schott, a beautiful singer-songwriter who makes equally beautiful music. Music that is way old-school: Colleen likes to employ instruments that were popular back when Bach was rocking the organ. Like the viola de gamba, an ancestor of the modern-day cello. Les Ondes also features the spinet (a smaller version of the harpsichord), clarinet, and crystal glasses. It all adds up to create enchanting chamber pop that should appeal to fans of the recent Amiina album. One person who likes it is Zach Condon, who has picked up Colleen as the opening act for Beirut's upcoming tour. ~John Zeiss



Artist: http://www.colleenplays.org/

Label: http://www.theleaflabel.com/

Audio: http://www.cookingvinyl.com/  

Gabby Glaser

Gimme Splash


Before indie kids capitulated to the art of shaking ass in the 2000s, Luscious Jackson forged a funkily rocking blueprint a decade prior. In fairness, the group's grooves differed dramatically from the screeching bombast of today's Raptures and Radio 4s and veered toward the sleepy early-AM side of Chocolate City. Each member came to the table with different strengths, and the band's music sounded like a well-organized compromise. For example, while Jill Cunniff's hooks provided a sweet and spunky face, guitarist Gabby Glaser's riffs added welcome grit to the band's light dance-hop. Appropriately, each member's individual explorations post-Luscious Jackson has carried her in divergent directions. Glaser finally strikes out on her own with this fuzzy, dirty, and sexy debut. ~Dan Nishimoto



Artist: http://www.myspace.com/gabbyglaser 

Nick Lowe

At My Age

Yep Roc

Macca isn't the only Brit around with a new album contemplating his accumulating years. Such is the same with pub-rock legend Nick Lowe and the introspectively titled At My Age. And he wasn't thinking about aging only when he came up with the album title; song titles include "Rome Wasn't Built in a Day," "Not Too Long Ago," and "People Change." Even if you don't know Lowe's music, you know the music of those he's helped out through the years. Lowe produced records for Elvis Costello, the Pretenders, and the Damned. ~John Zeiss



Artist: http://www.nicklowe.net/

Label: http://store.yeproc.com/

Audio: http://store.yeproc.com/album.php?id=12378  




Was anyone else creeped out by Mya's cover features in King? Perhaps I'm a little too old, perhaps I'm a little too much of a prude, or perhaps I can't help but notice how much miss still looks like she is thirteen years old, but I find it difficult to watch one of popular R&B's most talented vocalists being delivered down the sex-kitten conveyer belt. That said, at twenty-seven years old and already packing more than a decade of industry experience, the sprite Mya Harrison appears to be taking greater control over where she's headed. After initially starting her fourth album in 2004, she scrapped the project and jumped labels to reassess her career. Leaked singles like the Slick Rick-sampling "Ayo" and Scott Storch/Lil Wayne collabo "Lock U Down" suggest a hip-hop-heavy, banging album, but hopefully Liberation leaves enough room for Mya's abundant pipes. ~Dan Nishimoto



Artist: http://www.myamya.com/

Label: http://www.umrg.com/

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

Pharoahe Monch


SRC/Universal Motown

Enough time has passed since Pharoahe Monch released his solo debut -- Internal Affairs in 1999 -- that his second album cannot really be compared to its predecessor. Made over the course of several years, released on a major label, and collected from a different headspace, Monch ensures Desire will be the debut of a brand new funk. Fortunate, considering the emcee is still most closely associated as one half of Organized Konfusion. And, frankly, Infernal Affairs was hardly one for the books. The leaked portions of Desire reveal Monch to be exploring a number of themes and personas, including his old self, da inner soul, y'all, and Elvis. This may sound frenetically unpromising, but Monch has a hand in the bulk of the album's production and, thus, its direction. Apparently starving for a proper release, Monch's Desire vies to be a personal best. ~Dan Nishimoto



Artist: http://www.pharoahe-monch.com/

Label: http://www.umrg.com/

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

Pearl Jam

Live at the Gorge


Just in case there wasn't quite enough Pearl Jam live material floating around in record-store bins, here comes a seven-disc boxed set chronicling three shows the band performed at the Gorge Amphitheatre in Washington over the past two years. Of course you can expect standards like "Evenflow," "Corduroy," and "Daughter." But there are also some hidden gems among all these tracks, including Pearl Jam rarities like "Dirty Frank" and "Hard to Imagine" and covers of Tom Petty's "I Won't Back Down," the Who's "Baba O'Riley," Neil Young's "Rockin' in the Free World" and "Fuckin' Up," and Mother Love Bone's "Crown of Thorns." The first disc, which features Pearl Jam's opening date of their 2005-06 tour, starts with an intimate acoustic set highlighted by "Off He Goes" and "Low Light." ~John Zeiss



Band: http://www.pearljam.com/

Label: http://www.rhino.com/

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

108: New Beat from a Dead Heart (Deathwish Inc.)
Adina Howard: Private Show (Arsenal)
Bad Brains: Build a Nation (Mega Force)
Beastie Boys: Mix Up (Capitol)
Blondie: Eat to the Beat [CD/DVD] (Capitol)
Carl Cox: Global (Koch)
Colleen: Ondes Silencieuses (Leaf)
Conformists: Three Hundred (54-40 or Fight)
Deleted Waveform Gatherings: Complicated View (Rainbow Quartz)
Derek Bailey: Standards (Tzadik)
Desmond Dekker: This Is Crucial Reggae: Desmond Dekker (Sanctuary Trojan Us)
Dub Trio: Cool Out and Coexist (ROIR)
E-40: Hyphy Movement (Oarfin)
Elvis Presley: That's Alright (Snapper UK)
Five Blind Boys of Mississippi: Something to Shout About (Shout)
Frank Black: Best of Frank Black '93-'03 (Cooking Vinyl)
Gore Gore Girls: Get the Gore (Bloodshot)
Grandaddy Souf: Chasing My Dream (Universal)
Grateful Dead: Three from the Vault (Rhino)
Gravy Train: Staircase to the Day (Repertoire)
H.A.W.K.: Terrible Texas Dub K Six (Oarfin)
Ian Hunter/John Hunter: Magic Landscape 
Johnny Cash: Best of the Sun Years (Snapper UK)
Juliana Hatfield: White Broken Line: Live Recordings (Ye Olde)
Kelly Clarkson: My December (RCA)
Loudon Wainwright III: Dead Skunk: The Complete Columbia Collection (Acadia)
Louis Armstrong: In Scandinavia (Storyville)
Marc Broussard: S.O.S.: Save Our Soul (Vanguard)
Mocean Worker: Cinco de Mowo! 
Nels Cline Singers: Draw Breath: (Cryptogramophone)
Nick Lowe: At My Age (Yep Roc)
Nyoil: Hood Treason (Masta Mix)
The Ohio Players: Honey/Contradiction (Beat Goes On)
Orbital: Live at Glastonbury 1994-2004 (A.C.P.)
Paul Simon: Essential Paul Simo (Warner Bros.)
Pearl Jam: Live at the Gorge 05/06 (Rhino)
Pharoahe Monch: Desire (Universal)
Planet Asia: Jewelry Box Sessions: The Album (RBC)
Roy Orbison: Rocker (Snapper UK)
Ryan Adams: Easy Tiger (Lost Highway)
Sinead O'Connor: Theology (Koch)
Social Distortion: Greatest Hits (Time Bomb)
Soulwax: Hang All DJ's, Vol. 2 
The Sound of Animals Fighting: Tiger and the Duke (Equal Vision)
Various Artists: Justin Timberlake Smooth Jazz Tribute (CC Ent. / Copycats)
The Winter Sounds: Porcelain Empire (Livewire Recordings)
The Zombies: Odessey and Oracle (Big Beat UK)

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

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