Feature ·

[June 5, 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.



Afghan Whigs

Unbreakable: A Retrospective 1990-2006


Unbreakable is quite the cheesy title for this Afghan Whigs compilation, but, come to think of it, it is surprising that Greg Dulli has survived his hard-partying, hard-loving, and overall hard-living ways. He continues to crank out quality music with the Twilight Singers, Gutter Twins, and plenty of other musical projects he's involved in. There are two new Whigs songs on Unbreakable, both recorded last year: "I'm a Soldier" and "Magazine." They're part of a wallop of bloozy rock 'n' roll that's more than seventy-five-minutes long. ~John Zeiss



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

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

Bonde do Role

With Lasers


On With Lasers, Bonde do Role (say it like this: bonjay du hole-ay) continue the Brazilian dance-punk invasion led by their pals Cansei de Ser Sexy. The band members recorded the album in their hometown of Curitaba, in London, and in various other spots around the world. Those who helped out on With Lasers include Diplo, DJ Chernobyl, Egg Foo Young, and Radio Clit. With song titles like "James Bonde" and "Bondallica," it's clear these musicians are bringing a big bagful of fun on this one. ~John Zeiss



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

Label: http://www.dominorecordco.com/ 

"James Bonde" MP3

"Office Boy" MP3

"Solta O Frango" Video

Kenny Cox

Introducing Kenny Cox & the Contemporary Jazz Quintet (Connoisseur Series)

Blue Note

Blue Note kicks off its latest batch of Connoisseur Series reissues with a typically obscure selection from the label's extensive catalog. Cox, a pianist from the Motor City, recorded the two sessions included here -- Introducing Kenny Cox. . . and Multidirection -- in the late '60s during the label's divergent explorations of soul/rhythm & blues fusions and avant-garde leanings. As such, this release reflects the period's aesthetic strains, but with a twist. Cox and his ensemble, including lesser-known players like tenor saxophonist Leon Henderson and trumpeter Charles Moore, perform with an inventive abandon that makes these albums exceptional examples of "random jazz" nuggets. If hip-hop can receive a re-up through random rap, perhaps Cox (and the rest of the Connoisseur reissues) will stimulate a renewed interest in jazz's forgotten, brilliant corners. ~Dan Nishimoto



Label: http://www.bluenote.com/ 

Dappled Cities



Dappled Cities is a band of rocking Aussies who cite the Flaming Lips, Pavement, and even Sesame Street as influences. Granddance has been available Down Under since last year and is coming to the States via little Los Angeles label Dangerbird. The album was recorded and mixed in L.A. and Nashville. Aiding the band in its efforts were fellow Dangerbird recording artists Jim Fairchild (the former Grandaddy member who just released an album under the All Smiles moniker) and Peter Walker, as well as producer Jacquire King, who has worked with Modest Mouse and Tom Waits.



Artist: http://www.dappledcitiesfly.com/

Label: http://dangerbirdrecords.com/dappledcities/ 

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

Matthew Dear

Asa Dear

Ghostly International

Detroit's Matthew Dear returns to releasing albums under his own name after some more techno-leaning experiments under the guise of Audion. Asa Breed, which will be available in both CD and double-LP vinyl formats, finds the Mobius Band guesting on "Elementary Lover." It also finds Dear adding more of his own vocals into the mix, something he's done increasingly on his previous few albums. Is the new material micro-house? Not really. Is it pop? Possibly. Is it high quality? Definitely.



Artist: http://www.matthewdear.com/

Label: http://www.ghostly.com/

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

Frank Foster

Manhattan Fever (Connoisseur Series)

Blue Note

Long-time Count Basie Orchestra stalwart Frank Foster receives a rare nod through Blue Note's collectible reissue wing, the Connoisseur Series. The tenor saxophonist leads a sextet and nonet on this 1968 solo effort. Manhattan Fever swings to the beat of mostly Foster originals, which span from lush life ballads to soul-strutting groovers. Though Foster's tastes are hardly boundary breaking, his versatility captures the late-'60s jazz idiom in a particular state of flux. ~Dan Nishimoto



Label: http://www.bluenote.com/ 

Get Him Eat Him

Arms Down

Absolutely Kosher

The "Him" in Get Him Eat Him is Matt LeMay, who centers the band. You may know LeMay's name from his byline at Pitchfork. If you're worried about a music writer putting down the pen and picking up the guitar, keep in mind that Ira Kaplan of Yo La Tengo was a music critic before he was indie-rock royalty. LeMay surrounds himself with plenty of big-name guests on Arms Down: Zach Condon, Jon Natchez, and Kristin Ferebee of Beirut add horns and strings; Charles Bissell of the Wrens plays guitar; and the album was produced by Jason Caddell of the Dismemberment Plan. ~John Zeiss



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

Band website: http://www.gethimeathim.com/

Label: http://www.absolutelykosher.com/  

Hallelujah the Hills

Collective Psychosis Begone


Collective Psychosis Begone is the debut from Hallelujah the Hills. The band comes out of the ashes of former a Boston band called the Stairs. That band's guitarist, Ryan Walsh, and drummer, Eric Meyer, decided to soldier on, pulling in friends and acquaintances to man other instrument posts: an aural collage of trumpet, cello, moog, and samples. And don't worry about this band breaking up the way the Stairs did; the members of Hallelujah the Hills have promised to make thirty-two more albums together. ~John Zeiss



Band: http://www.hallelujahthehills.com/

Label: http://www.misrarecords.com/ 

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

Daniel A.I.U. Higgs

Atomic Yggdrasil Tarot

Thrill Jockey

The A.I.U. in Daniel Higgs's name stands for Arcus Incus Ululat. What a name. (What an album title, too. Does this dude speak his own language?) Higgs hails from Baltimore, home of similarly weird John Waters and Dan Deacon. Higgs, who recorded this album in his own home, has been making music and plenty of other kinds of art for quite some time now, and he may be best known as the leading force behind the band Lungfish. The album comes tucked inside a hardcover book featuring some of Higgs's paintings and poetry, and a limited-edition LP version is also being released. ~John Zeiss



Artist: http://www.holymountain.com/danielhiggs.html

Label: http://www.thrilljockey.com 

Andrew Hill

Change (Connoisseur Series)

Blue Note

Pianist Vijay Iyer described the recently and dearly departed pianist-composer Andrew Hill as "a hero, mentor, and supportive friend." Truth is that a number of other artists shared such a personal relationship with Hill. Though the highly inventive and modestly understated musician recorded for Blue Note during its creative zenith, he never achieved the level of success or recognition of his celebrity peers -- he remained a musician's musician in the fullest sense. Fittingly, Hill receives some retroactive recognition through Blue Note's prestigious Connoisseur Series with Change, a set from 1966. The disc features previously released tracks from a distinctly destination-out cast, including saxophonist Sam Rivers, bassist Walter Booker, drummer J. C. Moses, and one truly modernistic cat. ~Dan Nishimoto



Label: http://www.bluenote.com/ 

The Ladybug Transistor

Can't Wait Another Day


The sixth album from Brooklyn's Ladybug Transistor is packed with plenty of guest help. Jens Lenkman, Heather McIntosh (of Japancakes and numerous other musical ventures), members of Architecture in Helsinki, the Clientele, the Aislers Set, Vetiver, Lounge Lizards, and others all add assistance. All of this helps to further flesh out the talented, tender songwriting of lead-singer Gary Olson. This album comes at a sad time for the band, because longtime drummer San Fadyl passed away on April 26, apparently from complications due to asthma. ~John Zeiss



Band: http://www.theladybugtransistor.com/

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

Audio: http://myspace.com/marlboroughfarms  


Going Places


Montag is the name under which Montreal's Antoine Bedard creates music. Going Places finds Bedard adding live instrumentation to his usual lush, electronic pop music. Going Places features cameos from Owen Pallett, Amy Millan, Au Revoir Simone, Ghislain Poirer, Victoria Legrand of Beach House, and Anthony Gonzalez of M83. ~John Zeiss



Artist: http://www.montag.ca/

Label: http://www.carparkrecords.com/

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

Video preview: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YbDd-ypCcug

"Best Boy Electric" MP3

"Going Places" MP3


City of Echoes

Hydra Head

The band Pelican can play some frighteningly accomplished instrumental metal. But on their new album, City of Echoes, the band members are apparently dropping a lot of the extended drone work for shorter, more structured songs. The title is definitely more compact, after 2005's The Fire in Our Throats Will Beckon the Thaw. Pelican recorded City of Echoes at Steve Albini's Electrical Audio studio in Chicago with producer Andrew Schneider, who has worked with Daughters and Unsane. ~John Zeiss



Band: http://www.hydrahead.com/pelican/

Label: http://www.hydrahead.com/

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

Pissed Jeans

Hope for Men

Sub Pop

With Pissed Jeans' first album for Sub Pop (and second overall full-length), the grand old Seattle label gets back to doing what it does best: loud, snotty rock. Call it punk, really, because it is. Young and brash and full of verve. The Allentown, Pennsylvania, foursome's Hope for Men certainly seems childish, what with a quick glance at some song names: "Secret Admirer," "Scrapbooking," "I've Still Got You (Ice Cream)," and "Fantasy World." ~John Zeiss



Band: http://www.whitedenim.com/pissedjeans/

Label: http://www.subpop.com/

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

"I've Still Got You (Ice Cream)" MP3: http://www.subpop.com/assets/audio/3285.mp3

Sean Na Na

Family Trees or: CoPe We Must

Dim Mak

The hilarity continues for Sean Tillman with his rock side project, Sean Na Na. You may know Tillman better from his rapping incarnation, Har Mar Superstar. With the album title, Tillman is thinking less about ancestral lineage and more about, well, an illicit substance. Think herbal. Guests? Of course! Greg Dulli, Dave Hernandez of the Shins, Tony Bevilacqua of the Distillers, and many more lend a hand. ~John Zeiss



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

Band website: http://www.seannana.com/

Label: http://www.dimmak.com/  


Excellent Italian Greyhound

Touch and Go

It's about time we get another album from Shellac, the current main musical project of indie-rock legend Steve Albini. The album gets its canine-tastic moniker from band member Todd Trainer's pet. This is Shellac's first new album since 2000. Among the nine tracks is a song called "Steady as She Goes," which, no, is not a Raconteurs cover. ~John Zeiss



Label: http://www.tgrec.com/

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

Jimmy Smith

Straight Life (Connoisseur Series)

Blue Note

Nearly forty-six years to its recording date, Jimmy Smith's Straight Life finally sees the light of day. As per much of the B-3 grinder's early-'60s work, Smith runs through poppy standards and bluesy originals with a spare trio, including guitarist Quentin Warren and drummer Donald Bailey. Though Smith has already received an abundance of attention -- for being a singular icon on his instrument and for his exceptional talent -- this session promises to expose new details on his early development. ~Dan Nishimoto



Label: http://www.bluenote.com/ 

Stanley Turrentine

A Bluish Bag (Connoisseur Series)

Blue Note

Though they called him Mr. T, Stanley Turrentine was in fact a teddy bear of a tenor saxophonist. Coming up through the familiar rhythm & blues track, performing with Ray Charles and Lowell Fulson in the early '50s, he developed a warm and soulful tone that predated jazz's late-'60s migration to the funkier side of town. As such, the prolific Turrentine left behind a long discography of lush and gritty records. However, A Bluish Bag is a welcome treat, because it includes tracks from two out-of-print sides (namely 1967's New Time Shuffle, which features the smooth "Blues for Del") as well as unreleased cuts. The entire compilation finds Mr. T in large ensemble form, featuring two different ten-piece bands, so expect a good deal of swing and swagger. ~Dan Nishimoto



Label: http://www.bluenote.com/ 


Eccentric Soul: The Prix Label


Numero Group continues to kill the soul-reissue game with another forgotten treasure hitched from the winding roads of America's heartland. The Prix Label returns to Columbus, Ohio, the home of Numero's first Eccentric Soul release (The Capsoul Label), and culls tracks from the neighboring Harmonic Sounds studio. Instead of focusing on the studio's existing output, The Prix Label collects a hefty amount of unreleased material. The label describes the material as "demos, finished masters, and what can only be described as 'studio tomfollery (sic.),' " so expect another exemplar collection of dusty nuggets. ~Dan Nishimoto



Album: http://www.numerogroup.com/catalog_detail.php?uid=00278

Label: http://www.numerogroup.com/

Muddy Waters, Johnny Winter & James Cotton

Breakin' It Up, Breakin' It Down


Muddy Waters's 1977 album Hard Again is often described as his "second coming." In truth, the blues legend performed so long he was privy to several comebacks -- this late-'70s session was but the last of them. Not to take away from the album's luster, Hard Again is notable for its modernization of Waters's signature sound. Working with peers and disciples -- notably Johnny Winter, James Cotton, and Pinetop Perkins -- and recorded with a raw clarity technologically unavailable before, the album allowed Waters to sound at ease in the twilight of his life. Unsurprisingly, Waters and his new band toured in support of the record, much of which was recorded and released in the double-disc reissue of Hard Again. As an extension of this footnote, Epic/Legacy unearths more of this concert material for Breakin' It Up and Breakin' It Down. The collection is as much a showcase for the revitalized Waters as it is for the workhorse Cotton and then-young lion Winter: Muddy sings on five of the eleven tracks, including his signatures "Can't Be Satisfied" and "Got My Mojo Workin'," while the other two handle the remaining tracks. ~Dan Nishimoto



Artist: http://www.muddywaters.com/

Label: http://www.epicrecords.com/

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

Above & Beyond: Anjunabeats, Vol. 5 (Ultra)
The Afghan Whigs: Unbreakable: A Retrospective (Rhino)
The Aggrolites: Reggae Hit L.A. (Hellcat)
Amandine: Solace in Sore Hands (Fat Cat)
The Ants: Icebreaker (Sick Room)
Armin van Buuren: State of Trance 2007 (Ultra)
Avalanches: Ski Surfin' (Collectors' Choice Music)
The Beach Boys: Live at Knebworth (Recall)
The Bees: Octopus (Astralwerks)
Black Strobe: Burn Your Own Church (Play Louder)
Bonde do Role: With Lasers (Domino)
Bucky Johnson: Band Behind the Front (BBE/Beat Generation)
Carina Round: Slow Motion Addict (Interscope)
C-BO: West Side Ryders, Vol. 3: The Southeast Connection (West Coast Mafia)
Chris Cornell: Carry On (Interscope)
The Cinematic Orchestra: Ma Fleur [Digipak] (Domino)
The Clash: Singles [2007] (Epic)
Dälek: Purge of Dissidents (Ipecac)
Daniel Higgs: Atomic Yggdrasil Tarot (Thrill Jockey)
Dappled Cities: Granddance (Dangerbird)
David Bowie: Best of Sight and Sound (Virgin)
David Bowie: Young Americans [CD/DVD] (Virgin)
D-Block: Street Muzik 
DJ Drama/Young Jeezy: I Am the Street Dream (BCD Music Group)
DJ Food/DK: Now, Listen! Again (Ninja Tune)
Dr. Dre: Dre's Second Drugstore (Hardwax)
Evidence: Red Tape Instrumentals (DeCon Inc)
The Foundry Field Recordings: Fallout Stations (Emergency Umbrella)
Funeral for a Friend: Back to the Bus (Back to the Bus)
Get Him Eat Him: Arms Down (Absolutely Kosher)
Girlyman: Joyful Sign 
Hallelujah the Hills: Collective Psychosis Begone (Misra)
Ill Bill: What's Wrong with Bill? [Instrumentals] (Psycho Logical)
The Isley Brothers: Inside You/Real Deal (Beat Goes On)
Junior Boys: So This Is Goodbye [Deluxe Edition] (Domino)
Klute: Emperor's New Clothes (Breakbeat Science)
Kurupt/J Wells: Digital Smoke 
Ladybug Transistor: Can't Wait Another Day (Merge)
Leyode: Fascinating Tininess (Eastern Developments)
Lil Wyte: One and Only (Asylum)
The Long Blondes: Someone to Drive You Home [Bonus Disc] (Beggars Banquet)
Marilyn Manson: Eat Me, Drink Me (Nothing)
matt pond PA: If You Want Blood (Altitude)
Montag: Going Places (Carpark)
N.W.A: Classic Collection (Hardwax)
Neurosis: Given to the Rising (Neurot)
O.A.R.: Live from Madison Square Garden (Atlantic / Wea)
The Ohio Players: Honey/Contradiction (Beat Goes On)
Oxbow: Narcotic Story (Hydrahead)
Pelican: City of Echoes (Hydrahead)
Pissed Jeans: Hope for Men (Sub Pop)
Poison: Poison'd! (Capitol)
Psycho Les: City Never Sleeps (Nature Sounds)
Rihanna: Good Girl Gone Bad (Island / Def-Jam)
Royce Da 5'9: Bar Exam (Traffic Ent.)
Rudy Ray Moore: Player Hustler (Traffic Ent.)
Sean Na-Na: Family Trees Or: Cope We Must (Dim Mak)
Shellac: Excellent Italian Greyhound (Touch & Go)
Signal to Noise: Kodiak (Eyeball)
Sister Hazel: BAM!, Vol. 1 (Rock Ridge Music)
Sonny Rollins: Jazz Biography (United Multi Consign)
Stan Getz/The Lighthouse All-Stars: Stan Getz and the Lighthouse All-Stars Live (Giant Steps)
The Temptations: Temptations Review Featuring Dennis Edwards (Soul Concerts)
Thelonious Monk: Finest in Jazz (Blue Note)
They Shoot Horses Don't They: Pick Up Sticks (Kill Rock Stars)
Tiger Army: Music from Regions Beyond (Hellcat)
T-Pain: Epiphany (Jive)
Turf Talk: West Coast Vaccine (The Cure) (Sick Wid It)
Various Artists: Artdontsleep Presents from LA with Love (Milan)
Various Artists: Gu Mixed (Global Underground)
Visioneers: Dirty Old Remixes (BBE/Beat Generation)
Von Südenfed: Tromatic Reflexxions (Domino)

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

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