Feature ·

[March 13, 2007] 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:



Black Milk

Popular Demand

Fat Beats

Number one reason why I am more inclined to listen to a person explain why Jay Dee, a.k.a. J Dilla, is their favorite producer, as opposed to Dr. Dre: because Dilla inspired a number of disciples who continue to push their own boundaries, while Dre spawned so many hacks who wallow in the g-mire. The latest benefactor of the Dilla association (though it is already getting stretched noticeably thin) is Detroit producer and emcee Black Milk. Following the exit of Jay Dee from Slum Village, the artist formerly known as Curtis Cross, alongside Young RJ as BR Gunna, became the heart of SV's reformed production stable. Cross put in work, building enough of a reputation so that his independently released Dirty Down Vol. 2 pushed twenty thousand units. Thus, Popular Demand is his aptly titled "official" debut. Don't expect the suave stutter expropriated by fellow post-Dilla SV alum Waajeed (now of Platinum Pied Piper/Bling47 status): Black Milk deals with more traditional beats 'n' rhymes. Isn't that what you wanted? Are you not entertained? ~Dan Nishimoto

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

Label: http://www.fatbeats.com/

8ball & MJG

Ridin' High

Bad Boy

I begin to feel my age when I think about artists like 8ball and MJG, because I lose all sense of how long these guys have been around. At this point, much of my preadolescent and adolescent memories have been compacted into one lump; based off memory, the Sugarhill Gang, Run-DMC and the Geto Boys are one hyper-concentrated phenomenon -- no wonder I love this hip-hop shit! So pardon me if I seem unusually awestruck that artists like this Memphis duo, which has only been around since the early '90s, is still making records, and enjoyable ones, too. Ridin' High is number nine for the group and features spots from Big Boi, T.I. and neighbors Three 6 Mafia and production from Jazze Pha, Lil' Jon and DJ Toomp. ~Dan Nishimoto

Band: http://www.8ballandmjg.com/

Label: http://www.badboyonline.com/

Audio: http://www.myspace.com/8ballandmjg 

Musiq (Soulchild)



One of the standouts among the new generation of soul singers emerging in the late '90s, Musiq (Soulchild) has remained a constant point of hope. His knack for summer anthems -- from his 2000 debut single "Just Friends (Sunny)" to his current heater, the Taana Gardner-sampling throwback "Buddy" -- and ability to channel soulful throwback vocal performances has kept him in the good graces of both pop consumers and nostalgic old jacks. So even though the former neophyte (he has apparently reactivated his "Soulchild" co-moniker, after having dropped the title for a period because he didn't feel he was "music's soulchild" yet) has been traded from Def Jam/Universal to Big Five competitor Atlantic/Warner in exchange for rapper Fabolous, expect more soul music that channels the then and now. ~Dan Nishimoto

Artist: http://www.musiqsoulchild.com/

Label: http://www.atlanticrecords.com/

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

Rosie Thomas

These Friends of Mine


Singer-songwriter Rosie Thomas's These Friends of Mine has been available digitally for a while and is now seeing physical release on Nettwerk. The album lives up to its title, since Rosie's friends Sufjan Stevens (remember the baby hoax those two had a while ago?) and Denismon Witmer guest on the album. Tender folkies collaborating with tender folkies? As the Pixyland(http://www.pixyland.org/peterpan/) guy would say, "Total cuteness overload!" ~John Zeiss

Artist: http://www.rosiethomas.com/

Label: http://www.nettwerk.com/

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

Various Artists

Stax 50th: A 50th Anniversary Celebration

Stax Jazz

The evolution of soul and R&B is often traced through two divergent routes: Motown and Stax. With each label at opposite ends of the country and promoting a distinct collective sound, the scenario is a conveniently familiar dialectic: the urbane North sells dreams of girls and soul, and the (pre-)urban South keeps it gully by digging for soul. The truth is both labels cultivated diverse rosters to meet constantly changing needs and interests. The result is countless stories: For every Aretha, there's a Dusty; for every Dusty, there's a Linda; for every Linda, there's an Erma; and did you know Erma and Aretha . . . . So when Concord, the renowned jazz label, acquired Fantasy Records, which included the Stax catalogue, the parent company had an opportunity to recast the spotlight on the output of one of soul's most venerated labels. Spanning two discs and moderately priced, this boxed set means to represent the breadth of Stax's identity to the latest generation of music aficionados. So, kids, dig in: There's more'n green onions in there. ~Dan Nishimoto

Label: http://staxrecords.free.fr/

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

Amy Winehouse

Back to Black


Guess which comparison laden thus far to Amy Winehouse, white chick with soul du jour, I buy. Not Macy Gray: too obvious. Not Billie Holiday, or Sarah Vaughan for that matter: too uninformed. Not Joss Stone: too tame. Courtney Love. Because Winehouse has the potential to recycle the pop-supernova narrative: pop-feminist flashpoint; Anglo appropriator; and Anna Nicole fallen fatale. An imperfect attraction with a near animal magnetism, critics can't get enough of Winehouse; her namesake alone is a cue for boosting boozing. Which, wouldn't you know, says little to nothing about her music. Her second album, Back to Black, is some ways promises a natural extension of her 2003 debut, Frank: Producer Salaam Remi returns, along with Mark Ronson and Brooklyn's Daptone gang. However, this time the vibe is '60s pop and soul more than '40s/'50s cabaret. Uh oh, movement through time: Do I smell narrative? ~Dan Nishimoto

Artist: http://www.amywinehouse.co.uk/

Label: http://new.umusic.com/

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

Neil Young

Live at Massey Hall


As artists age, they and the labels they work for tend to swing into full-on vault-clearing mood. (Is there any piece of Dylan marginalia still not on CD?) Reprise is currently doing so with Neil Young. Last year saw the release of Live at the Fillmore East, which documented a Young show with Crazy Horse from 1969. Massey Hall finds Young performing solo, pulling most of the material off his classic albums After the Gold Rush (1970) and Harvest (1972) as well as reaching back to Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere (1969) and even some Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young and Buffalo Springfield songs. The CD comes with a DVD of most of the concert footage. ~ John Zeiss

Artist: http://www.neilyoung.com/

Label: http://www.repriserecords.com/

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

"Old Man" video: http://www.neilyoung.com/archives/masseyhall/masseyoldman_qt.html

Agnostic Front/Discipline: Working Class Heroes (I Scream)
Aqualung: Memory Man (Sony)
Big Tuck: Kings of the South (Oarfin)
Black Milk: Popular Demand (Fatbeats)
Boz Scaggs: Dig (Gray Cat)
Chuck E. Weiss: 23rd & Stout (Cooking Vinyl)
Cornelius: Sensuous 
DJ Muggs/GZA: Grandmasters: Remix Album (Angeles)
Eightball & MJG: Ridin High (Bad Boy)
G.B.H.: Race Against Time: The Clay Years (Castle Us)
Gang Font: Gang Font (Thirsty Ear)
Ghostface Killah: Hidden Darts (Full Clip Media)
Gille Da Kid: Best of the GDK Mixtapes (Babygrande)
Graham Parker: Don't Tell Columbus (Bloodshot)
Guy Clark: Best of the Sugar Hill Years (Sugar Hill)
Hauschka: Room to Expand (Fat Cat)
Irving: Spaceland Presents: Irving in Spaceland November 1 (Kufala)
James McMurtry: Best of the Sugar Hill Years (Sugar Hill)
James Morrison: Undiscovered (Interscope)
Jamie T.: Panic Prevention (EMI)
JR Writer: My Past Is Your Future (DPL Music)
Lisa Gerrard: Best of Lisa Gerrard (4AD)
Lisa Loeb/Elizabeth Mitchell: Catch the Moon (Sheridan Square)
Lloyd: Street Love (Motown)
Loch Lomond: Lament for Children (Hush)
Lodger: Hi-fi High Lights Down Low (Recall)
Louis Armstrong: Forever Gold (St. Clair)
Minmae: 835 (Greyday Productions)
Mobb Deep: Infamous Archives 
Musiq Soulchild: Luvanmusiq (Atlantic / Wea)
Neil Young: Live at Massey Hall (Reprise / Wea)
Nico: All Tomorrow's Parties: Nico Live (Anagram Gothic)
Rich Boy: Rich Boy (Interscope)
Rod Lee: Rod Lee, Vol. 1 (Morphius)
Ror-Shak: Deep (Koch)
Rosie Thomas: These Friends of Mine (Nettwerk)
SJ Esau: Wrong Faced Cat Feed Collapse (Anticon)
Sparkle Motion: Sparkle Motion (Super Secret)
Steppenwolf: 20th Century Masters - Millennium Collection: The (Geffen)
Stiff Little Fingers: Wasted Life: Live (Recall)
The (International) Noise Conspiracy: Live at Oslo Jazz Festival (Alternative Tentacles)
The Alternate Routes: Good and Reckless and True (Vanguard)
The Fall: Post-TLC Reformation! (Slogan)
The Fratellis: Costello Music [2007] (Cherry Tree)
The Isley Brothers: Showdown/Grand Slam (Beat Goes On)
The Queers: Move Back Home (Asian Man)
Thomas Dybdahl: Science (Recall)
Tricky Bizzniss/Trixie Reiss: Tricky Bizzniss (Esntion Silver)
Type O Negative: Dead Again (Steamhammer/SPV)
U.K. Subs: Another Kind of Blues (Captain Oi!)
UB40: Best of UB40, Vols. 1 & 2 (EMI)
Unsane: Visqueen (Ipecac)
Various Artists: Hip-Hop Tribute to Pink Floyd (Tribute Sounds)
Wilson Pickett: Hey Jude (DBK Works)
Zion I: Street Legends (Ball Or Fall)

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

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