Feature ·

[March 20, 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:




Why Bother?

Thrill Jockey

I don't imagine Chris Rock knowing who the band Adult is (but then again, his new movie, I Think I Love My Wife, is based on a film by Eric Rohmer, so who knows), but Why Bother? seems like it would work as the perfect score to the movie. For one, Adult comprises the married couple Nicola Kuperus and Adam Lee Miller. And they're definitely exploring the dynamics of their relationship on the album, what with songs like "The Mythology of Psychosis," "I Feel Worse When I'm With You," "Inclined to Vomit," "You Don't Worry Enough" and "Plagued by Fear." The band calls the new music "uneasy listening for uneasy times," and accordingly it's full of spooky keyboard glitches. Just in time for the blooming of spring love. ~John Zeiss

Band: http://www.adultperiod.com/

Label: http://www.thrilljockey.com/

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

Kieran Hebden and Steve Reid



Drummer Steve Reid and producer Kieran "Four Tet" Hebden's 2006 Exchange Sessions collaboration turned out to be an exceptional update of improvisation. The two forged a comfortable meeting space between twentieth-century analog and twenty-first-century digital instruments. However, the defining characteristic of the two Sessions albums was that of a cautious first meeting. Having worked past the awkward icebreaker and established a common language, the two prepared a more cogent affair. For Tongues, Hebden and Reid organized the album like a debate session and improvised on prepared motifs in three- to six-minute rounds; the duo maintained the previous spirit of spontaneity by recording unrehearsed first takes. In this sense, the album suggests a multiplicity of languages, or the coexistence of different voices in one space. Harmonious or discordant, beat fanatic or arrhythmic, Tongues promises another inventive exploration of musical dialogue. ~Dan Nishimoto

Band: http://www.kieranhebdenandstevereid.com/

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

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

Andrew Hill


Blue Note RVG

Andrew Hill = Most hard-body progressive on Blue Note's '60s roster. The pianist and composer didn't release the greatest number of or most widely recognized albums during his six-year stay at the venerated jazz label, but he leapfrogged ideas at a rate comparable to Coltrane's near simultaneous rapid evolution. Hill used each album on Blue Note to explore new and challenging avenues, especially by the label's standards. Compulsion is an orgy-lite-in-rhythm session from 1965, recorded shortly after Bobby Hutcherson's landmark Dialogue. Featuring a rhythm section-heavy lineup -- including Joe Chambers on drums, Nedi Qamar on percussion, Renaud Simmons on congas, and Cecil McBee on bass (alongside a dueling Richard Davis on one track) -- in addition to ace horn players Freddie Hubbard and John Gilmore, the album ripples and rumbles through four extensive cuts. Though hardly landmark, Compulsion stands out for its muscle and appropriately receives the Rudy Van Gelder remastering and reissue treatment. ~Dan Nishimoto

Artist: http://www.andrewhilljazz.com/

Label: http://www.bluenote.com/

 "Refuge" MP3: http://www.andrewhilljazz.com/mp3/andrewhill_refuge.mp3

"Subterfuge" MP3: http://www.andrewhilljazz.com/mp3/andrewhill_subterfuge.mp3 

Devin the Dude

Waiting to Inhale


"I think women tend to filter things out a little more often then men do� Men tend to hold things in till the very end until they're about to blow. I think it helps to take a deep breath and relax your mind a little. It helps you deal with things a lot better and it's better than going on a drinking binge." ~ Devin the Dude, Waiting to Inhale press release


Is there a space in mainstream hip hop for a black man who can speak openly about feelings with both intelligence and humor? Related: did you expect Byron Hurt to find an informed conversation on sexism in hip hop during BET's spring break debacle? The trouble with both scenarios is that they have defined their product and allow little room for negotiation. So, you are either having fun at the expense of your mind, or nurturing your knowledge base sans basslines and rumpshaking. Thus, Devin the Dude seems destined to remain in a here-nor-there purgatory alongside smart(-ass) (low-)riders like the Coup. The payoff is arguably worthwhile: Devin has a consistent discography and steadily builds his reputation. Waiting to Inhale is the Houston rapper's fourth solo album and listeners can safely expect more of the same from the self-proclaimed master of wine, women, and weed. ~Dan Nishimoto

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

Label: http://www.rapalotrecords.com/

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


I'll Sleep When You're Dead

Definitive Jux

Being a career musician once meant adhering to a long, winding narrative that included such highlights as a celebrated arrival, a critical breakthrough, a creative and/or personal plateau, a resurgence of inspiration, and a mature final act. Everybody from Dylan and Cash to Diamond and Manilow followed this path. Though predictable, the arc lasts a lifetime and works in favor of the audience's short attention span. However, if generations are fictions, as Jeff Chang writes in his hip hop tome Can't Stop, Won't Stop, then recent coevals are beginning to resemble short stories. Less than five years ago, emcee and producer El-P released his solo debut Fantastic Damage, which spearheaded the then youth fascination with undie rap (and all things Midwestern). Though El-P has remained an active producer in the interim, a whole new audience has supplanted yesterday's children and brought another set of tastes and values. Having been in the business for only ten years, he hasn't even received an opportunity to stretch creatively; how does creativity thrive when the generations supplant each other with greater frequency? Which makes the bombastic title of his second proper full-length I'll Sleep When You're Dead exciting and challenging. For this round, El-P revs up the chainsaw with the help of several far-reaching friends, like Trent Reznor, The Mars Volta, and Cat Power. Like calling people forward to witness a showdown, El-P confidently promises another funcrusher extravaganza for both his old fans and the new kids. ~Dan Nishimoto

Artist: http://www.definitivejux.net/jukies/el-p/

Label: http://www.definitivejux.net/

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

J Dilla

Ruff Draft

Stone's Throw

One of the most memorable exhibitions I have experienced is the recent Ron Mueck show at the Brooklyn Museum. Mueck, a sculptor who also designs models for films, reproduces the human form in three-dimensions but in an understated yet shocking manner. For example, a bald, naked man twice the size of an actual human sits menacingly in one corner of the exhibition, at once innocuous and inescapable. The idea is so simple, the rendering so technically perfect, the placement so intentionally anxious, his sculpture is both familiar and new. In a similar sense, Dilla channeled this dichotomy to make his music stand out. The sparseness of his beats seemed anachronistic in the content-saturated present, yet spaced with such care as to make the head nod in new ways. Fortunately, his posthumous output has mostly helped complete the picture of this floating beat; Ruff Draft is a crucial piece of the puzzle. Originally released in 2003 as "that real live shit" to "bounce in your whip," the album is a raw blast of ideas that at the time were unlike anything else previously bounced in anybody's whip (or Tercel, which may be the case for some of his fan base). Stone's Throw has secured the rights to reissue this set with unreleased tracks and -- God bless them -- a second disc of instrumentals. ~Dan Nishimoto

Artist: http://www.stonesthrow.com/jdilla/

Label: http://www.stonesthrow.com/

Audio: http://www.myspace.com/jdilla 

Ted Leo & the Pharmacists

Living With the Living

Touch and Go

Forget Hillary and Obama. Why not Ted Leo for president? His qualifications? How about five albums of politically engaged yet catchy-as-hell guitar rock. Leo keeps the tunes topical on Living, his first album for venerable indie institution Touch and Go. Songs include "Fourth World War," "Army Bound," "Bomb.Repeat.Bomb" and "C.I.A." He and his band, the Pharmacists, recorded Living With the Living on a farm with Fugazi's Brendan Canty, which certainly added to the politics of it all. Why do we need a Zach de la Rocha comeback, again? ~John Zeiss

Artist: http://www.tedleo.com/

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

"The Sons of Cain" MP3: http://www.tgrec.com/bands/album.php?id=397

"Bomb.Repeat.Bomb" MP3: http://www.touchandgorecords.com/links/bombrepeatbombmp3/Bomb.Repeat.Bomb.1954.mp3  


Drums and Guns

Sub Pop

Since Low's previous album, 2005's The Great Destroyer, founding bassist Zak Sally quit to focus on his own art, and lead singer Alan Sparhawk had a mental breakdown that caused the band to cancel a big tour. After some time to regroup, Sparhawk, his wife Mimi Parker, and new bassist Matt Livingston returned to the road to test out much of the new material that shows up on Drums and Guns. The Great Destroyer was already a bit of a move away from the band's usual quiet, slow sound. And after all that's developed, it's no surprise that Drums & Guns finds Low branching out even further, integrating more electronics and keyboards. ~John Zeiss

Band: http://www.chairkickers.com/

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

"Breaker" MP3: http://www.subpop.com/assets/audio/3106.mp3  

Modest Mouse

We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank


Who doesn't know the story by now? Band's single has an unlikely breakthrough after said band spent years being a critical and cult favorite. Some of band's fans immediately decry the "new, more populist shit." For a follow-up, legendary and somewhat reclusive guitarist joins band in the studio and then on the road. Has all of this drastically changed Modest Mouse's sound? Not really. Isaac Brock still howls at the moon like the madman he must surely be. The guitars are still jagged and jangly. And the album still revolves around a central axis. After Moon and Antarctica's theme of cold alienation and 2004's Good News for People Who Like Bad News' attempts at redemption after a series of tribulations for Brock, We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank charts a nautical course. ~John Zeiss

Band: http://www.modestmouse.com/

Label: http://www.modestmousemusic.com/

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

The Ponys      

Turn the Lights Out


Changes about on the third full-length from Chicago's Ponys: it's the band's first for Matador; Ian Adams has been replaced by local Chi-town guitarist Brian Case, who used to be in 90 Day Men; and whereas 2005's excellent Celebration Castle was recorded in the Windy City with Steve Albini, Turn the Lights Out was put down mostly in Brooklyn's Headgear Studios with producer John Agnello. What hasn't changed, though, is the Ponys' serrated, propulsive guitar work that recalls bands like the Velvets and Sonic Youth. ~John Zeiss

Band: http://www.theponys.com/

Label: http://www.matadorrecords.com/

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

"Poser Psychotic" MP3: http://www.matadorrecords.com/mpeg/the_ponys/ponys_poserpsychotic.mp3

"Double Vision" MP3: http://www.matadorrecords.com/mpeg/the_ponys/ponys_doublevision.mp3

Sly & the Family Stone

A Whole New Thing; Dance to the Music; Life; Stand!; There's a Riot Goin' On; Fresh; Small Talk


The cover of Sly and the Family Stone's landmark There's a Riot Goin' On (originally released in 1971) perhaps best summarizes the band's mass appeal. The bandleader described the image -- a close-up of a flag resembling that of the United States, albeit replacing blue with black and stars with suns -- as representing "people of all color"(LINK: http://www.sly-and-the-family-stone.com/weekend.html); Sly & the Family Stone looked and sounded like the embodiment of freedom. Such accessibility has kept it relevant: When the group formed, American radio consolidated and drew racial lines in its programming; thirty years later, global music-industry consolidation has only made these divisions more explicit. Though the music industry has often kept Sly and his disciples (like the Bad Brains and Fishbone) at arm's length, Legacy takes a remarkable step toward rectifying this circumstance by reissuing the bulk of the band's output. Although the beefed-up liners (by esteemed writers like Greg Tate, Bud Scoppa and Toure) and numerous previously unreleased tracks are the obvious concession for boxed-set-hungry fans, the mere re-up of packaging and sound (like the original Riot cover!) is enough to bring Sly up to late-twentieth-century standards. Now, if we could only have a reunion (no, the 2006 Grammy's) . . . ~Dan Nishimoto

Band: http://www.slystonemusic.com/

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

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

Tracey Thorn

Out of the Woods


Give anybody a quarter century, and they're going to do a few things with that time. That's how long it's been since Tracey Thorn last released an album under her own name. For one, she went on to be half of English electro duo Everything but the Girl. Since that group's mid-nineties apex, Thorn has put music aside to raise her children. But now she's back, and the music still sounds much like Everything but the Girls' did. ~John Zeiss

Label: http://www.astralwerks.com/

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

The Zincs

Black Pompadour

Thrill Jockey

The English lads in the Zincs named their third full-length after a hairdo lead singer James Elkington once tried to grow out. If that sounds very Morrissey to you, you're not off base; that would be one touchstone for the band's sound. Another is the entire Creation Records catalogue. These boys wear their Brit-ness well. The album was recorded and mixed by Tortoise's John McEntire. Another Yank, singer-songwriter Edith Frost, lends vocals to three of Black Pompadour's ten tracks. ~John Zeiss

Band: http://www.thezincs.com/

Label: http://www.thrilljockey.com/

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

50 Cent/DJ Whoo Kid: Return of the Mixtape Millionaire: G Unit Radio 13 (BCD Music Group)

A Northern Chorus: Millions Too Many (Sonic Unyon)

Adult.: Why Bother? (Thrill Jockey)

Alan Lomax: Spanish Recordings: Mallorca - The Balearic Island (Rounder)

Aleksi Perala: Project V (Rephlex)

Andrew Bird: Armchair Apocrypha (Fat Possum (Ryko))

Arve Henriksen: Strjon (Rune Grammaphon NW)

Assemble Head in Sunburst Sound: Ekranoplan (Tee Pee)

Baby Boy da Prince: Across the Water (Republic)

Barbara Blue and the Phantom Blues Band: By Popular Demand (Shout)

The Chinese Stars: Listen to Your Left Brain (Three-One-G)

Cibo Matto: Pom Pom: The Essential Cibo Matto (Rhino)

Crime Mob: Hated on Mostly (Reprise / Wea)

Cyann & Ben: Sweet Beliefs (Ever)

Daath: Hinderers (Roadrunner)

Daniel Cirera: Honestly; I Love You *Cough* (Tommy Boy)

David Guetta: Guetta Blaster (Ultra)

Devin the Dude: Waiting to Inhale (Rap-A-Lot)

Dion: Abraham, Martin & John (Ace UK)

Donald Byrd: Cat Walk (Blue Note)

Drawing Voices: Drawing Voices (Hydrahead)

Earth: Hibernaculum [CD/DVD] (Southern Lord)

Ellen Allien: Other Side: Berlin [CD/DVD] (DeAf Dumb & Blind)

Elliott Yamin: Elliott Yamin (Hickory)

El-P: I'll Sleep When You're Dead (Definitive Jux)

Evidence: Weatherman (ABB)

Foreign Islands: Restart Now! (DeAf Dumb & Blind)

Germans: Cape Fear (Arena Rock Recording)

Good Shoes: Photos on My Wall (Brille)

Hail Social: Modern Love & Death (Polyvinyl)

Hanson: Walk (JVC Japan)

Hieroglyphics: Over Time (Hieroglyphics)

Horrors: Strange House (Umvd Import)

Jay Dee: Ruff Draft (Stones Throw)

The Jerky Boys: Sol's Rusty Trombone (Laugh.Com)

Jesse Malin: Glitter in the Gutter (Adeline)

John Cale: Circus Live (EMI)

Joss Stone: Introducing Joss Stone (Virgin)

Joy Electric: Otherly Opus (Tooth & Nail)

Justine Electra: Soft Rock (Wichita)

Kenny Rogers: 20 Great Years (Reprise / Wea)

Kevin Drumm: Sheer Hellish Miasma (Editions Mego)

Kieran Hebden and Steve Reid: Tongues (Domino)

King Britt: Deep and Sexy 4 (Wave)

King Kong: Buncha Beans (Drag City)

Land of Talk: Applause Cheer Boo Hiss (Rebel Group)

LCD Soundsystem: Sound of Silver (Capitol)

Lee "Scratch" Perry: Upsetter Selection: A Lee Perry Jukebox (Trojan)

Lisa Gerrard & Pieter Bourke: Duality (4AD)

Lisa Gerrard: Mirror Pool (4AD)

The Locust: New Erections (Anti)

Low: Drums and Guns (Sub Pop)

Lusine: Podgelism (Ghostly International)

Mac Dre: Don't Hate tha Playa, Vol. 3 (Thizz)

Mac Dre: Mac Dre Presents Thizz Nation, Vol. 12: Money Gang (Thizz)

Marques Houston: Veteran (Universal)

Modest Mouse: We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank (Sony)

Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds: Abattoir Blues Tour [2CD/2DVD] (Mute U.S.)

Nico: All Tomorrow's Parties: Nico Live (Anagram Gothic)

Palomar: All Things, Forests (Misra)

Panda Bear: Person Pitch (Paw Tracks)

The Poison Arrows: Straight into the Drift (File 13)

The Ponys: Turn the Lights Out (Matador)

QN5 Music: Asterix: Four (HBD Label Group)

Radical Face: Ghost (Morr Music / M.M.)

The Red Krayola: Soldier Talk (Drag City)

The Snake the Cross the Crown: Cotton Teeth (Equal Vision)

Stephen Marley: Mind Control (Republic)

Tayo: Fabriclive 32 (Fabric)

Ted Leo & the Pharmacists: Living with the Living (Touch & Go)

Tila Tequila: Sex (The Saturday Team)

Tim "Love" Lee: Coming Home (Stereo Deluxe)

Tommie Sunshine: Ultra Rock Remixed (Ultra)

Tracey Thorn: Out of the Woods (Astralwerks)

Welcome: Sirs (Fat Cat)

Willie Nelson/Ray Price/Merle Haggard: Last of the Breed (Lost Highway)

The Willowz: Chautauqua (Dim Mak)

Willy Mason: If the Ocean Gets Rough (Astralwerks)

Z-Ro: King of da Ghetto (Den Den)

The Zincs: Black Pompadour (Thrill Jockey) 

*Release dates may change. E-mail brandon@prefixmag.com with corrections or additions. 
Deerhoof - Nothing ever turns out how you expected SXSW2007 A reflection on time spent and lessons learned
Week in Preview

Find us on Facebook

Latest Comments