Feature ·

[May 15, 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.




Tio Bitar


For anyone who thinks the most recent wave of indie music from Sweden, what with Peter Bjorn & John and El Perro del Mar and the like, has been way too twee, Dungen could supply the rawk you've been missing. The band comes straight out of the Great White Scandinavian North wielding the Hammer of the Gods. Dungen comprises four dudes with more hair than a barber shop floor, led by songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Gustav Ejstes. Tio Bitar (which translates as "Ten Pieces") is the follow-up to the band's 2004 American breakthrough, Ta Det Lungt. It proves that searing psych rock is an internationally understood language of its own. ~ John Zeiss



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

Band: http://www.dungen-music.com/

Label: http://www.kemado.com/

Great Northern

Trading Twilight for Daylight

Eenie Meenie

From its name, you might think Great Northern is some arctic noise-rock band. But it's actually a quite sunny, summery pop-rock outfit from sunny, summery Los Angeles. Trading Twilight for Daylight is the first full-length from the band, a gang of four made up equally of boys and girls. Guitarist/vocalist Solon Bixler, whose father was a composer and conductor, and pianist/vocalist Rachel Stolte form its core, rounded out by bassist Ashley Dzerigian and drummer Davey Latter. Trading was recorded with engineer/producer Mathias Scheenberger, who has also worked with Queens of the Stone Age and various Greg Dulli projects. ~ John Zeiss



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

Band: http://www.greatnorthernmusic.com/

Label: http://eeniemeenie.com/  

The High Strung

Get the Guests

Park the Van

The High Strung is based around singer-songwriter Josh Malerman. You may have caught the band on This American Life or while perusing the stacks at your local public library -- the High Strung has played at more than a hundred such institutions. Seems Malerman has a penchant for childlike storytelling, but the book-fearing shouldn't worry; the band plays in plenty of other places, too. It's actually known for a rigorous touring schedule; Son Volt is its current tourmate. Get the Guests is the band's third album. ~ John Zeiss



Band: http://www.thehighstrung.com/

Label: http://www.parkthevan.com/

Audio: http://www.myspace.com/2349113 

Ian Hunter

Shrunken Heads

Yep Roc

He might not exactly be one of the young dudes anymore, but Ian Hunter still knows how to rock. What's the ex-Mott the Hoople leader's secret? Surrounding himself with a lot of talent. A guy from another band with a marquee release this week, Jeff Tweedy, guests on three tracks. And Hunter's long-time backing band includes musicians who have also played with Bruce Springsteen and Joe Jackson. Shrunken Heads finds Hunter getting political, with song titles like "Soul of America" and "I am What I Hated When I was Young." ~John Zeiss



Artist: http://www.ianhunter.com/

Label: http://store.yeproc.com 

Pink Martini

Hey Eugene!


Pink Martini is just as luscious and lovely as its drinky-drink name suggests. A self-described "little orchestra" hailing from Portland, Oregon, Pink Martini was founded by Thomas Lauderdale. Sultry vocals come courtesy of China Forbes, who Lauderdale met when both were attending Harvard. Hey Eugene! finds the band in a typical international mindset. Peruvian percussionist Martin Zarzar guests on "Mar Desconocido," the March Fourth Marching Band on "Dosvedanya Mio Bombino," jazz legend Jimmy Scott on "Tea for Two," and a high school gospel choir on the Carmen Miranda cover "Tempo Perdido." Other tracks find band members singing in Arabic and Japanese. As for the title track? It's about a guy who got Forbes's number but never called her. What a fool. John Zeiss



Band: http://www.pinkmartini.com/

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


Beat Dimensions, Vol. 1: Compiled by Cinnaman & Jay Scarlett

Rush Hour

I propose the following alternative to the descriptor "beats": rhythm compositions. Or at least use the shorthand "beat comps". The term "beats" does not adequately describe the constructions of such producers as Dilla, Madlib, and the Bling47 camp. While the term encapsulates the central force driving each of these artists' works, it also belies the existence of song structure and dynamic personality -- a point that artists at least understand. Embracing this spirit, producers Cinnaman and Jay Scarlett have compiled a number of head nodders and feet stompers from around the way. Most are within the stuttering beat's circle of trust -- Raw Fusion affiliates Up Hygh and Morgan Spacek -- but the drunken step stretches as far as Japan. ~Dan Nishimoto



Label: http://www.rushhour.nl/

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


Sky Blue Sky


Here comes Wilco's "album after" after the "album after." Yankee Hotel Foxtrot (2002) will go down as one of the top ten albums of this decade, if not the very best. A Ghost Is Born was a quality follow-up, if not as absolutely paradigm-shifting. And now we have Sky Blue Sky. What direction are Jeff Tweedy and company taking this time? From the copious leaked songs and early album streams, it sounds like Sky Blue Sky is returning to the band's earlier, rootsier side. A notable addition to the recording sessions for Sky was avant-jazz guitar legend Nels Cline. Recorded in Wilco's own Chicago studio, the album was recorded by TJ Doherty (the Hold Steady, Sonic Youth) and mixed by Jim Scott (the Rolling Stones, the Dixie Chicks). ~John Zeiss



Band: http://www.wilcoworld.net/

Label: http://www.nonesuch.com/

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

Album Stream: http://spinner.aol.com/artists/new-releases-full-cds  

.38 Special: Live at Sturgis [CD/DVD] (Sanctuary)

Alias: Collected Remixes (Anticon)

Amir Sulaiman: Like a Thief in the Night (Uprising)

Au Revoir Simone: Bird of Music   

Avalanches: Ski Surfin' (Collectors' Choice Music)

The Avett Brothers: Emotionalism  (Ramseur Rec.)

B.B. King: Best of the Blues Guitar King 1951-1966 (Ace UK)

Balkan Beat Box: Nu Med (Jdub)

Billy Childish: Live at the Wild Western Room - London (Damaged Goods)

Dio: Magica/Killing the Dragon (Recall)

Dolores O'Riordan: Are You Listening (Sanctuary)

Dungen: Tio Bitar (Kemado)

Ebb: Loona (Gay Monkey)

Efterklang: Under Giant Trees (Leaf)

Ellul: Ellul (Sounds Are Active)

The Exies: Modern Way of Living with the Truth (Eleven Seven Music)

The Fall: World Bewitched: Best of 1990-2000 (Artful)

Funeral for a Friend: Tales Don't Tell Themselves (Atlantic / Wea)

Gabriel & Dresden: Gabriel & Dresden (Organized Nature)

Great Northern: Trading Twilight for Daylight (Eenie Meenie)

Gretchen Wilson: One of the Boys  (Sony)

Guided by Voices: Live from Austin, Texas (New West)

H.A.W.K.: Endangered Species (Ghetto Dreams)

The High Strung: Get the Guests (Park the Van)

Ian Hunter: Shrunken Heads (Yep Roc)

Joseph Arthur: Let's Just Be [Special Edition] (Lonely Astronaut)

Linkin Park: Minutes to Midnight (Warner Bros)

Luc Ferrari: Didascalies (Sub Rosa)

Marco Polo: Port Authority (Red Urban)

Megadeth: United Abominations (Roadrunner Records)

Mistah F.A.B.: Da Baydestrian (SMC Recordings)

Modeselektor: Boogy Bytes, Vol. 3 (Bpitch Control)

Mogwai: Zidane: A 21st Century Portait (Play It Again Sam Us)

The Narrator: All That to the Wall (Flameshovel)

Optimo: Optimo (Sony International)

The Race: Ice Station (Flameshovel)

Rufus Wainwright: Release the Stars (Geffen)

Seb Fontaine: Type 02 (Thrive)

Secret Chiefs 3: Path of Most Resistance (Mimicry)

Telefon Tel Aviv: Remixes Compiled (Hefty)

Various Artists: High Fidelity [Original Cast] (Ghostlight)

Veruca Salt: Resolver (Artful)

Volt: Volt (In The Red)

Wilco: Sky Blue Sky (Nonesuch)

Woody Guthrie: Hard Travelin' Man (Rev-Ola Bandstand)

XXL (Xiu Xiu/Larsen): Spicchiology? (Important)

YACHT:I Believe in You. Your Magic Is Real (Marriage)

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

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