Feature ·

[May 23, 2006] 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:

 

[more:]




Angels & Airwaves

We Don't Need To Whisper

Geffen/Suretone

Imagine
A Flock of Seagulls if frontman Mike Score is replaced by that annoying
nasally guy from Blink-182 who over-articulates every lyric. On Angels
& Airwaves' Web site, Tom DeLonge requests that people first listen
to We Don't Need to Whisper in the dark "with a black light or a candle." Ritual suicide upon completion is optional. ~Mike Legat

Angels & Airwaves Web site (complete with super-pretentious short film)

Streaming audio




Johnny Cash

Personal File

Sony/Legacy

More than twenty years before the Unplugged and Storytellers
series, prior to the revival of the singer-songwriter and anticipating
the latter-day DIY movement, a man at home in the backwoods of
Tennessee recorded his most beloved songs and the stories surrounding
them. Reels and reels were made -- the man had so much music that he
loved and so many tales to tell. However, in spite of the man's
popularity, no record company had an interest in these recordings. And,
so, the reels were stored in several boxes, marked "Personal File" and
laid to rest underneath stacks of personal effects, prized possessions
and dust. Time ultimately turned in favor of the man; these recordings
presaged not just his own "late period" renaissance, but the afore
music movements. Now, three years, a week and change after his passing,
these recordings will finally see the light of day.

 

Still
want more? Johnny Cash. Recordings mostly from 1973. Forty-nine
never-before-heard tracks. And he talks. A lot. 'Nuff said. ~Dan Nishimoto

Johnny Cash Web site

Audio clips


Eric Clapton
Eric Clapton
[Expanded]
Polydor

We can all
agree that Eric Clapton's solo efforts have been spotty. Heck, I'm sure even
Slowhand himself would cop to releasing some sub-par albums over his lengthy
career. And let's not pretend his warble is the stuff of legends. But who
cares? His playing has influenced an entire generation of kids who have
attempted the "Sunshine of Your Love" riff on a knockoff Stratocaster.
Commercially propelled by a cover of J.J. Cale's "After Midnight," this
recently expanded two-disc version of his 1970 solo debut features a venerable
who's who of legendary but forgotten R&B rockers: Leon Russell and Delaney
Bramlett (one half of Delaney & Bonnie) co-wrote much of the album; Stephen
Stills guests on "Let It Rain"; and the entire album features one heck of a
rhythm section, including Derek and the Dominos coconspirators Bobby Whitlock,
Carl Radle and Jim Gordon. Thankfully, this oft-neglected but recently
resurrected gem will make you forget all about 461 Ocean Blvd.
~Zach Hothorn
Eric
Clapton Web site

Streaming audio


Delaney & Bonnie
Home
[Bonus Tracks]
Stax
It seems
the male/female singing duo has gone the way of the leisure suit, relegated to
flea markets and sit-com plot devices. A travesty, I say. The lyrical
interplay! The sexual tension! The impending divorce! These groups are like
modern-day operas, sans the opulence or the vibrato. Sonny & Cher may have
done it campier and Captain & Tenille may have done it more nautically, but
neither challenges Delaney & Bonnie's blue-eyed soul. The expanded edition
of this album features several cuts from their time spent touring with Eric
Clapton in addition to outtakes from the original 1969 Stax release. Just
remember: music, like fashion, is cyclical, so get onboard before the White
Stripes

begin referring to themselves as simply Jack
& Meg. ~Zach Hothorn
Delaney
Bramlett Web site

Bonnie
Bramlett Web site

Streaming
audio



Vijay Iyer with Rudresh Mahanthappa

Raw Materials

Savoy

To
describe ace pianist Vijay Iyer and expert saxophonist Rudresh
Mahanthappa as peerless is somewhat inaccurate, considering that the
two have often performed their best when in company with each other.
So, to hear the pair going to town again is a welcome return to form. Raw Materials
is Iyer's second album for Savoy and seventh solo album overall, but
Mahanthappa has yet to garner significant major-label attention, so the
spotlight should be a welcome look for the young hornsmith. ~Dan Nishimoto

Vijay Iyer Web site

Iyer MP3s

Rudresh Mahanthappa Web site 



Mission of Burma

The Obliterati

Matador

Speaking on Mission of Burma's upcoming record, bassist Clint Conley acknowledged
the challenge of writing a follow-up to a long-awaited follow-up -- a
second sophomore jinx? Although the band's label, Matador, met the
anticipation with an enticing offer for fans -- a limited-edition vinyl
subscription series -- the band members did something smarter: they
picked up their own gauntlet and backhanded the shit out their previous
album, OnOffOn. The Obliterati
lives up to its namesake and smashes, roars and loops backward with
furious resolve, erasing any hesitation that the band has lost momentum
since first dissolving in the early '80s. Please, don't expect another
"Academy Fight Song": This is grown-man rock. ~Dan Nishimoto

Album stream

Mission of Burma Web site

Matador Records Web site

"2wice" MP3 



Phoenix

It's Never Been Like That

Astralwerks

The one-time backing band for fellow Frenchmen Air's live show, Phoenix stepped out in a much more poppy direction with its first two albums, United and Alphabetical. It's Never Been Like That finds the boys digging the Strokes
something fierce. The songs snap and crackle with simple catchiness.
The band even snagged Casblancas and company's favorite video director,
Roman Coppola, to helm the clip for the album's first single, "Long
Distance Call." The band members approached the new album in a much
more organic way. They holed up in Berlin's Planet Roc studios without
any pre-written material, insisting on cranking out an album of mostly
first takes without any outside assistance on a four-month deadline.
That immediacy and energy can be felt across the record's ten succinct,
sharp tracks. ~John Zeiss

"Long Distance Cal" video

Streaming audio

Phoenix Web site

Astralwerks Web site 



PJ Harvey

PJ Harvey on Tour: Please Leave Quietly DVD

Island

Step aside, Britney and Kevin: Chaotic.
Here comes the real inside scoop on the touring-rock-star lifestyle.
Have we ever known Ms. Harvey not to be as emotionally raw and forward
as humanly possible? This is a woman who named an album Dry as
an allusion to � well, I probably don't have to spell it out. So the
video diaries, glimpses of inner workings backstage, and candid
interviews with Polly Jean should prove to be quite spicy. Oh, and she
plays some tunes as well. The footage comes from the Uh Huh Her tour,
so the DVD features standout rockers from that album, including "The
Letter" and "Who the Fuck?" But you also get old favorites, including
the immortally spooky "Down by the Water" and Pretenders-esque power
crunch of "Big Exit," as well as two previously unreleased tracks,
"Evol" and "Uh Huh Her." For teenagers who think Karen O is the most original, exciting talent ever, this should be required viewing. Not that I'm saying Ms. Orzelek stole her act from Peej. No, I would never say that. ~John Zeiss

"Please Leave Quietly" trailer

"Down by the Water" video

"Big Exit" video

PJ Harvey Web site 



Tilly and the Wall

Bottoms of Barrels

Team Love

I had no idea what Tilly and the Wall�s oeuvre was all about when I saw it open for labelmate Jenny Lewis
last month. The show was at the Orpheum Theater, a still regal and
gilded venue in Los Angeles's otherwise dilapidated downtown. It was
the perfect place to get to know the band. The theater seems to ooze
the smell of cigars and scotch from long-gone vaudeville days, and
Tilly and the Wall seems like an act that would have fit right in on
that circuit. Instead of anyone pounding on the ol' drum kit, band
member Jaime Williams taps out the beat on her feat. Literally. In tap
shoes. Gimmicky? Sure, but who doesn't employ some kind of similar
tomfoolery these days. Shtick is practically mandatory in the 2K6. Bottoms of Barrels is the band�s sophomore effort for Conor Oberst's
Team Love label. It was recorded in Omaha (but of course) with producer
A.J. Mogis, brother of longtime Oberst confidante Mike Mogis. (How
mixed-in is that whole Nebraskan clan?) Anyhoo, expect plenty of emo
exuberance. Lots of it. ~John Zeiss 

"Bad Education" MP3

Tilly and the Wall Web site

Team Love Records Web site 



The Walkmen

A Hundred Miles Off

Record Collection

With
a shambolic organ and two-guitar mix and an infectious singer splitting
the difference between Bono and Dylan, the Walkmen didn't so much burst
out of the Brooklyn rock scene -- with 2002's Everyone Who Pretended To Like Me Is Gone and 2004's highly acclaimed Bows + Arrows -- as stumble out of it around 3 a.m., half drunk and looking for someone to get them home. On A Hundred Miles Off, expect the highly charged guitars and near-spastic drumming of Bows + Arrows
singles "The Rat" and "Little House of Savages." But listen for the
slower tunes too, like "Louisiana," where the Walkmen, fresh from a
night on someone's couch, wake up and drag their instruments through
the Southern swamps. ~Matt Liebowitz

The Walkmen Web site

Record Collection Web site 



Yo Gotti

Back 2 Da Basics

TVT

The
hip-hop world is looking toward the Bay as the breakthrough city in
2006, but the folks down in Memphis are making a strong push for the
title. Besides Three 6 Mafia's hilarious Oscar celebration and the
anticipated forthcoming Bad Boy LP from 8Ball and MJG, Yo Gotti does
his part in building the Memphis legend by releasing a new album heavy
with Southern star power -- Lil� Wayne, Baby, Jazze Pha, 8Ball. ~Seth Berkman

Yo Gotti Web site

TVT Records Web site




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