Feature ·

[February 19, 2008] Heading to the record store? Here's what's new.

Each week, we preview a handful of notable albums scheduled to hit the shelves. [more:]

 

 


Lúcio Alves
Pure Bossa Nova: A View on the Music of Lucio Alves
Universal

Don't be fooled by the cookie-cutter look of this disc. Pure Bossa Nova: A View on the Music of Lucio Alves collects popular (but seldom-heard in the States) works by the late Lúcio Alves. A suave singer who excelled at ballads, he graced numerous bossa songs with dramatic tenderness. ~Dan Nishimoto

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Label: http://www.universalrecords.com


American Music Club
The Golden Age
Merge
American Music Club is back at full strength. After helping define indie-rock’s lighter, quieter side in the '80s and early '90s, the band broke up. Lead man Mark Eitzel went on to release a solid string of literate solo albums. More than ten years after the band split, American Music Club got back together for 2004’s Love Songs for Patriots. And now this second reunion album, The Golden Age, finds the band further maturing into a lush, classic pop sound. Many of the songs reference the band’s hometown of San Francisco. ~ John Zeiss

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Band: http://www.american-music-club.com
Label: http://www.mergerecords.com
Audio: http://www.myspace.com/americanmusicclub


Apes
Ghost Games
Gypsy Eyes
Evidently these guys had a different singer at one point, but their highlight performance at CMJ 2006 makes that kind of trivia a moot point. The band's mired mesh/mess of rawk, beats, and Robert Plant-vocalese left a welcome stain on the memory that overshadowed either the hardcore posing or the hardcore intellectualizing (more of the former) that week. In seriousness (and in fairness to former singer Paul Weill), the Apes more or less transformed into Apes 2.0 when Breck Brunson joined in 2006: The band wrote new songs that sounded like something different. Ghost Games is the long-awaited result for fans to go bananas, nuts, and ape-shit. (Sorry, it was too easy.) ~Dan Nishimoto
 

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Band: http://theapes.com
Label: http://www.gypsyeyesrecords.com
Audio: http://www.myspace.com/apes


Atlas Sound
Let the Blind Lead Those Who Can See but Cannot Feel
Kranky
Atlas Sound is the solo project of Deerhunter lead man Bradford Cox. As a solo affair, which Cox recorded mainly by himself at home (with some assistance from Brian Foote of fellow Kranky band Nudge), it’s not surprising to find this music more hushed and ethereal than Deerhunter’s louder space rock. The album starts with an old home recording of a young Cox telling a ghost story, then progresses through more than a dozen songs that touch on all the things that can haunt us in life: love, fear, illness, obsession, the past, and so forth. Here’s to guessing this first Atlas Sound full-length won’t be the last, as the prolific Cox cranks out a lot of Atlas Sound material, much of which he puts up at here. ~John Zeiss

***

Artist: http://www.myspace.com/bradfordcox
Label: http://www.kranky.net


Bell X1
Flock
Yep Roc
Bell X1 has been receiving buzz as a new U2 or even an Irish Radiohead. Flock is a major hit on the Emerald Isle. The album has sent numerous songs to the top of Irish charts. Now the album is getting a stateside release thanks to the usually more alt-country-leaning Yep Roc. All of the members of Bell X1 were in a band called Juniper with Damien Rice before Rice decided to embark on a solo career. ~John Zeiss

***

Band: http://www.bellx1.com
Label: http://store.yeproc.com
Audio: http://www.myspace.com/bellx1


The Big Sleep
Sleep Forever
Frenchkiss
The Big Sleep is a buoyant, energetic trio from that fabled land where so many bands hail from: Brooklyn. The title Sleep Forever isn’t meant to be some wish-for eternal slumber. Instead, it’s the band big-upping itself and claiming that the Big Sleep is here to stay. The album was co-produced by Chris Coady, who has also worked with TV on the Radio and Yeah Yeah Yeahs. The Big Sleep has the rocking fervency of labelmates Les Savy Fav or the band’s pals in the Thermals. ~John Zeiss

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Band: http://www.thebigsleep.net
Label: http://www.frenchkissrecords.com
Audio: http://www.myspace.com/sonofthetiger


Bon Iver
For Emma, Forever Ago
Jagjaguwar
Bon Iver’s debut full-length has been garnering positive buzz since last year, when it was self-released. Those accolades led stalwart indie label Jagjaguwar to sign the band and re-release For Emma. Bon Iver’s name comes from an alteration of the French term for “good winter” and is mainly the purview of Justin Vernon. Vernon crafted most of the album himself over a cold winter spent alone in rural Wisconsin. The result is an album full of hushed, backwoods indie-folk reminiscent of Damien Jurado’s work. ~John Zeiss

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Label: http://www.jagjaguwar.com
Audio: http://www.myspace.com/boniver
“Skinny Love” MP3


Company
Old Baby
Brah/Jagjaguwar
Company is a rock foursome that dabbles in the eclectic sounds of country, folk, punk, and psychedelia. A string of self-released records caught the attention of Jagjaguwar-affiliated imprint Brah. Old Baby, the follow-up to 2005’s Parallel Time, was produced by Kid Millions, the drummer for Oneida and co-founder or Brah. Company has played shows with the likes of Bright Eyes and Oakley Hall. ~John Zeiss

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Label: http://www.brahrecords.com
“The Sad Businessman” MP3


Cryptacize
Dig That Treasure
Asthmatic Kitty
Cryptacize is an eclectic trio made up of Chris Cohen (ex-Deerhoof, currently of Curtain), Nedelle Torrisi, and Michael Carriera. Cohen and Torrisi started making music together when they were roommates in Crockett, California, later adding Carriera on percussion. The trio brings its largely improvisational performance style to this, its first full-length. Cryptacize takes inspiration from the musicals of both stage and screen and artists like Sun Ra. ~John Zeiss

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Band: http://www.myspace.com/cryptacize
Label: http://asthmatickitty.com


The Grand Archives
The Grand Archives
Sub Pop
Sup Pop continues to keep it all in the Carissa’s Wierd family. When that Seattle-based slowcore band broke up, members Ben Bridwell and Mat Brooke went on to form Band of Horses. After helping Bridwell craft the Band of Horses debut, Everything All the Time, Brooke branched off to form the Grand Archives, which you may have caught opening for Modest Mouse last year. (For total completeness, Sub Pop also has ex-Carissa’s Wierd drummer Sera Cahoone on its roster.) Joining Brooke in the Grand Archives are former members of the band New Mexicans, the Jeunes, and Ghost Stories. The band plies a more sunny sound than is usually found in the dour, depressing music that comes out of the Pacific Northwest. ~John Zeiss

 

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Band: http://grandarchives.com
Label: http://www.subpop.com
Audio: http://www.myspace.com/grandarchives
“Torn Blue Foam Couch” MP3   


Growing
Lateral
The Social Registry
California has two expanses of infinite nothingness: the Pacific Ocean and the Mojave Desert. That you can turn either west or east and still run into an endless horizon never ceases to amaze me. And it also explains why I miss the state so much. Thankfully, the Brooklyn duo Growing lives close by and distributes records through another neighborhood asset, the Social Registry. The duo's hashish-fevered muzack evokes a feeling similar to being engulfed in those Californian netherworlds but has only been heard in segments lately through a series of seven-inches. Lateral finds the group back in full-length land. Looking forward to another trip down one end of the 10. ~Dan Nishimoto
 

***

Band: http://www.growingsound.com
Label: http://www.thesocialregistry.com
Audio: http://www.myspace.com/growingsoundnyc


Headlights
Some Racing, Some Stopping
Polyvinyl
Headlights has raced around on tour with little stopping since the band formed in 2004. (In fact, the band is currently in the midst of a lengthy tour with Evangelicals.) That relentless gigging, along with the band’s assured first full-length, Kill Them with Kindness (2006), has garnered the Illinois-based trio a growing following. The songs on this sophomore set are tipped to be more stripped-down and simple. ~John Zeiss

***

Band: http://www.headlightsmusic.com
Label: http://www.polyvinylrecords.com
Audio: http://www.myspace.com/headlights
“Cherry Tulips” MP3

 


Jack Kerouac & Steve Allen
Poetry for the Beat Generation
Phantom Sound & Vision
The gradual deconstruction of Rhino's comprehensive The Jack Kerouac Collection continues with this single-disc release of the writer's debut as a recording artist. While 1997's Readings by Jack Kerouac on the Beat Generation collected most of his "a cappella" pieces on the set's third disc, this latest reissue contains the long-awaited mother lode. Recorded in 1958, Kerouac reads his writings from long scrolls while Allen accompanies him with nimble piano improvisations. Though it sounds like the preeminent beatnik cliché, the album is warm and bizarre in an unexpected way. The record also holds particular importance in collector's history: It was initially scrapped by the label, dismissed as a piece of trash, but a handful of copies were leaked to deejays and critics. The album was released properly the next year after producer Bob Thiele recovered the master tapes. Fifty years later, the album finally sees the light of day on its own two. ~Dan Nishimoto

***

Artist: http://www.kerouac.com


Justus Köhncke
Safe and Sound
Kompakt
Bach, Chic, and Giorgio Moroder: the perfect recipe for intelligent ass-shaking? The German deejay and producer follows his Gahanian detour as Kinky Justice with a return to proper nightclubbing form. Expect both dance-floor brilliance and dance-history references from this veteran. ~Dan Nishimoto

***

Artist: http://www.myspace.com/justuskoehncke
Label: http://www.kompakt-net.com


Gary Louris
Vagabonds
Rykodisc
A No Depression pioneer with the Jayhawks, Gary Louris launches his solo career with Vagabonds. In true folk-troubadour tradition, Louris crafted the album deep in the heart of L.A.’s Laurel Canyon with plenty of friends around. Vagabonds was produced by Chris Robinson of the Black Crowes, who also plays on the album. Other guest musicians include Susanna Hoffs, the Chapin Sisters, and Otto Hauser of Vetiver, a band Louris will soon tour with. The recording was engineered by Thom Monahan, who has also worked with Devendra Banhart. ~John Zeiss

***

Artist: http://www.myspace.com/garylouris
Label: http://www.rykodisc.com


Nick Lowe
Jesus of Cool
Yep Roc
Hearing artists today opine about their myriad influences only makes one better appreciate the impact of Nick Lowe. In 1978 he released an album known in the U.K. as Jesus of Cool and in the U.S. as Pure Pop for Now People (with slightly different track listing and order) that features a broad swath of rock styles. Instead of mixing influences, he sequenced a '60s pop ditty here, a tart garage rocker there, and so on. Combined with a sharp lyrical tongue that often lashed out at the industry, Lowe took an immense chance -- this was his solo debut. That said, the album is a music nerd's fantasy, chockfull of historic references, inside jokes, and random images. Yep Roc's reissue combines both versions of the album along with material released at the time. ~Dan Nishimoto

***

Artist: http://www.nicklowe.net
Label: http://www.yeproc.com
Audio: http://www.myspace.com/purepopfornowpeople


Megafaun
Bury the Square
Radium/Table of the Elements
Megafaun has toured with Akron/Family, both serving as an opening act and a backing band. All three of Megafaun’s members used to be in the band DeYarmond Edison with Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon. And band member Brad Cook (brother Phil is also in the band) co-owns Burlytime Records, which put out the debut Bowerbirds album last year. All of those other bands are hallmarks for Megafaun’s folky sound. ~John Zeiss

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Artist: http://www.myspace.com/megafaun
Label: http://www.myspace.com/tableoftheelements


Monade
Monstre Cosmic
Too Pure
Monade is the side project of Stereolab’s Laetitia Sadier, and its music doesn’t stray too far from that -- it’s definitely still in the realm of loungey, spacey, dreamy European electro-pop. Over the course of Monade’s existence, Sadier has fleshed the project out from being based just on her bedroom compositions to being a full-on band. One of the musicians who helps Sadier out is Joe Watson, who also occasionally plays in Stereolab. Additional guests on Monstre Cosmic include Rachel Ortas of Luna Parker and members of the Bordeaux Conservatoire. ~John Zeiss

***

Band: http://www.myspace.com/monade
Label: http://www.toopure.com


Morcheeba
Dive Deep
Ultra/PIAS
Although singer Skye Edwards is no longer in the band, Morcheeba continues on under the guidance of brothers Paul and Ross Godfrey. The Godfreys replaced Edwards with Daisey Martey on 2005’s Antidote. Now, instead of having just one vocalist at the helm, Morcheeba brings in various different singers on Dive Deep in much the same way Massive Attack, Air, and the Chemical Brothers often do on their albums. Guests here include singer-songwriters Judie Tzuke, Thomas Dybdahl, and Manda, as well as rapper Cool Calm Pete. ~John Zeiss

***

Band: http://www.morcheeba.co.uk
Label: http://www.pias.com
Audio: http://www.myspace.com/morcheeba  


Mountain Goats
Heretic Pride
4AD
John Darnielle continues to churn out his signature brand of literate, lovely songs. Heretic Pride contains thirteen such tunes, including the geographically named “San Bernardino” and “Tianchi Lake” and the humorous “How to Embrace a Swamp Creature” and “Marduk T-Shirt Men’s Room Incident.” Darnielle, an elder statesman on the indie scene, is joined by other indie luminaries on Heretic Pride, including Annie Clark (a.k.a St. Vincent) and John Wurster of Superchunk. Darnielle received production help on the album from John Vanderslice. ~John Zeiss

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Band: http://www.mountain-goats.com
Label: http://www.4ad.com
Audio: http://www.myspace.com/11734232


No Kids
Come into My House
Tomlab
No, No Kids is not some amalgamation of No Age and Black Kids. Instead, the band is made up of three-fourths of the band P:iano -- singer-songwriter Nick Krgovich and instrumentalists Justin Kellam and Julia Chirka. The trio hails from the musical hotbed of Vancouver, Canada. That’s where Come into My House, No Kids’ debut, was recorded, with the assistance of other area musicians and the help of a Canadian arts grant. The record takes its name from a late-‘80s Queen Latifah single. For a trio of pasty Canucks, No Kids sure can get groovy. That’s probably why another indie-rock band known to funk things up, Dirty Projectors, will take No Kids out on tour later this year. ~John Zeiss

***

Band: http://www.myspace.com/nokidsband
Label: http://www.tomlab.com
“For Halloween” MP3   


Panther
14kt God
Kill Rock Stars
Changes have swept through Camp Panther since last we heard from the band. For one, Panther can now actually lay claim to being a band. It’s no longer the sole project of Charlie Salas-Humara, because he’s now joined by ex-31 Knots drummer Joe Kelly. Not that Salas-Humara is necessarily slacking off now; he still handles guitar, keyboards, cello, and lead vocals. The duo’s new album, the follow-up to 2007’s Secret Lawns, is Panther’s first for Kill Rock Stars. ~John Zeiss

***

Band: http://www.panthertouch.com
Label: http://www.killrockstars.com
Audio: http://www.myspace.com/panthertouch
“Puerto Rican Jukebox” MP3

 


Ghislain Poirier
No Ground Under
Ninja Tune
Deejay and producer Poirier broke out of his Montreal digs in 2005 with his full-length debut, Breakupdown, a funky synthesis of contemporary Caribbean and African-American riddims with enough bounce to make him the underground's Lil' Jon. While his Chocolate Industries-backed effort packed a wallop, his latest Ninja Tunes cosigned album, No Ground Under, promises a deeper exploration of the low-end theory. ~Dan Nishimoto

***

Artist: http://www.ghislainpoirier.com
Label: http://www.ninjatune.net
Audio: http://www.myspace.com/ghislainpoirier


The Raveonettes
Lust Lust Lust
Vice
Sune Rose Wagner and Sharin Foo are not a romantic couple, yet they make music so sonically lusty (natch on the title) and thick with emotional longing that one would think they were. They come off as a modern-day Lou Reed and Nico, from their looks (Wagner the curly haired brunette, Foo the stunning, icy blonde) to the droning, reverb-drenched music they make together. Originally from Denmark, they now split time between New York City and Los Angeles. Lust, which has been available via Fierce Panda in Europe since last year, is the duo’s first album for Vice Records. ~John Zeiss 

***

Band: http://www.theraveonettes.com
Label: http://www.vicerecords.com
Audio: http://www.myspace.com/theraveonettes


Sian Alice Group
59.59
The Social Registry
Music that makes you feel pretty. The stoney Sunday morning wake-up routine of the group's "Nightsong" seven-inch expands to full-length format. Good morning, sunshine. ~Dan Nishimoto
 

***

Band: http://www.sianalicegroup.com
Label: http://www.thesocialregistry.com
Audio: http://www.myspace.com/sianalicegroup


Throw Me the Statue
Moonbeams
Secretly Canadian
Seattle continues to churn out new indie-rock acts. Throw Me the Statue is a musical project helmed by Scott Reitherman. He received assistance on debut full-length Moonbeams from Casey Foubert, who has also worked with Sufjan Stevens and Pedro the Lion. The result is a big, buoyant record that Secretly Canadian goes so far as to compare to In the Aeroplane Over the Sea. Other touchstones for Throw Me the Statue’s sound are the Microphones, Magnetic Fields, and Eric’s Trip. ~John Zeiss

***

Band: http://www.myspace.com/throwmethestatue
Label: http://www.secretlycanadian.com


V/A
Burn to Shine Seattle DVD
Trixie
Burn to Shine is a DVD series helmed by Fugazi drummer Brendan Canty. Each DVD finds a certain city’s local musical acts playing live in a house that is set to be demolished at the end of the day. Past volumes have focused on the musical meccas of Washington, D.C., and Portland. This fifth volume features Ben Gibbard curating a collection of fellow Seattle music acts. Tiny Vipers, David Bazan, Eddie Vedder, and Gibbard himself put in hushed solo performances, while Minus the Bear, the Long Winters, and Kinski plug in and rock out. ~John Zeiss

***

Label: http://trixiedvd.com

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Week in Preview

This might be the most albums we've ever previewed in a week.

/site_media/uploads/images/users/daba/me-bermudajpg.jpg Daba

Now THAT'S a list! The Atlas Sound is really dreamy.

/site_media/uploads/images/users/prefix/no-user-pic.gif noise redux

The Ghislain record is quite excellent.
Not sure why I haven't received the AMC album. Crappy.

/site_media/uploads/images/users/daba/me-bermudajpg.jpg Daba

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