Feature ·

[November 20, 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.

 

[more:]




Bonnie "Prince" Billy

Ask Forgiveness

Drag City

Crazy covers have become de rigueur in indiedom as of late. And so we now find Will Oldham, recording under his Bonnie "Prince" Billy guise, reinterpreting the songs of R. Kelly, Frank Sinatra, Danzig, Bjork, and Phil Ochs, just to name a few. Oh, and Oldham also turns in his own "I'm Loving the Street." Oldham threw down this collection during a frenzied recording session in Philadelphia, backed by Greg Weeks and Meg Baird of Espers and cellist Maggie Wienk. ~John Zeiss

 

***

Artist: http://www.bonnieprincebilly.com/

Label: http://dragcity.com/

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



Boris w/ Merzbow

Rock Dream

Southern Lord

Two titans of the Japanese psych-rock scene collide and collaborate on this double live CD. Face-melting trio Boris invited fellow acidic act Merzbow onstage at Tokyo's Earthdom in November 2006, and this release captures all the craziness. The result is aurally expansive art-rock. ~John Zeiss

 

***

Label: http://www.southernlord.com/




Daft Punk

Alive 2007

Capitol

The Parisian production duo Daft Punk hit it big in the '90s by translating the dance scene for the pop arena. However, the scales soon tipped back toward arched eyebrows over lively exchanges when the two began exploring their esoteric fusion of '80s nostalgia and modern production. Thankfully, Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter had the patience to wait out the following ten years, because the audience caught up again. And, just in time to celebrate the ten-year anniversary of their previous live album (the aptly titled Alive 1997) almost to the week, the two re-up with Alive 2007. The album was recorded at the Paris sports arena Palais Omnisports de Paris-Bercy during Daft Punk's recent tour. Of course, two versions of the album are available: a single disc with the performance, and a two-disc set featuring an enhanced CD, five extra cuts from the encore, and a booklet with fifty pages of tour photos. ~Dan Nishimoto

 

***

Band: http://www.daftpunk.com/

Label: http://www.capitolrecords.com/

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



The Devil Makes Three

The Devil Makes Three

Milan

The Devil Makes Three is a rootsy trio that has slowly made a name for itself in its small hometown of Santa Cruz, California. Here the band's self-titled debut from 2002 gets remastered and re-released. Added to the album's original track list are home demos and live cuts culled from performances as far away from Santa Cruz as Toulouse, France. ~John Zeiss

 

***

Band: http://www.thedevilmakesthree.com/

Label: http://www.milanrecords.com/

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




Freeway

Free at Last

Island Def Jam/Roc-A-Fella/G-Unit

Yes, you are reading that credit line correctly: a G-Unit/Roc collabo. That said, ego trippin' and politics are the least likely candidates for the four-year holdup on Philadelphia rapper Freeway's sophomore follow-up. The rapper witnessed a string of setbacks since breaking out. The Philly all-star team State Property that he was a member of went to pot after leader of the pack Beanie Sigel was incarcerated. Free tried to rustle up a few other forgettable acts that were fortunately forgettable. And his boss has been busy making a comeback or two. So, album number two appears to come with some concessionary bells and whistles, what with the Jigga verse on the lead single "Roc-A-Fella Billionaires (a.k.a. Big Spender)" and a Fiddy hook somewhere else in the mix. Granted, Just Blaze and Kanye West, both prominent producers of Free's debut, 2003's Philadelphia Freeway, are replaced by far lesser known Dame Grease and Don Cannon. However, it sure must feel good to be free at last. ~Dan Nishimoto

 

***

Band: http://www.freewayatlast.com/

Label: http://www.defjam.com/

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




Gorillaz

D-Sides

Virgin

G-Sides, a collection of alternate mixes from Gorillaz self-titled 2001 debut album, was released in 2002. Now comes D-Sides, which collects similar material tangential to 2005's Demon Days. Some songs feature colorful collaborations, such as "Bill Murray" as added to by the Bees and "Stop the Dams" with the Sugarcubes' Einar Orn. A special edition of D-Sides comes with a bonus disc of remixes from the likes of DFA, Soulwax, Junior Sanchez, Hot Chip, and Jamie T. ~John Zeiss

 

***

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

Band: http://www.gorillaz.com/

Label: http://www.virginrecords.com/




Nirvana

Unplugged [DVD]

Geffen

I suppose for anyone old enough to remember, a DVD of Nirvana's famed 1993 MTV Unplugged performance may be unnecessary considering how many times the program was repeated after Cobain's death just a few months after the first airing. In spite of having those images burned into memory, it goes without saying that properly documenting this show would be a welcome effort. So, the band's legacy receives a significant upgrade with this long-overdue package. Although the original CD version did its best to capture the performance (it included some additional unaired songs), Unplugged improves upon the past effort by capturing the entire unedited performance -- a unique one not only for its acoustic format but also for its cover-heavy song selection -- along with unreleased rehearsal footage and other extras. For anyone that hearts the '90s -- or simply can't remember -- this is essential viewing. ~Dan Nishimoto

 

***

Band: http://www.interscope.com/nirvana

Label: http://www.geffen.com/

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



Six Organs of Admittance

Shelter from the Ash

Drag City

Six Organs of Admittance is actually the work of one main man. That would be Ben Chasny, who's also known in psych rock circles as a guitarist for Comets on Fire. Shelter from the Ash features a bevy of talented guest musicians. Aiding Chasny on the album are indie-rock legend Matt Sweeney (Chavez, Superwolf), Fucking Champ Tim Green, Magic Marker Elisa Ambrogio, and Chasny's Comets on Fire bandmate Noel Harmonson. ~John Zeiss

  

***

Band: http://www.sixorgans.com/

Label: http://www.dragcity.com/

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



The Valerie Project

The Valerie Project

Drag City

The Valerie Project is a sprawling, cinematic (in more than just description) project led by Greg Weeks of Espers. Here, Weeks rounds up fellow Philadelphia musicians, including members of Fursaxa and Fern Knight, to rework the soundtrack to the 1970 Czech film Valerie and Her Week of Wonders. This is only the fist of such projects Weeks and friends hope to undertake; look for the band to revisit the soundtracks to more obscure films in the future. ~John Zeiss

 

***

Band: http://www.valerieproject.org/

Label: http://www.dragcity.com/ 

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




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

Cass McCombs - Nina Nastasia and Jim White Show Review (Knitting Factory, Los Angeles)
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