Feature ·

[November 21, 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:



The Beatles



On the surface, Love is the soundtrack to the currently running Cirque du Soleil Vegas show set to Beatles tunes. At its core, though, this is the next step on the long and winding road of "Beatles brand" cash-ins. Paul, Ringo, Yoko and Olivia Harrison are all onboard, and that kind of photo op alone is worth millions (check the Paul-Yoko make-good kiss at this summer's premiere). Luckily, producer-god George Martin and his son Giles are also involved, having teamed up and re-worked 130 Beatles songs from original tapes to create the twenty-seven new musical pieces featured in the show. The result is an epic Beatles mash-up soundtrack that layers songs upon songs to create a mop-top career collage. Of course it sounds interesting, but it's also part of a project that began with Past Masters and will continue at least until every single Beatles LP gets the remastered re-release treatment. Will Love be a Beatles 1-type success or a Let It Be�Naked-type flop? No telling, but at this point they're basically just daring you not to bite into the Apple. ~AJ Wolosenko

Artist: http://www.thebeatles.com/

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

Audio: http://www.thebeatles.com/hearlove/

Show: http://www.cirquedusoleil.com/CirqueDuSoleil/en/showstickets/love/intro/intro.htm 

Dirty Faces

Get Right with God


Dirty this definitely is. Fast, loud, gutter-punk stuff. Lead singer T. Glitter's voice is screamed and scratched-out to the max. Yeah, you read that name right. T. is the only member of the band who doesn't share the stage surname "Powers." You've got guitarists Leadfoot and Tweakit Powers, bassist Tricky Powers, drummer Sweet Willie Powers, and keyboardist Bloody H. Powers. Part-time members Dickie Powers and God-of-Fortune Powers also appear on a couple of tracks on Get Right With God. Powerful. Like steel. The band members hail from Pittsburgh, where they surely must swig quite the hefty amount of brew. No sober people would agree on adopting those monikers, would they? This is the second album in a planned trilogy that started with last year's Superamerican. ~John Zeiss

Band: http://www.brahrecords.com/

Label: http://www.jagjaguwar.com/

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

"Somnambulist's Vacation" MP3


The Doors

Perception [Boxed Set]


It's funny how people can put aside their differences for the sake of money. After a hard-fought legal battle among surviving members Ray Manzarek, Robby Krieger and John Densmore over the right to the band's name, the remaining Doors have buried the hatchet long enough to re-master the band's first six studio albums and release them for nearly $120. In addition to the remixes (exacted by original engineer Bruce Botnick), the band has included previously unreleased outtakes from each respective session as well as six accompanying DVDs boasting 5.1 surround-sound versions. If Jim Morrison were really dead, he'd surely be spinning in his grave. ~Zach Hothorn

Band: http://www.thedoors.com/

Label: http://www.rhino.com/ 


Kingdom Come

Def Jam

What is power? Not the wealth. Not the job title. Not even the coveted ladyfriend. But the luxury to ask such questions as, "Which will be the bigger cultural phenomenon: my (perceived) retirement, or my (perceived) return?" And to have this question met with a litany of press coverage (the cover of Time?) well before the official re-start date. Call it the latest in "hate me or love me" excess, Jay-Z's Kingdom Come is a guaranteed spectacle. Whether people like the album or not and whether the hype was worth it or just hype, the album has already cemented itself in our consciousness by dominating the public conversation with talk of itself. It's big, it's inescapable, and the talk only gets louder as of today. ~Dan Nishimoto

Artist: http://www.jayzonline.com/

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

Audio: http://www.myspace.com/jayz 

Simon Joyner

Skeleton Blues


The whole Saddle Creek/Team Love scene isn't the only game going in Omaha, Nebraska. The city also is home to the prolific, enigmatic singer-songwriter Simon Joyner. Joyner's body of work calls to mind Lou Reed or Leonard Cohen (his most recent release, a compilation, was even titled Beautiful Losers). For his tenth album, Joyner assembled a group of local musicians (including, yes, someone who's played in Bright Eyes -- guess it is just a small town) he christened the Fallen Men. He got them all together in an old train station and churned out a blues-rock record over the course of one weekend. How bluesy? Well, songs include "Open Window Blues," "Medicine Blues" and "My Side of the Blues." Damn, dude must be down. The results owe a lot to Dylan. But really, what blues-rock doesn't? ~John Zeiss

Artist: http://www.weeblackskelf.co.uk/simonjoyner/

Label: http://www.jagjaguwar.com/

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

"Medicine Blues" MP3 

Lord Finesse


Traffic Entertainment Group

New jacks, newcomers, wankstas and children of the mid-American corn, hip-hop pre-2001 exists! And some of it ain't too shabby. One upstanding example is Lord Finesse's third album, 1996's Awakening, which Traffic Entertainment has made available again as a no-frills reissue. The album is filled with gems like "sample-based production," some of which is rooted in jazz, others are based in soul, funk and a litany of music from the African diaspora. Ever the community-minded man, Finesse made sure to invite guests from his Diggin in the Crates (D.I.T.C.) crew, as well MC Lyte, KRS-One. The effect was and is still quite remarkable and affecting. And this isn't even the producer/emcee's most noted album. ~Dan Nishimoto
Audio: http://www.myspace.com/ditcdiggininthecrates


Joyride: Remixes


Does Mirah really need the remix treatment? The idea of her Pacific Northwest friends altering the intimate and fragile nature of her songs -- spanning all three of her solo albums -- sounds unnecessary, even detrimental. And while this proves to be the case frequently, the single-disc promo of the pending -- and bloated � double-disc release manages to offer a few surprises. Shawn Parke solves the question of what Mirah teaming up with Dan the Automator might sound like, while abstract-leaning reinterpretations from Ben Adorable, Shok and Krts complement Mirah's bittersweet tales with intriguing leftfield grooves. If nothing else, it's an odd mixture. Are you curious enough? ~Alex Ruder

Artist: http://www.krecs.com/html/artists/artistbio.php?interest=25

Label: http://www.krecs.com/

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

New York Dolls

From Here to Eternity: The Live Bootleg Box Set


As anyone who has ever perused the New York Dolls section at a local record purveyor can attest, the band was bootlegged to the hilt. The problem is, most of these third- and fourth-generation derivatives are almost completely unlistenable thanks to static, tape hiss and generally shoddy recording techniques. Well, the band members have taken it upon themselves to simplify the bootleg-buying process by ordaining three of them as official and releasing them in a reasonably priced boxed set. Boasting Johnny Thunder's sloppy guitar "playing" and David Johannsen's sexually-ambiguous yelp, these recordings are a sure to be a testament to the band's undeniable majesty before drugs and Malcolm McLaren tore them apart. Consider the band's blessing a punk rock Good Housekeeping seal of approval. ~Zach Hothorn

Band: http://www.nydolls.org/

Label: http://www.castlemusic.com/

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

Snoop Dogg

Blue Carpet Treatment


Though the rapper received a royal response for his prominent role on Dr. Dre's seminal The Chronic and his own debut, 1993's Doggystyle, it is easy to forget that Mr. Broadus had a rough time following up that first flush of success. With a lingering murder rap, the death of friend and labelmate Tupac Shakur, and the implosion of Death Row Records, Snoop floundered musically through the remainder of the '90s. It wasn't until the early 2000s that he reemerged as an entrepreneur: What began as middling explorations of porn soon became acting roles and product endorsements that capitalized on his image. Recent albums have received increasingly favorable critical attention largely because he has learned to use his celebrity. So, the proverbial circle has come back for Snoop's return to his gangsta on Blue Carpet Treatment. If his recent run-ins with the law can be read as life-publicizing art (really, it's been five years since September 11 and you're going to tell me he didn't know you're not supposed to bring weapons on a plane?), I certainly hope for a less ludicrous result on the album. Thankfully, the considerable presence of Dr. Dre assuages any cause for alarm. So, roll out the carpet and roll 'em up: Snoop Dogg's in the motherfuckin' hooouuuse. ~Dan Nishimoto

Band: http://www.snoopdogg.com/

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

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

Sufjan Stevens

Songs for Christmas

Asthmatic Kitty

Among critics, Sufjan Stevens's devotion to Christ is referred to almost as often as his almost Robert Pollardian prolificacy. Despite having released six albums, -most of which test the eighty-minute space limitations the compact disc-, over the last six years, Stevens (or his back catalog) is not yet drained, as he jingles his bells this five(!)-CD set of holiday cheer. Rather than sewing sweaters or personalized macram�, Stevens has recorded an original EP of Christmas tunes for his friends and family every Noel since 2001. This set collects those five discs, includes chord charts, a short story by Stevens, a Christmas essay by Rick Moody and a sticker. Rock out with your yule log out. ~Chris Sahl

Artist: http://www.sufjan.com/

Label: http://www.asthmatickitty.com/

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

"That Was the Worst Christmas Ever!" MP3 

Summer Hymns

Backward Masks


Just like surefire labels, there are certain cities that, if an indie band hails from there, you can be sure it's going to be worth checking out. Cities such as Omaha, Seattle, and Athens, Georgia, where Summer Hymns is from. The band consists mainly of Zachary Gresham, a singer-songwriter firmly in the Southern Gothic tradition. Backward Masks leaves behind a lot of the reverb-drenched sound of past Summer Hymns albums for a more straightforward country-rock approach. Guitars are strummed sweetly and cleanly, and Gresham's lyrics pop and sizzle. Fellow Athenians Michael Stipe and Jeff Mangum would surely approve. ~John Zeiss

Band: http://www.summerhymns.com/

Label: http://www.misrarecords.com/

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

"Pity and Envy" MP3

"Start Swimming" MP3 

Tom Waits



Record labels like to celebrate the holiday season by pummeling records stores with boxed sets. If only all were from an artist as talented as Tom Waits, one of America's greatest living songwriters. And what's a good box set without a clever gimmick? Each CD is divided by theme: "Brawlers" (up-tempo blues rockers), "Bawlers" (mellow compositions and lyrical ballads) and "Bastards" (tales of colorful characters and spoken-word experimentation). Of the fifty-four songs collected here spanning Waits's recording career, thirty are new compositions, including his own versions of songs written for other artists, alongside covers by artists including Leadbelly, the Ramones and Daniel Johnston. ~Chris Sahl

Artist: http://www.anti.com/artist.php?id=1

Label: http://www.anti.com/

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

2Pac: Pac's Life (Interscope)
30 Seconds to Mars: Beautiful Lie [CD/DVD] (Virgin)
All Saints: Studio 1 (EMI)
B.G.: Best of tha Heart of tha Streetz, Vols. 1-2 (Koch)
Barry White: Live in Germany (Immortal)
The Beatles: LOVE (Capitol)
Ben + Vesper: More Questions (Sounds Familyre)
Brand New: Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me (Interscope)
Bun B: Texas Legends (Oarfin)
Bushwick Bill: Little Big Man [Chopped & Screwed] (Asylum)
Cappablack: Facades and Skeletons (Scape Germany)
Cee-Lo: Collection (Sony / BMG Import)
Charizma: King of the Jungle (Knocksmith Prod)
Dave Fischoff: Crawl (Secretly Canadian)
Dirty Faces: Get Right with God (Jagjaguwar)
The Doors: Perception (Rhino)
Earle Brown: Folio and Four Systems (Tzadik)
The Frames: Cost (Antidote UK)
Ginuwine: Greatest Hits (Sony)
Guillemots: Through the Windowpane (Umvd Import)
Henry Kaiser/Charles Noyes/Sang-Won Park: Invite the Spirit [20th Anniversary Edition] (Tzadik)
Inhale/Exhale: Lost, The Sick, The Sacred (Tooth & Nail)
Jagged Edge: Greatest Hits (Sony)
Jarvis Cocker: Jarvis (Rough Trade)
Jay-Z: Kingdom Come (Roc-A-Fella)
Johnny Cash: Legend of Johnny Cash, Vol. 2 (Island)
Killswitch Engage: As Daylight Dies (Roadrunner)
King Crimson: Condensed 21st Century Guide to King Crimson (Discipline)
Kiss: 20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection (Island)
Kiss: Kiss Alive! 1975-2000 [Box Set] (Island)
Lee Hyla: Wilson's Ivory-Bill (Tzadik)
Louie DeVito: Deeper & Harder, Vol. 3 (Dee Vee Music)
The Magic Numbers: Those the Brokes (EMI)
The Marx Brothers: EMI Comedy: The Marx Brothers (EMI)
N.O.R.E.: Norminacal the Underbelly Mixtape (Sure Shot Recordings)
New York Dolls: From Here to Eternity: The Live Box Set (Castle Us)
Nightmares on Wax: My Definition 
Nils Petter Molvaer: ER (Thirsty Ear)
Nils Petter Molvaer: Streamer (Thirsty Ear)
Oasis: Stop the Clocks (Sony)
Original Hamster: Original Hamster Presents Trendsetter and the Foll (Tigerbeat6)
Serge Gainsbourg: 100 Plus Belles Chansons (Universal France)
Simon Joyner: Skeleton Blues (Jagjaguwar)
Sizzla: Overstanding (Koch)
Snoop Dogg: Tha Blue Carpet Treatment (Geffen)
Soft Cell: Demo Non Stop (Some Bizzare)
Spike Jones & His City Slickers: Essential Collection (West End)
Suburban Kids with Biblical Names: #3 [Bonus Tracks] (Minty Fresh)
Sufjan Stevens: Songs for Christmas [Box Set] (Asthmatic Kitty)
Summer Hymns: Backward Masks (Misra)
Swan Lake: Beast Moans (Jagjaguwar)
T. Raumschmiere: Random Noize Sessions, Vol. 1 (Shitkatapult)
Tom Waits: Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers & Bastards (Anti)
U2: U218 Singles (Interscope)
Uri Caine: Moloch: The Book of Angels, Vol. 6 (Tzadik)
Various Artists: Let's Lazer Tag Sometime (Tigerbeat6)
YoungBloodZ: Best of Youngbloodz (La Face)
Yung Joc: Welcome to My Block (RBC)
Z-Ro: I'm Still Living [Chopped & Screwed] (Rap-A-Lot)

 *Release dates may change. E-mail brandon@prefixmag.com with corrections or additions.
Modest Mouse - Show Review (The Wiltern, Los Angeles) Fat Joe The fat gangsta is hungry again
Week in Preview

Find us on Facebook

Latest Comments