Feature ·

[November 7, 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 Atomic Bitchwax


Meteor City

Originally envisioned as the space-rock side-project of Monster Magnet guitarist Ed Mundell, this New Jersey power trio did the unthinkable in 2003 and parted ways with its own Dr. Frankenstein. Even more unbelievably, the band went on to make its best record to date -- last year's 3 -- with his replacement, Finn Ryan. Although the band has abandoned much of the "out of this world" instrumentals that dominated its first two full-lengths with Mundell, the reconstituted trio's knack for catchy choruses and concise riffing has made fans out of its detractors. This album, the band's second with Finn, is said to showcase the Atomic Bitchwax's continued maturation as well as the virtuosity we've come to expect from its members. Change is good, it turns out. ~Zach Hothorn

Band: http://www.theatomicbitchwax.com/

Label: http://www.meteorcity.com/

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


The Format

Quiet Money

So often artists become overly conscious of growth, thinking that change itself is a static process. But like how the body doesn't grow steadily, an artist's creative development does not take even-measured steps. AZ, an emcee who is best known for his verses on Nas's Illmatic more than a decade ago, understands that although his craft has matured, it is also closely aligned with a past generation's aesthetic. Naming his tenth album The Format may imply a by-the-books routine, but trust that it will be filled with a familiar emphasis on lyricism. With production handled mostly by Lil' Fame and Emile and guest spots by a handful of familiars (DJ Premier, M.O.P.), his latest promises to be coherent and familiar in all the right ways. ~Dan Nishimoto

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

"The Format" video 

J.J. Cale & Eric Clapton

The Road to Escondido


Few remember that J.J. Cale penned two of Eric Clapton's megahits -- "Cocaine" and "After Midnight" � but Slowhand surely hasn't forgotten. In addition to relinquishing top billing to the Okie, Clapton has let Cale navigate this voyage, choosing instead to lend his signature woman tone and the occasional vocal. Despite recent accusations of laziness, Cale is said to have been revitalized by this long-awaited collaboration, which fuses their shared love of blues-based rock and the South's other indigenous music. While traversing jazz, folk and country, the two enlist a gaggle of studio musicians as well as John "Your Body Is a Wonderland" Mayer. With 129 years between them, this mutual-admiration society must know what they're doing by now, right? ~Zach Hothorn

Artists: http://www.ericclapton.com/ and http://www.jjcale.com/

Label: http://www.repriserecords.com 

Isobel Campbell

Milk White Sheets


Having already conquered American-style folk and blues ballads earlier this year with Mark Lanegan, Isobel Campbell now turns a little closer to home for inspiration. Milk White Sheets is a tribute to the British folk tradition, with Campbell's originals sitting side-by-side with traditional standards. Maybe leaving Belle & Sebastian wasn't such a bad idea after all. ~Justin Sheppard

Artist: http://www.isobelcampbell.com/

Label: http://us.v2music.com/site/

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

Karen Dalton

In My Own Time [Reissue]

Light in the Attic

The highly influential '60s folk singer -- a favorite of Bob Dylan, Fred Neil and countless others -- finally receives her due in the public realm. Once a name quietly handed down from flower children to a chosen few, Dalton has recently received an exceptional share of attention due to the revival of interest in all manners of folk and neo-paganism; in modern terms, the musician conjures a mixture of a mature Joanna Newsom and a sturdy Cat Power. In My Own Time, Dalton's second and final album, is a more deliberate affair than the fly-by-night recording of her 1969 debut, It's So Hard to Tell Who's Going to Love You the Best. She covers a range of material again, from George Jones's "Take Me" to the Percy Sledge classic "When a Man Loves a Woman," but with lush arrangements and a higher production value. Appropriately, essays from three generations of fans -- Lenny Kaye, Nick Cave and Devendra Banhart -- round out this reissue. ~Dan Nishimoto

Label: http://www.lightintheattic.net/

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

The Evens
Get Evens

Dischord head Ian MacKaye's latest group -- a duo consisting of him on baritone guitar and girlfriend Amy Farina on drums -- is set to release its second album. The ten-song Get Evens, recorded this summer, should continue the consistently DIY approach that MacKaye has favored throughout his career. And it should be interesting to see if tracks like "Dinner With the President" are of a political nature or not. Knowing MacKaye's history of expressing his genuine feelings about such issues, it wouldn't be a surprise if it were. ~Chris Gliddon
Band: http://www.dischord.com/bands/evens.shtml
Label: http://www.dischord.com/

PJ Harvey

Peel Sessions 1991-2004


The stellar career of Polly Jean Harvey has been more of a gradual refining process than a wild album-to-album reinvention. Taken in record-size snippets, the movement from early "Pixies sing the blues" art-punk to the sophisticated introspection of her recent work is tough to appreciate. Luckily, St. John Peel was in on the ground floor, as he always was. Marking the second anniversary of the deejay's untimely passing, the BBC vaults are opened to produce a decade-spanning retrospective, compiled by the goth goddess herself. Stripped-down, bloody directness always suited our girl best, so this should be the best one-disc summation of her work currently available. Basically unmissable. ~Jeff Klingman

Artist: http://www.pjharvey.net/

Label: http://www.islandrecords.co.uk/

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


Mound Magnet

Thrill Jockey

Lithops is a genus of African desert plants that camouflage themselves as stones, and it's also the solo side project of Jan St. Werner of Mouse on Mars. And Mound Magnet is another collection of St. Werner's delicate laptop electronica. Balanced somewhere between the playful bouncy guitar of Mouse on Mars efforts like Niun Niggung, the interstellar funk of that band's Radical Connector and the brooding, occasionally abrasive Lithops release Scrypt, St. Werner brings an organic feel to the conventions of atmospheric electronic music. ~Chris Sahl

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

Label: http://www.thrilljockey.com/

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

Jackie Mittoo


Light in the Attic

While Soul Jazz has helped bring the mighty organ sound of Jackie Mittoo back into fashion, further reissues of his back catalog flesh out the range of his talents. This time, honors go to newcomers Light in the Attic for digging up Wishbone, which the musician released in 1971 after migrating to Canada. The album is a marked departure even by Mittoo's standards, as it features distinctly American soul and funk influences. A virtual Dusty Groove/Wax Poetics wet dream, Wishbone covers all the backpacker connoisseur's bases. ~Dan Nishimoto

Label: http://www.lightintheattic.net/

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


Wowee Zowee: Sordid Sentinels Edition


Mess is definitely more on this re-release of Pavement's already-sprawling third album, Wowee Zowee. Following in the footsteps of similar reissues of Slanted and Enchanted and Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain, Matador has beefed up Wowee even more. The two-disc set includes the original album in its entirety, the hard-to-find Pacific Trim EP (gotta love "I Love Perth"), and various other B-sides, compilation tracks, rarities and live tracks. ~John Zeiss

Band: http://www.matadorrecords.com/pavement/

Label: http://www.matadorrecords.com/

"Rattled by the Rush" MP3

"Heckler Spray/In the Mouth of a Desert" (Live) MP3 

El Perro del Mar

El Perro del Mar

The Control Group

Sarah Assbring, who founded El Perro del Mar in December 2003 and is the group's sole member, is the latest Swedish acoustic pop balladeer to reach American shores. From the delicate and wistful irony of "Party" to the bright strings and sharp phrasing of "God Knows," Assbring's sensitive soprano, spacious compositions and thoughtful lyrics on her debut full-length place her somewhere outside Motown by way of Dusty Springfield, Sinead O'Connor and Sia as an original and welcome new voice. ~Chris Sahl

Artist: http://www.elperrodelmar.com/

Label: http://www.controlgroupco.com/

"Party" MP3

Audio: "God Knows (You Gotta Give To Get)"

Video: "God Knows (You Gotta Give To Get)" 

The Slip



Bar/None is another of those great indie labels you usually can't go wrong with. Its latest signees is the Slip, a group of three young dudes who orbit the currently white-hot Montreal scene. At times they bring to mind Phoenix, turning the synths up like the '80s never ended, lead singer Brad Barr almost speak-singing. (His brother Andrew mans the drums.) Other times they make their sound more beautiful and lush by adding string accompaniment. The band got production help from Matthew Ellard, who's worked with Elliot Smith and Morphine, and engineering help from Montreal music vet Drew Malamud, who's worked with Metric, the Dears, and Stars. It also bodes well that the members of My Morning Jacket like the Slip -- so much, in fact, that they invited the Montreal band on tour this fall. ~John Zeiss

Band: http://www.theslip.com/

Label: http://www.bar-none.com/   

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


Your Biggest Fan EP

Play Louder

With a proper full-length debut nowhere in sight, the members of Austin, Texas buzz band Voxtrot offer up this three-song EP to make sure the bloggers don't forget about them. These guys are polarizing: some praise their jangle-pop and others dismiss them as soporific milquetoasts. The one thing we can all agree on is that Your Biggest Fan isn't going to win the argument for either side. ~Justin Sheppard

Band: http://www.voxtrot.net/

Label: http://www.beggars.com/

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

31Knots: Polemics [EP] (Polyvinyl)

4 Strings: Main Line (Ultra)

Albert Ayler: Bells (Esp-Disk / Caliber)

Albert Ayler: Spiritual Unity (Esp-Disk / Caliber)

Albert Hammond, Jr.: Yours to Keep (Rough Trade)

All India Radio: Echo Other (Minty Fresh)

Arab Strap: Ten Years of Tears (Chemikal Underground)

Army of Me: Rise (Doghouse)

AZ: Format       

The Bee Gees: Studio Albums 1967-1968 [Box Set] (Reprise / Wea)

Benjy Ferree: Leaving the Nest (Domino)

Black Elk: Black Elk (Crucial Blast)

Bounty Killer: Nah No Mercy: The Warlord Scrolls (VP / Universal)

Bowling for Soup: Great Burrito Extortion Case (Jive)

Bushwick Bill: Little Big Man [Chopped & Screwed] (Asylum)

Buzzcocks: Another Music in a Different Kitchen/Love Bites (EMI)

Cadillac Don & J-Money: Look at Me (Asylum)

Cali Agents: Fire and Ice (HBD Label Group)

Cat Stevens: Cat Stevens Box Set (A&M)

The Datsuns: Smoke & Mirrors (V2 UK)

Diana Ross: I Love You (EMI)

Dionne Warwick: Me & My Friends (Concord)

Dredg: Live at the Fillmore (Interscope)

Emilie Simon: Green (Milan)

Eric Clapton/J.J. Cale: Road to Escondido (Reprise / Wea)

ESG: Come Away with Me (Soul Jazz)

Europe: Secret Society (Sanctuary)

The Evens: Get Evens (Dischord)

Face to Face: Confrontation (Wounded Bird)

Fat Freddy's Drop: Based on a True Story     

Form of Rocket: Men (Sick Room)

Frank Zappa: Trance Fusion (Zappa)

Free: Live at the BBC (Umvd Import)

Gnarls Barkley: St. Elsewhere [Deluxe Edition] (Downtown)

Icarus Line: Black Presents (Dim Mak)

Isobel Campbell: Milk White Sheets (V2 Ada)

J. Rawls: Essence of Soul (HBD Label Group)

Jim Jones: Hustler's P.O.M.E. (Product Of My Environment) (Koch)

Keak da Sneak: Thizz Iz Allndadoe (Thizz)

Keyboard: Keyboard (Asian Man)

King Crimson: Collectors' King Crimson, Vol. 1 (Discipline)

Lithops: Mound Magnet (Thrill Jockey)

Matt & Kim: Matt and Kim           

Michael Mayer: Immer 2 (Kompakt Germany)

The New Lou Reeds: Top Billin'    

Norah Jones: Come Away with Me/Feels Like Home (EMI)

OK Go: Oh No [CD/DVD] (Capitol)

Owen: At Home With Owen (Polyvinyl)

Pavement: Wowee Zowee: Sordid Sentinels Edition (Matador)

Pet Shop Boys: Concrete: In Concert at the Mermaid Theatre (EMI)

PJ Harvey: Peel Sessions 1991-2004 (Island)

The Residents: River of Crime: Episodes 1-5 (Cordless Recordings)

Robbie Williams: Rudebox (EMI)

Roy Ayers: Retrospectives (DM)

The Slip: Eisenhower (Bar/None)

Smokey Robinson: 50th Anniversary Collection (Umvd Import)

Stars Are Falling: Consequence of Revenge (Blood & Ink)

Sword: Best of Sword (Aquarius)

Throwing Muses: House Tornado (Wounded Bird)

Throwing Muses: University (Wounded Bird)

Trae/S.L.A.B.: 7 Years and Runnin (BCD Music Group)

Various Artists: Om: Winter Sessions (Om)

Wax Poetic: Copenhagen (Nublu)

Z-Ro: Still Living (Rap-A-Lot)


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

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