Feature ·

[October 2, 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.




Lightning Strikes


Since his landmark work co-founding the Project Blowed arts collective/open-mike night in the '90s, Angeleno emcee Aceyalone has emphasized voice as his principal tool of expression. With wordy wit and melismatic approach to rhyming, he and his peers (particularly in the L.A.-superstar collective Freestyle Fellowship) pioneered another level of fast rap. Though Acey broke out briefly and released his solo debut, 1995's All Balls Don't Bounce, on a major label (Capitol), the majority of his work has remained under the mainstream radar. To his credit, he has used this attention "deficit" to relax his flow and stretch his creativity. In fact, for his eighth album he has decided to pilot an entire series of records based more on musical ideas rather than lyrical ones: Lightning Strikes is the first of several genre-based records. Under the guidance of fellow Angeleno producer Bionik, Acey rides dancehall-based riddims for what promises to be an adventurous journey. ~Dan Nishimoto



Artist: http://www.projectblowed.com/

Label: http://www.deconmedia.com/

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


Babylon Rules


Noise rock is in, as witnessed with great releases by bands like No Age, Qui, and A Place to Bury Strangers this year. Next up is Clockcleaner, a raucous three-piece hailing from that city of brotherly love, Philadelphia. But don't expect any mushy treacle here; Clockcleaner's music is all hard, brash, and loud. Appropriate, then, that Babylon Rules comes out on what might be the noisiest label out there right now, Load. ~John Zeiss



Band: http://clockcleaner.net/

Label: http://www.loadrecords.com/ 

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

"Vomiting Mirrors" MP3: http://www.loadrecords.com/sound/clockcleaner_vomiting-mirrors.mp3

Bob Dylan



Not to be confused with the much-derided Dylan compilation from 1973, DYLAN is but the latest (ninth, by my count) retrospective of the iconic singer-songwriter's career. The set comes in three versions: a single-disc focusing on known hits; a three-disc digipak of hits and rarities; and a three-disc box that also includes shmancy packaging, artwork and limited-edition postcards. Admittedly, considering the sheer size and availability of Dylan's catalog, another greatest-hits set hardly seems necessary, let alone another box set. For everyone but die-hard fans and obsessive types, delving into Dylan rarities seems unnecessary, because his available catalog is so extensive. So, why the shine? Because he remains DYLAN, in all caps. Similar to distance runners like Miles Davis and David Bowie, Dylan's appeal spans generations because he constantly reinvents himself. However, he avoids the hackneyed chameleon tag by allowing others to interpret his identity. Hence, Mark Ronson's simultaneous remix of Blonde on Blonde's "Most Likely You'll Go Your Way (And I'll Go Mine)," a landmark of sorts in that it is the first remix of Dylan's work based on the original masters and with Dylan's approval, is a long-overdue yet timely re-up of a man nobody really knows named DYLAN(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CZGseissqX8). ~Dan Nishimoto


Artist: http://www.bobdylan.com/

Label: http://www.columbiarecords.com/

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

Fire Engines

Hungry Beat


Fans of Franz Ferdinand received a welcome blast of their idols' idols in 2004 when post-punks Fire Engines joined up for a tour and a split seven-inch. The collaboration was highly fortunate for the Engines, considering they made little noise back in the early '80s and are perhaps of greatest interest to music obsessives today (thank goodness for the ever-diversifying music market). Though the Scots are thrown in the same lot as pop-deconstructors Orange Juice and glum Josef K due to geography and history, Fire Engines were a shade noisier, dancier and, well, funnier. Hungry Beat is a welcome follow-up to last year's disjointed live compilation, Codex Teenage Premonition, because it actually collects the group's smattering of original recordings. ~Dan Nishimoto



Artist: http://www.thefireengines.com/

Label: http://www.acuterecords.com/

Audio: http://myspace.com/fireengines

Richard Hawley

Lady's Bridge


You may not know the name Richard Hawley, but I'm guessing you're familiar with the band's he's slung the axe for. Two of those would be Pulp and the Longpigs. Like his ex-Pulp bandmate Jarvis Cocker, Hawley is a dapper dude who makes dapper rock music. Hawley's previous album, Coles Corner, was up for Britain's lofty Mercury Prize. This newbie, Lady's Bridge, is reportedly all about Hawley's hometown of Sheffield, England. ~John Zeiss



Artist: http://www.richardhawley.co.uk/

Label: http://www.mute.com/

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


Giving Machines


On another album of pretty, languid post-rock from the instrumental outfit Japancakes, Heather McIntosh's stellar cello work continues to be a key asset. Giving Machines finds Japancakes back on Darla, after a one-album jump to Warm for 2004's Waking Hours. One of Giving Machines' eight tracks is a cover of the Cocteau Twins' "Heaven or Las Vegas." That track is somewhat of a preview for the other album Japancakes will have out before the end of the year: a complete reworking of the My Bloody Valentine's opus Loveless, with instrumentation taking the place of vocals. ~John Zeiss



Band: http://www.myspace.com/japancakesmusic

Label: http://www.darla.com/

Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings

100 Days, 100 Nights


Sharon Jones looks like a wee lady, but steer clear when she's got the mike. At age fifty-one, standing about five-foot-two, and shouting a whole ton of fun, Jones shines brighter than a reflection from the sun. And now that that the hair (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2007/09/18/nbinge118.xml) is no longer blocking the public's view, it's time to watch the only Ms. Jones do what she needs to do. ~Dan Nishimoto



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

Label: http://www.daptonerecords.com/

The Most Serene Republic


Arts and Crafts

If you hear the band name Most Serene Republic and think Broken Social Scene, it's not just random clang associations banging around in your skull. You're on to something. Both bands hail from Cananda, have sprawling memberships, record for Arts & Crafts, and love epic sounds. Population takes as its subject matter the suburban sprawl that is creeping across the band's beloved hometown of Milton, Ontario. The band produced and crafted the album itself in Toronto. The first single off Population is titled "Sherry and her Butterfly Net." ~John Zeiss



Band: http://themostserenerepublic.com/

Label: http://www.arts-crafts.ca/

Audio: http://myspace.com/themostserenerepublic

The 1900s

Cold and Kind


Don't confuse the 1900s with the 1990s, either time-wise or band-wise. In the first sense, the 1900s was a century, while the 1990s was a decade. In the second sense, the 1990s is the Brit-rock band featuring guys who used to play with Franz Ferdinand's Alex Kapranos, and the 1900s is a sprawling Chicagoan mixed-gender Americana band. For hallmarks of the 1900s' sound, consider this: The band prominently features a picture of vintage-era Fleetwood Mac on its MySpace page, and the members of the 1900s have put in recent touring with Oakley Hall. Cold and Kind is the 1900s first full-length after the earlier EP, Plume Delivery. ~John Zeiss



Band: http://www.the-1900s.com/

Label: http://www.parasol.com/

Audio: http://www.myspace.com/1900s

Peanut Butter Wolf

2K8 B-Ball Zombie War

Stones Throw

Now, here is a prime example of why life is difficult. On one hand, you've got 2K Sports, a steadily growing gaming company with a franchise product, the NBA 2K series. The game, particularly its soundtrack, improves with each annual upgrade: the 2006 debut featured a diverse roster of undie greats, like Aesop Rock, Common, the Roots and even Jean Grae, and last year's compilation was produced entirely by Dan the Automator. The 2K8 edition promises to trump all previous incarnations with hyper-realistic graphics and an entire soundtrack of Stones Throw-related artists, compiled by label head Peanut Butter Wolf. On the other hand, it's a bunch of guys rapping about basketball. If you're into this sorta thing, here's who you'll head: Dilla (of course), Madlib (duh), Just Blaze, Talib Kweli, Q-Tip, MF Doom, Koushik, MED, and many more. ~Dan Nishimoto



Artist: http://www.stonesthrow.com/bballzombiewar
Label: http://www.stonesthrow.com/

Audio: http://www.myspace.com/pbwolf 

The Sadies

New Seasons

Yep Roc

Let's face it: Sometimes it takes a Cannuck to do Americana right. Though the point may make a blue-blooded American red in the face, anyone with an inkling of musical taste will have to swallow their pride when they hear the Sadies. The quartet comes from the lineage of Neal Young and the Band and fuses the roots of American pop and rock into a buttery-battered, deep-fried hoedown of ringing Rickenbackers, big toms, and good times. The band has been grinding of late, releasing a double-disc live album and a soundtrack in the last year, but it show no signs of slowing down on its eighth album. The big switch this time is more singing-less noodlin' -- which should be all right if it means more hollerin' and less air strummin' for the fans. ~Dan Nishimoto



Artist: http://www.thesadies.net/

Label: http://www.yeproc.com/

Stream New Seasons: http://www.yeproc.com/artist_info.php?artistId=169

Bruce Springsteen



Admittedly, moving closer to the birthplace of U.S. history has helped me become more attuned to the big, ballsy rock that this country doth love. So, it is with a (personally) surprising sense of anticipation that I celebrate the Boss's fifteenth round in the ring. The journos will croon about Magic being the first recording with the ballyhooed E Street Band since 2002's post-9/11 paean, The Rising. However, the only news truly fit to print is Bruce's return to that good ol' big, ballsy rock. Song titles like "Girls in Their Summer Clothes," "I'll Work for Your Love," and even the title track suggest familiar rock fantasies, but lead single "Radio Nowhere" is pure Radio Clash for the flag-wavers. Asbury Park, stand up: Your man carries on tradition by treating you to a couple warm-up performances(http://music.yahoo.com/read/news/48436586) before hitting the road this fall. ~Dan Nishimoto



Artist: http://www.brucespringsteen.net/

Label: http://www.sonybmg.com/

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

Sunburned Hand of the Man

Fire Escape

Smalltown Supersound

Hate or love the "freak-folk" label, it would be hard to argue that the unwieldy collective that is Sunburned Hand of the Man doesn't fit nicely into that genre. That said, early reports have the band's freak flag being kept in check a bit on Fire Escape due to the fact that Kieran Hebden (of Four Tet and Fridge) produced the album. Hebden also tickles the ivories on some tunes, and Eye of the Boredoms created Fire Escape's cover. ~John Zeiss



Band: http://www.sunburnedhandoftheman.com/

Label: http://www.smalltownsupersound.com/

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

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

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