Each week, we preview a handful of notable albums scheduled to hit the shelves, plus offer a full list of the current new releases.
Pillowface & His Airplane Chronicles
Steve Aoki's success can be summarized as a model modern riches-to-richer story. The son of Benihana magnate Rocky Aoki and half-brother of model/actress Devon Aoki, Steve rose from the shadow of his father's fame to become a staple of the Los Angeles (and now international) club scene, as well as an icon in lifestyle marketing through his record label/clothing line Dim Mak -- except Aoki actually grew up with his mother and hustled(http://www.latimes.com/features/magazine/west/la-tm-aoki17apr29,1,6506772.story?coll=la-headlines-west) for his. Sure, connecting with all the right(http://www.thecobrasnake.com/) people(http://dailydumpling.com/2007/04/03/lindsay-lohan-and-dj-steve-aoki-are-musical-bffs) helped, but Aoki demonstrated enough marketing smarts and musical acumen to make his name. And, as alluded to above, his name means a lot of things. Aoki's interests (and, subsequently, his target audience) are broad enough that a mixtape seems an ideal platform to express himself. Unsurprisingly, tracks range from the latest in club savvy (remixes of Larry Tee & Princess Superstar, Justice) to broad rawk hits (Franz Ferdinand, Bloc Party), and include drops from Har Mar Superstar, Pase Rock, Uffie, Aoki himself and more. ~Dan Nishimoto
When a band like the noise-mongering Black Dice writes a song called "Kokomo," is there any room for irony? The space between Black Dice and the Beach Boys' (post-Brian Wilson, no less) worlds is so evident that such smart-alec naming seems almost pointless. In other words: Regardless of how it is coated (ahem, woman on all fours?), you know what a Black Dice record will be about. So, don't let 'em fool you: Black Dice is back with a full load. ~Dan Nishimoto
Booka Shade is the German electro-music duo of Walter Merziger and Arno Kammermeir. The two go to lengths to explain that they're not mere deejays. Their track record bears this out, as they're accomplished producers and remixers, and they even run their own label, Get Physical. Here they serve as the latest artists to curate one of K7's DJ Kicks compilations. Included are tunes from Richard Hawley, Matthew Dear, Carl Craig, the Streets, the Tubes, Brigitte Bardot, Heaven 17, and Aphex Twin. ~John Zeiss
Cavalier is singer-songwriter Tom Brosseau's sophomore full length album, following last year's Empty Houses Are Lonely. Cavalier was produced by John Parish, long known for his affiliation with PJ Harvey, at Parish's Toy Box Studio in Bristol. Primary work on the album was done in one week in May. Parish adds European instrumental flourishes to Brosseau's simple folk palette and Americana sound influenced by his upbringing in the heartland of North Dakota. All of the elements combine to create songs that are stark, immediate, and emotional. ~John Zeiss
In the Vines
Asthmatic Kitty tends to be a label full of light, happy chamber-pop. Sure, Sufjan Stevens can have his darker moments, but on the whole, he and the other musicians on the label he founded revel in heavily orchestrated festivity. So the music of Castanets, the project helmed by Ray Raposa, stands out like a black rose in an otherwise pastel garden. On In the Vines, Raposa certainly has reason to be dark. He was all but done with the album, the follow-up to 2005's First Light's Freeze, when he was mugged at gunpoint by two thieves outside his home in Bed-Stuy. After that, the album's material, already informed by a depressive funk Raposa had been in the middle of, shaded to the even darker side. The record's title is culled from a Hindu fable that serves as a metaphor for being trapped in a situation you can't escape. In the Vines' simple musical background lets Raposa's harrowing, cathartic voice command attention. Guests on the album include Matthew Houck, Rafter Roberts, and Jana Hunter. ~John Zeiss
Kool G Rap
Half a Klip
Alongside Big Daddy Kane, Juice Crew compatriot Kool G Rap is one of those emcees who frequently appears in top-five-dead-or-alive lists yet draws blank stares from young lions when it comes to quoting the brother. In spite of such underdog status, G Rap hustles tirelessly to stay in the public eye: a Nas video here, a Roots collabo there, even reuniting with Kane and Marl for a recent UGK record. So, it is with more austere respect than glamorous hoopla that G Rap returns with his fifth solo record. Of note, DJ Premier mans the boards for a hand full of tracks, alongside Marley Marl, Domingo, and others. However, what remains constant is G Rap's hustle and rhymes -- which could very well be likened to his old bad self in his prime. ~Dan Nishimoto
Saturday Looks Good to Me
Fill Up the Room
Fans of accomplished, catchy indie pop have waited a long time for this album from Saturday Looks Good to Me. It's been more than three years since the band's previous full-length. Excitement over Fill Up started to build very early this year, when news about the album began bubbling up; but for unbeknownst reasons, the record was delayed. Fill Up the Room, a collection of eleven new buoyant tunes from the guy/girl collective, Saturday Looks Good to Me's move from Polyvinyl to K. ~John Zeiss
Heavy Deavy Skull Lover
The first album for Tee Pee from Los Angeles psych-rock band the Warlocks is definitely heavy deavy. It swirls and sears with ear-bleeding feedback and monumental guitar patterns. The band's ranks have fluctuated in members throughout the years, but the band has always remained based in the vision of Bobby Hecksher. Hecksher has found an accommodating home at Tee Pee, alongside similar California bands Entrance and Brian Jonestown Massacre. Heavy Deavy was recorded by Rod Cervera, who worked with the Warlocks back on the band's first EP and has also done studio time with the likes of Lavender Diamond, Weezer, and Silversun Pickups. ~John Zeiss
Let's keep this simple, because any Ween listener likely doesn't have much of an attention span left:
1) You are a Ween fan. No explanation needed. This is their latest album. Go get it.
2) You are not a Ween fan, because you have never heard them before. I could mention which album I would recommend starting with (Pure Guava), but you likely won't remember what I wrote, so just go get the newest one and have a blast listening to their renditions of country, prog rock and smooth funk with David Sanborn.
3) You are not a Ween fan because you don't like anything you've heard from them in the past. Guess what: your opinion won't change, because they just continue to be Ween on every record. Why would this one sway you differently? And you certainly will never like them, as you've managed to read this much and persist on reading more. ~Dan Nishimoto
*Release dates may change. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with corrections or additions.
|Week in Preview - [October 16, 2007] Heading to the record store? Here's what's new.||Oakley Hall Show Review (Spaceland, Los Angeles)|