Feature ·

[October 3, 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:



Beach House

Beach House


As if there weren't enough in indie rock right now, here comes another way-too-cute boy-girl duo. Beach House twosome features Alex Scally on guitars and Victoria Legrand on drums, who aptly describe their sound as "back-to-the-womb pop." Their gentle rhythms and pretty instrumentation sound like what I imagine a baby must hear in utero. Or what the owner of a beach house hears late at night: the winds and the waters lapping up against the shore. As with counterparts in the "what exactly are we calling this new folk?" movement, the band favors nature-based themes: song titles on this debut include "Saltwater," "Apple Orchard," "Auburn and Ivory," and "House on the Hill." They're from Baltimore, but seem way too innocent to know John Waters. ~John Zeiss

Artist: http://www.beachhousemusic.net/

Label: http://www.carparkrecords.com/

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


The Information


Beck: perpetual man of perplexity. Hipster. Scientologist. Funky white B-boy. Folky who cites old African-American bluesmen as influences. The guy who made Midnite Vultures. The guy who made Sea Change. Loser. International indie superstar. Prince-ly loverman crooner. Married to Giovanni Ribisi's sister. Apparently Mr. Hanson tries to pull all these disparate strings together on The Information. Early info says it's not as shambolic as last year's Guero, not as baroque-folk as Mutations. Nigel Godrich, godfather of Radiohead's supersonic sound, is again behind the boards. The record closes with a spoken-word piece featuring Dave Eggers and Spike Jonze. ~John Zeiss

Artist (audio/video): http://www.beck.com/

Label: http://www.interscope.com/

Audio: http://www.myspace.com/beck 

The Datsuns

Smoke & Mirrors [Import]


Just like Jet (see below), the Datsuns were hailed as the southern hemisphere's saviors of rock 'n' roll. With their bellbottoms and Jimmy Page-copped riffs, these Kiwis were the toast of the town after the release of their 2003 eponymous debut. Following a less-than-impressive sophomore follow-up (produced by John Paul motherfucking Jones), the band members are back to resurrect some of that populist acclaim that had people insisting their lead guitarist was better than Slash, Hendrix and Page. Erm, okay. I'll forgive the band members for not realizing that an album called Smoke & Mirrors has already been released this year. Let's just hope the band has realized how fickle North American audiences can be. Wolfmother, I hope you're reading this. ~Zach Hothorn

Band: http://www.thedatsuns.com//

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

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

The Dears

Gang of Losers

Arts & Crafts

After being available in the band's native Canada for months, the Montreal sextet's third album finally gets released in the U.S. this week. Being new parents just makes you wanna rock out, if frontman Murray Lightburn and bandmate/wife Natalia Yanchak are any indication. All things orchestral get tossed to the curb here as we're served up something of the verse-chorus-verse variety. ~Justin Sheppard

Band: http://www.thedears.org/

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

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

The Decemberists

The Crane Wife


Like the band's previous output, the Decemberists' major-label debut contains literate rock with a preference for old-timey themes. Head Decemberist Colin Meloy based his lyrics on an old Japanese fable about poor man who nurses an injured crane back to health and after releasing it finds his beautiful future wife on his doorstep. Could the two be connected? Can Meloy make us care? The Crane Wife was co-produced by Chris Walla, another sensitive-rock A-lister, so expect lots of emotion on display. ~Chris Sahl

Band: http://www.decemberists.com/

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

Audio: http://myspace.com/thedecemberists 

Robyn Hitchcock & The Venus 3

Ole! Tarantula

Yep Roc

Robyn Hitchcock seems to be in a very collaborative mood lately. A few years ago he made the great Spooked with help from Gillian Welch and David Rawlings. On Ole! Tarantula, the one-time Soft Boy and long-time solo wonder has recruited R.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck, occasional R.E.M. touring side ax and Minus Fiver Scott McCaughey, and Minus Fiver Bill Rieflin. Other guests include Sean Nelson from Harvey Danger, Chris Ballew from Presidents of the United States of America, and (Soft Boys nostalgists, rejoice!) Kimberly Rew. All of this adds up to what Hitchcock is claiming to be his rockingest, garagiest record in a long time. ~John Zeiss

Artist: http://www.robynhitchcock.com

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

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

The Hold Steady

Boys and Girls in America


Standing apart from the crowd thanks to their erudite lyrics, rocking bar-band sound and a thirst for booze, the members of the Hold Steady are also proving themselves to be prolific, offering their third album in as many years and the band's first with Vagrant. "Chillout Tent," about two tweakers on bad trips at a festival finding love, reveals that lyricist Craig Finn hasn't lost his eye for detail nor the profundity of getting really fucked up. ~Chris Sahl

Band: http://www.theholdsteady.com/

Label: http://www.vagrant.com/

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

"Chips Ahoy!" MP3  


Shine On


Despite the fact that anyone who has seen a Royal Caribbean Cruise commercial could tell you Jet's "Are You Gonna Be My Girl?" is an overt rip-off of Iggy Pop's "Lust For Life," the band -- whose own work with Apple was equally irksome -- never issued a mea culpa. It seems karmic retribution does exist, because no matter how hard these Aussies try, no one seems to care about their soon-to-be released follow-up to 2003's Get Born. As someone who walked out on their live show prior to "Girl" becoming as inescapable as a bout with the chicken pox, I can attest to just why the band members are struggling to garner attention for Shine On: They're under the impression their shit don't stink. Although NME continues to fawn over Jet, next week's less-than-stellar totals will help remind the band that foppish haircuts and vintage threads don't make for an interesting album. With your help, we can make a difference. ~Zach Hothorn

Band: http://www.jettheband.com//

Label: http://www.atlanticrecords.com//

Stream Shine On: http://myspace.com/jet 

Kid Koala

Your Mom's Favorite DJ

Ninja Tune

Kid Koala is back, and apparently your mom is psyched. Koala cuts this record into two main segments: "Left side" and "Right side." Songs on both sides flow in and out of each other seamlessly, creating the effect of one big sound collage, much like the Avalanches' Since I Left You. "Mosquito vs. Waterbuffalo" is apparently a preview for a book Koala is writing about a clarinet-playing mosquito. Seriously. Your mom is gonna crack up about that one. ~John Zeiss

Artist: http://www.kidkoala.com/

Label: http://www.ninjatune.net/home/

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

The Killers

Sam's Town

Island Def Jam

Killers frontman Brandon Flowers says Sam's Town is one of the best albums in the past twenty years. Most of us here don't even think this is one of the best albums being released this week. Millions of teenage girls (and probably quite a few older ones) are too busy drooling over Flowers to really care one way or the other. Smells like a hit to me. ~Justin Sheppard

Band: http://www.thekillersmusic.com/

Label: http://www.islanddefjam.com/

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

Pernice Brothers

Live a Little


There's hardly anything lovelier than a singer-songwriter aging gracefully. Joe Pernice is like the male version of Aimee Mann; as both grow older, their songs just get more refined, informed, world-weary-pretty. Just damn better. Another compatriot that pops to mind is John Roderick of the Long Winters. Newcomers to Pernice's sound might mistake him for being British, because his voice has increasingly picked up an across-the-pond lilt over the years. But the man's an American institution, having crafted greatness with his current band, Chappaquiddick Skyline, and Scud Mountain Boys. Speaking of that last act, Live a Little ends with a reworking of one of SMB's old tracks, "Grudge Fuck." Great title. ~John Zeiss

Artist: http://www.pernicebrothers.com/

Label: http://www.ashmontrecords.com/

Audio: http://myspace.com/pernicebrothers

Ad Astra Per Aspera: Catapult Calypso (Sonic Unyon)
Air: LateNightTales (Thrive)
Amos Lee: Supply and Demand (Blue Note)
Aretha Franklin: Collections (Sony / BMG Import)
Asia: Live in Nottingham (Renaissance)
Bananarama: 12 Inch Collection (WEA International)
Beach House: Beach House (Carpark)
Beck: Information (Interscope)
Between the Buried and Me: Silent Circus [CD/DVD] (Victory)
Big Rich: Fill More Rich (Koch)
Bleu Da Vinci: BMF Presents Bleu Da Vinci (Koch)
Bobby Bare: 20 Bare Essentials (Music Mill)
Brazil: Philosophy of Velocity (Immortal (Red))
Breaks Co-op: Sound Inside (Astralwerks)
Captain Beefheart: Doc at the Radar Station (Astralwerks)
Cassius: 15 Again (EMI)
Cities: Variations (Yep Roc)
Clark: Body Riddle (Warp)
DJ Dan: Lift, Vol. 2 (Thrive)
Don Byron: Do the Boomerang: The Music of Junior Walker (Blue Note)
Don't Die Cindy: Most Imperfect Skies (Cake)
F.S. Blumm: Summer Kling (Morr Music / M.M.)
Flying Lotus: 1983 (Plug Research)
George Strait: It Just Comes Natural (Mca Nashville)
The Hold Steady: Boys and Girls in America (Vagrant)
Home Video: No Certain Night or Morning (DeFend Music)
J. Rawls: Liquid Crystal Project (Hum Drums)
Jet: Shine On (Atlantic / Wea)
John Popper: John Popper (Image)
Kid Koala: Your Mom's Favorite DJ (Ninja Tune)
The Killers: Sam's Town (Island)
Koop: Koop Island (K7)
Les Georges Leningrad: Sangue Puro (Tomlab)
Los Straitjackets: Twist Party (Yep Roc)
Mac Dre: Y.S. A.K.A. (Thizz)
Mad Skillz: Mad Skillz (Koch)
Mando Diao: Ode to Ochrasy (EMI)
Monica: Makings of Me (J-Records)
Motion Man: Pablito's Way (Green Streets Ent)
Nina Nastasia: On Leaving (Fat Cat)
Nuttin But Stringz: Struggle from the Subway to the Charts (Koch)
Oddisee: Foot in the Door (Raptivism)
Pere Ubu: Why I Hate Women (Smog Veil)
The Pernice Brothers: Live a Little (Ashmont)
Planes Mistaken for Stars: Mercy (Abacus)
Planet Asia: Medicine (ABB)
Ray Charles/Count Basie Orchestra: Ray Sings, Basie Swings (Concord)
Ray Charles: Ray Charles with the Voices of Jubilation 
Robin Thicke: Evolution of Robin Thicke (Interscope)
Robyn Hitchcock & the Venus 3: Ole Tarantula (Yep Roc)
Rub 'n' Tug: Fabric 30 (Fabric)
Sadat X: Black October 
Sarah McLachlan: Mirrorball: The Complete Concert (Arista)
Seb Fontaine: Type 02 (Thrive)
The Slats: Boom Patrol 
Sleepy Brown: Mr. Brown (Virgin)
Spitalfield: Better Than Knowing Where You Are (Victory)
Stefon Harris: African Tarantella (Blue Note)
Subtle: For Hero for Fool (Astralwerks)
T. Rex: Children of the Revolution (Music Club International)
Thavius Beck: Thru (Mush)
Thunderbirds Are Now!: Make History (French Kiss)
Tim Buckley: Best of Tim Buckley (Elektra / Wea)
Tokyo Police Club: Lesson in Crime (Paper Bag)
Trey Anastasio: Bar 17 (Red Ink)
Triple Six Mafia: Smoked out Music's Greatest Hits (Hypnotize Minds)
Various Artists: Chrome Children [CD+DVD] (Stones Throw)
Various Artists: DFA Remixes: Chapter Two (Astralwerks)
Various Artists: What It Is!: Funky Soul & Rare Grooves (Rhino)
Various Artists: WOW Hits 2007 (Chordant)
Venetian Snares: Hospitality (Planet Mu)
Visionaries: We Are the Ones (We've Been Waiting For) (Up Above)
Z-Ro: 1 Deep (Presidential)
Z-Ro: 1 Deep [Slowed & Chopped] (Presidential)

*Release dates may change. E-mail brandon@prefixmag.com with corrections or additions.  
Discuss this feature at the Prefix Message Board 

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