Each week, we preview a handful of notable albums scheduled to hit the shelves, plus offer a full list of the current new releases.
"World music" tends to be the most neutered and weak label any genre can possibly be given. But if there's one musician who is keeping world music vital it's Manu Chao. Chao maintains residences in Paris, Barcelona, and a remote town in Brazil. He sings in English, Spanish, French, and Portuguese. You may know him from his previous genre-hopping band Mano Negra, or from his world-music-production gigs with the likes of Amadou and Mariam, among others. Songs on La Radiolina include the obviously political "Politik Kills" and the more personal "13 Dias." ~John Zeiss
Clare & the Reasons
Between the new Edith Piaf biopic La Vie en Rose(http://www.edithpiafmovie.com/) and the five hundred other current movies inexplicably relating Paris(http://www.firstlookstudios.com/pjt) to (http://www.dansparis-lefilm.com/) romance (http://www.2daysinparisthefilm.com/), you'd think the world would have no need for another bohemian fix. Yet, the members of Clare & the Reasons plead for room with such earnestness on their debut that we must pause to take listen. Led by a chick with chirping charm (and as the daughter of folk/blues musician Geoff Muldaur, a distinguished musical lineage) and filled out by a posse of Brooklyn's finest, the group tiptoes lightly upon emotions and all that gushy stuff. On its sophisticated takes on the neo-baroque and quasi-noir, the group is joined here by such distinguished songwriting talent as Van Dyke Parks and Sufjan Stevens. ~Dan Nishimoto
Going Way Out with Heavy Trash
Going Way Out is the second album from Heavy Trash, one of the many projects of musical journeyman Jon Spencer, best known for his roles in indie-blues-rock pioneers Pussy Galore and his self-helmed rootsy project, the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion. He's joined here by guitarist Matt Verta-Ray, who's played with Madder Rose and Speedball Baby. Those who got in on the recording fun this time around include members of the Sadies, Tremolo Beer Gut, and Powersolo. ~John Zeiss
Catch the Brass Ring
So you have a guy, a guitar, and his hopeful busking in Los Angeles. Sounds like a recipe for some sub-par shit, right? But you'd be surprised. In a city teeming with singer-songwriters, Ferraby Lionheart stands out. Catch the Brass Ring is his first full-length album, after one earlier EP. Whereas that record was almost completely created in Lionheart's small apartment, the full-length finds him opening up his sound, adding a full backing band, strings, and horns. Extra-ornamented as it is, though, the album still comes completely from Lionheart's soul, a warm place that, despite the nature of the world, still holds out a measure of romantic hope. ~John Zeiss
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|The Kooks - Bucking the buzz backlash||Ferraby Lionheart The mouse that roared|