Hey, so it’s autumn. Which means it’s that time of the year when new releases are coming out fast and furious, and most of them are good. Record store shelves are packed to the gills, and they’d really appreciate it if you acknowledged their hard work by showing up to buy some things. Consider“What You’re Buying This Week” to be your study guide. I’m going to try to do this on a weekly basis, and in addition to giving you a (very long, if not comprehensive) list of the week’s new releases, I’m going to point out a couple of things that I think are particularly noteworthy that may or may not get the attention they deserve elsewhere.
And, of course, I want to make sure to let everyone know when a local bandhas a new release out; so, if you’ve got something going up on iTunes/eMusic, CDBaby or something hitting the racks at a local shop … or even if you’re just gonna sell it at shows, let me know. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org try to put something like “New Local CD release” in the subject line so it stands a better chance of making it past the spam filters.
First up: go buy the new CD by Mike Dunn & the Kings of New England. It’s called Sundowner (that’s it up top) and it’s about a perfect representation of what American roots rock sounds like when filtered through a Central Florida haze.
As a rule, I generally avoid too-smart-for-its-own-good indie-pop, as I find it often trips over itself attempting to be clever and ambitious, when its makers are usually neither. In the case of the Clientele, I make a huge exception. The band is British to the bone, with melancholy string arrangements, thick reverb and ridiculously pretentious lyrics … and I totally love them. Their new record, Bonfires on the Heath, is their first new work since 2007’s God Save the Clientele, and actually manages to surpass that disc’s excellence.
Let the Night Roar is the new set from dubstep genius King Cannibal, and since it’s on NinjaTune, it’s not likely to be missed by its core audience. However, for those wanting to dip a toe into the murky and expansive waters of this genre, it’s a great jumping-off point. On one hand, Cannibal’s approach is extreme and adventurous, with atmospheres that would be considered doomy and oppressive even by dubstep standards; but he also manages to deftly weave in the more accessible and invigorating aspects of bass-booming, ragga-flecked hip-hop, so novice listeners have plenty to grab on to.
The new release from irony-drenched hard-rockers Steel Panther is, of course, called Feel the Steel. It’s not as funny as you want it to be, but it’s always nice to see a band willing to not just make fun of a style of music, but also completely master it in the process. In other words, the record’s pretty great if you don’t listen to the lyrics … which means it’s pretty accurate.
The Black Heart Procession releases its sixth album today. It’s called Six.Which wins them a point or two. It’s been a few years since the indie rockers last blasted their way into your conscience, and Six shows a good bit of growth on their part.
Hey, did you hear they were reissuing all the (good) Jesus Lizard albums with lots of bonus tracks? Yeah, me too! You know that Albini and Weston remastered them? Me too! You have any clue what they could have done to make them sound better? Me neither. Worth noting: CD reissues are fine on this one, but there are also some beautiful packaged vinyl versions too that you should buy. Because if you don’t, Steve Albini will kill a kitten and David Yow will eat it.
Hey, did you hear they were reissuing all the Kraftwerk albums? Yeah, me too! You know there was a box set? Yeah, me too. You know there’s gonna be vinyl, too? Yeah! Seriously! But not for another few weeks.
Billy Manes probably already told you about this – or at least you heard him squealing about it when it was announced – but in an act of perfect timing,Duran Duran’s Rio is being reissued as a super-fat double-CD set; first disc is the original UK mix (which is far superior to the US mix if you like hearing how proggy and nerdy of a bass player John Taylor is) with a few of the US mixes thrown in for good measure and the second has demos (!!!) and remixes. However, the big news part of this reissue is the fact that it’s being accompanied in stores by CD/DVD release of the band’s 1982 performance at the Hammersmith. Yes, 90 minutes of sweaty, young Simon LeBon, singing to you. Dig it.
The long-awaited reissue of the 1976 collaboration between Brian Eno andHarmonia, Tracks & Traces comes out today and even though it’s a bit of an odds-and-sods kinda thing, the monstrous 16 minutes of “Sometimes In Autumn” makes it worth the price of admission.
Also filed under “long-awaited reissue”: the out-of-print industrial/doom masterpieces from Godflesh – Pure, Slavestate, and Cold World – have been remastered and packaged up by Earache as a three-CD set that is super-cheap and ultra-essential.
Oh, and don’t forget to pick up your vinyl! Lots of this week’s releases are on wax, but a few are only on wax. To wit: the 180-gram reissues of the New Order catalogue [Brotherhood, Low Life, Movement, Power, Corruption & Lies, Technique] on Rhino and the new EP from No Age, Losing Feeling (which, technically, is also available digitally, but NO CDs!)
More things you’re going to buy:
Air: Love 2
Arch Enemy: Root of All Evil
Lou Barlow: Goodnight Unknown
Basement Jaxx: Scars
Bellini: Precious Prize of Gravity
Anouar Brahem: Astounding Eyes of Rita
brakesbrakesbrakes: Rock Is Dodelijk (live)
Built To Spill: There Is No Enemy (bonus litho@ Park Ave)
Califone: All My Friends Are Funeral Singers
Roseanne Cash: The List
The Duchess & the Duke: Sunset/Sunrise
Orenda Fink: Ask the Night
Gossip: Music for Men
Horse the Band: Desperate Living
Jackson 5: Dancing Machine, Get it Together, and other reissues
Morphine: At Your Service (2CDs of rarities)
The Mountain Goats: The Life of the World
Noah & the Whale: First Days of Spring
Jemina Pearl: Break It Up
A Place to Bury Strangers: Exploding Head (bonus 7-inch at Park Ave.)
Raveonettes: In and Out of Control
Sparklehorse/Fennesz: In the Fishtank
Sufjan Stevens/Osso: Run Rabbit Run
Strike Anywhere: Iron Front
The XX: XX