New Releases: Jack Johnson, Dem Franchize Boyz, Sly And The Family Stone, Remy Ma, Chamillionaire & More

Also due Tuesday are new discs from Beth Orton, Belle and Sebastian, In Flames and Rick Moranis.

See Jack Sing: Jack Johnson's curious transmutation into children's-music performer might turn off some fans, but it hasn't alienated his friends Ben Harper, Matt Costa and G. Love, all of whom croon along on Sing-a-Longs and Lullabies From the Film "Curious George." Jack runs through the "Schoolhouse Rock" staple "Three Is a Magic Number" — reconfigured as a lesson in environmentalism, with the three R's being reduce, reuse and recycle — and, more curiously, the White Stripes' "We're Going to Be Friends."

Not-So-Everyday People: Different Strokes by Different Folks is more of a various-artists tribute to Sly & the Family Stone, but chances are you'll find it under "S," not "VA," in the CD bins. With rumors swirling about the long-dormant Sly resurfacing at the Grammys, some of today's biggest names have been wise to show their affection in advance: Big Boi ("Runnin' Away" and "[You Caught Me] Smilin' "), Will.I.Am ("Dance to the Music"), Maroon 5 ("Everyday People"), John Mayer ("You Can Make It if You Try"), Joss Stone ("Family Affair") and the Roots ("Star"). Groovy.

Dem's Deluxe: After hooking up with Jermaine Dupri, Da Brat and Bow Wow for the So So Def remix of "I Think They Like Me," Dem Franchize Boyz could be ATL's top commodity in early '06. They ride into record stores in style with a deluxe edition of On Top of Our Game, which is supplemented with a DVD featuring videos for the "I Think They Like Me" remix and "Lean Wit It, Rock Wit It" (featuring Peanut and Charlay); a live performance; behind-the-scenes footage; and two bonus audio cuts, "My Girlfriend" and "Super Clean."

Orton's O'Rourke-ian Twist: For her fourth record, Beth Orton ganged up with Sonic Youth laptop whiz Jim O'Rourke — but don't expect many embellishments, as Orton keeps her songs spare throughout Comfort of Strangers. The limited edition comes with a bonus disc boasting five tracks: "What We Begin," "On My Way Home," "Comfort of Strangers #9," "Did Somebody Make a Fool Outta You ... ?" and "Northern Sky."

Religious Awakening: Christianity seeps into Belle and Sebastian's seventh effort, The Life Pursuit, on parts one and two of "Act of the Apostle Part 1," which centers around a girl who dreams about the Old Testament. (A limited deluxe edition is bundled with a six-track live DVD and comes with hardbound book packaging.)

There are even more titular nods to Big Brother on the second volume of the "Elizabethtown" soundtrack, which finds Rachael Yamagata chipping in "Jesus Was a Crossmaker," and Washington Phillips wondering "What Are They Doing in Heaven Today." (Also featured: My Morning Jacket, Ryan Adams, Ulrich Schnauss and Pinback.) And on another soundtrack — for "Transamerica" — the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band nestle "I Find Jesus" alongside cuts by Duncan Sheik, Lucinda Williams and Dolly Parton.

If you're familiar with Chick Corea, it's probably because of his legendary piano playing or collaborative performance with the Foo Fighters at the 2004 Grammys. But you probably didn't know Corea is a devout Scientologist, a fact he makes no bones about on his latest CD. Based on a 1939 novella by L. Ron Hubbard, The Ultimate Adventure is about a homeless man who is transported to the mythical City of Brass from "Arabian Nights" and finds himself living among alien races like the Jinns, Ifrits and Ghouls. Try making a soundtrack to that.

Conga expert Miguel Angá Díaz provides a "musical religious service" on Echu Mingua, an album he named after his Yoruba saint. (Yoruba being an ancient African religion that worships multiple deities known as Orishas.) He's joined by everyone from Chucho Valdés to French hip-hop artists to a West African kora musician.

And last but not least, Hamell on Trial lace their latest, Songs for Parents Who Enjoy Drugs, with a particularly blasphemous song about President Bush performing sexual acts with the Bible.

Song Title Of The Week:

"Matrimonioids (For: Elvin + Susana Estela)" from Prefuse 73's Security Screenings

Other Notables:

Various artists' To: Elliott - From: Portland: Although a tribute to Elliott Smith might seem premature, this salute is more personal than meets the eye. Eric Matthews, who covers "Needle in the Hay," actually played on an unreleased version of the track with Smith; "Hard Times" is performed by Sean Croghan, a former roommate of Smith's; and the Thermals recorded "Ballad of Big Nothing" with Smith's ex-girlfriend Joanna Bolme at Jackpot Studios, which Smith had a hand in constructing. Past renditions by the Decemberists, Swords and the Helio Sequence help flesh out the 15-track set.

In Flames' Come Clarity: Ferret Music is bolstering the promotion behind one of its biggest acts, underground metal titans In Flames, in style. Various stores are offering free patches, tour samplers, posters and more with purchase of the CD — and in one of the more unique offers, Denver's Independent Records gives you two bucks off the disc if you show them your concert-ticket stub. There's also a special edition with a bonus DVD of rehearsal footage floating around.

Rick Moranis' The Agoraphobic Cowboy: Yes, you're reading right — that's actor Rick Moranis, last heard on the "Little Shop of Horrors" soundtrack, cowboying up with his country best on The Agoraphobic Cowboy. Equally inspired by his love of Ray Stevens and his recent exposure to Widespread Panic, Moranis' effort was previously released online but is finally hitting stores this week. Giving Cowboy an extra layer of bizarreness, the album has been nominated for a Grammy for Best Comedy Album.

New Releases:

  • Aceyalone (accompanied by RJD2) - Magnificent City (Decon Inc.)
  • AM Syndicate - Empire (Sickroom)
  • AV Club - AV Club (Insubordination)
  • The Avett Brothers - Four Thieves Gone: The Robbinsville Sessions (Ramseur)
  • Sibylle Baier - Colour Green (Orange Twin)
  • Belle and Sebastian - The Life Pursuit (Matador)
  • Layzie Bone & Young Noble - Thug Brothers (Real Talk)
  • Pat Boone - Hopeless Romantic (Gold Label)
  • Burst - Origo (Relapse)
  • Century - Faith and Failure (Tribunal)
  • The Chuck Norris Experiment - The Chuck Norris Experiment (Devil Doll)
  • Clogs - Lantern (Brassland)
  • Jason Collett - Idols of Exile (Arts & Crafts)
  • The Coors - Home (Atlantic/Rhino)
  • Chick Corea - The Ultimate Adventure (Stretch)
  • Cross Culture - Proof Positive (Selectric)
  • The Danger O's - Little Machines (EP; Blackout)
  • Deadboy and the Elephantman - We Are Night Sky (Fat Possum)
  • De/Vision - Subkutan (Dancing Ferret)
  • Jack DeJohnette - The Elephant Sleeps but Still Remembers (Kindred Rhythm)
  • Dem Franchize Boyz - On Top of Our Game (deluxe edition with DVD also available; Virgin)
    Buy Now: On Top of Our Game (Virgin)
  • DJ Reflex - Sandunga Music (Cutting)
  • Fefe Dobson - Sunday Love (enhanced; Island)
    Buy Now: Sunday Love (Island)
  • Electric Six - Señor Smoke (Metropolis)
  • Eyes of Fire - Prisons (enhanced; Century Media)
  • Jen Foster - The Underdogs (American Garage Recorded Entertainment)
  • Burnt Friedman and Jaki Liebezeit - Secret Rhythms, Vol. 2 (Nonplace)
  • Gastr Del Sol - Harp Factory on Lake Street (Table of Elements)
  • Gates - The Dew Line (Table of Elements)
  • A Global Threat - Where the Sun Never Sets (BYO)
  • Hamell on Trial - Songs for Parents Who Enjoy Drugs (Righteous Babe)
  • Sarah Harmer - I'm a Mountain (Zöe/Rounder)
  • Hem - No Word From Tom (Nettwerk)
  • Himsa - Hail Horror (Prosthetic)
  • Brotha Lynch Hung & MC Eiht - The New Season (Real Talk)
  • Charlie Hunter Trio - Copperopolis (Rope-a-Dope)
  • In Flames - Come Clarity (special edition due same day; Ferret)
  • Elton John - "Billy Elliot: The Musical" original cast recording (Decca)
  • Jack Johnson and Friends - Sing-a-Longs and Lullabies from the Film "Curious George" (Universal)
    Read: "Jack Johnson Says 'Curious George' Shouldn't Monkey Around With Adult Themes"
  • Matson Jones - The Albatross Mates for Life, but Only After a Lengthy Courtship That Can Take Up to Four Years (EP; Sympathy for the Record Industry)
  • The Ladies - They Mean Us (Temporary Residence)
  • Latrice - Illuminate (Ultra)
  • Th' Legendary Shack*Shakers - Pandelirium (Yep Roc)
  • Lesbians on Ecstasy - Giggles in the Dark (Alien 8)
  • Jackie Leven - Shining Brother Shining Sister (Silverline)
  • Lil Al - Hood Raised (SMC)
  • Lil Uno - The Streets (Toltec)
  • Lokyata - Purified by Anger (Indianola)
  • Jason Miles - What's Going On? Songs of Marvin Gaye (Narada)
  • The Minus 5 - The Minus 5 (Yep Roc)
  • Misstress Barbara - Come With Me ... (Uncivilized World/ Koch)
  • Rick Moranis - The Agoraphobic Cowboy (Artistshare)
  • Cindy Morgan - Postcards (Reunion)
  • Monday Morning - Fool's Paradise (enhanced; Selectric)
  • Mr. Pookie - Return of Tha Rippla (Boss Entertainment)
  • Mylo - Destroy Rock & Roll (Red Ink)
  • Anna Nalick - Wreck of the Day (DualDisc; Columbia)
  • Oceansize - Everyone Into Position (Beggars Banquet)
  • Beth Orton - Comfort of Strangers (limited edition with bonus disc also available; Astralwerks)
  • Penuckle - The Sun Beckons (Red Urban)
  • Prefuse 73 - Security Screenings (Warp)
  • Psychic Ills - Dins (The Social Registry)
  • San Quinn - The Rock: Pressure Makes Diamonds (SMC)
  • Remy Ma - There's Something About Remy: Based on a True Story (limited edition also available; SRC/Universal)
  • Sherri Roberts, Phil Woods and Lew Soloff - The Sky Could Send You (Pacific Coast Jazz)
  • Ray Russell - Goodbye Svengali (Cuneiform)
  • Shrift - Lost in a Moment (Six Degrees)
  • Slowride - C/S (Deep Elm)
  • Sly & the Family Stone - Different Strokes by Different Folks (Epic/Legacy)
  • Small Arms Dealer - A Single Unifying Theory (Deep Elm)
  • Southcott - Flee the Scene (Rust)
  • State Radio - Us Against the Crown (Nettwerk)
  • Kelley Stoltz - Below the Branches (Sub Pop)
  • The String Cheese Incident - On the Road: Big Summer Classic, On the Road: Fall 2005, On the Road: Spring 2005 and On the Road: Vegoose 2005 (Nettwerk)
  • Stroke 9 - Cafe Cuts: A Collection of Acoustic Favorites (Rock Ridge)
  • Marty Stuart and His Fabulous Superlatives - Live at the Ryman (Universal South)
  • Swearing at Motorists - Last Night Becomes This Morning (Secretly Canadian)
  • Telepathe - Farewell Forest (EP; The Social Registry)
  • The Thrillseekers - Night Music Volume One (Water)
  • Bill Toms & Hard Rain - The West End Kid (B.T.)
  • KT Tunstall - Eye to the Telescope (Virgin)
  • Univers Zero - Live (Cuneiform)
  • Jason Whitton - Thriftstore Cowboy (VAVV)
  • The Mary Lou Williams Collective - Zodiac Suite: Revisited (Mary)
  • Joachim Witt - Bayreuth 3 (Dancing Ferret)
  • Various artists - Hi Power 2006 (Thump)
  • Various artists - Idol Tryouts Two (Ghostly International)
  • Various artists - Lowrider 2006 Tour (Thump)
  • Various artists - Mews Too: An Asthmatic Kitty Compilation (Asthmatic Kitty)
  • Various artists - New Arrivals, Vol. 1 (Mpress)
  • Various artists - Run the Road Volume 2 (Vice)
  • Various artists - To: Elliott - From: Portland (Expunged)
  • Various artists - Totally Country Vol. 5 (BMG Heritage)
  • Various artists - "Elizabethtown, Vol. 2" soundtrack (RCA)
  • Various artists - "One Tree Hill Volume Two: Friends With Benefit" soundtrack (Maverick)
  • Various artists - "Transamerica" soundtrack (Nettwerk)

Notable Reissues and Archival Material:

  • Art Blakey - Live! At Slug's N.Y.C. (Empire Musicwerks)
  • Richard Cheese - The Sunny Side of the Moon: The Best of Richard Cheese (Surfdog)
  • Chamillionaire - The Sound of Revenge (special edition with bonus DVD; Universal)
  • The Bob Crewe Generation - The Best of the Bob Crewe Generation: Music to Watch Girls By (Varèse)
  • Ray Davies - The Storyteller (Koch)
  • Dave Douglas - Keystone (Koch)
  • John Entwistle - Mad Dog, The Rock and Too Late the Hero (Sanctuary)
  • José Feliciano - Introduction to José Feliciano (Fuel 2000)
  • Roberta Flack - The Very Best of Roberta Flack (Rhino)
  • Dexter Gordon - Getting Around - RVG Series (Blue Note)
  • Andrew Hill - Smokestack - RVG Series (Blue Note)
  • Mastodon - Call of the Mastodon (Relapse)
  • Hank Mobley - Workout - RVG Series (Blue Note)
  • Lee Morgan - The Gigolo - RVG Series (Blue Note)
  • Pérez Prado - The Best of P#233;rez Prado: The Original Mambo # 5 (RCA Victor/ Legacy)
  • The Prodigy - Their Law: Singles 1990-2005 (XL/Beggars)
    Buy Now: Their Law: Singles 1990-2005 (XL/Beggars)
  • Remembering Never - Suffocates My Words to You (One Day Savior)
  • Satyricon - Dark Medieval Times (The End)
  • Horace Silver - Horace-Scope - RVG Series (Blue Note)
  • Nat Stuckey - The Very Best of Nat Stuckey (Koch)
  • Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee - An Introduction to Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee (Fuel 2000)
  • Richard Thompson - The Life and Music of Richard Thompson (five CDs; Free Reed)
  • Stanley Turrentine - Joyride - RVG Series (Blue Note)
  • Whitesnake - The Definitive Collection (Geffen)
  • Trisha Yearwood - Jasper County (MCA Nashville)
  • Various artists - Electro Slash Disco: Underground 80's Dance Floor Sounds (Koch)
  • Various artists - Lost Classics of Salsa, Vol. II (Libertad)
  • Various artists - Sleepless in Seattle: The Birth of Grunge (High Wire)
  • Various artists - "Golden Boy" original Broadway cast recording (DRG)


  • Jim Brickman - "Jim Brickman at the Magic Kingdom: The Disney Songbook" (Disney)
  • The Crown - "14 Years of No Tomorrow" (three DVDs; Metal Blade)
  • Bireli Lagrene and Gipsy Project "Live in Paris" (Dreyfus)
  • Mint Condition - "Live From the 9:30 Club" (Image Entertainment)
  • The Prodigy - "Their Law: Singles 1990-2005" (XL/Beggars)
  • Sasha & John Digweed - "Delta Heavy" (System)
  • The Sugarcubes - "Live Zabor" and "The DVD" (Rhino)
  • Andrew W.K. - "Who Knows? Live 1992-2004" (Music Video Distributors)
  • Whitesnake - "Live in the Still of the Night" (with CD; Hip-O)
  • Various artists - "Blow! Volume 5: Pushin' the Raw and Uncut" (Inner City)
  • Various artists - "Champions in Action: Volume 1," "Volume 2" and "Volume 3" (Music Video Distributors)
  • Various artists - "Don Diva Presents: A Gangster's Story" (Don Diva)
  • Various artists - "Don Vito Presents: Crunk and Famous" (Koch Vision)
  • Various artists - "Fresh 96: 10th Anniversary Special Edition, Part One" and "Part Two" (Music Video Distributors)
  • Various artists - "Gotta Serve Somebody: Gospel Songs of Bob Dylan" (Image Entertainment)
  • Various artists - "GT Extravaganza Singers" (Music Video Distributors)
  • Various artists - "Hustle Up Latino" (Hustle Up)
  • Various artists - "Punk Is Dead" (Image Entertainment)
  • Various artists - "Scribble Jam: Archive Number 2" (Scribble Jam)
  • Various artists - "Street Heat Hood Fights" (Cornbread)
  • Various artists - "Street Heat, Volume 16: Young Jeezy" (Cornbread)
  • Various artists - "Tribunal Records: The Video Collection" (Tribunal)

Coming Attractions:

February 14:

February 21:

February 28:

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