New Releases: Rick Ross, James Blunt, Bloc Party, Slayer, Cassie, Cure, Sigur Ros, Jonas Brothers & More

Also due Tuesday: Matthew Friedberger, Unearth, Daughters, Tegan and Sara, Dirty Pretty Things.

A New Hustle: Weighing 300 pounds and standing 6 feet 2 inches tall, Rick Ross should be making quite the impact with his forever-in-the-works Port of Miami debut this week. The underground hero’s paean to his hometown has already grabbed ears with its leadoff single, “Hustlin’, ” and his guest roster will have other hip-hop fans feeling the Miami heat: Jay-Z, Young Jeezy, Lil Wayne, Mario Winans, Lyfe Jennings, Akon, Jazze Pha, DJ Khaled and Cool & Dre. On “Push It,” Ross samples “Scarface” theme “Push It to the Limit,” while his hometown homies the Carol City Cartel step in on “It Ain’t a Problem,” and Jay and Jeezy shine on a remix of “Hustlin’.”

Blunt Bloc: While Ross’ debut has yet to be tested, James Blunt and Bloc Party have already made seismic introductions with theirs. And now it’s time for the brazen Brits to capitalize with video follow-ups. Blunt’s “Chasing Time: The Bedlam Sessions” encapsulates concert performances, interviews, videos and documentaries by the “Oprah” darling/former soldier. It’s also bolstered by a CD featuring covers of the Pixies‘ “Where Is My Mind?” and Crowded House‘s “Fall at Your Feet.” “God Bless Bloc Party” is a bit more spare; the hour-long documentary draws from gigs at Los Angeles’ El Rey Theatre and in Belfort, France, though it does chalk up band and fan interviews for good measure.

No, You’re Not Seeing Things: Slayer and their fans alike were dying for the band’s latest LP to drop on 6/6/06, but they had to wait two more months for Christ Illusion to appear. The band’s first disc in six years marks its recording reunion with original drummer Dave Lombardo and is the first one in ages that doesn’t feature Rick Rubin behind the boards. While Rubin executive produces, the band has made no secret of its resentment for his recent teaming with rivals Metallica and tapped Josh Abraham (Velvet Revolver, Pink) to do the knob-twiddling instead. The album’s gory cover art of a mutated Jesus has — surprise! — turned off a few retailers, but fans will no doubt be sacrificing themselves for “Cult,” the first single; “Jihad,” a song about 9/11 that’s told through the eyes of a terrorist; and “Eyes of the Insane.”

“You Hear It First” Face-Off: They’ve both been featured in MTV’s recent “YHIF” series, and now it’s time for Diddy-backed Cassie and Libertines leftovers Dirty Pretty Things to go head-to-head. Cassie hopes her 4 million MySpace hits and indie-chart appeal carry her self-titled debut — featuring the single “Me & U,” “Ditto” and “Miss Your Touch” — to great heights. Dirty Pretty Things are aiming to make cousin Pete Doherty jealous with their maiden release, Waterloo to Anywhere, which boasts “Blood Thirsty Bastards,” “Last of the Small Town Playboys” and “Bang Bang You’re Dead.”

Sibling Rivalries: For musicians, there’s virtually no escaping their kith this week. Kevin, Nicholas and Joseph Jonas — a.k.a. teen sensations the Jonas Brothers — finally deliver their debut, originally due in the spring but the title to which, It’s About Time, now carries extra meaning. The delay was due to a track list changeup: The youngsters swapped “Dear God” and “Hey We’re Gonna Be Alright” for an acoustic version of “Please Be Mine,” “Year 3000″ and “What I Go to School For.”

Youthful peers Aly & AJ see their Into the Rush debut re-released in deluxe form, with a bonus DVD dishing up videos for “Chemicals React,” “Rush” and “On the Ride.” The animated clip for “Chemicals” that’s featured in the “Sims 2: Pets” video game is also featured.

Slightly older Korean-American sisters Meg & Dia wrote all the tracks on their Something Real debut and have been promoting it as the MySpace House Band on this year’s Warped Tour. The 18- and 21-year-old ladies called on their friends to help record “Courage, Robert,” “Cardigan Weather” and the first single, “Monsters.”

That duo probably admire Tegan and Sara, the Canadian twins whose 2004 effort, So Jealous, granted them more recognition — on MTV and elsewhere — than they received in their previous six years combined as a band. Their generous “It’s Not Fun. Don’t Do It!” DVD tries to expand on that success, compiling a full concert from their homeland, plus a self-made tour doc, all their videos, a photo album, a feature on the making of So Jealous, a photo album and commentary galore.

One sibling did manage to escape from his sister, though: Matthew Friedberger, the Fiery Furnaces captain who’s making his first solo outing. The two-CD Winter Women/ Holy Ghost Language School finds him breaking from the other half of the Furnaces, sister Eleanor, and doing almost all the performing and singing himself — save a little percussion help from Tortoise’s John McEntire. 859 Recordings’ classy christening set comes in a brilliant box with nine-panel fold-out art and a lyric sheet.

Also feeling familial are Revolution Mother, pro skateboarder Mike Vallely’s new band, who prove their hardcore mettle on the Enjoy the Ride EP; Sister Sledge, who’s being hailed with a two-disc The Definitive Groove Collection; and Massachusetts metallers Unearth, whose III: In the Eyes of Fire boasts “Sanctity in Brothers.”

Siblings Richard and Stefanie Reines deliver Zombies! Aliens! Vampires! Dinosaurs!, the debut by Panic! at the Disco tour mates Hellogoodbye, on their Drive-Thru Records imprint. Jamin Wilcox of Under the Influence of Giants, who make their self-titled bow this week, is the son of Hall & Oates collaborator Willie Wilcox. Oh, and femme fave Ani DiFranco — who births Reprieve this week — just announced that she’s pregnant.

Song Title of the Week:

“Daughters Spelled Wrong” from the DaughtersHell Songs

Other Notables:

The Cure and the Glove reissues: Their reunion concerts have drawn hundreds of thousands and their name has been dropped by virtually every new emo band, but if you still haven’t brushed up on the deacons of depression, now’s your chance. Double-disc versions of Head on the Door, Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me and The Top boast a combined 53 unreleased and rare songs, not to mention pristine remastered sound and bulked-up booklets. Frontman Robert Smith‘s side project the Glove are also recalled with a reissue of their only album, Blue Sunshine, the second disc to which features 16 unreleased tunes.

Sigur RósSaeglopur: Los Angeles’ Worker’s Institute label spent its first year putting out only instrumental Icelandic music, but while its expanding its scope this year, a new item by Reykjavik dreamers Sigur Rós falls in close proximity to those releases. The EP has one track from last year’s Takk … and three new tunes, while the DVD contains videos for the title track, “Glosoli” and “Hoppipolla.”

Blood Meridian‘s Kick Up the Dust: Waiting for your fix of Black Mountain or the Pink Mountaintops? Look no further than yet another related project, this one fronted by singer/bassist Matthew Camirand. The ex-Black Halo finds himself wallowing in “McDonald’s Blues,” “In the Forest, Under the Moon” and also wonders, “Work Hard, for What?”

New Releases:

Notable Reissues and Archival Material:

  • Aberdeen City – The Freezing Atlantic (Red Ink)
  • Aly & AJ – Into the Rush – Deluxe Edition (Hollywood)
    Buy Now: Into the Rush – Deluxe Edition (Deluxe Edition)
  • Average White Band – The Definitive Groove Collection (two CDs; Rhino)
  • Tab Benoit – Best of the Bayou Blues (Vanguard)
  • Boozoo Bajou – Juke Joint II (!K7)
  • James Brown – Funk It!: Remixed Hits (Cleopatra)
  • Chic – The Definitive Groove Collection (two CDs; Rhino)
  • The Cure – Head on the Door, Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me and The Top (two CDs; Rhino)
  • Delgados – The Complete BBC Peel Sessions (two CDs; Chemikal Underground)
  • DJ Quik – Born and Raised in Compton: The Greatest Hits (Arista/ Profile/ Legacy)
  • Doors – The Best of the Doors (two CDs; Rhino)
  • Funkadelic – Motor City Madness: The Ultimate Funkadelic Compilation (two CDs; Westbound)
  • The Gap Band – Gold (two CDs; Hip-O)
  • The Glove – Blue Sunshine (two CDs; Rhino)
  • Grandmaster Flash – The Definitive Groove Collection (two CDs; Rhino)
  • Helloween – Keeper of the Seven Keys Part I and Part II (Sanctuary)
  • Hootie & the Blowfish – Live in Charleston (Sneaky Long)
  • Lynyrd Skynyrd – Gold (two CDs; Geffen)
  • Mavericks – Gold (two CDs; MCA Nashville)
  • Ocote Soul Sounds and Adrian Quesada – El Niño y el Sol (Eighteenth Street Lounge)
  • Roy Orbison – Crying, In Dreams and Sings Lonely and Blue (Monument/Legacy)
  • Ginny Owens – If You Want Me To: The Best of Ginny Owens (Rocketown)
  • Ozark Mountain Devils – 1980 Reunion Concert: Rhythm and Joy (Varèse Sarabande)
  • Smokey Robinson & the Miracles – Gold (two CDs; Motown)
  • Bob Schneider – The Galaxy Kings, I’ve Seen the End of the World and It Looks Like This, Songs Sung and Played on Guitar at the Same Time and Underneath the Onion Trees (Shockorama)
  • Sebadoh – III (Domino)
  • Sherbet – The Very Best of Sherbet (Renaissance)
  • Sister Sledge – The Definitive Groove Collection (two CDs; Rhino)
  • Slave – The Definitive Groove Collection (two CDs; Rhino)
  • Tears for Fears – Gold (two CDs; MCA Nashville)
    Buy Now: Gold (MCA Nashville)
  • UFO – An Introduction to UFO (Fuel)
  • Joe Walsh – The Definitive Collection (Universal)
  • Various artists – ’70s Soul Gold (two CDs; Hip-O)
  • Various artists – An Introduction to Country Gospel (Fuel)
  • Various artists – Blue’s Clues: Blue’s Biggest Hits (Nick)
  • Various artists – Breakfast Club: London (Water)
  • Various artists – British Invasion Gold (two CDs; Hip-O)
  • Various artists – Sugar Hill Records: The Definitive Groove Collection (two CDs; Rhino)
  • Various artists – Women & Songs 2 (Rhino)

Music DVDs:

  • 12Rael – “Kopernik” (Music Video Distributors)
  • Acid Drinkers – “The Hand That Rocks the Coffin” (Music Video Distributors)
  • Arch Enemy – “Live Apocalypse” (Century Media)
  • Bloc Party – “God Bless Bloc Party” (Vice)
  • James Blunt – “Chasing Time: The Bedlam Sessions” (with bonus CD; Atlantic)
  • Chrome & Helios Creed – “Dual Forces” (Music Video Distributors)
  • Deep Purple – “Total Rock Review” (Classic Rock Legends)
  • Deftones – “School of Brilliant Things” (United States Distributors)
  • David Grisman Quartet – “Classic Dawg” (Shanachie)
  • Kiss – “Asylum of Death: Interviews” and “Satanik Kreatures: Interviews” (Music Video Distributors)
  • Chris Layton – “Double Trouble Drums” (Hot Licks)
  • Led Zeppelin – “The Origin of the Species: A Critical Review of the Band’s Roots and Branches” (Music Video Distributors)
  • Lil Troy – “Paperwork Subject Scarface” (Music Video Distributors)
  • Tadeusz Nalepa – “60-Te Urodziny” (Music Video Distributors)
  • Pink Floyd – “The Dark Side: Interviews” (Music Video Distributors)
  • Queen – “Bohemian Champions: Interviews” (Music Video Distributors)
  • The Rolling Stones – “Under Review 1962-1966: An Independent Critical Analysis” (Music Video Distributors)
  • Tommy Shannon – “Double Trouble Bass” (Hot Licks)
  • Tegan and Sara – “It’s Not Fun. Don’t Do It!” (Vapor)
  • Various artists – “2005 Reggae Music Video, Vol. 4″ (Keeling)
  • Various artists – “ATL Unplugged Part 2.5″ (Music Video Distributors)
  • Various artists – “Authentic Reggae Music Videos, Vol. 1″ and “Vol. 2″ (Music Video Distributors)
  • Various artists – “Jazz Shots From the East Coast, Vol. 2″ and “Vol. 3″ (Music Video Distributors)
  • Various artists – “Jazz Shots From the West Coast, Vol. 2″ and “Vol. 3″ (Music Video Distributors)
  • Various artists – “Reggae Heroes” (Keeling)

Coming Attractions:

August 15:

August 22:

August 29: