Agile Era: Everyone's aware of Christina Aguilera's fixation with the first half of the 20th century by now, but are they obsessed enough with her obsession to throw down twice as much loot for her new album? We'll find out this week with the two-CD Back to Basics. The set features a guest spot by adult-contemporary mainstay Steve Winwood on "Makes Me Wanna Pray," while Christina gets more current with DJ Premier and Linda Perry elsewhere. The video for the title track is tacked on for good measure, but fans who preordered the "premium package" also earned an exclusive tee and red 7-inch single. Someone's feeling generous these days.
Twice as Trice: Obie Trice's been promising Second Round's on Me for a little while now, but he's finally ready to whip out his wallet and pay up. Eminem, whose Shady Records has been tailoring the disc as more of a street record, executive produces and appears on "There They Go" alongside Big Herk and Trick Trick. 50 Cent crops up on "Everywhere I Go," while Nate Dogg ("All of My Life"), Akon ("Snitch") and Trey Songz ("Ghetto" and "Mama") also spot the sophomore Trice.
Hissteria: You've seen the "Snakes on a Plane" trailer, recited Samuel L. Jackson's catchphrase to your friends and heard Cobra Starship's virulent theme song enough times to throw you into a tailspin, but finally the fangs have been bared. In anticipation of the film's Friday release, Snakes on a Plane: The Album spits up a new Cee-Lo tune, "Ophidiophobia" (the fear of snakes); a new acoustic song by Coheed and Cambria; plus exclusive remixes of Panic! at the Disco, Fall Out Boy and All-American Rejects tunes. Sounds like a lethal combination.
Thunder Down Under by underground-punk vipers Hot Snakes will be no match for the soundtrack, but devout fans will no doubt swallow up the posthumous live LP. Recorded on May 10 last year for the Australian Broadcast Company for air on radio, the set features "Think About Carbs," "U.S. Mint" and "Let It Come."
A Soon-to-Be Millionaire?: Not to be confused with Mr. "Ridin Dirty," Jamaican singer Cham follows up 2000's Wow ... The Story with a different tale, Ghetto Story. The title track features Alicia Keys, as does its video, while Rihanna and Akon also give the dancehall performer a boost. Songs include "Rudeboy Pledge," "Wah Den a She Now?" and "Tic Toc."
Widespread Panic: Dave Navarro is no longer with Carmen Electra, but he has at least one new love on his hands: Panic Channel, which reteams him with Jane's Addiction drummer Stephen Perkins and bassist Chris Chaney. The dudes debut this week with (ONe), which alludes to the fact that it's a debut record and they want you to turn "on" the Channel (get it?). "It was necessary to take our time in order to create an internal history," Navarro said in a post on the band's Web site, regarding the debut's long delay.
Ladies' Week: Christina's leading the charge this week, but she's got a huge crew of femme followers behind her. Hilary and Haylie Duff, Aly & AJ, Kelly Clarkson, JoJo and other youthful pop tarts align on (Lip Smackers Presents) Girl Next. That comp will be up against Raven-Symoné's "Cheetah Girls 2" soundtrack, but Girl Next has some fresh faces on its side: Hannah Montana, Hayden Panettiere and Jordan Pruitt, who are all being introduced on that collection.
Another newbie, Joanna — who appeared in MTV's "True Life" and will open for Nick Lachey on his fall tour — has a bit more in common with Christina: She, too, enlisted Linda Perry's guidance for This Crazy Life. But while the pop genius wrote the title track, Joanna is going with "Let It Slide" as the first single to her long-awaited maiden release.
Also stepping out for the first time on her own is Leigh Nash, who logged a handful of hits with Sixpence None the Richer but is now doing her own thing. Her Blue on Blue debut features two songs co-written with her producer, Pierre Marchand — Sarah McLachlan's longtime collaborator — plus "Ocean Size Love" and "My Idea of Heaven." The LP's dropping on Nash's own One Son Records.
Speaking of Canadians (McLachlan), Juno Award nominee Kinnie Starr called on another Canuck, Tegan and Sara's Tegan Quinn, to sing along on "La Le La La." As it turns out, the track was mixed by Howard Redekopp, an affiliate of another set of Canadians, the New Pornographers. Starr — who was part of Cirque de Soleil's risqué "Zumanity" show and whose stuff has appeared on "The L Word" — also coats her Anything LP with "Rock the Boat," "Sex in the Prairies" and "Wind in Your Sail."
Jazz singer Patricia Barber also pipes up this week, with a more conceptual release: Mythologies. The disc's based on a book your Greek-history teacher should have assigned to you, "The Metamorphoses of Ovid," and hosts hip-hop kids singing, a gospel choir chanting and a guest saxophonist tooting. It's also got a tribute to Nina Simone in "Icarus."
On the subject of salutes, a couple of women are paying homage to the humans on the other end of the gender spectrum, i.e. men. Americana goddess Maria Muldaur — who redid Peggy Lee tunes on her 2003 album, A Woman Alone With the Blues — turns her appreciative gaze to another icon with Heart of Mine: Love Songs of Bob Dylan. She reinterprets "Lay Lady Lay" as "Lay Baby Lay" and also touches on "You're Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go" and the title tune.
Blues stalwart Rory Block reaches back even further with her tip-of-the-cap to the genre's trailblazer Robert Johnson. The Lady and Mr. Johnson finds her doing the devilish Delta thing on "Hellhound on My Trail," "Last Fair Deal Gone Down" and "Preaching Blues (Up Jumped the Devil)."
But the blues' undeniable queen — when it comes to popularity at least — must be Bonnie Raitt, and she, too, crops up this week. VH1 Classic Presents: Decades Rock Live! is the first release from the series to boast a CD and a DVD, and it was also the first episode to air. The guest list seals the deal, with Norah Jones, Ben Harper, Alison Krauss and Keb' Mo' ganging up with Raitt for "Love Sneakin' Up on You."
Song Title of the Week:
Cee-Lo's "Ophidiophobia" from Snakes on a Plane: The Album
Sublime's Sublime - Deluxe Edition and the Sex Pistols' Spunk: The landmark disc by the reggae-lovin' dub-rockers is supplanted by a two-CD 10th-anniversary edition, bristling with unreleased tuneage, a Wyclef Jean remix of "Doin' Time," acoustic takes and more. On the opposite end of the punk spectrum, the Pistols' hard-to-find live bootleg from 1977 gets a proper release in time for another anniversary: It's been 30 years since the group recorded its first demos. The warts-and-all disc has 15 tracks and includes all the between-song banter.
Various artists' Musicfest NW Vol. 1: Like the Pistols' bootleg, this disc will also be tough to find — but worth the search, as the proceeds are going toward the Rock and Roll Camp for Girls and Oregon Music Hall of Fame. Featuring tracks by Spoon, Kristin Hersh, Crooked Fingers' Eric Bachmann and Centro-Matic, the comp revolves around Portland's three-day September festival, which this year will host Spoon's Britt Daniel, Hersh and the Brian Jonestown Massacre, who also appear here.
Fernando's Enter to Exit: Also representing Portland this week are Fernando Viciconte and his band o' brothers — which includes the Eels' Jeff Lyster and Derek Brown. Fernando, who say on their MySpace page that they sound like "the mating call of the North American dairy cow," do some colorful uddering on "Howard Hughes," "One Trick Pony" and "Pasajeros." Moo.
- A Change of Pace - Prepare the Masses (Immortal)
- Trace Adkins - Dangerous Man (limited edition with bonus DVD also available; Capitol)
Buy Now: Dangerous Man (Capitol)
- Agalloch - Ashes Against the Grain (The End)
- Christina Aguilera - Back to Basics (two CDs; RCA)
Read: "Christina Makes Her Comeback Twice As Nice By Expanding Basics Into Double LP"
Buy now: Back to Basics (RCA)
- Carmen Appice - Ultimate Guitar Zeus (Escapi)
- Patricia Barber - Mythologies (Blue Note)
- Rory Block - The Lady and Mr. Johnson (Rykodisc)
- Paul Burch - East to West (Bloodshot)
- Cham - Ghetto Story (Atlantic)
Buy Now: Ghetto Story (Atlantic)
- Cherish - Unappreciated (enhanced; Capitol)
Buy Now: Unappreciated (Capitol)
- Damnwells - Air Stereo (Rounder/ Zöe)
- Mark Farina - Ministry of Sound Sessions (Ministry of Sound)
- Fernando - Enter to Exit (In Music We Trust)
- Philip Glass - "The Illusionist" soundtrack (Rykodisc)
- Hot Snakes - Thunder Down Under (live; Swami)
Buy Now: Thunder Down Under (Swami)
- Lyfe Jennings - The Phoenix (Columbia)
Buy Now: The Phoenix (Columbia)
- Joanna - This Crazy Life (Geffen)
- Sarah Kelly - Where the Past Meets Today (Gotee)
- Andy Fairweather Low - Sweet Soulful Music (Proper)
- Mahavatar - From the Sun, the Rain, the Wind, the Soil (Escapi)
- Eliot Morris - What's Mine Is Yours (Universal)
- Maria Muldaur - Heart of Mine: Love Songs of Bob Dylan (Telarc)
- Leigh Nash - Blue on Blue (One Son/ Nettwerk)
- The Panic Channel - (ONe) (Capitol)
Buy Now: (ONe) (Capitol)
- Bonnie Raitt and Friends - VH1 Classic Presents: Decades Rock Live! (with DVD; Capitol)
Buy Now: VH1 Classic Presents: Decades Rock Live! (Capitol)
- Reel Big Fish - Our Live Album Is Better Than Your Live Album (two CDs and one DVD; Umbrella Label)
Buy Now: Our Live Album Is Better Than Your Live Album (Umbrella Label)
- Carrie Rodriguez - Seven Angels on a Bicycle (enhanced; Back Porch)
- Kinnie Starr - Anything (Universal)
- Mike Stern - Who Let the Cats Out? (Heads Up)
- Tally Hall - Marvin's Marvelous Mechanical Museum (Quack!Media)
- Obie Trice - Second Round's on Me (Aftermath)
Read: "Eminem Denies Retirement Rumors; Currently Hard At Work On Obie Trice LP"
Buy now: Second Round's on Me (Aftermath)
- Unwed Sailor - The White Ox (Burnt Toast Vinyl)
- Warface - Insanity of the Obsessed (BCD)
- Yanni - Yanni Live!: The Concert Event (Image Entertainment)
- Various artists - Drum Nation Volume 3 (enhanced; Magna Carta)
- Various artists - (Lip Smackers Presents) Girl Next (Hollywood)
- Various artists - Musicfest NW Vol. 1 (Musicfest NW; available on CDBaby.com and in Portland, Oregon, record stores)
- Various artists - Snakes on a Plane: The Album (enhanced; New Line)
Read: "Snakes On A Soundtrack — Samuel L. Jackson Film Nabs Fall Out Boy, Panic!, Cee-Lo"
- Various artists - "The Cheetah Girls 2" soundtrack (enhanced; Disney)
Notable Reissues and Archival Material:
- Alabama - The Christmas Collection (Madacy)
- Audience - Audience ... Plus (Akarma)
- Robbie Basho - Venus in Cancer (Tompkins Square)
- Willie Bobo - Lost and Found (Concord)
- Crusaders - 1 and The 2nd Crusade (Blue Thumb)
- Crystal Gayle - The Ultimate Collection: Live (with DVD; Madacy)
- Vince Gill - The Christmas Collection (enhanced; Madacy)
- Grand Funk Railroad - Greatest Hits (with DVD; Capitol)
- Monkees - The Monkees and More of the Monkees - Deluxe Edition (two CDs each; Rhino)
- Keith Moon - Two Sides of the Moon (two CDs; Castle)
- Oak Ridge Boys - The Definitive Collection (MCA Nashville)
- Kenny Rogers - The Christmas Collection (Madacy)
- Sex Pistols - Spunk (Sanctuary)
- Sublime - Sublime - Deluxe Edition (enhanced two-CD set; Geffen)
- Josh White and Big Bill Broonzy - Josh White Comes A-Visitin', Big Bill Broonzy Comes A-Singin' (Empire Musicwerks)
- Madonna - "American Artist" (Locomotive)
- Webb Wilder - "Tough It Out! - Live in Concert" (with bonus CD; Landslide)
- Various artists - "Newport Jazz Festival All-Stars" (Geneon/ Pioneer)
- Kelis - Kelis Was Here (Jive)
Read: "Kelis Preparing To Get 'Bossy' With Her Next 'Strong Kind Of Girl Record' "
Preorder: Kelis Was Here (Jive)
- Lamb of God - Sacrament (deluxe edition with DVD also available; Epic)
Read: "Lamb Of God Ease Up On Bush But Get Deep Musically On Sacrament"
Preorder: Sacrament (Epic)
- Method Man - 4:21 ... The Day After (Def Jam)
Read: "Method Man Drops Diddy, Seeks Clarity On New LP, 4:21 ... The Day After"
Preorder: 4:21 ... The Day After (Def Jam)
- Outkast - Idlewild (La Face)
Read: "Missing Outkast? They've Already Lined Up Three 'Idlewild' Singles"
Preorder: Idlewild (La Face)
- Paris Hilton - Paris (Warner Bros.)
Read: "Paris Hilton's Debut Merges Hip-Hop, Reggae, Rod Stewart"
Preorder: Paris (Warner Bros.)
- Tego Calderón - The Underdog/ El Subestimado (Atlantic)
Preorder: The Underdog/ El Subestimado (Atlantic)
- The Roots - Game Theory (Def Jam)
Preorder: Game Theory (Def Jam)
- Jessica Simpson - A Public Affair (Epic)
Read: "Jessica Simpson Album Shifts Gears Along With Personal Life"
Preorder: A Public Affair (Epic)
- Pete Yorn - Nightcrawler (Red Ink)
Read: "Dave Grohl Helps Pete Yorn Rock, Tupac Inspires Him To Be Prolific"
Preorder: Nightcrawler (Red Ink)
- Young Dro - Best Thang Smokin' (Atlantic)
Preorder: Best Thang Smokin' (Atlantic)
- Audioslave - Revelations (Epic)
Read: "New Audioslave LP: 'Led Zeppelin Meets Earth, Wind & Fire' "
Preorder: Revelations (Epic)
- Beyoncé - B'Day (Columbia)
Read: "Beyonce's Triple Threat: New Album, Film, Fashion Line Before Year's End"
Preorder: B'Day (Columbia)
- Iron Maiden - A Matter of Life and Death (limited edition with bonus DVD also available; Sanctuary)
Preorder: A Matter of Life and Death (Sanctuary)