This week’s crop of new releases aren’t all that scary, per se — unless you’ve been fearing those K-Fed and Kellie Pickler debuts and think that tough lass Lady Sovereign could kick your butt. But it does give us an opportunity to put a musical twist on trick or treating. And, for the “hell” of it, we’ve provided 31 entries to make this 31st extra special.
Kevin Federline’s Playing With Fire
- Trick: Uh … yeah.
- Treat: Britney Spears makes an appearance on “Crazy,” and there’s a hidden track called “Middle Finger” — wait, is that part of the trick?
Lady Sovereign’s Public Warning
- Trick: Speaking of middle fingers, the temperamental Lady Sov is more than happy to show hers.
- Treat: Missy Elliott turns up on an album-capping remix of Sov’s white-hot single, “Love Me or Hate Me.”
Gorillaz’s “Phase Two – Slowboat to Hades” DVD
- Trick: The amount of money you have to pony up to collect all the components of the comprehensive Demon Days “multimedia experience,” of which this is a part.
- Treat: Forty selections, 3-D features, a bonus CD-ROM with 16 games, — that’s bananas!
Ice-T’s Gangsta Rap
- Trick: A mouthful of appearances by a “Who’s that?” of rap, including Marc Live, Kryst and Smoothe Da Hustler.
- Treat: It’s his first straight-up rap album since 1999. And did you know that the T stands for “treat”?
Deftones’ Saturday Night Wrist
- Trick: C’mon, dudes, throw in the towel already.
- Treat: Really cool cover art and a song called “U, U, D, D, L, R, L, R, A, B, Select, Start.”
Pitbull’s El Mariel
- Trick: A guest spot by Trick Daddy (on “Born N Raised”).
- Treat: Assorted contributions from Lil Jon, Fat Joe, Pharrell, Rick Ross, Wyclef Jean, DJ Khaled, Mr. Coolipark and the Neptunes — good God, that’s impressive.
Isis’ In the Absence of Truth
- Trick: The band’s recently released DVD, “Clearing the Eye,” easily could have been appended to this disc.
- Treat: Some of the best sludge/dirge/doom/melodic/cheese-free metal you’ll hear all year.
Kellie Pickler’s Small Town Girl
- Trick: “I have no idea what I’m doing,” which she let slip before an “American Idol” performance, pretty much says it all.
- Treat: A jewel case comes with the CD!
Ron Artest’s My World
- Trick: Historically, basketball-player-turned rappers haven’t fared too well. Yeah, we’re looking at you, Shaq.
- Treat: Mike Jones makes an assist, and DJ Kay Slay spins some beats.
Flavor Flav’s Flavor Flav
- Trick: Just watch this.
- Treat: Knowing that a rapper who once spat against the establishment can also write a song called “Unga Bunga Bunga.”
Coheed and Cambria’s “The Last Supper: Live at the Hammerstein Ballroom” DVD
- Trick: Frontman Claudio Sanchez is putting out an LP by his side project, the Prize Fighter Inferno, the same day — ha.
- Treat: On top of Coheed’s May performance at the New York venue, they’ve chalked up a fan’s perspective of the show, plus three videos and behind-the-scenes footage.
Prize Fighter Inferno’s My Brother’s Blood Machine
- Trick: This is a side project from Coheed and Cambria, who are putting out a DVD the same day — ha.
- Treat: This gives Coheed fans a chance to see the band’s ongoing narrative through the eyes of a different character, who is alternately known as Jesse and the Prize Fighter Inferno.
Sunn0))) & Boris’ Altar
- Trick: Kurt Cobain amigo and Earth guru Dylan Carlson plays on “Her Lips Were Wet With Venom” — a song that only appears on the vinyl version of this collaborative affair.
- Treat: Soundgarden’s Kim Thayil comes out of the cave to provide a few licks on “Blood Swamp” and pen the liner notes.
Lyrics Born’s Overnite Encore: Lyrics Born Live!
- Trick: The San Francisco underground hip-hop hero is taking stock of his career with a live album recorded in … Australia.
- Treat: An hour’s worth of live material, three new slices and smart lyrics that’ll make you feel born again.
The Who’s Endless Wire
- Trick: No Keith Moon. No John Entwistle.
- Treat: The band’s first new LP in almost 25 years gives fans their due: Nineteen tracks, plus a bonus DVD with limited editions.
The Who’s “Live at the Isle of Wight Festival 1970″
- Trick: A lesser-quality version of this thing — minus the remastered surround sound by Pete Townshend, the 40-minute Townshend interview and two songs — came out just over two years ago.
- Treat: Keith Moon. John Entwistle.
Every Time I Die’s “Sh– Happens: The Life. The Stage. The Road. The DVD.”
- Trick: Bonus home videos that will bring out your inner smartass.
- Treat: Two hours’ worth of metal madness, including footage from a Christmas concert and the Warped Tour, plus a behind-the-scenes/don’t-try-this-at-home treat for the tricksters out there: Bandmembers actually setting their hair on fire.
Various artists’ “Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan” soundtrack
- Trick: Borat.
- Treat: Three videos, a sing-along clip, audio snippets from the movie and excerpts from the score by Sacha Baron Cohen’s real-life (seriously) brother Erran.
Battle of Mice’s A Day of Nights
- Trick: A project drummed up by two lovers, the band/relationship went so swimmingly that Josh Graham (Red Sparowes) and Julie Christmas (Made Out of Babies) wound up having to record some of this LP in separate rooms.
- Treat: You want raw? You got it. “The sonic philosophy of the band reflects a huge, primal range of emotion: love, lust, jealousy, whiskey and blind rage,” Christmas said in a press release.
Aiden’s Rain in Hell EP
- Trick: Have you seen these guys? They dress up for Halloween every day of the year.
- Treat: Covers of Billy Idol’s “White Wedding” and the Misfits’ “Die, Die My Darling,” plus a lengthy DVD to boot.
Bad Religion’s “The Riot: December 29, 1990 at the El Portal Theater in Lovely North Hollywood, CA” DVD
- Trick: Yeah, if Bad Religion come to your door, make sure to take them up on that treat.
- Treat: This special-edition set immortalizes the band’s chaotic show, plus some footage of the make-up gig they staged about a month later for the fans who were turned away by police.
Willie Nelson’s Songbird
- Trick: Rabble-rouser Ryan Adams is all over this sucker, producing and performing on every track, including renditions of songs by Leonard Cohen, Gram Parsons, Jerry Garcia and the Red-Headed Stranger himself.
- Treat: Dude, it’s Willie Nelson.
Tupac’s “The Complete Live Performances: Live at House of Blues Los Angeles & Club 662 Las Vegas” DVDs
- Trick: Were these really the only two concerts ’Pac ever performed?
- Treat: Finally, a Tupac DVD that isn’t a documentary. Plus, guest spots by Snoop, Tha Dogg Pound, Outlawz and K-Ci & JoJo.
Icy Demons’ Tears of a Clone
- Trick: Can a clone really cry?
- Treat: Woodwinds, rich percussion and kraut-inspired electronics — a treat indeed.
My Morning Jacket’s “Okonokos: The Concert” DVD
- Trick: A double-CD live album last month, and now this, a separately sold third disc to go along with it? Come on, get real.
- Treat: These guys dressed up in Victorian outfits, decorated the stage like a forest, tapped one of Pink Floyd’s lighting guys and covered Duke Ellington for this show. Now that’s far out.
Anders Parker’s Anders Parker
- Trick: This guy’s put out a pile of albums under his own name as well as Varnaline, and released LPs with Space Needle and Gob Iron. Get it straight, man.
- Treat: He borrows lyrics from Neil Young, Joni Mitchell and Paul Westerberg — all in one song (“Winter Coat”) — and roped in members of Wilco, the Mekons and Gigolo Aunts to help out.
Gob Iron’s Death Songs for the Living
- Trick: What, more Anders Parker? Sheesh.
- Treat: He’s got Son Volt’s Jay Farrar as a partner on this project, and they revitalize a spate of folk classics, mixing in some fresh instrumentals along the way.
Cross Canadian Ragweed’s Back to Tulsa: Live & Loud at Cain’s Ballroom
- Trick: The DVD is sold separately — what, is this becoming a trend?
- Treat: With no overdubs or vocal tweaking, this is the Oklahoma alt-country act at its most honest.
My Latest Novel’s Wolves
- Trick: Yet another band from Glasgow, Scotland.
- Treat: This album was named, in part, after graphic-novel master Neil Gaiman’s “The Wolves in the Walls.” Plus it’s got a song called “The Job Mr Kurtz Done.”
Mixel Pixel’s Music for Plants
- Trick: Wait a second, plants can’t hear!
- Treat: If you like the Moog, you are in for a treat indeed.
Meat Loaf’s Bat Out of Hell III: The Monster Is Loose
- Trick: Ha, Meat Loaf.
- Treat: There is no treat.
Song Title of the Week:
“Your Tearz Are My Ice Cream” from Experimental Dental School’s 2 1/2 Creatures
- 40 Below Summer – Last Dance (Crash)
- The Accursed – Seasons of the Scythe (Screaming Ferret)
- Aiden – Rain in Hell (EP with DVD; Victory)
- Ron Artest – My World (Lightyear); Read: “Ron Artest Battles In Basketball/Boxing Game, Funds His Own Rap LP”
- Bang Tango – From the Hip (Perris)
- The Bangkok Five – Who’s Gonna Take Us Alive? (Execution Style/ Universal)
- Battle of Mice – A Day of Nights (Neurot)
- Birdman & Lil Wayne – Like Father, Like Son (Cash Money)
- Blenders – Songs From the Soul (Oarfin)
- The Blue Van – Dear Independence (TVT)
- T. Graham Brown – The Present (Aspirion)
- Burden Brothers – Mercy (Kirtland)
- Tracy Byrd – Different Things (Rocket Science)
- Jeremy Camp – Beyond Measure (BEC)
- The Catz in the Hatz – Resilience (Rhombus)
- D Christopher – A Moment of Your Time (Universal)
- Coko – Grateful (Compendia)
- Bootsy Collins – Christmas Is 4 Ever (Shout! Factory)
- Colour Revolt – Colour Revolt (EP; Tiny Evil)
- Copeland – Eat, Sleep, Repeat (Militia Group)
- Cross Canadian Ragweed – Back to Tulsa: Live & Loud at Cain’s Ballroom (live; with DVD; Universal South)
- Brian Culbertson – A Soulful Christmas (GRP)
- David & the Citizens – Until the Sadness Is Gone (Friendly Fire)
- Dead Poetic – Vices (Tooth & Nail)
- Deftones – Saturday Night Wrist (Maverick); Read: “Deftones Plan Tour With Deadsy Before LP Drops On Halloween”
- The End of the World – You’re Making It Come Alive (Flameshovel)
- Endwell – Homeland Insecurity (Victory)
- Experimental Dental School – 2 1/2 Creatures (Cochon)
- Feathers – Synchromy (Hometapes)
- Kevin Federline – Playing With Fire (Reincarnate); Read: “Federline Moving Songs From The Lab To Clubs For Testing”
- Figgs – Follow Jean Through the Sea (Gern Blandstein)
- Flavor Flav – Flavor Flav (Draytown)
- Four Letter Lie – Let Your Body Take Over (Victory)
- Gob Iron – Death Songs for the Living (Transmit Sound/ Legacy)
- The Honeydogs – Amygdala (CC)
- Ice-T – Gangsta Rap (Melee)
- Icy Demons – Tears of a Clone (Eastern Developments)
- Isis – In the Absence of Truth (Ipecac)
- Phil Keaggy – Roundabout (Tag)
- Kylesa – Time Will Fuse Its Worth (Prosthetic)
- Lady Sovereign – Public Warning (Def Jam)
- Laibach – Volk (Mute)
- Michael Landau Group – Live (two CDs; Tone/Unconscious)
- Phil Lesh and Friends – Live at the Warfield, San Francisco, CA (Image)
- Low Frequency in Stereo – The Last Temptation of … the Low Frequency in Stereo (Gigantic)
- Lyrics Born – Overnite Encore: Lyrics Born Live! (Quannum)
- Mad Tea Party – Big Top, Soda Pop (Whose That)
- Barry Manilow – The Greatest Songs of the Sixties (Arista)
- Meat Loaf – Bat Out of Hell III: The Monster Is Loose (Virgin)
- Nellie McKay – Pretty Little Head (Black Dove)
- Mixel Pixel – Music for Plants (Kanine)
- Craig Morgan – Little Bit of Life (Broken Bow)
- Moros Eros – I Saw the Devil Last Night and Now the Sun Shines Bright (Victory)
- My Dying Bride – A Line of Deathless Kings (Peaceville/Snapper)
- My Latest Novel – Wolves (Bella Union)
- Willie Nelson – Songbird (Lost Highway)
- Newsboys – Go (enhanced; Inpop)
- Niobe – White Hats (Tomlab)
- Anders Parker – Anders Parker (Baryon)
- Kellie Pickler – Small Town Girl (19/ BNA)
- Pitbull – El Mariel (TVT); Read: “Pitbull Barks About Parties, Politics On October’s El Mariel“
- The Prize Fighter Inferno – My Brother’s Blood Machine (Equal Vision); Read: “Coheed And Cambria Singer Steps Into The Ring With Prize Fighter”
- Qwel & Meaty Ogre – Freezerburner (Galapagos)
- Residents – The Residents Present Tweedles! (Mute)
- Ben Riley’s Legendary Monk Septet – Memories of T (Concord)
- Kate Russell – Powerful Stuff (Aspirion)
- Joe Satriani – Satriani Live! (two CDs; Red Ink)
- Scars of Tomorrow – The Failure in Drowning (Victory)
- Spider Rockets – Ever After (self-release)
- SunnO))) & Boris – Altar (Southern Lord)
- Sunny Sweeney – Heartbreaker’s Hall of Fame (Independent)
- Tea Leaf Green – Rock ’N’ Roll Band (Sci Fidelity)
- Terra Diablo – Terra Diablo (Nocturnal)
- This Moment in Black History – It Takes a Nation of A–holes (Cold Sweat)
- To Live and Shave in L.A. – Noon & Eternity (Menlo Park)
- Claude VonStroke – Beware of the Bird (Dirtybird)
- We Are the Fury – Venus (One Big Spark/ East/West)
- The Who – Endless Wire (Republic; limited-edition version with DVD also available)
- Women & Children – Paralyzed Dance, Tonight (Narnack)
- Your Black Star – Sound From the Ground (Reignition)
- Various artists – Anjunabeats Volume Four: Mixed by Above & Beyond (Anjuna Beats)
- Various artists – Lullaby Renditions of Led Zeppelin (Baby Rock)
- Various artists – Trustkill Takeover Volume II (Trustkill)
- Various artists – The Voices and Faces Project, Vol. 1 (Voices & Faces)
- Various artists – “Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan” soundtrack (Atlantic)
- Various artists – “Flushed Away” soundtrack (Astralwerks)
- Various artists – “Happy Feet” soundtrack (Atlantic)
Notable Reissues and Archival Material:
- Animal Collective – Hollinndagain (Paw Tracks)
- Randy Bachman – Anthology (Friday)
- Bad Brains – Live at CBGB 1982: The Audio Recordings (MVD Audio)
- Clint Black – Killin’ Time/ Put Yourself in My Shoes (Hux)
- Blackbeard – I Wah Dub and Strictly Dub Wize (Caroline)
- Collage – Moonshine (enhanced; Metal Mind)
- Sonny Curtis – Beatle Hits Flamenco Guitar Style (El)
- Desmond Dekker – … In Memoriam 1941-2006 (MVD Audio/ Secret)
- Sheena Easton – The Lover in Me (Cherry Pop)
- The Exploding Hearts – Shattered (Dirtnap)
- Flotsam and Jetsam – Doomsday for the Deceiver (with two bonus discs; Metal Blade)
- John Fogerty – The Long Road Home: In Concert (Fantasy)
- Buddy Guy – Can’t Quit the Blues (box set with three CDs and one DVD; Silvertone/Legacy)
- John Lee Hooker – Hooker (four-CD box set; Shout! Factory)
- Ice Cube – Laugh Now, Cry Later (“O.G.” limited-edition version with DVD; Lench Mob)
- Millie Jackson – It Hurts So Good (Southbound)
- Louis Jordan – The Aladdin “X” & Vik Recordings 1953-55 (Rev-Ola Bandstand)
- Joy of Cooking – The Complete Joy of Cooking (two CDs; Acadia)
- Kinks – Arista Years and RCA Years (seven- and six-CD limited-edition box sets; Velvel)
- The Knife – Deep Cuts (enhanced) and The Knife (Mute)
- Jerry Lee Lewis – Killer Rock ’N’ Roll (Varèse Sarabande)
- Lil’ Romeo – Greatest Hits (Koch)
- Arthur Lyman – Mele Kalikimaka (Empire Musicwerks)
- Johnny Mathis – Gold: A 50th Anniversary Christmas Celebration (Columbia/Legacy)
- Mobb Deep – Life of the Infamous: The Best of Mobb Deep (Loud/Legacy)
- Opeth – Ghost Reveries (special-edition digipak with DVD; Roadrunner)
- The Paris Sisters – The Complete Phil Spector Sessions (Varèse Sarabande)
- Sandi Patty – The Voice of Christmas (Word)
- Relient K – The Anatomy of the Tongue in Cheek (Gotee)
- Peggy Scott – She’s Got It All: Rare 70’s Soul (Shout! Factory)
- Nina Simone – The Nina Simone Collection (three CDs; Metro) and Remixed & Reimagined (RCA/Legacy)
- Chris Thompson – If You Remember Me: The Very Best of Chris Thompson (Renaissance)
- Vader – Reborn in Chaos (Metal Mind)
- Michelle Williams – Heart to Yours/ Do You Know: Master Series (two CDs; Music World)
- Various artists – Big Blues Box 2 (three-CD box set; Fuel)
- Various artists – Death Row’s 15th Anniversary (Koch)
- Various artists – The Hi Records Story (Hi)
- Various artists – Hip Hop Forever III – Mixed by DJ Jazzy Jeff (enhanced; Rapster)
- Various artists – Ultimate Jazz Christmas (Blue Note)
- AC/DC – “A Classic Album Under Review: Back in Black” and “Thunder Rock: Interviews” (MVD Visual)
- Bad Religion – “The Riot: December 29, 1990 at the El Portal Theater in Lovely North Hollywood, CA” (MVD Visual/ L.A. Access)
- Beatles – “She Loves You” (MVD Visual)
- Black Crowes – “Freak ’N’ Roll Into the Fog – The Black Crowes All Join Hands” (Blu Ray)
- Johnny Cash – “Johnny Cash in Ireland” (Mercury/Universal)
- Coheed and Cambria – “The Last Supper: Live at the Hammerstein Ballroom” (Columbia/ Equal Vision)
- Alice Cooper – “Live at Montreux 2005″ (Blu Ray)
- Cross Canadian Ragweed – “Back to Tulsa: Live & Loud at Cain’s Ballroom” (Universal South)
- Cutting Crew – “Live at Full House Rock Show” (MVD Visual/ Inakustik)
- Bob Dylan – “1966 World Tour (The Home Movies)” (MVD Visual) and “Ralph J. Gleason Presents: Dylan Speaks – The Legendary 11965 Press Conference in San Francisco” (Eagle Vision)
- John Entwistle – “Thunderfingers: A Tribute to the Legendary John Entwistle of the Who” (MVD Visual)
- Every Time I Die – “Sh– Happens: The Life. The Stage. The Road. The DVD.” (Ferret)
- The Farm – “Back Together Now! Live” (MVD Visual)
- Tennessee Ernie Ford – “A Ford Show Family Christmas” (Kultur)
- Gorillaz – “Phase Two – Slowboat to Hades” (with bonus CD-ROM; EMI)
- Joy Division – “Under Review” (MVD Visual)
- Kiss – “Kissology: The Ultimate Kiss Collection – Vol. One 1974-1977″ (two DVDs; VH1 Classic)
- Ronnie Lane – “The Passing Show: The Life & Music of Ronnie Lane” (Eagle Vision)
- Phil Lesh and Friends – “Live at the Warfield, San Francisco, CA” (two DVDs; Image)
- Little Steven – “Live at Full House Rock Show” (MVD Visual/ Inakustik)
- Barry Manilow – “First & Farewell” (two DVDs; Rhino)
- Freddie Mercury – “Lover of Life, Singer of Songs” (EMI)
- Van Morrison – “Live at Montreux 1980 and 1974″ (Eagle Vision)
- My Morning Jacket – “Okonokos: The Concert” (ATO/RCA)
- Omarion – “Invitation Only” (MVD Visual)
- Roy Orbison – “In Dreams” (Orbison/Legacy)
- Pendragon – “And Now Everybody to the Stage” (MVD Visual)
- Pink Floyd – “Shine On: Interviews” (MVD Visual)
- Joe Satriani – “Satriani Live!” (Red Ink)
- The Style Council – “Live at Full House Rock Show” (MVD Visual/ Inakustik)
- Tea Leaf Green – “Rock ’N’ Roll Band” (Sci Fidelity)
- Trick Daddy – “The Real Entourage” (Body Head)
- Tupac – “The Complete Live Performances: Live at House of Blues Los Angeles & Club 662 Las Vegas” (two DVDs; Eagle Vision)
- The Who – “Live at the Isle of Wight Festival 1970″ (Eagle Vision)
- Young Jeezy – “Thug Motivation” (MVD Visual)
- Various artists – “Stop the War Coalition Benefit Concert” (MVD Visual)
- James Blunt – Back to Bedlam (limited-edition version with bonus CD; Atlantic)
- Foo Fighters – Skin and Bones (RCA)
- Jim Jones – Hustler’s P.O.M.E. (Product of My Environment) (Koch); Read: “NFL Players Shooting Jump Shots During Games? Blame Jim Jones”
- Dave Matthews Band – The Best of What’s Around, Vol. 1 (two CDs; RCA)
- Ol’ Dirty Bastard – A Son Unique (Def Jam)
- Army of Anyone – Army of Anyone (Firm)
Read: “Army Of Anyone Want To Be Judged By Their Fifth Album, Not Their Debut”
- Fat Joe – Me, Myself and I (Virgin); Read: “Fat Joe On September Release: ’Bet The Kitchen Sink On Me’ “
- The Game – Doctor’s Advocate (Geffen); Read: “Game Says Song On New LP Makes Him ’The One-Man N.W.A’ “
- Plus-44 – When Your Heart Stops Beating (Interscope); Read: “Plus-44 Address Blink Breakup On LP, Want Fans To ’Hear The Truth’ “
- Tenacious D – “The Pick of Destiny” soundtrack (Epic)
- Jay-Z – Kingdom Come (Roc-A-Fella); Read: “Jay-Z’s ’Retirement’ Is Finally Over: New Album Due In November”
- Killswitch Engage – As Daylight Dies (Roadrunner); Read: “Killswitch Engage Turn On The Heavy For Glass-Shattering As Daylight Dies“
- U2 – U218 Singles (limited-edition; with DVD; Interscope)