New Releases: Game, Fat Joe, (+44), Panic! At The Disco, Akon & More

Also due Tuesday: Trail of Dead, Michael Jackson, Clash, Tenacious D, Cassettes, Entrance, Army of Anyone.

Coast to Coast: When Fat Joe tapped the Game to appear on “Breathe & Stop,” the second single from his Me, Myself and I LP, little did Joe know that he was actually sleeping with the enemy. After all, Game’s new Doctor’s Advocate drops this week too, which means the two will go head-to-head for consumers’ dollars. If the albums are judged by their guest stars, NYC Joe is in trouble. He enlisted Lil Wayne for two Me tracks, “The Profit” and “Make It Rain,” plus Scott Storch for production purposes. But Game has him beat: Kanye, Jamie Foxx, Nas, Snoop, Xzibit and Swizz Beatz all contribute to his LP, in varying capacities. And to top it off, Weezy was one of the 20-plus artists who just participated in a remix of Game’s new single, “It’s Okay (One Blood).”

Name That Band: Blink-182 always said they chose the “182″ randomly. But there’s no doubting where Mark Hoppus and Travis Barker got the name for their follow-up band, (+44): It’s the international dialing code for the U.K. Theirs isn’t the most unconventional band name this week, though. That honor belongs, as it always does whenever they rear their scrawny heads, to … And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead, who have a new CD to share this week as well. While (+44)’s When Your Heart Stops Beating also features ex-Transplant Craig Fairbaugh and Shane Gallagher of the Nervous Return, Hoppus did all the singing, wrote all the lyrics and even played some guitar. Barker did his part by taking piano lessons and chalking up some keyboard contributions. Trail of Dead reached beyond their five-member cast and out to Dresden Doll Amanda Palmer and King Crimson‘s Pat Mastelotto for help with So Divided, which has some of the most gorgeous album art in recent memory and also includes a Guided by Voices cover song.

‘Kon Session: Akon is a singer, not a rapper, and he grew up in Senegal, not exactly one of hip-hop’s capitals. But that hasn’t stopped Eminem, Snoop and Styles P. from taking him under their respective wings. All three of them lend a hand on his sophomore disc, Konvicted, a release that has bounced around from November 21 to December 12 to this date. ‘Kon, who has run into his fair share of trouble with the law, repents with the anti-gangsta track “Runnin’ ” and branches out even more with a ballad, “Never Took the Time,” and an Africa-awareness track, simply titled “Africa.” Konvinced?

Tenacious D.G.: Foo Fighters just put out the concert disc Skin and Bones last week and have a DVD version dropping in two weeks, but apparently Dave Grohl is trying to make an appearance every Tuesday in November. He plays drums throughout the “Tenacious D in: The Pick of Destiny” soundtrack, which was produced by the Dust BrothersJohn King and has a limited deluxe version with tarot cards, a guitar pick and special slipcase. Grohl crops up on another soundtrack too: “Rising Son: The Legend of Skateboarder Christian Hosoi,” for which he contributed “Vile.” That song is actually the product of his teaming with DJ C-Minus — who, incidentally, has collaborated with Grohl buds Queens of the Stone Age in the past.

You and Whose Army?: You might know Richard Patrick as the guy who kept saying, “Hey, man, nice shot,” in Filter‘s song of the same name. But you probably won’t recognize the guys joining him for Army of Anyone: They’re the Stone Temple Pilots who got constantly upstaged by media darling Scott Weiland. While they’re going to war with their self-titled debut, Yusuf is more apt to find a diplomatic solution. You might not recognize him either: After finding mainstream popularity as Cat Stevens, the Islam convert changed his name to Yusuf Islam, and now he’s just Yusuf. Among the spiritual and romantic songs on his album An Other Cup, he finds space to set the record straight with a cover of “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood,” made famous by Nina Simone.

Let the Reissues Floweth: When sales fail, and they sure have been failing lately, there’s always the mighty reissue. Labels have been pumping out deluxe versions of today’s biggest releases, and this week proves no different, with a collector’s edition of Panic! at the Disco‘s A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out hitting stores. The album looks to go beyond its platinum success with this limited run, enhanced with a bonus DVD (tour, live and backstage footage); phenakistoscope (one of those spindle viewer doohickeys); lyric cards; a tour program; and more.

But unlike other weeks, this one also sees a wide range of re-releases by recent but lesser-known bands. In case you’ve forgotten (we did), Wind-Up — home to Evanescence, Creed, etc. — was originally Grass Records, which put out more indie-friendly releases in the mid-’90s. Commander Venus, a project featuring Conor Oberst of Bright Eyes, are recalled with a straight reissue of 1997′s The Uneventful Vacation, and New Jersey’s the Wrens find their first two LPs, Secaucus and Silver, also re-released in frill-free form. And metal fans get their fill with digipak versions of doom deacons Electric Wizard‘s Come My Fanatics, Dopethrone and Electric Wizard. All three come with bonuses.

A Clash Indeed: If you ever wondered what Michael Jackson might have in common with the Clash, the mystery has been solved: Both artists are being heralded with monster singles boxes. Visionary: The Video Singles has a whopping 20 DualDisc singles, each of the original tracks plus accompanying videos. The Clash’s The Singles falls one CD short at 19 but has six songs never on CD plus a giveaway EP that hasn’t been commercially available. Oh, and the liner notes include contributions from the Edge, Pete Townshend, Damon Albarn and more. Can you beat it?

Lovers’ Row?: When Noah Georgeson produced Joanna Newsom‘s 2004 album, The Milk-Eyed Monster, he probably didn’t think his girlfriend’s follow-up would be pitted against his debut. But that’s exactly what’s happening this week. Georgeson, who plays guitar in Devendra Banhart‘s live band, wrote, produced, scored, arranged, etc. Find Shelter beginning in 1999, when he lived with Newsom. Her Ys has just five songs but includes contributions from engineer Steve Albini, egghead Jim O’Rourke of Sonic Youth, not to mention legendary arranger Van Dyke Parks.

… And That’s a Fact: This one’s for the books, really: Originally pressed on vinyl in 1955, Charlotte Rae Sings Songs I Taught My Mother: Silly, Sinful & Satiric Selections is seeing its first-ever release on CD some four decades later. So who is Charlotte Rae, you ask? Well, you probably know her better as Mrs. Garrett: Rae, now 80 years old, is the woman who played the mentor on “Diff’rent Strokes” and “The Facts of Life” — and she sang the latter show’s theme song to boot. Relive the olden days as Rae hums along to “Gabor the Merrier,” “When I Was a Little Cuckoo” and “The Sea-Gull and the Ea-Gull.”

Song Title of the Week:

“The Sea-Gull and the Ea-Gull” from Charlotte Rae Sings Songs I Taught My Mother: Silly, Sinful & Satiric Selections

Other Notables:

The Low Frequency in Stereo‘s The Last Temptation of … the Low Frequency Stereo, Vol. 1: The Norwegian groovesters invoke the Jesus and Mary Chain and other post-psych greats on their third album, which was partly crafted using an old living-room organ. Recorded on analog but mixed digitally, Last Temptation boasts “Jimmy Legs,” “Bahamas” and “Red Flag.”

Entrance‘s Prayer of Death: The fourth LP by 25-year-old wünderkind Guy Blakeslee was inspired by, in no particular order, the Tibetan Book of the Dead, LSD guru Timothy Leary and Delta blues legend Charley Patton. Co-produced by and featuring contributions from Paz Lenchantin of A Perfect Circle note, Prayer purports to be “a conceptual meditation on the urgency of life-awareness and death-awareness in a war-torn world.” Far out.

Various artistsCursed – The Head Trauma Movie Project: Ever synced up Pink Floyd‘s Dark Side of the Moon with “The Wizard of Oz”? It’s the same deal here, except label Park the Van aligned unreleased songs by Bardo Pond, the Capitol Years and Bitter Bitter Weeks with “Head Trauma,” a grisly indie horror film that appeared at the Los Angeles Film Festival earlier this year. Bet Rob Zombie wishes he had thought of this one.

New Releases:
· (+44) – When Your Heart Stops Beating (Interscope)
Read: “Plus-44 Address Blink Breakup On LP, Want Fans To ‘Hear The Truth’ “
· Akon – Konvicted (Universal Motown)
· Ali B – Ali B Presents … Air Breaks (Air)
· … And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead – So Divided (Interscope) [Buy Now]
· April Wine – Roughly Speaking (April Wine)
· Army of Anyone – Army of Anyone (Firm) [Buy Now]
Read: “Army Of Anyone Want To Be Judged By Their Fifth Album, Not Their Debut”
· Bad Astronaut – Twelve Small Steps, One Giant Disappointment (Fat Wreck Chords)
· Cassettes – ‘Neath the Pale Moon (Buddyhead)
· Ronnie Day – The Album (Militia Group)
· Disco Biscuits – Rocket 3 (limited-edition EP; Sci Fidelity)
· Entombed – When in Sodom (Candlelight)
· Entrance – Prayer of Death (Tee Pee)
· Fat Freddys Drop – Based on a True Story (Kartel)
· Fat Joe – Me, Myself and I (Virgin) [Buy Now]
Read: “Fat Joe On September Release: ‘Bet The Kitchen Sink On Me’ “
· Christine Fellows – Paper Anniversary (Six Shooter)
· The Game – Doctor’s Advocate (Geffen) [Buy Now]
Read: “Game Says Song On New LP Makes Him ‘The One-Man N.W.A’ “
· Noah Georgeson – Find Shelter (Plain)
· Nanci Griffith – Ruby’s Torch (Rounder)
· Imperial – We Sail at Dawn (Pluto)
· Incredible Bongo Band – Bongo Rock (Mr Bongo)
· Jon B – Holiday Wishes From Me to You (Arsenal)
· Kenny G – I’m in the Mood for Love … The Most Romantic Melodies of All Time (Arista)
· Mark Knopfler and Emmylou Harris – Real Live Roadrunning (with DVD; Warner Bros.)
· The Low Frequency in Stereo – The Last Temptation of … the Low Frequency Stereo, Vol. 1 (Gigantic)
· Marah – Sooner or Later in Spain (enhanced live LP; Yep Roc) [Buy Now]
· Paul Michel – Quiet State of Panic (Stunning Models on Display)
· Joanna Newsom – Ys (Drag City)
· Nickodemus – Endangered Species (Eighteenth Street)
· Joan Osborne – Pretty Little Stranger (Vanguard) [Buy Now]
· Laura Pausini – Yo Canto (Warner Music Latina)
· Paybacks – Love, Not Reason (Savage Jams)
· Polly Panic – Painkiller (Greyday)
· The PoPo – The PoPo (Buddyhead)
· Damien Rice – 9 (Heffa/ Vector/ Warner Bros.) [Buy Now]
· The Red Krayola – Red Gold (EP; Drag City)
· Bianca Ryan – Bianca Ryan (Columbia)
· Sasquatch – II (Small Stone)
· Emilie Simon – The Flower Book (Milan)
· Bob Sinclair – Cerrone (Recall)
· Tahiti 80 – Fosbury (Militia Group)
· Tamia – Between Friends (Image)
· Tenacious D – “The Pick of Destiny” soundtrack (limited-edition deluxe version also available; Epic) [Buy Now]
· Tralala – Is That the Tralala (Audika)
· White Magic – Dat Rosa Mel Apibus (Drag City)
· Winks – Birthday Party (Ache)
· Yusuf – An Other Cup (limited-edition version also available; Atlantic)
· Various artists – Cursed – The Head Trauma Movie Project (Park the Van)
· Various artists – ESL 100 (ESL)
· Various artists – Fabric 30: Rub-N-Tug (FabricLive)
· Various artists – George Jones: 50 Years of Hits (available as a CD or a two-CD/two-DVD set; Rounder)
· Various artists – Rhythms del Mundo: Cuba (Hip-O)
· Various artists – “Bobby” soundtrack (Rhino)
· Various artists – “Casino Royale” soundtrack (Sony Classics)
· Various artists – “Rising Son: The Legend of Skateboarder Christian Hosoi” soundtrack (Image)

Notable Reissues and Archival Material:
· Johnny Cash – At San Quentin: Legacy Edition (two CDs and one DVD; Columbia/Legacy)
· Cee-Lo – Closet Freak: The Best of Cee-Lo Green the Soul Machine (Arista/Legacy) [Buy Now]
· The Clash – The Singles (19-disc box set; Epic/Legacy)
· Ornette Coleman – To Whom Keeps a Record (Water)
· Commander Venus – The Uneventful Vacation (Wind-Up)
· Depeche Mode – The Best Of: Volume One (also available with DVD; Sire/Reprise)
· Electric Wizard – Come My Fanatics, Dopethrone and Electric Wizard and (digipaks; Candlelight)
· Emmylou Harris & Carl Jackson – I’ve Always Needed You (Music Avenue)
· Michael Jackson – Visionary: The Video Singles (20-disc DualDisc box set; Epic/Legacy) [Buy Now]
· Nickel Creek – Reasons Why (The Very Best) (with DVD; Sugarhill)
· Panic! at the Disco – A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out (deluxe collector’s edition with DVD; Decaydance/ Fueled by Ramen)
· Charlotte Rae – Charlotte Rae Sings Songs I Taught My Mother: Silly, Sinful & Satiric Selections (P.S. Classics)
· Slot – The Sweet Black Bear (Small Stone)
· Solange – Solo Star (Music World)
· Staind – The Singles: 1996-2006 (Flip/Atlantic) [Buy Now]
· String Cheese Incident – On the Road: Anchorage, AK – 07-23-06 (two CDs), On the Road: Eugene, OR – 09-06-06 (four CDs), On the Road: Redmond, VA – 08-02-06 (three CDs) and On the Road: Travelogue – Summer 06 (three CDs; Sci Fidelity)
· Sublime – Everything Under the Sun (box set with three DVDs and one CD; Geffen/ UMe/ Gasoline Alley/ Skunk) [Buy Now]
· Witchcraft – Witchcraft (Candlelight)
· Wrens – Secaucus and Silver (Wind-Up)
· Neil Young and Crazy Horse – Live at the Fillmore 1970 (with DVD; Reprise)
· Various artists – Classic Country: Outlaws (Time Life)
· Various artists – If I Sing: The Songwriters Album (P.S. Classics)
· Various artists – Retro:Active 5: Rare & Remixed (Hi-Bias)
· Various artists – So You Think You Don’t Like Swing (Time Life)
· Various artists – Ultimate Classical Chill Out: The Essential Masterpieces (five-CD box set; Decca)

Music DVDs:
· Asleep at the Wheel – “Live From Austin TX” (New West)
· Leonard Cohen – “I’m Your Man” (Lionsgate)
· Dillards – “A Night in the Ozarks: An Audiolithograph – The Video Documentary” (Varèse Sarabande)
· HIM – “Love Metal Archives Vol. 1″ (Republic)
· Takagi Masakatsu – “World Is So Beautiful” (Carpark)
· Paul McCartney – “The Space Within US: A Concert Film” (A&E Home Video)
· Mobb Deep – “Life of the Infamous: The Videos” (Loud/Legacy)
· Staind – “The Videos” (Flip/Atlantic)
· Junior Wells – “Junior Wells and Guest” (Immortal)
· Widespread Panic – “Earth to Atlanta: Live at the Fox Theatre 2006″ (two DVDs; Sanctuary)
· Various artists – “The Best of the Jammys Volume One” (Relix)
· Various artists – “Drive-Thru Records DVD Volume IV” (Drive-Thru)
· Various artists – “George Jones: 50 Years of Hits” (available as a two-DVD set or a two-DVD/two-CD set; Rounder)

Coming Attractions:

November 21:
· Jay-Z – Kingdom Come (Roc-A-Fella) [Preorder]
Read: “Jay-Z’s ‘Retirement’ Is Finally Over: New Album Due In November”
· Killswitch Engage – As Daylight Dies (Roadrunner) [Preorder]
Read: “Killswitch Engage Turn On The Heavy For Glass-Shattering As Daylight Dies
· U2 – U218 Singles (limited-edition; with DVD; Interscope) [Preorder]

November 28: