The All Tomorrow's Parties festival gives the crem de la crem of the indie-rock netherworld a chance to periodically strut their self-deprecating stuff. But in case you haven't been able to make one of the 18 installments, there will be a re-enactment of sorts in record stores this week. The lack of heavy-hitters on the roster — with Madonna's live set bumping to next week, we're looking at you, Pretty Ricky — leaves a vacuum that's being filled by a drove of indie luminaries including the Shins, Clinic and Of Montreal.
A few stragglers might be giving those contestants a bit of a challenge, though. Pretty Ricky — who have been seducing the ladies on the Scream tour alongside Bow Wow and Omarion — dish up their second effort, Late Night Special, led by the single "On the Hotline." Also, the Miami quartet consisting of Spectacular, Baby Blue, Pleasure and Slick 'Em "Push It," "Stay" and "Make It Like It Was."
Elsewhere, Victory Records kisses its former metalcore mavens Atreyu goodbye with The Best of Atreyu. Adorned with an illustration of a rainbow arching over the disembodied head of a pink sheep with a bowtie in her hair, the package culls the Orange County, California, band's three LPs and includes a DVD with seven videos for good measure.
Fellow OC native Dustin Kensrue will give his neighbors a run for their money. Splitting away from his principal project, Thrice, the frontman spills singer/songwriter goodness onto his first solo outing. Look for eight songs on the digipak, including "Consider the Ravens," "Blanket of Ghosts" and "Weary Saints."
Kenny Wayne Shepherd Presents: 10 Days Out - Blues From the Backroads and John Mellencamp's Freedom's Road are also expected to do some chart damage this week, but let's not dilly-dally with them. Here are your 10 most anticipated college-friendly releases this week:
The Shins' Wincing the Night Away: After becoming just the second Sub Pop band to perform on "Saturday Night Live," the "Garden State" juniors are hoping their broadened success means big things the third time around. And yes, those are elements of hip-hop and electronic music you're hearing on "Sea Legs" and "Sleeping Horses," respectively.
Of Montreal's Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?: The Athens, Georgia, act has outlasted many of its brethren in the Elephant 6 collective, and mtvU recently gave lots of love to their last video, "Wraith Pinned to the Mist and Other Games." This album also has plenty of bleeps and bloops but features much bleaker lyrics.
Clinic's Visitations: The Liverpool, England, critic darlings lost their grip a little with 2004's tepidly received Winchester Cathedral, but they're also verified vets at this point, having been around for a decade. For their fourth release, though, Clinic are freer than ever after having toyed around with a steam calliope, gong, melodica and more in their new home studio.
Deerhoof's Friend Opportunity: The Radiohead tourmates just witnessed a grammar school in Maine perform an entire show based on their Milk Man — will they get lucky again? There's a decent chance: While the San Francisco gang is now scaled down to a threesome, its latest material is being called its most accessible yet.
Six Parts Seven's Casually Smashed to Pieces: Jazz, Americana, mariachi and rock come together on this LP, and fans of Tristeza and Mogwai's more ambient material need look no further. The Kent, Ohio, quartet continues to be all-instrumental, but they've got enough melody and texture for bands twice as big.
Rob Crow's Living Well: You know him from Pinback, the Ladies and every other collaborative side project Travis Barker isn't in — now the artist is taking a break to reflect on his own life. The autobiographical lyrics describe Crow's wedding and the birth of his first child, and the CD is stocked with images of the artist with his family.
Ghost's In Stormy Nights: You know it's a Ghost album if one of the six songs runs 28 minutes long and is actually a combination of multiple live recordings carefully sewn together. The Tokyo band has been around for 23 years, and this experimental acid-doom-jazz disc is proof of that fact.
The Broken West's I Can't Go on, I'll Go On: It's never easy for a band to change its name after promo CDs reach rock critics. But that's exactly what these Los Angelinos — formerly named the Brokedown — are hoping to do with their debut. Power-pop fans, prepare to be hooked.
Vietnam's Vietnam: The quiet Brooklyn, New Yorkers dropped a live album almost three years ago — well before stepping up with this, their first studio LP. Jenny Lewis, Paz Lenchantin (A Perfect Circle, Zwan) and others climb onboard the effort — but not the Living Things, who allegedly got into a public brawl with the duo last year.
Exploding Star Orchestra's We're All From Somewhere Else: The Chicago post-rock scene is notoriously incestuous — just look at the résumé of any member of Tortoise to prove it. This album underscores the trend: Jeff Parker, Rob Mazurek, John McEntire, Matt Lux and others unite — thanks to a commission from the Chicago Cultural Center — to form a three-part narrative "involving the death and ascension of a stingray into an exploding star, intelligent conversations with electric eels and the destructive power of humans," according to a press release. We're there.
Song Title of the Week:
"Getting Mugged and Loving It" from Piebald's Accidental Gentleman
The Good, the Bad & the Queen's The Good, the Bad & the Queen: Move over, Helen Mirren — Damon Albarn's bastard version of the Queen has arrived. The artist — who also has Gorillaz, Blur and Mali Music under his belt — gangs up with Paul Simonon of the Clash, Fela Kuti collaborator Tony Allen and the Verve's Simon Tong for an album's worth of dub-informed world-music fun.
Julie Doiron's Woke Myself Up: Eleven years after Eric's Trip disbanded, its former co-pilots are getting back together on this half-hour release. Don't expect to hear much reminiscing about the band, though: Here, Rick White — who produces and contributes bass, among other instruments — is helping Doiron reflect on her own family life on songs like "Don't Wanna Be/ Liked by You," "Me and My Friend" and "I Left Town."
Lee Hazelwood's Cake or Death: It's rare that an artist's new album is advertised as his "final" one — unless the musician is dead, of course — but that's exactly what's happening with this LP of reworked classics and originals. The guest list alone is enough to attract attention: Hazelwood teams with his granddaughter, one of Scandinavia's top jazz singers, the woman who composed the "March of Penguins" soundtrack and more. The disc closes with the tear-jerker "T.O.M. (The Old Man)."
· Abigail Williams - Legend (limited-edition LP; Candlelight)
· The Affair - Yes Yes to You (Absolutely Kosher)
· Sunshine Anderson - Sunshine at Midnight (Music World)
· Arbouretum - Rites of Uncovering (Thrill Jockey)
· Walter Beasley - Ready for Love (Heads Up)
· Eric Bibb - Diamond Days (Telarc)
· The Bird and the Bee - The Bird and the Bee (Blue Note)
· Black Diamond Heavies - Every Damn Time (Alive)
· The Broken West - I Can't Go on, I'll Go On (Merge)
· Tom Brosseau - Grand Forks (Loveless)
· Cadillac Sky - Blind Man Walking (Skaggs Family)
· Clinic - Visitations (Domino)
· Rob Crow - Living Well (Temporary Residence)
· Deerhoof - Friend Opportunity (Kill Rock Stars)
· Tony DeSare - Last First Kiss (Telarc)
· Destruction - Thrash Anthems (Candlelight)
· Devilz Rejects - Necronomicon (Dynasty Muzik/ Raptivism/ Imperial)
· Julie Doiron - Woke Myself Up (Jagjaguwar)
· Earlies - Enemy Chorus (Secretly Canadian)
· Exploding Star Orchestra - We're All From Somewhere Else (Thrill Jockey)
· José Feliciano - The Soundtrack of My Life (Hip-O)
· Tony Furtado - Thirteen (Funzalo)
· Future of Forestry - Twilight (Credential)
· Chris Garneau - Music for Tourists (Absolutely Kosher)
· Get Set Go - Selling Out & Going Home (TSR)
· Ghost - In Stormy Nights (Drag City)
· Gipsy Kings - Pasajero (Nonesuch)
· The Good, the Bad & the Queen - The Good, the Bad & the Queen (Virgin)
· John Hammond - Push Comes to Shove (Back Porch)
· Lee Hazlewood - Cake or Death (Ever)
· Kristin Hersh - Learn to Sing Like a Star (Yep Roc) [Buy Now]
· Hit the Lights - This Is a Stick Up ... Don't Make It a Murder (Triple Crown)
· I Walk the Line - Desolation Street (Gearhead)
· Dustin Kensrue - Please Come Home (digipak; Equal Vision)
· David Kilgour - The Far Now (Merge)
· Chuck Loeb - Presence (Heads Up)
· Macromantics - Moments in Movement (Kill Rock Stars)
· Maher Shalal Hash Baz - L'Autre Cap (K)
· John Mellencamp - Freedom's Road (Universal Republic) [Buy Now]
· Menomena - Friend & Foe (Barsuk)
· Moe - The Conch (digipak; Fatboy)
· Múm - The Peel Session (Fatcat)
· MV & EE With the Bummer Road - MV & EE With the Bummer Road (Ecstatic Peace)
· Ken Navarro - The Meeting Place (Positive)
· The New Trust - Dark Is the Path Which Lies Before Us (Slowdance)
· Of Montreal - Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer? (Polyvinyl) [Buy Now]
· Only Crime - Virulence (Fat Wreck Chords)
· Carey Ott - Lucid Dream (Dualtone)
· Permanent Me - After the Room Clears (Stolen Transmission)
· Ed Pettersen - The Punk Blues of Ed Pettersen (digipak; Split Rock)
· Piebald - Accidental Gentlemen (Side One Dummy) [Buy Now]
· Pretty Ricky - Late Night Special (Atlantic) [Buy Now]
· Alasdair Roberts - The Amber Gatherers (Drag City)
· Sonny Rollins - Sonny, Please (Emarcy)
· Peter Rowan and Tony Rice - Quartet (Rounder)
· Saliva - Blood Stained Love Story (Island) [Buy Now]
· Kenny Wayne Shepherd - Kenny Wayne Shepherd Presents: 10 Days Out - Blues From the Backroads (with DVD; Reprise) [Buy Now]
· The Shins - Wincing the Night Away (Sub Pop) [Buy Now]
· Six Parts Seven - Casually Smashed to Pieces (digipak; Suicide Squeeze)
· DJ Spinna - Compositions 2 (Sickbay)
· Marnie Stern - In Advance of the Broken Arm (Kill Rock Stars)
· Billy Strayhorn - Lush Life (Blue Note)
· The Tiny - Starring Someone Like You (Eyeball)
· Tony Trischka - Double Banjo Bluegrass Spectacular (Rounder)
· Twilight Singers - A Stitch in Time (EP; One Little Indian)
· David Vandervelde - The Moonstation House Band (Secretly Canadian)
· Caetano Veloso - Cê (Nonesuch)
· Vietnam - Vietnam (Kemado)
· Year of Desolation - Year of Desolation (Prosthetic)
· You Am I - Convicts (Yep Roc) [Buy Now]
· Various artists - Grammy Nominees 2007 (BMG Strategic Marketing)
· Various artists - Casey Kasem Presents: The Long Distance Dedications (Top Sail)
· Various artists - Fabric 31: Marco Carola (Fabric)
· Various artists - "Catch and Release" soundtrack (Legacy/Sony Music Soundtrax)
· Various artists - "Dane Cook's Tourgasm" soundtrack (Rhino)
Notable Reissues and Archival Material:
· Atreyu - The Best of Atreyu (with DVD; Victory)
· Bee Gees - 1st, Horizontal and Idea (each comes with a bonus CD; Rhino)
· Glenn Branca - Indeterminate Activity of Resultant Masses (Atavistic)
· The Chrome Cranks - Diabolical Boogie: Singles, Demos & Rarities (1992 B.C. - 1998 A.D.) (two CDs; Atavistic)
· D.O.A. - Bloodied but Unbowed: The Damage to Date 1973-83 (Sudden Death)
· Echo & the Bunnymen - The Very Best of Echo & the Bunnymen: More Songs to Learn and Sing (with DVD; Rhino)
· Faces - The Definitive Rock Collection (two CDs; Rhino)
· Grateful Dead - Live at the Cow Palace: New Year's Eve 1976 (three CDs; Rhino)
· The Jam/ The Style Council/ Paul Weller - Hit Parade (Yep Roc)
· Al Martino - An Introduction to Al Martino (Fuel)
· Medford Drive - All of Your Wonder (Blood & Ink)
· Mew - Frengers (Epic)
· Placebo - Meds (Virgin)
· Pete Townshend - The Definitive Collection (Hip-O)
· Pete Townshend/ Ronnie Lane - Rough Mix (Hip-O)
· White Lion - The Definitive Rock Collection (two CDs; Rhino)
· Yes - The Definitive Rock Collection (two CDs; Rhino)
· Various artists - Forever Changing: The Golden Age of Elektra 1963-1973 (five CDs plus CD-ROM; deluxe limited edition due same day; Rhino)
· Various artists - Ultra Dance 8 (Ultra)
· Hate Eternal - "Perilous Fight" (Earache)
· Various artists - "Chicago Blues Reunion: Buried Alive in the Blues" (with CD; Eagle Vision)
· Various artists - "Pure '80s: Headbangers Rule," "Totally New Wave" and "Video Idols" (Hip-O)
· Various artists - "We Are the Future" (Image Entertainment)
· Alkaline Trio - Remains (Vagrant) [Preorder]
· Norah Jones - Not Too Late (Blue Note) [Preorder]
· Madonna - The Confessions Tour (with DVD; Warner Bros.) [Preorder]
· Katharine McPhee - Katharine McPhee (RCA) [Preorder]
· Bloc Party - Weekend in the City (Vice) [Preorder]
· Fall Out Boy - Infinity on High (Island) [Preorder]
· The Used - Berth (live CD with DVD; Reprise) [Preorder]
· Gerald LeVert - In My Songs (Atlantic) [Preorder]
· Bobby Valentino - Special Occasion (Def Jam) [Preorder]
· Lucinda Williams - West (Lost Highway) [Preorder]