Attack of the Killer B: What does Beyoncé want for her B'Day? How about a #1 album? And with the Labor Day weekend leading to a serious lack of competition, it's extremely likely she'll get what she wants. On the topic of gifts, she's been passing out a few herself to the ardent fans who preordered her LP. Those who relied on Sony Music's online store got a limited-edition hologram photo; people who bought it through Wal-Mart's music-download vehicle were presented with an exclusive remix of "Deja Vu"; and those who went the iTunes route got an exclusive song called "Lost Yo Mind" plus a "Deja Vu" download. If you didn't preorder, want some extra goodies and are willing to shell out a little more cash, the international version has four bonus tracks, including "Check on It" featuring Bun B and Slim Thug and three hidden songs: "Encore for the Fans," "Listen" (from the "Dreamgirls" soundtrack) and an extended mix of "Get Me Bodied." The Japanese pressing has those tracks plus "Creole." Now that's what you call generous.
Book of Revelations: Audioslave have been doing the preorder thing too, treating fans who bought Revelations at Sony Music's online store to a download of "Original Fire" and a coupon, and presenting those who shopped at iTunes with even more bonuses: a live video for "Show Me How to Live," a track-by-track description of the LP, the "Original Fire" video and a digital booklet. Best Buy will offer a deluxe edition of the LP that's upped with a bonus DVD containing a 16-minute film by Danny Clinch. But everyone will have a chance to check out "Wide Awake," about the Hurricane Katrina aftermath, "Jewel of the Summertime" and "Sound of a Gun," all of which appear on the regular edition.
Torturous CDs: Heavy-rock vets Iron Maiden and Alice in Chains have touring in their sights, but they'll be going head-to-head this week in the record racks. Maiden's ridiculously epic A Matter of Life and Death has only 10 tracks but clocks in at a CD-bending 71:52, and the limited deluxe edition is even heftier with a bonus DVD featuring interviews and a pair of in-the-studio performances. The Essential Alice in Chains is pretty chunky too, outdoing 2001's 10-track Greatest Hits with 29 songs splayed over two CDs. Highlights on the set, which was initially announced in 2004, include "Get Born Again" and "Died," the two songs the band recorded for its Music Bank box set, and remixes of "What the Hell Have I" and "A Little Bitter," which appeared on the "Last Action Hero" soundtrack when Governor Schwarzenegger was still busting up the big screen.
Deep Freeze: Speaking of Ahnold, who also played Mr. Freeze in "Batman & Robin," poet Black Ice slips up the racks this week with his CD debut. A mainstay on Russell Simmons' "Def Poetry Jam," the spoken-word prince increases his vocabulary with The Death of Willie Lynch, getting a boost from Musiq ("Takeyatime"), Floetry's Natalie Stewart ("Shine") and Chyna Black ("Lone Soldier"). Black Ice has an even bigger heavyweight in his corner in Mary J. Blige, with whom he's been touring this summer.
This week's remaining releases are a little thin, but even so, there's plenty of random trivia to be aware of: Eric Clapton, Mark Knopfler, JJ Cale and Waylon Jennings all contribute to Uncovered, the latest effort by Southern songwriter Tony Joe White. ...The big Boss man himself, Bruce Springsteen, gives his pal Joe Grushecky a boost by piping up on "Code of Silence," a track that appears on the ex-Iron City Houserocker's A Good Life. ... Yes, that really is Colin Hay from Men at Work joining Latin electro-rockers Kinky on their third LP, Reina. ... Also spotted: Afro-beat creator Fela Kuti, cropping up on "In Africa," a DVD by ex-Cream and Blind Faith member Ginger Baker. ... George Winston's Gulf Coast Blues and Impressions - A Hurricane Relief Benefit is pretty self-explanatory and has 100 percent of proceeds going to relief organizations. Dr. John, Allen Toussaint, James Booker and others help further the effort. ... Rex Moroux also has his mind on New Orleans, as his LP Royal Street Inn is named after a hostel in the city, as does folk singer David Rovics, whose Halliburton Boardroom Massacre features "New Orleans," "Paul Wolfowitz" and "Song for Cindy Sheehan." ...
Honkytonk Homeslice and Zilla are both String Cheese Incident side projects, and they'll be competing for jam-band attention with the digipak Honkytonk Homeslice and two-CD All Iz, respectively. ... Massachusetts hard-rockers Seemless recorded their What Have We Become at Longview Studios, the same studio that's been graced by Aerosmith and the Rolling Stones. ... It's been 10 years since NYC underground heroes Alice Donut recorded together with their original lineup, but that streak is being broken with Fuzz. ... Roman Numerals, who log a self-named LP this week, feature guys who used to be in Dirtnap, Shiner and Season to Risk. The latter band was featured in 1995's Ralph Fiennes-starring "Strange Days." ... Threatening duo Jucifer have put out three LPs, but each one has dropped on a different label. This week's If Thine Enemy Hunger comes courtesy Relapse. ... Vader's Impressions in Blood is the 18th item the 20-year-old metal band has logged in its catalog.
Song Titles of the Week:
The track list to Horse the Band's Pizza EP: "Anti-Pizza," "Crippled by Pizza (Pizzarrhea in the Pizzeria)," "Werepizza," "Pizza Nif," and, of course, "T.M.N.T."
Grizzly Bear's Yellow House: Christopher Taylor has blossomed his formerly one-man, field-tape-dependent project into a four-piece act that will be opening for TV on the Radio for a handful of October gigs. Grizzly Bear now employ woodwinds, effects pedals and four-part harmonies, a new blend they show off on "Central and Remote," "On a Neck on a Spit" and "Colorado."
Sebadoh's III reissue: Widely considered to be essential indie-rock listening, the 1991 release is bolstered by a 17-track bonus disc chock-full of rarities. That includes the band's Gimme Indie Rock! EP from the same year, four-track demos of "The Freed Pig" and "Never Jealous" and more.
Made Out of Babies' Coward: This New York loud-rock foursome earns the honor for most unsettling album cover of the week: It features the up-close image of a kid who's been beaten to a pulp. Don't expect the music itself, documented by noise guru and noted engineer Steve Albini, to be any sweeter. Tracks include "Mr. Prison Shanks," "Gunt" and "Proud to Drown." Yikes.
- A Love Ends Suicide - In the Disaster (Metal Blade)
- Alice Donut - Fuzz (Howler)
Buy Now: Fuzz (Howler)
- Criss Angel - "Mindfreak" soundtrack (Koch)
- Dave Aude - Audacious (Koch)
- Audioslave - Revelations (Epic)
Read: "New Audioslave LP: 'Led Zeppelin Meets Earth, Wind & Fire' "
Buy Now: Revelations (Epic)
- Beyoncé - B'Day (Columbia)
Read: "Beyonce's Triple Threat: New Album, Film, Fashion Line Before Year's End"
Buy Now: B'Day (Columbia)
- Black Ice - The Death of Willie Lynch (Koch)
- Blind Guardian - A Twist in the Myth (Nuclear Blast America)
- Kate Campbell with Spooner Oldham - For the Living of These Days (Large River)
- Dawn of Azazel - Sedition (enhanced; Ibex Moon)
- Dead Hearts - Bitter Verses (Ferret)
- Ecstatic Sunshine - Freckle Wars (Carpark)
- Elin - Lazy Afternoon (Blue Toucan)
- Billy Gilman - Billy Gilman (Image)
- Goatwhore - A Haunting Curse (Metal Blade)
- Grizzly Bear - Yellow House (Warp)
- Joe Grushecky - A Good Life (Schoolhouse)
- Robin Guthrie - Everlasting (EP; Darla)
- Hell-Born - Cursed Infernal Steel (Ibex Moon)
- Hem - Funnel Crowd (Nettwerk)
- Honkytonk Homeslice - Honkytonk Homeslice (digipak; Sci Fidelity)
- Horse the Band - Pizza (EP; Koch)
- Incantation - Primordial Domination (Ibex Moon)
- Iron Maiden - A Matter of Life and Death (limited-edition version with bonus DVD due same day; EMI)
Read: "New Iron Maiden LP Is So Deep That Even The Band Doesn't Get It"
Buy Now: A Matter of Life and Death (EMI)
- Jars of Clay - Good Monsters (Essential)
- Libby Johnson - Annabella (Wrong)
- Jucifer - If Thine Enemy Hunger (Relapse)
- Kinky - Reina (Nettwerk)
Buy Now: Reina (Nettwerk)
- The Klezmatics - Woody Guthrie's Happy Joyous Hanukkah (JMG)
- Lakes - Photographs (EP; Militia Group)
- Lantana - Unbridled (BGM)
- Los Amigos Invisibles - Superpop Venezuela (Gozadera)
- Made Out of Babies - Coward (Neurot)
- Mark Mallman - Between the Devil and Middle C (Badman)
- Rex Moroux - Royal Street Inn (333)
- The Polyphonic Spree -
- Roman Numerals - Roman Numerals (Anodyne)
- David Rovics - Halliburton Boardroom Massacre (digipak with DVD; Mi5 Recordings)
- Seemless - What Have We Become (Equal Vision)
- Strike Anywhere - Dead FM (Fat Wreck Chords)
- Tall Paul - The Beat Technique (Koch)
- Teitur - Stay Under the Stars (digipak; Equator)
- Trainwreck Riders - Lonely Road Festival (Alive)
- Vader - Impressions in Blood (Candlelight)
- Tony Joe White - Uncovered (Swamp)
- George Winston - Gulf Coast Blues and Impressions - A Hurricane Relief Benefit (RCA Victor/ Windham Hill)
- Zilla - All Iz (Sci Fidelity)
- Various artists - "Phat Girlz" soundtrack (Lakeshore)
Notable Reissues and Archival Material:
- Alice in Chains - The Essential Alice in Chains (two CDs; Columbia/ Legacy)
Buy Now: The Essential Alice in Chains (Columbia/Legacy)
- Michael Bolton - The Essential Michael Bolton (two CDs; Columbia/ Legacy)
- Miles Davis - Cool & Collected (Columbia/ Legacy Jazz)
- Kinky Friedman - Last of the Jewish Cowboys: The Best of Kinky Friedman (Shout! Factory)
- Laurent Garnier - Retrospective 94.06 (two CDs; Mute)
- Lowlife - Godhead (LTM)
- Yves Montand - Unreleased, Rare & Essential (DRG)
- Sebadoh - III (Domino)
- Aaron Tippin - Aaron Tippin: Now and Then (Rust)
- Joy Williams - Every Moment: The Best of Joy Williams (Reunion)
- Various artists - Sundown: A Windham Hill Piano Collection (Windham Hill/ Legacy)
- Ginger Baker - "In Africa" (Eagle Vision)
- Gary Burton and Makoto Ozone - "Live at Montreux 2002" (Eagle Vision)
- Jeff Healey - "Live at Montreux 1999" (with CD; Eagle Vision)
- Peggy Lee - "In Concert Series" (Passport)
- Roger Whittaker - "Roger Whittaker in Concert: Greatest Hits" (Foreign Media Group)
- The Who - "Music Box Biographical Collection" (Music Video Box)
- Various artists - "Gigantour" (two DVDs; Image)
- John Mayer - Continuum (Columbia)
Preorder: Continuum (Columbia)
- Mastodon - Blood Mountain (Reprise; limited-edition version with DVD due same day)
Read: "Mastodon LP Tackles Auto-Cannibalism, One-Eyed Sasquatch"
- N.O.R.E. y la Familia - Ya Tú Sabe (Roc-A-Fella)
- Justin Timberlake - FutureSex/LoveSounds (Jive)
Read: "Justin Previews New Tracks At Hollywood Show With Help From Will.I.Am, Timbaland"
Preorder: FutureSex/LoveSounds (Jive)
- TV on the Radio - Return to Cookie Mountain (Interscope)
- Clay Aiken - A Thousand Different Ways (RCA)
Preorder: A Thousand Different Ways (RCA)
- Fergie - The Dutchess (Interscope)
Read: "Fergie's Split-Pea Soup: Reggae, Jazz, Ludacris, B Real On 'Crazy' Solo LP"
Preorder: The Dutchess (Interscope)
- Jesse McCartney - Right Where You Want Me (Hollywood)
Read: "In September, Get Jesse McCartney Right Where You Want Him"
Preorder: Right Where You Want Me (Hollywood)
- New Found Glory - Coming Home (Geffen)
Read: "New Found Glory Unveil Track List; New LP Is 'Different From Everything Out There' "
Preorder: Coming Home (Geffen)
- Janet Jackson - 20 Y.O. (Virgin)
Preorder: 20 Y.O. (Virgin)
- Ludacris - Release Therapy (Def Jam)
Read: "Therapy Is In Session: Kanye, Pharrell, R. Kelly Hop On Luda's LP"
Preorder: Release Therapy (Def Jam)
- Mewithoutyou - Brother Sister (Tooth & Nail)
Read: "Mewithoutyou Confront Rock's Limitations: 'You Can't Give People Hugs In A CD' "
Preorder: Brother, Sister (Tooth & Nail)