Sam's Sons: The Killers choked four singles out of their debut, Hot Fuss, which went on to become the longest-running rock album on the Billboard top 50 in 2005 — even though it was released in June 2004. Producers Flood and Alan Moulder are together again for the first time since they worked on Smashing Pumpkins' Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, and with some amusing cowboy imagery à la Muse, the Las Vegas posse is hoping to mine more gold in Sam's Town. Songs include: "Bling (Confession of a King)," "Why Do I Keep Counting?" and "This River Is Wild."
Beck's Back: He's already put out more videos for his new album than some bands put out in their entire careers, but now it's time for Beck to finally deliver The Information. A bonus DVD that comes with copies of the Nigel Godrich-produced disc features all those videos — 15 in total, one for each track — plus stickers to help you build your own album cover. Songs include: "Strange Apparition," "1000BPM" and "Horrible Fanfare/ Landslide/ Exoskeleton."
Girl's Next Door: Amy Lee has some pretty big shoes to fill — her own. Having sold more than 14 million copies worldwide of their debut, Fallen, Evanescence are probably feeling the "Weight of the World," as one of their new songs puts it. You've probably already heard "Call Me When You're Sober," the first single from The Open Door, but keep an ear out for a string section on "Good Enough" — and don't expect a Nirvana cover on Evanescence's similarly titled "Lithium."
Take Off: There's myriad import versions of Jet's Shine On flying around out there. The version issued in their Australia homeland has five extra cuts — including two that appear, oddly enough, at the beginning of the track list. Japanese editions come with a different bonus cut, "Hold On," while most territories also have a limited digipak run, which you should be able to identify by the shrink-wrap.
Don't Sleep: He's cropped up on some major Outkast hits over the years ("The Way You Move," "So Fresh, So Clean"), but it's finally time for Sleepy Brown to rouse the masses with his solo debut. Mr. Brown comes through Big Boi's Purple Ribbon imprint and features a guest spot from the 'Kast member on "Margarita," which Pharrell also supports. Outkast proper appear on the last track, "I Can't Wait," while other songs include "Me, My Baby & My Cadillac," "One of Dem Nights" and "Till (Your Legs Start Shaking)."
Indie-Rock Till You Drop: This is another packed Tuesday for new releases — and one of the most rock-heavy ones in months — but it could also prove to be a watershed week for underground acts on the verge, so to speak. Here are the top 10 indie-rock releases to look for:
- The Decemberists' The Crane Wife: Probably the most established indie-rock band putting out new material this week, this Portland, Oregon, troupe is actually doing so on a major label: Capitol. Based on a Japanese children's folk tale, the conceptual LP — co-produced by Death Cab for Cutie's Chris Walla — actually delves into dark tales of murder on songs like "You'll Not Feel the Drowning."
- Various artists' The DFA Remixes: Chapter Two: While various artists are indeed represented here — Nine Inch Nails, N.E.R.D., Hot Chip, Goldfrapp — the emphasis is clearly on the two-man combo that is Death From Above. Many of these mixes by the heralded underground duo are seeing commercial release for the first time.
- The Kooks' Inside In/ Inside Out: These Brighton, England, lads have already put out five singles in the U.K., before even issuing their maiden release in the U.S. This LP has already gone double-platinum in the Kooks' homeland, and they've sold out four headlining tours. As Stan Lee would say, 'nuff said.
- The Dears' Gang of Losers: Scrolling over to yet another part of the globe, these Montreal musicians actually put three tracks not available on the Canadian version of their LP on the U.S. edition. The band — which openly cites Serge Gainsbourg as a major influence — has shed most of the orchestral elements from 2004's No Cities Left in favor of more basically structured songs, which include "Sinthtro," "Ballad of Humankindness" and "There Goes My Outfit."
- Ad Astra Per Aspera's Catapult Calypso: The Lawrence, Kansas, post-punks actually infuse their songs with some Latin and roots sounds on their full-length debut, which features "Scatter Baby Spiders," "The Romantic One" and the epic closer "Flannery's Coming Home." Plus it boasts one of the most colorful album covers hitting stores this week.
- Cities' Variations: AAPA have some competition on the post-punk front in this Chapel Hill, North Carolina, gang, which is putting out a remix disc only months after issuing its debut. Ladytron put an electro touch on "Writing on the Wall," while lesser-known acts like Free the Robots and Daedelus also do some retooling. A second remix of "A Theme" was contributed by Mike Westbrook, who got a spot on the disc after winning a contest on the Yep Roc Records Web site.
- Thunderbirds Are Now!'s Make History: Detroit may have had some bad news over the weekend, what with its Tigers having lost their grip on the AL Central division title, but hopefully the city will find some recompense in the latest opus from these spazz-outs. That it was produced by Enon's John Schmersal and mixed by Les Savy Fav's Syd Butler should give you an idea of what to expect: 11 tracks of odd fits and starts, burps and farts.
- The Meeting Places' Numbered Days: Recorded in conjunction with the Ship — an Elephant 6-like group of Los Angelinos that includes Earlimart — the band's second album was captured by Grandaddy's Jim Fairchild. Blending piano and glockenspiel with kraut sounds and noise-pop, Numbered Days includes "Cardboard Robot," "Love Like the Movies" and "Mumble."
- Planes Mistaken for Stars' Mercy: Hop over to Denver for a louder dose of rock on songs like "Killed by Killers Who Kill Each Other," "Little Death" and "To Spit a Sparrow." Produced by Matt Bayles of Mastodon and Isis note, the CD is also adorned with glorious artwork by Pig Destroyer collaborator Chris Taylor.
- The Hold Steady's Boys and Girls in America: No, proceeds from this disc do not go toward the Boys & Girls Club — the title is actually a line from Jack Kerouac's "On the Road" — but don't let that stop you from picking up these 11 passels of spunky rock. This CD actually serves as the masthead for BoysandGirlsinAmerica.com, an online community through which the band is encouraging fans to submit video about "Your first date to your worst date, your party fouls and your massive nights."
Song Title of the Week:
"Melody With Balls" from Warpig's Warpig
Pepper's No Shame: With their single "Your Face" figuratively blowing up at radio, the Los Angeles-via-Hawaii band is ready for its frenzied fanbase to spice up the mainstream. Recent tours with 311 and the Wailers surely planted some seeds of interest among reggae-rock aficionados, but in case that didn't do the trick, Nick Hexum produced the effort, while No Doubt's Tony Kanal lends some bass parts.
Sean Lennon's Friendly Fire: Boasting contributions from such random guests as Jon Brion, Bijou Phillips and Cibo Matto's Yuka Honda, perhaps the only thing stranger about this set is the motley crew that appears on the companion DVD's short film: Carrie Fisher, Asia Argento and Lindsay Lohan. Lennon covers Marc Bolan and conjures images of "Dead Meat" on his first album in eight years, but plays fewer instruments than he did on his solo debut, Into the Sun.
Robyn Hitchcock & the Venus 3's Olé! Tarantula: Hitch recruited one-half of R.E.M. — Peter Buck and Scott McCaughey — for what he's calling the "rockingest record I've made in years." Kurt Bloch of the Fastbacks acts as engineer, while many other guests are also along for the ride: Soft Boys Morris Windsor and Kimberly Rew, plus members of Harvey Danger and Presidents of the United States of America. Those who preordered were gifted with a bonus disc with live tracks and more.
- Ad Astra Per Aspera - Catapult Calypso (Sonic Unyon)
- Oleta Adams - Christmas Time With Oleta (Koch)
- Akron/ Family - Meek Warrior (Young God)
- Akwid - E.S.L. (UniVision)
- Amon Amarth - With Oden on Our Side (two CDs; Metal Blade)
Buy Now: With Oden on Our Side (Metal Blade)
- Trey Anastasio - Bar 17 (Red Ink)
Buy Now: Bar 17 (Red Ink)
- Badi Assad - Wonderland (Deutsche Grammophon)
- Beck - The Information (Geffen)
Read: "Beck Giving Fans Sticky Fingers With Quasi-Hip-Hop Album"
Buy Now: The Information (Geffen)
- Big Rich - E-40 Presents Big Rich A.K.A. Fillmore Rich: Block Tested, Hood Approved (Koch)
- Bleu Da Vinci - Bleu Da Vinci Presents: The World Is BMF's - The Compilation (with DVD; Koch)
- Brand New Sin - Tequila (Century Media)
Buy Now: Tequila (Century Media)
- Brazil - The Philosophy of Velocity (Immortal)
- Breaks Co-Op - The Sound Inside (Astralwerks)
- Jim Brickman - Escape (SLG)
- Lindsey Buckingham - Under the Skin (Warner Bros.)
Buy Now: Under the Skin (Warner Bros.)
- Don Byron - Do the Boomerang: The Music of Junior Walker (Blue Note)
- Edie Carey - Another Kind of Fire (Accidental Poet)
- Celtic Woman - A Christmas Celebration (Manhattan)
- Chthonic - Seediqbale (Down Port)
- Cirque Du Soleil - Corteo (Cirque Du Soleil)
- Cities - Variations (EP; Yep Roc)
- Clark - Body Riddle (Warp)
- Dears - Gang of Losers (Arts & Crafts)
Buy Now: Gang of Losers (Arts & Crafts)
- Decemberists - The Crane Wife (Capitol)
Buy Now: The Crane Wife (Capitol)
- Delerium - Nuages Du Monde (Nettwerk)
- Plácido Domingo - Moments of Passion (Sony Classical)
Buy Now: Moments of Passion (Sony Classical)
- Don't Die Cindy - Most Imperfect Skies (Cake)
- Richard Dorfmeister vs. Madrid de los Austrias - Grand Slam (G-Stone)
- Evanescence - The Open Door (Wind-Up)
Read: "Amy Lee Says New Evanescence LP Has More Sensuality"
Buy Now: The Open Door (Wind-Up)
- Michael Giacchino - "Lost: Season 2" soundtrack (Varèse Sarabande)
- Goldenboy - Underneath the Radio (Eenie Meenie)
- David Grover & the Big Bear Band With Steve Ide & Friends - Passin' It On (Koch)
- Stefon Harris - African Tarantella: Dances With Duke (Blue Note)
- Robyn Hitchcock & the Venus 3 - Olé! Tarantula (Yep Roc)
- The Hold Steady - Boys and Girls in America (Vagrant)
Buy Now: Boys and Girls in America (Vagrant)
- Into Eternity - The Scattering of Ashes (Century Media)
Buy Now: The Scattering of Ashes (Century Media)
- Jeremiah - Chasing Forever (Siri)
- Jet - Shine On (Atlantic)
Read: "Jet Reveal Commanding Track List For Shine On LP"
Buy Now: Shine On (Atlantic)
- Jonezetta - Popularity (Tooth & Nail)
- K-Ci - My Book (Bungalo)
- Kennedys - Songs of the Open Road (Appleseed)
- Killers - Sam's Town (Island)
Read: "Killers Album Preview: Massive Sound, Epic Ballads, Big Ideas Fill Sam's Town"
Buy Now: Sam's Town (Island)
- King Britt's Interpretations - Nova Dream Sequence (Compost)
- Gladys Knight - Before Me (Verve)
- Kooks - Inside In/ Inside Out (Astralwerks)
Buy Now: Inside In/ Inside Out (Astralwerks)
- Koop - Koop Islands (!K7)
- Jake La Botz - Graveyard Jones (Charnel Ground)
- Amos Lee - Supply and Demand (Blue Note)
- Sean Lennon - Friendly Fire (with DVD; Capitol)
Buy Now: Friendly Fire (Capitol)
- Les Georges Leningrad - Sangue Puro (Tomlab)
- Los Straitjackets With the World Famous Pontani Sisters and Kaiser George - Twist Party!!! (Yep Roc)
- Make Believe - Of Course (Flameshovel)
- The Manhattan Transfer - An Acapella Christmas and The Symphony Sessions (Rhino)
Buy Now: An Acapella Christmas and The Symphony Sessions (Rhino)
- Meeting Places - Numbered Days (Words On)
- Monica - The Makings of Me (J)
Read: "Monica Overcomes Pregnancy Rumors, Ex-Boyfriend's Suicide To Form Makings Of Me"
Buy Now: The Makings of Me (J)
- Nina Nastasia - On Leaving (Fat Cat)
- Nuttin' but Stringz - Struggle From the Subway to the Charts (Koch)
- Lisa Palleschi - Released (Lightyear)
- John Patitucci - Line by Line (Concord)
- Pepper - No Shame (Atlantic)
- Pillar - The Reckoning (Flicker)
- Planes Mistaken for Stars - Mercy (Abacus)
- John Popper - The John Popper Project Featuring DJ Logic (Image)
Buy Now: The John Popper Project Featuring DJ Logic (Image)
- The Radiators - Dreaming Out Loud (Sci Fidelity)
Buy Now: Dreaming Out Loud (Sci Fidelity)
- The Receiver - Decades (Stunnin Models on Display)
- Reyes Brothers - Ghetto Therapy (Latin Thug/ Koch)
- Rodrigo y Gabriela - Rodrigo y Gabriela (ATO)
- Sharam - Dubai (Global Underground)
- Skillet - Comatose (Atlantic)
- Slats - Boom Patrol (digipak; Latest Flame)
- Sleepy Brown - Mr. Brown (Virgin)
Buy Now: Mr. Brown (Virgin)
- Some Action - The Band That Sucked the Life Out of Rock N' Roll and Killed Itself in the Process (Gigantic)
- Spitalfield - Better Than Knowing Where You Are (Victory)
Buy Now: Better Than Knowing Where You Are (Victory)
- George Strait - It Just Comes Natural (MCA Nashville)
Buy Now: It Just Comes Natural (MCA Nashville)
- Subtle - For Hero for Fool (Astralwerks)
- Robin Thicke - The Evolution of Robin Thicke (Interscope)
Buy Now: The Evolution of Robin Thicke (Interscope)
- Thunderbirds Are Now! - Make History (French Kiss)
- Tokyo Police Club - A Lesson in Crime (Paper Bag)
- Transit War - Miss Your Face (Orange Peal)
- Trentalange - Photo Album of Complex Relationships (Coco Tauro)
- Twelve Tribes - Midwest Pandemic (Ferret)
- Unk - Beat'n Down Yo Block! (Koch)
- Visionaries - We Are the Ones (We've Been Waiting For) (Up Above)
- Warpig - Warpig (Relapse)
- Wolf - The Black Flame (Prosthetic)
- Michael Wolff - Love and Destruction (Wrong)
- Chris Young - Chris Young (RCA)
Buy Now: Chris Young (RCA)
- Various artists - Adult Swim and Stones Throw Presents Chrome Children (with DVD; Stones Throw)
- Various artists - The DFA Remixes: Chapter Two (Astralwerks)
- Various artists - Fabric 30 - Rub-N-Tug (Fabric)
- Various artists - Rep Yo Set (Reputable)
- Various artists - Totally Hits 2006 (Warner Strategic Marketing)
- Various artists - We'll Inherit the Earth ... A Tribute to the Replacements (1234 Go)
- Various artists - "The Break-Up" soundtrack (Lakeshore)
- Various artists - "Sherrybaby" soundtrack (Lakeshore)
Notable Reissues and Archival Material:
- Tim Buckley - The Best of Tim Buckley (Rhino)
- Captain Beefheart - Doc at the Radar Station and Ice Cream for Crow (Astralwerks)
- Ray Charles - Ray Charles With the Voices of Jubilation (Medialink) and Ray Sings, Basie Swings (Concord)
- Chicago - 16 and 17 (Rhino)
- Darkest Hour - Archives (A-F)
- Desmond Dekker - This Is Desmond Dekker (Trojan)
- Depeche Mode - A Broken Frame, Some Great Reward and Songs of Faith and Devotion (two-CD deluxe editions; Rhino)
Buy Now: A Broken Frame, Some Great Reward and Songs of Faith and Devotion (Rhino)
- Earth, Wind & Fire - In the Name of Love (Kalimba)
- Gloria Estefan - The Essential Gloria Estefan (two CDs; Epic/Legacy)
Buy Now: The Essential Gloria Estefan (Epic/Legacy)
- The Future Sound of London - Teachings From the Electronic Brain (The Best of FSOL) (Astralwerks)
- Journey - Captured, Frontiers, Raised by Radio and Trial by Fire (expanded digipaks; Columbia/Legacy)
Buy Now: Captured, Frontiers, Raised by Radio and Trial by Fire (Columbia/Legacy)
- John Kay & Steppenwolf - Live in London (Rainman)
- Chris LeDoux - The Ultimate Collection (two CDs; Capitol)
- Steve Perry - For the Love of Strange Medicine, Greatest Hits and Street Talk (expanded digipaks; Columbia/Legacy)
- Pet Shop Boys - PopArt (two CDs; Capitol)
Buy Now: Pop Art (Capitol)
- Pink Floyd - Echoes: The Best of Pink Floyd (two-CD special edition; Capitol)
- Elvis Presley - Elvis Christmas (RCA/BMG)
- Pretenders - Pretenders and Pretenders II (two-disc sets; Rhino)
Buy Now: Pretenders and Pretenders II (Rhino)
- Boz Scaggs - Hits! (Columbia/Legacy)
- Sons of the Pioneers/ Roy Rodgers - The Republic Years (Varèse Sarabande)
- Bruce Springsteen - We Shall Overcome: The Pete Seeger Sessions - American Land Edition (special edition with DVD; Columbia)
Buy Now: We Shall Overcome: The Pete Seeger Sessions - American Land Edition (Columbia)
- Dakota Staton - Dynamic! (Blue Note)
- UT - In Gut's House and Griller (Blast First/ Mute)
- Joe Williams - A Man Ain't Supposed to Cry (Blue Note)
- George Winston - Ballads and Blues 1972 - The Early Recordings: Special Edition (expanded digipak) and Complete Solo Piano Recordings: 1972-2004 (10-CD box set; Windham Hill/ Legacy)
- Various artists - Nick Jr Winter Wonderland (Nick)
- Various artists - Paint It Black (Virgin)
- Various artists - What It Is! Funky Soul and Rare Grooves (1967-1977) (four-CD box set; Rhino)
- Various artists - Windham Hill Holiday Guitar Collection (Windham Hill/ Legacy)
- Phil Collins - "Classic Albums: Face Value" (Eagle Vision)
- Elvis Costello & the Imposters - "Club Date: Live in Memphis" (Eagle Vision)
- Robert Earl Keen - "Live at the Ryman: The Greatest Show Ever Been Gave" (Koch)
- John Lennon and Yoko Ono - "Give Peace a Song" (Hip-O)
- Level 42 - "Live at Wembley" (Koch)
- Bob Marley and the Wailers - "Classic Albums: Catch a Fire" (Eagle Vision)
- Meat Loaf - "Classic Albums: Bat Out of Hell" (Eagle Vision)
- Pat Metheny Group - "The Way Up - Live" (Eagle Vision)
- Moe - "Live From the Fillmore" (Fat Boy)
- Pixies - "Live at the Paradise in Boston" (Eagle Vision)
- Pretty Ricky - "Live Concert: Live From the 305 (Volume 1)" (Atlantic)
- Steely Dan - "Classic Albums: Aja" (Eagle Vision)
- STS9 - "Live as Time Changes" (Sci Fidelity)
- James Taylor - "A MusiCares Person of the Year Tribute" (Rhino)
- U2 - "Classic Albums: The Joshua Tree" (Eagle Vision)
- The Who - "Classic Albums: Who's Next" (Eagle Vision)
- Various artists - "Moments to Remember: The Golden Hits of the 50s and 60s" (Shout! Factory)
- The Blood Brothers - Young Machetes (V2)
Preorder: Young Machetes (V2)
- Teddy Geiger - Underage Thinking (special-edition re-release with demo bonus tracks; Columbia)
Read: "Teddy Geiger Milks 'Fat Cows' For Underage Re-Release"
Preorder: Underage Thinking (Columbia)
- Various artists - "American Hardcore - The History of American Punk Rock (1980-1986)" soundtrack (Rhino)
Read: "Think You Know Punk Rock? Hardcore Vets Recall Real Blood-And-Sweat Years"
- C-Murder - The Tru Story ... Continued (limited-edition version with DVD and bonus tracks; Koch)
Preorder: The Tru Story ... Continued (Koch)
- Glenn Danzig - Black Aria II (Megaforce)
Read: "Glenn Danzig Preps 'Final' Tour, Film, Box Set And, Uh, Dolls"
Preorder: Black Aria II (Megaforce)
- Xzibit - Full Circle (Koch)
Read: "Xzibit's An Indie Rapper Again, With Game And Quik In Tow"
- My Chemical Romance - The Black Parade (Reprise)
Read: "My Chemical Romance Unveil Black Parade Track List, Album Art"
Preorder: The Black Parade (Reprise)
- Sparta - Threes (Hollywood)
Read: "Sparta Return With New LP, Outlook, Tour — And No Need For 'Hipster Points' "
Preorder: Threes (Hollywood)
- Various artists - "The Nightmare Before Christmas" soundtrack (special two-CD edition; Disney)
Read: "Fall Out Boy, Panic, Marilyn Manson Add To New 'Nightmare Before Christmas' Soundtrack"