Fightin' New Releases: After casting their ballot in the midterm elections on Tuesday (November 7), music lovers will head to a second voting booth: the record store. It's there that they'll show support for either the incumbent candidates or challenging hopefuls. Will it be four more weeks for Gnarls Barkley's St. Elsewhere or OK Go's Oh No? Will Jim Jones and the Foo Fighters throw the bums out? Expect results Wednesday — of next week.
Jim Jones' Hustler's P.O.M.E. (Product of My Environment):
· Synopsis: The junior rapper from New York is hoping that support from high-profile campaign contributors like Lil Wayne, Cam'ron and Juelz Santana leads to strong voter turnout. With hometown shout-outs on "So Harlem" and elsewhere, he would even have Hillary Clinton up against the wall in the Big Apple.
Various artists' Now That's What I Call Music! 23:
· Synopsis: This series has served almost as many terms as now-departed Senator Strom Thurmond did, but with help from Justin, Beyoncé and Christina, it still has youth on its side. Jessica and Nick are reunited once again here as well — with "A Public Affair" and "I Can't Hate You Anymore," respectively — which should get this candidate even more headlines.
Foo Fighters' Skin and Bones:
· Synopsis: Fans have been urging the Foos for years to run with a live album, and now they're finally entering the race with this tour companion set. Bonus iTunes contributions including a "Skin and Bones" video and "Ain't It the Life" tune fill the band's coffers, but the fact that the accompanying DVD isn't coming for three more weeks could hurt this contender in a dead heat.
PJ Harvey's The Peel Sessions 1991-2004:
· Synopsis: Sure, this CD is no spring chicken — the material is culled from more than a decade's worth of appearances on the late British DJ's radio show — but now these recordings are finally up for a vote. Twelve tracks — including a cover of Willie Dixon's "Wang Dang Doodle" from 1993 and an even rarer performance of "That Was My Veil" from '96 — will pique fans' interest, but candidate Harvey might not see a big turnout until she puts out her in-the-works studio album.
Isobel Campbell's Milk White Sheets:
· Synopsis: Her recent Ballad of the Broken Seas collaboration with Mark Lanegan won over a new voting bloc, but Campbell has an even more prominent supporter on her side in ex-Smashing Pumpkin James Iha, who lends a few licks to this LP. The Belle and Sebastian singer also has endorsements from Vaselines' Eugene Kelly and Soup Dragons' Jim McCulloch, who add extra life to the sparsely arranged songs.
· Synopsis: Bob Mould (Hüsker Dü, Sugar) and Richard Morel (producer of Nelly Furtado's "Promiscuous") got their campaign off to a late start, as they bumped this release a few times. But they're running on a split ticket — both musicians share equal responsibilities in writing and performing — and are appealing to voters ranging from rock hounds to electronic-music lovers. Don't write this race off yet.
Gnarls Barkley's St. Elsewhere - Deluxe Edition:
· Synopsis: Statesmen Cee-Lo and Danger Mouse scored a Barack Obama-like triumph across a wide-ranging demographic with their debut album when they ran in early May. Now they're up for re-election with a limited-edition version, which has a bonus DVD, 3-D album art and a 92-page booklet. With the elderly constituency finally getting the message — "Crazy" is finally making it to adult-contemporary radio — expect some Gnarl-y gains.
James Blunt's Back to Bedlam:
· Synopsis: Despite being well-loved by a wide range of the population, Blunt's positive campaign could be wearing thin. There's been a negative-publicity backlash building against "You're Beautiful" — "to call it 'overplayed' would be like saying Washington is 'influenced by special interests,' " goes the slogan — but a bonus disc encompassing a full gig in Ireland from last year could win over his voter base.
OK Go' Oh No:
· Synopsis: The pop-rockers pulled off an underdog victory of immense proportions by winning over the blogosphere with their viral videos, and now they're hoping for another jolt of approval with their re-election bid. Core supporters will be pleased with a number of new proposals on the bonus DVD, including a performance of "C-C-C-Cinnamon Lips" from public-access TV, 180 fan re-creations of the unforgettable "A Million Ways" clip, public-service announcements and a video game.
Nirvana's "Live! Tonight! Sold Out!!" DVD:
· Synopsis: The band ran with this ticket more than a decade ago — in 1994, when the Republicans retook Congress, actually — but history has treated the candidate well, and it's likely Nirvana will return to office. They don't really have a new message, per se — just five extra performances from an Amsterdam gig — but these days, Nirvana almost always sit well with the voters.
Dave Matthews Band's The Best of What's Around, Vol. 1:
· Synopsis: Will DMB's positive campaign — telling voters to "Hunger for the Great Light" and promoting the "American Baby" — play well with voters? Early poll data indicates yes, and a bonus disc with eight concert cuts should mean that the band will surge down the homestretch.
Pavement's Wowee Zowee: Sordid Sentinels Edition:
· Synopsis: More or less destined to win the indie-rock vote is this pivotal album from 1995, the band's most scattered but one many aficionados consider their most beloved candidate. A staggering 21 bonus tracks on a second disc — including 18 unreleased outtakes, BBC studio session and concert recordings — could even win over some red-state voters outside its home state of California.
Song Title of the Week:
"Thumbs Down Lampit" from Microwaves' Contagion Heuristic
Josef K's Entomology: This band suffered a similar fate as experienced by Josef K himself, one of author Franz Kafka's doomed characters. Formed in Scotland in the late '70s, the band recorded three studio albums, only one of which ever saw release. But while K (previously named TV Art) didn't last long, their succulent, infectious pop has, meriting another look back at their oeuvre. This 22-track overview culls 7-inch tracks, "Fun 'N' Frenzy" and more.
Stephen Brodsky's Octave Museum's Stephen Brodsky's Octave Museum: You might know Brodsky best as the frontman of post-rock princes Cave In, but he's been sneaking out solo LPs for a while now, starting with 1999's Expose Your Overdubs. His third endeavor finds him boosted by Scissorfight drummer Kevin J. Strongbow and Thee Electric Bastards bassist Johnny Northrup, but the results aren't nearly as deafening as what those bands have put out. Expect lo-fi pop and much to be heartbroken about on "Red Headed Butterflies," "Spirals in Her Eyes" and other tracks of purple prose.
Holy Smokes' Holy Smokes Talk to Your Kids About Gangs: Consisting of seven musicians from various corners of the Earth — the Ladies' Zach Hill and Rob Crow, the Advantage's Carson McWhirter and others — the end product is what you might expect: a cacophony of chaotic noise-rock and free jazz. Listen for trumpets, toys and gadgets on "Don't Squab on God's Tracks," "If You Pull It Out, You Better Use It" and "Too Many Wives (All You Need Is Blood)."
· 31Knots - Polemics EP (Polyvinyl)
· 36 Crazyfists - Rest Inside the Flames (DRT)
· Acute - Selections (EP; Help)
· Arsis - United in Regret (Willowtip)
· Mickey Avalon - Mickey Avalon (MySpace/Universal)
· Black Elk - Black Elk (Crucial Blast)
· Blackmore's Night - Winter Carols (Locomotive)
· Blowoff - Blowoff (Full Frequency)
· Bon Savants - Post-Rock Defends the Nation (E to the I Pi Music)
· Bowling for Soup - The Great Burrito Extortion Case (Jive);
Read: "Bowling For Soup's Latest Muse? A Mouse In A Burrito" · Stephen Brodsky's Octave Museum - Stephen Brodsky's Octave Museum (Hydra Head) · J.J. Cale & Eric Clapton - The Road to Escondido (Reprise) · Isobel Campbell - Milk White Sheets (V2) · The Chelsea Smiles - Thirty Six Hours Later (Acetate) · Danava - Danava (digipak; Kemado) · Linda Draper - Traces Of (EP; Planting Seeds) · Dredg - Live at the Fillmore (Interscope) · El Goodo - El Goodo (Empyrean) · El Perro del Mar - El Perro del Mar (The Control Group) · Europe - Secret Society (Sanctuary) · The Evens - Get Evens (Dischord) · Benjy Ferree - Leaving the Nest (Domino) · Foo Fighters - Skin and Bones (RCA) · Josh Groban - Awake (Reprise) · Holy Smokes - Holy Smokes Talk To Your Kids About Gangs (Skin Graft) · Ill Niño - The Under Cover Sessions (limited-edition digipak EP; Cement Shoes) · Jim Jones - Hustler's P.O.M.E. (Product of My Environment) (Koch);
Read: "NFL Players Shooting Jump Shots During Games? Blame Jim Jones" · Josef K - Entomology (Domino) · Shanna Kiel - Orphan (Thick) · Librarians - Alright Easy Candy Stranger (Postfact) · Lithops - Mound Magnet (Thrill Jockey) · Microwaves - Contagion Heuristic (Crucial Blast) · MoZella - I Will (Maverick) · Nonpoint - Live and Kicking (with DVD; Bieler Bros.) · Sally Nyolo and the Original Bands of Yaoundé - Studio Cameroon (Riverboat) · Jon Oliva's Pain - Maniacal Recordings (Locomotive) · One Night Band - Way Back Home (Stomp) · Owen - At Home With Owen (Polyvinyl) · Polar Goldie Cats - Feral Phantasms (Up) · The Punks - Unanimous Bangers (Kill Rock Stars) · The Residents - The River of Crime: Episodes 1-5 (with bonus CD; Cordless) · Alejandro Sanz - El Tren de los Momentos (Warner Music Latina) · Stars Are Falling - The Consequence of Revenge (Blood & Ink) · Styx and the Contemporary Youth Orchestra - One With Everything (live; New Door) · SugarLand - Enjoy the Ride (Mercury Nashville) · Tech N9ne - Everready: The Religion (Strange) · Joaquin Torres - Joaquin Torres (Universal Latino) · Keith Urban - Love, Pain & the Whole Crazy Thing (Capitol) · Dionne Warwick - My Friends & Me (Concord) · Various artists - A Raga for Peter Walker (Tompkins Square) · Various artists - Laguna Beach: Summer Can Last Forever (Interscope) · Various artists - Now That's What I Call Music! 23 (Sony) · Various artists - This American Life: Stories of Hope & Fear (two CDs; Shout! Factory) · Various artists - "A Good Year" soundtrack (Sony Music Soundtrax/ Legacy) · Various artists - "Shout! The Mod Musical" soundtrack (Rhino) · Various artists - "Stranger Than Fiction" soundtrack (Columbia/ Sony Music Soundtrax)
Notable Reissues and Archival Material:
· Cannonball Adderley - Riverside Profiles (two CDs; Riverside) · Louis Armstrong - Legends of American Music: The Wonderful World of Louis Armstrong (box set with two CDs and one DVD; Time Life) · Chet Baker - Riverside Profiles (two CDs; Riverside) · Bee Gees - The Studio Albums 1967-1968 (six-CD box set; Rhino) · Tony Bennett & Bill Evans - The Tony Bennett & Bill Evans Album (Fantasy) · James Blunt - Back to Bedlam (limited-edition version with bonus CD; Atlantic) · Anne Cochran - This Is the Season (Fuel) · Marshall Crenshaw - The Definitive Pop Collection (two CDs; Rhino) · Dick Dale and His Del-Tones - Surfers' Choice (Sundazed) · Bobby Darin - The Definitive Pop Collection (two CDs; Rhino) · The Dirt Band - Make a Little Magic/ Jealousy (BGO) · Bill Evans - Riverside Profiles (two CDs; Riverside) · Gnarls Barkley - St. Elsewhere - Deluxe Edition (with DVD, digipaks and 3-D version of album cover; Downtown) · Merle Haggard - 10 Top 10's Live (with DVD; Compendia) · PJ Harvey - The Peel Sessions 1991-2004 (Island) · Jack's Mannequin - Everything in Transit (with DVD; Maverick) · Kitaro - The Essential Kitaro (two CDs; Domo) · Loverboy - Keep It Up/ Lovin' Every Minute of It (Beat Goes On) · Manhattan Transfer - The Definitive Pop Collection (two CDs; Rhino) · Dave Matthews Band - The Best of What's Around, Vol. 1 (two CDs; RCA) · Memphis Slim - Fuel Presents an Introduction to Memphis Slim (Fuel) · Mighty Baby - Jug of Love (Sunbeam) · Thelonious Monk - Riverside Profiles (two CDs; Riverside) · Wes Montgomery - Riverside Profiles (two CDs; Riverside) · OK Go - Oh No (limited-edition version with DVD; Capitol) · Pavement - Wowee Zowee: Sordid Sentinels Edition (with bonus CD; Matador) · Frank Sinatra - Vegas (box set with four CDs and one DVD; Rhino) · Al Stewart - The Definitive Pop Collection (two CDs; Rhino) · Storyville - Bluest Eyes (Varèse Sarabande) · Sublime - Everything Under the Sun (box set with three CDs and one DVD; Geffen) · Frank Zappa - Trance-Fusion (Zappa) · Various artists - Blue Lights in the Basement: A Body + Soul Collection (Time Life) · Various artists - Only Hits (Rhino) · Various artists - Ruf Records Anthology - 12 Years of "Where Blues Crosses Over" (two CDs; Ruf) · Various artists - Serious Times (two CDs; XL)
· Andrea Bocelli - "Under the Desert Sky" (Sugar) · Bobby Darin - "Seeing Is Believing" (The Music Force) · Waylon Jennings - "Nashville Rebel" (RCA Nashville/ Legacy) · The Make-Up - "In Film/ On Video" (Dischord) · Ricky Martin - "MTV Unplugged" (Sony International) · Nirvana - "Live! Tonight! Sold Out!!" (Geffen) · The Pixies - "loudQUIETloud: A Film About the Pixies" (MVD Visual) · Rush - "Rush in Rio" (Rounder) · The Who - "The Vegas Job: The Who Live in Vegas Reunion Concert" (Passport Entertainment) · Andy Williams - "In Concert Series: Andy Williams" (Passport) · Various artists - "Carson Country" (Delta) · Various artists - "Harry Smith Project Live" (Shout! Factory)
· 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)
November 21: · 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)
November 28: · Incubus - Light Grenades (Epic); Read: "Incubus' Mike Einziger Lends Agent Sparks A Hand Making The Best Brunch LP Ever" · Ying Yang Twins - Chemically Imbalanced (TVT) · Young Buck - Buck Tha World (Interscope)