Too Much Information?: Beck concocted a video for each song on last year's The Information — an album that contained 15 songs, the most the singer/songwriter had put on one album since 1994. He presented those clips in the form of a bonus DVD that came with the original CD release, but just in case that's not enough Information for you, he's now teeing up a brand-new, three-disc version. The hefty — and definitive, we hope — deluxe-slipcase edition features a trio of bonus tracks on disc one; a second CD boasting six remixes; and a DVD with a grand total of 17 videos. Hopefully that's not nausea you're feeling.
Nine Live: Nine Inch Nails are also feeling generous these days, lumping together 24 live performances — as well as alternate angles, two music videos, three rehearsal clips, an image gallery and discography — for "Nine Inch Nails Live: Beside You in Time." The band's North American winter tour gets the most lovin', with 19 selections — including "Love Is Not Enough," "March of the Pigs" and "The Hand That Feeds" — while the summer tour is immortalized with five clips, including "Somewhat Damaged," "Closer" and "Only."
On the Money: Money Mark must be pretty hot on Jack Johnson's MySpace friends list these days, having lent the singer/songwriter some piano support on a tour of Japan. Now Johnson is returning the favor by putting out Brand New by Tomorrow, the fourth effort by the "fourth Beastie Boy," on his Brushfire Recordings. Mark Ramos-Nishita gets an extra hand from Beach Boys bassist Carol Kaye on "Pick Up the Pieces," the first single, and sings mostly about heartbreak over the course of songs like "Color of Your Blue," "Eyes That Ring" and elsewhere.
Hip-Hop From Down Below: Slim Thug has a new tribe he's propping up from his native Houston: the Boss Hogg Outlawz, who Serve & Collect this week. Slim slaps vocals on just about every track on the group's effort, with newcomers like J-Dawg and Young Black also providing support.
About 350 miles to the east, in New Orleans, another established rapper is helping promote his hometown homies. The Chopper City Boyz, who have been all over B.G.'s albums in the past, are getting another boost from the big guy on their 19-track platter. On five slices, B.G. shows the group some brotherly love — seriously; one of the Chopper City Boyz is Hakim, B.G.'s younger sibling.
In yet another assist, Wu-Tang Clan affiliate Bronze Nazareth presents the Wisemen in the form of Wisemen Approaching, a guest-heavy effort that also features GZA, Killah Priest and Vast Aire.
Kicking it even deeper in the underground are Snowgoons, the German mixtape production team that counts DJ Illegal among its friends. They unload collabos with Sean Price, Pumpkinhead and others on their latest, German Lugers.
And ringing the darkest hip-hop note of all are Dälek, the bleak Mike Patton pals who usher in their fourth studio album, Abandoned Language. While as dense as their previous efforts, Dälek's latest is decidedly less noisy and even edges toward mainstream accessibility on the throwback track "Isolated Stare." But it's also equally macabre, as evidenced on the David Lynch homage "Lynch."
Hey Wait, I Know You ...: Think Michael Pitt didn't pull off a convincing Kurt Cobain in Gus Van Sant's pseudo-biopic "Last Days"? Give the actor another shot with Pagoda, the new full-length from his real-life band of the same name.
Do Dean & Britta look familiar too? That's because Dean Wareham and Britta Phillips also partnered up — in the true sense of the term; they have been romantically involved — for Luna, the indie-rock titans who disbanded two years ago. Their new one was produced by David Bowie agent Tony Visconti, features help from Sonic Boom, and contains covers of Donovan and Lee Hazlewood tunes — not to mention an ode to a dead bunny ("Crystal Blue R.I.P.").
This week you might also recognize Bob Dylan bandmember Elana James, who steps up with a self-titled effort. And John Bigham, a guitarist who has cropped up on Eminem and Fishbone albums, chalks up The Good Girl Blues, the second effort by his Soul of John Black project.
Dig Pack: Patrick Park got his foot in the door before it closed: The singer/songwriter landed a spot on the final episode of "The O.C." Now he's trying to milk the limelight for what it's worth with a just-released exclusive iTunes EP, Stickbirdsongs, which features the track he performed on the show: "Life's a Song." Post-punks the Draft also have an exclusive iTunes EP: a self-titled effort that features "Stop Wastin' My Time," "Up All Night," "The Devil in the Shade" and "Na Na Na."
Junkie XL is trotting out his digital-only soundtrack to the new Electronic Arts game "SSX Blur," an electronic-music effort that contains 15 songs, the titles to which reference various snow parks and hills across the world.
Chicago indie label File Thirteen continues its Digital Demand Series with two new entries this week: A Careless Act of Faith (Singles + Rarities) by arty noise-punks Thumbnail; and New Action Four EP, a rarities comp by the Thumbnail/Atombombpocketknife affiliates.
Other indie-rockers doing the digital-only thing this week: Ferraby Lionheart is reissuing his self-titled EP; Brooklyn, New York's Takka Takka have an eponymous effort of their own, albeit a full-length one; and Chicago's Baby Teeth run through songs by Windy City artists Liz Phair, Joanna Newsom and Curtis Mayfield on their We Live Here EP.
Song Title of the Week:
"Death to Birth" from Pagoda's Pagoda
Various artists' A Touch of Class Still Sucks!: New York production duo A Touch of Class are often credited with "discovering" the Scissor Sisters, but whether you agree with that notion or not, the two parties did work together on the Sisters' early efforts. This week, A Touch of Class follow up their A Touch of Class Sucks! compilation from four years ago with a new set brandishing their tweaked versions of songs by the Sisters, Le Tigre, the Gossip, Erasure and more.
Radio Moscow's Radio Moscow: The Black Keys love their '70s classic rock, and they know what it smells like. Member Dan Auerbach helps Ames, Iowa, psychedelic blues-rockers Radio Moscow tap into their love of Jimi Hendrix and the Allman Brothers on this debut effort, which also delves into country and East Indian sounds. Songs include: "Lickskillet," "Ordovician Fauna" and "Luckydutch."
The National Lights' The Dead Will Walk, Dear: Where are the drums? Not to be found here, on this traditional-folk release that's hoping to cozy up alongside the Sufjan Stevens and Iron & Wine discs in your collection. The conceptual Americana release is the first by the trio and was recorded in a pair of houses in New York and Pennsylvania, as well as a church in Maryland.
· 4hero - Play With the Changes (digipak; Milan)
· Barn Burning - Werner Ghost Truck (Tarnished)
· Chris Berardo & the DesBerardos - Ignoring All the Warning Signs ... (Lamon)
· B.G. and the Chopper City Boyz - We Got This (Koch) [Buy Now]
· David Bromberg - Try Me One More Time (Appleseed)
· Paul Brown & Friends - White Sand (Peak)
· Johnny Bush - Kashmere Gardens Mud: A Tribute to Houston's Country Soul (Icehouse)
· Canon - Wide Awake (Mercy)
· Daath - The Hinderers (Roadrunner)
· Dälek - Abandoned Language (Ipecac)
· Dash Rip Rock - Hee Haw Hell (Alternative Tentacles)
· Dean & Britta - Back Numbers (Rounder)
· Do Make Say Think - You, You're a History in Rust (digipak; Constellation)
· Dr. Dog - We All Belong (Park the Van)
· Kelly Flint - Drive All Night (BePop)
· Donna Hughes - Gaining Wisdom (Rounder)
· Elana James - Elana James (Snarf)
· Thomas Lunch - Diagrams Without Instructions (digipak; Ingrooves)
· Money Mark - Brand New by Tomorrow (Brushfire) [Buy Now]
· My Teenage Stride - Ears Like Golden Bats (Becalmed)
· Andy Narell - Tatoom: Music for Steel Orchestra (Heads Up)
· National Lights - The Dead Will Walk, Dear (Bloodshake)
· Pagoda - Pagoda (Ecstatic Peace)
· Radio Moscow - Radio Moscow (Alive)
· Daryle Singletary - Straight From the Heart (Shanachie)
· Slim Thug and the Boss Hogg Outlawz - Slim Thug Presents: Boss Hogg Outlawz - Serve & Collect (Koch) [Buy Now]
· Snowgoons - German Lugers (Babygrande)
· SoSoHuman - Twenty-Six (Undeniable)
· The Soul of John Black - The Good Girl Blues (Cadabra)
· Otis Taylor - Definition of a Circle (Telarc)
· Temple of Brutality - Lethal Agenda (enhanced; Warcon)
· Nick Warren - Paris GU30 (two CDs; Global Underground)
· Matt Wertz - Everything in Between (Nettwerk)
· Willard Grant Conspiracy - Let It Roll (Reincarnate)
· Winterpills - The Light Divides (Signature)
· Wisemen - Wisemen Approaching (Babygrande)
· Joe Zawinul - Brown Street (two CDs; Heads Up)
· Various artists - A Touch of Class Still Sucks! (HBD)
· Various artists - Fabric 32: Luke Slater (FabricLive)
Notable Reissues and Archival Material:
· Akimbo - Harshing Your Mellow (Alternative Tentacles)
· Beck - The Information (deluxe-slipcase reissue with bonus CD and DVD; Geffen) [Buy Now]
· Bobby Blue Bland - The Definitive Collection (Geffen)
· Buckaroos - The Best of the Buckaroos (Sundazed)
· Gene Clark with the Gosdin Brothers - Gene Clark with the Gosdin Brothers (Sundazed)
· Guy Clark - Better Days (DBK Works)
· Robert Cray - The Definitive Collection (Hip-O)
· John Denver - The Essential John Denver (two CDs; RCA/Legacy)
· Goo Goo Dolls - Let Love In (with DVD; Warner Bros.)
· Sneaky Pete Kleinow - The Sneaky Pete Anthology (Sundazed)
· Yngwie J. Malmsteen - Instru-Mental (Spitfire)
· Johnny Mathis - Gold: A 50th Anniversary Celebration (Columbia/Legacy)
· Buddy Alan Owens - The Best of Buddy Alan Owens (Sundazed)
· Boz Scaggs - Silk Degrees (Columbia/Legacy)
· Chet Atkins - "A Life in Music" (MPI)
· Sidney Bechet - "Treat It Gentle: The Life and Times of a Jazz Master" (Kultur)
· Bratz - "Fashion Pixiez" (Lionsgate)
· Bob Dylan - "Don't Look Back - 65 Tour Deluxe Edition" (two DVDs; New Video Group)
· Charlie Gracie - "Fabolous!" (Alpha Video)
· Johnny Mathis - "Gold: 50th Anniversary Celebration" (Columbia/Legacy)
· Nine Inch Nails - "Nine Inch Nails Live: Beside You in Time" (Nothing)
· Dolly Parton & Friends - "Dolly Parton & Friends" (two DVDs; MPI)
· Pink Floyd - "The Roger Waters Years: Up Close and Personal" (with book; Hurricane)
· Carlos Santana and Wayne Shorter - "Live at the 1988 Montreux Jazz Festival" (Image)
· Flip Wilson - "The Best of the Flip Wilson Show" (three DVDs; Rhino)
· Arcade Fire - Neon Bible (deluxe edition with book also available; Merge) [Preorder]
· Jonny Greenwood - Jonny Greenwood Is the Controller (Trojan)
· Albert Hammond Jr. - Yours to Keep (enhanced; New Line)
· Korn - MTV Unplugged (Virgin) [Preorder]
Read: "Korn Quiet Down With The Cure, Amy Lee For 'MTV Unplugged' "
· Relient K - Five Score and Seven Years Ago (Capitol) [Preorder]
Read: "Relient K Pump Serious Rock, Sugary Pop In The Tank For Upcoming LP"
· C-Murder - Screamin' 4 Vengeance (Capitol) [Preorder]
· Decemberists - "A Practical Handbook" DVD (Kill Rock Stars)
· LCD Soundsystem - Sound of Silver (Capitol) [Preorder]
· Modest Mouse - We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank (Epic) [Preorder]
· Young Buck - Buck the World (Interscope) [Preorder]