Well, artists must have been planning their year around the VMAs, because while August was bristling with new releases and September 11 is going to pack an epic punch, this week is wicked slow. Here's what we're looking at:
Metal Overload: Every Time I Die spent their summer greasing fans for their next album on the Sounds of the Underground Tour, and now it's finally time to deliver the sucker. Following 2005's critically approved Gutter Phenomenon, ETID aim for even loftier heights on The Big Dirty: One track, "Imitation Is the Sincerest Form of Battery," is incredulously based on Federico Fellini's "8 1/2." Other cuts, like "Inrihab" and "Depressionista," continue the band's tradition of wacky song titles — though "Rendez-Voodoo" and "Rebel Without Applause" could use some work.
While ETID were on SOTU, Chiodos did the whole Warped Tour deal, delivering their brand of Detroit post-hardcore to the masses. A lot of kids scooped up the band's 2005 debut, All's Well That Ends Well — it has sold more than 160,000 copies — and now the group is hoping for some repeat success with its second effort. While ETID are channeling Fellini, Chiodos have a muse of their own in boozy author Charles Bukowski, whose "Bone Palace Ballet" serves as the title of the band's disc. And try this little nugget of Fall Out Boy-esque trivia on for size: The song "I Didn't Say I Was Powerful, I Said I Was a Wizard" was originally called "A Final Opinion Is of Less Value Than an Appreciation and Tolerance for Obscurity."
If you want to take it a notch heavier, look no further than Bam Margera Presents: Viva la Bands, Volume Two, which is littered with repeat death-metal offenders In Flames, Gwar, Children of Bodom and more. And if you're a Margera fan, Christmas is coming early: The release's DVD component features roughly an hour of Bam footage that is seeing the light of day for the first time.
Last but not least, Megadeth are also storming the metal front this week. The band's recent "That One Night: Live in Buenos Aires" DVD made such a big splash that it has converted the concert into CD form too. The double-disc has three slices from the October 9, 2005, show in Argentina that were not featured in the video package: "Skin of My Teeth," "Die Dead Enough" and "Angry Again."
To the T: London singer/songwriter Jamie T — who's only 21 — has already proven himself back home, outdoing Thom Yorke and Jarvis Cocker for Best Solo Artist at the NME Awards, and he made a bit of a stir Stateside earlier this year at SXSW. Now it's time for him to finally drop his aptly titled Panic Prevention — he suffered from panic attacks as a kid — in the U.S. He's already broken out three singles from the disc: "Sheila," "If You Got the Money" and "Calm Down Dearest."
Digital Underground: The record racks aren't popping too much this week, but there's a bit of activity in the digital ether. Long-running San Francisco string quartet Kronos Quartet — who have previously tackled Philip Glass and Bill Evans, among others — quiet down for Kronos Quartet Plays Sigur Rós. And French ambient act M83 are making sure their Digital Shades Vol. 1 lives up to its name by issuing digitally the first chapter in the unreleased-material series.
Song Title of the Week:
"If I Cut My Hair, Hawaii Will Sink" from Chiodos' Bone Palace Ballet
Album Cover of the Week:
Heavy Trash's Going Way Out With Heavy Trash
When all else fails, there is always Jon Spencer. The Blues (Explosion) brother has ground out another album with onetime Madder Rose bassist Matt Verta Ray. They've tapped some unlikely influences for the affair — in a press release, Spencer said the album salutes everyone from underground acts like the Gories and Doo Rag to Waylon Jennings and Charlie Feathers. But the closing track, "You Can't Win," might have the best foundation: "Partially inspired by post-9/11 paranoia, partially inspired by Greil Marcus' 'The Shape of Things to Come,' and partially inspired by the book 'You Can't Win,' by Jack Black (the hobo, not the funnyman)."
Nurses' Hangin' Nothin' but Our Hands Down
They're up against experimental British act Nurse With Wound, but Nurses think they have the best medicine for music lovers this week with an LP that calls to mind Modest Mouse and Blood Brothers. A nonsensical entry posted on the Chicago band's MySpace page essentially reflects what they're all about: "A few years ago, [the bandmembers] promised each other to become this rock band, write great songs and make as much as possible, and do not deviate from this plan, even though their home state of Idaho had noo shortage of new rok-geroev." If you want to be even more thoroughly confused, look no further than brittle songs like "And Now the Curse of Marjorie" and "Lots of Brass."
Ferraby Lionheart's Catch the Brass Ring
What's a pizza-delivery guy to do in his spare time? Well, write songs, of course. Singer/songwriter Ferraby Lionheart did just that, filtering his love of Prince and "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" into his computer in the form of late-night compositions. The Ballad of Ferraby Lionheart features "The Octopus and the Ambulance," "Youngest Frankenstein" and "Put Me in Your Play."
· Jay Azzolina - Local Dialect (Garagista)
· Joshua Bell - Red Violin Concerto (Sony Classics)
· Birgit - True Stories I Made Up (Zip)
· Suzy Bogguss - Sweet Danger (Loyal Dutchess)
· Manu Chao - La Radiolina (Nacional/Because) [Buy Now]
· Chiodos - Bone Palace Ballet (Equal Vision) [Buy Now]
· Clare & the Reasons - The Movie (Frog Stand)
· The Coathangers - The Coathangers (Rob's House)
· Lars Danielsson & Leszek Mozdzer - Pasodoble (Act Music + Vision)
· EleventySeven - Galactic Conquest (Reunion)
· Every Time I Die - The Big Dirty (Ferret) [Buy Now]
· Ferraby Lionheart - Catch the Brass Ring (Nettwerk)
· The Flatliners - The Great Awake (Fat Wreck Chords)
· Marla Hansen - Wedding Day (Standard Recording)
· Calvin Harris - I Created Disco (Almost Gold)
· Heavy Trash - Going Way Out With Heavy Trash (Yep Roc)
· The Holloways - So This Is Great Britain? (enhanced; TVT)
· Jamie T - Panic Prevention (Caroline)
· Just Jack - Overtones (enhanced; TVT)
· Will Kimbrough - (EP) (Thirty Tigers)
· Kosmos - Kosmos (The End) [Buy Now]
· Mancino - Manners Matter (Mancino Music) [Buy Now]
· Megadeth - That One Night: Live in Buenos Aires (two CDs; Image) [Buy Now]
· New Model Army - High (Attack Attack)
· Ted Nugent - Love Grenade (Eagle)
· Nurses - Hangin' Nothin' but Our Hands Down (Sargent House)
· Panacea - The Scenic Route (Rawkus)
· The Perishers - Victorious (Nettwerk)
· Chris & Rich Robinson - Brothers of a Feather: Live at the Roxy (Eagle Rock)
· Kendra Ross - New Voice (Lola's Child)
· Patti Scialfa - Play It as It Lays (Columbia)
· Michelle Shocked - To Heaven U Ride (Mighty Sound)
· Various artists - Bam Margera Presents: Viva la Bands, Volume Two (with DVD; Ferret)
Notable Reissues and Archival Material:
· Ice Cube - In the Movies (Capitol/Priority) [Buy Now]
· Jars of Clay - The Essential Jars of Clay (two CDs; Essential/Legacy) [Buy Now]
· Nurse With Wound - Homotopy to Marie (Jnana)
· Pink Floyd - The Piper at the Gates of Dawn (limited-edition three-CD reissue; Capitol) [Buy Now]
· Yes - Live at Montreux 2003 (two CDs; Eagle Rock) [Buy Now]
· Townes Van Zandt - Be Here to Love Me and For the Sake of the Song (Fat Possum)
· Dave Brubeck - "Jazz Icons" (Reelin' in the Years/ Naxos)
· John Coltrane - "Jazz Icons" (Reelin' in the Years/ Naxos)
· Duke Ellington - "Jazz Icons" (Reelin' in the Years/ Naxos) [Buy Now]
· Dexter Gordon - "Jazz Icons" (Reelin' in the Years/ Naxos)
· Isaac Hayes - "Live at Montreux 2005" (Eagle Rock)
· Charles Mingus - "Jazz Icons" (Reelin' in the Years/ Naxos)
· Wes Montgomery - "Jazz Icons" (Reelin' in the Years/ Naxos)
· Chris & Rich Robinson - "Brothers of a Feather: Live at the Roxy" (with CD; Eagle Eye)
· Sarah Vaughan - "Jazz Icons" (Reelin' in the Years/ Naxos)
· Various artists - "The British Beat Live!: Best of the '60s" (Shout! Factory)
· Various artists - "Improvisation" (two DVDs; Eagle Eye)
· Various artists - "Shakespeare Was a George Jones Fan: Cowboy Jack Clement's Home Movies" (Shout! Factory)
· Karmina - The Kiss (EP; CBS) [Buy Now]
· Kronos Quartet - Kronos Quartet Plays Sigur Rós (Nonesuch) [Buy Now]
· M83 - Digital Shades Vol. 1 (Mute) [Buy Now]
· The Milwaukees - American Anthems, Vol. 1 (City Desk) [Buy Now]
· Rhythm King and Her Friends - The Front of Luxury (Kitty-Yo)
· Sons of William - What Hides Inside (Red Lick)
· 50 Cent - Curtis (G-Unit/Interscope) [Preorder]
Read: "50 Cent Album Preview: Eminem, Dr. Dre Help Curtis 'Keep It Funky' "
· Animal Collective - Strawberry Jam (Domino) [Preorder]
· Hot Hot Heat - Happiness Ltd. (Reprise) [Preorder]
· Kenna - Make Sure They See My Face (Interscope) [Preorder]
· Kanye West - Graduation (Roc-A-Fella) [Preorder]
Read: "Kanye's Graduation: Inside The NYC Listening Party For West's So-Called 'Comeback' "
· Chamillionaire - Ultimate Victory (Motown) [Preorder]
Read: "Chamillionaire Ditches Bad Attitude; Hooks Up With Snoop, Busta For LP"
· Mya - Liberation (Motown) [Preorder]
Read: "Mya Gives Up Grudges And Ego, Picks Up Relationship Wisdom On Liberation"
· KT Tunstall - Drastic Fantastic (Virgin)