A New Hustle: Weighing 300 pounds and standing 6 feet 2 inches tall, Rick Ross should be making quite the impact with his forever-in-the-works Port of Miami debut this week. The underground hero's paean to his hometown has already grabbed ears with its leadoff single, "Hustlin', " and his guest roster will have other hip-hop fans feeling the Miami heat: Jay-Z, Young Jeezy, Lil Wayne, Mario Winans, Lyfe Jennings, Akon, Jazze Pha, DJ Khaled and Cool & Dre. On "Push It," Ross samples "Scarface" theme "Push It to the Limit," while his hometown homies the Carol City Cartel step in on "It Ain't a Problem," and Jay and Jeezy shine on a remix of "Hustlin'."
Blunt Bloc: While Ross' debut has yet to be tested, James Blunt and Bloc Party have already made seismic introductions with theirs. And now it's time for the brazen Brits to capitalize with video follow-ups. Blunt's "Chasing Time: The Bedlam Sessions" encapsulates concert performances, interviews, videos and documentaries by the "Oprah" darling/former soldier. It's also bolstered by a CD featuring covers of the Pixies' "Where Is My Mind?" and Crowded House's "Fall at Your Feet." "God Bless Bloc Party" is a bit more spare; the hour-long documentary draws from gigs at Los Angeles' El Rey Theatre and in Belfort, France, though it does chalk up band and fan interviews for good measure.
No, You're Not Seeing Things: Slayer and their fans alike were dying for the band's latest LP to drop on 6/6/06, but they had to wait two more months for Christ Illusion to appear. The band's first disc in six years marks its recording reunion with original drummer Dave Lombardo and is the first one in ages that doesn't feature Rick Rubin behind the boards. While Rubin executive produces, the band has made no secret of its resentment for his recent teaming with rivals Metallica and tapped Josh Abraham (Velvet Revolver, Pink) to do the knob-twiddling instead. The album's gory cover art of a mutated Jesus has — surprise! — turned off a few retailers, but fans will no doubt be sacrificing themselves for "Cult," the first single; "Jihad," a song about 9/11 that's told through the eyes of a terrorist; and "Eyes of the Insane."
"You Hear It First" Face-Off: They've both been featured in MTV's recent "YHIF" series, and now it's time for Diddy-backed Cassie and Libertines leftovers Dirty Pretty Things to go head-to-head. Cassie hopes her 4 million MySpace hits and indie-chart appeal carry her self-titled debut — featuring the single "Me & U," "Ditto" and "Miss Your Touch" — to great heights. Dirty Pretty Things are aiming to make cousin Pete Doherty jealous with their maiden release, Waterloo to Anywhere, which boasts "Blood Thirsty Bastards," "Last of the Small Town Playboys" and "Bang Bang You're Dead."
Sibling Rivalries: For musicians, there's virtually no escaping their kith this week. Kevin, Nicholas and Joseph Jonas — a.k.a. teen sensations the Jonas Brothers — finally deliver their debut, originally due in the spring but the title to which, It's About Time, now carries extra meaning. The delay was due to a track list changeup: The youngsters swapped "Dear God" and "Hey We're Gonna Be Alright" for an acoustic version of "Please Be Mine," "Year 3000" and "What I Go to School For."
Youthful peers Aly & AJ see their Into the Rush debut re-released in deluxe form, with a bonus DVD dishing up videos for "Chemicals React," "Rush" and "On the Ride." The animated clip for "Chemicals" that's featured in the "Sims 2: Pets" video game is also featured.
Slightly older Korean-American sisters Meg & Dia wrote all the tracks on their Something Real debut and have been promoting it as the MySpace House Band on this year's Warped Tour. The 18- and 21-year-old ladies called on their friends to help record "Courage, Robert," "Cardigan Weather" and the first single, "Monsters."
That duo probably admire Tegan and Sara, the Canadian twins whose 2004 effort, So Jealous, granted them more recognition — on MTV and elsewhere — than they received in their previous six years combined as a band. Their generous "It's Not Fun. Don't Do It!" DVD tries to expand on that success, compiling a full concert from their homeland, plus a self-made tour doc, all their videos, a photo album, a feature on the making of So Jealous, a photo album and commentary galore.
One sibling did manage to escape from his sister, though: Matthew Friedberger, the Fiery Furnaces captain who's making his first solo outing. The two-CD Winter Women/ Holy Ghost Language School finds him breaking from the other half of the Furnaces, sister Eleanor, and doing almost all the performing and singing himself — save a little percussion help from Tortoise's John McEntire. 859 Recordings' classy christening set comes in a brilliant box with nine-panel fold-out art and a lyric sheet.
Also feeling familial are Revolution Mother, pro skateboarder Mike Vallely's new band, who prove their hardcore mettle on the Enjoy the Ride EP; Sister Sledge, who's being hailed with a two-disc The Definitive Groove Collection; and Massachusetts metallers Unearth, whose III: In the Eyes of Fire boasts "Sanctity in Brothers."
Siblings Richard and Stefanie Reines deliver Zombies! Aliens! Vampires! Dinosaurs!, the debut by Panic! at the Disco tour mates Hellogoodbye, on their Drive-Thru Records imprint. Jamin Wilcox of Under the Influence of Giants, who make their self-titled bow this week, is the son of Hall & Oates collaborator Willie Wilcox. Oh, and femme fave Ani DiFranco — who births Reprieve this week — just announced that she's pregnant.
Song Title of the Week:
"Daughters Spelled Wrong" from the Daughters' Hell Songs
The Cure and the Glove reissues: Their reunion concerts have drawn hundreds of thousands and their name has been dropped by virtually every new emo band, but if you still haven't brushed up on the deacons of depression, now's your chance. Double-disc versions of Head on the Door, Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me and The Top boast a combined 53 unreleased and rare songs, not to mention pristine remastered sound and bulked-up booklets. Frontman Robert Smith's side project the Glove are also recalled with a reissue of their only album, Blue Sunshine, the second disc to which features 16 unreleased tunes.
Sigur Rós' Saeglopur: Los Angeles' Worker's Institute label spent its first year putting out only instrumental Icelandic music, but while its expanding its scope this year, a new item by Reykjavik dreamers Sigur Rós falls in close proximity to those releases. The EP has one track from last year's Takk ... and three new tunes, while the DVD contains videos for the title track, "Glosoli" and "Hoppipolla."
Blood Meridian's Kick Up the Dust: Waiting for your fix of Black Mountain or the Pink Mountaintops? Look no further than yet another related project, this one fronted by singer/bassist Matthew Camirand. The ex-Black Halo finds himself wallowing in "McDonald's Blues," "In the Forest, Under the Moon" and also wonders, "Work Hard, for What?"
- A Heartwell Ending - Trust Us, We Lie (Mediaskare)
- Agalloch - Ashes Against the Grain (The End)
- All Shall Perish - The Price of Existence (Nuclear Blast America)
- Tab Benoit - Bayou Blues: Best of the Vanguard Years (Vanguard)
- Blood Meridian - Kick Up the Dust (V2)
- Fiona Boyes - Lucky 13 (Yellow Dog)
- Breaking Benjamin - Phobia (Hollywood)
Buy Now: Phobia (Hollywood)
- Greg Brown - The Evening Call (Red House)
- C-Bo - Money to Burn (West Coast Mafia)
- Cassie - Cassie (Bad Boy)
Read: "You Hear It First: Cassie"
Buy Now: Cassie (Bad Boy)
- Cinder - House Full of No Trust (Rock Ridge)
- Comets on Fire - Avatar (Sub Pop)
- Copycats - Piano Tribute to Pearl Jam, Piano Tribute to "Wicked" the Musical and Soul Sax Tribute to Smokey Robinson (CC)
- Ferry Corsten - L.E.F. (Loud Electronic Ferocious) (Ultra)
- Cult of Luna - Somewhere Along the Highway (Earache)
- Daughters - Hell Songs (Hydra Head)
Buy Now: Hell Songs (Hydra Head)
- Ani DiFranco - Reprieve (Righteous Babe)
Buy Now: Reprieve (Righteous Babe)
- Dirty Pretty Things - Waterloo to Anywhere (Interscope)
Read: "Ex-Libertines Rock On Without Pete Doherty, Unleash Dirty Pretty Things"
Buy Now: Waterloo to Anywhere (Interscope)
- Deryl Dodd - Full Circle (Dualtone)
- Bernard Fanning - Tea & Sympathy (Lost Highway)
- Fourplay - X (RCA)
- Matthew Friedberger - Winter Women/ Holy Ghost Language School (two CDs; 859)
- Gin Blossoms - Major Lodge Victory (Hybrid)
Buy Now: Major Lodge Vidtory (Hybrid)
- Anthony Gomes - Music Is the Medicine (Adrenaline)
- Nina Gordon - Bleeding Heart Graffiti (Warner Bros.)
Buy Now: Bleeding Heart Graffiti (Warner Bros.)
- Heads - Under the Stress of a Headlong Dive (Alternative Tentacles)
- Hello Stranger - Hello Stranger (Aeronaut Records)
- Hellogoodbye - Zombies! Aliens! Vampires! Dinosaurs! (Drive-Thru)
Buy Now: Zombies! Aliens! Vampires! Dinosaurs! (Drive-Thru)
- Steve Holy - Brand New Girlfriend (Curb)
- Hour of the Wolf - Power of the Wolf (Limekiln)
- Jonas Brothers - It's About Time (Columbia/ Daylight)
Read: "More Blink-182 Than Hanson, It's Time For The Jonas Brothers"
- Kaki King - Until We Felt Red (Velour)
- La Rocca - The Truth (Dangerbird)
- Left Alone - Dead American Radio (Hellcat)
- Lola Ray - Liars (Red Ink)
Buy Now: Liars (Red Ink)
- Love Arcade - Love Arcade (Atlantic)
- Tony Lucca - Canyon Songs (Rock Ridge)
- Masta Killa - Made in Brooklyn (Nature Sounds)
- Meg & Dia - Something Real (Doghouse)
- Modwheelmood - Enemies and Immigrants (Buddyhead)
- Moshav - Misplaced (JMG)
- Jim Noir - Tower of Love (Barsuk)
- Judith Owen - Here (Courgette)
- Reckless Kelly - Reckless Kelly Was Here (two CDs and one DVD; Sugar Hill)
- Revolution Mother - Enjoy the Ride (EP; Mike V. Incorporated)
- The Kelly Richey Band - Speechless (Sweet Lucy)
- Rick Ross - Port of Miami (Def Jam)
Read: "A Newcomer 10 Years In The Making: Rick Ross Gets Help From Jay-Z, Akon On First LP"
Buy Now: Port of Miami (Def Jam)
- Sadies - In Concert Volume One (two CDs; Yep Roc)
- Bob Schneider - The Californian (Shockorama)
- Selah - Bless the Broken Road: The Duets Album (Curb)
- Sigur Rós - Saeglopur (EP with DVD; Worker's Institute/ Krunk/ Filter)
Buy Now: Saeglopur (Worker's Institute/ Krunk/ Filter)
- Slayer - Christ Illusion (Warner Bros.)
Read: "New Slayer Album Might Be Their Fastest Yet"
Buy Now: Christ Illusion (Warner Bros.)
- Todd Snider - The Devil You Know (New Door)
- Taste of Chaos Ensemble - The Taste of Chaos Ensemble Performs Mastodon's Leviathan: The String Quartet Tribute (Vitamin)
- Under the Influence of Giants - Under the Influence of Giants (Island)
Buy Now: Under the Influence of Giants (Island)
- Unearth - III: In the Eyes of Fire (limited-edition version with bonus DVD also available; Metal Blade)
Buy Now: III: In the Eyes of Fire (Metal Blade)
- Jody Watley - The Makeover (two discs; Avitone)
- Wires on Fire - Wires on Fire (Buddyhead)
- Various artists - "The Last Kiss" soundtrack (Lakeshore)
- Various artists - "Step Up" soundtrack (Jive)
- Various artists - "World Trade Center" soundtrack (Sony Classical)
Notable Reissues and Archival Material:
- Aberdeen City - The Freezing Atlantic (Red Ink)
- Aly & AJ - Into the Rush - Deluxe Edition (Hollywood)
Buy Now: Into the Rush - Deluxe Edition (Deluxe Edition)
- Average White Band - The Definitive Groove Collection (two CDs; Rhino)
- Tab Benoit - Best of the Bayou Blues (Vanguard)
- Boozoo Bajou - Juke Joint II (!K7)
- James Brown - Funk It!: Remixed Hits (Cleopatra)
- Chic - The Definitive Groove Collection (two CDs; Rhino)
- The Cure - Head on the Door, Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me and The Top (two CDs; Rhino)
- Delgados - The Complete BBC Peel Sessions (two CDs; Chemikal Underground)
- DJ Quik - Born and Raised in Compton: The Greatest Hits (Arista/ Profile/ Legacy)
- Doors - The Best of the Doors (two CDs; Rhino)
- Funkadelic - Motor City Madness: The Ultimate Funkadelic Compilation (two CDs; Westbound)
- The Gap Band - Gold (two CDs; Hip-O)
- The Glove - Blue Sunshine (two CDs; Rhino)
- Grandmaster Flash - The Definitive Groove Collection (two CDs; Rhino)
- Helloween - Keeper of the Seven Keys Part I and Part II (Sanctuary)
- Hootie & the Blowfish - Live in Charleston (Sneaky Long)
- Lynyrd Skynyrd - Gold (two CDs; Geffen)
- Mavericks - Gold (two CDs; MCA Nashville)
- Ocote Soul Sounds and Adrian Quesada - El Niño y el Sol (Eighteenth Street Lounge)
- Roy Orbison - Crying, In Dreams and Sings Lonely and Blue (Monument/Legacy)
- Ginny Owens - If You Want Me To: The Best of Ginny Owens (Rocketown)
- Ozark Mountain Devils - 1980 Reunion Concert: Rhythm and Joy (Varèse Sarabande)
- Smokey Robinson & the Miracles - Gold (two CDs; Motown)
- Bob Schneider - The Galaxy Kings, I've Seen the End of the World and It Looks Like This, Songs Sung and Played on Guitar at the Same Time and Underneath the Onion Trees (Shockorama)
- Sebadoh - III (Domino)
- Sherbet - The Very Best of Sherbet (Renaissance)
- Sister Sledge - The Definitive Groove Collection (two CDs; Rhino)
- Slave - The Definitive Groove Collection (two CDs; Rhino)
- Tears for Fears - Gold (two CDs; MCA Nashville)
Buy Now: Gold (MCA Nashville)
- UFO - An Introduction to UFO (Fuel)
- Joe Walsh - The Definitive Collection (Universal)
- Various artists - '70s Soul Gold (two CDs; Hip-O)
- Various artists - An Introduction to Country Gospel (Fuel)
- Various artists - Blue's Clues: Blue's Biggest Hits (Nick)
- Various artists - Breakfast Club: London (Water)
- Various artists - British Invasion Gold (two CDs; Hip-O)
- Various artists - Sugar Hill Records: The Definitive Groove Collection (two CDs; Rhino)
- Various artists - Women & Songs 2 (Rhino)
- 12Rael - "Kopernik" (Music Video Distributors)
- Acid Drinkers - "The Hand That Rocks the Coffin" (Music Video Distributors)
- Arch Enemy - "Live Apocalypse" (Century Media)
- Bloc Party - "God Bless Bloc Party" (Vice)
- James Blunt - "Chasing Time: The Bedlam Sessions" (with bonus CD; Atlantic)
- Chrome & Helios Creed - "Dual Forces" (Music Video Distributors)
- Deep Purple - "Total Rock Review" (Classic Rock Legends)
- Deftones - "School of Brilliant Things" (United States Distributors)
- David Grisman Quartet - "Classic Dawg" (Shanachie)
- Kiss - "Asylum of Death: Interviews" and "Satanik Kreatures: Interviews" (Music Video Distributors)
- Chris Layton - "Double Trouble Drums" (Hot Licks)
- Led Zeppelin - "The Origin of the Species: A Critical Review of the Band's Roots and Branches" (Music Video Distributors)
- Lil Troy - "Paperwork Subject Scarface" (Music Video Distributors)
- Tadeusz Nalepa - "60-Te Urodziny" (Music Video Distributors)
- Pink Floyd - "The Dark Side: Interviews" (Music Video Distributors)
- Queen - "Bohemian Champions: Interviews" (Music Video Distributors)
- The Rolling Stones - "Under Review 1962-1966: An Independent Critical Analysis" (Music Video Distributors)
- Tommy Shannon - "Double Trouble Bass" (Hot Licks)
- Tegan and Sara - "It's Not Fun. Don't Do It!" (Vapor)
- Various artists - "2005 Reggae Music Video, Vol. 4" (Keeling)
- Various artists - "ATL Unplugged Part 2.5" (Music Video Distributors)
- Various artists - "Authentic Reggae Music Videos, Vol. 1" and "Vol. 2" (Music Video Distributors)
- Various artists - "Jazz Shots From the East Coast, Vol. 2" and "Vol. 3" (Music Video Distributors)
- Various artists - "Jazz Shots From the West Coast, Vol. 2" and "Vol. 3" (Music Video Distributors)
- Various artists - "Reggae Heroes" (Keeling)
- Christina Aguilera - Back to Basics (two CDs; RCA)
Read: "Christina Makes Her Comeback Twice As Nice By Expanding Basics Into Double LP"
Preorder: Back to Basics (RCA)
- Obie Trice - Second Round's on Me (Aftermath)
Preorder: Second Round's on Me (Aftermath)
- Various artists - Snakes on a Plane: The Album (enhanced; New Line)
Read: "Snakes On A Soundtrack — Samuel L. Jackson Film Nabs Fall Out Boy, Panic!, Cee-Lo"
- Kelis - Kelis Was Here (Jive)
Read: "Kelis Preparing To Get 'Bossy' With Her Next 'Strong Kind Of Girl Record' "
Preorder: Kelis Was Here (Jive)
- Lamb of God - Sacrament (deluxe edition with DVD also available; Epic)
Read: "Lamb Of God Ease Up On Bush But Get Deep Musically On Sacrament"
Preorder: Sacrament (Epic)
- Method Man - 4:21 ... The Day After (Def Jam)
Read: "Method Man Drops Diddy, Seeks Clarity On New LP, 4:21 ... The Day After"
Preorder: 4:21 ... The Day After (Def Jam)
- Outkast - Idlewild (La Face)
Read: "Missing Outkast? They've Already Lined Up Three 'Idlewild' Singles"
Preorder: Idlewild (La Face)
- Paris Hilton - Paris (Warner Bros.)
Read: "Paris Hilton's Debut Merges Hip-Hop, Reggae, Rod Stewart"
Preorder: Paris (Warner Bros.)
- Tego Calderón - The Underdog/ El Subestimado (Atlantic)
Preorder: The Underdog/ El Subestimado (Atlantic)
- Roots - Game Theory (Def Jam)
Preorder: Game Theory (Def Jam)
- Jessica Simpson - A Public Affair (Epic)
Read: "Jessica Simpson Album Shifts Gears Along With Personal Life"
Preorder: A Public Affair (Epic)
- Pete Yorn - Nightcrawler (Red Ink)
Read: "Dave Grohl Helps Pete Yorn Rock, Tupac Inspires Him To Be Prolific"
Preorder: Nightcrawler (Red Ink)
- Young Dro - Best Thang Smokin' (Atlantic)
Preorder: Best Thang Smokin' (Atlantic)