Much Ado About Furtado: Nelly's back, but it isn't getting "Hot in Herre." No, this is new mom Nelly, and she's letting Loose her first LP since November 2003. It's a bummer for the babe that her recent hookup with Justin Timberlake didn't make her new LP, but with Obie Trice having bumped his record at the last minute to August 15, she's still got a great shot at being the highest debut on the next Billboard albums chart. Oh, and she's got Pharrell, Timbaland and Scott Storch on the record, which should help a wee bit.
Ubiquitous? U Bet: Just in case the albums, re-releases, tours, promotional campaigns, hometown honorary ceremonies and airborne concerts weren't enough to satisfy Madonna and Korn fans, there's more coming this week. Madge has a DVD/CD set, "I'm Going to Tell You a Secret," that shadows the singer as she hops around the world on her Re-Invention Tour. The Jonas Åkerlund (U2, Blink-182)-directed documentary has unlikely appearances by Iggy Pop, Gwyneth Paltrow and Michael Moore, while the CD features 14 concert cuts, including "Die Another Day" and "Mother and Father."
Also in the DVD racks is Korn's "Live on the Other Side," which they're putting out through live-entertainment company Live Nation. That would be the third label to put out official Korn content in the last seven months, with Virgin having released the band's See You on the Other Side late last year and Korn's former label, Epic, putting out the Live & Rare comp in May. The "Other Side" video bundles together the band's recent show at New York's Hammerstein Ballroom, footage from its performance onboard an airborne private jet and a glut of interviews. Ambitious covers of Pink Floyd and Metallica tunes help seal the deal.
Still Pimpin': No doubt trying to capitalize on their still-fresh-in-mind Oscar shocker, Three 6 Mafia are pimping two new items. After having already put out a separate DualDisc version of last year's platinum Most Known Unknown, the toothy Memphis rappers are stepping up with a third edition that features the indispensable "Hustle & Flow" theme tune, "It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp," as a bonus track. The "Ultimate Video Collection" is even more straightforward, cobbling together key clips from over the years.
Also double-dipping this week are Motion City Soundtrack, who are making the best of their time in the limelight by re-releasing last year's Commit This to Memory in deluxe form. Unlike Three 6, the wild-haired pop-punkers are giving fans their money's worth by slapping a bonus track, "Invisible Monsters," onto the end of the CD and chalking up an added DVD overflowing with three hours' worth of performance footage, interviews and more.
Playing Hard to Get: As for Pearl Jam's re-emergence less than two months after putting out their new studio LP, record-store clerks everywhere are grateful that the band is only sending one new live disc -- not 72 -- to the bins. Live at Easy Street is actually a seven-song EP that, following a similar tactic recently executed by Boy Least Likely To and J Mascis, will only be available at Coalition of Independent Music Stores. If you dug Pearl Jam's more comprehensive approach, go to their site, where they're posting downloads of concerts one to two days after they perform them.
Also going the nontraditional route is dance favorite Sasha, who is both creating and releasing a new double-disc Saturday at Los Angeles' Avalon club. Joining forces with Instant Live, the DJ will simultaneously transfer his two-hour set to CD as he performs it live, leaving fans with a pretty nifty souvenir to go home with. Even more fascinating, Instant Live already pre-licensed all the songs by other artists that Sasha will be sampling that night, so they don't hit any bureaucratic snags. Ten-thousand numbered packages will be made, and if you can't make the show, head to InstantLive.com or DJSasha.com to preorder.
Last but not least, Jay Love Japan by hip-hop's recently departed quiet genius, Jay Dee, will hit the aforementioned country this week -- and remain there exclusively until BBE delivers the disc to the States in December.
Cashing in Before They Cash Out?: Is Fatboy Slim trying to tell us something with the lackadaisical title to his new collection, The Greatest Hits: Why Try Harder? Probably not, since a new single, "That Old Pair of Jeans," adorns the disc. And don't be confused by Christopher Walken gracing the cover of the album -- even though this comp features "Weapon of Choice," for which Walken appeared in the award-winning video, that clip isn't on this LP. That'll appear instead on Norman Cook's July 18 DVD, the obviously named "The Greatest Hits: Why Make Videos?"
As far as roots rock goes, Old 97's were on the fritz for a while, only to come back with last year's double-disc Alive and Wired. Now comes Hit by a Train, an 18-track hoedown recapping the bulk of the band's career, from 1994-2001. Included is the 97's contribution to the "King of the Hill" soundtrack, a couple of rare live tracks and a B-side, "The Villain." Another hiatus probably isn't on the horizon, though, since they just dropped a new live EP earlier this month.
Definitely done are Luna, the indie stalwarts who closed their career with a farewell tour last year. Produced by linchpin Dean Wareham, The Best of Luna touches on seven of their eight studio records, excluding 1992's Lunapark, and captures their collaborations with underground legends Tom Verlaine of Television and Sterling Morrison of the Velvet Underground. And American Film Institute Director of the Year Matthew Buzzell got behind the lens for "Tell Me Do You Miss Me," which follows Luna as they brought their career to a solemn close.
Song Title of the Week:
"Your Lips Are No Man's Land but Mine" from the Gersch's self-titled record
Keane's Under the Iron Sea: U2 and "Trainspotting" writer Irvine Welsh have taken the Brit-pop trio under their wings, but that didn't stop the sophomores from nearly breaking up after their first record. Instead of using guitars, Keane rely on effects pedals, granting the murky record "soundscapes that range from the percussive to vast oppressive walls of distortion," they say in their first-person bio.
Underoath's Define the Great Line: For their third effort, the post-rock powerhouses enlisted Killswitch Engage guitarist Adam Dutkiewicz to co-produce and the incomparable Chris Lord Alge to mix. The limited-edition digipak has a bonus DVD with behind-the-scenes footage and, more unusually, a special clip on the making of the album art.
Frank Black's Fast Man/ Raider Man: Seems like pouring his energy into the reunited Pixies has left Charles Thompson -- a.k.a. Black -- with a lot to say. The 27-track double-CD was tracked in Nashville and Los Angeles with some eminent session players you probably won't recognize, including Spooner Oldham, but it also features members of Cheap Trick, the Band and Tom Petty supporters the Heartbreakers. Yeah, you probably haven't heard of them either, huh?
Stuart Staples' Leaving Songs/ Lucky Dog Recordings: The Tindersticks frontman also holed up in Nashville last year to craft 10 tunes with Mark Nevers of Lambchop, singer/songwriter Maria McKee and world artist Lhasa de Sela. Stuart's 2005 solo debut, Lucky Dog Recordings, is tacked on for those who don't already have it -- which would be just about all of us, since it hasn't been out in the U.S. yet.
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