Call It What You Will: The debate rages on regarding Thom Yorke's The Eraser. Solo album? Not-so-solo album? When it comes to Radiohead, haven't people learned better than to bother with labels? After all, they dipped into The Eraser throughout their recent North American tour, introducing those tracks seamlessly with new ones of their own. For this week, just let the music do the talking. The Nigel Godrich-produced record includes "Analyse," "Atoms for Peace" and "Harrowdown Hill."
Light the Muse: The U.K. assault continues with Muse's Black Holes & Revelations and its equally grandiose-sounding "Starlight," "Invincible" and "Supermassive Black Hole." While Muse are still fresh in the States, they've been puttering around England for nearly 10 years now -- which explains why you'll see them headlining the Glastonbury Festival on the bonus DVD. That extra disc comes with the first pressing only, although both editions were designed by Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd collaborator Storm Thorgerson.
Suffer Me Sufjan: If Sufjan Stevens keeps at the rate he's going, he'll have finished making an album for each state sometime in the early 22nd century. And it's not helping his cause that he's stopping to cobble together leftovers along the way: In addition to Illinois, the seemingly exhaustive 22-track disc he put out last year, now he's piling on 21 additional tracks from the sessions, including the typically long-winded "The Vivian Girls Are Visited in the Night by Saint Dararius and His Squadron of Benevolent Butterflies." Catch your breath and enjoy.
Seething in Concert: Keeping it much more simple are Seether, who strip down "Diseased," "Truth," "Broken" and "Remedy" for the acoustic-concert set One Cold Night. The CD has two versions of "The Gift," including an alternate mix, while the DVD compiles the February concert in Philadelphia with still images, an interview, the video for "The Gift" and behind-the-scenes clips.
Random Sightings (Emphasis on "Random"): Paul Wall, Ice-T and E-40 crop up in the same place this week, making guest appearances on the new ... Jamie Kennedy CD? Yup, you read it right -- Kennedy's Blowin' Up with collaborator Stu Stone, which also has drop-ins by other, uh, big-name hip-hop talent like Kardinal Offishall, Gill T. Pleasure and Iceberg.
And yes, that's Queens of the Stone Age's Josh Homme and hard-rock vet Joan Jett clashing alongside the quieter-than-thou Feist on Peaches' new record, which she endowed with the all-too-dead-on title Impeach My Bush. Don't forget to "Stick It to the Pimp" and "Rock the Shocker."
Also going from loud to soft is Greg Graffin, the Bad Religion frontman who goes the way of Neil Young and the Band on his solo album Cold as the Clay. He welcomes singer/songwriter Jolie Holland -- another Anti artist -- on two tracks and touches on some traditional fare like "Omie Wise" and "Talk About Suffering."
On the same token, Jimmy Tamborello stepped away from the Postal Service to craft Mistake Mistake Mistake Mistake, which he's releasing under the moniker James Figurine. Tamborello recorded the techno-pop tracks in Germany but got some additional help from Rilo Kiley's Jenny Lewis and members of Kings of Convenience, Whispertown 2000 and other lesser-knowns.
And members of a litany of groups -- Broken Social Scene, Sadies, Weakerthans and more -- come together to form Hylozoists, a Toronto collective who say their debut is an "ideal accompaniment for a macabre carnival carousel." The instrumental La Fin du Monde includes "Warning Against Judging a Christian Brother," "If Only Your Heart Was a Major Sixth" and "Hearts and Harps."
Maximum Psych: Bands might not be name-dropping the Jesus and Mary Chain quite yet -- seems like it's all the Cure and Joy Division these days -- but with their early records in your collection, you'll be one step ahead of the retro hipsters. These remastered versions of the band's first five studio albums -- Automatic, Darklands, Honey's Dead, Psychocandy and Stoned & Dethroned -- have three videos apiece on the video flipside.
One band that had no trouble finding an audience for psychedelia were Phish, whose 2004 shindig at Coney Island in Brooklyn, New York, is immortalized in both three-CD and two-DVD form as Live in Brooklyn. The concert was simultaneously broadcast to movie theaters while it was performed and was the first the band played after announcing its impending breakup. Shine on, you crazy diamonds.
Speaking of which, fans have been waiting for nearly an eternity for the "Pulse" double-disc by Phish's progenitors, Pink Floyd, to drop from the sky, and lo and behold, here 'tis. The footage was captured during the band's Division Bell tour in 1994 and was filmed at London's Earls Court during the band's 14-night residency there (try that one, Radiohead). The second disc features the band performing The Dark Side of the Moon in its entirety, and was designed by the aforementioned Storm Thorgerson.
Song Title of the Week:
"Motor Driven Puppy Stabbers" from Indorphine's Glowsticks for Clubbing Baby Seals
Cut Chemist's The Audience's Listening: With just two weeks to go before Jurassic 5 deliver their first studio album in almost four years, their former turntable master has just enough time to steal the spotlight with The Audience's Listening, his solo debut. The DJ hit the studio, cobbled together old samples and fused them with Brazilian and old-school beats for his new disc, which boasts "(My 1st) Big Break," "2266 Cambridge" and "Spat."
Kaada's Music for Moviebikers: Yet another record to be filed in the "Soundtracks to Films That Haven't Been Made Yet" category, the Norwegian experimentalist kept it fresh by hiring random folk musicians throughout Europe and recording the bulk of his record live instead of through programming. That resulted in more than 22 musicians participating on his instrumental disc, which includes "Julia Pastrana," "Mainstreaming" and "Retirement Community."
Various artists' Graciously: Label comps often slip through the cracks, but Wavelab Studio and Funzalo Records' new collection deserves some extra lovin'. All 12 songs -- by Calexico, Robyn Hitchcock and Scout Niblett -- are new and unreleased, and one-third of proceeds go to Habitat for Humanity's Musician's Village project in New Orleans.
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Notable Reissues and Archival Material:
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