I have to be honest and say that I'm not all that excited about the bulk of this week's offerings.
Last week, in his latest installment of the Friday Morning Listen, my sometime cohort here Mark Saleski (who is back this week with his pick, along with Tom Johnson), talked about certain artists he doesn't particularly like, and why. The resulting comments thread, saw yours truly "outed" as a non-fan of the Grateful Dead.
So, you already know I won't be running out to the record store to buy the Mickey Hart reissues this week for starters.
Of course, there are a few other reissued titles this week. Matador is putting out new "definitive editions" of several Mission Of Burma releases. There's also a hits package from New Found Glory.
We also have a couple of interesting indie-rock releases to consider. London pop-punk duo The Kills has Midnight Boom, on which they continue their edgy, minimalist...well, pop-punk. The Bravery has a new "complete" version of last year's The Sun and the Moon, where the original is expanded to include a second disc with new versions of every song.
So, let's talk about the new releases that I actually will be checking out this week:
I'm curious about Haarp, the new CD/DVD package from Muse, because they have developed a reputation as a great live act over the past few years, with ambitious, elaborate shows. This set features highlights from concerts the band performed last year before 90,000 fans at London's Wembley Stadium. With the added bonus of a DVD to check out, this one will help determine if I add Muse to my "watch-list" at Ticketmaster.
But the one I'm really excited about this week is Here Is What Is, the sixth solo release from Daniel Lanois, and the first for his own Red Floor Records. Lanois is of course best known for the often layered, atmospheric soundscapes he has created as a producer — both on his own, and at times with partner Brian Eno — for artists like U2, Bob Dylan, and Peter Gabriel. On this album, he is joined by the Band's Garth Hudson on piano and drummer Brian Blade. Eno also shows up here in spoken word segments.