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New Album Releases: Mark Knopfler, Work Progress Administration, Muse, Pete Yorn & Scarlett Johansson, Big Star, Drake, Nelly Furtado

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It's not a terribly loaded week for new releases but there are a couple records I'm excited to highlight. I've been looking forward to new Mark Knopfler music since Get Lucky was announced in June. I've anticipated the debut record from “supergroup” Works Progress Administration even longer, going back to when I interviewed WPA co-conspirator Glen Phillips in May of last year. More on those in a minute.

Last week, we did a special feature on The Beatles' reissues and as a result I didn't get to talk about one of the new releases from last week that normally would have gotten some attention. Alison Sudol released the second A Fine Frenzy record, Bomb In A Birdcage.  It's a departure from her debut but proves to be a fine, fine listen. We also learned of plans for a massive Tom Petty box set, but no release date has yet been announced.

Jumping back to this week, we have new music from Muse and a collaboration between Pete Yorn and Scarlett Johansson.

Mark Knopfler - Get LuckyMark KnopflerGet Lucky

Knopfler is on a roll, following up his outstanding Kill To Get Crimson with the brilliant Get Lucky. He doesn't change the approach he's taken on previous solo records but Get Lucky stands out because of the quality of the material he has given himself as well as his collaborators this time out.

Among the highlights are the Celtic-folk of “Before Gas And TV,” the subdued blues of “You Can't Beat The House,” and the tender “Hard Shoulder.” Knopfler has started announcing tour dates for Get Lucky, hitting US venues in spring 2010.

WPAWorks Progress AdministrationWorks Progress Administration

WPA may not be a supergroup in the most famous sense, but there is some serious musical pedigree among these performers. Former Toad The Wet Sproket frontman Glen Phillips is joined by Heartbreaker Benmont Tench, Nickel Creek's Sean Watkins, and Luke Bulla. Also participating in the recording process was Sara Watkins (Nickel Creek), Greg Leisz (Bill Frisell, Joni Mitchell), Pete Thomas (Elvis Costello and the Attractions and Imposters), and Davey Faragher (Cracker, the Imposters).

That's a lot of talent for one record. I've heard one song from the album, “Always Have My Love,” which was briefly offered as a free download. Phillips takes lead, but the Americana/bluegrass feel of the Nickel Creekers prominently accentuate the song, separating it from much of the music of Phillips' previous band and solo outings. Professionalism permeates the performance of “Always” and I'm eager to hear more. I've pre-ordered my copy of the record and hope to have it in hand this week.

Here's the rest of your new releases for Sept. 15, 2009:

Big Star
Keep an Eye on the Sky

Drake
So Far Gone

Nelly Furtado
Mi Plan

Kid Cudi
Man on the Moon: The End of Day

Muse
The Resistance

Q-Tip
Kamaal the Abstract

Pete Yorn/Scarlett Johansson
Break Up

Anvil
This Is Thirteen

Armed for Apocalypse
Defeat

Big Punisher
The Legacy: The Best of Big Pun

The Black Dahlia Murder
Deflorate

Luiza Borac
Chopin: Études; Six Polish Songs (transcribed Liszt)

Butterfly Boucher
Scaryfragile

Tyondai Braxton
Central Market

Brownout
Aguilas and Cobras

Café Tacuba
Yo Soy

Cougar
Patriot

Cowboy Troy
Demolition Mission: Studio Blue Sessions

Charlie Daniels
Midnight Wind [Midnight Wind…Plus]

Karl Denson's Tiny Universe
Brother's Keeper

Marie Digby
Breathing Underwater

The Dodos
Time to Die

Every Time I Die
New Junk Aesthetic

Fink
Sort of Revolution

Gordon Gano
Under the Sun

Judy Garland
Judy Goes Hollywood! Music from the Movies

Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers Band
Pilgrimage

Grand Archives
Keep in Mind Frankenstein

The Grates
Teeth Lost, Hearts Won

Gus Gus
24/7

Wolfgang Holzmair
Wolf: Songs

Bruce Hornsby & the Noisemakers
Levitate

Mason Jennings
Blood of Man

Simon Joyner
Out into the Snow

Jupiter One
Sunshower

Kittie
In the Black

Mark Knopfler
Get Lucky

Lil' Boosie
Superbad: The Return of Boosie Bad Azz

Living Colour
The Chair in the Doorway

Lo Fidelity Allstars
Northern Stomp

Roy Loney & the Phantom Movers
A Hundred Miles an Hour 1978-1989

Markku Luolajan-Mikkola
Gamba Nova: Contemporary Music for Baroque Instruments and Voices

Claire Lynch
Whatcha Gonna Do

Megadeth
Endgame

Ministry
The Last Dubber

The World I Want to Leave Behind

New Boyz
Skinny Jeanz & A Mic

Nicolay
Shibuya: City Lights, Vol. 2

Danielle de Niese
The Mozart Album

The Sixteen
Sounds Sublime

Porcupine Tree
The Incident

Benny Reid
Escaping Shadows

Tom Russell
Blood and Candle Smoke

Serena Ryder
Is It O.K.

The Scotland Yard Gospel Choir
…And the Horse You Rode in On

Shadows Fall
Retribution

Shudder to Think
Live from Home

Simian Mobile Disco
Temporary Pleasure

Ricky Skaggs
Solo: Songs My Dad Loved

Sonos
SonoSings

Stars of Track and Field
A Time for Lions

Sunny Day Real Estate
Diary [Bonus Tracks]

Sunny Day Real Estate
LP2 [Bonus Tracks]

David Sylvian
Manafon

Thrice
Beggars

Uncle Kracker
Happy Hour

Various Artists
Best Is Yet to Come: The Songs of Cy Coleman

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About Josh Hathaway

  • http://everythingisamess.wordpress.com Tom Johnson

    “It’s not a terribly loaded week for new releases”

    Josh, man, this week is HUGE for music lovers. Knopfler, Porcupine Tree, Living Colour, Pete Yorn/Scarlett Johansson (yes, surprisingly pretty GREAT,) Muse, Shudder To Think, David Sylvian – it’s one of those weeks that I think if you’re really a music lover, there’s something for you. Heck, all of September is a danger to the budget, and that’s not even considering the Beatles last week.

  • Josh Hathaway

    I’m glad this week is deeper for you than it is for me this week, Tom. You know I’m on a Porcupine Tree boycott. Actually it’s more like an embargo. They are Cuba to me. :-)

    I’ve never really gotten into Muse. I liked Living Colour for a few minutes when I was in middle school but they didn’t age well for me, despite Vernon Reid’s obvious prowess. The new release calendar is going to get busier and busier, no question, but this week didn’t have a lot that got my attention.

  • http://theglenblog.blogspot.com Glen Boyd

    I got PT covered in my review Tom — plus I’m going to see them live tonight, and will most likely have a review on that as well. As for Josh’s “embargo,” well no accounting for taste, right?

    -Glen

  • Josh Hathaway

    See, this is why I nearly struck them from the list. You can’t say the words “Porcupine” and “Tree” in the same sentence without a thread hijack. Take this over to Boyd’s articles and leave us in peace! :)

    It’s almost a relief to me that more music wasn’t on tap for me this week (and that WPA still hasn’t arrived) because I can’t stop listening to Knopfler. Powerful and habit-forming that record is. Normally I’d be all kinds of losing my mind about WPA not being here. I need a couple days before I try wading into that one.

  • http://www.marksaleski.com MarkSaleski

    (sssspt!!! hey, while glen is rocking out at the Porcupine Tree show, lemme say that i never could get into them…bough Fear of A Blank Planet but never really could get into it)

  • MM

    The WPA album is excellent. It is really growing on me. I wasn’t sure about the Luke Bulla songs at first, but they have really grown on me after multiple listens.

  • http://www.confessionsofafanboy.com Josh Hathaway

    I’ve gotten one full listen to the CD in myself. I need to spin it a few more times but I like it.