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New Album Releases: Ringo Starr, Vampire Weekend, Black Diamond Heavies, Omarion

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These new releases are a cackling witch.

I won't go so far as to say there's nothing worth mentioning this week.  I'll just say I ordered some CDs from Amazon yesterday, and none of them are on this week's list.  So what is on this week's list?  A few curiosities we ought discuss.

For starters, we have an early contender for Best Album Title of the Year.  I know nothing of Black Diamond Heavies, but they stole my dream of naming a live album Alive as Fuck.  I might have to order that simply because no man is more worthy of owning an album by that name than me.

Second, we have All Time Low's MTV Unplugged.  Is All Time Low a really old band I don't know?  I know it's a bit tired to make fun of MTV for not playing music but I really didn't know they were still doing Unplugged.  Good on them, then.  Yours if you want it.

We also have a new record from the one and only Ringo Starr, Y Not.  His buddy Paul McCartney makes a cameo on the record.  Starr produced the album himself, a first for him.  It's not a surprising move, considering he had some problems with producers on his previous record, the pleasant Liverpool 8.

I think I'll be tarred and feathered if I don't mention Vampire Weekend.  I've heard lots of talk and buzz about this, but I know nothing of them.  I'm suspicious of vampires and anything called vampire.  I'm not ruling this one out, but I've not made an effort to familiarize myself with them either.  Their new album Contra is out now for those of you already in the loop.

Here's the rest of your list…

Final Fantasy

Of the Blue Colour of the Sky


Vampire Weekend

Alexander String Quartet

All Time Low
MTV Unplugged

American Chamber Winds
Igor Stravinsky: An American Soldier's Tale

Black Diamond Heavies
Alive as Fuck: Masonic Lodge, Covington, KY

The Music Scene

Jason Boesel
Hustler's Son

Manu Chao

Elvis Costello
Live at Hollywood High

Nick Cave/Warren Ellis
The Road

Ensemble Musica Nova
Guillaume de Machaut: Ballades

T-Model Ford
The Ladies Man

The Gilded Palace of Sin
You Break Our Hearts, We'll Tear Yours Out

Hilary Hahn
Bach: Violin and Voice

Whitney Houston
Whitney Houston: 25th Anniversary Edition

Ray Wylie Hubbard
A. Enlightenment B. Endarkenment (Hint: There is No C)

Prenuptial Agreement

Philippe Jaroussky
J.C. Bach: La dolce fiamma

Chris Joss
Monomaniacs, Vol. 1

Nana Grizol

Rain or Shine

Ellis Paul
The Day After Everything Changed

Absolute Polysics

Sharon Shannon
Saints & Scoundrels

Ringo Starr
Y Not

Various Artists
Dengue Fever Presents: Electric Cambodia

Laura Veirs
July Flame

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About Josh Hathaway

  • I was really psyched for the new Vampire Weekend album…I thought that literally every song on their last album was awesome. Contra was not that great for the first listen…or even the first 10 listens. Then one day, I blasted it in my car on the way home from work and I fell in love. It’s smooth, simple, uplifting music with cheery beats and cool lyrics. I’d definitely recommend giving this one several chances, or you might be missing out on a great album.

  • Josh Hathaway

    I just read Holly’s review of the album and I’m getting more intrigued by this.

  • Josh Hathaway

    You know, I’m not some complete musical philistine here. I’m on the verge of taking offense and showing you lot deez nutz.

    Or not.

    I’ll give them a listen and see what is what.

  • Loving the new Vampire Weekend, but I’ll have to side with Mark that, no, Josh, you’ll probably not like them. No “supposed to like” going on here. Just smart, fun, intelligent pop music, doing some things that aren’t being done by many people in the music business today. Ignore what most reviewers have to say and listen with an open mind. I ignored them for the entire first year the first album was out because I couldn’t stand the hype. Then I finally gave in and checked them out, almost completely blindly, and subsequently fell in love. Closest thing to Talking Heads we may see these days, I think. The missing element is the giddy wildness TH possessed.

  • Josh Hathaway

    I didn’t really dismiss the Whitney re-issue. You’re right that those singles from the album were all huge, huge hits. I didn’t have information about what’s going on the re-issue. Sometimes those packages are compelling and sometimes they’re a complete ripoff.

    Vampire Weekend sounds like one of those bands you’re supposed to like. I rarely like them but I’ll have to investigate.

  • Clayton Perry

    hmm… i’m kinda sad that you dismissed the 25th anniversary of Whitney Houston’s debut album… that’s a classic… “how will i know,” “you give good love,” “greatest love of all,” “saving all my love for you,” and “hold me,” her duet with the late teddy pendergrass… CLASSIC MATERIAL!!!

  • The first thing coming out this year that genuinely excites me is Johnny Cash’s American VI, and that’s a month away. The fact that Ringo has Macca on it makes it mildly intriguing. Vampire Weekend on the other hand do absolutely nothing for me.


  • p.s. the most interesting release this week is the new Ellis Paul

  • I’m not ruling this one out, but I’ve not made an effort to familiarize myself with them either.

    hmmm, well…i loooved their first album. afro-pop of a sort by way of a group of smartass ivy league types.

    not sure if you’d like ’em. i’m not a betting man, but the smart money would be on ‘no’.