If you've been waiting for a good time to venture back out into the record stores, this could very well be your week. It would seem the post-holiday lull is officially over, as the labels have lined up their fullest slate of brand spanking new discs for your ears since way back before Christmas.
So what we have here to lead February off, is a whole bunch of new music by such big names as Sheryl Crow, Jack Johnson, k.d. lang, Lenny Kravitz and — if you happen to be sipping one of those new one dollar lattes at Starbucks (or preparing for a trip to the dentist) — the ever somnambulant Kenny G. Throw in this week's edition of Saleski's Choice, and not one, but two picks from Tom Johnson, and I'd say we've got ourselves one barn burner of a new release party.
For Detours, her first new album in two years, Sheryl Crow reunites with producer Bill Bottrell, who she struck platinum with on her debut Tuesday Night Music Club. Sheryl's been through a lot since her last album — including a battle with cancer, a high profile celebrity breakup, and a call for the regulation of toilet paper (among other hot-button issues). So this CD should pack a lyrical wallop no doubt. I'd also think this will be a high profile release, as I half expect to see Sheryl stumping for either Obama or Hillary any day now.
Mellow Hawaii surf dude Jack Johnson is also back this week with Sleep Through the Static, which is said to represent the Adult Alternative singer/songwriter favorite's "darker side." Just try to imagine hanging ten with Darth Vader I guess.
In a recent interview with Rolling Stone magazine, rocker Lenny Kravitz seems to be flirting with the idea of giving it all up to become a farmer. But for now Kravitz says that It Is Time for a Love Revolution on his brand new album.
k.d. lang's first new album in eight years is the self-produced Watershed, and this one also comes in one of those spiffy "deluxe editions" loaded with extras. So bring your wallet (or your purse).
Bob Mould's new District Line is said to combine the quieter nuances of his solo work, the poppier elements of Sugar, and the sonic assault of Husker Du. Hip hop pioneer KRS-One drops knowledge for the new generation on Adventures in Emceein.
And then there's our good friend and poster child for elevators everywhere, Mr. Kenny G. The human Sominex teams here with both Concord Jazz and Starbucks for his latest sax-tastic effort Rhythm and Romance. At the risk of drawing the ire of Mr. G's assistant — who has been known to frequent the comments section here at BC Magazine — I'll just say I'd expect a lot more "romance" then "rhythm" here.
And on that note, I relinquish the wheel to Mr. Mark Saleski…
I came very, very late to the Nick Cave game. How late? 2004: Abattoir Blues/Lyre of Orpheus. That album blew the top of my head clean off. I listened to almost nothing else for a couple of weeks, allowing the music to soak in deeply. In the back of my mind, I'm thinking that I've made a big mistake with too many Cave-less years. The next purchase was Murder Ballads. Yikes, this guy is scary good.
Not that I'm trying to make up for lost time or anything, but I've got so much respect for Cave's abilities that I'm taking a chance on this soundtrack. Heck, it doesn't even seem all that much of a risk, as Cave and Bad Seeds/Grinderman cohort Warren Ellis provide the atmospherics for a film I've never heard of.
FINALLY! Held by many as the greatest live rock album of all time – me included – it seems ridiculous that it's taken this long to officially be released on DVD. The band apparently really wanted to do this one right. Not only do we get the legendary concert full of giant mummified Eddies and such, we also get a second DVD filled with archival footage including the show that is said to rival the Live After Death show, Maiden's 1985 Rock In Rio appearance (50 minutes), Behind the Iron Curtain (a 57 minute documentary shot in Poland and other eastern bloc countries,) the History of Iron Maiden, pt. 2 (50 minutes,) and a few other smaller things.
There seems to be some confusion on which of these are coming out today, and which have actually already been released, so I'm throwing them all in at once. The Killing Joke remaster campaign has not been the most organized, but it has been one of the more respectful ones. Not only are they excellent quality remasters, the band has compiled intelligent and rewarding sets of bonus material for each album. In the case of Brighter, the album is almost entirely new – this version features the mixes the public never got to hear, which make it sound more like the traditional, ferocious Killing Joke and less like a synth-pop band. Also be on the lookout for a very limited edition of the band's Extremities, Dirt, & Various Repressed Emotions which features a bonus disc of extras, greatly expanded book, and a disc-sized box to house it all in.
Here are all of this week's new album releases courtesy of All Music Guide:
American Trad Rock, Pop/Rock, Adult Alternative Pop/Rock, Singer/Songwriter
Made in the Dark
Indie Electronic, Indie Rock, Alternative Dance
Sleep Through the Static
Adult Alternative Pop/Rock
Contemporary Singer/Songwriter, Adult Alternative Pop/Rock, Pop
Indie Rock, Post-Punk, Alternative Singer/Songwriter, American Underground, Adult Alternative Pop/Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock
Indie Rock, Neo-Psychedelia, Alternative Pop/Rock
Adult Alternative Pop/Rock
Janacek: The Excursions of Mr. Broucek
Oh, My Darling
Alternative Singer/Songwriter, Indie Pop
Elgar: Cello Concerto
Post-Romantic Music for Cello & Orchestra
Here's to Being Here
Arts & Crafts
Alternative Country-Rock, Indie Rock
Chick Corea/Gary Burton
The New Crystal Silence
The Crystal Method
Funky Breaks, Electronica, Club/Dance
Club/Dance, Adult Contemporary, Dance-Pop
Neo-Psychedelia, Indie Rock
Italian Opera Arias [Includes DVD]
Romantic Italian Opera Arias
Bill Dixon/Exploding Star Orchestra
Bill Dixon with Exploding Star Orchestra
Avant-Garde Jazz, Free Jazz
Rhythm and Romance
Smooth Jazz, Latin Jazz, Crossover Jazz, Jazz-Pop, Adult Contemporary
The Life I Know
Trippin N' Rhythm
Crossover Jazz, Contemporary Jazz, Fusion, Electronic
Back of My Lac' [CD/DVD]
Kiss Kiss Kill Kill
Psychobilly, Punk Revival, Alternative Pop/Rock
She Thinks I Still Care: The Complete United Artists Recordings, 1962-1964
Nashville Sound/Countrypolitan, Honky Tonk, Traditional Country
Adventures in Emceein
It Is Time for a Love Revolution
American Trad Rock, Pop/Rock
Terry Riley: The Cusp of Magic
Contemporary Chamber Music
The Magic of Lang Lang
Virtuoso Piano Showpieces
Falling Off the Lavender Bridge
Indie Rock, Alternative Singer/Songwriter
20th Century Masters: The Best Of Brian McKnight, The Millennium Collection [Canada]
Universal Music Canada
Contemporary R&B, Adult Contemporary, Quiet Storm, Urban
I'm Old Kentucky Bound
Traditional Bluegrass, String Bands, Traditional Country, Old-Timey, Honky Tonk
Alternative Pop/Rock, Pop Underground, Indie Rock
Step Up 2: The Streets
20th Century Masters: Millennium Collection
Urban, Contemporary R&B
Steve Reid Ensemble
African Jazz, Jazz-Rock, Folk-Jazz, Fusion, Jazz-Funk, World Fusion, Modern Creative
If This Is Hell Then I'm Lucky
In the Dark: Live at Vicar Street
Contemporary Folk, Alternative Country-Rock, Folk-Rock
Volume 1: 1946-1954 West Coast Trumpet
West Coast Jazz, Big Band
Adam Rudolph's Moving Pictures
African Jazz, Avant-Garde Jazz, World Fusion, Modern Creative
20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection
Pop-Rap, Hip-Hop, Urban, Golden Age
The Wishes and the Glitch
Indie Pop, Indie Rock, Indie Electronic
School of Language
Sea from Shore
The Best of SheDAISY
Contemporary Country, Country-Pop
Live at Newport '58
Sons and Daughters
Recapturing the Banjo
Contemporary Blues, Electric Country Blues, Modern Acoustic Blues, Acoustic Blues
They Might Be Giants
Here Come the 123's
How Great Thou Art: Gospel Favorites from the Grand Ole Opry
Wild Wood [Deluxe Edition]
British Trad Rock, Pop/Rock, Adult Alternative Pop/Rock, Soul
Two Kings of the Same Kingdom [CD/DVD]
Indie Electronic, IDM, Electronica