Wednesday , February 28 2024
Reimagining a pair of classics, Josh Hathaway's new BFF, Saleski's back.

New Album Releases 02/10/09: Van Morrison, India.Arie, Lily Allen, Dan Auerbach, Beastie Boys, Motörhead, & More

Although it was never the huge seller that Moondance was, Van Morrison's Astral Weeks has long been revered by fans and critics alike as one of the seminal albums of the rock era.

Late last year, Morrison did a series of concerts at the Hollywood Bowl in which he performed this classic in its entirety for the first time ever, using many of the same musicians who played on the original release forty years ago. Those concerts are the subject of Astral Weeks: Live at the Hollywood Bowl. I haven't heard this yet, but I can't imagine it being anything less than amazing. You can find a review by our own Musgo Del Jefe by going here.

On a side note, AMG has the Van Morrison CD listed for release today, but Amazon is saying that it's not out until February 24. Not sure what that's all about…

When people scratch their heads and ask me where the artistry in hip-hop lies, one CD I often point them towards is the Beastie Boys' second album Paul's Boutique. Released some twenty years ago, I can still remember when I pitched my then-editor at Seattle's Rocket magazine for the lead review on this album, to which he replied it would never sell because it was too much of a departure from their mega-platinum debut Licensed To Ill.

God, how I love being proven right. Paul's Boutique [20th Anniversary] is the first attempt to remaster this hip-hop classic, and was overseen by the Boys' themselves.

Other notable titles this week include the new one from soul ingenue/social activist India.Arie and a slew of Motörhead reissues, including a deluxe edition of that band's classic Ace Of Spades album.

But not everything old is new this week. Mark Saleski makes his long-awaited return to NAR to talk about Lily Allen. And here's Josh Hathaway to talk about his new BFF Dan Auerbach.

Josh Hathaway's Fanboy Pick: Dan Auerbach – Keep It Hid

What's that line from "Last Dance With Mary Jane?" No, not the underwear bit. Oh, yeah. "I don't know but I've been told/you never slow down, you'll never grow old." I'm trying to keep up with the kids. That's why I can throw around slang like BFF. The Black Keys are my new BFF. I love The Black Keys. I'm relatively new to the bandwagon but I've been making up for lost time. The Keys placed an album and a song on my Top 10 of 2008 lists ("So He Won't Break" and Attack & Release).

This week, Black Keys' frontman Dan Auerbach is releasing his first solo album. OMG. I'm not sure why the frontman and chief songwriter of a two-man band would feel the need to do a solo record, but The Black Keys are my BFF, so I guess I'm going to find out. I'm having one of these.

Saleski's Choice: Lily Allen – It's Not Me, It's You

I first heard (and heard of) Lily Allen on Saturday Night Live. It used to be that I'd watch that show just for the musical guests. In recent years, that part of the show (OK, the whole show) has been way more spotty. So out comes this Lily Allen. Flower print dress. High heels. Insanely catchy music. The tune was "LDN." Man, I was totally hooked. The album (Alright, Still) turned out to be better than I could have imagined. All of this fun, ska-infused music wrapped around lyrics that provided a complete contrast — "LDN" sounds all chirpy & happy, but closer inspection reveals pimps, crack whores, and muggings. That record was full of similar surprises including a tune revealing to an ex-boyfriend that he never made her cum. Title? "Not Big." Ouch.

So then Allen cancelled a tour, looking like she was done.

Not so. I'm looking forward to more happy music coming from my favorite potty-mouthed singer.

Here are all of this week's new album releases courtesy of All Music Guide:

Lily Allen
It's Not Me, It's You
Pop/Rock, Adult Alternative Pop/Rock

Testimony: Vol. 2, Love & Politics
Soulbird/Universal Republic
Contemporary Singer/Songwriter, Neo-Soul, Contemporary R&B

Dan Auerbach
Keep It Hid
Punk Blues, Garage Punk, Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock

Van Morrison
Astral Weeks: Live at the Hollywood Bowl
Listen To The Lion
Singer/Songwriter, Album Rock

Asasello Quartett
Felix & Fanny Mendelssohn: String Quartets
Avi Music
Romantic Chamber Music for Strings

Randy Bachman/New Guitar Summit
Jazz Thing II
Album Rock, Soft Rock

Count Basie & His Orchestra
Swiss Radio Days, Vol. 19
Act Music + Vision
Swing, Big Band

Beastie Boys
Paul's Boutique [20th Anniversary]
Golden Age, Alternative Rap, Alternative Pop/Rock, Hip-Hop

Elvin Bishop
Juke Joint Jump/Struttin' My Stuff
Blues-Rock, Southern Rock, Album Rock, Funk

Ruby Braff
For the Last Time
Standards, Mainstream Jazz, Swing

Gavin Bryars
Chambre d'écoute
Contemporary Chamber Music

Glen Campbell
Greatest Hits [Capitol]

Paul Chambers
Blue Note
Hard Bop

Wanna Be a Star
Solid Gold
Pop/Rock, Soft Rock

Gerald Cleaver/William Parker/Craig Taborn
Farmers by Nature
Aum Fidelity
Avant-Garde Jazz, Free Jazz

Ben Folds
Stems & Seeds
Adult Alternative Pop/Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock, Pop Underground, Contemporary Singer/Songwriter

Stan Freberg
Musical Comedy, Novelty, Satire

Alice Giles
Carlos Salzedo: Works for Solo Harp
Tall Poppies
Modern Music for Harp

Grant Green
Grant's First Stand
Blue Note
Hard Bop, Soul-Jazz

Guarneri Quartet
The Hungarian Album
Post-Romantic & Modern Music for String Quartet

Jon Hassell
Last Night the Moon Came Dropping Its Clothes in the Street
Structured Improvisation, Experimental, Space, Avant-Garde, Ambient

Buddy Holly
Memorial Collection
Rockabilly, Rock & Roll

Hot Panda
Volcano…Bloody Volcano
Indie Rock, New Wave/Post-Punk Revival

George Jones
Step Right Up: 1970-1979 A Critical Anthology
Nashville Sound/Countrypolitan, Honky Tonk, Country-Pop, Traditional Country

Jorma Kaukonen
River of Time
Red House
Neo-Traditional Folk, Old-Timey, Acoustic Blues

Ryan Leslie
Ryan Leslie
Contemporary R&B, Pop

Lorraine Hunt Lieberson
Recital: Lorraine Hunt Lieberson at Ravinia
Harmonia Mundi
Baroque, Romantic, Classical, Modern & Contemporary Music for Voice & Piano

The Lonely Island
Incredibad [CD/DVD]
Musical Comedy, Novelty

Beat Konducta, Vol. 5-6
Stones Throw
Left-Field Hip-Hop, Underground Rap, Hip-Hop

Ace of Spades [Deluxe Edition]
New Wave of British Heavy Metal, British Metal, Heavy Metal, Hard Rock

Bomber [Deluxe Edition]
New Wave of British Heavy Metal, British Metal, Heavy Metal

Iron Fist [Deluxe Edition]
New Wave of British Heavy Metal, British Metal, Speed Metal, Heavy Metal, Thrash, Hard Rock

Overkill [Deluxe Edition]
New Wave of British Heavy Metal, British Metal, Heavy Metal, Hard Rock

Leo Parker
Rollin' with Leo
Blue Note
Hard Bop

Horace Parlan
Up & Down [Bonus Track]
Blue Note
Hard Bop, Soul-Jazz

Miranda Lee Richards
Light of X
Alternative Singer/Songwriter, Alternative Pop/Rock, Neo-Psychedelia

Dexter Romweber Duo
Ruins of Berlin
Rockabilly Revival, Psychobilly

Bobby V.
The Rebirth
Blu Kolla Dreams/EMI
Contemporary R&B

Various Artists
NCIS: The Official TV Soundtrack
Television Music, TV Soundtracks

Dan Zanes and Friends
The Welcome Table! Songs of Inspiration, Mystery & Good Times
Festival Five
Children's Folk, Sing-Along, Contemporary Gospel, Country Gospel, Inspirational

About Glen Boyd

Glen Boyd is the author of Neil Young FAQ, released in May 2012 by Backbeat Books/Hal Leonard Publishing. He is a former BC Music Editor and current contributor, whose work has also appeared in SPIN, Ultimate Classic Rock, The Rocket, The Source and other publications. You can read more of Glen's work at the official Neil Young FAQ site. Follow Glen on Twitter and on Facebook.

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