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 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.
Works Progress Administration – Works 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:
Keep an Eye on the Sky
So Far Gone
Man on the Moon: The End of Day
Kamaal the Abstract
Pete Yorn/Scarlett Johansson
This Is Thirteen
Armed for Apocalypse
The Legacy: The Best of Big Pun
The Black Dahlia Murder
Chopin: Études; Six Polish Songs (transcribed Liszt)
Aguilas and Cobras
Demolition Mission: Studio Blue Sessions
Midnight Wind [Midnight Wind…Plus]
Karl Denson's Tiny Universe
Time to Die
Every Time I Die
New Junk Aesthetic
Sort of Revolution
Under the Sun
Judy Goes Hollywood! Music from the Movies
Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers Band
Keep in Mind Frankenstein
Teeth Lost, Hearts Won
Bruce Hornsby & the Noisemakers
Blood of Man
Out into the Snow
In the Black
Superbad: The Return of Boosie Bad Azz
The Chair in the Doorway
Lo Fidelity Allstars
Roy Loney & the Phantom Movers
A Hundred Miles an Hour 1978-1989
Gamba Nova: Contemporary Music for Baroque Instruments and Voices
Whatcha Gonna Do
The Last Dubber
The World I Want to Leave Behind
Skinny Jeanz & A Mic
Shibuya: City Lights, Vol. 2
Danielle de Niese
The Mozart Album
Blood and Candle Smoke
Is It O.K.
The Scotland Yard Gospel Choir
…And the Horse You Rode in On
Shudder to Think
Live from Home
Simian Mobile Disco
Solo: Songs My Dad Loved
Stars of Track and Field
A Time for Lions
Sunny Day Real Estate
Diary [Bonus Tracks]
Sunny Day Real Estate
LP2 [Bonus Tracks]
Best Is Yet to Come: The Songs of Cy Coleman