10,000 Maniacs – Music From The Motion Picture CD (Org Music)
The first studio album from 10,000 Maniacs in over a decade. Vinyl version due March 26.
Alcoa – Bone And Marrow CD/LP (Bridge Nine)
Singer/songwriter Derek Archambault has spent the last four years on tour with progressive hardcore/punk band Defeater, and has had a solo project called Alcoa going for even longer. Alcoa’s debut full-length, Bone & Marrow, is country-tinged with pop sensibilities; full of songs about life, love and regret. Also prevalent on the album is the addition of instrumentation like upright bass, banjo, fiddle, pedal steel, piano/organ, and charming guy/girl dueling vocals.
Alvin & Alyosha – All The Times We Had CD/LP (Dualtone)
Ivan & Alyosha’s debut full-length album encapsulates the personalized blend of rousing songcraft, infectious melodic hooks and thoughtful lyrical introspection that’s already endeared the band to just about anyone who’s witnessed one of their effortlessly uplifting live shows, or who’s heard either of their two prior indie EP releases. “Like their Seattle brethren in The Head And The Heart, Band Of Horses and Fleet Foxes, Ivan & Alyosha create luscious, enjoyable folk-pop.” – Paste
Joan Armatrading – Starlight CD (429)
“This isn’t a jazz album, anymore than her UK charttopper Into The Blues was about something so simple as the blues. She’s always had a roving eye, a restless muse. As with each of her more recent projects, Armatrading plays all of the instruments — save for drums, which she programs with an idiosyncratic verve. They are sometimes strangely busy, often weirdly off-kilter. This gives the album more of a found-art avant-pop sensibility, and in that way recalls almost nothing that she’s done before.” – somethingelsereviews.com
Atoms For Peace – AMOK 2xCD/LP/2xLP+MP3 (XL)
Atoms For Peace is Thom Yorke, Nigel Godrich, Mauro Refosco, Joey Waronker, and Flea. They came together by playing in support of Thom’s Grammy nominated album The Eraser. They got a big buzz from those shows and discovered loads of energy from transforming the music from electronic to live, so they carried on for a few days in the studio and decided to make it a loose, on-going thing. Both CD and vinyl are available in Regular and Deluxe editions, which feature unique packaging (foil embossed sleeves) and bonus tracks.
Autre Ne Veut – Anxiety CD/LP (Software)
Autre Ne Veut’s influences range from David Byrne to Lee Scratch Perry, Laurie Anderson and Annie Lennox to Katy Perry and Rihanna. However, their primary influence is karaoke — the solitary person singing along with their favorite song. There are club bangers on Anxiety, for sure; “Counting” — a cybernetic sea shanty, tips its hat to Timbaland; and opening track, “Play By Play” rolls out like a slowly evolving Top 40 operetta with nods to Dr. Luke and Patti LaBelle in equal measure.
Syd Barrett – The Madcap Laughs [Reissue/1970] CD (Capitol)
Syd Barrett – Barrett [Reissue/1970] CD (Capitol)
Syd Barrett – Opel [Reissue] CD (Capitol)
Digitally remastered reissues — each featuring bonus tracks.
Don Bikoff – Celestial Explosion [Reissue/1968] CD/LP (Tompkins Square)
A kid from Oyster Bay, LI, Bikoff got his start in Greenwich Village, annoying Dave Van Ronk and playing the folk/blues circuit where he met Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee, Jesse Fuller and Mississippi John Hurt. The comparisons to John Fahey’s and Robbie Basho’s work stated in the LP liner notes touched a nerve with Fahey himself at the time.
Bilal – A Love Surreal CD (eOne)
“A Love Surreal, Bilal’s fourth studio album, cultivates the stratospheric vibe of John Coltrane’s spiritual jazz masterpiece, A Love Supreme, which inspired its title. Most songs here float around as if in zero gravity, anchored by subtle melodic hooks and producer Steve McKie’s gently assertive drums. Bilal’s tenor, taut and shiny as copper wire, spins out stories of complicated love.” – NPR
Boduf Songs – Burnt Up On Re-Entry CD/2xLP+MP3 (Southern)
Burnt Up On Re-Entry is an infinite space where dark psychedelics are crafted using a combination of raw electronics, manipulated samples and heavy rock guitar. The songcraft remains centered around a heavy melodic and melancholic core, which has been prevalent across the entire Boduf Songs canon.
BOY – Mutual Friends CD/LP (Nettwerk)
BOY is comprised of Valeska Steiner and Sonja Glass (neither of which are boys). Steiner sang in several bands in her native Switzerland before moving to Germany, where Glass grew up, playing the cello in classical orchestras as a child, and later working as a bass player for several pop bands. The duo met when they both participated in a prestigious music workshop in Hamburg.
Anthony Coleman – Composer Series: End Of Summer CD (Tzadik)
Coleman’s work blends the edge of improvisation with the meditative minimalism of Morton Feldman and Scelsi filtered through his tortured wandering aesthetic and an impish sense of humor. End Of Summer is a collection of most recent chamber compositions and features his fabulous new ensemble Survivors Breakfast.
Darkthrone – The Underground Resistance CD/LP (Peaceville)
A continuation of the free spirited metallic lands the duo of Fenriz and Nocturno Culto have been roaming for a long time, The Underground Resistance contains Darkthrone’s trademark masterful riffing in a broad range of styles, effortlessly bounding through the annals of classic metal, taking in thrash, black metal, and a dose of punk.
Deathfix – Deathfix CD/LP (Dischord)
Formed in 2009 after Brendan Canty (Fugazi) and Rich Morel (Morel, Blowoff) met while touring in Bob Mould’s band — and discovered a shared affinity for the sounds of 1972 — particularly glam and progressive rock.
Chris Duarte Group – My Soul Alone CD (Blues Bureau Int’l)
My Soul Alone continues in the tradition of smokin’ blues with spurts of jazz and psychedelic influences popping up throughout, and contains a heavy dose of Duarte’s legendary blues guitar chops over a diverse set of grooves and lyrical themes.
Exquisites – Exquisites CD/LP (Asian Man)
Urgent rock highlighted by driving drums, walls of guitar, and singer Jason Clackley’s soulful howl, which Greg Cartwright fans will find all too welcoming.
Bill Frisell – Silent Comedy CD (Tzadik)
At times sounding like he has eight hands, Frisell’s guitar playing is filled with complex harmonies and voicing, rich orchestral sonorities, intense screams, delicate phrasing, wild noises and an incredible simultaneity.
Gold Fields – Black Sun CD/2xLP (Astralwerks)
Gold Fields debut album is armed with pop hooks, tribal beats, danceable rhythms, and plenty of emotion. “Those longing for the glory days of ‘80s synthpop will be glad to find Gold Fields, an Australian band with a knack for slick hooks and sleek, streamlined anthems.” — Billboard Magazine
Grave Babies – Crusher CD/LP+MP3 (Hardly Art)
Grave Babies are a band whose sound might suggest the need for drugs that stabilize mood, while also creating a desire for ones that enhance them. The center of their sound is the sonic equivalent of thwarted desire.
Wayne Hancock – Ride CD/LP+MP3 (Bloodshot)
Produced by Wayne and his longtime producer/collaborator Lloyd Maines (Uncle Tupelo, Wilco, Dixie Chicks, Joe Ely), Ride further cements Wayne’s life-long calling as a modern-day traditionalist through his signature mélange of roadhouse blues, hepcat boogie, rockabilly, and juke joint swing.
Emmylou Harris/Rodney Crowell – Old Yellow Moon CD (Nonesuch)
Old Yellow Moon features four songs written by Crowell as well as interpretations of songs such as Hank DeVito’s “Hanging Up My Heart,” Roger Miller’s “Invitation To The Blues,” and Allen Reynolds’ “Dreaming My Dreams,” among others. Produced by Brian Ahern (Johnny Cash, George Jones, Roy Orbison), this is the first official collaboration from the duo since Crowell joined Harris’ Hot Band as guitarist and harmony singer in 1975. In addition to Harris and Crowell, the album features world-renowned musicians including Stuart Duncan, Vince Gill, and Bill Payne, as well as members of the original Hot Band.
James Hunter – Minute By Minute CD (Concord Music Group)
The British retro-soul sensation returns with a horn-fueled blast of deep soul and R&B.
Ill Bill – The Grimy Awards CD+DVD (Fat Beats)
New album from the New York rapper and producer, best known for his work with Non Phixion and La Coka Nostra. Tangential and biographic, The Grimy Awards sees Bill addressing the formative touchstones of his life, offering “what-ifs” and describing historical events, many gruesome, that shaped the suspicious, futurist, political, analytical persona he’s been putting on wax for the better part of three decades. Guests include A-Track, H.R., Shabazz The Disciple, Lil Fame, El-P, Jedi Mind Tricks and others.
Dora Juarez Kiczkovsky – Cantos Para Una Diàspora CD (Tzadik)
Tracing her lineage from her parent’s roots in Eastern Europe and Spain, on to Argentina, Israel (where Dora was born) and finally to Mexico where she was raised and still lives, this is an intensely personal and passionate Jewish story told through traditional Sephardic songs in Ladino and Yiddish.
KatzKab – Objet N°1CD (Projekt)
KatzKab is electro-punk-cabaret rising from the ashes of the late, much-heralded Katzenjammer Kabarett to awaken the dancing skeleton that sleeps within each of us. Female vocals courtesy of the seductive and charismatic Viktor B ride atop their hybrid music and syncopated rhythms, telling tales of alcohol, murder, voodoo and the edges of human nature.
KMFDM – Kunst CD/LP (Metropolis)
KMFDM enter their 30th year with a new album.
Lenz – Ways To End A Day CD/LP (1-2-3-4 Go!)
Self-described as “ice pop,” Lenz deliver a seamless set of hook-laden, introspective pop that is equal parts cosmic, jangly, and punchy. A modern, occasionally prog-ish, take on ‘80s indie/pop like Modern English and Echo & The Bunnymen.
The Lions – This Generation CD (Stone’s Throw)
“L.A.’s The Lions are a dozen-piece outfit with members including actor/singer Alex Désert (known for roles in movies Swingers and High Fidelity and the ska band Hepcat) and deejay Black Shakespeare, a cousin of bass god Robbie Shakespeare who’s known around L.A. for his ice cream truck-turned-mobile-soundsystem. A quick listen to the LP reveals a vintage reggae style that recalls Daptone Records’ new-generation spin on classic R&B.” – okayplayer.com
Charles Lloyd/Jason Moran – Hagar’s Song CD (ECM)
Hagar’s Song, a collection of intimacy and homage, features pieces especially dear to Lloyd, ranging from compositions by Billy Strayhorn (“Pretty Girl a/k/a Star-Crossed Lovers”), Duke Ellington (“Mood Indigo”) and George Gershwin (“Bess, You Is My Woman Now”) to a standard strongly associated with Billie Holiday (“You’ve Changed”), Brian Wilsons most famous Beach Boys ballad (“God Only Knows”) and a Bob Dylan song definitively interpreted by the Band (“I Shall Be Released”).
The Lovely Bad Things – The Late Great Whatever CD/LP (Volcom)
Hyperactive omnitalented and relentlessly hilarious garage-pop.
Johnny Marr – The Messenger CD/LP (New Voodoo/Sire)
Debut album from the legendary Smiths guitarist. Marr has written not just the music, as he did in the Smiths, but also the lyrics for all 12 songs, and stepped forward to be the singer too. Every song opens with a guitar intro, and there are even some blazing guitar solos — all big departures for a musician who has always prided himself on his collegiality, rather than seeking the spotlight.
The Mavericks – In Time CD (Valory)
The first album in 10 years from the reunited group led by Raul Malo draws on myriad influences, from Buck Owens’ tonk to Roy Orbison’s heartbreak, Ravel’s eroticism to Buena Vista Social Club’s infectious rhythms, Patsy Cline’s brazen emotion and that little Mavericks’ magic.
Mister Lies – Mowgli CD/LP (Lefse)
“Opener Ashore is a softly-softly and suave introduction to young Zanca’s complex electro, even if it only stirs fully to life in its final minute. Any fears of Mowgli being dupstep-lite fodder are allayed by the playful yet forceful beats of Dionysian and Lupine, which establish Zanca’s knack for tempered rhythms, which he later indulges with an enthusiasm bordering on the feral. This album was not named after the character in Rudyard Kipling’s classic for nothing.” – bowlegsmusic.com
Mount Moriah – Miracle Temple CD/LP+MP3 (Merge)
Fiercely contemporary yet rich with classic influences, Mount Moriah’s Miracle Temple sports bigger arrangements, louder guitars, bolder vocals, and more soulful rhythms than their acclaimed self-titled debut. Through their artful personal storytelling, the band develops a piercing portrait of a “New South” where progressive traditions are still fitfully breaking free from conservative ones.
NEXT Collective – Cover Art CD (Concord Jazz)
NEXT Collective is an ensemble recording by the next generation of jazz greats exploring their own interpretations of songs by such contemporary artists as Bon Iver, Drake, N.E.R.D, Little Dragon and more.
Pearl Necklace – Soft Opening CD (Smalltown Supersound)
Pearl Necklace define their soundworld by an open-minded approach to sampling, using source material of various fidelities — field recordings, library records, dusted disco cuts, etc., and live, primarily synth-based instrumentation, plus definitive use of an MPC1000 sampler.
Popstrangers – Antipodes CD/LP (Carpark)
Popstrangers are Joel Flyger, Adam Page and David Larson, three native New Zealanders who make “pop” music that’s hard-driving, punk-influenced and sonically inimitable.
Taddy Porter – Stay Golden CD (Primary Wave)
“Co-produced by Dave Cobb (Chris Cornell, Shooter Jennings) and Mark Neill (The Black Keys), Stay Golden is an 11-song collection that marks a newly expanded sound for the band — one where British Invasion meets Motown soul, with a healthy dose of Southern blues thrown in for good measure.” – Guitar World
Ruins – Place Of No Pity CD (Listenable)
Place Of No Pity marks the fourth release from Tasmanian (Australia) black metallers Ruins and the first of which, to feature all four members of the current ‘live’ touring unit.
Section 25 – Dark Light CD (Factory Benelux)
Brand new album from the post-punk trailblazers marks a return to the smooth electro and synth-pop textures first explored on their seminal 1984 album From The Hip.
Sally Shapiro – Somewhere Else CD/2xLP+MP3 (Paper Bag)
Swedish electro-pop duo’s melancholic harmonies and ‘80s disco feel are still present, but there are also indie pop influences, as well as touches of funk, IDM, trance, jazz and ambient. Also available on white vinyl.
Shout Out Louds – Optica CD/LP (Merge)
“Optica plays like a marvelous ’80s mixtape, albeit one with modern production values and a good deal of subtlety. The references aren’t all pop, either — the album-opening “Sugar” sounds like The Cure’s Robert Smith stepping in to lead The Smiths — but the results, in all their sweet and sunny glory, invariably chime and shine.” – NPR
Stratovarius – Nemesis CD (Eagle Rock)
Melodic, powerful, fresh and technically elaborated, Nemesis is heavy with an incredible sense of melody.
Various Artists [J Period & Kanye West] – G.O.O.D. Music Remixed & Unreleased CD (RBC)
Highly regarded as one of the most talented DJ’s in the game, award-winning DJ/ remixer J Period (Q-Tip, The Roots, Lauryn Hill, etc.) teams with Kanye West on the latest collection of music from his G.O.O.D. Music stable, including cuts from Common, GLC, Consequence, Mr. Bentley and more.
Vietnam – An A.merican D.ream CD/LP (Mexican Summer)
Vietnam return after a bit of a hiatus with a new dose of their signature apocalyptic street blues — a cinematic dark concrete ride that revs through demons and detours with greasy grace.
Wake Owl – Wild Country CDEP (Vagrant)
“Singer/songwriter Colyn Cameron has a pleasing, unflashy voice, and he employs it adequately for subdued Southern California folk. With bands like Mumford & Sons and the Lumineers currently riding the charts, it would seem that Wake Owl’s debut EP is poised to ride that trend.” – punknews.org
Steven Wilson – The Raven That Refused To Sing (And Other Stories) CD/Blu-ray/2xLP (K-Scope)
New album from the Porcupine Tree frontman. Wilson’s current band is a collection of stellar musicians: lead guitarist Guthrie Govan, bassist Nick Beggs, Marco Minnemann on the drums, Theo Travis playing saxophone/flute, and Adam Holzman on keyboards. The record has been engineered by legendary producer/engineer Alan Parsons and consists of six songs, three of which are 10 minute plus epics and are based on stories of the supernatural. The Blu-ray edition features 24-bit stereo files, 5.1 mixes, instrumental versions, plus a bonus track.
John Zorn – Composer Series: Lemma CD (Tzadik)
Two major new works for solo violin and an enigmatic suite of 12 miniatures for two violins.
DVD + Blu-ray:
The Eagles – Farewell: Live From Melbourne  Blu-ray (Rhino)
Their momentous 2004 farewell tour filled stadiums around the world, and this set captures one of the most stellar events from that now-historic global sweep. 190 minutes.
The Ambulars – Dreamers Asleep At The Wheel LP (Salinas)
A dense record, thick with heartbreak, but bright with bits of indie-rock and power-pop that balance the brooding pop/punk of teenage hearts.
Arctic Monkeys – Favourite Worst Nightmare [Reissue/2007] LP (WB)
Vinyl reissue of Arctic Monkeys sophomore album.
Bitchin Bajas – Krausened LP (Permanent)
New 12″ from Cooper Crain of Cave and Dan Quinlivan formerly of Mahjongg. Two-side long pieces on this nearly 40-minute EP were written on their 2012 European tour. Recorded and mixed over three days by Bitchin Bajas at Minbal Studio in Chicago.
Casino Versus Japan – Go Hawaii [Reissue/2000] 2xLP (Wobblyhead)
A defining moment in the landscape of ‘90s ambient bedroom electronics: lush, warm, colorful, melodic, yet sometimes isolated and claustrophobic, and always deceptively simple. 13 years ago, when the now-antiquated compact disc was issued, Go Hawaii already felt sweetly nostalgic. Name-checked by several generations of underground shoegazers since, now it finally sees the proper Wobblyhead delivery in the form of a sublime double album.
Crooked Hooks – Safety Meeting 12” (Safety Meeting)
This Connecticut three-piece effortlessly channels the early Sabbath, Blue Cheer era of heavy, fuzzed out blues rock.
Diamond Version – EP3 12” (Frontiers)
The latest by the collaboration between Alva Noto and Byetone is the third in a series of five 12″ EPs that bridge the gap between gallery and dancefloor. New LP due sometime this year.
Down – Down IV Part I: The Purple EP 12” (Down Records)
Recently released on CD – now available on vinyl. The first in a series of four EP’s marks the band’s first studio release since 2007’s Down III: Over The Under.
Nick Drake – Pink Moon [Reissue/1972] LP (Island)
HQ-180 virgin vinyl LP repressing of this 1972 album. Nick Drake’s third and final album, many consider to be his finest moment, was a radical departure from his previous work, stripped of the lush orchestral arrangements, Pink Moon featured Drake alone on vocals, acoustic guitar and the occasional piano accompaniment.
Allen Ginsberg – First Blues [Reissue/1983] LP+MP3 (Allen Ginsberg Inc)
This seven-track vinyl release has returned complete with a recreation of the original newsprint insert of lyrics and liner notes. Original track arrangements by Bob Dylan, Arthur Russell, David Amram, The Clash, Anne Waldman, and, of course, Allen Ginsberg himself. Contains digital download of 17 bonus tracks.
The Hecks – Trust & Order 7” (Moniker)
Adorned as “Chicago’s Best New Rock Duo” by the Chicago Reader, these critically acclaimed newcomers can’t be contained by classification. Commonly connected with critical genres “garage” and “noise”, Zach Hebert and Andrew Mosiman move beyond those confines to create winding pop gems that steadily shift between pulsating rhythms, unexpected fragments, and unrestrained feedback.
Syl Johnson – Dresses Too Short [Reissue/1968] LP (Numero)
“Johnson’s debut album was a decent but derivative mix of cheery, uptempo Southern soul, somewhat in the mold of Joe Tex.” — AllMusic
Syl Johnson – Is It Because I Am Black? [Reissue/1970] LP (Numero)
Coming hot on the heels of his first full-length, the self-proclaimed “most sampled artist of all time,” released this groundbreaking black concept album. Throwing away the notion of a sophomore jinx, Syl delivered this politically charged document.
The Normal – Warm Leatherette [Reissue/1978] 7” (Mute)
Reissue of Mute’s first release. The track has been covered by many other artists including Grace Jones, Boyd Rice, Trent Reznor and Chicks On Speed.
Carmen Villian – Lifeissin 12” (Smalltown Supersound)
First single from Carmen Villain’s Sleeper (with remix by Prins Thomas on the flip), due in March 2013. Villain draws on a lineage of sprawling, taboo-busting lo-fi rock: Sonic Youth, Royal Trux, Broadcast, Bikini Kill and The Stooges, while she equally admires the cut ‘n’ paste productions of J Dilla, Wu-Tang Clan and avant garde post-punkers This Heat.