Really — we have an excuse for being late!
Labor Day means Bumbershoot in Seattle
While the extended Labor Day weekend may have stopped us from getting to this post in time, it hasn’t slowed down the new releases that are piling in this month, starting with this week’s new additions. There are no hugely anticipated albums this time around, but along with paycheck-reducing re-releases of Townes Van Zandt and Pink Floyd (now 40 years after their debut Piper at the Gates of Dawn, perhaps one of the best debuts ever), a small stack of CDs awaits you at the register of your favorite record store.
Of all the releases this week, perhaps the most eagerly awaited is Mano Chao‘s fourth solo record, La Radiolina, on which he continues to blend his French and Spanish roots into a broader “World music” sensibility:
Jon Spencer is Going Way Out With Heavy Trash on his latest, extra-Blues Explosion excursion, Heavy Trash. According to the press released, this second album with which he joins Matt Verta-Ray “in a project that drinks down the best of roots, R&B and rock-a-billy,” features a host of international musicians and was recorded in three different countries: Canada, Denmark, and the U.S. (New York City).
Sweden soft rockers The Perishers (not as punishing as they sound) bring out their third U.S. release, Victorious, through Nettwerk. At first, the songs feel somber and cool, but they soon warm up quite nicely, particularly this sunny number:
If you’ve been listening to KEXP this year, you’re likely already familiar with The Holloways, whose debut So This Is Great Britain? finally gets a proper U.S. release on TVT. While we don’t have an official MP3 for you to download, we’ve got something even better — the band’s performance on KEXP’s broadcast from SXSW in March, which includes their catchy single “Generator”:
Although his name may sound British, the Nashville-bred Ferraby Lionheart currently resides in Los Angeles, the base from which he launched his debut full-length Catch The Brass Ring. Lionheart will definitely appeal to those who’s prefer a less Balkan Beirut. Check out his ode to New Orleans:
One of the earliest of the new generation of folksters, Michelle Shocked, who elicited a strong sensation (I couldn’t really use the word “shocked” again, could I?) when she released her field-recorded debut The Texas Campfire Tapes. Her subsequent rise to corporate label-dom sucked the life out of her later recordings, but on her latest live album, To Heaven U Ride, recorded apparently without her knowledge, she fervently winds her way through a series of gospel-infused covers and originals at the 2003 Telluride Bluegrass Festival. Here’s a live rendition of her own song “Quality of Mercy,” originally found on the Dead Man Walking soundtrack:
A more recent female folkie, Marla Hansen, who regularly performs with Sufjan Stevens and My Brightest Diamond, has released a six-song EP on Standard Recordings called Wedding Day, which recalls other rustic sirens like Alela Diane and Marissa Nadler.
Funny that Calvin Harris, born in the mid-80s, would really know what was acceptable during them. Regardless, his home-recorded electroclash album I Created Disco (which, by the way, was not acceptable in the 80’s) finally gets its U.S. release.
One final folkie, Greg Brown, was certainly more than acceptable in the 80s, and still is today as he adds his own live album, Yellow Dog, a benefit for the Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve. All proceeds of the album go to the fight to protect the Yellow Dog Plains from acid mining. Here his is singing “Better Days” from the performance that became the album:
Thanks, as always, to Largehearted Boy who compiles a thorough list of each week’s releases. Thanks also to Spinner, Stereogum, The Tripwire, and all of the labels with the foresight to host MP3s to help promote these artists.