The spring CD preview 0
Beasties, Lady Gaga and Foo Fighters all have new albums dropping in the spring. (WENN.COM file photos)
Out with the cold and in with the new. It's almost spring, which means April showers - and a flood of new albums. There are dozens of major releases due in the next two months as the music biz awakens from hibernation. Here's a quick guide to the toppermost of the poppermost. Mark your calendars - but do it in pencil; as always, everything here is subject to change.
Foo Fighters | Wasting Light
Fresh from their triumphant show at SXSW - and the debut of their entertaining documentary Back and Forth - Dave Grohl and the Foos return with their seventh set. The back-to-basics set was recorded in his garage with Nevermind producer Butch Vig and old pals Krist Novoselic and Pat Smear. Smells like a winner.
k.d. lang & Siss Boom Bang | Sing it Loud
After a few quiet years - and two decades as a solo act - k.d. revs up the torch 'n' twang with the help of some Nashville pickers.
Paul Simon | So Beautiful or So What
Like Bob Dylan, Simon's last few albums have been top-notch, but criminally overlooked. Don't make the same mistake again.
TV on the Radio | Nine Types of Light
Word is the New York hipsters are following up the dance fever of Dear Science with a more romantic and intimate album.
Bob Dylan | In Concert: Brandeis University 1963
Speaking of Zimmy, here's a long-lost live recording of the 21-year-old troubadour, recently unearthed from the archives of Rolling Stone's Ralph Gleason.
Gorillaz | The Fall
Damon Albarn and co.'s iPad album from last Christmas gets a full-fledged release. Presumably there's an app for it.
Jennifer Lopez | Love?
Um, could we just leave it at Like and see how it goes?
Steve Miller Band | Let Your Hair Down
The like-minded sequel to Miller's Bingo! blues-cover collection features the last recordings by his long-time harmonica player Norton Buffalo.
Ralph Stanley | A Mother's Prayer
The 84-year-old bluegrass legend offers up hymns and spirituals. Respect.
Steve Earle | I'll Never Get Out of This World Alive
The ornery troubadour is at his best when he's got something stuck in his craw. Since this is his first album of new tunes since the economic collapse, he should be in fine form.
Emmylou Harris | Hard Bargain
The silver-maned singer-songwriter's latest includes songs about Gram Parsons and Kate McGarrigle, along with a Ron Sexsmith cover.
Robert Johnson | Complete Original Masters: Centennial Edition
In honour of the Delta blues pioneer's 100th birthday, all of his songs - including Love in Vain, Sweet Home Chicago and Cross Road Blues - get the reissue treatment.
Beastie Boys | Hot Sauce Committee Vol. 2
Originally slated for the fall of 2009, Vol. 1 was delayed indefinitely while Adam (MCA) Yauch was treated for a cancerous tumour. Now that he's up and around, the mischievous rappers have scheduled a spring release for Vol. 2 - featuring all 16 tracks that were supposed to be on Vol. 1. That ought to clear things up.
Danger Mouse & Daniele Luppi | Rome
Workaholic producer's Brian Burton (Gnarls Barkley, Broken Bells, etc.) teams with composer Luppi to pay homage to Italian '60s film soundtracks. Sure, why not?
Dwarves | The Dwarves Are Born Again
Blag Dahlia, HeWhoCannotBeNamed and their sleaze-punk pals are back for your daughter. Or your mom. They're not choosy.
Fleet Foxes | Helplessness Blues
These Seattle folkers' 2008 debut made them stars of the blogosphere. Let's hear what they do for an encore.
Stevie Nicks | In Your Dreams
Really? The Gold Dust Woman puts out her first album in a decade, and that's the title? Man, is she asking for it.
Sixx:A.M. | This is Gonna Hurt
The Cars | Move Like This
OK, it's not a true reunion without late singer-bassist Ben Orr. But it does include praying mantis guitarist and chief songwriter Ric Ocasek. So it already beats The New Cars.
Booker T. Jones | The Road to Memphis
The legendary organist drafts The Roots, My Morning Jacket's Jim James, Sharon Jones, Lou Reed and more for his second comeback set.
Sam Roberts Band | Collider
Can-Rock singer-guitarist Roberts finally throws his group a bone on his fourth full-length. Whatever it takes to keep the peace on the road.
Urge Overkill | Rock & Roll Submarine
Ironic hipsters Nash Kato and Eddie (King) Roeser drop their first album in more than 15 years. It's gotta be better than Exit the Dragon.
Lady Gaga | Born This Way
Displaying her usual subtlety and humility, the pop phenom recently promised that this spring's sophomore full-length will be "the greatest album of this decade ... something so much deeper than a wig or lipstick or an outfit, or a f---ing meat dress." That reminds me: Does anyone remember what it is that pride goeth before?
Ben Harper | Give Till it's Gone
After recording with three different bands in a row, the blues-rocker is reportedly going it alone this time. Sorta - Jackson Browne and Ringo Starr guest.
Moby | Destroyed
He calls it "broken down melodic electronic music for empty cities at 2 a.m." Your guess is as good as mine.
Journey | Eclipse
Don't stop believin'.
Brad Paisley | This is Country Music
Um, as opposed to what?
Death Cab For Cutie | Codes and Keys
The good news: The Seattle indie kings are finally following up 2008's magnificent Narrow Stairs. The (potentially) bad news: They say it's their least guitar-centric disc. Hmmm...
Reap rewards of Record Store Day
If you still buy your music over the counter instead of over the computer, circle April 16 on your wall calendar. That Saturday marks the fourth annual Record Store Day, an international event to
celebrate the joy that only comes from rooting through racks of vinyl and CDs and discovering a new treasure (or an old favourite). To hold up their end of the bargain, scores of artists and labels are releasing exclusive treasures on that day - from limited-edition singles and coloured-vinyl reissues to entirely new albums. Here are a few of the cooler titles. See Recordstoreday.com for a full list of products and participating stores. Now get out there and shop - or you have no one but yourself to blame.
Big Star | Third
Not only is the influential '70s outfit's third album being reissued on vinyl - five signed copies of the original test pressings will be randomly inserted into the 2,000 copies. Good luck.
Foo Fighters | Medium Rare
Dave Grohl and co. dish out a vinyl-only collection of covers, including new versions of Thin Lizzy's Bad Reputation and The Zombies' This Will Be Our Year.
Ryan Adams & the Cardinals | Class Mythology
Two 7" EPs - one yellow and one orange - with four unreleased outtakes from the singer-songwriter's Cardinology era, plus a poster and sticker. Limited to 2,500 copies.
Nirvana | Hormoaning
An ultra-rare EP originally sold during the band's 1992 Japanese and Australian tours, it features original cuts Aneurysm and Even in His Youth, plus four covers. Limited to 4,000 copies.
Sonic Youth | Whore's Moaning
Issued a year after Nirvana's disc, this 12" vinyl EP includes the single Sugar Kane, covers of the Dolls and Alice Cooper, plus two instrumentals. Also limited to 4,000 copies.
The Decemberists | Live at Bull Moose
A seven-track CD EP of tunes from their latest album The King is Dead, recorded live during a January in-store performance at a record shop. It all comes full circle. Limited to 2,500 copies.
Ray LaMontagne | Live Fall 2010
Newly minted Grammy winner LaMontagne and his all-star band Pariah Dogs contribute a five-song live EP on 12" vinyl.
Beady Eye | Vinyl Singles Box
Liam Gallagher's post-Oasis outfit box up three singles from their Different Gear, Still Speeding album. Buy it or he'll punch you out. Limited to 2,000 copies.
Death Cab For Cutie | In Living Stereo!
A 7" vinyl single with a preview of the band's upcoming Codes and Keys album. Limited to 3,000 copies.
Pink Floyd | London 66/67
Two epic Syd Barrett-era live tracks taken from an old '60s documentary. Pressed on white 12" vinyl. Limited to 1,500 copies.
F---ed Up | TBC
This one isn't carved in stone yet, but it's rumoured the Canadian punks are putting together a companion album to their forthcoming rock opera David Comes to Life. Cross your fingers.