Archives

Looking ahead: October-November 2021

[sungazer - PERIHELION]

sungazer, PERIHELION, Oct. 11

YouTube musicians Adam Neely and Shawn Crowder finally unveil their debut album after a pair of EPs.

Olivia Newton-John, Physical (Deluxe Edition), Oct. 22

This album was wildly successful at the time, buoyed by a nascent promotional tool called the “music video.” The deluxe edition of Physical includes one of the first video albums produced by a pop artist. Sorry, Beyoncé fans.

Spice Girls, Spice (Deluxe Edition), Oct. 29

In the UK, this deluxe edition of the Girls’ debut album is accompanied by five color vinyl reissues, each featuring a member the group. I’d probably opt for the Mel C one, but I already have this album on LP.

Jason Isbell and 400 Unit, Georgia Blue, Nov. 26

Jason Isbell makes good on his promise to record a cover album of Georgia artists if the run-off election in January 2020 sent a pair of Democrats to the Senate.

Vinyl

Kylie Minogue, Fever, Oct, 15
Sinéad O’Connor, So Far … The Best of Sinéad O’Connor, Oct. 15

National Album Day in the UK looks like Record Store Day Lite from a distance, but this year’s focus on women artists has some nice reissues in the pipeline. Honestly, Fever should just be perpetually available on vinyl. Every special pressing sells out fast and fetches exorbitant prices on Discogs. I have So Far on CD from when it was first released, and it’s an excellent compilation.

Old 97s, Fight Songs, Oct. 29

I would have preferred a vinyl reissue of Satellite Rides, to be honest.

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Looking ahead: September-November 2021

[Tomosaka Rie - Cappuccino / Escalation]

Explosions in the Sky, Big Bend, Oct. 1

I haven’t really cottoned to Explosion in the Sky’s soundtrack work, but I’m hoping this release feels more like an album than a cue sheet.

John Coltrane, A Love Supreme: Live in Seattle, Oct. 8

At first, I thought this album was just a reissue of Live in Seattle, till I took a closer look at the title.

Renée Fleming, Voice of Nature: The Anthropocene, Oct. 8

I wonder if John Green would be interested in reviewing this album.

The Replacements, Sorry Ma, Forgot to Take Out the Trash, Oct. 22

The Replacements had, at best, a periphery influence on my teenage listening habits, and yet I’ve bought just about every deluxe edition of their albums. Clearly, I’m making up for lost time.

R.E.M., New Adventures in Hi-Fi (Deluxe Edition), Oct. 29

I’m ambivalent about this album. I had sold it for cash a long time ago, but I picked it up again from the thrift shop. I don’t know if it holds up well.

ABBA, Voyage, Nov. 3

I can’t lie — I’m pretty damn excited about a new ABBA album in 40 years. The singles preceding the album sound like time hadn’t stopped for the quartet, and the world definitely came back around to them.

Sting, The Bridge, Nov. 19

I guess I still care because there is a part of me that fondly remembers a younger Sting in various forms of undress.

Vinyl

Robbie Williams, Life Thru a Lens, Sept. 24
Robbie Williams, I’ve Been Expecting You, Sept. 24

The Ego Has Landed was one of my most played CDs of 1999, and it collected the best bits of Robbie Williams’ first two albums. About 20 years later, I would find I’ve Been Expecting You at the thrift store. So I have to say I’m very much tempted to drop cash on these vinyl reissues, even though I haven’t heard Life Thru a Lens in its entirety.

AJICO, Fukamidori, Nov. 3
AJICO, AJICO SHOW, Nov. 3
AJICO, Setsuzoku, Nov. 3
Hatakeyama Miyuki, Diving into your mind, Nov. 3
Tomosaka Rie, “Cappuccino / Escalation”, Nov. 3

Japan actually has its own Record Store Day event that focuses on domestic releases, but it’s separate from Record Day, which happens annually in November. While Record Store Day focuses on independent retailers, Record Day in Japan looks similar to National Album Day in the UK, where larger retailers are involved with the festivities.

Past Record Days in Japan have included reissues of NUMBER GIRL, YEN TOWN BAND and a number of Studio Ghibli soundtracks. For me, AJICO is the biggest news coming out of this year’s crop, but I’m also immensely pleased to see Hatakeyama Miyuki’s Diving into your mind getting a reissue. The Tomosaka Rie 7-inch single pairs two of her biggest hits, “Cappuccino” and “Escalation”, the A-side written by Shiina Ringo.

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Looking ahead: August-October 2021

[Tokyo Jihen - Sports]

Craig Armstrong, Nocturnes: Music for Two Pianos, Sept. 3

Armstrong wrote and recorded this album during lockdown, as pretty much every other musician trying to make sense of this awful zeitgeist.

James Blake, Friends That Break Your Heart, Sept. 10

I really liked Assume Form, but man, I hate the cover of this album.

MONO, Pilgrimage of the Soul, Sept. 17

Takaakira Goto hints that this album might have the fastest tempi on a MONO album, which is a direction I didn’t expect but more than welcome.

Andrew Lloyd Webber, Jesus Christ Superstar (50th Anniversary), Sept. 17

Whatever you may think of Andrew Lloyd Webber now, back in the day, he was gutsy enough to make rock bands sound like Prokofiev, and that blur between electric guitars and dissonant harmonies has shaped my musical tastes ever since. So yeah, I’m all about an expanded version of Jesus Christ Superstar.

Perfume, Polygon Wave, Sept. 22

I find it cool that 20+ years into a storied pop career, Perfume releases their first ever EP. They have tons of singles and a lot of albums. But EPs? Nah.

BADBADNOTGOOD, Talk Memory, Oct. 8

My enthusiasm for this new album is based entirely on III, which means I have three other albums with which I can either enhance or temper that enthusiasm.

Vinyl

Garbage, Garbage, Aug. 27

A repressing of a 2015 reissue.

Tokyo Jihen, Education (Kyouiku), Sept. 29
Tokyo Jihen, Adult (Otona), Sept. 29
Tokyo Jihen, Variety (Goraku), Sept. 29
Tokyo Jihen, Sports, Sept. 29
Tokyo Jihen, Discovery (Daihakken), Sept. 29
Tokyo Jihen, Music, (Ongaku), Sept. 29

You’re damn right I’m getting all 6 albums, even if I really only like two of the them.

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Looking ahead, July-September 2021

[Art of Noise - Noise in the City]

The Flaming Lips, The Soft Bulletin Companion, July 21

The vinyl version of this early promotional compilation was released as part of Record Store Day Drops in June 2021.

Drive-By Truckers, Plan 9 Records, July 13, 2006, Aug. 6

This live set is a scorcher. The full performance was released as part of Record Store Day Black Friday 2020.

Art of Noise, Noise in the City: Live in Tokyo 1986, Aug. 13

When the Art of Noise visited Japan in 2017 for a series of concerts, they discovered a concert from 1986 had been recorded for a radio broadcast. That concert is getting a limited release on vinyl and CD.

Emmylou Harris and the Nash Ramblers, Ramble in Music City: The Lost Concert, Sept. 3

Unlike the shows recorded at the Ryman Auditorium, the set list for this lost concert consists mostly of Emmylou Harris’ long time hits.

Metallica, Metallica (Deluxe Edition), Sept. 10

For the longest time, the self-titled Metallica album was the only Metallica album I owned. While I have filled out my collection with the albums leading up to the black album, I have nothing beyond S&M.

Jeremy Denk, Mozart: Piano Concertos, Sept. 17

Sure, I’ll listen to Denk perform the K. 482, i.e. Concerto No. 22 in D Minor.

Sugababes, One Love (Deluxe Edition), Oct. 1

I’m not sure if the album on the whole is really that great, but “Overload” is one of the finest singles to come out of the early 2000s.

Vinyl

Enigma, MCMXC a.D., June 23

If you missed out on the colored vinyl reissues from 2018, Universal Music Germany is repressing this album and 7 others, remastered audio and all.

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Looking ahead, May-June 2021

[Duran Duran - Future Past]

AJICO, Setsuzoku, May 25

Everyone’s back! UA, Asai Kenichi, TOKIE and Shiino Kyoichi! I’m hoping there’s a full album in the future.

Tokyo Jihen, Ongaku (Music), June 9

I’ve missed Tokyo Jihen, but the singles that have been released since the reunion haven’t really caught me.

Sleater-Kinney, Path of Wellness, June 11

It feels as if everyone who’s announcing new albums wouldn’t have been working on them had it not been for the pandemic.

Duran Duran, Future Past, Oct. 22

Giorgio Moroder did wonders on Kylie Minogue’s DISCO, and the single “Invisible” is the hardest Duran Duran has rocked since perhaps “The Wild Boys”.

Vinyl

My Bloody Valentine, Isn’t Anything, May 21
My Bloody Valentine, Loveless, May 21
My Bloody Valentine, mbv, May 21

I have an unofficial pressing of Isn’t Anything, so I made sure to order a legitimate one directly from the band themselves. I can’t say I feel much need for mbv on vinyl.

Utada Hikaru, One Last Kiss (US release), Aug. 20

I already have the Japanese pressing of this EP. Will I be getting this domestic pressing? Probably yes.

Guided By Voices, Isolation Drills, Sept. 17

Isolation Drills was reissued for Record Store Day as a single disc. This new pressing spreads the album out over two discs, which is far more prudent for its length.

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Looking ahead: February-March 2021

[PJ Harvey - Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea]

Gang of Four, 77-81, March 12 (vinyl), April 23 (CD)

I don’t need this boxed set. I already have Entertainment! and Solid Gold on vinyl. But I want this boxed set because of the ephemera that goes along with it, including an actual cassette tape of demos. I’m glad I still have my TASCAM 424 to play it.

MONO, Beyond the Past: Live in London with Platinum Anniversary Orchestra, March 19

I don’t think I ever got around to listening to Holy Ground: Live in NYC with the Wordless Music Orchestra. (NOTE: I’m listening to it now as I write this entry.) As much as the orchestra is important to MONO’s studio recordings, it’s not terribly important in a live setting. I have seen the band enough times not to miss it. Still — I’d love to see them perform with one.

Princess Goes to the Butterfly Museum, Thanks for Coming, May 7

I’m usually skeptical when Hollywood actors form bands, but Michael C. Hall (Six Feet Under, Dexter) played the title role of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, which is enough cred for me. Also, I’m definitely the target market for the trio’s post-new wave sound. I liked the self-titled EP enough, but I’m curious to see what they can do over the length of a full album. Thanks for Coming is already available on digital platforms.

Vinyl

PJ Harvey, Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea, Feb. 26

Yeah. This reissue is the one for which I’ve been waiting. I’m even going to get the accompanying disc of demos released separately. Next target: Let England Shake.

Bad Brains, Bad Brains, April 22

Because … Bad Brains.

Death Cab for Cutie, The Georgia EP, July 30

Death Cab for Cutie made this covers EP available for one day on Bandcamp to raise money for Fair Fight. With Senators Warnock and Ossoff now sworn in, the band is making it available on vinyl.

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Looking ahead, January-February 2021

[Cocco - Kuchinashi]

Anton Reicha, Reicha Rediscovered, Vol. 3 (Ivan Ilić), Jan. 8

I usually pose questions on the blog rhetorically, so I wasn’t expecting Ivan Ilić himself to answer a query about what’s up with the remainder of his Reicha Rediscovered series. The third volume was expected in 2020, but SARS-CoV2 had other plans.

Rhye, Home, Jan. 22

Liked Blood. Was lukewarm about Woman. So I’m approaching Home with caution.

Utada Hikaru, One Last Kiss EP, Jan. 27

Utada Hikaru’s new single — it’s called an EP, but it’s really a maxi single — serves as the theme song for a new Evangelion movie. Hikki fans will probably have the other tracks on this release, which compiles her previous theme songs for the film series.

Cocco, Kuchinashi, Feb. 17

Is it already time for a new Cocco album? [Checks calendar.] Actually, this album arrives 18 months after 2019’s Star Shank, which is 1.5 years quicker than Cocco’s usual turnaround time.

Sturgill Simpson, Cuttin’ Grass, Vol. 2, Apr. 2

Volume 1 of Cuttin’ Grass didn’t include tracks from A Sailor’s Guide to Earth, but Volume 2 does. It does not, however, include anything from Sound & Fury.

Vinyl

Soundtrack, Batman: Original Motion Picture Score (colored vinyl), Jan. 15

When Tim Burton’s Batman hit theaters in 1989, Warner Bros. tried to foist Prince’s album of songs for the movie as the official soundtrack. Fans wanting to hear Danny Elfman’s theme song were pretty miffed that they got a Prince album instead. So the label released Elfman’s score separately. I picked up an original vinyl pressing of the soundtrack a long while back, and I see it pop up in used bins from time to time. This reissue is part of Rhino’s annual Start Your Ear Off Right series.

bloodthirsty butchers, Mikansei, Jan. 20

I’m not aware of very many vinyl reissues of bloodthirsty butchers album. I wouldn’t mind seeing ones for yamane and Kouya ni Okeru bloodthirsty butchers.

Girl Talk, Feed the Animals, April 2021

Girl Talk is accepting orders for this second pressing of Feed the Animals. A recent e-mail announced orders are expected to ship at the end of April 2021 and includes packaging improvements.

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Looking ahead, November-December 2020

[Alice in Chains - Facelift]

Onitsuka Chihiro, HYSTERIA, Nov. 25

Syndrome was a return to form for Onitsuka Chihiro, and the pre-release singles seem to indicate she’s retracing those steps.

Sigur Rós, Odin Raven Magic, Dec. 4

It’s not so much a “new” album as a “new-ish” album. This orchestral collaboration premiered in 2002 and finally sees a release 18 years later.

Sturgill Simpson, Cuttin’ Grass, Dec. 11

Simpson returns to his indie roots with a survey of his early works filtered through a bluegrass lens.

Vinyl

Alice in Chains, Facelift, Nov. 13

Nirvana may have ushered in alternative rock in 1991, but Alice in Chains had softened the ground a year before with their major label debut, which turns 30 years old in 2020.

Soundtrack, Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi (Spirited Away), Nov. 20

A big vinyl reissue campaign of Joe Hisaishi scores for Miyazaki Hayao films finally reaches Spirited Away.

Spice Girls, Forever, Jan. 22

I don’t even have this album on CD, but I already have the other albums on vinyl. Might as well be consistent. I’m sure the thrift store will have a CD copy at some point.

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Looking ahead, Sept.-Oct. 2020

[Emmylou Harris - Wrecking Ball]

Mikami Chisako, Emergence, Oct. 7

Mikami reset her post-fra-foa solo career in 2018 with a second debut album, confidently titled I AM Ready! This album looks like a continuation of its predecessor’s brighter sound.

Kronos Quartet, Long Time Passing, Oct. 9

Subtitled “Kronos Quartet and Friends Celebrate Pete Seeger”, this album looks like a follow-up to 2017’s Folk Songs, with fewer Nonesuch label mates collaborating.

Tears for Fears, The Seeds of Love (Deluxe Edition), Oct. 9

This album didn’t take off in the same manner as Songs from the Big Chair, but I liked it nonetheless. The 4-disc super deluxe edition is tempting, but I’m fine with the 2-disc version. I don’t need the vinyl reissue because I bought it the first time around.

Sam Amidon, Sam Amidon, Oct. 23

Amidon returns to mostly traditional material on this self-titled album, described as “the fullest realization to date of his artistic vision.”

Mr. Bungle, The Raging Wrath of the Easter Bunny Demo, Oct. 30

Mr. Bungle goes back in time to re-record their first demo tape.

U2, All That You Can’t Leave Behind (Deluxe Edition), Oct, 30

I really liked this album when it came out, mostly because Pop was insufferable. I revisited it with the vinyl reissue and found it doesn’t age well. I will probably still get some version of this deluxe edition.

Duran Duran featuring Andy Wicket, Dreaming of Your Cars: 1979 Demos Pt. 2, Oct. 30

The first set of demos with Andy Wickett on vocals featured embryonic versions of what would become Duran Duran canon. On this follow-up, “Tel Aviv” is the only recognizable title, which doesn’t mean it sounds remotely familiar. Colored vinyl is already available for order, but a CD release is slated for October.

Vinyl

Emmylou Harris, Wrecking Ball, Oct. 16

The deluxe edition of Wrecking Ball was released during Record Store Day. This reissue serves up just the album and is available as part of Rhino’s Rocktober series.

Peter Gabriel, Secret World Live, Nov. 6

I couldn’t make the leap of following Paula Cole’s solo career, but her backing vocals on this live album is the real highlight

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Looking ahead, August-October 2020

[Johnny Hates Jazz - Wide Awake]

SARS-CoV2. Silicon Valley companies would give their left tits to emulate the kind of disruption you’ve wrought.

The spring release schedule was slowly coming together when the virus shredded the calendar. Dates have always been subject to change, albeit never with this level of uncertainty.

Mandy Barnett, A Nashville Songbook , Aug. 21

Barnett has a wonderful voice that often has served unspectacular music, so the things that would sink this album are uninspired arrangements. A single of “It’s Now or Never” bodes none too well.

Johnny Hates Jazz, Wide Awake, Aug. 21

Magnetized was a favorite in 2013, so I’m looking forward to this long-awaited follow-up.

Prince, Sign O the Times (Deluxe Edition), Sept. 25

I’m actually going to settle for the remastered regular edition. I’m still waiting for any news on the Love Symbol album.

Jónsi, Shiver, Oct. 2

Does Sigur Rós even record albums any more? I know they’ve released collaborative projects, but what about a boring, traditional album with at least 10 tracks and a total running time around 40 minutes? No? I guess a Jónsi solo album it is.

The Replacements, Pleased to Meet Me (Deluxe Edition), Oct. 25

I might check this one out, but I’m totally dropping cash on deluxe editions for Tim and Let It Be.

Kylie Minogue, DISCO, Nov. 6

Intriguing though the idea of Kylie in Nashville may have been, I couldn’t actually bring myself to get Golden. In fact, I’ve passed over the last two albums. I’m hoping DISCO is not the third.

Vinyl

Guided by Voices, Alien Lanes (25th Anniversary), Aug. 21

I had this album on CD, but I didn’t keep it. Then I downloaded it from eMusic. Why am I interested in this vinyl edition?

PJ Harvey, Rid of Me, Aug. 21

I nearly bought a bootleg version of this album on vinyl.

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