New Releases the week of June 23
Deer Tick, "Born on Flag Day" (Partisan Records): Second release from indie faves features three new players helping realize primary songwriter John McCauley III's vision of stirring rock that blends with country and definitely pays homage to Dylan, but is always heartfelt.
Dinosaur Jr., "Farm" (Jagjaguwar). Indie noisemeisters celebrate 25 years (with some extended downtime) of making music with "Farm." It's the band's fifth album with the original line-up led by J. Mascis. Ah...fuzzy guitars layered over often tasty melodies. Some things never change. Thankfully.
Ginuwine, "A Man's Thoughts" (13Star Records) R&B singer and former Jodeci member really hit his solo stride in the mid-to-late '90s with "Ginuwine...the Bachelor" and "100% Genuine." He returns with his sixth solo record that includes contributions from several well-known names such Missy Elliott, Brandy, Polow Da Don, Timbaland, Johnta Austin and the Underdogs.
Gossip, "Music for Men" (Columbia): The CD doesn't come out until October, but all digital outlets will sell "Music For Men" starting Tuesday. Led by first single, "Heavy Cross," "Music for Men" should continue to critical hosannhas for Northwest post-punk/dance trio led by Beth Ditto. Much more popular in the U.K. than at home, Gossip makes a bid for mainstream U.S. acceptance by pairing with producer Rick Rubin for "Men."
Patterson Hood, "Murdering Oscar (And Other Love Songs)" (Ruth Street Records). Second solo album from former Drive By Truckers singer travels the same road: rough and ready, often intense, solid rock and roll with tinges of country thrown in. Several members of DBT drop by as does Hood's dad, Muscle Shoals bass player David Hood.
The Lemonheads, "Varshons" (The End Records) Evan Dando and Co. returns with a strange collection of slightly obscure cover songs that you've most likely never heard of from the likes of GG Allin, Townes Van Zandt and Leonard Cohen. Liv Tyler and Kate Moss drop by to show that models can make the perfect accessory as a background singer.
The Mars Volta, "Octahedron" (Warner Bros.). Adventurous prog-rock influenced band releases fifth album, fresh off its Grammy win for best hard rock performance for "Wax Simulacra." By turns trippy and then punk, The Mars Volta are always thought-provoking. First single is "Since We've Been Wrong."
Regina Spektor, "Far" (Sire): Quirky female singer with gorgeous voice known for both her precise pronunciation and piano playing comes back strong with her latest release. It's hard to imagine three more diverse producers than Mike Elizondo, Jeff Lynne and Jackknife Lee, all of whom worked on "Far." First single, "Laughing With," is an interesting take on God and what makes him laugh.
Tortoise, "Beacons of Ancestorship" (Thrill Jockey). Lo-fi shoegazers return with first album of new material in more than five years. The group, lead by percussionist John McEntire, blends trance, rock, jazz and dance on its sixth release.
Pete Yorn, "Back and Fourth" (Columbia): After an iTunes-only release last week, Yorn's first album in three years arrives for all to buy on Tuesday. Yorn is calling the album his most "personal" collection, highly influenced by his time spent in Omaha recording with producer Mike Mogis (Bright Eyes, Rilo Kiley). Fresh off opening for Coldplay, the singer/songwriter is on his own headlining tour now. For Yorn fans, there's more coming: he'll release his album of duets with Scarlett Johansson in September.