Friday, July 24, 2009

Music News & Notes

They Might Be Teachers

They Might Be Giants won a Best Children's Album Grammy for a record called "Here Comes the 123s" and now they're gunning for more gramophone gold with another kiddie release, "Here Comes Science;" which comes packaged with its own DVD. The double-disc set is out on Amazon and iTunes September 1 and everywhere else September 22 via Idlewild/Disney.


Jay-Z + MGMT

According to this Reuters report, synth-hippie duo MGMT will appear on Jay-Z's forthcoming, highly anticipated opus "The Blueprint 3." (Via Stereogum) which is due out on September 11 from Roc Nation/Atlantic. According to that same Reuters report, other guests will include Rihanna, Kid Cudi, Drake, and Mr. Hudson, and the album will feature production from Timbaland, Kanye West, and No I.D., who helmed "D.O.A."


ANVIL: 'This Is Thirteen' Re-Release To Include 'Thumb Hang' Bonus Track

Certainly one of the most feel-good rock n' roll comeback stories of recent times is that of Canadian heavy metal band ANVIL. The band, considered a major influence for a generation of hard rockers including METALLICA, SLAYER, ANTHRAX, and GUNS N' ROSES, was the subject of a critically acclaimed, must-see rock-doc, "Anvil! The Story of Anvil", directed by Sacha Gervasi. And in the process, the film has made the group (led by singer/guitarist Steve "Lips" Kudlow and drummer Robb Reiner — both founding members) a household name. But the group's story will certainly not end with the film.

First up for ANVIL are U.S. shows opening for Aussie rock legends AC/DC — in football stadiums. "We're really excited about these shows; we've only heard awesome things about playing in football stadiums," states Lips. "I was with the GREEN DAY guys last night, and they were telling me, 'Man, it's probably going to be the gig of your life'!"

And then on September 15, "This is Thirteen" will finally see proper national distribution on CD and vinyl via VH1 Classic Records. The CD will feature the newly recorded, never-before released bonus track "Thumb Hang". The collectible double vinyl LP boasts newly re-recorded versions of ANVIL classics "Metal on Metal" and "666". The album, originally recorded in 2007 and produced by Chris Tsangarides (JUDAS PRIEST, THIN LIZZY), was primarily available directly from the band via their web site and at their concerts.

"'This is Thirteen' is more like our first three albums," says Lips, "which represent our real identity. For many of our albums, we went on an 'integrity hunt' instead of on a 'commercial/radio hunt,' so we became extremely inaccessible to radio. This time, we stepped back and said, 'What were we originally?' And we rediscovered ourselves, I suppose." Reiner adds, "There are three tracks that in my opinion, are definitely, 100% AOR/hard rock/commercial radio tracks — 'American Refuge', 'Flying Blind', and 'Feed the Greed'. Catchy melodies, incredible drum feels — they just all rock."


Feelies Reisuues

Back in 1980, New Jersey postpunk originators the Feelies dropped "Crazy Rhythms," their classic debut. "Crazy Rhythms" was a short, sharp shock of spiky guitars and sidelong grooves, the sort of album destined to become an influential but underappreciated relic, which is exactly what happened. You can hear bits and pieces of "Crazy Rhythms" all over American indie rock from the 1980s, especially in the first few R.E.M. albums, but the band's history was plagued by commercial failure and frequent breakups. The LP has been out of print forever.

That's about to change. The Feelies are back together now, playing shows when they feel like it. And on September 8, "Crazy Rhythms" and the band's 1986 sophomore effort "The Good Earth" will finally be reissued. The reissues will be out on Bar None in the U.S. and Canada and Domino everywhere else. Both remastered albums will be available on CD and 180 gram vinyl, and both will come with bonus tracks.


Queen Latifah Releases Details On New Album

It was revealed this week that rapper/actress Queen Latifah will be releasing her ninth studio album later this year.

The star-studded album, " Persona," will feature appearances by Busta Rhymes, Mary J. Blige, Jadakiss, and Boyz II Men.

“It doesn't have a specific theme -- each [song] was so different from the next, me being the common denominator,” Queen Latifah told the Los Angeles Times earlier this month (July). “And I realized my different characters were coming through on these [songs]. My acting, singing and rapping identities all came together under one roof as well as my taste in different kinds of music. I'd say it's half rap and half singing. If I had to categorize it, it would be more like hip hop urban alternative.”

The album, which was executive produced by duo Cool & Dre, is expected to be released on August 25.

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