Other Music New Release Update
September 25, 2003

In This Week's Update:

Aesop Rock
The Matthew Herbert Big Band
Viktor Vaughn (MF Doom)
Sondre Lerche
Fire Theft
T. Raumschmiere
Jackie Mittoo (Soul Jazz Compilation)
DJ Olive
Mojave 3
Mates of State
Carla Bozulich
TV On the Radio
Rufus Wainwright


Stars (Domestic)

Just In:

The Shins (CD Single)
Casiotone For the Painfully Alone
UNKLE (Import)


AESOP ROCK "Bazooka Tooth" (Def Jux) CD/LP $14.99/ $16.99
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/nojumper.rm
Aesop Rock's "Bazooka Tooth" is probably the most anticipated indie hip hop
record this year. Produced mainly by AR with one track from El-P and three
from Blockhead, he's still as dense and head scratching as ever. Following
the albums "Labor Days" and "Float," "Bazooka Tooth" shows Aesop sharpening
his teeth on the powers that be (critics, fans and other MCs) as well as
creating dark tales of urban journeys, animated fables, and life in
post-9/11 New York. Crunchy guitars, eerie piano, ghostly horns, synth
flickers, distorted drums, and start/stop rhythms lay underneath multiple
tracks of vocals. He surrounds you in whispers, shouts, words and choruses,
the music is high energy and immediate with lots of layers of sound and that
distinctive voice. Listening to Aesop Rock is like riding the subway;
tumbling rhythms move you through the concrete tunnels painted with
graffiti. Fluorescent light creates a strange glow while scratched plastic
windows give you a glimpse of the darkness surrounding you... the smell of
people in transit. This one's more dynamic than anything he's done, but not
vastly different except maybe with a bit more venom. He sounds more
comfortable, confident and sure. This in essence is Aesop's pop record,
meaning that this is the one that people are going to hear, having spent
time playing live, gaining popularity, and becoming more of a leader and
idol within the indie hip hop scene. (Check "We're Famous.") "Bazooka Tooth"
is a solid record; all of his best elements are showcased, proving why he's
one of the best things about Def Jux. Guests are Mr. Lif, Camp Lo, and El-P
with trash talking (his words not mine) from Cannibal Ox, S.A. Smash, and
MURS. Bonus CD includes videos and other cool extras. [DG]

MATTHEW HERBERT BIG BAND "Goodbye Swingtime" (Accidental)
CD $16.99
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/thebattl.rm
Well the hype for this one has building for a mini-lifetime, huh? Customers
have been asking for this one for over a year now, which is funny, because I
don't think it was recorded until last summer. Anyhoo... Matthew Herbert
records a modern swing record for our time, boasting guest vocals from Arto
Lindsey, Super_Colliders' Jamie Lidell, and his longtime collaborator Dani
Sciliano. There are still Herbert's trademark found sound glitches, but they
are used more to accentuate the brass arrangements and the beats aren't
four-on-the-floor at all. The mood of the record is fairly sad and indignant
but the vocal performances he gets out of Lindsay and Lidell are phenomenal.
Upon further listening and liner note examinations, one finds that it's a
thinly veiled protest album aimed at the current Bush administration. One
must commend Herbert for putting together one of the most cleverly executed
concept albums I've heard in years. [DH]

MATMOS "The Civil War" (Matador) CD/LP $13.99/$11.99
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/reconstr.rm
Matmos had a big year in 2001 with their collaborations on Bjork's sublime
"Vespertine" and with their instant classic "A Chance To Cut Is a Chance To
Cure," an album created entirely out of sampled recordings of surgeries. As
it turns out, 2003 is looking pretty good for them too. Drew Daniel's great
solo effort as the Soft Pink Truth came out early in the year on Matthew
Herbert's Soundslike label, and their second album for Matador looks like it
might be one of the biggest electronic records of the year (in both scope
and popularity). The title of "The Civil War" is apparently a reference to
the one right here in America a century-and-a-half ago as well as to the one
in England another two hundred years farther back, but it could just as well
refer to some kind of battle between the acoustic and electronic sounds that
comprise this sample-happy amalgamation of recordings. After 1999's "The
West," the banjos, dobro, and string arrangements aren't such a huge
surprise, but the scorching guitar solo on "Z.O.C.K." -- Zealous Order Of
Candied Knights -- is about as far over-the-top as anything these guys have
done before. With guest appearances from Keith Fullerton Whitman (Hrvatski),
David Grubbs, Blevin Blectum, and all kinds of other folks, "The Civil War"
is so all over the place that it becomes kind of a mess, but it's a pretty
glorious mess and one that you can easily get lost in. Between the robotic
dancing round the maypole ditties, shimmering harps, John Phillips
Sousa-isms, and glitchy beats, there are moments on the record that will
pluck the right string on just about any listener. It's a head-scratcher,
but it's still beautiful. [RH]

VIKTOR VAUGHN "Vaudeville Villain" (Sound-Ink) CD $13.99
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/viktorva.rm
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/raedawn.rm
The man of mystery, MF Doom returns with another full-length of beats and
rhymes. For this outing he again changes his persona; this time he's Viktor
Vaughn the Vaudeville Villian. He's the man of the street, it's his most
straight forward release, but still kinda out for most. Released on
Sound-Ink records featuring a new crew of producers including King Honey,
Heat Sensor and RJD2 who offer Doom a nice collection of futuristic beat
science for him to flip the script upon. Less cut-n-paste and collaged, the
album is more of a fully produced and digitally sonic ride. By now you know
the deal -- dense and animated lyrics, quality sci-fi beats and a flavor
that's unmistakably his own. Mostly vocally performed by Doom with a little
assistance from Lord Sear, Apani B Fly Emcee, and M. Saayid formerly of
Anti-Pop. If you freaked out over his King Geedorah, Operation Doomsday,
Escape from Monster Island, Black Bastards, or his Special Herbs
instrumental releases then you need this. He's one of the best voices and
producers on the underground/indie scene. Guaranteed to tie you over until
his collaboration with Madlib, "Madvillian," is released next month, here's
another solid album from the man that seems to do no wrong. "I'm choking on
the fact that hip hop has gone freak show". Recommended. [DG]

SONDRE LERCHE "Don't Be Shallow" (Astralwerks) CD $8.99
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/singleha.rm
First thing that comes to me as I sit to write the new Sondre Lerche review:
This guy is 20 years old. Twenty. He was still a teenager when I saw him at
Tonic last Halloween! Speaking of which, he performed an all-acoustic set of
songs at that show (from his impressive debut "Faces Down"). I recall being
disappointed at the minimal set up, how would he recreate those lush pop
songs, without all the fixins', just himself and a guitar? As I soon found
out, and as you are about to hear, those songs were extremely engaging
stripped down to their essences, revealing just how great a songwriter young
Lerche is. There are four live tracks on this EP, and if you are already a
fan, you will enjoy what are essentially the embryonic stages of the
well-crafted and lustrous instrumentation from that album. Now for the new
stuff. Just as before, I feel like his songs are so bright and cheerful that
they demand a gorgeous spring day. I cannot listen to his songs without
longing to be driving around in the sunshine. This time there are more
electronic accoutrements, making use of any space unfilled by that charming
falsetto. At one point, I could swear it was Jeff Buckley singing if I had
not known what I was listening to. Comparisons to '60s lounge dream pop
still apply, but this is a bit more sophisticated... or perhaps less cutesy.
"Living Lounge" features actual "cha-cha's" and acoustic plucking that
evokes Brazilian influences. At such a tender age, Lerche's lack of cynicism
is very refreshing. This caliber of songwriting is much to live up to; I
look forward to his development. [NL]

PEACHES "Fatherfucker" (Beggars/Kitty Yo) CD $12.99
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/shakeyer.rm
Kicking off her new album with a loop of Joan Jett's "Bad Reputation,"
Peaches answers Jett's "don't give a damn" with a curdling scream of "I
don't give a fuck!" I can't believe three years have gone by since her debut
full-length "Teaches of Peaches" not only put her on the map as
electroclash's naughty pinup girl, but practically made electroclash a
household word. Peaches' follow-up shows her staying the course: sex
obsessed and talking trash over sleazy beat box rhythms, buzzy synths and
now a fair amount of guitar. In "Kick It," a duet with Iggy Pop, the two go
head to head trading jabs until Peaches finally gets the last word asserting
that Berlin is the real rock city. And on this record German electro
influences are a little more prevalent, the vulgar Canadian having relocated
to the Deutschland a couple of years ago. The quiet, minimal repetition of
"I'm the Kinda" is deceivingly lulling when you don't take into account
lines like "I'm the kinda bitch you wanna get with" and references to Sodom
and Gomorrah. If anything, Peaches has gotten a little more outrageous
(check the creepy album cover with her wearing a beard), and there are
plenty of new porno-party anthems like "Shake Yer Dix" and "Back It Up
Boys." I doubt that she'll ever be able to re-create that fun, dirty,
I-can't-believe-she-just-said-that factor of "Fuck the Pain Away," but
Peaches fans are ready for their seconds and won't be disappointed. [GH]

THE FIRE THEFT "The Fire Theft" (Ryko) CD $16.99
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/itsover.rm
Emo kids all over the world cried the day that Sunny Day Real Estate
announced that they were a band no longer. SDRE were the blueprint for more
bands than one could possibly imagine, and their influence spread far and
wide and can still be heard in punk bands today. Well the kids do not have
to wait any longer, from the ashes of SDRE comes the Fire Theft. The band is
3/4 of SDRE featuring Jeremy Enigk, William Goldsmith, and Nate Mendel and
with the new incarnation comes a new sound. The emotional wail of Enigk is
still a huge presence but the song structures are more intricate, with most
of the songs building to a climax with a full orchestra. There is a definite
progressive rock feel to most of the songs, along with a heavy Beatles
influence. Enigk and company have taken the next step in their musical
journey and brought their music to brand new heights. Just wait for scores
of upstart suburban bands to take note, and in a few years this album will
be the blueprint for the next wave of emotionally tortured youth. These guys
have never disappointed me, and they have definitely not started here.
Beautiful. [JS]

T. RAUMSCHMIERE "Radio Blackout" (Novamute) CD $15.99
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/thegamei.rm
Under the moniker of T. Raumschmiere, Marco Haas defined a distinctive "take
all" approach in his electro-punk productions, mostly released on his own
Shitkatapult label. His live sets are nothing less than legendary, testing
the capacity of club soundsystems like a one-man heavy metal concert. For
his latest, his full-length debut for the Novamute imprint, the German
electronic producer offers a fairly diverse fusion of styles -- from
throbbing techno-punk, to splashes of textured ambience, to hip hop. Tracks
like album opener "I'm Not Deaf, I'm Ignoring You" and "Monstertruckdriver"
deliver what he's best known for:  glammy, fist-pumping techno with acidic,
crunchy bass that simply pummels all in its path as spectators scream Rock
'n' Roll!! In "The Game Is Not Over," Miss Kittin makes a guest appearance,
but instead of cooing her glamorously sexy-cool-detached musings, she
shrieks like a German rocker over the song's digi-punk pulse. Interestingly,
Raumschmiere's downtempo moments like the eerie "While Watching the Stars"
still retrain the abrasive bottom end -- the beats may be slow but are just
as saturated and plodding. The old school hip hop influenced "A Million
Brothers" is soulful and dark as seductive guest vocalist MC Soon T's
politically loaded message is carried by Raumschmiere's signature buzz and
stuttering counter-melodies from the backward manipulated instrument
samples. The final two cuts on "Radio Blackout" are bi-polar in contrast.
After wrapping you in a fluffy, cotton-soft comforter of lush keyboard
swells during the title track, Raumschmiere harshes the mellow one last time
with an industrial strength corrosive stomper. [GH]

JACKIE MITTOO & THE SOUL BROTHERS "Last Train To Skaville" (Soul Jazz) CD $16.99
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/voodoomo.rm
Ah, more Studio One releases from Soul Jazz to add to the collection! "Last
Train to Skaville" revisits Jackie Mittoo, this time with the Soul Brothers.
Before Mittoo's moniker as the Keyboard King, he flexed his digits with this
loose collective. Songs like the title track tell the story of the fading
ska sound in Jamaica, with the Soul Brothers ushering in the use of electric
guitar and organ. The trumpet and sax staples of ska are still prevalent on
most tunes, like the playful "James Bond" (one of the two Bond film
references), and the soulful, struttin' "Honey Pot." But the keyboard steals
the show on the funky, Latin-vibed "Voodoo Moon," and on of one of the only
lyric laced (and hot breakbeat-begun!) songs "Got My Boogaloo" among others.
"Last Train to Skaville" is a perfect soundtrack to journey from ska to
rocksteady. Repeated listening recommended! [LG]

DJ OLIVE "Bodega" (The Agriculture) CD $13.99
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/chickenc.rm
Everyone loved We's first album, "As Is." I mean, I'd hand it to anyone with
ears on their head, and they'd come back agreeing with me that it was soooo
good, and/or changed their whole stance on electronic music. Popular opinion
was that after the first album, the sophomore jinx set in, then despite a
few highlights, the recorded output never quite matched the quality of the
first album... Now about Olive's album: This is the real shit. Puts the
motherf*ckin' "ill" back in illbient. The first "section" (five tracks
seamlessly blended) brings to mind B-boys battling with switchblades.
Graceful and dangerous. The tracks have that inimitable "technorganic" sound
that We is famous for. Bionic dub-rhythms are hooked up with countless
well-placed layers of sound to create a free-flowing stream of urban bliss.
Track six marks the beginning of the Latin side of the neighborhood. Seems
Olive intends to show us around his favorite spots in Brooklyn and
Manhattan. Cool... (The rhythms heard bleeding out of countless car-systems
in various NY streets appear throughout the album, masterfully blended in.)
In "Ballad and Scrambled" the tropical vibe reappears but suddenly breaks
into an underwater quiet storm, then back again into the beat. Olive is
master of the switcharoo set-up breakdown, always changing directions
beautifully. Another album I'd recommend to anyone. Bodega is an A.D.D.
masterpiece. [SM]

MOJAVE 3 "Spoon and Rafter" (4AD) CD $11.99
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/billoddi.rm
It's raining today in NYC. Heavy sheets of warm rain batter our ancient
hatch-back, and with the windows rolled up tight against the downpour, the
defroster is fighting a losing battle against the cottony haze that
threatens to engulf us as I pop in the new disc from Neil Halstead and
Mojave 3. The cover art gracefully depicts the magic hour descending on
rolling fields of daisies, and I imagine the two space-suited children (and
their space-dog) picnicking on the overlook must feel like I do now... safe,
calm, and slightly removed from the slow moving scenes unfolding on the
other side of the glass. A warm, beautiful album of half-remembered dreams
and fading afternoon light. Pianos, guitars, Hammond organ and percussion,
ethereal Moog, pedal steel, plucked banjo and chiming glockenspiel. And
Halstead's warm and beautiful voice, with uncomplicated tales of life's
simple sadness and joy. I wish this moment could last forever. Is it
possible that if I keep rewinding, it can? [JM]

OUTKAST "Speakerboxx/The Love Below" (Arista) CD $19.99
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/theroost.rm
"We split it down the middle so you can see both the visions." -Big Boi
"We get together but separate songs are better" - André 3000.
Imagine an atom splitting. Two sides emerging out of something that once was
a solid whole. That's what listening to OutKast's cinematic double album,
"Speakerboxx/The Love Below" is like. Their most personal to date, two
characters in the same film, the duo of Big Boi and André 3000 get to tell
their separate stories showing each of their individual images within the
group. The balance and differences between the two are both intriguing and
at times not that different. Let's start with Big Boi's "Speakerboxx," in
essence more like a traditional OutKast release with big, bouncing hyper
beats, large live horn stabs, deep bass, smooth R&B choruses, irresistible
grooves, and down-south lyrical style and speed -- full of twisted tales of
throwing game, hanging at the strip club, getting off your block, and being
a father. He shares production with Mr. DJ, Carl Mo, Cutmaster Swift, and
André. Most guests are from the hip hop community including Killer Mike,
Ludacris, Jay-Z and Cee-Lo. It's designed to make your speakers pop, your
car shake, get your party started, and give the dancers something to dance
to. On the other hand, André 3000's "The Love Below" rewrites the story as a
pysch-funk/soulful love turned to hate letter, feeling both classic and
forward thinking. Both use live bands along with drum programming, while
André plays guitar on most of his tracks, with great Moog and new wave
flavored synths and sometimes tenor saxophone. Reference points include
Prince, Nat King Cole, Funkadelic, Rick James and Sly Stone, but never
obvious or clichéd and always incredibly original. He sings more than raps
showing more emotion (sexually and spiritually) and imagination than most
rappers would dare to expose to the public in the songs he writes. Sometimes
raw, check "Spread," sensitive as on "Prototype" or "Happy Valentine's Day,"
or absolutely hilarious like on "Roses" or "Love Hater," he vocally
surrounds himself mostly with women like Rosario Dawson, Kelis, and Norah
Jones, and lots of string, horn and jazz arrangements. "Hey Ya!" is the kind
of upbeat and happy(?) electronic pop/acoustic guitar jam that N*E*R*D have
been searching for. There's also an excellent un-credited instrumental drum
'n' bass/jazz flip of "My Favorite Things". Both sides give a lot to offer,
sitting next to each other they form a more complete picture of a band
finding their own way at the crossroads. Separately they've made the best
record of their careers. Recommended. [DG]

RECHENZENTRUM "Director's Cut" (Mille Plateaux) CD $19.99
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/nelsonre.rm
Rechenzentrum return with their third album and this time out it is for the
magnificent Mille Plateaux label. This trio of musicians are probably one of
the most interesting to come out of the "Clicks and Cuts" genre, and they
combine so many elements found in electronic music today. Their tracks can
flow from Cologne-style click house, and Jamaican dub, to hip hop, and
ethereal ambience all within the span of minutes. "Director's Cut" works
incredibly well as a whole album, and is probably intended to be listened to
in one sitting, for along with the audio CD they have contained a
full-length DVD film that accompanies the music. This album has highs and
lows with the tracks slowly building and flowing into one another and
Rechenzentrum have created one of the most beautiful listening experiences
in electronic music that I have heard all year. For a completely cerebral
audio and visual experience pick this up, you will not be disappointed. [JS]

MATES OF STATE "Team Boo" (Polyvinyl) CD $13.99
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/gottaget.rm
After losing a little of that initial spark with their sophomore album,
husband/wife team Mates of State has recaptured the magic of their acclaimed
debut "My Solo Project" on their third full-length, "Team Boo." Anytime I
hear Kori Gadner and Jason Hammel's whimsical pop, I feel like I'm spying on
the life of some precociously happy couple. At first you may want to make a
gagging gesture, but then you're so intrigued by their sincerity and warmth
you can't help but be drawn into their world and wish it could be yours. For
a duo, they certainly fill the space, with Gadner's swirling organ, Hammel's
loose drumming and their sticky, non-stop dueling vocal harmonies.
Occasional overdubs of horns, viola and or a glockenspiel are used sparsely
and smartly so that "Team Boo" has more of a live sound and captures the
couple's penchant for turning their real life chemistry into catchy and
sometimes spastic, but always sincere and shiny pop songs. [GH]

PLASTIKMAN "Disconnect" (Novamute) CD $6.99
Richie Hawtin is on a long, dark roll. "Disconnect" is a slice of what he
reserves for his "special" gigs. Combining aspects of his "Consumed" LP with
off-kilter patterns and a deep, sharp edge similar to recent tracks by
Ricardo Villalobos, "Disconnect" moves deep and long, touching on new things
along the way. The opening track is a little bit too dramatic/Darth Vader
for me, but "Headcase" and "Digital/Divide" hit head-on, combining qualities
of Hawtin's "Concept" series with his more recent album, "Consumed." Deep
mental pulses, bass and smart bleeps. Incisive rim shots and dark ambience.
Patterns work and rework in fresh ways, consistently live, no dull moments.
(While listening to the "Headcase" sound file, keep in mind that it is cued
to begin 6 minutes into the track.) Eight minutes into "Digital/Divide", a
breakdown comes in, fully mutated and fresh. It suddenly lurches forward and
kicks back in only to end, leaving us wanting more. Fresh and successful.
Can't wait for the album. [SM]

CARLA BOZULICH "Red Headed Stranger" (DiCristina Stair Builders) CD $13.99
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/timeofth.rm
Carla Bozulich has a long and varied career behind her, releasing records
with the Geraldine Fibbers, Ethyl Meatplow, collaborations with Nels Cline
as well as solo work and others. Besides her raw, emotive voice, the tie
that binds her disparate projects has been a love of Americana and classic
country music. This passion has showed itself in different ways, some subtle
and some more obvious, on releases that vary stylistically from punk to
avant-garde to straightforward singer-songwriter fare. Her new release is in
many ways as varied musically as her long career, but its source material is
pure country legend; the album is basically a song by song remake of Willie
Nelson's multi-platinum classic album "Red Headed Stranger," and even
includes a couple of duets with the man himself. Some tracks are played
straight, some are deconstructed in surprising and revealing ways, but the
passion, pain, and raw emotion of the original are left fully intact, and
Bozulich and her band of talented multi-instrumentalists clearly do justice
to this classic album, and bring many new nuances to the mix. [JM]

TV ON THE RADIO "Young Liars" (Touch & Go) CD $8. 99
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/younglia.rm
You ever hear a record that blows you away, something you never knew that
reminds of all your favorite things? Strange yet familiar, sounding natural,
wondering how you ever got along without it? A little gem that you want to
keep to yourself, yet think that the world should hear. In 25 minutes,
that's what TV On the Radio did to me. Instantly I loved it, like hearing an
old favorite song that reminds you of innocent childhood, yet possessing the
dark knowledge that being an adult brings. This trio from Brooklyn are a
thing of beauty. Hard to pin down but kinda like Eno and his vocalists:
Byrne, Bowie, and Gabriel. Vocals, guitars, drum programming, bass, and
synth atmosphere create a moody pop, soul, gospel, hybrid. Includes a bonus
cover of the Pixies' "Mister Grieves". What if Depeche Mode backed Al Green,
Tricky produced Peter Gabriel, Seal fronted Radiohead? One of the best new
bands around. Recommended! [DG]

RUFUS WAINWRIGHT "Want One" (Dreamworks) CD $17.99
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/goorgoah.rm
The third release from Mr. Wainwright, "Want One," which features our knight
in shining armor, exhausted from battling... himself. It appears that after
his critically acclaimed, ego inflating debut, which was quite a joyous
expression (I'm young, talented, and rich!) and the equally impressive
second record, wherein life was all jet setting, love affairs, parties and
excess, it is now time to take stock and reflect on where such a life leaves
one. These songs are paeans to loneliness, grief, various dysfunctional
relationships, unrequited love -- you get the point. This is a very personal
record; there is the sense that he poured out the lyrics as one fills in a
journal after a harrowing experience. Not one to shy from scrutiny,
Wainwright lays it out for all to see, but the album does not suffer from
it. I admit, as I read along upon my first listening, I was not as impressed
as when I left it up to audio alone (see "Vibrate" to understand what I
mean). He has said that this record took the least amount of time to finish,
but it does not feel rushed or thrown together at all and musically it is
perhaps his most accomplished. The centerpiece track, "Go or Go Ahead" has
absolutely perfect moments and reminds me of ELO in the best way. The
production sticks with his formula of elaborately decorated orchestrations
and the showcasing of his dramatic and now signature, vocal style. For
someone who has been through the trials of a celebrity upbringing, he still
sounds fantastic. A sadly romantic and beautiful offering. [NL]


STARS "Heart" (Arts & Crafts) CD $14.99
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/romantic.rm
Canada's Stars carry on their "soft revolution" with their newest
long-player, "Heart." With production help from Ian Catt (Saint Etienne,
Field Mice, Trembling Blue Stars) and a large cast of additional musicians,
the group continues to move away from their cosmopolitan brand of pop, but
only so slightly while maintaining an instinctive penchant for sweet pop
melancholy. This one was actually kept under wraps for almost a year while
the band dealt with a contractual dispute (which resulted in finding a new
record label), and while Evan Cranley moonlighted in the equally fantastic
Broken Social Scene. But "Heart" proves to be worth its wait and is full of
quiet, delicate longings that are as dreamy as a warm, outdoor summer nap.
At times, there's a little more edge to the music with a few more guitars
added to the mix, but just as many keyboards shimmer alongside wistful
strains of violins and cello, and wrap around Torquil Campbell and Amy
Millan's lush vocal harmonies. It's wonderfully apparent that Stars have an
affinity for a few decades of Euro-pop -- from '60s baroque inspired
orchestral backing to musical nods to New Order and the Smiths -- but any of
these influences take a back seat to sophisticated, soulful melodies and
beautifully sad songs. (Now available domestically.) [GH]


THE SHINS "So Says I / CD Single" (Sub Pop) CD $4.99
New single taken from the Shins’ forthcoming follow-up to 2001's fantastic
indie pop masterpiece, "Oh Inverted World."  Includes b-side "Mid Child" and
an alternate take to the album track "Gone For Good." New album, "Chutes Too
Narrow" set for release on October 21.

(Full review in next week's update.)

U.N.K.L.E. "Never, Never Land" (Mo Wax) CD/LTD CD & DVD $25.99/$49.99
Long-awaited follow-up to 1998's "Psyence Fiction." Includes collaborations
with Mani, Queens of the Stone Age's Josh Homme, Brian Eno, Ian Brown,
Robert del Naja from Massive Attack and South's Joel Cadbury. Also
available, limited edition CD with bonus DVD.

This week's contributors: Daniel Givens [DG], Lisa Garrett [LG], Gerald
Hammill [GH], Rob Hatch-Miller [RH], Duane Harriott [DH], Nicole Lang [NL],
Josh Madell [JM], Scott Mou [SM], and Jeremy Sponder [JS].


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