New releases from Gym Class Hereos, Missy Elliot; Brian Wilson on Leno

 John James can be reached via cyberspace at

With election frenzy in the air building to a thick, stifling fog, the Standard Recording Company of Indianapolis, Ind. has compiled a three-CD set with a new song about each of the 43 presidents. Due next week, Of Great and Mortal Men was written and nourished by members of Above the Orange Trees and Nice Monster, aided by a hip list of stars including Rosie Thomas, the Radar Bros, Califone, Alan Sparhawk of Low, Mark Kozelek of Red House Painters, Bill Callahan of Smog, Vince DiFiore of Cake and James Jackson

Toth of Wooden Wand. Song titles include “Lyndon B. Johnson: Ladybird Take Me Home,” “William J. Clinton: The Mighty Lion Will Not Roar Again” and everybody’s favorite, “Herbert Hoover: Woe Is A Spoon-Shaped Heart.” Merge Records is celebrating 20 years with a yearlong series of custom-made CD compilations hand selected by an interesting group of curators. Fourteen CDs will eventually fill the SCORE! box set, which is only available as a subscription from the label. Preorders begin this week at, with the first two disc’s contents hand picked from the Merge vaults by video director Phil Morrison and REM’s Peter Buck. Looking forward, other curators will include “Saturday Night Live”’s Amy Poehler, Chef David Chang and the Talking Heads’ David Byrne. Sharing the love, each disc will have a portion of its proceeds benefit a specific, personally selected charity.

Television Alert : “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” welcomes Brian Wilson tonight, the Game on Thursday and Leona Lewis on Tuesday; “The Late Show with David Letterman” hosts Tricky tonight, Duffy on Thursday, Steve Earle on Friday and Michael Bublé on Tuesday; “Late Night with Conan O’Brien” presents Delta Spirit this evening and Gym Class Heroes on Tuesday overnight; “Jimmy Kimmel Live” features Young Jeezy tonight and Black Kids on Friday overnight; “The Ellen DeGeneres” Show gets cozy with the Jonas Brothers on Monday.

New Releases Coming Sept. 9

(and like the winds, young grasshopper, are subject to change…)

Lesser Gonzalez Alvarez Why Is Bear Billowing? (Carpark) solo debut, on tour with Jana Hunter this month and with Dan Deacon’s Baltimore Round Robin tour in October

Avenged Sevenfold Live in the LBC & Diamonds in the Rough (Warner Bros) on tour next week with Buckcherry, this live CD and DVD set boasts b-sides and covers

Calhoun Falter, Waiver, Cultivate (ArtistGarage) featuring fascinating cover and booklet artwork ofdeconstructed books and mixed media by Diane Sikes, this is the thirdalbum from the Ft. Worth band helmed by Tim Loche — this year and 2006awarded Songwriter of the Year by the Fort Worth Weekly Music Awards

Grayson Capps Rott ‘N’ Roll (Hyena) backed by his backing band the Stumpknockers, the reflective, relaxed songs travel the trails of dim-lit alleys and the Tennessee mountains, highlighted by the terrific “Arrowhead”

Civet Hell Hath No Fury (Hellcat) featuring “All I Want,” co written with Tim Armstrong of Rancid

Colourmusic f, monday, orange, february, venus, lunatic, 1 or 13 (GreatSociety) touring earlier this year with British Sea Power, this is aheavy, playful, swirling gem from the endless wagon trail of Oklahoma twisted genius, blowing my top off with the overloaded circuits of “Yes!”

Cornelius Sensurround B-Sides (Everloving)CD and DVD set featuring a 5.1 mix, twelve videos, a collaboration withRyuichi Sakamoto, and an a capella version of “Music” by Petra Haden

Albert Cummings Feel So Good (Blind Pig) live CD from the Stratocaster slinger, capped off with a blistering run through Led Zeppelin’s “Rock and Roll”

Catie Curtis Sweet Life (Compass) featuring the folk-rock star’s take on Death Cab For Cutie’s “Soul Meets Body”

Aram Danesh and the Super Human Crew The Grind (MammothEntertainment) on the guitarist’s artist owned label, this is “payingattention” conscious hip-hop with guests Gift of Gab and Lebaron Pettis

Dead Can Dance Dead Can Dance (Vinyl180/Virtual Label) audiophile vinyl LP edition, featuring a “deluxe”gatefold version with a bonus clear vinyl pressing of the Garden of the Arcane Delights EP

The Dead Science Villainaire (Constellation)with guest Craig Wredren of Shudder To Think and promises of referencesto Tookie Williams, Rocky Balboa and Michael Jackson, an audiophile180-gram LP vinyl edition comes in a hand-screened jacket on heavy artstock paper

Justin Townes Earle The Good Life (Bloodshot) limited edition vinyl LP, featuring the bonus CD EP “Yuma” tucked inside each of the first 500 pressings

Missy Elliott Block Party (Atlantic) with producers Pointguard, Pharrell, Souldiggaz, Timbaland, and Danjahandz

Michael Franti and Spearhead All Rebel Rockers (Anti/Epitaph) Dub meets Soul with Sly & Robbie and Zap Mama’s Marie Daulne

Lafayette Gilchrist & the New Volcanoes Soul Progression (Hyena)avant-garde hip and street-smart funk from the Baltimore pianist andhis slamming ensemble, taking flights of piano and horns into acinematic, chase scene palpitations

Gym Class Heroes The Quilt (Decaydance) with guests Patrick Stump of Fall Out Boy, Busta Rhymes and Daryl Hall

Hallam Foe —original motion picture soundtrack (Domino) eclectic, creepy coolselection of 16 artists from the label’s stable, with Junior Boys,Orange Juice, Sons and Daughters and Future Pilot AKA, and a new FranzFerdinand song, “Hallam Foe Dandelion Blow,” written specifically forthe UK indie film

Claire Hamill Touchpaper (Esoteric)reissue from 1983, this adventurous electronic/ambient album featuresfour bonus tracks, including a 12-inch club mix of “Jump”

Head Save Me From Myself (Driven Music) new from Brian Head, formerly of Korn, with guests Josh Freese and Tony Levin

Horse Feathers Horse With No Name (Kill Rock Stars) dreamy, fragile and strengthening hymns from the rural expanse of Lewiston, Idaho

Hot Panda — “Cold Hands/Chapped Lips” (Mint) seven-inch single

I’m Not Jim You Are All My People (Bloodshot)nifty, quickly produced collaboration/artistic smash-up from the Silos’Walter Salas-Humara and acclaimed novelist Jonathan Lethem, aided bythe production team of the Elegant Too, made of up Brave Combo’s PhilHernandez and Skeleton Key’s Chris Maxwell Kellarissa Flamingo (Mint) solo project from vocalist Larissa Loyva and her Yamaha synthesizer Celeste Krenz My Mother & Me (High Horse) bluesy, kitchen-

tablecountry release and loving family affair, with over half the songs cowritten with her mother, Jean Krenz Magic Slim & the Teardrops — Midnight Blues (Blind Pig) all new, featuring “guest Teardrops” Otis Clay, James Cotton, Lonnie Brooks and Elvin Bishop

Mogwai — “Batcat” (Matador/PIAS) CD EP featuring guest vocalist Roky Erickson of the 13 th Floor Elevators on “Devil Rides”

Novillero A little Tradition (Mint) shake-it-loose mod pop soul from Canada, channeling the pep and passion of the Jam, Ben Folds and the seminal Stiff Records era

Okkervil River The Stand Ins (Jagjaguwar) featuring “Lost Coastlines,” a duet between Will Sheff and Jonathan Meiburg

Palms It’s Midnight in Honolulu (Rare Book Room Records) cross-continent duo of Ryan Schaefer and Nadja Korinth

Pontiak Sun On Sun (Thrill Jockey) recorded in less than 100 hours in a Charlottesville, Va. log cabin

Portastatic Some Small History (Merge)43-track, two-CD rarities collection featuring covers of Ryan Adams’“Oh My Sweet Carolina,” the Undertones’ “Teenage Kicks,” PrefabSprout’s “Love Breaks Down,” Bob Dylan’s “It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue”and an acoustic demo of “I Wanna Know Girls”

Rafter Sweaty Magic (AsthmaticKitty) inspired by daily art collaboration with photographer LizrthSantos, this CD EP is a fresh, thrilling hot-wheels joyride throughhyper electronic tunnels and feverish, robot pop ballads

The Sound of Animals Fighting The Ocean and the Sun (Epitaph) third album from the quartet known individually as the Lynx, the Nightingale, the Walrus and the Skunk

A Static Lullaby Rattlesnake (Fearless) offering an MP3 bonus cover of Britney Spears’ “Toxic” if you pre-order the album from the band’s website

Touchers Blithe (Mental Records) swan song release from the Bozeman, Mont. recorded months before the death of founder “Bipolar” Ben Brisini

Young Widows Old Wounds (TemporaryResidence) new from Steve Sindoni, former guitarist of Louisville’sBreather Resist, produced by Kurt Ballou of Converge

Steve Wynn Crossing Dragon Bridge (Rock Ridge) with Chris Eckman of the Walkabouts, this new solo album from the Dream Syndicate co-founder was recorded in Slovenia last year

John James can be found via cyberspace at yeahyeah@cinci.