Suicide Birthday, Beatles B-sides, a Beach Boy carries on

John James can be reached via cyberspace at

Public radio tastemaker KCRW from Santa Monica, Calif. is back with its sixth collection of live performances from its Morning Becomes Eclectic studios. Produced by show host Nic Harcourt, Sounds Eclectic: The Next One is a tribute to the new voices that have found themselves as darlings of the radio station early on in their careers, giving the bands a “Harcourt speaks, people listen” wind beneath their wings as they seek out an audience and critical success. Highlights include the Ting Tings’ go-go hopping “Fruit Machine,” Goldspot’s haunting “Time Bomb,”

Architecture in Helsinki’s pan-steel synth of “Heart It Races” and other exclusives from Seawolf, Bat For Lashes, Spoon and the Shins. Available only as a membership premium or on, the CD is virtually label-less — using Amazon’s new CreateSpace, a print-on-demand CD service offering a clever solution to the tired distribution model of print-a-bunch, ship-a-bunch, store-a-bunch and hope-to-sell-‘em. Sony, BMG and EMI have reportedly signed on to someday offer hundreds of out-of-print albums this way, by uploading the master files and artwork to CreateSpace, and let the burning, printing and shipping all originate at the Amazon order fulfillment center. If you’ve been hunting down long-lost copies of Cake’s Motorcade of Generosity, Joe Strummer’s Earthquake Weather or the Hatari soundtrack by Henry Mancini, you can find these once again through CreateSpace. The low cost of all this convenience, without the legal entanglements of a record label owning the work and soul of the artist, could make this the friendliest, and greenest, of all possibilities… Old school nu-wavers, art-damage miscreants and art-rock geezers can wonder where the years have gone by, celebrating the 70 th birthday of Suicide co-founder Alan Vega this year. Blast First Records’ newest lil’ baby boutique label, blastfirstpetite, has pronounced this the summer of Vega with a box set and a monthly series of digital downloads and 10-inch vinyl singles. Featuring live performances opening for their early UK tour with the Clash and Elvis Costello, 13 complete concerts are documented in the six-CD box, Suicide 1977-1978. Curious about what other artists might bow down to the duo’s feral synthesizer attack? The second edition of the singles series has just been released, each featuring a Suicide rarity and two cover versions — this month by the Horrors and Nik Void, following last month’s debut with Bruce Springsteen and Beat the Devil. Up ahead are covers by Peaches, Vincent Gallo, Primal Scream, Lydia Lunch, the Klaxons and Julian Cope. Don’t look for these singles to last long on store shelves, as each vinyl pressing is limited to only a few thousand copies…

Television Alert:

“The Late Show with David Letterman” presents Nas tonight; “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” hosts Low vs. Diamond tonight, Missy Higgins on Thursday, Chuck Berry on Friday and Ingrid Michaelson on Monday; “Late Night with Conan O’Brien” boasts Swedish sensation Lykke Li on Thursday and Ra Ra Riot on Tuesday overnight; “The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson” features Billy Bob Thornton & the Boxmasters tonight and Priscilla Ahn on Monday overnight; and “Jimmy Kimmel Live” offers up Lady Antebellum this evening, Staind on Thursday, Glen Campbell on Friday and Judas Priest on Tuesday.

New Releases Coming Sept. 2

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

Apollo Sunshine Shall Noise Upon (Headless Heroes) a layered, innerspace masterpiece shimmering, twinkling and pulsating like a stoned afternoon in the park

Brimstone Howl We Came In Peace (Alive) produced by Jim Diamond, the Nebraska band opens for the reformed Electric Prunes next month

The Chemical Brothers Brotherhood (Astralwerks)hits anthology with a second disc of ten experimental “ElectronicBattle Weapons” and guests the Flaming Lips, Spank Rock and NoelGallagher; also available in a two-LP vinyl edition

Dreadful Yawns Take Shape (Exit Stencil Recordings) fourth album from the psychedelic Cleveland ensemble

Giant Sand Provisions (Yep Roc) backed by a Danish three-piece, Howie Gelb returns with guests Isobel Campbell, Neko Case and M. Ward

Hatebreed Live Dominance (Koch) DVD featuring the entire Detroit concert stop on their Supremacy Tour, and packed with bonus goodies

Donnie Klang Just a Rolling Stone (Bad Boy Records) debut from the winner of P. Diddy’s fourth season of “Making The Band”

Kraftwerk Kraftwerk and the Electronic Revolution (Sexy Intellectual/MVD) documentary DVD

Laibach Volk Dead In Trbovlje (Mute) touring North America late next month, this live concert DVD was filmed in their hometown of Trbovlje, Slovenia

Mad Juana Bruja On the Corner (Acetate) all new from Sami Yaffa, formerly of Hanoi Rocks and currently handling bass duties for the New York Dolls, this wild and old-timey New Orleans jazz collective features vocalist Karmen Guy

Michael Lington Heat (Nu Groove) featuring a cover of Gerry Rafferty’s “Baker Street” with “American Idol”’s Ace Young

New Kids on the Block The Block (Interscope) yikes! lead-pipe pipe-dream return after 14 years, with guests Akon, Ne-Yo and Pussycat Dolls

Prima Donna After Hours (Acetate) glam-era saxophone fueled retro rock from a young quintet too boyish to remember the heyday of CBGB’s and Max’s Kansas City

The Residents The Bunny Boy (Santa Dog Records) Nineteen twisted new ditties in the vein of earlier work like The Commercial Album and Duck Stab

The Smithereens B-Sides the Beatles (Koch) featuring cool cover art by Mad magazine’s Jack Davis and covering a dozen Beatles’ B-sides, including “Thank You Girl,” “If I Fell” and “There’s a Place”

Southside Johnny and La Bamba’s Big Band Grapefruit Moon: The Songs of Tom Waits (LeroyRecords) featuring a duet with Waits on his own “Walk Away and StartOver Again,” this smoky, lush, dreamy collection of jazzinterpretations is kept on the beat with drummer Richie “La Bamba”Rosenberg of the Max Weinberg 7

Underoath Lost In the Sound of Separation (SolidState) available as a standard CD, a “special edition” with a bonusDVD, and as a limited-edition of 5,000 twin, saw-blade shaped 10-inchvinyl EP’s in a five-panel, fold-out sleeve, hand numbered and signedby the band

UNKLE End Times… Stories for Film (SurrenderAll) featuring the track “Trouble In Paradise” as used in the BMWtelevision ad campaign and music from Spike Jonze’s “Fully Flared”skate video, guests Josh Homme, Black Mountain, and Joel Cadbury ofSouth collaborate on this collection of material influenced by themoving image

Brian Wilson That Lucky Old Sun (Capitol) with narrative tracks by Van Dyke Parks various artists —

Acoustic Arabia (Putumayo) mellow breeze collection of musicians from North Afric and the Middle East various artists —

Calypsoul 70 (Strut)subtitled Caribbean Soul and Calypso Crossover 1969-1979, this 20-trackcollection gets funky with Trinidad’s steel pan drums and Latin rhythmsvarious artists —

You Heard It Here First (Ace)import only collection of original songs before they became a hit bysomeone else, including Gloria Jones’ “Tainted Love,” Mark James’“Suspicious Minds” and Johnny Darrell’s “Ruby, Don’t take Your Love ToTown”

John James can be found via cyberspace at