The Clash at Shea and some Doors remastered with goodies

The UK’s Parlophone Records imprint has announced an upcoming benefit album to raise funds for War Child’s efforts in Afghanistan, Iraq, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Heroes is due November 24, and follows in the tradition began with Help! in 1995, Hope in 2002 and the fastest-selling digital album in history, Help: A Day In the Life, in 2005. The new collection puts a unique twist on the “covers caravan” with a popular artist or band selecting one of their own songs to be reinterpreted by another artist of their nomination. A handful of confirmed participants make this a must-seek CD, with Beck trying on Bob Dylan’s “Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat,” the Kooks offering their hand to the Kinks’ “Victoria,” and Duffy slipping into the James Bond tuxedo of Paul McCartney and Wings’ “Live and Let Die.” In related news, Eagle Rock Records’ home video arm, Eagle Vision, has just released a DVD of London’s War Child benefit concert last year, curated by Keane. Highlights include friends Brendan Benson, the Magic Numbers, Teddy Thompson and Lily Allen — performing her hit “Smile” and “Everybody’s Changing.” This week, another Eagle Vision treat arrives in stores — two complete Tori Amos concerts from 1991 and 1992. Together on one DVD or an abridged CD, Tori Amos Live at Montreux captures the blossoming solo artist a few months before Little Earthquakes was released, and then again, shortly after. Two cool covers made her appearance at the 25th and 26th annual summer jazz concert, Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” and Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love.”

Television Alert:  

“The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” hosts Nikka Costa tonight, Jack’s Mannequin on Thursday and Adele on Monday; “The Late Show with David Letterman” presents Lucinda Williams on Thursday and the Pretenders on Monday; “Late Night with Conan O’Brien” features Ben Folds on Thursday, Nick Cave on Friday, Jenny Lewis on Monday and Death Cab for Cutie on Tuesday overnight; “The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson” offers Michael Franti & Spearhead on Thursday and Randy Newman on Friday overnight; Tavis Smiley sits down with Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine tonight; and “Saturday Night Live”’s musical guest this weekend is the Killers.

Latest Releases:

The Acorn — Heron Act (Paper Bag) rarities compilation featuring a cover of Cyndi Lauper’s “Good Enough,” XM Radio sessions and exclusive tracks only previously found on the websites Daytrotter and My Old Kentucky Blog

Antony and the Johnsons – Another World (Secretly Canadian) this CD EP is the group’s first new music since winning the UK’s Mercury Prize in 2005

Autumn — Velvet Sky (Bull Creek) featuring a cover of Patty Griffin’s “Nobody’s Crying”

Castanets — City of Refuge (Asthmatic Kitty) with guests Sufjan Stevens and Jana Hunter, this sparse, haunted crow’s flight over baked desert is a spaghetti Western for the mind, searching for water and redemption

The Clash — Live at Shea Stadium (Epic/Legacy) opening for the Who and touring America to promote the release of Combat Rock, this rainy night in October 1982 is documented in the CD’s liner notes by photographer Bob Gruen

Crooked Fingers — Forfeit/Fortune (Red Pig/Constant Artists) with guests Neko Case and members of Silver Jews, also available in a deluxe edition with alternative artwork and a bonus DVD of solo performances by founder Eric Bachmann

Deerhoof — Offend Maggie (Kill Rock Stars) divided into two acts

Department of Eagles — In Ear Park (4AD Records) with guests Chris Bear and Chris Taylor of Grizzly Bear

DOA — Northern Avenger (Sudden Death) 12th studio album from these punk godfathers from the Great White North, back to their earliest ferocity and glory with producer Bob Rock

Donovan — Sunshine Superman: The Journey Of Donovan (SPV) three-hour documentary DVD with Bob Dylan, the Beatles and Pete Seeger

The Doors — Perception (Rhino) box set of the band’s six albums remastered on CD with 5.1 surround sound, with a corresponding DVD for each with lyrics, photo albums and other goodies

Bob Dylan — Tell Tale Signs: The Bootleg Series, Vol. 8 (Columbia) two-CD set of rarities, also available in a limited-edition with a bonus disc, seven-inch single and 150-page hardcover photo book

Grails — Doomsdayer’s Holiday (Temporary Residence) with guest vocalist Alan Bishop of Sun City Girls on “Predestination Blues”

Jolie Holland — Living and the Dead (Anti/Epitaph) with guests M Ward, Marc Ribot and Be Good Tanyas’ Samantha Patton

Hot Lava — Lavalogy (Bar None) sassy, bubblegum-snapping, flashbulb-popping winks n’ frugs from this Richmond, Va. collective with a genesis as a Pretenders tribute band called the Pretend Pretenders

I Set My Friends On Fire — You Can’t Spell Slaughter Without Laughter (Epitaph)

Gabriel Kahane — Gabriel Kahane (Wasted Storefront Records) with guest Sufjan Stevens on vocals, acoustic guitar and piano, and Nickel Creek’s Chris Thile on mandolin

The Little Ones — Morning Tide (Chop Shop/Atlantic) on tour this month with the Walkmen

Medeski Martin & Wood — Radiolarians 1 (Indirecto) the first in a three part series, soon to be compiled in a box set

Megapuss — Surfing (Vapor) meaning “big kiss” in Swedish, this new duo is made up of Devendra Banhart and Greg Rogove of Priestbird

Michna — Magic Monday (Ghostly International) sample-free boom-bap, tweak-a-freak debut from the DJ formerly known as Egg Foo Young

Juana Molina — Un Dia (Domino) fourth album from the Argentinean singer/songwriter, with guest Vashti Bunyon guitarist Gareth Dickson

Jay Nash — The Things You Think You Need (Bonded Records) with guests Sara Bareilles and members of Counting Crows

Oasis — Dig Out Your Soul (Big Brother) featuring the single “The Shock of the Lightning,” the new album is available in five different editions with the sweetest configuration boasting two CDs, a DVD, four LPs and a book in a box set

The Panics — Cruel Guards (Dew Process/Music Allies) domestic issue of last year’s winner of Australia’s Triple J Award for “Album of the Year,” this soaring, modestly majestic quintet takes to the American highway this winter

Charlie Pickett — Bar Band Americans: The Best Of (Bloodshot) 19-track compilation of this hard-workin’ blues punk from the early 1980s, reaching back to rare seven-inch singles, long out-of-print albums and live recording from their swampy, backwoods Florida home

The Pretenders — Break Up the Concrete (Shangri-La Music) featuring two bonus tracks on the iTunes edition

Lou Reed — Lou Reed’s Berlin: Original Film Soundtrack (Matador) also released on DVD this week, the CD companion features guests Sharon Jones, Rob Wassermann and the Brooklyn Youth Chorus

Silver Darling — Your Ghost Fits My Skin (Crossbill Records) last-call wails and prayers from this soul-stirring Americana trio from Sacramento, Calif. like Nick Cave taking residency in the Deadwood Saloon

The Spinto Band — Moonwink (Park the Van) emulsifying the offbeat effervescence of Pavement and XTC, this euphoric power-pop was honed while touring with Rilo Kelly and the Arctic Monkeys

Static-X — Cannibal Killers Live (Reprise) DVD filmed earlier this year in Spokane, Washington

The Status — So This is Progress (Doghouse) with guests from Bayside and Taking Back Sunday

The Streets — Everything is Borrowed (Vice) fourth album from Mike Skinner

Tesla — Forever More (Tesla Electric Company)

Frank Turner — Love Ire & Song (Arbor Records) a big hit on the UK independent charts, this sophomore release carries the proud, billowing flag of Billy Bragg and social conciousness, name-checking Gram Parsons and St. George in “I Knew Prufrock Before He Got Famous”

The Windupdeads — The Windupdeads (One Eleven Records) melancholy debut from Sweden

various artists — Amazon/Tribe: Songs for Survival (Kensaltown Records) compiled by Bruce Parry of the BBC, this benefit CD for Survival International features Yusuf Islam, the Go! Team, Hot Chip and a new super group, Apparatjik, made up of members of Coldplay, Mew and a-ha

various artists — Rich Man’s War: New Blues & Roots Songs of Peace and Protest (Ruf Records) with Candye Kane, Bob Brozman, Guitar Shorty and Norman & Nancy Blake

John James can be found via cyberspace at