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The Music Guy

by John James

Magna Carta Records has just released a snarling, six-string shredfest specially designed for metal heads in need of a blazing, mental beat down. Guitars That Ate My Brain is just that – a dozen axe grinding instrumentals that signify the state of the metal arts with a gnarled, zombie devil-horn salute. The who’s who of squeal merchants include Guns N’ Roses’ Bumblefoot, Testament’s James Murphy, Daath’s Eyal Levi and Emil Werstler, Korn’s Shane Gibson and Strapping Young Lad’s Devin Townsend…. Another new guitar compilation delivers more spice than just heat, with Groove Rock Records’ Jimi Hendrix Tribute: Third Stone From the Sun. Following his Guitar Masters series on BHP Records, composer and guitarist Brian Tarquin collected the eager participants, which feature Hal Lindes of Dire Straits, James Ryan of Men At Work, Howard Hunt and bassist Randy Coven, who turns in a run at the “Star Stangled Baner” ala Jimi…

Television Alert: “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” welcomes Erin McCarley on Thursday, Annie Lennox on Friday, Lily Allen on Monday and Andrew Bird on Tuesday; “Late Night with Conan O’Brien” hosts They Might Be Giants on Thursday and the Jonas Brothers on Friday; “The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson” boasts Shirley Manson on Thursday and Glen Campbell on Friday overnight; and “Austin City Limits” presents Sarah McLachlan & Duffy this weekend. New Releases Coming Tuesday, Feb. 17: (and like the winds, young grasshopper, are subject to change…) Asobi Seksu — Hush (Polyvinyl) heavenly duo that hovers in Cocteau Twins territory in “Familiar Light” And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead — The Century of Self (Richter Scale/Justice) with Conrad Keely solo with his piano in “Insatiable” Appleseed Cast — Sagarmatha (Militia Group) Joseph Arthur and the Lonely Astronauts — Temporary People (Lonely Astronaut) backed by an alumnus that includes Twilight Singers, The Jayhawks and Fur Slide Azita — How Will You? (Drag City) mental waltzes, howling wails and cabaret romantics from the Chicago chanteuse and pianist, back by John Herndon of Tortoise and Matt Lux of Isotope 217 Robbert Blobbert — Robbert Blobbert and the Bubble Machine (Little Monster) alter-ego children’s album and coloring book from Robert Schneider of Apples In Stereo, singing the praises of elephants, super heroes and clocks Broken Spindles — Kiss/Kick (Blank.Wav Records) released on the Faint’s boutique label Burn Halo — Burn Halo (Rawkhead) new from James Hart of Eighteen Visions The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem — In Person at Carnegie Hall: The Complete 1963 Concert (Columbia Legacy) reissue from 1963, expanded from its original 38 minutes to almost two hours Mickey Clark — Winding Highways (Ear X-tacy Records) a shining light in the nation’s record retail graveyard, the legendary Louisville, Ky. store has launched a label to spread the love, in this case for the native singer/songwriter joined by cohorts Jerry Jeff Walker, Sam Bush, John Prine and Kinky Friedman on the classic “Don’t Piss On My Boots and Tell Me It’s Rainin’” Alela Diane — To Be Still (Rough Trade) stunning follow-up to The Pirate’s Gospel, a rainy day Gypsy diary that hovers and rises with earthy swells of pedal steel and mandolin — highly recommended! The Drones — Havilah (All Tomorrow’s Parties) Ernie and the Automatics — Low Expectations (Open E) well titled return of Barry Goudreau and Sib Hashian, formerly of the gazillion-selling Boston Ana Egge — Road To My Love (Grace/Parkinsongs Records) Benjy Ferree — Come Back To the Five and Dime, Bobby Dee Bobby Dee (Domino) a musical love letter to child star Bobby Driscoll Robyn Hitchcock & the Venus 3 — Goodnight Oslo (Yep Roc) ten new perfect songs from the enigmatic Englishman and American blood brothers Peter Buck of REM and Scott McCaughey of Young Fresh Fellows, with guests Colin

Meloy of the Decemberists and former Soft Boy Morris Windsor Darryl Holter — Darryl Holter (213 Music) backed by guitarist Nels Cline Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit — Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit (Lightning Rod) all new from the former Drive-By Truckers guitarist Tommy Keene — In the Late Bright (Second Motion Records) eighth solo album from the original power-popper, recently recording with Robert Pollard as the Keene Brothers Living Things — Habeas Corpus (Jive) on tour now with the Eagles of Death Metal, look out for the video for “Let It Rain,” directed by Floria Sigismondi Eleni Mandell — Artificial Fire (Zedtone) with guests DJ Bonebreak of X and Inara George of the bird and the bee Miniature Tigers — Tell It To the Volcano (Modern Art) debut from the band named by tastemaker KCRW-FM as one of the top 10 best at this past year’s CMJ festival Minus the Bear — Acoustics (Suicide Squeeze) seven-track EP of stripped down versions of older songs, plus the bonus “Guns & Ammo” Aidan Moffat and the Best Ofs — How To Get to Heaven From Scotland (Chemikal Underground) new from the Arab Strap founder, also available in a deluxe box set featuring a board game, Valentine’s Day card and a bonus seven-inch single with covers of Glen Campbell’s “Love Is Not a Game” and Sonny and Cher’s “I Got You Babe” Morrissey — Years of Refusal (Lost Highway) Mr. Russia — Teething (Lens Records) debut featuring a cover of the Birthday Party’s “Wild World” NASA — The Spirit of Apollo (Anti) fun and funky debut from Squeak E. Clean and DJ Zegon, with collaborators David Byrne, Tom Waits and MIA and guests John Frusciante, George Clinton, Kool Keith, Chuck D and Ghostface Killah — housed in a special package that features five interchangeable CD covers by Shepard Fairey, Sage Vaughn, Mark Gonzalez, Marcel Dzama and the Date Farmers Outrageous Cherry — Universal Malcontents (Alive Naturalsound) featuring a limited edition orange vinyl LP pressing Psapp — The Camel’s Back (Domino) domestic issue of their third album, known here in the States from their “Grey’s Anatomy” theme song D. Rider — Mother of Curses (Tizona) new avant-garde earthquakes from US Maple’s Todd Albert Rittmann — fuzzy, funky conniptions that get down and dirty in the future stripper classic, “Touchy” School of Seven Bells — “Lamundernodisguise” (Ghostly International) seven-inch vinyl and digital single, promoting their current tour with Fujiya & Miyagi Southeast Engine — From the Forest To the Sea (Misra) with a warm, somber tone akin to Neil Young’s On the Beach, these sons of the magical connective tissue that runs between Dayton and Athens, Ohio have produced a smoky, folksy, basement-lit, Steinbeck-souled masterpiece of nervous hymns with an endearing Appalachian warble Jim Suhler & Monkey Beat — Tijuana Bible (Underworld) George Thorogood’s lead guitarist goes out on his own, with covers of AC/DC’s “Up to My Neck in You,” Rory Gallagher’s “I Could’ve Had Religion” and Elvin Bishop’s “Drunken Hearted Boy” Telepathe — Dance Mother (IAMSOUND) produced by TV on the Radio’s Dave Sitek with guest vocalist Shannon Funchess of !!! Luke Temple — Here We Go Magic (Western Vinyl) spinning in layered rhythms built on organic loops and the ethereal vocalist’s tenor trances These Are Powers — All Aboard Future (Dead Oceans Records) featuring Pat Noecker of the Liars Thursday — Common Existence (Epitaph) on the road this month the Rockstar Taste of Chaos Tour Randy Weeks — Going My Way (Certifiable) with Cindy Cashdollar and Tony & Eliza Gilkyson Vulture Whale — Vulture Whale (Skybucket) don’t be fooled by the cover’s quiet artistic race, this crispy fried Southern rawk was made for turning up loud and shaking the basement rafters various artists —

Dark Was the Night (4AD) continuing the legacy of terrific compilations benefiting the Red Hot Organization, this fantastic two-CD set curated by members of the National is highlighted by the Books & Jose Gonzalez’ cover of Nick Drake’s “Cello Song,” a duet with Feist & Ben Gibbard, and Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings workout of Shuggie Otis’ “Inspiration Information”

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

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