The Music Guy

The long awaited return of Queen — well, at least half of them – arrives this coming Tuesday with guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor backing former Bad Company vocalist Paul Rodgers. The stargazing album’s title The Cosmos Rocks is rather fitting, with May’s recent doctorate in astrophysics. Sorry, but his PhD thesis, A Survey of Radial Velocities in the Zodiacal Dust Cloud, is not included in the liner notes. Fans across America get a special front-row seat experience on Nov. 6 when more than 400 movie theaters present Queen Paul Rodgers: Let the Cosmos Rock in a special one-night showing. The concert experience was filmed last month in Freedom Square in Kharkov, Ukraine before 350,000 fans in collaboration with the Elena Franchuk ANTIAIDS Foundation and the Queen’s Mercury Phoenix Trust. Check out for a complete listing of participating theaters. Feeling misty over the absence of the irreplaceable Freddie Mercury? Hollywood Records is also issuing bonus expanded, remastered editions of 1974’s Queen II and Sheer Heart Attack, 1975’s A Night at the Opera and 1976’s A Day at the Races…

Television Alert:  

“The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” hosts the Cold War Kids on Tuesday; “The Late Show with David Letterman” presents James Taylor on Tuesday; “Late Night with Conan O’Brien” offers the Black Crowes on Tuesday overnight; “The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson” boasts the Cold War Kids on Thursday and Lenka on Friday overnight; “Jimmy Kimmel Live” features Lady Gaga on Thursday, Smashing Pumpkins on Friday and Alkaline Trio on Tuesday overnight; “Austin City Limits” is all new with Carrie Rodriguez & Jakob Dylan on Saturday; and “Saturday Night Live”’s musical guest this weekend is Coldplay.

Releases this week: (and like the winds, young grasshopper, are subject to change…)

88-Keys — The Death of Adam (Decon) with guests Kanye West, Bilal and Redman

Ryan Adams & The Cardinals — Cardinology (Lost Highway) featuring a bonus seven-inch single with the pre-ordered vinyl edition

Catz ‘n Dogz — Stars of Zoo (Mothership Music) warm electronic waves of lush deep house from the Polish duo

Chairlift — Does You Inspire You (Kanine) catchy, creepy cool trio lost in ‘p’80s playful synthesizer pop, hot off tour with Ariel Pink

Chiodos — Bone Palace Ballet: Grand Coda (Equal Vision) expanded reissue featuring four new songs and acoustic versions of “I Didn’t Say I Was Powerful, I Said I Was A Wizard” and “A Letter From Janelle”

Juliette Commagere — Queens Die Proudly (Aeronaut) recently a guest on Puscifer and Avenge Sevenfold’s latest CDs, this luscious, dreamy solo album from the Hello Stranger vocalist features guest Ry Cooder on two songs

William Control — Hate Culture (Victory) solo debut from the Aiden frontman

The Cure — 4:13 Dream (Geffen)

Cut Off Your Hands — “Happy As Can Be” (Frenchkiss) CD EP produced by Bernard Butler

D:Fuse — Thanks For Listening (Lost Recordings) collection of 10 year’s worth of club singles, featuring new versions with vocalist Jes

Dark Captain Light Captain — Miracle Kicker (Loaf Records) gently awakening, tripping debut of spinning, folksy guitar lines and floating beats that conjure childlike explorations in green forests of cool shade and filtering light

Deerhunter — Microcastle (Kranky) with guest vocalist Cole Alexander of the Black Lips on “Saved by Old Times”

The Devil Wears Prada — Plagues (Rise Records) expanded reissue featuring a bonus live DVD

DJ Babu — Duck Season 3 (Nature Sounds Records) new from the Dilated Peoples and Beat Junkies member, with guests Little Brother, Bishop Lamont and MF Doom

Dog Fashion Disco — Beating a Dead Horse, To Death… Again (Rotten Records) rarities collection featuring a heavy cover of the Melvins’ “Anaconda”

Dreamend — The Long Forgotten Friend (Graveface Records) also available in a vinyl LP version with four extra songs, a pop-up gatefold sleeve and a bonus CD of demos and rarities

Greg Dulli — Live At Triple Door (Infernal Recordings) digital-only release of 11 acoustic songs recorded live last year at a benefit show in Seattle, highlighted by stripped down versions of the Afghan Whigs’ “Tonight,” the Gutter Twins’ “Front Street,” the Twilight Singers’ “Candy Cane Crawl” and a cover of Jose Gonzalez’s “Down The Line”

Eagles of Death Metal — Heart On (Downtown) on tour now, Jesse “Boots Electric” Hughes and Josh “Babyduck” Homme return with the party record of the season, equal parts glam-rock flirtation, street-rumble tough and pinball-arcade coy

Forgive Durden — Razia’s Shadow: A Musical (Fueled By Ramen) with guests Greta Salpeter of the Hush Sound, Brendon Urie of Panic At The Disco and Dan Young of This Providence, look for a deluxe edition in a DVD sized package with bonus illustrations and the complete script

Tom Gabel — Heart Burns (Sire) solo EP from the Against Me! vocalist featuring the song “Anna Is A Stool Pigeon,” about environmental activist Eric McDavid, with guests Chuck Ragan of Hot Water Music and Matt Skiba of Alkaline Trio

Genesis — Box Set 3: Genesis 1970-1975 (Rhino) seven CDs and six DVDs expanding Trespass, Nursery Cryme, Foxtrot, Selling England by the Pound and The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway with 5.1 mixes and many rarities

Kaiser Chiefs — Off With Their Heads (Universal) with guest Lily Allen

John Legend — Evolver (Columbia) with guests Andre 3000 and Kanye West, a deluxe edition comes with a bonus DVD

The Matthew Herbert Big Band — There’s Me and There’s You (!K7 Records) fascinating avant-big band jazz love child of Raymond Scott and Prince, this unusual protest album is colored with unusual samples with an performance art pedigree, like the track “Yessness,” utilizing 100 people saying “yes”

Joey Rory — The Life of a Song (Sugar Hill) featuring heart stirring country ballads and a love for a simpler time, the husband and wife duo lay out a must-hear, slowed down, pensive take of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s classic “Freebird”

Lunatic Soul — Lunatic Soul (KScope) cinematic debut from Mariusz Duda of Riverside

OMFGG: Music Featured on Gossip Girl No. 1 — original television series soundtrack (Atlantic) featuring the Ting Tings, Phantom Planet, the Virgins, Republic Tigers, Crystal Castles, the Kooks and a cool cover of Siouxsie & the Banshees’ “Cities In Dust” by Junkie XL

Pink — Fun House (LaFace) featuring the single “So What”

Rewiring Genesis — A Tribute to The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway (Prog Rock Records) two-CD, song-by-song reinterpretation of the classic Genesis album from the Peter Gabriel era, given a theatric new life by Nick D’Virgilio of Spock’s Beard and a band of Nashville session players

Boz Scaggs — Speak Low (Decca) collection of standards by Rodgers & Hart, Ellington and Johnny Mercer

School of Seven Bells — Alpinisms (Ghostly International) taking their name from a mythical school for pickpockets and soon to tour with M83, this soaring psychedelic spinner from Benjamin Curtis of Secret Machines and an ethereal pair of twin vocalists shimmers and dives like electronic starlings in flight

Sly & Robbie/Amp Fiddler — Inspiration Information (Strut) all new collaboration from the reggae icons and the Detroit soul vocalist, sweetly take a long slow draw from the funk pipe on terrific new original jams and a reworking of George Clinton’s “Paint the White House Black”

State of Shock — Life, Love & Lies (Universal Republic) debut from Canada featuring the smash hit “Money Honey” and two new songs on this stateside release

T. Raumschmiere — I Tank You (Shitkatapult) bite-down-hard techno beats and crushed black velvet fuzz with guests Tim Vanhamel of Deus, Warren Suicide and Puppetmastaz; also available in a two-CD set with a bonus disc of instrumental versions

Tractor Kings — Homesick (Spur/Parasol) featuring a reverb-soaked, knee-slapping cover of Bob Dylan’s “Masters of War”

Unbunny — Sensory Underload (Hidden Agenda) 18 singles and long-lost EP tracks from Jarid del Deo’s alter ego

Lucinda Williams — Lu in 08 (Lost Highway) four-song digital-only EP featuring the new, politically inspired “Bone of Contention,” covers of Buffalo Springfield’s “For What It’s Worth” and Bob Dylan’s “Masters of War,” and a collaboration with Wayne Coyne and the Thievery Corporation, “Marching the Hate Machines Into the Sun”

various artists — Women of Jazz (Putumayo) featuring Etta James, Cassandra Wilson and Della Griffin, highlights include covers of Leonard Cohen’s “Dance Me to the End of Love” by Madeleine Peyroux and Jackie Wilson’s hit “I’ll Be Satisfied” by Hope Waits

John James can be found via cyberspace at