The Music Guy

by John James

The Music Guy John James can be reached via cyberspace at Colbie Caillat on Leno and Nickelback rocks Sturgis Live

Although he’s almost cresting 70, there’s no slowing down Tom Jones as the Welsh sexy symbol returns with his newest stateside album in 15 years. 24 Hours has just been released by S-Curve Records and rather than take the sparse, dark and pensive path of many of his seasoned, sunset peers, the new album is flawless, big-strutting, sweat-inducing Tom Jones fever! Written in collaboration with the hot British production team Future Cut, guests Bono and the Edge of U2 crafted a new song, “Sugar

Daddy,” specifically for the hirsute hip-shaker. Two cool covers turn up as well; with a dramatic run at Bruce Springsteen’s “The Hitter” and poppin’ Tommy James’ hit “I’m Alive.” Look for the Welsh heartthrob to hit the talk show circuit next week, stopping by to seduce Tavis Smiley on Monday, “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” on Wednesday and “Jimmy Kimmel Live” on Thursday overnight. Esopus Magazine number 11 has just been released to store shelves and following their previous focuses on spam emails, readers’ dreams and Craigslist missed connections, the new issue contains a bonus CD crafted of original songs inspired by advice. While you may not find the answers to life within, jumping-off points for this eclectic mix range from Ann Landers’ column, dinosaur porn in Savage Love, relationship ruminations from, and a shipwreck survivor’s memoir. Consistently a great place to discover new artists, the disc highlights include Wye Oak, Brazos, Jenny Owen Youngs and the Wingdale Community Singers

— featuring The Ice Storm author Rick Moody, film composer Hannah Marcus and Red Crayola guitarist David Grubbs. Another cool publication attacking both your eyes and ears is the experimental art journal Yeti, just releasing volume number 6, and as in past editions, features a sweet CD. With features on the Sun City Girls, an interview between Eat Skull and Sic Alps, and a focus on New Zealand’s the Clean, the disc includes Devendra Banhart’s new Megapuss project, covers by Crystal Stilts and Times New Viking, and Thom Bullock from Rub ‘n’ Tug’s alias as Way of the Ancients, twiddling with Pink Floyd’s “Set Your Controls for the Heart of the Sun.” Another arts zine, Australia’s The Lifted Brow, is soon to release their own literary/music mashup from an idea floated earlier this year. The editors asked for indie musicians to create new songs based on crazy, imagined book titles, and the final result promises over 300 pages and 40 songs on two CDs. Audio highlights include Goblin Cock, Dan Deacon, Kathy Foster of the Thermals, Scott Kannberg of Spiral Stairs and Claudia Gonson of Magnetic Fields. Three new benefit CDs make for nice gifts this season that give more than once. Asthmatic Kitty

Records and Habitat for Humanity have teamed up for a two-CD set, Habitat, with 29 artists including Stars Like Fleas, Son Lux and Jim Guthrie each spinning tunes about the possibilities of architectural space. A cool new trio makes their debut, Tidal River, comprised of Sufjan Stevens, label founder Lowell Brams and Bryce Dessner of the National. The Hard Rock Café has released another annual installment in their SERVE CD series. SERVE3 is a part of the “Imagine There’s No Hunger” campaign, benefiting World Hunger Year with a live version of Bruce Springsteen’s “Remember When the Music,” Jim’s Electronic Version of My Morning Jacket’s “Look at You” and three nifty covers — the Smiths’ “I Know It’s Over” by the Chapin Sisters, Curtis Mayfield’s “People Get Ready” by Ryan Shaw and Starsailor’s take on Graham Nash’s “Military Madness.” Urban Outfitters and Dangerbird Records have an exclusive two-CD set that supports the children’s cancer research organization Pablove Foundation in Give Listen Help. Boasting a new Garbage song written specifically for this project and others rarities from Oasis, Radiohead, Bloc Party, Rilo Kiley, Jack Johnson, Ladytron and the Decemberists, a second disc compiles tracks from artists in the Dangerbird stable. The Pablove Foundation was started by label President Jeff Castelaz as a reaction to his son Pablo’s five-year fight with the disease…