The Music Guy

by John James

John James can be reached via cyberspace at

Fans of Galaxie 500 and Luna can find new music from Dean Wareham and Britta Phillips in a transfixing environment worthy of their haunting, ethereal sounds. The pair, as Dean & Britta, has composed a soundtrack of sorts to a series of mute screen tests filmed by Andy Warhol at his factory, holding time as the subjects stare deeply into the camera’s eye. Plexifilm releases the DVD experience next week, as 13 Most Beautiful… Songs for Andy Warhol’s Screen Tests, with the duo jumping out of their current Mercury Rev tour to perform the songs live on select dates, with projections of these vintage films as perfect accompaniment. Two different editions of the DVD are available with a deluxe edition featuring a hand-printed photo, selected from a unique single frame from one of the original films. Among the anointed by Warhol’s eye include Lou Reed, Edie Sedgwick and Nico… Another cool DVD on the horizon is Shout! Factory’s box set of performances from the charitable comedy shows collectively known as The Secret Policeman’s Ball. The three-CD box, due at the end of this month, is entitled The Secret Policeman’s Balls and focuses on their inception in 1976 through 1989. Musical stars dot the package in what was then a novelty — the unplugged setting — with Peter Gabriel, Kate Bush, Pete Townshend, Phil Collins and Bob Geldof. Two guitar duels find masters in their own right sitting beside greatness, with Mark Knopfler & Chet Atkins and Jeff Beck & Eric Clapton bending strings. Television Alert: “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” welcomes Brett Dannen tonight, Mute Math on Thursday and OAR on Tuesday; “The Late Show with David Letterman” hosts Randy Rogers Band tonight and the Airborne Toxic Event on Friday; “Late Night with Conan O’Brien” boasts Q-Tip on Monday and Susan Tedeschi on Tuesday overnight; “The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson” presents Seal on Monday; Tavis Smiley sits down with Lionel Richie on Friday; and “Austin City Limits” features the Foo Fighters this weekend. New Releases Coming Tuesday, January 20: (and like the winds, young grasshopper, are subject to change…) The 1900’s — Medium High (Parasol) seven-song CD EP of outtakes and B-sides GG Allin and the Murder Junkies — The Best Of (MVD) “best of the worst” DVD collectionAntony and the Johnsons — The Crying Light (Secretly Canadian) on tour now, including Knoxville’s Big Ears Festival Atmosphere — God Loves Ugly (Rhymesayers) deluxe reissue from 2002 featuring a custom sleeve and the bonus Sad Clown Bad Dub DVD BeauSoliel — Alligator Purse (Yep Roc) the 29 th album from the Cajun superstars, featuring a cover of JJ Cale’s “The Problem” and guests Garth Hudson and Natalie Merchant Andrew Bird — Noble Beast (Fat Possum) also available in a deluxe edition featuring the bonus instrumental album Useless Creatures The Black Ghosts — The Black Ghosts (Universal Republic) fueled by a track that shows up in the film Twilight and guest Damon Albarn on “Repetition Kills You” Robbert Bobbert — Robbert Bobbert & the Bubble Machine (Little Monster Records) alter-ego children’s album from Robert Schneider of Apples In Stereo, singing the praises of elephants, superheroes and clocksCalexico — Live from Austin, TX (New West) DVD of their 2006 appearance on the “Austin City Limits” stage, joined by Sam and Sarah Brown of Iron & Wine on “He Lays In Reins” Mariah Carey — The Ballads (Columbia Legacy) 18-track ompilation with guests Luther Vandross, Westlife and Boyz II Men Cash Cash — Take It To the Floor (Universal Republic) sugary sweet techno-pop from the New Jersey group formerly known as the Consequence Clue To Kalo — Lily Perdida (Mush) Australian duo’s clever


concept album with 10 musical observations on the fictional character by her siblings, parents, confidante and peers Cut Off Your Hands — You and I (Frenchkiss) serving up shivers of the Smiths in “Turn Cold” Fiction Family — Fiction Family (ATO) new from Sean Watkins of Nickel Creek and Jon Foreman of Switchfoot John Frusciante — The Empyrean (Record Collection) new from the talented Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist, with Flea and the Smiths’ Johnny Marr Tony Furtado — Deep Water (Funzalo) gorgeous new album from the slide guitar and banjo master, seeped in nature and redemption Lisa Hannigan — Sea Sew (ATO Records) on tour now with Jason Mraz Highly Kind — Don’t Wake Albert (Rockin’ Camel Music) featuring guests James Pennebaker on steel guitar and Randall Bramblett on keyboards, this debut spotlights 17-year-old guitar hotshot Josh Gooch A Hope For Home — The Everlasting Man (Strike First Records) inspired by the G.K. Chesterton’s novel Logan 5 and the Runners — Featurette (Otpor! Records) time traveling back to the days of Duran Duran, the Cars and David Bowie, this Boston band is hooked on Moog synthesizers and platform boots Kill Your Idols — Something Started Here 1995-2007 (Get Outta Town Records) seven-inch singles box set compiling 38 songs from long out-of-print sources Matt & Kim — Grand (Fader Label) with arty synth glints of They Might Be Giants, Telex and XTC, this delightful back-to-the-bedroom DIY album is fun, fun, fun The Meatmen — Rock ‘n’ Roll Juggernaut (Meat King Records) reissue from 1986 on Tesco Vee’s new artist-controlled imprint Mindless Self Indulgence — “Evening Wear”/“Mark David Chapman” (The End) new CD single featuring an previously unreleased track and a QuickTime video Jane Monheit — The Lovers, The Dreamers And Me (Concord) featuring cool jazz covers of Fiona Apple’s “Slow Like Honey” and Corrine Bailey Rae’s “Like A Star” AC Newman — Get Guilty (Matador) second solo album from the New Decemberists’ headmaster Mark Olson & Gary Louris — Ready For the Flood (New West) first new music from the Jayhawks founders in over 10 years Robert Pollard — The Crawling Distance (Guided By Voices Inc) all new in collaboration with Todd Tobias, featuring the ballad “It’s Easy” Sarah RabDAU and Self-Employed Assassins — Sarah RabDAU and Self-Employed Assassins (Say It With Scissors) piano-drum duo led by the powerful vocalist and free spirit, crafting a whirlwind of songs that range from Victorian to futuristic The Refugees — Unbound (Wabuho Records) new folk “supergroup” trio of Cindy Bullens, Wendy Waldman and Deborah Holland Raymond Scott — 100 th Anniversary (Press Pop) following up the toy company’s Bob Moog edition, this limited pressing CD of rarities CD comes with a six-inch high vinyl figure of the legendary composer and his Clavivox keyboard Six Organs of Admittance — RTZ (Drag City) also available on three LP records in a gatefold sleeve, this two-CD set of odds and sods features six live performances and lost singles Swervedriver — Raise & Mezcal Head (Second Motion/Hi- Speed Soul Records) digipack reissues from 1991 and 1993, with four bonus tracks on each Titus Andronicus — The Airing of Grievances (XL Recordings) remastered reissue of their debut, on tour now with los Campesinos Umphrey’s McGee — Mantis (SCI Fidelity Records) fanfriendly album featuring an escalating amount of free bonus material via Digital Insert’s PUSH technology, based on how many pre-orders are sold The Who — The Kids Are Alright (UMe) polished and restored back to the original director’s cut, this enhanced two-disc DVD features multi-angle viewing, a documentary and trivia game Wino — Punctuated Equilibrium (Southern Lord) produced by J. Robbins, this is the solo debut from the Obsessed, Saint Vitus and Hidden Hand guitarist

John James can be found via cyberspace at