The Music Guy

by John James

A new collection in the Red Hot series benefiting AIDS research is duenext month. Dark Was the Night bears the Beggars Banquet Recordsimprint and promises two CDs curated and compiled by Aaron and BryceDessner of the National, who contribute their own “So Far Around theBend” and a coverof Bob Dylan’s “I Was Young When I LeftHome.” Like previous Red Hot releases, theline-up is top notch with noteables SufjanStevens, Yo La Tengo, Arcade Fire, MyMorning Jacket, Cat Power, Iron & Wine,the Kronos Quartet and Sharon Jones &the Dap-Kings. A number of intriguingcollaborations highlight the set, includingConor Oberst and Gillian Welch, DirtyProjectors and David Byrne, the Booksand Jose Gonzalez, Blonde Redhead andDevestations, and Feist with Ben Gibbard.

Television Alert:

“The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” welcomes Musiq Soulchild tonight, Lady Antebellum on Thursday and the bird and the bee on Monday; “The Late Show with David Letterman” boasts of Montreal on Thursday, Todd Rundgren on Friday and Andrew Bird on Tuesday; “Jimmy Kimmel Live” hosts Boz Scaggs on Tuesday overnight; and catch Fall Out Boy live on “Late Night with Conan O’Brien” this evening and “Live With Regis and Kelly” on Thursday morning.

New Releases Coming Tuesday, Jan. 27: (and like the winds, young grasshopper, are subject to change…)

Afro Samurai: The Resurrection — original television soundtrack (Wu Music Group) presented by the RZA, with guests Rugged Monk, Rah Digga, Boy Jones and Sly Stone

Lily Allen — “The Fear” (Regal) importonly single

the bird and the bee — Ray Guns Are Not Just The Future (Blue Note) offering the bonus “totally rude remix” of “Polite Dance Song” with the digital purchase of the album

Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears — “Gunpowder” (Lost Highway) available only as a digital download or a 10-inch vinyl EP, this is swampy, sassy, pure dynamite old-school funk from the back woods juke joint your momma warned you about, as sweaty and greasy as James Brown fronting a Mississippi Delta-bound Funkadelic

Cotton Jones — Paranoid Cocoon (Suicide Squeeze Records) new from Michael Nau and Whitney McGraw of Page France

d’lek — Gutter Tactics (Ipecac)

Diagonal — Diagonal (Rise Above) organdriven psychedelic wig-out that straddles between free-form jazz and cubic King Crimson chases

Pat DiNizio — Pat DiNizio/Buddy Holly (Koch) love letter to the roots of rock icon, covering eleven of Holly’s best including a doo-wop spin on “That’ll Be the Day” and inventive string arrangements by Charles Calello

Diplo — Decent Work for Decent Pay: Collected Works: Volume One (Big Dada/ Ninja Tune) compilation with remixes of songs by MIA, Daft Punk, Spank Rock and Hot Chip

Fleet Foxes — “Mykonos” (Bella Union) import-only single Franz Ferdinand — Tonight: Franz Ferdinand (Domino) also available in a “special edition” featuring a hardback book, six bonus 7-inch singles, a dub mix of the entire album and a documentary DVD

Damon Fowler — Sugar Shack (Blind Pig) sporting a rockin’ cover of Merle Haggard’s “Tonight the Bottle Let Me Down” by the slide guitarist

Andy Friedman — Weary Things (City Salvage Records) a famed cartoonist with work appearing in The New York Times and The New Yorker, the Brooklyn-based singer sets a sad tone with “I Miss Being Broken, Lowdown and Alone” and rocks the house with the George Thorogood boogie of “Locked Out of the Building”

From Jupiter — No, Seriously (Third Eye) produced by Mudrock, this is high-energy punk-pop from former members of Class Clown

Future of the Left — Last Night I Saved Her From Vampires (4AD) live album

The Guggenheim Grotto — Happy the Man (United For Opportunity Records) second album from the Dublin duo, recently capturing the No.-1 spot on iTunes folk chart

Hoobastank — For (N)ever (Island) featuring the single “My Turn”

Lars Horntveth — Kaleidoscopic (Smalltown Supersound) masterful, adventurous 37-minute composition by the National Band and Jaga Jazzist founder, using the 41 members of the Latvian National Orchestra to paint this slow motion Alice In Wonderland wandering stroll

Hot Chip — Made In the Dark EP (Parlophone) limited edition CD of three songs recrafted with Robert Wyatt and a remix of “One Pure Thought” by Geese

Kid Sister — Dream Date (Downtown)

LeATHERMOUTH — XO (Epitaph) with guest Frank lero of My Chemical Romance

The Mickeys — Walk Along (RiverBeat Music) sophomore release from the identical twins, covering Tom Petty’s lullaby “Alright for Now”

Kylie Minogue — Boombox: The Remix Album 2000-2008 (Astralwerks) with knob twiddling courtesy of the Chemical Brothers, Fischerspooner, Knuckleheadz and Sebastien Leger

My Chemical Romance — “Desolation Row” (Reprise) 12” vinyl picture-disc advance single from the Watchmen soundtrack, covering Bob Dylan and backed by a track from Tyler Bates’ film score

My Morning Jacket — Live At the Palms (iTunes exclusive) six-track digital-only EP affectionately dubbed “Ryan Pickett Presents, in Association with Pickettmax

Films: Candles and Panties ’08-the iTunes EP- LIVE in Las Vegas! A Ryan Pickett Production” in tribute to their sound engineer

Nickel Eye — The Time of the Assassins (Ryko) new solo album from Strokes’ bassist Nikolai Fraiture, with guest pianist Regina Spektor and the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s Nick Zinner on guitar, closing out with a cover of Leonard Cohen’s “That’s No Way To Say Goodbye”

Of Montreal — The Jon Brion Remix EP (Polyvinyl) five-track CD EP featuring an acoustic version of “First Time High” and extended and intrumental versions of “Gallery Piece”

Mark Olson & Gary Louris — Ready For the Flood (New West) a perfect harmony reunion produced by the Black Crowes’ Chris Robinson, this is the first new music from the Jayhawks co-founders in over 10 years — setting out across America acoustically next month

The Alan Parsons Project — Pyramid, Eve, The Turn of a Friendly Card, Ammonia Avenue, Stereotomy and Gaudi (Arista Legacy) six more remastered reissues under the complete transformation of his entire catalog, featuring many bonus demos, alternative vocal, and overdubbed rarities, including a “more cowbell” mix of “Games People Play”

Kenneth Pattengale — Storied Places (Milan) flickering in the candle light of Lyle Lovett, James Taylor and the Guthries, these clever, seductive and relaxed songs evoke the vagabond-hobo and the cool, sly lean of Tom Waits

Rhythm Angels — Girls Like Us (High Horse) easy going, harmonic debut from the female acoustic duo, highlighted by the haunting “If I Had a Gun”

Sepultura — A-LEX (Steamhammer/SPV) CD or two-LP set inspired by Anthony Burgess’ novel A Clockwork Orange

Bruce Springsteen — Working On a Dream (Columbia) “deluxe edition” featuring a bonus behind-the-scenes DVD

Volcano Suns — All Night Lotus Party & The Bright Orange Years (Merge) remastered reissues

Tyrone Wells — Remain (Universal Republic) pensive pop from the Spokane, Wash. singer/songwriter who has found his work scattered featured in episodes of television’s “One Tree Hill,” “Rescue Me” and “The Ghost Whisperer” various artists

Johnny Cash Remixed (Compadre) previously only available digitally, the CD features a Pete Rock remix of “Folsom Prison Blues,” Alabama 3’s take on “Leave That Junk Alone” and Snoop Dogg adding some flavor to QDT Music’s remix of “I Walk the Line” various artists

Just Like Heaven: A Tribute To the Cure (American Laundromat) reinterpretations of 16 forgotten classics, highlighted by “The Lovecats” by Tanya Donelly, “Friday I’m In Love” by Dean & Britta and “Let’s Go To Bed” by Cassettes Won’t Listen

John James can be found via cyberspace at