Looking ahead: September 2008-December 2008

I must have started this entry at least three times, trying to cull release news of interest (to me.) So most of this entry contains releases already scooped in earlier posts. I included a few other potentially news worthy items, and of course, I have to mention the Shiina Ringo boxed set coming out Nov. 25. Mostly, this fall looks as bad as last year in terms of interesting releases. I didn’t think I could take "bored to death" so literally.

Philip Glass, Glass Box, Sept. 23

Nonesuch released boxed set retrospectives for Steve Reich (Works) and John Adams (Ear Box). Now the label is doing one for Philip Glass. I think I’ll wait for the pared down version that may come later, if history is any indication. See John Adams, Hallelujah Junction: A Nonesuch Retrospective below.

The Replacements, All Shook Down (remastered), Sept. 23

The Replacements, Don’t Tell a Soul (remastered), Sept. 23

The Replacements, Pleased to Meet Me (remastered), Sept. 23

The Replacements, Tim (remastered), Sept. 23

Don’t You Know Who I Think I Was? got me interested, if only fleetingly, in the Replacements’ early work. I think I read a while back the band’s indie albums on Restless got the remastering treatment as well, and now, Rhino offers remasters of the Mats’ major label output as well. Of these albums, I have Don’t Tell a Soul, which is perhaps the least representative of the band. I’d still like to hear it upgraded anyway.

CHARA, kiss, Sept. 24

I don’t know why I haven’t taken to Chara’s most recent album, honey, the way I took to UNION. Both albums find her much more outgoing than her last few efforts for Sony Music. I guess she’s playing catch up for the quiet time between labels, because damn it seems she’s been prolific as of late.

Spangle call Lilli line, Isolation, Sept. 24

As previously reported, this album is "Spangle call Lilli line meets Gothic classical". I don’t know what era of classical music can be considered "Gothic".

The Heavymanners, The Heavymanners, Sept. 24

After Dry & Heavy disbanded back in 2001, Akimoto Takeshi, a.k.a. Heavy, formed the Heavymanners and booked a spot at the Fuji Rock Festival in 2002. But he didn’t think the band was quite ready for prime time, so he waited till 2007 to bring the Heavymanners back into the public eye. Five years — that’s a lot of practice time.

Enigma, Seven Lives, Many Faces, Sept. 30

I liked the last album because it was the least Enigma-like album Michael Cretu has yet created.

Missy Elliott, Block Party, Sept. 30

I don’t know what it will take to make me interested in Missy Elliott again.

U2, Under a Blood Red Sky (Deluxe Edition), Sept. 30

I still don’t have this album. I’m actually waiting for a reissue of The Unforgettable Fire. (There will be a reissue of The Unforgettable Fire, right? Right?)

John Adams, Hallelujah Junction: A Nonesuch Retrospective, Oct. 7

Looks like a two-disc retrospective of John Adams’ various recordings for Nonesuch. Jeez — they gave Steve Reich a five-disc budget collection with Phases. I bet they wouldn’t do this to Philip Glass a few years from now. I’m not sure I’m interested in hearing just one movement from Shaker Loops.

Antony and the Johnsons, Another World, Oct. 7

I guess this release will have to do till The Crying Light comes out Jan. 21, 2009.

VOLA & THE ORIENTAL MACHINE, Halan’na-ca Darkside, Oct. 8

Please, please stop hanging around POLYSICS. Thank you.

Lucinda Williams, Little Honey, Oct. 10

Was the last good album Lucinda Williams recorded Car Wheels on a Gravel Road? Because I can’t say I’ve been interested in anything she’s released since then.

ART-SCHOOL, Ghost and Angels, Oct. 15

ART-SCHOOL, Illmatic Baby, Oct. 15

ART-SCHOOL is something of a C-list band for me. I love LOVE/HATE, and on the whole, I dig Kinoshita Riki as a songwriter. Haven’t warmed up to anything since the departure of Hinata Hidekazu and Ooyama Jun, so the retrospective Ghosts and Angels is the perfect release for a casual fan as myself. Very wise to include work from previous labels.

… And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead, Festival Thyme, Oct. 21

Yeah, they kind of seemed to wander there a bit during that time on Interscope. This EP precedes the release of a new album in January 2009.

unkie, too many secrets, Oct. 22

I think the fall release schedule just looks a little brighter now.

ASIAN KUNG-FU GENERATION, Surf Bangaku Kamakura, Nov. 5

I’m still buzzing over World World World. This album had better knock it out of the proverbial park. (Seven months? That’s a quick turnaround.)

avengers in sci-fi, SCIENCE ROCK, Nov. 5

Second album by perhaps the most promising of the SXSW 2008 Japan Nite showcasing artists.

Enya, And Winter Came, Nov. 11

It’s the Christmas album that isn’t, so Enya explains on her official site: "I always wanted to do a Christmas album, but as we began recording I didn’t feel it was right to impose a Christmas theme on certain songs," Nicky Ryan adds: "We started out writing for a Christmas album, but it has evolved into more an Enya album based in a winter landscape where Christmas arrives here and there, but it would be wrong to call it an Enya Christmas album."

Thing is, she’s already got a Christmas release — a few of them, in fact. Gotta say, though — that’s an amazingly short turn-around time for Enya. Three years? That’s almost a record.

Shiina Ringo, MoRABOX, Nov. 25

Nov. 25 is Shiina Ringo’s birthday, and EMI Japan is capping its 10-year anniversary retrospective campaign of Ringo-chan by reissuing her albums and a few straggling singles in one big boxed set. The box comes in two versions — CD and DVD. The albums have been remastered — don’t know why since they’re all compressed to holy hell — with the DVD sporting 24-bit/96 kHz sound. (As if you can really tell the difference in the end?)

Disc one includes Muzai Moratorium and the "Koufukuron" single. Disc two includes Shouso Strip and the "Mayonaka wa Junketsu" single. Disc three includes Karuki Zaamen Kuri no Hana and the "Kuki ~STEM~" single, and disc four contains "Ringo no Uta". The DVD box also includes the recently released B-side collection Watashi to Houden. Other packaging extras include a sticker, postcards, a 100-page booklet and box that plays Shiina’s voice when opened. No, really.

If I were to get this release, I’d pretty much be paying through the nose for fancy packaging. My ears aren’t sophisticated enough to glean a resolution higher than 16-bit/44.1 kHz, and I pretty much have the singles and albums and various ephemera. This release is really for the super fans.

The Killers, Day and Age, Nov. 25

In my review of Sam’s Town, I concluded: "As much as I enjoy it now, I can tell months from now Sam’s Town will strike me as non-essential." How prophetic. I may still check out Day and Age, but I’m keeping my expectations in check.

Matt Alber, Hide Nothing, November 2008

Dude never did acknowledge my friend request on Myspace. I’ll still check this album out when it’s released anyway.

Van Tomiko, TBD, December 2008

Is this album necessary now that Do As Infinity is back together?

Comments

  • Id says:

    Man. That’s depressing. I’ve got a total of four things to look forward to on the Eastern front. One of which is a repackaged set of albums and singles that I already own. Though sadly, the completist in me wants to get that SR box set if only in hopes of acquiring a set of recordings with decent sounding mastering because the clipping and muffled instrumentation (particularly in Shuukyou) on KZK has always bothered me.
    Oh well. At least Mukai sounds like he’s been hanging out with Dave Byrne on IV and hey, new Unkie! That’s not too bad. If Inazawa doesn’t sound like he’s strangling a cat on Halannaca Darkside things’ll get even better. Man, I think I need to start listening to AKG or something.

  • NemesisVex says:

    I don’t think I’ve heard of remastering that used *less* compression, but yeah, Shiina’s albums are some of the most dynamically squashed I’ve encountered. Good for listening to in traffic, though. But boy, is she ever Exhibit A in the Loudness Wars.
    “ZAZEN BOYS 4” is the first time I’m not pre-ordering a ZAZEN BOYS album. The same will also probably go for VOLA & THE ORIENTAL MACHINE. I actually found the Myspace samples of “ZAZEN BOYS 4” encouraging, but Mukai is so far off the deep end, it’s kind of tough meeting him there. When is SLOTH LOVE CHUNKS going to record a second album?

  • Id says:

    I hate how all of the CD’s have sounded ever since the cusp of the millenium. I think “Californication” was when I first started noticing it. It makes you wonder that someone as particular and shrewd as Shiina would ever give the A-okay to such shitty sounding mastering. It obviously works for stuff like “Koufukuron” and “Tsumi to Batsu” but not for every song on an album. I mean, she does listen to her own recordings right? Add to that the fact that we’re likely looking at a digital distro future with shit bit rates due to the flagging sales of CDs and the ubiquity of iPods is vastly depressing to me.
    I’m actually surprised I don’t have ZB IV either. I’ve gotten all of Mukai’s stuff day one, but I was hesitant about IV. The guys over at Keikaku seem to dig it though, and the general consensus over there seems to be II>I>III. I did dig a few of the samples too, so I’ll pick it up.
    Yeah, SLC’s another one I’m really looking forward to, that band has such great dynamics. I’m hoping Detroit 7 release a new album soon too, “Great Romantic” was fucking awesome.

  • Sam says:

    I’m pretty damn excited for ZB4. I’m actually seeing them next Sunday, so I intend to pick it up then.
    I’m 99% sure SLC broke up. Their website hasn’t updated in over a year, and I haven’t found any mentions about lives. Kayo also left the band a while back.