Looking ahead, March 2010-May 2010

I’ve been pretty neglectful keeping up with new releases. I let a new album by STRAIGHTENER and a new single by the brilliant green go by without any notice. Well, I did notice them — I was just too lazy to post about them.

I think part of the difficult with compiling these entires is the slow pace of the release schedule. Since the last time I posted a round-up, I would visit my usual sources for news and be totally underwhelmed by the offerings.

I didn’t report anything because there was nothing to report. And I just get this sense that the malaise of the recording industry’s woes is coming through in the release schedule — why bother putting out product few customers are buying?

Well, here’s what I managed to scrounge up.

bloodthirsty butchers, NO ALBUM Mudai, March 10

It’s pretty clear at this point the post-Tabuchi Hisako era has marked something of a decline in the band’s sound. Is her influence undue? I would need a really compelling reason to part cash for this next album.

YUKI, Ureshikutte Dakiau you, March 10

Is YUKI still an indie rock dilettante? I haven’t really been paying attention since her second album.

Sam Amidon, I See the Sign, March 30

NPR played a few tracks from this album, and it’s got a lot more electronics on it. Nico Muhly’s influence was muted on those tracks.

UA, Haluto Live, April 7

Following her standard pattern, UA release yet another live album following a studio album. (Did she release one after Golden green? I forget.) I have to say I wasn’t very taken with ATTA.

Rufus Wainwright, All Days are Nights: Songs for Lulu, April 20

I grabbed a documentary about Rufus Wainwright’s opera off of Sundance Channel a few weeks ago, and I still have yet to watch the last half hour of it. Opera recordings are pretty much dead, so I doubt one will surface for his. Given Wainwright’s opera fandom, I’m guessing the Lulu somehow refers to the Lulu in Alban Berg’s opera. For this album, he draws text from William Shakespeare.

Spangle call Lilli line, VIEW, April 21

Spangle call Lilli line, forest at the head of a river, June 23

Spangle call Lilli line is going to inundate listeners again, first with a single on March 17 titled "dreamer", then with a full-length album on April 21, followed on June 23 with an EP. When it rains, it pours …

Onitsuka Chihiro, One of Pillars, April 28

This album will be a third greatest hits collection for Onitsuka. EMI released the ultimate collection and SINGLES 2000-2003, and now Universal is releasing One of Pillars. C’mon — she’s only made two albums with you guys. Half of the tracks come from the EMI years, the other half from Universal, with one new track. Is that really much incentive?

Tracey Thorn, Love and Its Opposite, May 18

I really, really wanted to like Tracey Thorn’s first post-Everything But the Girl album, but it just wasn’t engaging enough.

Duran Duran, Notorious (Special Edition), TBD

Duran Duran, Big Thing (Special Edition), TBD

EMI’s fortunes must really be in a bind if they’re going to be giving deluxe treatments to these albums. Don’t get me wrong — I’ve been wanting to hear Big Thing remastered for at least a decade, and I would love to see the "Do You Believe in Shame?" video again. (Also-ran of a song, but beautiful video.) But are there really that many Duranies to booster the label’s flagging sales? Must be.

Updated dates

  • Duran Duran, Duran Duran (Special Edition), March 30
  • Duran Duran, Seven and the Ragged Tiger (Special Edition), March 30
  • Natalie Merchant, Leave Your Sleep, April 13
  • Arcadia, So Red the Rose (Special Edition), April 13


  • Kevin says:

    RE: the Onitsuka best, this is the first best album she’s probably had some say in since the two with EMI were released after they dropped her. I think making it a two-disc, with B-sides and other oddities making up the second one, would’ve been a nicer deal, but I suppose she does need to make more money for her promotion activities, since her stuff with Universal hasn’t exactly been selling.
    At least I can get this and forgo “the ultimate collection”, since most of the songs from that disc are on this one.
    As for YUKI, her new album has the breadth of “COMMUNE” but retains her pop sound. “PRESENT” is a rather delightful rock tune that harkens to her older style, though.
    There’s a new Sasagawa Miwa EP coming out on the 18th March, although like most of her recent releases it’ll be available only through April Records’ online shop and at her live venues.
    And Cocco’s been recording, so hopefully that means something new won’t be too far away.

  • Kyle says:

    The new Butchers album is hella solid, much better than their last record. There aren’t really any blustering rock assaults along the lines of Faust, Houi, or Kanashimi wo Buttobase, but instead a lot of thoughtfully-constructed tunes with strong melodies. Bokutachi no Shissou, Ocean, Yosho, and Blackout are all great, but none of the tracks comes across as particularly weak. Relative to a band’s legacy, it’s a much stronger album to the butchers’ than The Eternal was to Sonic Youth last year.
    Tabuchi blends in nicely, although I don’t think her presence has much of anything to do with the band’s overall sound. Yoshimura has just moved towards a more melodic, carefully-composed style of songcraft in the past four albums or so, which I think was a great move. The tighter songs fit a mature band like the butchers quite well.