Looking ahead: Aug. 2006-Oct. 2006

To adapt a phrase from Project Runway’s dapper Tim Gunn, this coming fall release schedule concerns me.

I’ve been putting off throwing together a "Looking Ahead" entry till I get a nice long list of future releases that attract my interest. I’ve been waiting a long time.

That’s not to say it’s not going to be a packed season — it’s just not going to have anything for which I’d throw down money. And that’s true for Japanese releases as well.

Mindy Smith, Long Island Shores, Oct. 10

Smith’s debut album, One Moment More, had a pretty strong hold on my playback devices back in 2003, and had it not been for Shiina Ringo and Art-School, she probably would have topped my favorite list of the year. What drew me in was a faint resemblance to Harriet Wheeler of the early-’90s British band the Sundays. I’m hoping she can avoid the sophomore slump.

… And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead, So Divided, Nov. 7

Worlds Apart made it on my favorite list of 2005 before 2005 had even started. But the album got the short shrift, and the toned-down prog-rock of the music left fans cold. Still, I love Conrad Keely’s candor with Billboard magazine about Worlds Apart and the new album.

[UPDATE, 09/22/06 08:22] First Oct. 3. Then Oct. 24. Now Nov. 7. WTF, Interscope? What shocking news.

Audra McDonald, Build a Bridge, Sept. 26

McDonald has an angelic voice and a knack for digging up theater rarities. Her last album, Happy Songs, felt a bit too measured and didn’t swing nearly as hard enough. The track listing of this album looks fascinating — Rufus Wainwright, Neil Young, John Mayer and Laura Nyro? I’m intrigued.

Chara, "Sekai", Sept. 13

It’s been a while since Chara has released anything, and now comes word she’s switched from long-time label Sony Music to A&M. "Sekai" is Chara’s first single for the label, and I believe her first release of any kind since 2004’s A scenery of me.

Yuki, Wave, Sept. 6

I didn’t realize it’s only been 17 months since the release of Yuki’s previous album, Joy (which I don’t actually remember listening to — probably means I didn’t.) It somehow feels longer than that. Wave includes her last five singles.

The Killers, Sam’s Town, Oct. 3

I think I like the Killers far more than someone my age should. Because really — I’ve got all of Duran Duran’s albums, so what’s the point of listening to the Killers?

Sting, Songs from the Labyrith, Oct. 10

I haven’t been interested in a Sting album since 1999’s Brand New Day, and I haven’t been entertained by a Sting album since 1987’s … Nothing Like the Sun. My interest in this album is like a rubbernecker’s interest in a carwreck. Sting presumes to able to perform the works of John Dowland on the lute. This, I gotta hear.

Maná, Amar Es Combatir, Aug. 22

I thought I liked this band. And I did see a really good concert of theirs back in 1999. But Revolucíon de Amor really blew, and I can’t say I was enamoured enough of Suénos Líquidos to keep it around. I’ve even parted with the MTV Unplugged album that has all their early hits. I’d much rather have a new album from Café Tacuba or Molotov.

Dead Can Dance, Wake: The Best of Dead Can Dance, Oct. 10

R.E.M., And I Feel Fine … The Best of the I.R.S. Years 1982-1987, Sept. 12

There are a lot of rarities on And I Feel Fine … which I don’t think I’m terribly interested in investigating. What can this disc offer me that Eponymous can’t? Remastering, perhaps? I have only one Dead Can Dance album (Spiritchasing) but I’ve always been vaguely interested in what else this band has produced. But the double-disc Wake may be too much for me, so I may stick with the earlier release, Memento.

Spangle call Lilli line, since, Oct. 11

syrup16g, Shoomyaku, Oct. 4

syrup16g, Doomyaku, Oct. 4

I mentioned the Spangle call Lilli line collection previously. I never warmed up to syrup16g, although alot of Japanese indie fans have. Daizawa is releasing not one, but two best collections.

Lucinda Williams, The Knowing, Nov. 7

Beck, The Information, Oct. 3

Enigma, A Posteriori, Sept. 26

I may not actually get these albums myself, but I’m sure other folks would be interested in the news. I think the only Lucinda Williams album I need is Car Wheels on a Gravel Road — the albums she recorded since never won me over. I’ve always been bemused by Beck — back in the ’90s, everyone was wetting themselves over his cut-and-paste music. I was far more entertained by John Zorn/Naked City. Enigma — that’s the proto-Enya.