Sonic Youth Goes Hollywood on "Squares" Print
Music - Music News
Written by John M. James   
Wednesday, 27 June 2007 02:05

Smashing Pumpkins - Zeitgeist With iTunes now the third-largest music retailer in the country and the "big box" stores selling nearly two-thirds of all new CDs, things are getting weird, with more exclusive releases snuggling up with previously unlikely bedfellows. Starbucks and Universal Music have announced an upcoming album of Sonic Youth covers entitled Hits Are for Squares, with contributions by actress Chloe Sevigny, Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder and comedian David Cross. In even more disturbing news, Billy Corgan is forcing fans of Smashing Pumpkins to purchase three slightly different versions of the upcoming Zeitgeist CD if they want all the bonus tracks that close out the disc. With the standard version featuring 12 tracks, does the search for the special rarities head you toward a hip, independent retailer? Unfortunately not, as fans are instead aimed towards iTunes, Best Buy, and Target for "Stellar," "Death From Above," and the title track. One more reason to jump for the iTunes set on pre-sale is a bonus pack of five Pumpkins songs covered by Panic At the Disco, The Bravery, +44, Test Your Reflex, and The Academy Is. Look for the various configurations of CDs and LP vinyls to sport different color combinations on their sleeves.

Turn up the air conditioning to "high," and try to beat back the heat of Tom Jones, a sexy man at age 67, but even more mesmerizing as a 28-year old when his own television series debuted on ABC in 1969. This week the Time Life imprint releases a stunning three-DVD box that captures over five hours of highlights from the variety show, which aired 57 episodes through 1971. With sketch guests Richard Pryor, Peter Sellers, Anne Bancroft, Robert Klein, Pat Paulsen, and an early Fred Willard in the Ace Trucking Company comedy troupe, the family-friendly set features Jones in full, crowd-pleasing form. More thrills between his hit-machine gyrations come from guests Burt Bacharach, The Moody Blues, Little Richard, Mary Hopkin, and Joe Cocker, and cool duets with Stevie Wonder, Janis Joplin and Aretha Franklin. One more video nugget is a must-see: The Who blowing out "Pinball Wizard" from April, 1969.

More smooth-cool and graceful maturity comes from Nick Lowe, releasing his new At My Age album on Yep Roc Records. Now a silver-haired gent in his fifties, Lowe's first new music in six years is worth the wait - relaxed, witty and sweet. With guests Chrissie Hynde of The Pretenders and Commander Cody guitarist Bill Kirchen, three cover tunes slip into the set: Charlie Feathers' "The Man In Love," The Uniques' "Not Too Long Ago" and Farron Young's "Feel Again." Perfect for a slow-awakening Sunday morning, Lowe's pensive words of a real survivor are soaring, comforting and peaceful. Highly recommended.


Television Alert:


The Late Show with David Letterman welcomes Ryan Adams tonight; The Tonight Show with Jay Leno hosts Velvet Revolver on Thursday, Breaking Benjamin on Friday, and Kings of Leon on Monday; The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson gets chatty with Mandy Moore this evening overnight; Last Call with Carson Daly boasts both the Teddybears and Alice Cooper this evening overnight; Jimmy Kimmel Live presents Kelly Rowland this evening and Tiger Army on Thursday overnight; and The Henry Rollins Show on IFC features musical guest Robyn Hitchcock.


New Releases Coming Tuesday, July 3:

... and like the winds, young grasshopper, are subject to change.


2Pac - Evolution: Duets and Remixes (Koch) posthumous remix CD with guests Smif-N-Wessen, Buckshot and Daz Dillinger

Against Me! - "White People for Peace" (WEA) import-only CD and 7" single

Ash - Twilight of the Innocents (Infectious) import-only

Asia - Fantasia: Live in Tokyo (Eagle Rock) two-CD set recorded this past March

Jeff Beck - Official Bootleg USA '06 (Sony / BMG) Japanese import-only CD featuring the 62-year old guitarist blazing through a solo cover of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow"

Elvin Bishop - Booty Bumpin' (Blind Pig) new live CD recorded last year

Circus Diablo - Circus Diablo (Koch) featuring members of The Cult, Camp Freddy and The Almighty, with guest drummer Matt Sorum

Class of 3000: Music From the First Season - original television series soundtrack (LaFace) music by André 3000 of OutKast

Jarvis Cocker - "Fat Children" (Rough Trade) import-only CD and 7" single from the upcoming solo album from the Pulp founder

Damien Dempsey - To Hell or Barbados (United for Opportunity)

DJ Q-Bert - For Intellectual Dummies (Thud Rumble) DVD documenting the turntable wizard with interviews and behind-the-scenes action

Dinosaur Jr. - Beyond (Fat Possum) vinyl LP edition with a bonus seven-inch single

Tinsley Ellis - Moment of Truth (Alligator) featuring a cover of Sam & Dave's "I Take What I Want"

Eve To Adam - Queens To Eden (KDS Music) hot off touring with Daughtry and The Exies, and featuring a soldier's story in "Comin' Home (A Stranger)"

Fall Out Boy - "Take Over the Breaks Over" (Mercury) import-only CD and 7" single featuring the bonus "Thriller" from their AOL Music Session last year

Robert Fripp - At the End of Time: Churchscapes - Live in England & Estonia 2006 (Discipline) the King Crimson master guitarist recorded in magnificent churches and cathedrals

Peter Karp - Shadows and Cracks (Blind Pig) with guest guitarist Popa Chubby

The Moon Upstairs - Guarding the Golden Apple (Gifted Children Records) also available in a two-LP vinyl edition, this trippy, winding quintet blends Americana shadows and Pink Floyd-esque guitar wails into a deep, rich road journey of the mind

The Nels Cline Singers - Draw Breath (Cryptogramophone)

Sinead O'Connor - Theology (Koch) all new two-CD set

Rasputina - Oh Perilous World (Filthy Bonnet)

Kelly Roland - Ms. Kelly (Columbia) with guests Eve and Snoop Dogg

Romeo Void - Benefactor / Instincts (Acadia) two albums on one CD in this reissue from 1982 and 1984, featuring the Nu Wave classic "Never Say Never"

Silverstein - Arrivals & Departures (Victory) on tour now with Comeback Kid and Rise Against

Smashing Pumpkins - "Tarantula" (EastWest) import-only single from their upcoming new album

Social Distortion - Greatest Hits (Time Bomb) featuring a new song, "Far Behind," and their cover of the Johnny Cash hit, "Ring of Fire"

Talk To Me - original motion picture soundtrack (Atlantic) with music by Eddie Floyd, Otis Redding, The Dramtics, James Brown, and a cover of Les McCann & Eddie Harris' "Compared To What" by Meshell NdegeOcello's

The Vacancies - Tantrum (Blackheart) second album for these Cleveland rockers on Joan Jett's boutique label

Velvet Revolver - Libertad (RCA) featuring the single "She Builds Quick Machines"

Widespread Panic - Choice Cuts: The Capricorn Years 1991-1999 (Capricorn Legacy)

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