These ones are really doing it for the kids! The new just released Gizmodgery CD from Self takes kids' play up a notch as the entire disc uses everyday toy instruments - and nothing else - whipping it all up into a clanking, churning delight with Beck-esque playfulness and Prince-esque funk.
Can you pick out the Little Tykes Xylophone, Micro Jammer Drums, Playskool Busy Guitar, or Mattel Star Guitar? Uninhibited by the assumed limited nature of the instruments, this collection of great songwriting downright rocks out a delightful buzz, complete with a cover of (huh?) Michael McDonald's Doobie Brothers hit "What a Fool Believes." Highly recommended - look for it on the Spongebath label. ... Also on the frolicsome frock is Jason Trachtenburg's new Revolutions Per Minute on the Orange Records imprint. Currently a critics' darling in his hometown of Seattle, his previous musical résumé is chock full, from the anti-folk performance-art scene in New York City to collaborations with the enigmatic Daniel Johnson in Austin, Texas. The 1990s found Trachtenburg living in the Northwest, and befriending the Presidents of the United States' Chris Ballew, who went on to produce this and four previous albums of delightfully quirky originals. I'd love to catch the Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players live, but there's little hope of them touring outside of Seattle (five nights of the week are school nights!), as this family affair features his six-year-old daughter handling the drums and his wife operating an overlay slide projection of "found art" procured from estate sales and other complete strangers. Highly recommended anti-corporate rock. ... Look for dueling Grinch-spotting as two different takes of the Dr. Seuss classic are due later this fall. The November 7 release of the upcoming-film soundtrack features star Jim Carrey's and Busta Rhymes' take on the "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch" theme, and November 21 brings the same song via Dweezil Zappa's wall of guitar on his new Automatic CD.
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno welcomes Steve Earle tonight, Everlast on Thursday, and Nelly Futado on Friday; The Late Show with David Letterman hosts Lenny Kravitz on Friday, Emmylou Harris on Monday, and Mark Knopfler on Tuesday; Late Night with Conan O'Brien gets silly with Sebastian Bach and Todd Rundgren next Wednesday overnight; Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher dips into the mind of Boy George on Monday overnight; and Saturday Night Live's musical guest this weekend is The Wallflowers.
New Releases Coming Tuesday, October 24:
and like the winds, young grasshopper, are subject to change ... .
Aix Em Klemm - Aix Em Klemm (Kranky) new from Bobby Donne of Labradford and Adam Wiltzie from Stars Of the Lid
Bratmobile - Ladies, Women, & Girls (Lookout)
R.L. Burnside - Wish I Was in Heaven Sitting Down (Fat Possum) raw Mississippi blues featured heavily in HBO's The Sopranos, with guest guitarist Smokey Hormel and turntable-ist DJ Swamp of Beck's backing band
Cheap Trick - Authorized Greatest Hits (Epic Legacy) featuring their version of Big Star's "In the Street" theme from the That '70s Show
The Church Steps - Jewelry (Dial Records)
Death Cab For Cutie - Forbidden Love (Barsuk) five-track EP of excellent dreamy pop released in conjunction with the band's autumn tour with Pedro the Lion
Dieselboy - The Sixth Session (Palm Pictures) two-CD set from the hot drum-and-bass DJ
Dum Dums - It Goes without Saying (MCA) London-based trio whose first two singles buzzed the UK Top 20 charts
Sue Foley - Back to the Blues (Antone's) features a cover of Bob Dylan's "Positively 4th Street"
Nelly Furtado - Whoa Nelly (Dreamworks)
Paul Gilbert - Alligator Farm (Shrapnel) new from the former Mr. Big and Racer X guitarist
Godspeed You Black Emperor! - Raise Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven (Kranky) two-CD set
Green Day - Warning (Adeline) colored vinyl LP version of its new album
Sammy Hagar - Ten 13 (Cabo Wabo/Beyond)
Tom Hambridge - Balderdash (Artemis) featuring guest guitarist Susan Tedeschi on four tracks
P.J. Harvey - Stories From the City, Stories From the Sea (Island) with guest duet vocals by Radiohead's Thom Yorke
Tom Heyman - Boarding House Rules (Innerstate) new from the former Go To Blazes guitarist and songwriter
High Llamas - Buzzle Bee (Drag City)
David Holmes - Bow Down to the Exit Sign (1500/Go Beat) with guests Bobby Gillespie of Primal Scream and Jon Spencer of the Blues Explosion
Hootie & the Blowfish - Scattered, Smothered, & Covered (Atlantic) collection of oddities and covers like the band's versions of Led Zeppelin's "Hey, Hey What Can I Do" and Tom Waits' "I Hope that I Don't Fall in Love with You"
Bruce Hornsby - Here Come the Noisemakers (RCA) two-CD live set
Joe Jackson - Night & Day II (Sony Classical) with guest vocalist Marianne Faithfull
The Jackson 5 - Anthology (Motown) two-CD set featuring a handful of rarities
Eric Johnson - Alien Love Child (Favored Nations) new from the guitarist, the master of six-string tonality
Joy Division - The Complete BBC Recordings (Fuel 2000) featuring a previously unreleased interview with tragic founder Ian Curtis
Lenny Kravitz - Greatest Hits (Virgin) collection of singles and live tracks featuring the bonus new song "Again"
Less Than Jake - Borders & Boundaries (Fat Wreck) in unique Digipak packaging
Linkin Park - Hybrid Theory (Warner Bros.) currently on tour with the Kottonmouth Kings
Map Of Wyoming - Trouble Is (Innerstate)
Richard Marx - Days in Avalon (Signal 21)
J Mascis - J Mascis & the Fog (Ultimatum) new solo album from the Dinosaur Jr. founder with guests Robert Pollard of Guided By Voices and Kevin Shields of My Bloody Valentine
Mastamind - Themindzi (TVT) new from the Natas member
Miracle Orchestra - Forks, Bends, & Spoons (Grapeshot) debut album from the band that opened for Phish at the Lemonwheel show
Shawn Mullins - Beneath the Velvet Sun (Columbia) with guests Shawn Colvin and Shelby Lynne
Pennywise - Check Live at the Key Club (Epitaph)
Raised Fist - Ignoring the Guidelines (Epitaph)
Rehab - Southern Discomfort (Destiny/Epic) Atlanta hip-hop on tour with the Kottonmouth Kings
Roni Size - Reprazent in the Mode (Mercury) with gusts Zack De La Rocha of Rage Against the Machine, Method Man, and the Roots' human beat box Rahzel
State of Bengal - Visual Audio (Six Degrees) new project from Sam Zaman of the British Asian underground scene
Sunshine - Velvet Suicide (Big Wheel Recreation) on tour now with At the Drive-In and the Murder City Devils
Swearing At Motorists - Number Seven Uptown (Secretly Canadian)
Abby Travis - Cutthroat Standards & Black Pop (Educational) with guests DJ Bonebrake of X and Stephen Perkins of Jane's Addiction
Type O Negative - The Least Worst of (Roadrunner) featuring hits, rarities, and two new tracks
various artists - Tattoo the Earth: The Rock and Ink Tour (1500 Red Ink) recorded live over this past summer with tracks from Slayer, Slipknot, Sevendust, Nashville Pussy, Mudvayne, and more
various artists - Logic Trance 4 (Logic 3000) mixed by DJ Victor Dinaire
various artists - Take a Bite Outta Rhyme (Republic/Universal) with artists like Lords of Brooklyn with Everlast, the Bloodhound Gang, Fun Lovin' Criminals, Kottonmouth Kings, Insane Clown Posse, and Staind covering old-school rap classics