Magna Carta Records has just released a snarling six-string shredfest specially designed for metalheads in need of a blazing beat-down. Guitars That Ate My Brain is a dozen ax-grinding instrumentals that signify the state of the metal arts with a devil-horns salute. The who's who of squeal merchants include Guns N' Roses' Bumblefoot, Testament's James Murphy, Daath's Eyal Levi and Emil Werstler, Korn's Shane Gibson, and Strapping Young Lad's Devin Townsend.

Another new guitar compilation delivers more spice than just heat, with Groove Rock Records' Jimi Hendrix Tribute: Third Stone From the Sun. Following his Guitar Masters series on BHP Records, composer and guitarist Brian Tarquin collected the eager participants, including Hal Lindes of Dire Straits, James Ryan of Men at Work, Howard Hunt, and bassist Randy Coven, who turns in a run at the "Star Spangled Banner" à la Jimi.

Television Alert

The Tonight Show with Jay Leno welcomes Erin McCarley on Thursday, Annie Lennox on Friday, Lily Allen on Monday, and Andrew Bird on Tuesday; Late Night with Conan O'Brien hosts They Might Be Giants on Thursday and The Jonus Brothers on Friday; The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson boasts Shirley Manson on Thursday and Glen Campbell on Friday overnight; and Austin City Limits presents Sarah McLachlan and Duffy this weekend.

New Releases Coming Tuesday, February 17

Asobi Seksu - Hush (Polyvinyl) heavenly duo that hovers in Cocteau Twins territory in "Familiar Light"

And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead - The Century of Self (Richter Scale/Justice) with Conrad Keely solo with his piano on "Insatiable"

Appleseed Cast - Sagarmatha (Militia Group)

Joseph Arthur & the Lonely Astronauts - Temporary People (Lonely Astronaut) backed by alumni of Twilight Singers, The Jayhawks and Fur Slide

Azita - How Will You? (Drag City) mental waltzes, howling wails, and cabaret romantics from the Chicago chanteuse and pianist, backed by John Herndon of Tortoise and Matt Lux of Isotope 217

Robbert Blobbert - Robbert Blobbert & the Bubble Machine (Little Monster) alter-ego children's album and coloring book from Robert Schneider of Apples in Stereo, singing the praises of elephants, superheroes, and clocks

Broken Spindles - Kiss/Kick (Blank.Wav Records) released on The Faint's boutique label

Burn Halo - Burn Halo (Rawkhead) new from James Hart of Eighteen Visions

The Clancy Brothers & Tommy Makem - In Person at Carnegie Hall: The Complete 1963 Concert (Columbia Legacy) reissue expanded from its original 38 minutes to almost two hours

Mickey Clark - Winding Highways (Ear X-tacy Records) a shining light in the nation's retail-record graveyard, the legendary Louisville, Kentucky, store has launched a label to spread the love, in this case for the native singer/songwriter joined by cohorts Jerry Jeff Walker, Sam Bush, John Prine, and Kinky Friedman on the classic "Don't Piss on My Boots & Tell Me It's Rainin'"

Alela Diane - To Be Still (Rough Trade) a rainy-day diary that hovers and rises with earthy swells of pedal steel and mandolin

The Drones - Havilah (All Tomorrow's Parties)

Ernie & the Automatics - Low Expectations (Open E) return of Barry Goudreau and Sib Hashian, formerly of the gazillion-selling Boston

Ana Egge - Road to My Love (Grace/Parkinsongs Records)

Benjy Ferree - Come Back to the Five & Dime, Bobby Dee Bobby Dee (Domino) a musical love letter to child star Bobby Driscoll

Robyn Hitchcock & the Venus 3 - Goodnight Oslo (Yep Roc) 10 new perfect songs from the enigmatic Englishman and American blood brothers Peter Buck of R.E.M. and Scott McCaughey of Young Fresh Fellows, with guests Colin Meloy of the Decemberists and former Soft Boy Morris Windsor

Darryl Holter - Darryl Holter (213 Music) backed by guitarist Nels Cline

Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit - Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit (Lightning Rod) all new from the former Drive-by Truckers guitarist

Tommy Keene - In the Late Bright (Second Motion Records) eighth solo album from the original power-popper, recently recording with Robert Pollard as the Keene Brothers

Living Things - Habeas Corpus (Jive) on tour now with the Eagles of Death Metal; look for the video for "Let It Rain," directed by Floria Sigismondi

Eleni Mandell - Artificial Fire (Zedtone) with guests DJ Bonebreak of X and Inara George of the Bird & the Bee

Miniature Tigers - Tell It to the Volcano (Modern Art) debut from the band named by tastemaker KCRW-FM as one of the top 10 at this past year's CMJ festival

Minus the Bear - Acoustics (Suicide Squeeze) seven-track EP of stripped-down versions of older songs, plus the bonus "Guns & Ammo"

Aidan Moffat & the Best ofs - How to Get to Heaven from Scotland (Chemikal Underground) new from the Arab Strap founder, also available in a deluxe box set featuring a board game, Valentine's Day card, and a bonus seven-inch single with covers of Glen Campbell's "Love Is Not a Game" and Sonny & Cher's "I Got You Babe"

Morrissey - Years of Refusal (Lost Highway)

Mr. Russia - Teething (Lens Records) debut featuring a cover of The Birthday Party's "Wild World"

N.A.S.A. - The Spirit of Apollo (Anti) fun and funky debut from Squeak E. Clean and DJ Zegon, with collaborators David Byrne, Tom Waits, and M.I.A. and guests John Frusciante, George Clinton, Kool Keith, Chuck D, and Ghostface Killah

Outrageous Cherry - Universal Malcontents (Alive Naturalsound) featuring a limited-edition orange-vinyl pressing

Psapp - The Camel's Back (Domino) domestic issue of their third album, known here in the States from the band's Grey's Anatomy theme song

D. Rider - Mother of Curses (Tizona) new avant-garde earthquakes from U.S. Maple's Todd Albert Rittmann - fuzzy, funky conniptions that get down and dirty in the future stripper classic "Touchy"

School of Seven Bells - "Lamundernodisguise" (Ghostly International) seven-inch vinyl and digital single, promoting the group's current tour with Fujiya & Miyagi

Southeast Engine - From the Forest to the Sea (Misra) with a warm, somber tone akin to Neil Young's On the Beach, this isa smoky, folksy, basement-lit, Steinbeck-souled masterpiece of nervous hymns with an endearing Appalachian warble

Jim Suhler & Monkey Beat - Tijuana Bible (Underworld) George Thorogood's lead guitarist goes out on his own, with covers of AC/DC's "Up to My Neck in You," Rory Gallagher's "I Could've Had Religion," and Elvin Bishop's "Drunken Hearted Boy"

Telepathe - Dance Mother (IAMSOUND) produced by TV on the Radio's Dave Sitek with guest vocalist Shannon Funchess of !!!

Luke Temple - Here We Go Magic (Western Vinyl) spinning in layered rhythms built on organic loops and the ethereal vocalist's tenor trances

These Are Powers - All Aboard Future (Dead Oceans Records) featuring Pat Noecker of the Liars

Thursday - Common Existence (Epitaph) on the road this month the Rockstar Taste of Chaos Tour

Randy Weeks - Going My Way (Certifiable) with Cindy Cashdollar and Tony & Eliza Gilkyson

Vulture Whale - Vulture Whale (Skybucket) don't be fooled by the cover's quiet artistic race; this crispy Southern rawk was made for turning up loud and shaking the rafters

various artists - Dark Was the Night (4AD) continuing the legacy of terrific compilations benefiting the Red Hot Organization, this fantastic two-CD set curated by members of The National is highlighted by The Books & Jose Gonzalez's cover of Nick Drake's "Cello Song," a duet with Feist & Ben Gibbard, and Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings workout of Shuggie Otis' "Inspiration Information"

John James can be found via cyberspace at

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