• Long gone are the days when the search for that out-of-print LP required hours of thumbing vinyl in used-record shops, tingling to find that goofy, rare oddity for a lovelorn mix tape, or that missing link in the history of an artist you're really digging lately.
Today, searching for that elusive, musical holy grail is a peach for the pickin' - all you have to do is log in and reach out - or sit back and watch the memories bob up in the vigorous stream of CD reissues from record labels all over the world. From its splendid DualDisc deluxe editions and nicely expanded remasters of classic albums, the Legacy imprint of the Sony/BMG/RCA conglomerate continues to do the job right, with an extra-tasty release schedule throughout the summer. Up ahead this month are three reissues from the Electric Light Orchestra - A New World Record, On the Third Day, and Face the Music - all packed with bonus tracks, and a new Very Best Of Harry Nilisson collection, alongside new issues of Son of Schmilsson from 1972 and A Little Touch of Schmilsson in the Night from 1973. In June the label reaches back to 1991 for an expanded look at Matthew Sweet's Girlfriend, bearing a bonus disc featuring the rare "Goodfriend" sessions, home demos, and covers of songs by John Lennon and Neil Young. Next week Legacy joins hands with the kid-friendly Sony Wonder label, reintroducing a thrift-store LP that straddles the line between uplifting empowerment and college-radio "art damage" weirdness. Free to Be ... You & Me was a feel-good smash hit from Marlo Thomas & Friends back in 1972, featuring a wild list of guest stars from Alan Alda and Mel Brooks to Diana Ross and Shirley Jones. Need more reasons to smile? Check out Dick Cavett in "My Dog Is a Plumber" or Rosey Grier admitting "It's All Right to Cry."
The Late Show with David Letterman spreads Pearl Jam on Thursday; The Tonight Show with Jay Leno hosts the Black Eyes Peas on Tuesday; Last Call with Carson Daly features Ben Harper in the house band this week; Late Night with Conan O'Brien boasts Wolfmother on Thursday overnight; The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson gives the green light to The Go Team! on Thursday overnight; Saturday Night Live's musical guest this weekend is the Red Hot Chili Peppers; VH1's Decades Rock Live this weekend features Alice in Chains, Dave Navarro, and Rufus Wainwright; and look for Thurston Moore and Kim Gordon of Sonic Youth performing acoustically (with daughter Coco) on the WB's Gilmore Girls this coming Tuesday.
New Releases Coming Tuesday, May 9:
... and like the winds, young grasshopper, are subject to change.
The Accidental Experiment - United We Fear (Rock Ridge) new from Marcos Curiel of P.O.D. and members of Sprung Monkey
Susana Baca - Travesias (Luaka Bop) world-spanning rhythms sung in French, Spanish, Italian, and English, backed by trio that includes Marc Ribot
The Black Heart Procession - The Spell (Touch & Go) with guests Jimmy LaVelle and Matt Resovich of The Album Leaf
Ane Brun - A Temporary Dive (V2) my pick of the week is this Scandinavian stunner that recently won the Spellemanns Priset, the Norwegian equivalent of the Grammy
Danielson - Ships (Secretly Canadian) new from the enigmatic familie, with guests Steve Albini, John Ringhofer, Sufjan Stevens, and members of Deerhoof and Why?, with five songs recorded in a Yosemite National Park cabin
The Eighteenth Day of May - The Eighteenth Day of May (Hannibal) big buzz on this British neo-folk featuring guests from Olivia Tremor Control
John Ellis - By a Thread (Hyena) ice-blue jazz from the soprano saxophonist with plenty of funk, featuring the smoker "Moore's Alphabet" - tipping its hat to Stanton Moore of Galactic
Robert Fripp - Exposure (Discipline Global) reissue of this avant-punk masterpiece from 1979, featuring a bonus CD of a remix of the entire album from 1983, with vocals by Daryl Hall
Gnarls Barkley - St. Elsewhere (Downtown/Atlantic) new from Danger Mouse and Cee-Lo
Grandaddy - Just Like the Fambly Cat (V2) the group's final album
Jolie Holland - Springtime Can Kill You (Anti)
Smokin' Joe Kubek & Bnois King - My Heart's in Texas (Blind Pig) recorded live at the J & J Blues Bar in Ft. Worth, Texas, featuring a cover of Freddy King's "Boogie On Down," and available on CD or accompanying DVD with interviews, photo slide show, and bonus acoustic performance
Korn - Live & Rare (Epic) featuring a cover of Metallica's "One " and - dig this - "Earache My Eye," immortalized by Alice Bowie in Cheech & Chong's Up In Smoke
Matmos - The Rose Has Teeth in the Mouth of a Beast (Matador) featuring guests Bjork and the Kronos Quartet, with songs about William S. Burroughs, Darby Crash of the Germs, King Ludwig II of Barvaria, and oddball producer Joe Meek
Christian McBride - Live at Tonic (Ropeadope) absolutely slammin' three-CD set documenting two nights in January of last year, with guest guitarist Charlie Hunter the first night, and DJ Logic and Scratch manning the turntables and beatbox on night two
Eugene Mirman - En Garde, Society! (SubPop) new from the absurdist comedian, picking up an acoustic guitar for "The Goodnight Song"
Mission: Impossible III - original motion picture soundtrack (Hollywood) featuring the new theme by Kanye West
Stephen Pearcy - Stripped (Sidewinder) Ratt's greatest hits and covers of Led Zeppelin's "Ramble On" and Fleetwood Mac's "Oh Well" performed acoustically at The Key Club in Los Angeles this past March
Mark Pickerel & His Praying Hands - Snake in the Radio (Bloodshot) all new from the former Screaming Trees drummer, produced by Steve Fisk
Popa Chubby - Stealing the Devil's Guitar (Blind Pig) the husky six-string wonder smokes a variety of electric slide and acoustic guitars, mandolin, and sitar on this new CD, featuring his cover of Jessie Mae Hemphill's "In the World"
Red Hot Chili Peppers - Stadium Arcadium (Warner Bros) two-CD set produced by Rick Rubin, also available in a 3D box set with a bonus DVD of "Dani California," interview, and behind-the-scenes footage
Paul Simon - Surprise (Warner Bros) all new, in collaboration with producer Brian Eno and guests Bill Frisell, Steve Gadd, and Herbie Hancock
Willie "Big Eyes" Smith - Way Back (Hightone) new from the harmonica master and former drummer for the Muddy Waters Band, burning up the Chicago blues with pianist Pinetop Perkins
Snow Patrol - Eyes Open (Interscope) with new bass player Paul Wilson and guests Ken Stringfellow and Martha Wainwright
Speakers for the Dead - Prey for Murder (Magna Carta) brutal metalcore from Fresno, California, featuring guitarist Jason Garcia, who leads a double life as a professional cage fighter
Wednesday 13 - Frankenstein Drag Queens From Planet 13 (Restless) five-CD box set with a bonus DVD from the Murderdolls' frontman
various artists - The Royal Dan: A Tribute to the Genius of Steely Dan (Tone Center) covers compilation with Steve Moore, Frank Gambale, Robben Ford, Al Di Meola, and more