· This Tuesday the Fuel 2000 label issues Ride Pony Ride, a terrific new anthology documenting The Golden Palominos and the band's 1980s underground avant-funk clique. Built on the rhythm of drummer and bandleader Anton Fier, the group's ever-changing coil featured ace players such as saxophonist John Zorn, guitarists Nicky Skopelitis and Arto Lindsay, and bassists Bill Laswell and Jamaaladeen Tacuma.
These original recordings bore the seminal Celluloid label, a world-beat, funk-friendly imprint that fueled much of the downtown NYC art-rock scene of that period. As players without a vocalist, the band recruited guests ranging from R.E.M.'s Michael Stipe and Public Image Limited's John Lydon to Jack Bruce of Cream and the freshly emerging Syd Straw. Players including Bernie Worrell, Richard Thompson, Henry Kaiser, former Rolling Stones guitarist Mick Taylor, and Chris Stamey of the dB's are scattered about on the newly re-mastered 15-tracks.
· My pick of the week is for all the scum-rockers, LSD poets, and biker bad boys - or those who love them. One of the most notorious outlaws of rock has resurfaced with plenty of spit and gristle, proving that old dogs still howl deep at night. I'm speaking of Simon Stokes, forever branded as a used-record-store gem since the 1973 CBS Records debut of his Black Whip Thrill Band was pulled from store shelves the very day it was released - because of its gratuitous cover depicting Stokes and his men in a sadomasochistic underground torture chamber, scantily clad lasses under their lash. From his work with Timothy Leary and Native American activist Russell Means to the feature of this forbidden album in RE Search Books' Incredibly Strange Music series to the cool credibility of artists such as The Cramps, Iggy Pop, and Leon Redbone covering his swampy roadhouse songs, Stokes has developed a well-deserved cult following. This Tuesday the Uppercut Records label releases an excellent all-new album from this gravel-throated hound, a highly recommended collection of tracks that travel from bluesy house rockers to pumped-up garage anthems to alternative-country twang. Lyrically fascinating, Stokes' working-class musings are in the vein of a punch-drunk Tom Waits, growling Warren Zevon, or crusty Roky Erickson and carry the weight of his colorful life. Entitled Honky, Stokes' guest musicians include MC5 guitarist Wayne Kramer, Bruce Duff of 45 Grave, Lisa Kekaula of The Bellrays, fiddler Brantley Kearn, and pedal steel guitar player Chas Smith. This tough cracker of a street troubadour could wipe up the room with pretty-boy rebels like Kid Rock and his faux-hick company.
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno hosts Ben Harper tonight, Sir Paul McCartney on Thursday, Ozzy Osbourne on Friday, Garbage on Monday, and Me'shell Ndegeocello on Tuesday; Late Night with Conan O'Brien gets chatty with Gene Simmons of KISS on Thursday overnight; The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn features guitarist Nils Lofgren this evening overnight, the blistering And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead on Thursday overnight, and Garbage on Friday overnight; and Last Call with Carson Daly welcomes Dashboard Confessional this evening overnight and Remy Zero on Thursday overnight.
New Releases Coming Tuesday, May 29:
... and like the winds, young grasshopper, are subject to change
ABC - Look of Love: The Very Best of (Mercury)
Arlo - Stab the Unstoppable Hero (SubPop)
Atreyu - Suicide Notes & Butterfly Kisses (Victory) haunting nu-metal from Southern California
Bad Company - original motion picture soundtrack (Hollywood) with music from Tricky, Outkast, Blu Cantrell, and a new collaboration between the Gorillaz and D12
Belle & Sebastian - Storytelling (Matador) new album featuring music recorded for the Todd Solondz film
Norman Blake - Old Ties: The Rounder Heritage Series (Rounder) collection of "old time" music
Canned Heat - Don't Forget to Boogie (Varese Sarabande) early recordings from 1966 produced by Johnny Otis
Ward Churchill - In a Pig's Eye (Alternative Tentacles) two-CD spoken-word release from the national spokesperson for the Leonard Peltier Defense Committee
Deerhoof - Reveille (Kill Rock Stars) showcased this past spring at the All Tomorrow's Parties concerts in California
Dillinger 4 - Situationist Comedy (Fat Wreck Chords) just add beer
DJ Irene - Photosynthesis (Warlock)
DJ Quik - Under tha Influence (Bungalo/Laneway) featuring guests Dr. Dre, HI-C, Pharoahe Monch, and Suga Free
DJ Shadow - The Private Press (MCA) also available in a limited-edition version featuring a bonus disc of live mixes and other rarities
Enon - High Society (Touch & Go) new from former Brainiac guitarist John Schmersal and Blonde Redhead's Toko Yasuda
The Fartz - Injustice (Alternative Tentacles) Seattle hardcore legends with producer Jack Endino
Greenwheel - Soma Holiday (Island) on tour this summer with Papa Roach
Hellride - Troublemaker (Scooch Pooch) EP of high octane Scandinavian mayhem
Interpol - "PDA" (Matador) fantastic three-track CD single of dark, droning pop from NYC
Tommy Keene - The Merry-Go-Round Broke Down (Spin Art)
The Kennedys - Get It Right (Jiffy Jam) delightfully melodic jangle-pop from this husband and wife team, featuring the sly "Why, Winona, Why"
Lollipop Lust Kill - My So Called Knife (Artemis) industrial nu-rock from Toledo, Ohio, featuring a cover of Depeche Mode's "Personal Jesus"
Los Lobos - Good Morning Aztlan (Mammoth) the first pressing features a bonus CD with live recordings and a special documentary
Manowar - Warriors of the World (Metal Blade) the warriors of metal are back with new cover art by fantasy illustrator Ken Kelly
Matthew - Everybody Down (Rykodisc) debut from this Chicago quartet
Medication - Medication (Locomotive) new EP from Logan Mader, former guitarist for Machine Head and Soulfly
Tift Merritt - Bramble Rose (Lost Highway) debut from the winner of the 2000 Merlefest songwriting competition
Mojo Stu - Good Gravy (Silica/Mudbone) new blues in the slide/finger-picking Delta style
Mull Historical Society - Loss (XL Recordings/Beggars Banquet) from Isle of Mull, Scotland, this first full-length album from the winners of NME magazine's "Single of the Year" in 2000
Kelly Price - Priceless (Def Soul) with guests Faith Evans and Yolanda Adams
Darius Rucker - The Return of Mondo Slade (Hidden Beach/Epic) solo debut from the Hootie & The Blowfish singer
Silkworm - Italian Platinum (Touch & Go) with guest vocalist Kelly Hogan
Spaceheads - Low Pressure (Merge) a new electronica music genre: drum 'n' trumpet
Steve Vai - The Elusive Light & Sound Vol. 1 (Favored Nations) collection of film soundtracks and compositions featuring a cover of The Kinks' "Celluloid Heroes"
various artists - The Only Blip Hop Record You Will Ever Need (Luaka Bop) electronica from Safety Scissors, Pickadelic, Mouse on Mars, Rococo Rot, and more