Hard to believe we’re already wrapping up the first month of 2012. As we’re all paying our rent checks and upping our monthly bus and train passes, there are a few noteworthy releases that you might want to check out during your travels.
Who’s Lana Del Rey? I’m still trying to figure that out myself. Whether she’s a well-connected fraud, a junior GaGa or just a random chick trying to get famous (or all three) there’s no doubt that the girl is buzzing. She parlayed her buzz into a widely-panned “SNL” performance a few weeks back. Panned as it may have been, it only put her name on more people’s lips, and now her official debut album, Born To Die, is hitting stores.
(more after the jump)
Y’all know how much we at Popblerd HQ love Mike Doughty, and we have equal amounts of love for his delightfully quirky bass/cello player Andrew “Scrap” Livingston. You have not lived until you’ve experienced one of their acoustic shows, complete with a “question jar” in which members of the audience can ask Mike and Scrap just about anything they want. The Question Jar Show, a double CD out today, compiles several performances from Mike’s most recent acoustic show. It’s the perfect companion to Mike’s book, The Book of Drugs, which was released several weeks ago.
Have you gotten tired of hearing three or four newly recorded versions of “Hallelujah” annually? To the song’s credit, it lends itself well to being remade. Jeff Buckley, John Cale, k.d. lang and even Justin Timberlake have all recorded exquisite versions of it. I’m sure that the song’s writer, Leonard Cohen, appreciates the remakes, but he’d probably rather you check out Old Ideas, his first album of new material in eight years.
Elsewhere on today’s release schedule, you’ll find a new album from Ringo Starr (presumably just getting out of the way so people will buy his former bandmate Paul McCartney’s upcoming album,) as well as albums from smooth jazz favorites Candy Dulfer and Jeff Lorber, the debut of Odd Future splinter act The Internet, and the physical release of Metallica’s Beyond Magnetic EP, which contains several tracks recorded during the Death Magnetic sessions, and was released digitally shortly after they released the “Ishtar”-esque bomb album Lulu.
On the re-issue tip, Sony’s Legacy catalog label is releasing greatest hits comps in their Playlist series from the already over-compiled Cyndi Lauper, as well as by several artists for whom one previously-existing hits compilation is enough (Wyclef Jean) and a handful of folks who never even really had hits (Augustana?!? REALLY??!?) There’s also a two-disc anthology of Profile Records’ greatest hits (featuring Run-DMC, Poor Righteous Teachers, Special Ed, DJ Quik and more) as well as a compilation anthologizing the Arista Records career of the Queen of Soul. I think this is the fourth or fifth collection that covers Aretha’s Eighties and Nineties hits. We’re probably all “Freeway of Love”-ed out by now, folks.
Want the full list of this week’s releases? Make sure you check out Pause and Play!