Known Johnson

June 14, 2005

Overlooked Alternatives: new releases for June 14, 2005

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tom @ 10:35 pm

Maybe you’re looking for something else to buy this week because you are, like me, doing everything in your power to avoid buying copy-protected albums (cough – Foo Fighters – cough.) As luck would have it, the record labels are here to support you in your time of need:

New Releases

Brian Eno: Another Day On Earth – Eno’s first vocal, “pop”-based album since 1990’s overlooked classic (in my opinion) Wrong Way Up with John Cale and 1992’s Nerve Net (which gets reissued in a couple weeks with bonus tracks,) Another Day On Earth finds Eno in much more ambient territory than one might expect from the description. Comparison’s to Nerve Net are likely more fitting, but it’s really more like Eno’s work with Jah Wobble on Spinner – with vocals – than anything else he’s done.

Pernice Brothers: Discover a Lovelier You – More indie-pop goodness from the Pernice’s, who seem to have been entirely ignored by lovers of great, simple pop-rock. This, their fourth album, promises to add some more great melodies to their canon. Those who enjoy the likes of Wilco’s more upbeat moments, the National, Jason Falkner, and Brendan Benson are encourage to check these guys out – if you haven’t already.

Daniel Lanois: Rockets – U2, Bob Dylan, Emmylou Harris, and Willie Nelson all have one thing in common: at one point or another, they’ve entrusted their music to producer Daniel Lanois, whose name is synonomous with the distinctive lo-fi, reverb-laden sound he’s fond of crafting. His early 90s album For the Beauty of Wynona is as good as, and in some cases, better than those of the big names he’s worked with. Rockets is a stop-gap solo album released between his previous album, the spotty Shine, and his upcoming album (due in July,) consisting of rarities and live tracks.

Ry Cooder: Chavez Ravine – Cooder makes a run for the border, taking on the Mexican-American culture that is another fixture of his interests. Los Lobos’ David Hidalgo is featured on vocals for one track. It’s not such a stretch to imagine Cooder making this succeed like his Cuban-related output.

Paul McCartney: in Red Square: A Concert Film (DVD) – Filmed in 2003, McCartney is “Back in the (former) USSR” (c’mon, you know I had to do it) for the first time since the Beatles were banned from the country in the 60s. You know what a dangerous thing those Beatles were. Featuring a Beatles-heavy setlist (thankfully,) this isn’t quite a concert – they don’t use the term “film” in the title for no reason. Some may find themselves a bit annoyed at the repeated interruptions of the documentary aspect of the film, but McCartney’s been kind enough to include a bonus concert of uninterrupted material (not the same show, however.)


Stewart Copeland: Orchestralli – We all know what Sting’s been up to since the Police breakup, and some people are aware that Andy Summers is now a respected jazz guitarist, but few people have followed drummer Stewart Copeland’s post-Police career. Now’s your chance to catch up, as Copeland compiles entries from his extensive catalog of film scores as well as an accompanying DVD.

Miles Davis: Round About Midnight (Legacy Edition) – You had to know there was no way Columbia had exhausted their Miles/Coltrane-related releases with that big 6-disc boxset a few years ago, and here’s the proof. Disc one is the album we all know and love augmented by four alternates (which, I assume, are lifted from that boxset,) but disc two is an entirely previously unreleased entity on its own which will warrant the second purchase (or third, or fourth, depending on how many times you’ve been suckered into buying reissues of this album) – a ten-track live recording of the first great Miles quintet, one track of which also includes Thelonius Monk.



  1. A few stream-of-consciousness comments on your latest “overlooked alternatives” segment:

    Brian Eno — The only song from Wrong Way Up that I ever heard was “Lay My Love,” which is gorgeous. It was also used to rather interesting effect on an episode of “Northern Exposure.” Have you heard Eno’s latest collaboration with Robert Fripp? I’ve been meaning to pick it up but am not sure if it’s worth it.

    Pernice Brothers — Sounds interesting, especially the Wilco comparisons. I’ll have to investigate further.

    Daniel Lanois — I have a sort of begrudging respect for Lanois — his production work on Dylan’s Oh Mercy was brilliant — but I tend to lump him in with Mitchell Froom and Tchad Blake for reasons I can’t really explain clearly. They all became highly sought-after producers in the late 80s and early 90s, producing albums by several of my favorite artists, but they tend to employ the same old production techniques over and over. They’re good at what they do, but I’m past the point where they produce anything that really excites me. As a recording artist, however, I haven’t heard any of Lanois’ albums.

    Comment by Chris — June 15, 2005 @ 9:47 am | Reply

  2. I finally posted my review of the new Pernice Brothers’ disc. Also posted it over at ye olde blogcritics.

    Comment by DJRadiohead — June 23, 2005 @ 6:02 pm | Reply

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