Unless you’re a fan of Jordin Sparks—the American Idol winner—or Nicole Scherzinger—of Pussycat Dolls fame—both of which have albums coming out today, you’re probably excited for the new Six Organs of Admittance album, Shelter From the Ash. Although Six Organs has been putting out albums since 1998, its founder Ben Chasny is probably better known for his work with the psychedelic acid rock band, Comets on Fire, another Pitchfork darling. But with Organs, Chasny has been quietly amassing a moving oeuvre of eerie, moody post-rock. On his newest album, Chasny invited members of Magik Markers, Comets on Fire (big surprise!), and Fucking Champs into the studio. Light listening, this is not.
You know what Thanksgiving means for record companies? It’s almost Christmas. And these days, that means Gift Packs! You basically already know these as box sets, but that name has fallen out of favor and so it will soon fall out of favor with you, too! The box set, with its relatively high ticket price and its focus on the packaging of compact discs, is a format for affluent thirtysomethings and so today’s Gift Pack! releases are age appropriate: The Beach Boys, Pat Benatar, Blondie, Blur, The Chemical Brothers, Coldplay, Crowded House, Grand Funk Railroad, Massive Attack, Poison. Nothing says Christmas quite like an egg-nog fueled sing-along of “Talk Dirty to Me.” Who needs Perry Como?
Speaking of hair metal, Sebastian Bach, the former lead singer of Skid Row with the long, shiny, golden hair, is back with his first studio album in eight years. Judging by the single, “(Love Is a) Bitchslap,” he’s still got it. Eew. Bonus: Axl Rose makes an appearance. “He sings on [“Bitchslap”], yes, and it’s unbelievable—his voice is like a razor; it just really cuts,” Mr. Bach told Blabbermouth.net. The interviewer than noted that Mr. Bach’s fingers were crossed. I kid!
Amy Winehouse’s Frank will finally be available in the States. Before you run out and buy this one, remember this was the album that had people comparing her to Macy Gray, not Sharon Jones. (And while Ms. Winehouse has borrowed the Dap Kings, everyone knows who owns them.)
Notable mentions: U2’s Joshua Tree: Deluxe Edition (almost sounds like a Gift Pack for the "young-at-heart") and the Nine Inch Nails remix album, Y34RZ3R0R3M1X3D, which features contributions from Sam Fogarino of Interpol, The Knife’s Olaf Dreijer, and New Order’s Stephen Morris and Gillian Gilbert—otherwise known as people from bands that one can still tolerate, if only barely.