The Week in Music: Arctic Monkeys Manque, Rumble Strips, Makes Some Noise; A Timberlake Christmas

The days immediately following Thanksgiving are supposed to be a frenzy of shopping, but nobody seems to have told the record labels, who on this Tuesday seem to have left the shelves a little bare. Fans of “too latin for hip hop, too hip hop for latins” rapper Pitbull or metal band Mudvayne will perhaps forgive us for saying so.

At least Justin Timberlake has a present for his fans: a deluxe edition of his 2006 album FutureSex/LoveSounds. Just in time for Christmas! It’s the one-two punch of a CD, which includes his “Until the End of Time” duet with Beyoncé, and a DVD of music videos and live performances. Once again, Justin makes life a little bit easier for men trying to please their ladies.

In terms of truly new music releases, however, Kanine Records stands out for trying to make a little noise for U.K. import the Rumble Strips, who are an Arctic Monkeys manqué—but with a horn section! Their EP, Alarm Clock, is meant to whet the appetites of ignorant Yankees, as the band heads back to the studio to record a full-length album. Hear them now before you’re nauseated by the hype.

Once upon a time, Bran Van 3000, a music collective from Canada with hip-hop and rock influences, had a popular album, Glee (Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston claimed to have fallen in love to it), belonged to a popular label, the Beastie Boys’ Grand Royal, and a catchy single, “Drinking in L.A.” (please, watch this video), but all of that fell apart, when the label did. Now, they’re back! Rose, their first album in six years, promises to pick up where the band left off. Whether that’s good thing, well … did you watch the video?

Last week we left indie star Bonnie “Prince” Billy out of our lineup for his album of covers, Ask Forgiveness. The former member of the Palace Brothers tries his hand at everything from R. Kelly to Bjork to Phil Ochs (not such a stretch for the singer-songwriter, of course). And as usual the critics are eating it up: “Ask Forgiveness doesn’t offer Oldham’s ‘take’ on well-known and well-loved songs so much as it showcases a unique and distinctive musician performing a scattered set of songs he enjoys,” writes Matt LeMay on music-is-my-bag boysite Pitchfork. Say no more!

Another album, White Williams’ Smoke, slipped under my radar earlier this month. The multi-instrumentalist makes pop music in the Dan Deacon vein: fractured, electronic, but fun! His debut album, which came out on Nov. 6, took him two years to produce. All of his hard work is paying off: it’s flying up the charts at Noho’s fashionable indie music retailer, Other Music. Check him out live, in the store, on Dec. 6. The Week in Music: Arctic Monkeys Manque, Rumble Strips, Makes Some Noise; A Timberlake Christmas