Lots of albums are coming out this fall, a lot of them from people you thought you weren’t going to hear from again back in about 2000, and some from people you’ve never heard of before!
The new British electro-pop duo La Roux puts out its eponymous debut album Sept. 29. Expect these kids to break out, Lady Gaga style, first with gay and nightclub audiences and then … everywhere!
Now that Beth Ditto has become a fashion icon, it’s probably time to listen to the new album out from DIY post-punk outfit (yes, it’s getting a little tiring!) the Gossip, Music for Men, out on Oct. 6.
You may not be listening to Jemina Pearl, but her older friends Thurston Moore and Kim Gordon have been grooving on her for a while.
Ms. Pearl, formerly of Be Your Own Pet, releases a solo debut of pulsating rock that will probably remind listeners of the band she left behind. The aptly titled Break It Up hits stores on Oct. 6, too!
There seems to be a returning vogue in Christmas albums. Bob Dylan’s is probably the weirdest: versions of “Here Comes Santa Claus” and “Winter Wonderland”? But since all the proceeds for this album—and all future Bob Dylan albums (this is his 47th)—are going to a charity called Feeding America, it may be possible to forgive it. Maybe it will even be good?
Just as unlikely is Tori Amos’ Christmas album, out on Nov. 17. Midwinter Graces sounds considerably more churchy, as it is said to have been inspired by the carols sung at her childhood church near Baltimore. But it looks like this money isn’t going to charity.
Now probably more famous nationally as Jimmy Fallon’s house band, Philadelphians the Roots are still putting out real records on Def Jam, including Oct. 20’s release How I Got Over.
Pixies, Back in Love
There are plenty of people who will tell you that Pixies were the most important college-radio/alternative/independent band of the late ’80s/early ’90s. Their quirky rock-out ballads full of creepy references to Satan, torture and surrealism certainly was influential (David Bowie has counted them among his favorite bands). But it wasn’t until their third album, Doolittle, that the band really started getting play.
Doolittle is still one of those desert-island picks, from poppy ballads like “Here Comes Your Man” to the slightly scary numbers like “Hey.”
When the album came out, The Village Voice’s Robert Christgau wrote:
“They’re in love and they don’t know why—with rock and roll, which is heartening in a time when so many college dropouts have lost touch with the verities. You can tell from the bruising riffs, the rousing choruses, the cute little bass melodies, the solid if changeable beat. But not from any words they sing. They’ll improve in direct relation to their improved contact with the outside world. Getting famous too fast could ruin them.”
It almost did: It’s said that the bad feelings that rose up between guitarist–lead vocalist Frank Black and bassist Kim Deal during the recording of this album were the seeds of the band’s ultimate destruction in 1992 and 1993.
So it’s good to see the band playing the last album on which Ms. Deal had really significant contributions, in its entirety, at Hammerstein Ballroom in late November. However difficult, the pairing of Mr. Black and Ms. Deal is something to be thankful for (Nov. 23 through Nov. 25).