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Hal Sparks Rocks

Positively New Tunes

By John M. James · November 14th, 2007 · Yeah Yeah Yeah
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Almost as weird as when kids' TV star "Steve" from Blue's Clues turned up collaborating with The Flaming Lips back in 2003, who'da thunk that sweet and smarmy Hal Sparks, former host of E's Talk Soup, would wind up with an A1 lineup of guitarists on this year's most blistering, thinking man's Metal release. On Tuesday, Doug Pinnick of King's X takes his Sly Stone/Jimi Hendrix blaze into new landscapes of sludgy soul, sporting the new moniker as "Dug" Pinnick. An air guitarist's fantasy album of lean-back, sizzling leads and swagger, the Magna Carta Records' release Strum Sum Up is pure Viagra for aging headbangers. U2's masterpiece from 1987, The Joshua Tree, is getting the 20th anniversary red-carpet treatment next week in a variety of expanded "deluxe edition" reissues. Going back to the original analog tapes, Island Records is making the newly remastered album available four ways, including as a 180-gram, two-LP gatefold vinyl set for true audiophiles. Further proof that the "licorice pizza" is not dead, the debut of a new limited-edition seven-inch single project is due next week. The first round of Gigantic Records' "Gigantic Singles Series" features three thin slabs of joy with Dragons Of Zynth's "Xerathyn" (with a B-side co-produced by Dave Sitek of TV On The Radio), My Best Fiend's "Acid Happy" and Asobi Seksu's gatefold "Stay Awake" tagged with the Crystal's "Then He Kissed Me" on the flip. Also on deck is the upcoming box set of nine 7-inch singles commemorating Thrill Jockey Records' 15th anniversary. With artists from their stable covering other Thrill Jockey artists of the past, the contributors include Bobby Conn, The Sea and Cake, Freakwater, Eleventh Dream Day, Tortoise, Howe Gelb, Archer Prewitt and David Byrne.

Television Alert
With the writer's strike deafening the talk show laughter, will the music prevail? Almost as weird as when kids' TV star "Steve" from Blue's Clues turned up collaborating with The Flaming Lips back in 2003, who'da thunk that sweet and smarmy Hal Sparks, former host of E's Talk Soup, would wind up with an A1 lineup of guitarists on this year's most blistering, thinking man's Metal release.

On Tuesday, Doug Pinnick of King's X takes his Sly Stone/Jimi Hendrix blaze into new landscapes of sludgy soul, sporting the new moniker as "Dug" Pinnick. An air guitarist's fantasy album of lean-back, sizzling leads and swagger, the Magna Carta Records' release Strum Sum Up is pure Viagra for aging headbangers. ... U2's masterpiece from 1987, The Joshua Tree, is getting the 20th anniversary red-carpet treatment next week in a variety of expanded "deluxe edition" reissues. Going back to the original analog tapes, Island Records is making the newly remastered album available four ways, including as a 180-gram, two-LP gatefold vinyl set for true audiophiles. ... Further proof that the "licorice pizza" is not dead, the debut of a new limited-edition seven-inch single project is due next week. The first round of Gigantic Records' "Gigantic Singles Series" features three thin slabs of joy with Dragons Of Zynth's "Xerathyn" (with a B-side co-produced by Dave Sitek of TV On The Radio), My Best Fiend's "Acid Happy" and Asobi Seksu's gatefold "Stay Awake" tagged with the Crystal's "Then He Kissed Me" on the flip. Also on deck is the upcoming box set of nine 7-inch singles commemorating Thrill Jockey Records' 15th anniversary. With artists from their stable covering other Thrill Jockey artists of the past, the contributors include Bobby Conn, The Sea and Cake, Freakwater, Eleventh Dream Day, Tortoise, Howe Gelb, Archer Prewitt and David Byrne.

Television Alert
With the writer's strike deafening the talk show laughter, will the music prevail? The Late Show with David Letterman hosts Slash on Friday. Late Night with Conan O'Brien presents Galactic on Monday. The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson offers up Ben Lee Wednesday and Spoon Friday. Jimmy Kimmel Live welcomes Alicia Keys Friday and Duran Duran Monday.

New Releases Coming Tuesday

Sebastian Bach ­ Angel Down (Merovingian Music) featuring cover art by his late father, the Skid Row screamer is back his first solo work in eight years, boasting guest vocalist Axl Rose on three songs, a cover of Aerosmith's "Back In the Saddle" and one song co-written with Desmond Child; British Sea Power ­ Krankenhaus? (Rough Trade) CD EP with two bonus videos; Genesis ­ Genesis: 1983-1998 (Rhino) 10-disc box set packed with rarities; Gorillaz ­ D-Sides (Virgin) two-CD set of remixes and more, with bonus buttons, a patch and mini-art prints; Ed Harcourt ­ Until Tomorrow Then: The Best Of (Astralwerks) with two new songs and selections from his five albums; Interpol ­ Our Love To Admire (Capitol) import-only expanded reissue with a bonus DVD; The Kunks - The Kunks (Heartpunch) doing a Beatles-Rutles parody on The Kinks, song titles include "Beautiful Spring Day," "Aquaman" and ""Mr. Trendy"; Ziggy Marley ­ Love Is My Religion (Tuff Gong Worldwide) all new, featuring an acoustic version of the title track; Nine Inch Nails - Y34RZ3R0R3MIX3D (Interscope) track-by-track remix of the Year Zero album by Bill Laswell, Saul Williams, Ladytron, The Faint, Modwheelmood and New Order's Stephen Morris; Phish ­ Vegas 96 (JEMP Records) three CDs capturing their Aladdin Theatre performance with guest Les Claypool and a cover of Elvis Presley's hit, "Suspicious Minds"; Six Organs of Admittance ­ Shelter From the Ash (Drag City) haunting psychedelic Folk from Ben Chasny, floating and winding between acoustic and electric flights with guests from The Magik Markers, Chavez and his own band, Comets On Fire; Various Artists ­ Live Earth: The Concerts for a Climate In Crisis (Warner Bros) CD and DVD package documenting this past summer's star-studded event; Various Artists ­ The Rubble Collections: Volume 1-10 and Volume 11-20 (Fallout) twin ten-CD box sets of rare freakbeat and early psychedelic nuggets, originally compiled for the fantastic Bam-Caruso label in the 1980s.

 
 
 
 

 

 
 
 
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