New Music Monday: Adrenaline Mob, David Byrne, Meat Loaf, Shooter Jennings, Vijay Iyer

All aboard the cool-rocking new release train, as cool stuff arrives from Adrenaline Mob, Ben Howard, Meat Loaf, Shooter Jennings and Vijay Iyer, along with key reissues and live dates from Humble Pie, Janis Joplin and 10,000 Maniacs. Also just-in this week: Caetano Veloso and David Byrne, Chicago Underground Duo, Dan Wilensky, Epica, Harold Budd, Soulfly, Taurey Butler, and Wino and Conny Ochs, among others.

PRESENTING NEW MUSIC MONDAY FOR THE WEEK OF MARCH 12, 2012 …

10,000 MANIACS – OUR TIME IN EDEN [20TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION] (POP/ROCK): A deluxe LP vinyl reissue from Audio Fidelity, the fifth album from 10,000 Maniacs — remembered as the last to feature Natalie Merchant — receives the same remastering attention here as the company’s celebrated 24K gold releases. Fellow Maniacs Robert Buck, Dennis Drew, Steven Gustafson and Jerome Augustyniak are joined by alumni from the James Brown band (Maceo Parker, Pee Wee Ellis and Fred Wesley), notably on the single “Candy Everybody Wants.” The album also includes the single “Few and Far Between,” though “These Are the Days” was the highest-charter, topping Billboard’s Modern Rock chart and reaching No. 66 on the Hot 100. Our Time in Eden went to No. 28, and remained on the album charts for 56 weeks. — Nick DeRiso

ADRENALINE MOB – OMERTA (POP/ROCK): The debut of the supergroup featuring former Dream Theater drummer Mike Portnoy, Symphony X singer Russell Allen, Sonic Stomp guitarist Mike Orlando and Disturbed bassist John Moyer, who was added only recently after the recording of the album, should be intruging. I’m a big fan of Symphony X, and I like a lot of what Portnoy did in Dream Theater. I wonder how it will work together. Lead single “Undaunted” is a dose of bouncy modern-style metal that’s interesting, even if it underutilizes Allen’s amazing voice. — Fred Phillips

Anya MarinaFelony Flats (Pop/Rock)

BEN HOWARD – EVERY KINGDOM (FOLK): Howard’s finger-picking style of guitar can be both pastoral and percussive, giving this album a layered complexity that belies folk’s old cardboard genre box. The British singer-songwriter’s initial release, out since last fall in his homeland but just seeing U.S. release this week, was produced in a converted barn studio — “neatly nestled,” Howard says, “between the moors and the sea.” In keeping, the album often has the feel of a last-call hootenanny. His vocal style perfectly matches that creative curvature, stretching and pulling with an equal and opposite force as the tunes — from the Mumford and Sons-ish pub howlings of “The Wolves” to the sing-along sunshine-streaked anthem “Keep Your Head Up” to the intricately wrought “Three Tree Down” — journey across a surprising range of musical impulses. (More here.)Nick DeRiso

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BIG BROTHER AND THE HOLDING COMPANY, FEATURING JANIS JOPLIN – LIVE AT THE CAROUSEL BALLROOM 1968 (POP/ROCK): Maybe this album, finally, will put to rest the wrong-headed notion that Big Brother was too crude to hold their own in the shadow of Janis Joplin’s shooting-star career. In the years since she died of a heroin overdose at 27 on October 4, 1970, Joplin’s bold style — in dress, in singing, and certainly in her sexuality — have become part of the language of rock and pop performance. Yet she remains something of an enigma, more a bell-bottomed curio than flesh and blood, and so often mischaracterized. Live at the Carousel Ballroom reanimates Joplin, in every sense of the word. But you also hear, and perhaps more clearly still, what made Big Brother and the Holding Company such an important and so very underrated collaborator. (More here.)Nick DeRiso

Bo DiddleyBlack Gladiator (R&B)

CAETANO VELOSO AND DAVID BYRNE – LIVE AT CARNEGIE HALL (INTERNATIONAL): The only question, really, is why this concert has been sitting on a shelf since 2004. That spring, Brazilian legend Caetano Veloso invited David Byrne, leader of the Talking Heads from 1976–88, to participate in a special event at New York’s Carnegie Hall. Recorded for broadcast on NPR, the concert featured an acoustic set of each — with Veloso and Byrne joined by cellist Jacques Morelenbaum and percussionist Mauro Refosco. For Veloso, that means delicately conveyed versions of “Desde Que o Samba e Samba,” “Sampa,” “O Leaozinho” and “Manhata.” For Byrne, reimaginings of “Life During Wartime” and “Road to Nowhere.” But the most intriguing moments happened when they shared the stage. (More here.)Nick DeRiso

CANNIBAL CORPSE – TORTURE (POP/ROCK): It’s a Cannibal Corpse record. Not much else to say. If you like them, you’ll love it. If your face just knotted up in disgust when you read the band name, you’ll want to take a pass. — Fred Phillips

Cathy JordanAll the Way Home (Pop/Rock)

CHICAGO UNDERGROUND DUO – AGE OF ENERGY (JAZZ): Very few are doing electro-acoustic better than the Chicago Underground Duo, because very few mix the two musical sonic worlds together as organically as they do. Recorded live with minimal overdubs, Age Of Energy continues their long tradition of exploration, explosions and meditation. Lacking a bass, the void is either filled by the repeating motifs of analog-ish electronic sounds or just not addressed at all, leaving a huge hole in the sound that leave Mazurek and Taylor all kinds of room to maneuver when creating both serenity and commotion. The music always seems to know where it’s headed and the destination merely becomes the starting point for another mind trip. (More here.)S. Victor Aaron

DAN WILENSKY – BACK IN THE MIX (JAZZ): You might initially be drawn in for the compelling new arrangements of “Lament” by J.J. Johnson, Cole Porter’s “Falling In Love With Love” and “Tenderly” by Gross and Lawrence, but you’ll keep coming back to Dan Wilensky’s fourth album as a leader because of its six original compositions — each of them a canny showcase for the Ann Arbor, Michigan native’s crisp individualism on the sax. A former guest soloist with the Woody Herman Orchestra, Wilensky has gone on to play in staggeringly varied number of settings — from a Bob Fosse play on Broadway to a sideman gig with Joan Baez, from the TV house band for Joy Behar to hit records by Santana, Madonna and Hall and Oates, among many, many others. That layered musical sensibility only deepens the complexity of Back in the Mix. Of course, it also doesn’t hurt that Wilensky’s crack band includes alumni from the bands of Lee Konitz (Russ Johnson) and Sonny Rollins (Mark Soskin), too. — Nick DeRiso

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Doris DayUltimate Collection (Vocals)
Dropkick MurphysGoing Out In Style: Live at Fenway (Pop/Rock)
Earl Van DykeMotown Sound: The Complete Albums Singles and More (R&B)

ERALDO BERNOCCHI, HAROLD BUDD, ROBIN GUTHRIE – WINTER GARDEN (JAZZ): This isn’t so much a trio as it’s a partnership: Harold Budd taps out sparse, ethereal notes from his classical piano, Guthrie surrounds it with supplemental instrumentation (mainly guitar and keyboards) and sound architect Bernocchi plays electric paino and along with Guthrie applies the finishing coast of varnish with soothin washes of synthesized sound. If all this sounds much like a Budd/Eno collaboration, then you’re hot on the trail of what Winter Garden is like. The dreamy progressions are so non-disruptive that the closest it comes to grooving are the faint pulses of a bass line in “Entangled” and “Stay With Me” and actual percussion on the last two minutes of the latter track. But few surprises is a strength when the idea is to chill. You can achieve a sufficiently sedated bliss soaking up the icy but inviting soundscapes here. (More here.)S. Victor Aaron

Eric BellBelfast Blues in a Jar (Blues)
Etta JamesI Just Want to Make Love to You; Very Best of (R&B)

EPICA – REQUIEM FOR THE INDIFFERENT (POP/ROCK): The female-fronted Dutch symphonic metal band unleashes its fifth studio album on the world. It’s the familiar mixture of power metal, progressive, goth and extreme metal done exceptionally well. I’ve always been a sucker for a good beauty-and-the-beast vocal trade and Simone Simons and Mark Jansen do it as well as anyone. — Fred Phillips

FeedtimeAberrant Years (Pop/Rock)
Gregoire MaretGregoire Maret (Jazz)
Guy PenrodHymns (Religious)
Hellbound GloryDamaged Goods (Country)

HENRY COLE AND THE AFROBEAT COLLECTIVE – ROOTS BEFORE BRANCHES (JAZZ): Because Cole does such a bang-up job blending Afrobeat with other strands of music, he broadens the appeal but doesn’t dilute it. Much of the record feels like a non-stop groove, but moving from one mood to another. There’s the poetry recital over the solo jazzy tenor sax on “Ano 2010,” the Jeff Beck styled blues fusion of “Una Para Isabel,” the organ-propelled hard funk that is “Solo Dos Veces,” the chamber music that adorns “Uncovered Fear” and songs that bring rock, Afrobeat and jazz together seamlessly in equal doses, as on “Trabajala.” “Comienzo” even brings in the influence of Puerto Rico’s Jamaican neighbor over which a jazz fusion synth noodles around. Until the last track, where he takes a song-long “Solo,” Cole leads from behind, instigating these contagious, organic rhythms. (More here.)S. Victor Aaron

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HUMBLE PIE – ON TO VICTORY/GO FOR THE THROAT (POP/ROCK): A pair of early-1980s albums, recorded well after Peter Frampton’s departure, find late guitarist/frontman Steve Marriott continuing to blend hard rock, prog, blues and soul along with drummer Jerry Shirley (later of Fastway), guitarist Bobby Tench (from the Jeff Beck Group) and bassist Anthony “Sooty” Jones. 1980’s On To Victory was highlighted by the Billboard Top 100 hit “Fool for a Pretty Face.” Elsewhere, fans will find favorites like “Infatuation” and “Teenage Anxiety.” This reissue, courtesy of Deadline Music, also includes a bonus-disc concert recorded in 1981 in Los Angeles, as well as full liner notes and rare photos. — Nick DeRiso

Janiva MagnessStronger for It (Blues)
Jeremy CampI Still Believe: No. 1’s Collection (Religious)
John MayallBig Man Blues (Blues)
Kate TuckerGhost of Something New (Pop/Rock)
Kristin Luna RayOne Shared Heart (New Age)
LuceroWoman and Work (Pop/Rock)

MEAT LOAF – HELL IN A HANDBASKET (POP/ROCK): Meat Loaf returns, but this time without Bat series co-creator Jim Steinman, promising a more personal collection of songs. In fact, Meat has already called this 12th studio effort his most honest ever. Well, it’s certainly one of his angriest — despite the presence of a bunch of his old pals from “Celebrity Apprentice,” including Lil Jon, Trace Adkins, John Rich, and Mark McGrath, on “Stand in the Storm.” Just when you think things can’t get any more pissed off, Meat brings in Chuck D, who adds a series of cranky raps to the the three-part performance piece, “Blue Sky/Mad Mad World/The Good God is a Woman and She Don’t Like Ugly.” Of course, American fans are probably a little perturbed, too, having waited so long for this official March release date. This album actually came out in Australia and Germany with a slightly different song order last year. “All of Me” and Meat Loaf’s dark new version of the Mamas and the Papas’ “California Dreamin'” (yes, I said “dark new version”; he really is angry) was also released Down Under last fall. What the hell? — Nick DeRiso

Michael KiwanukaHome Again (R&B)
Nils WeinholdShapes (Jazz)
Pat BooneMoody River/Great! Great! Great! (Vocals)
Peter WhiteHere We Go (Jazz)
Phillips, Craig and DeanBreathe In (Religious)
RPWLBeyond Man And Time (Pop/Rock)
Ruben StuddardLetters From Birmingham (R&B)
Said the WhaleLittle Mountain (Pop/Rock)
Saw DoctorsFurther Adventures of the Saw Doctors (Folk)

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SHOOTER JENNINGS – FAMILY MAN (COUNTRY): After a cool, experimental rock album with Hierophant, Shooter Jennings returns home to country music. And despite a guest shot from Rage Against the Machine’s Tom Morello, this is a country record. The Southern rock of “Southern Family Album” is the exception rather than the rule on Shooter’s first self-produced album with his new band, The Triple Crown, featuring jazz pianist Erik Deutsch and roots musician Eleanor Whitmore, among others. Most of the songs lean far more toward the style of his father and Waylon’s long-time partner in crime Willie than the music we’ve heard from Shooter before. (More here.)Fred Phillips

Smooth Jazz All StarsGospel Jazz Choir Hits (Jazz)

SOULFLY – ENSLAVED (POP/ROCK): After experimentation with world music sounds and nu-metal, Max Cavalera has traveled back toward his roots in Brazilian thrash giants Sepultura over Soulfly’s last several albums. That continues on Enslaved, a theme album about slavery in its many forms. One of the most interesting pieces may be the tribal thrasher “Revengeance,” which features Cavalera’s three sons – Zyon, Richie and Igor. Cavalera still has his trademark shout, new drummer David Kinkade pounds away, and long-time axeman Marc Rizzo gets his shots to impress, too. It’s all you could want in a Soulfly album. — Fred Phillips

TAUREY BUTLER – TAUREY BUTLER (JAZZ): The principals here — Butler, bassist Eric Lagace and drummer Wali Muhammad — hold a residency at the well-regarded House of Jazz in Montreal. Woodshedding there, ultimately, led to this new self-titled debut from Justin Time Records, which features a number of tracks first explored on stage. So interesting remakes like Horace Silver’s “The Preacher” fit seamlessly alongside newer compositions written specifically for the album — like the lush, flowing “Voice for All.” Theirs is a hard-won — yet still growing — musical symbiosis. (More here.)Nick DeRiso

The Civil WarsBarton Hollow: International Edition (Pop/Rock)
The DecemberistsWe All Raise Our Voices to the Air [Live Songs 04.11-08.11] (Pop/Rock)
The PoliceOutlandos D’amour (Pop/Rock)

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The Ting TingsSounds From Nowheresville (Pop/Rock)
Theo BleckmannHello Earth! The Music of Kate Bush (Jazz)
Various artistsMr. Joe’s Jambalaya [from Joe Banashak's legendary New Orleans labels Minit, Instant, Alon and Seven-B labels] (R&B)
Various artistsMemphis Boys: The Story Of American Studios [King Curtis, Dusty Springfield, The Box Tops, Wilson Pickett, B.J. Thomas, Solomon Burke, Joe Tex, Bobby Womack] (R&B)
Various artistsWelcome to The Nightmare: An All-Star Salute to Alice Cooper [Members of Iron Maiden, Guns N' Roses, Velvet Revolver, Def Leppard, Motley Crue, The Who, Megadeth, Twisted Sister, Dio, Dokken, Deep Purple, Iced Earth] (Pop/Rock)

VIJAY IYER – ACCELERANDO (JAZZ): After a 2010 diversion into a piano called Solo, Vijay Iyer returns to his trio. While we might once again have a Iyer record with Stephan Crump (bass) and Marcus Gilmore (drums), Iyer isn’t staying put in pursuing musical strategies. This new effort marks a progression from his excellent previous trio date Historicity. Incisive, articulate and even-tempered, Iyer has a passion for artistry that still bleeds through — and his piano displays those same traits. In tandem, his group is one of only a handful of jazz trios on the scene that is seemingly immune to the prevailing notions of how a piano/bass/drums combo should perform and follows its own path. (More here.)S. Victor Aaron

Vincent Herring and Eric AlexanderFriendly Fire (Jazz)
Wallace RoneyHome (Jazz)
Webb’s Chicken ShackStan’s Blues (Blues)
Whitney HoustonCompact Whitney Houston [Interview] (Pop/Rock)

WINO AND CONNY OCHS – HEAVY KINGDOM (POP/ROCK): An unlikely combination of doom metal legend Scott “Wino” Weinrich from The Obsessed and St. Vitus with mostly acoustic German art rocker Conny Ochs creates a surprisingly soulful and earthy record. There’s a little rock, a little country, a little blues, a little bit of the gloom Wino is known for, and it makes for an often sparse, but usually compelling album.Fred Phillips

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