New Music Monday: Asia, Shorty Rogers, Marillion and a gold-plated Bob Dylan

Asia’s return-to-form release from its original superstar lineup highlights a week that also includes new live and studio stuff from Icarus Witch, Jefferson Starship, Marillion and Nile, along with other notable projects from Bob Dylan, Doro, Glen Campbell, Shorty Rogers, the New York Dolls, Rupert Holmes (if you’re not in yoga!) and the Grateful Dead.

AND NOW, TIME TO SNAP, CRACKLE AND POP WITH A FLAG-WAVING JULY 2, 2012 EDITION OF NEW MUSIC MONDAY …

Animal CollectiveHoneycomb; Gotham (Pop/Rock)
Art FarmerFour Classic Albums (Jazz)

ASIA – XXX (POP/ROCK): In many ways, this is a better follow up to 1982’s multiplatinum self-titled release than was anything else Asia has put out — with this original superstar lineup, or in any of the group’s myriad other configurations over the years. If the songs don’t necessarily bristle with the same bitter swagger, they more than make up for it with a similarly remarkable sense of hooky pop smarts — and a few more of the classically inspired touches that we might have initially expected from former members of Yes, King Crimson, and Emerson Lake and Palmer. Highlights include “Face on the Bridge” (the throwback lead single from XXX), the deeply emotional “I Know How You Feel,” and “Ghost of a Chance,” which pushes the project toward a prog-rockingly spacious conclusion. (More here.) — Nick DeRiso

Blackmore’s NightKnight in York (Pop/Rock)

BOB DYLAN – BOB DYLAN’S GREATEST HITS [24K Gold] (POP/ROCK): A new gold-plated remastering courtesy of Audio Fidelity and master remaster-er Steve Hoffman, which finds Dylan at the peak of his powers on the likes of “Blowin’ in the Wind,” “The Times They are a-Changing,” “Mr. Tambourine Man,” “Just Like a Woman” and, of course, “Like a Rolling Stone” — named the No. 1 rock song of all time from Rolling Stone magazine, if for no other reason than its legendary opening stanza. Dylan agrees. In 1984, he said: “The first two lines, which rhymed ‘kiddin’ you’ with ‘didn’t you,’ just about knocked me out.” (Us, too.) Says Hoffman: “I believe the Audio Fidelity Gold CD of Bob Dylan’s Greatest Hits will have the best-sounding version of ‘Like A Rolling Stone’ ever. Just something to be proud of.” (More here.) — Nick DeRiso

Buddy HollySix Classic Albums Plus (Pop/Rock)
Caetano VelosoCaetano Veloso; Transa; Muito; Joia; Qualquer Coisa; Bicho; Cinema Transcendental; Araca Azul; Tropicalia; Caetano Muitos Carnavais (International)
Charlie ParkerMarchin’ On (Jazz)
Chris BrownFortune (R&B)
Donna SummerWanderer (R&B)

DORO – UNDER MY SKIN (POP/ROCK): A two-disc greatest hits collection that includes Warlock classics like “I Rule the Ruins” and “All We Are” (though it’s the 2007 version of the song that’s included here, not the 1987 original), stuff from throughout Doro’s career and even a cover or two – notably Judas Priest’s “Breaking the Law.” — Fred Phillips

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Dub PistolsWorshipping The Dollar (Pop/Rock)
Eddie MoneyTake Me Home Tonight: The Best of (Pop/Rock)
fIREHOSEFlyin’ the Flannel (Pop/Rock)
Flo RidaWild Ones (Hip Hop)
George Jones10 Great Songs (Country)

GLEN CAMPBELL – TEN GREAT SONGS (COUNTRY): Includes remastered versions of familiar hits like “Galveston,” “Gentle on My Mind,” “By the Time I Get to Phoenix” and, of course, the ageless “Wichita Lineman.” Campbell’s vocal on “Lineman,” true to form, is smooth but not so smooth that he can’t assume the narrator’s character, one of a man working in desolate part of the country up on a telephone pole — an everyday kind of guy worrying about the weather and pining for his girl. With its heavily orchestrated arrangement and a shimmering organ, “Lineman” is one of those songs that might have appeared on Muzak stations a time or two — but is saved from the mind-numbing blandness by a timeless melody with the kind of depth you can find in more ample supply back then than you can find now. (More here.) — S. Victor Aaron

Harry “Sweets” Edison, Johnny Hodges, Ben WebsterFriendship (Jazz)
Howell DevineDelta Grooves (Blues)

ICARUS WITCH – RISE (POP/ROCK): The promising, but uneven traditional metal act returns with a new singer and, at least from the samples I’ve heard, a more modern sound. It will be interesting to see how this record plays with fans of the band’s past albums. — Fred Phillips

InfamousAbandon All Ships (Pop/Rock)
James Luther Dickinson, Jim Dickinson, North Mississippi AllstarsI’m Just Dead I’m Not Gone (Blues)
Jason GreeleyJason Greeley (Country)

JEFFERSON STARSHIP – TALES FROM THE MOTHERSHIP (POP/ROCK): A new four-CD box set from Gonzo Multimedia focusing on the reunited Jefferson Starship’s 2009 appearance at the Roswell UFO Parade and Festival, where Paul Kantner and Co. (along with special guests that included original Grateful Dead keyboardist Tom Constanten) performed a one-of-a-kind sci-fi concert in honor of the town’s famed annual parade. The entire concert was filmed and recorded, with highlights that included such iconic hits as “White Rabbit,” “Somebody To Love,” “Volunteers” and “Wooden Ships” (each recorded by its forebear Jefferson Airplane, and the last two penned by Kantner), plus a special program of science fiction-themed compositions and select recordings — some of which were for the first time ever.
(More here.) — Nick DeRiso

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Joy DivisionLove Will Tear Us Apart (Pop/Rock)
Keller Williams and the Travelin’ McCourysPick (Country)

MARILLION – BEST.LIVE (POP/ROCK): A two-CD compilation, with digi-book packaging, featuring highlights from live recordings made between 2003 and 2011 — a rewarding period highlighted by the ’04 studio gem Marbles (a modern rock concept album with few of the pretentions of the prog-rock that is typically associated with the concept album) and 2007’s Somewhere Else (a lovely transition out of the emotional, intense, and dense Marbles, and easily one of their most focused and solid albums since 1995’s Afraid Of Sunlight). Also included on Best.Live: “That Time of the Night (The Short Straw),” “Warm Wet Circles,” “The Release,” “Man Of A Thousand Faces” and “Beautiful.” (More here.) — Tom Johnson

Marilyn MonroeIncomparable (Vocals)
Melody GardotThe Absence (Jazz)
Million Dollar ReloadA Sinner’s Saint (Pop/Rock)
MörglblBrütal Römance (Pop/Rock)
My Bloody ValentineLoveless; Isn’t Anything; EPs (Pop/Rock)

NEW YORK DOLLS – TRASHED IN PARIS ’73 (POP/ROCK): In the 1970s, I knew nothing about the New York Dolls. Oh sure, I remember yammerings about them in my copies of Creem, but the records never made their way into my hands. Looking back, this was a major travesty. I was too busy listening to heavy metal. By the time of the New York Dolls’ One Day It Will Please Us To Remember Even This in 2006, however, I had finally discovered them. Not far into the first listen, I had all of the familiar symptoms from the hard rock music I was listening to back then instead: the racing heart, the flushed skin, tiny beads of sweat on the brow. Inexplicable joy, is what this was. Big and chunky guitar riffs. Snazzy lead work. Tight basslines. Athletic drumming. It’s what good rock music should be. Here’s your chance to discover the Dolls all over again, too. (More here.) — Mark Saleski

NILE – AT THE GATES OF SETHU (POP/ROCK): Prepare to be bludgeoned again. — Fred Phillips

Periphery IIPeriphery (Pop/Rock)
Ray Parker Jr.The Other Woman (R&B)

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Rick Estrin and the NightcatsOne Wrong Turn (Blues)
Rickie Lee JonesMagazine; Pirates (Pop/Rock)

RUPERT HOLMES – PARTNERS IN CRIME (POP/ROCK): Home to a pair of late-1970s/early-1980s Holmes hits, “Him” and — most famously — “Escape (The Piña Colada Song).” Even if you never heard it on the radio back then, you’ll never wrench yourself free of Holmes’ deathless umbrella-drink tune on TV and at the movies. For all of that, “Escape” remains so very unlikeable — from its implausible premise, to that passive-aggressively lazy beat, to its easy cynicism. Who ever bought the idea that this dude’s wife, upon hearing that he also placed an ad looking for anonymous love, and snuck out to meet this person at a local dive, would simply sigh and say: “Aw, it’s you.” It’s true, he was nobody’s poet. But then, all of a sudden, I’m humming along. And then, I’m singing. Rupert Holmes? Aw, it’s you … again! (More here.) — Nick DeRiso

SHORTY ROGERS – 8 CLASSIC ALBUMS (JAZZ): Worth it, if for no other reason than the hilarious “Martians Go Home,” from 1955’s The Swinging Mr. Rogers: A canny mixture of an old-school swinging style with the then-new cool sound, even if its name sounds like a goof. Just as the tune settles into a lightly effervescent groove, you’re shaken awake by these utter silences, each spanning two whole bars. That touch of the avant-garde is something that Shorty Rogers — who took a lot of knocks for that TV work; though, heck, I love “The Three Little Bops” too — was rarely given credit for. (More here.) — Nick DeRiso

The BlastersFun On Saturday Night (Blues)

THE GRATEFUL DEAD – THE GRATEFUL DEAD MOVIE (POP/ROCK): Now expanded to a sprawling two-disc DVD set by Shout! Factory, this film provides an intimate glimpse into performances from five shows held in October 1974 at the Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco. Disc 1 features the original theatrical release in its entirety, with memorable performances of “Truckin,'” “Sugar Magnolia” and “Casey Jones.” Longtime fans will want to skip immediately to Disc 2, which includes more than 95 minutes of exciting bonus concert performances — highlights include “The Other One,” “I Know You Rider” and “Dark Star” — with a special new feature option that makes the lyrics visible. There is also a feature-length commentary, a trio of documentaries (including a making-of-the-DVD short), and an extensive photo gallery, among other items. A must-have for the Dead completist. (More here.) — Nick DeRiso

The Small FacesOgden’s Nut Gone Flake (Pop/Rock)
WigeliusReinventions (Pop/Rock)

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