Oct. 15, 2013
The Avett Brothers – Magpie and the Dandelion (American)
The North Carolina band, fronted by Scott and Seth Avett, release an eighth album that is full of the folk, bluegrass, punk, country, rock and ragtime blend the Avett Brothers have come to be known for. The 11 tracks were recorded during the same sessions as their effort from last year, The Carpenter, with powerhouse producer Rick Rubin, who also produced their I and Love and You album from 2009. It's no surprise, then, that Magpie and Dandelion packs just as many thoughtful, somber ballads – and less screeching vocals – as those two albums. Have some Kleenex handy, because you'll be shedding tears as you sing along to every word of tracks like "Good to You" and "Apart From Me."
The Dismemberment Plan – Uncanney Valley (Partisan)
The groundbreaking D.C. foursome's first album in 12 years was recorded by longtime collaborator J. Robbins (Jawbreaker, The Promise Ring), produced by the band and Jason Caddell, and mixed by Paul Q. Kolderie (Pixies, Radiohead). Perhaps the years apart are just what the Dismemberment Plan needed to come back and record with fresh perspective. Uncanney Valley exudes a playful exuberance from the opening lines of its first track, "No One's Saying Nothing," and that energy remains throughout songs such as "White Collar White Trash" and "Let's Just Go to the Dogs Tonight," making for a energetic, fun listen. Witness the new album, as well as older favorites, brought to the Fonda stage on Dec. 12.
Gary Numan – Splinter (Songs from a Broken Mind) (Machine Music)
Co-produced by the electro/industrial pioneer and his longtime collaborator Ade Fenton, Splinter (Songs from a Broken Mind) marks Numan's 20th studio album. Nine Inch Nails guitarist Robin Finck provides snarling riffs that pair with pulsating synths to give texture to the backdrops for Numan's vocals. The artist relocated to Los Angeles from his native England at the end of last year, and Angelenos have heartily embraced him: His Oct. 17 and 18 shows at Hollywood Forever's Masonic Lodge sold out in minutes. You can still catch him perform songs from the new album, and signing some copies, at Amoeba Hollywood tomorrow (Oct. 16) at 6 p.m.
Lucius – Wildewoman (Mom + Pop)
It's pretty impossible to not get up and dance from the opening bars of the title track from the NYC quintet's debut, Wildewoman. Adding stellar vocal harmonies by Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig, heart-pounding percussion and hand claps (yes!), to their infectious hooks has made Lucius a "band to watch" as dubbed by TIME and Rolling Stone. "Turn It Around," "Hey, Doreen" and "Tempest" are guaranteed to get you moving, and even stripped-down tracks like "Go Home" and "Two of Us on the Run" capture your attention. They blew the roof off the Echo in August and won't be back in town for a while, but that just means you'll have plenty of time to memorize the lyrics to your favorite tracks.
Tristen – CAVES (Pupsnake)
Tristen Gaspadarek's follow-up to her acclaimed 2011 debut, Charlatans at the Garden Gate, sees the Nashville-based singer-songwriter stepping into the synth-pop realm, mixing electronic and live instruments for an electrifying sophomore release. She artfully marries these new tones with touches from her past influences that range from Dolly Parton and Madonna to the Beatles, Bob Dylan and David Bowie on CAVES, produced by Bright Eyes' Mike Mogis and mixed by Stephen Hague (New Order, Pet Shop Boys, OMD). Tristen's vocals captivate, from the buoyant first single, opening track "No One's Gonna Know," to the break-up ballad "Easy Out" and the darker "Winter Night, which was inspired by the Boris Pasternak poem of the same name. She performs in Los Angeles this Friday, Oct. 18, at Hotel Café.
Also available – American Babies' Knives & Teeth; Annie Mac Presents 2013 compilation; Beats Antique's A Thousand Faces – Act 1; Black Milk's No Poison, No Paradise; Boardwalk's self-titled; Boldy James' My 1st Chemistry Set; Brian Haas & Matt Chamberlain's Frames; Cass McCombs' Big Wheel and Others; Courtesy Drop's Songs to Drive to; Cry, and Make Love To; Crystal Antlers' Nothing Is Real; Cults' Static; Devin the Dude's One for the Road; Dom Kennedy's Get Home Safely; Doomriders' Grand Blood; Eye Candy's A Tell All; Field Study's Feverland; The Head and the Heart's Let's Be Still; Heavenly Beat's Prominence; I Am King's Onehundred; Icon for Hire's self-titled; James Ferraro's NYC, Hell 3:00 AM; Kwes.' ILP; Linda Thompson's Won't Be Long Now; Lizzo's Lizzobangers; The Lonely Forest's Adding Up the Wasted Hours; Luke Temple's Good Mood Fool; Marijuana Deathsquads' Oh My Sexy Lord; Mike Donovan's WOT; Music from the Motion Picture Carrie soundtrack; Morcheeba Head Up High; Nobunny's Secret Songs: Reflections from the Ear Mirror; Paul McCartney's New; Pearl Jam's Lightning Bolt; Red City Radio's Titles; Red Fang's Whales and Leeches; Scotty McCreery's See You Tonight; Shad's Flying Colours; Shine 2009's Our Nation; Silence the Messenger's Achilles; Tancred's self-titled; Tim Hecker's Virgins; TLC's 20; Toad the Wet Sprocket's New Constellation; Trivium's Vengeance Falls; Willie Nelson's To All the Girls…; Wymond Miles' Cut Yourself Free; Young Dro's High Times
Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy by Helen Fielding (Knopf)
The flawed heroine returns, but she's not living the happily-ever-after existence fans of Fielding's 1996 introduction to Bridget Jones's Diary (and its The Edge of Reason sequel) might have expected. First off, SPOILER ALERT, Darcy is dead, leaving Bridget to face middle age and to raise their two children alone. As she deals with life as a single mother, Bridget ventures into the world of dating once again, but with modern-day technology and the Internet's dating tools at her disposal. And yes, Bridget Jones is now a cougar. Follow her continuing struggles with her weight and men, as well as the new challenges that parenthood brings.
Also available – The Caterpillar Way by Craig T. Bouchard; The Duck Commander Devotional by Alan Robertson; The Everything Store by Brad Stone; The Family by David Laskin; Humans of New York by Brandon Stanton; Identical by Scott Turow; Johnny Carson by Henry Bushkin; Just One Evil Act by Elizabeth George; The Kennedy Half-Century by Larry Sabato; The Last Dark by Stephen R. Donaldson; Orr by Bobby Orr; Police by Jo Nesbø; The Reason for My Hope by Billy Graham; Revealed by Kristin Cast; Shores of Knowledge by Joyce Oldham Appleby; Transform by Christopher Morace; Wheelmen by Vanessa O'Connell; The Wolves of Midwinter by Anne Rice
Film – Sandra Bullock is an uptight FBI agent who has to join forces with a rebellious Boston cop (Melissa McCarthy) to take down a drug lord in Paul Feig's The Heat; The Colony stars Laurence Fishburne, Bill Paxton and Kevin Zegers; Pacific Rim, from director Guillermo Del Toro, pits Charlie Hunnam, Idris Elba and Rinko Kikuchi against giant monster aliens; Oliver Stone's Untold History of the United States
TV – Anger Management: Volume Two; Defiance: Season One; Hart of Dixie: The Complete Second Season; The Fall, Series 1; River Monsters: Season 4; Vikings: Season One
Music – Deep Purple's Perfect Strangers - Live; Flying Colors' Live in Europe; Jason Aldean's Night Train to Georgia; Joe Cocker's Fire it Up: Live; The Tenors' Lead with Your Heart: Live from Las Vegas
Also available – Assaulted: Civil Rights Under Fire; Babysitter Massacre; Birdemic 2: The Resurrection; Come Dance with Me; Dirty Wars; Exploding Sun; The Harbinger Decoded; A Hijacking; Hitched for the Holidays; Jug Face; Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain; Love at the Thanksgiving Day Parade; Maniac; Merry In-Laws; Plush