Wednesday, September 5, 2007

12 Reasons to Get Excited About the Fall

With Summer officially over, it is time to look forward towards all the wonderful things in store for music fans over the next four months (yes, I am including December in my definition of Fall)...

1. Kanye West: Graduation (Sept. 11th) - While he can be an arrogant asshole at times and his acting skills could use some work (did you SEE him on Entourage two weeks ago?), there's no denying that Kanye has some skills on the mic and in the studio. With help from Mos Def, DJ Premier and Chris Martin (wait, you mean the dude from Coldplay? Yes, that Chris Martin), Kanye looks to raise the bar higher than his first two excellent records.

2. The Go! Team: Proof of Youth (Sept. 11th) - Thunder Lighting Strike was one of my favorite records of 2005 and the expectations are high for the follow-up from these Brighton, England party monsters. Actually, I've had an advance copy of this album for about a month and I can tell you that it doesn't disappoint.

3. PJ Harvey: White Chalk (Sept. 24th, UK) - While I couldn't find an official U.S. release date for this album, a Fall UK release is good enough to gain placement on this list if you're PJ Harvey. Especially if it has been over three years since her last album.

4. Bruce Springsteen & The E. Street Band: Magic (Oct. 2nd) - After spending his time last year covering Pete Seeger, it is time for The Boss to get back to doing what he does best. If the first single "Radio Nowhere" is any indication, this album should be every bit as good (or better) as The Rising. Also, The Boss and the boys will be embarking on a world tour. They stop by LA on October 28th!

5. Beirut: The Flying Club Cup (Oct. 9th) - Ever since the unlikely success of their debut The Gulag Orkestar, the buzz around this band has been growing and growing. This follow-up should go a long way towards exposing their brand of gypsy pop-folk to a much wider audience.

6. Fiery Furnaces: Widow City (Oct. 9th) - Although it seems like this band releases an album every year (and sometimes, two in the same calendar year), they rarely disappoint (unless you count Rehearsing My Choir, which I like to pretend never happened). Since I have an advance copy, I can tell you that it is closer to Blueberry Boat than their previous few albums. Which is a good thing.

7. Underworld: Oblivion With Bells (Oct. 16th) - The month of October just doesn't let up as there is literally something to look forward to each week. The follow-up to A Hundred Days Off is eagerly anticipated by their loyal fanbase (myself included), especially after the Riverrun Project EPs whetted their appetites for new material.

8. The Jesus & Mary Chain Return to LA (Oct. 23rd) - This one is special to me because it falls on the day after my birthday. After seeing their triumphant return at the Coachella Festival, I am very excited to see the brothers Reid perform a second time (perhaps with ScarJo again?) in the LA area. The fact that this show is going to be at The Wiltern Theater (my favorite LA venue) only makes it that much better.

9. Prefuse 73: Preparations (Oct. 23rd) - With an excellent new single recently released, Scott Heren has already piqued my interest in his latest Prefuse 73 record. I hope it lives up to the lofty expectations.

10. Daft Punk: Alive 2007 (Nov. 20th) - For all those who have seen the surreal live shows this French duo puts on, you know how exciting it was to learn that not only is Daft Punk releasing a live album, but also a companion DVD of their wild robotic pyramid spaceship carnival. For those of you haven't, I just feel bad for you.

11. The Avalanches: TBA - There is no official word on a release date or even a title, but last I heard the long overdue (it's been six years, people!) follow-up to the landmark Since I left You is nearly complete. Hopefully the Australian duo will be able to squeeze it in before the year is over.

12. The Return of Portishead: All Tomorrow's Parties, "The Nightmare Before Christmas" Festival (Dec. 7-9 Minehead, England) - It's been 10 years since this influential Bristol, England trio has performed new material, but with a new album almost finished (YES!!!) it is time for their coming out party. The folks behind the All Tomorrow's Parties festival series scored a major coup by tapping Portishead as not only the headliner, but also the curator of the festival. They join an INSANE lineup that includes Aphex Twin, Black Mountain, Boris, Thurston More, Sun O))) and Ladytron. While there's no way I can make it to England for the event, the return of Portishead still makes me giddy and also gives me hope that they will come to the states soon. . .say to headline the 2008 Coachella Music Festival? I'm just saying.

No comments: