Niagara Gazette


June 4, 2009

MUSIC: New summer albums

By Phil Dzikiy

This year’s summer music release schedule looks a lot like a typical summer movie season: Big names and blockbusters abound. In the first week of June, we’ve already seen new releases from touring juggernaut, the Dave Matthews Band (“Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux King”), legendary singer-songwriter Elvis Costello (“Secret, Profane and Sugarcane”) and rockers Eels (“Hombre Lobo: 12 Songs of Desire”). But there’s much more to come, including a full slate of heavy hitters this month.

Things may tail off a bit in August, but that’s just like a blockbuster summer, isn’t it?


Next week brings us a new album from the Black Eyed Peas (“The E.N.D.”), a hip-hop group that made a transition from under-the-radar to pop stars so quickly, most people probably don’t even know there was such a transition. Fergie wasn’t always in the group, for starters.

Former indie rock kings Sonic Youth return to their roots with their debut on independent label Matador Records (“The Eternal”) next week, as well.

Commercially, Incubus has been one of the more successful bands of this decade. The group looks to capitalize on that fact with the release of “Monuments and Melodies,” a two-disc compilation including greatest hits and rarities.

Speaking of popular, The Jonas Brothers are back with a new album, “Lines, Vines and Trying Times.” It’ll be interesting to see if the brothers have held onto their audience after the success of last year’s “A Little Bit Longer.”

If the Jonases are too poppy for your tastes, there’s more complex rock on the way, whether you prefer your guitars to deliver distortion (Dinosaur Jr.’s “Farm”) or new progressive rock (The Mars Volta’s “Octahedron”).

Moby has spoke of being inspired by director David Lynch prior to his latest album, “Wait For Me.” The techno artist’s latest animated video, for “Shot in the Back of the Head,” was directed (and animated!) by Lynch himself.

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