This Week in Music, June 4, 2013: Summoning “Ghost Brothers” with Mellencamp, King, and Burnett Page 3

Friedberger Personal

Other new releases

Eleanor Friedberger: Personal Record (Merge; photo above by Roger Kisby)
Second solo album by the singer of the (currently on hiatus) Fiery Furnaces. It’s an album full of love songs, but — says Eleanor in a press release — “they’re also love songs to music: how you feel on stage when you do something spontaneous and it works, how you feel when you hear someone sing a song for the first time, what it’s like to watch a friend perform, how you can feel close to someone you barely know because you both happen to love the same record.”

Barenaked Ladies: Grinning Streak (Vanguard)
Speaking of loving music, here’s what guitarist/vocalist Ed Robertson says in another press release: “Pop is a form that I love; it can be high-energy and intricate. When I think of pop music, I think of the Cars and Squeeze; interesting, melodic rock is what I gravitate toward and what I’m always striving for. I want guitar-heavy pop/rock that’s intelligent, evocative, and thought-provoking. I want it to be singable and relatable, and I want there to be other layers in there for the people who want to go deeper — because not everybody does.”

Dave Davies: I Will Be Me (Cleopatra)
Kinks guitarist’s first solo album of original material since 2007. Guests include members of the Jayhawks, Anti-Flag, and Dead Meadow.

LeAnn Rimes: Spitfire (Curb)
Among the country singer’s co-writers: Dan Wilson, David Baerwald, and John Shanks. One of the Baerwald tracks, “What Have I Done,” features Alison Krauss and Dan Tyminski. “Gasoline and Matches,” a song by Buddy and Julie Miller, features Rob Thomas and Jeff Beck. CD version is a Walmart exclusive; downloads are available from iTunes and Amazon.com.

Lonestar: Life as We Know It (4 Star/The Orchard)
Ninth studio album from the country-crossover outfit — and first since the return of original lead vocalist Richie McDonald.

Megadeth: Super Collider (T-Boy/UMe)
Fourteenth studio album from Dave Mustaine and crew. Ends with a cover of Thin Lizzy’s “Cold Sweat.” An edition sold exclusively at Best Buy includes three bonus tracks.

Future Bible Heroes: Partygoing (Merge)
First CD in 11 years by the electro-pop project of the Magnetic Fields’ Stephin Merritt. According to Merge, “there are fewer vampires and space aliens on Partygoing than on the prior two albums, though as always there are plenty of songs about dancing, drinking, and death.”

Capital Cities: In a Tidal Wave of Mystery (Capitol)
More electro-pop, this time by two jingle writers who met on Craigslist. Inspirational titles: “Patience Gets Us Nowhere Fast,” “Farrah Fawcett Hair,” and — attention, S&V devotees — “I Sold My Bed, but Not My Stereo.”

Filter: The Sun Comes Out Tonight (Wind-up)
Richard Patrick is at it again, with another revamped lineup, on Album No. 6. Inspirational (and possibly related) titles: “We Hate It When You Get What You Want,” “This Finger’s for You,” and “Take That Knife Out of My Back.”

Camera Obscura: Desire Lines (4AD)
Produced by Tucker Martine.

Portugal. The Man: Evil Friends (Atlantic)
Produced by Danger Mouse.

Rory Block: Avalon — A Tribute to Mississippi John Hurt (Stony Plain)
Fourth album in the blues singer/guitarist’s Mentor Series, following nods to the Rev. Gary Davis, Mississippi Fred McDowell, and Son House.

George Benson: Inspiration — A Tribute to Nat King Cole (Concord)
Benson is backed by the Henry Mancini Institute Orchestra, which uses the original arrangements by Nelson Riddle and Gordon Jenkins. Guests include Wynton Marsalis and Idina Menzel.

Mason Williams

Mason Williams: The Mason Williams Phonograph Record; The Mason Williams Ear Show

Reissues (Real Gone)

Both released in 1968, these are the first two solo albums by composer/guitarist Mason Williams, who, at the time, was also the head writer for The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour.

Phonograph Record is the home of the hit “Classical Gas,” which would go on to win three Grammys as an instrumental. Fun facts: Whereas two of the Grammys went to Williams for the piece’s composition and performance, one went to the album’s producer, Mike Post, for the arrangement. Post would later become a celebrated writer of TV theme songs, from Hill Street Blues to Law & Order. More fun facts: Musicians on Phonograph Record include Jim Gordon, Jim Horn, Lawrence Knechtel, and other members of the L.A. session players known as the Wrecking Crew — some of whom helped create a similar sound for another 1968 hit, Richard Harris’s recording of Jimmy Webb’s “MacArthur Park.”

The follow-up album, Ear Show, makes its CD debut here. Both reissues include new liner notes by Gene Sculatti.

Other archival releases

Frank Zappa: A Token of His Extreme (Eagle Vision)
This DVD is the first official release of a live music program that Frank Zappa taped for TV on August 24, 1974. Backing the guitarist were keyboardist George Duke, saxophonist Napoleon Murphy Brock, percussionist Ruth Underwood, bassist Tom Fowler, and drummer Chester Thompson. Said Zappa, frankly, at the time: “This was put together with my own money . . . and it has been steadfastly rejected by the American television industry. It has been shown in prime time in France and Switzerland, with marvelous results. It’s probably one of the finest pieces of video work that any human being has ever done. I did it myself.” With animation by Bruce Bickford.

Woody Shaw: The Complete Muse Sessions (Mosaic)
Limited Edition box set of nine albums on seven CDs, chronicling the jazz trumpeter from 1974 to 1987.

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