· Canada's Madacy Group has just launched the new "Reggae Rocks" cover series with the release of The Tide Is High: A Tribute To Rock 'n' Roll. The disc is the first of a planned six-CD series that captures the world's greatest reggae bands and artists tipping their hats to a wide range of pop-rock standards. The 18 tracks include Sugar Minott's percolating take on Simon & Garfunkel's "The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feeling Groovy)," Big Mountain's guitar-scale-climbing run on the 1975 Hall & Oates hit "Sara Smile," The Burning Souls' bubbly spin on the Beatles' "Here Comes the Sun," Edi Fitzroy's tribesman call of the Eagles' "Hotel California," and Wayne Arnold's rock-steady pulse of Rod Stewart's "Maggie May." The driving force behind this concept series is producer Lenny K, who was responsible for the successful Fire on the Mountain "Reggae Does the Grateful Dead" tribute CDs.

· By far the most anticipated new release this coming Tuesday is the new album from the Parisian electronic duo Air, entitled 10,000 Hz Legend, on the Astralwerks label. Recorded last year in the City of Light, the new album is stunningly rich as a vocal, rather than instrumental, work. Guest artists include Beck, who lends his pipes to "The Vagabond," Sugar and Yumiko of Buffalo Daughter on "Sex Born Poison," and former Redd Kross drummer Brian Rietzell. With human and electronic voices pulsing above the pair's delightful electro-downer pop, this new set rolls out in slow-motion neon hues, peeling back and scattering onion petals of slacker collage. One particularly tripped out track is "How Does It Make You Feel," with its secret whispers "I am feeling very warm right now, I am spacing out with you, you are the most beautiful entity I have ever dreamed of" in the electro breeze.

· This sounds very tasty: Cocteau Twins' founding guitarist and manipulator Robin Guthrie has surfaced, teamed with vocalist Siobhan de Mare, most recently of the trip-hop group Mono, and resulting in the just released Violet Indiana project on the Instinct/Bella Union label.

· Matador Records has announced the June 12 release of "Jonathan David" by Belle & Sebastian, a new five-inch CD single. The band is currently holed up concocting a film score for Todd Solondz' Storytelling, due this fall.

· Punk fans will be waiting for the next album from Bad Religion, as the band has announced that it's coming home to the indie Epitaph Records label and reuniting with founding guitarist Brett Gurewitz.

· While the timing is sad and uncanny with the recent passing of founding soul Joey Ramone, Rhino Records is poised to reissue the classic first four albums by The Ramones on June 19. The albums - 1976's self-titled debut, Leave Home, Rocket to Russia, and Road to Ruin - will all feature state-of-the-art re-mastering and handfuls of rare demos, B sides, and rarities. As a special bonus, 1977's Leave Home includes the entire concert recording of the band's West Coast debut at the Roxy in the summer of 1976.

· In other reissue news, the Rhino imprint is also promising to completely re-visit Elvis Costello's catalog, covering all his Columbia and Warner Bros. releases. The program takes a generous approach to each album's offering, as each CD will include a second disc of rarities and previously unreleased material. Look for these little labors of love to be birthed in groups every three months or so, and released not in standard chronological order but in "thematic" (huh?) groups. My Aim Is True, Spike, and All this Endless Beauty are due August 7.

· With this weekend's opening of Pearl Harbor, the big-swingin' bombastic Jerry Bruckheimer summer starfest, the Columbia Legacy label has just issued a two-CD documentary set titled simply The Words & Music of World War II. Presented tastefully by weaving together original radio broadcasts from Ed Murrow, the fragile melodies of jazz-age popular music, and an amazing selection of political speeches, the set allows listeners to close their eyes and sink into the space of time 60 years ago. I encourage you to take your shoes off and relax under the umbrella of Les Brown's "Jumping Joe DiMaggio," Florence Desmond's "(I've Got) The Deepest Shelter in Town," and Kay Kyser's "Any Bonds Today." Heck - make that next road trip an educational experience!

Television Alert:

The Tonight Show with Jay Leno welcomes The Goo Goo Dolls on Friday and 'N Sync on Tuesday; The Late Show with David Letterman hosts UK critical favorite Badly Drawn Boy on Thursday and the Bee Gees on Monday; Late Night with Conan O'Brien has Ike Turner scheduled for Wednesday overnight and Rufus Wainwright on Thursday overnight; The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn features Nikka Costa on Thursday overnight; and Saturday Night Live's musical guest this weekend is Paul McCartney.

New Releases Coming Tuesday, May 29:
... and like the winds, young grasshopper, are subject to change

Antiseen - Boys from Brutalsville (TKO)

The Anubian Lights - Naz Bar (Crippled Dick Hot Wax)

James Brown - Remixed Dance Hits (Goldenlane)

Mary Chapin Carpenter - Time Sex Love (Columbia)

DJ Quest - Questside (Hip Hop Slam)

Bob Dylan - Don't Look Back (Docurama) special extended DVD release of this 1967 documentary film by D.A. Pennebaker of Dylan's 1965 acoustic tour of England

Everything but the Girl - Back to Mine (Ultra) new DJ mix CD featuring tracks from Slick Rick and Donny Hathaway woven into slabs from Beth Orton and the Roots

Eyes in Weasel - Live in the Middle East (Recordhead) 25-track CD from former Guided By Voices guitarist Tobin Sprout

The Goo Goo Dolls - What I Learned about Ego, Opinion, Art, & Commerce (Warner Bros) hits collection covering the years 1987 to 2000

Dan Hicks & His Hot Licks - The Most of Dan Hicks & His Hot Licks (Epic Legacy) new collection featuring seven previously unreleased tracks

Inspection 12 - In Recovery (Honest Don's)

Invisible Men - Come Get Some (Dionysus)

Ky-mani Marley - Many More Roads (Artists Only) new from Bob Marley's son

My Morning Jacket - At Dawn (Darla) first pressings contain a bonus CD of demos

Oval - Ovalcommers (Thrill Jockey)

Quiet Riot - Guilty Pleasures (Bodyguard) all new from the original lineup

Mark Robinson - Canada's Green Highways (Teenbeat) new from the former founder of Unrest, Air Miami, and Grenadine

Stereomud - Perfect Self (Loud/Columbia) featuring members of Stuck Mojo, Crumbsuckers, Pro-Pain, and Life Of Agony

TSOL - "Anticop" (Nitro) new seven-inch single from the Disappear album, due June 26

Yesterday's Kids - Everything Used to Be Better (Panic Button) seen lately opening shows for Screeching Weasel

Support the River Cities' Reader

Help Keep the Reader Alive and Free Since '93!


"We're the River Cities' Reader, and we've kept the Quad Cities' only independently owned newspaper alive and free since 1993. Now we find our ability to continue providing all the features you love in serious jeopardy without the financial support of our readers.

So please help the Reader keep going with your one-time, monthly, or annual support. With your financial support the Reader can continue providing uncensored, non-scripted, and independent journalism alongside the Quad Cities' area's most comprehensive cultural coverage." - Todd McGreevy, Publisher