· This coming Tuesday serves up a warm musical gumbo from the Big Easy, a healing album from an all-star collective of displaced musicians calling themselves The New Orleans Social Club. The new CD, Sing Me Back Home, was recorded in a week's time in Austin, Texas, just six weeks after Hurricane Katrina bore down on their home city. Featuring Leo Nocentelli and George Porter Jr. of The Meters, Ivan Neville of the Neville Brothers, W.C. Handy Award nominee Henry Butler, and Raymond Weber (currently backing Trey Anastasio), the band is joined by guests Dr. John, Willie Tee, Trombone Shorty, The Subdudes, and more. The soulful selections on the Burgundy/Sony Records release open with a haunting cover of Curtis Mayfield's "This Is My Country," followed by Ivan Neville's finger-pointing take on John Fogerty's "Fortunate Son." Another interesting cover choice closes the set: Annie Lennox's "Why," from her 1992 album Diva, sung by John Boutté. And two guest vocalists, Irma Thomas and Marcia Ball, do a nice job on an Allen Toussaint favorite, "Look Up."

· A hip new benefit CD is worth searching for, compiled by Chapel Hill producer John Plymale, who turned 18 North Carolina bands and solo artists loose on 18 songs by other North Carolinians. Organized when his daughter, Allie, was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, the album's title, Songs for Sixty-Five Roses, is a nod to the way children are taught to pronounce the disease. Highlights include Eric Bachmann's cover of Let's Active's classic "Every Word Means No," Portastatic's spin on Ryan Adams' "Oh My Sweet Carolina," Will McFarlane's take on James Taylor's "Shower the People," and Jason Ross of 7 Mary Three taking a ride on Superchunk's "Mower." Proceeds from the Splinter Group Records release support the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

Television Alert:

The Tonight Show with Jay Leno hosts The Strokes tonight and Beth Orton on Friday; The Late Show with David Letterman roll calls the Yeah Yeah Yeahs this evening and the Flaming Lips on Thursday; Late Night with Conan O'Brien boasts The Little Willies featuring Norah Jones on Friday overnight, Motion City Soundtrack on Monday overnight, and She Wants Revenge on Tuesday overnight; and The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson presents Alkaline Trio this evening overnight, Train on Thursday overnight, and Herb Alpert and Ozomatli on Friday overnight.

New Releases Coming Tuesday, February 14:

... and like the winds, young grasshopper, are subject to change.


Belle & Sebastian - "The Blues Are Still Blue" (Jeepster) new CD single featuring the group's cover of Thin Lizzy's "Whiskey in the Jar"

Bird Show - Lightning Ghost (Kranky) trippy, folk-y, mesmerizing homegrown drone from Ben Vida

The Boy Least Likely - The Best Party Ever (Too Young to Die) on tour now with James Blunt

John Corbett - John Corbett (Fun Bone/Aspiron) debut album from the Northern Exposure actor

Guy Davis - Skunkmello (Red House) cool blues in a variety of styles backed by Mark Naftalin of the Paul Butterfield Blues Band and T-Bone Wolk of the Saturday Night Live house band

Death From Above - The DFA Remixes: Chapter One (Astralwerks) dance-floor knob-twisting of tracks by Le Tigre, Gorillaz, Chemical Brothers, Radio 4, The Blues Explosion, and more, available on CD or two LPs

Dog Fashion Disco - Adultery (Rotten Records) beautiful and brutal concept album from this theatrical Baltimore outfit

Mia Doi Todd - La Ninja: Amor & Other Dreams of Manzanita (Plug Research) collection of remixes by Flying Lotus, Dungen, Adventure Time, and Chessie, and a gorgeous cover of the Beatles' "Norwegian Wood"

Ellery - Lying Awake (Virt) powerful, harmonious pop from this husband-wife duo from Cincinnati, produced by Ric Hordinski

Flaming Lips - At War with the Mystics (Warner Bros)

Flower Kings - Paradox Hotel (Inside Out) new two-CD masterpiece of psychedelic, symphonic prog rock helmed by Roine Stolt

Radney Foster - This World We Live in (Dualtone) backed by Waddy Wachtel and Charley Drayton of Keith Richards' X-pensive Winos

Mimi Fox - Perpetually Hip (Favored Nations) two-CD set, one disc with her band and one disc solo; touring with the all-female La Guitarra Tour with Kaki King and Patty Larkin

Islands - Return to the Sea (Equator) new from former Unicorns Nick Diamonds and J'aime Tambeur, with guests from Arcade Fire, Wolf Parade, and Belle Orchestra

Tommy Keene - Crashing the Ether (Eleven Thirty Records) currently on tour with Robert Pollard in his post-Guided by Voices experience, this is perfect, pensive, shimmering pop for jangle-guitar heads by this talented multi-instrumentalist

Tony Levin - Resonator (Narada) new from the master bassist, with guest Adrian Belew

Eric Lindell - Change in the Weather (Alligator) with guests Stanton Moore of Galactic and Harold Brown of War

Pat Martino - Remember: A Tribute to Wes Montgomery (Blue Note) new interpretations of "Four & Six" and "West Coast Blues," featuring bassist John Patitucci

Takagi Masakatsu - Journal for People (Carpark) stateside reissue of this laptop soundscape, a blip-drop construction of organic bursts and tumbling electronic flows, featuring a bonus DVD

John McCutcheon - Mightier than the Sword (Appalsongs) fascinating project of original songs based on, or inspired by, literary works by Barbara Kingsolver, Sister Helen Prejean, Wendell Berry, and poems by Rita Dove, Chile's Pablo Neruda, and Cuba's José Martí

Medeski Martin & Wood - Note Bleu: Best of the Blue Note Years 1998-2005 (Blue Note) also available in a Deluxe Edition featuring three new tracks and a bonus DVD

Morrissey - Ringleader of the Tormentors (Attack/Sanctuary)

Mower - Not for You (Suburban Noize) featuring their wild cover of the Mamas & the Papas' "California Dreaming"

Nine Inch Nails - "Everything Is Exactly the Same" (Nothing) new single

The Notorious Betty Page - original motion picture soundtrack (Lakeshore) with music from Hank Ballard & The Midnighters, Patsy Cline, Julie London, and Esquivel

Pink - I'm Not Dead (LaFace) with guests the Indigo Girls on one song

Rahim - Ideal Lives (Frenchkiss) excellent nervous, jerky, dream pop from this New York City trio, recorded with J. Robbins

Fernando Saunders - I Will Break Your Fall (Summit Productions) with guests Lou Reed and Marianne Faithfull

Scotch Greens - Professional (Brass Tacks) currently on the road with Flogging Molly on the Guinness Green 17 tour

Bill Sheffield - Journal on a Shelf (American Roots) a modern-day acoustic "roots" bluesman, deftly plucking in the style of John Hurt and Blind Blake, and featuring an outstanding interpretation of Tom Waits' "An Invitation to the Blues"

Soul Asylum - Closer to the Stars: Best of the Twin Tone Years (Rykodisc)

Soul Position - Things Go Better With RJ & Al (Rhymesayers) on tour now, this is funky, strolling, thought-provoking indie hip-hop from the duo of Blueprint of Greenhouse Effect and producer Rjd2, featuring the witty "Blame It on the Jager"

Southern Gentlemen - Third Time Is the Charm (Leviathan) with new vocalist Eric Johns and bassist Dave Swart, both formerly of Simple Aggression, now under the command of guitarist David T. Chastain

Subtle - Wishingbone (Lex) CD/DVD set featuring a Beck remix

Umphrey's McGee - Safety in Numbers (Sci Fidelity) featuring guests Huey Lewis and Joshua Redman, and album cover artwork by Storm Thorgerson

The Vines - Vision Valley (Capitol) the group's third album, featuring the single "Don't Listen to the Radio"

Cassandra Wilson - Thunderbird (Blue Note) with producer T-Bone Burnett and featuring covers of Blind Lemon Jefferson's "Easy Rider" and Willie Dixon's "I Want to Be Loved"

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