· The Pretenders get the box-set treatment in Pirate Radio next week with 81 songs spread over four CDs, packed with demos, live tracks, and covers. The Rhino Records anthology also features a bonus DVD featuring 19 video clips going back to 1979, culled from performances on the UK's Top of the Pops, The Old Grey Whistle Test, and Later with Jools Holland, as well as a run through "The Adultress" on the 1980s sketch-comedy show Fridays. Cover junkies can look forward to the band's take on Jimi Hendrix's "Bold as Love," Radiohead's "Creep," Morrissey's "Everyday Is Sunday," and Neil Young's "The Needle & the Damage Done." Underground comics artist S. Clay Wilson, of viciously demented Checkered Demon fame, contributes a poster to the box.

· Want to take a musical glide through Belle & Sebastian's personal jukebox for twilight magic? Azuli Records has commissioned the group to reveal their loves and influences in the latest release of the label's LateNightTales series, a hip, groovy collection of 26 selections, full of surprises that range from 1970s pop and bossanova rhythms to girl-group harmonies and psychedelic soul. Due in stores domestically this coming Tuesday, highlights include tracks from the Paperclip People, Donovan, Big Star, the Ethiopians, Stereolab, Ramsey Lewis, Jimmy & Mama Yancey, the Steve Miller Band, and the Butch Cassidy Sound System. The band itself slips one of its own onto the CD: a cover of "Cassaco Marron" by Trio Esperanca, a Latin hit back in 1958. Perfect for dimming the lights and slipping into the beats, this "mix tape" is a warm, soothing delight. In other news, the Image Comics imprint has just published a daring effort in Put the Book Back on the Shelf: A Belle & Sebastian Anthology, a full-color, 144-page comic book that lets various cartoonists' imaginations run wild with interpretations of the band's music and lyrics.

· Another cool "musical" comic book is in the works for Guided by Voices, as Phil Szostak is prepping his own Pop Zeus project, which invites you to look over his shoulder as the book is coming together at his Web site (http://popzeuscomic.blogspot.com).

Television Alert:

The Tonight Show with Jay Leno welcomes Bon Jovi tonight and Neko Case on Thursday; Late Night with Conan O'Brien hosts James Hunter this evening overnight, Street Drum Corps on Thursday overnight, Motion City Soundtrack on Monday overnight, and We Are Scientists on Tuesday overnight; The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson rounds up Cowboy Troy on Friday overnight; Jimmy Kimmel Live boasts the return of the Sex Pistols on Friday overnight and Ice Cube on Monday overnight; Austin City Limits presents Wilco and Bright Eyes this weekend; and Saturday Night Live's musical guest this weekend is Artic Monkeys.

New Releases Coming Tuesday, March 14:

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

Afterhours - Ballads for Little Hyenas (One Little Indian) recording a version of this new album in English for this domestic release, this fantastic Italian band falls right in the pocket of Afghan Whigs/Twilight Singers frontman Greg Dulli, producing, co-writing many of the songs, and playing a variety of instruments

Ambulance Ltd - "New English" (TVT) seven-track CD EP featuring a killer cover of Pink Floyd's "Fearless" and demos of "Heavy Lifting" and "Sugar Pill"

Ciccone Youth - Whitey Album (Goofin') remastered vinyl LP reissue of this Sonic Youth side project from 1988

Cordero - En Este Momento (Bloodshot) bilingual band led by Chris Verene of the Rock*A*Teens and his wife, Ani Cordero, touring drummer for Man or Astroman? and Luna

Graham Coxon - Love Travels at Illegal Speeds (Transcopic/Parlophone) the sixth solo album from the former Blur guitarist

D.M.C. - Checks, Thugs, & Rock'n'Roll (RomenMpire) solo debut from the Run-DMC co-founder, with guests Kid Rock, Sarah McLachlan, Doug E. Fresh, Joey Kramer and Tom Hamilton of Aerosmith, Elliott Easton of The Cars, and Josh Todd of Buckcherry

Dr. John - Right Place, Right Time: Live at Tip's Marti Gras '89 (Hyena) the second volume in his Rebennack Chronicles series, featuring his boogie-woogie take on "Junco Partner," made famous by The Clash in 1980

Nicolai Dunger - Here Is My Song You Can Have It ... I Don't Want It Anymore/Yours Forever (Rounder) all new from the Swedish singer/songwriter, with Mercury Rev as his backing band

Donald Fagen - Morph the Cat (Reprise) first solo work since 1993 from the Steely Dan co-founder, featuring the single "H-Gang"; also available in a special CD/DVD package

Fall Out Boy - From Under the Cork Tree (Island) expanded reissue with bonus remixes and B-side rarities

Grand National - Kicking the National Habit (Recall) limited edition featuring a bonus seven-track CD

Grace Griffith - My Life (Blix Street) featuring covers of Jane Siberry's "Calling All Angels" and the title track by Iris Dement

Heartworn Highways - original motion picture soundtrack (HackTone/Shout Factory) companion album to the cult documentary of the mid-1970s emergence of outlaw/alternative country music, featuring David Allen Coe, Steve Earle, Townes Van Zandt, and Rodney Crowell

Etta James - All the Way (RCA Victor) all new, celebrating 53 years as a recording artist, with covers of John Lennon's "Imagine," Prince's "Purple Rain," James Brown's "It's a Man's Man's Man's World," Simply Red's "Holding Back the Years," and Marvin Gaye's "What's Going on"

Chris Thomas King - Red Mud Sessions (21st Century Blues) reissue of this 1998 acoustic album of Delta Blues

King Crimson - Three of a Perfect Pair: 30th Anniversary Edition (Discipline Global) with bonus tracks and remixes

Lanterna - Desert Ocean (Badman) featuring artistic CD packaging by Bruce Licher of Independent Project Records

Massive Attack - "Live with Me" (EMI) new import-only single

Thurston Moore - Psychic Hearts (Goofin') expanded two-LP reissue of this solo album from 1995

Willie Nelson - You Don't Know Me: The Songs of Cindy Walker (Lost Highway) salute to the Texas songwriter whose work has been recorded by Bob Wills, Ernest Tubb, and Bing Crosby

NOFX - Never Trust a Hippy (Fat Wreck) six-song CD EP featuring a cover of Vagina Dentata's "Golden Boys"

Prince - The Ultimate (Rhino) two-CD set of smash hits, featuring dance mixes of "Little Red Corvette," "Raspberry Beret," and "Erotic City"

Queensryche - Operation: Mindcrime II (Rhino) follow-up to the 1988 metal classic, featuring Ronnie James Dio as Dr. X

John Rich - Underneath the Same Moon (BNA/Legacy) lost solo album from 1999 featuring guests Delbert McClinton and the Fairfield Four, plus the original recording of "I Pray for You" with Big Kenny

Joe Satriani - Super Colossal (Epic) on tour with Eric Johnson in April

Sepultura - Dante XXI (SPV) based on Dante's 14th Century epic The Divine Comedy, complete with cellos and French horns

The Soledad Brothers - The Hardest Walk (Alive) on tour now with The Heartless Bastards

The Strokes - "Heart in a Cage" (Rough Trade) new import-only single

Sun Dial - Return Journey (Relapse) reissue of this fourth album of psychedelic prog rock from Current 93 guitarist Gary Ramon

White Rose Movement - Kick (Independiente) featuring the new single "Girls in the Back"

Warren Zanes - People That I'm Wrong for (Dualtone) solo album from the former Del Fuegos vocalist and guitarist, currently a professor at Case Western Reserve University and a vice president of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame & Museum; this second solo album is full of dreamy, witty Americana pop, like a lazy backyard rope swing on a sunny day

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