· The holiday gift-giving season is a still a few months away, but you should start begging now for the new Johnny Cash box set, Cash: The Legend. The four-CD offering is a beautiful testament t.o the beloved icon, saluting the 50th anniversary of his first single, "Cry, Cry, Cry," and the upcoming biopic Walk the Line, arriving in theatres in November. The package features 104 tracks, seven of them previously unreleased, and each disc highlights a theme - hits, favorites old and new, songs from the American songbook, and special guests. A handful of cool covers slip in as well, from Elvis Costello's "The Big Light" and Nick Lowe's "Without Love" to Bruce Springsteen's "Highway Patrolman" and Bob Dylan's "Forever Young." Housed in the tasteful six-by-10-inch book-style format, the collection's inside pages feel like an old family album, awash with early photos, sepia-tone portraits, and a new biographical essay by Patrick Carr, author of a 1997 biography of the "man in black." Columbia Legacy released this four-CD version earlier this month, and yesterday a special limited edition with a list price of $299.98 was released, boasting a bonus CD, DVD, hardback book, and 12-by-16-inch lithograph.

· This Tuesday one of the most outlaw records ever made resurfaces in a deluxe-CD reissue: David Allan Coe's Penitentiary Blues from 1968. A reform-school inmate and convict for two-thirds of his life to that point, Coe was released the previous year at the age of 29 and headed straight to Nashville, tearing up stiffs and expectations ever since. Written from behind the bars of the Ohio State Penitentiary, this bluesy, gutsy debut has been an out-of-print rarity since its original vinyl pressing on the Plantation imprint. The Hacktone Records/Shout Factory CD reissue duplicates the original gatefold-sleeve packaging of the original LP with two booklets, featuring new liner notes and excerpts entitled "How to Pull Time & Parole" from Coe's long-lost book, Ex-Convict.

Television Alert:

The Tonight Show with Jay Leno welcomes Ben Folds on Friday, Bo Rice on Monday, and Kem on Tuesday; The Late Show with David Letterman hosts Sting on Friday and Hot Hot Heat on Monday; Late Night with Conan O'Brien adds it up with The Click Five on Thursday overnight; The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson boasts Missy Higgins on Thursday overnight and Rufus Wainwright on Monday overnight; Last Call with Carson Daly presents The Hold Steady this evening overnight and Ying Yang Twins on Friday overnight; and Austin City Limits features Robert Randolph & the Family Band this weekend.

New Releases Coming Tuesday, August 23:

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

Alcyone- The Stars Are Real (System) ambient trance featuring vocalist Suzanne Sterling, formerly of Medicine Drum

American Princes- Little Spaces (Yep Roc) national reissue of this homegrown, sinewy indie rock from Little Rock, Arkansas, from last year

Aphrodite- Overdrive (Feed Records) drum-and-bass beats featuring vocalist Beverley Knight on "Sometimes"

Carl Barat- Under the Influence (DMC) The Libertines member's personal selection of musical influences, from The Clash, The Jam, The Smiths, and more

Sarah Bettens- Scream (Hybrid) powerful new solo album from the former vocalist for K's Choice

Bjork- Drawing Restraint 9 (One Little Indian) music composed for the motion picture

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club- Howl (RCA)

Blood of Abraham- Eyedollartree (Basement Records) with guests Kool Keith and the Black Eyed Peas' will.i.am

Cursive- The Difference Between Houses & Homes: Lost Songs & Loose Ends 1995-2001 (Saddle Creek) collection of rare tracks from seven-inch singles

Devo- Live 1980 (Music Video Distributors) DVD filmed at the Phoenix Theater in Petaluma, California

Mattias IA Eklundh- Freak Guitar: The Road Less Traveled (Favored Nations) second label release from this wild Swedish guitarist

Every Time I Die- Gutter Phenomenon (Ferret Music) with guests from Glassjaw and My Chemical Romance

Fear Factory- Transgression (Calvin) featuring a cover of Killing Joke's "Millennium" and guest Billy Gould of Faith No More

Orenda Fink- Invisible Ones (Saddle Creek) debut solo album from the Azure Ray co-founder with guests from Drive-by Truckers, TV on the Radio, Bright Eyes, and The Faint

Flaming Lips- VOID: Video Overview in Deceleration (Warner Bros) DVD collection of videos, including the new song "Mr. Ambulance Driver" from the film Wedding Crashers

Hush- Bulletproof (Geffen) with guests Obie Trice and Talib Kweli

Jack's Mannequin- Everything in Transit (Maverick) new from Something Corporate vocalist and keyboardist Andrew McMahon, with guest drummer Tommy Lee

John Wilkes Booze- Telescopic Eyes Glance the Future Sick (Kill Rock Stars) excellent, exciting, nervous nightmare blues from Bloomington, Indiana, a Captain Beefheart, Pere Ubu, and early Alice Copper

John Kelly- A Night in the Park (Ball of Waxx) West Coast breakbeat with a cinematic, jittery edge

Leo Kottke & Mike Gordon- Sixty-Six Steps (RCA) teaming the finger-picking master and the Phish bassist under the Caribbean sun, featuring new originals and covers of Aerosmith's "Sweet Emotion" and Fleetwood Mac's "Oh Well"

Melvins- Mangled Demos '83 (Alternative Tentacles) special two-LP vinyl-only set of demos made while the original members were still in high school

Melvins/Lustmord- Pigs of the Roman Empire (Alternative Tentacles) limited-edition two-LP set in a gatefold sleeve featuring a track not found on the CD

Moonbabies- War on Sound (Hidden Agenda) cool, sweeping synth pop from the Swedish duo, featuring covers of Pink Floyd's "Arnold Layne" and Midnight Oil's "Stars of Warburton"

New Pornographers- Twin Cinema (Mint/Matador)

The Pale Pacific- Urgency (SideCho) featuring three tracks remixed by Chris Walla of Death Cab for Cutie

The Polecats- The Best of (Rock-a-Billy) featuring the 1981 hit cover of David Bowie's "John, I'm Only Dancing" and a new cover of U2's "Desire"

T. Raumschmiere- Blitzkrieg Pop (NovaMute) utilizing vocals for the first time, with guests Sandra Nasic of Guano Apes and Quasimodo Jones

The Real McKenzies- 10,000 Shots (Fat Wreck) bagpipe-friendly punk rock for Celtic kids

Rise Against- The Unraveling (Fat Wreck) remixed and re-mastered reissue with bonus tracks

Seventeen Evergreen- Life Embarrasses Me on Planet Earth (Pacific Radio Fire) five-star debut from this Californian duo weaving a cascade of dreamy melodies and stargazing bliss, reminiscent of a blending of Air, Sparklehorse, and the Verve

Super Furry Animals- "Lazer Beam" (XL Recordings) new single from the group's upcoming Love Kraft album

Otis Taylor- Below the Fold (Telarc) new alternative blues drenched in cello, organ, trumpet, and Appalachian fiddle

John Vanderslice- Pixel Revolt (Barsuk) long anticipated new album of autobiographical songcraft from this smoothly astute solo studio wizard, with guest John Darnielle of the Mountain Goats

Chad VanGaalen- Infiniheart (SubPop) label debut of four-track bedroom recordings by this prolific Calgary songwriter

The Warlocks- Surgery (Mute) currently touring with the Brian Jonestown Massacre

Charlie Wilson- Charlie, Last Name: Wilson (Jive) solo album from The Gap co-founder, with guest Justin Timberlake

Yes- The Word Is Live (Rhino) three-CD box set featuring John Peel sessions from 1970

various artists- Balance Presents: Electric (EQ) house grooves mixed by Melbourne DJ Gavin Keitel, featuring tracks from Superpitcher, Hugg & Pepp, and Drama Society

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