· This week the Beastie Boys go behind the curtain of Oz and become part of the new video game NBA Street V2. Not only does the band contribute "An Open Letter to NYC" to the Electronic Arts game's soundtrack, but the group dons New York Knicks jerseys and shorts in Dyckman Park for some serious street basketball. Other artists on the soundtrack include House of Pain, Dirtbag, and De La Soul.
· Even as the technology changes before the ink on the page dries, Backbeat Books has just published an excellent state of the union in The Art of Digital Music. With a forward by Stewart Copeland of The Police, the 260-page book spotlights 56 artists, insiders, and innovators and lets them enlighten, boast, and prophesize about the musical relationship between man and machine. From familiar names such as producers Glen Ballard, Bob Ezrin, and Don Was and musicians Alan Parsons, Thomas Dolby, and Nile Rodgers to the under-sung "audio architects" that have invented so much of today's digital-recording interface, these myriad voices share their secrets and dreams of an increasingly digital future. Just listen to pundits such as Public Enemy founder Chuck D and acoustics Ph.D. Elizabeth Cohen and learn which way the wind is blowing. Other chapters address topics such as gear to lust for, setting up your own digital studio, loop layering, the quandary of quantization, going mobile, wildly creative recording techniques, and other happy accidents. The book features a bonus DVD as well, with interactive demos and royalty-free loops and samples that complement each interview.
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno welcomes Avril Lavigne this evening and Ani DiFranco on Friday; The Late Show with David Letterman hosts Howie Day tonight, Unwritten Law on Monday, and Michael Buble on Tuesday; The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson features The Zutons on Thursday overnight and Steve Earle on Friday overnight; Last Call with Carson Daly sits down with master guitarist Warren Haynes on Thursday overnight; Austin City Limits' guest this weekend is Damien Rice.
New Releases Coming Tuesday, February 15:
... and like the winds, young grasshopper, are subject to change
A-Lines - You Can Touch (Sympathy For the Record Industry) debut from this cross-Atlantic girl group produced by Billy Childish
The Adverts - Cast of Thousands (Fire) import-only collection featuring the punk nugget "Gary Gilmore's Eyes" and a bonus CD of radio sessions
American Head Charge - The Feeding (Nitrus/DRT) on tour next month with Slipknot
Assembly of Dust - The Honest Hour (Hybrid) new from Reid Genaer of Strangefolk
Matthew Barber - Means & Ends (Paper Bag) domestic issue of this Canadian pop debut from 2002
Blue Merle - Burning in the Sun (Island) recently touring with Marc Broussard and Jem
The Boils - World Poison (Thorp) expanded CD re-issue of this Philadelphia street-punk classic from 1999
Cruiserweight - Sweet Weaponry (Doghouse/Heinous)
The Ethan Daniel Davidson Five - Free the Ethan Daniel Davidson Five (Times Beach) terrific album of lonesome Americana dirge and clever lyrical wit, as in "Can't Drink You Pretty" and a cover of John Prine's "Your Flag Decal"
Dread Zeppelin - Chicken & Ribs (Majestic) with X guitarist Billy Zoom, this new CD/DVD package features the group's twisted take on Carl Douglas' "Kung Fu Fighting"
dZihan & Kamien - Fakes (Couch Records) re-working tracks by Serge Gainsbourg, Billie Holiday, and Nitin Sawhney
Franklin Delano - Like a Smoking Gun in Front of Me (File 13) from Bologna, Italy, this new album features guests Califone and producer Brian Deck of Red Red Meat
Everything but the Girl - Adapt or Die: Ten Years of Remixes (EMI) import-only collection, featuring an acoustic mix of "Driving" and DJ Jazzy Jeff's re-working of "Mirrorball"
Mary Gauthier - Mercy Now (Lost Highway) on the cover of this month's No Depression magazine
Goldfinger - Disconnection Notice (Maverick) featuring mandolin and sampled voices on "Damaged"
A Guy Called Gerald - To All Things What They Need (!K7) with guest Finley Quaye
Hermano - Dare I Say ... (Meteor City) new from former Kyuss vocalist John Garcia and Supafuzz guitarist Dave Angstrom
Nicolette Larson - Nicolette Larson, In the Nick of Time, Radioland, and All Dressed Up & No Place To Go (Wounded Bird) re-issues from 1978, 1979, 1980, and 1982
LCD Soundsystem - LCD Soundsystem (DFA) two-CD set featuring the single "Daft Punk Is Playing at My House"
My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult - My Life Remixed (Red Ant) with re-interpretations by producers Kemek the Dope Computer, Phunk Investigation, Grayarea, and more
Porcupine Tree - Warszawa (Madfish) recorded live in 2001 for Polish radio broadcast
The Pretty Things - SF Sorrow at Abbey Road (Snapper) DVD of the first rock opera (1967), with guest guitarist David Gilmour of Pink Floyd
Robots in Disguise - Get RID (Recall) featuring a high-energy electro cover of The Kinks' "You Really Got Me"
The Smackdown - Calling the Spots (Goodfellow) from Gothenburg, Sweden
Styx - Wooden Nickel Recordings (Hip-O) two-CD set of the group's earliest material, featuring the hit "Lady"
Symphony in Peril - The Whore's Trophy (Facedown) from Columbus, Ohio; the album's title comes from Revelation
The Wedding Present - Take Fountain (Manifesto) first new album in eight years, featuring CD-ROM videos only found on the American version
Leslie West - Guitarded (Voiceprint) featuring a cover of the Rolling Stones' "Honky Tonk Women" and guests Papa Chubby and Greg Allman
Cheryl Wheeler - Defying Gravity (Philo/Rounder) featuring her cover of the title track by Jesse Winchester
various artists - Chillout 06 (Nettwerk) with Talk Talk, Ian Brown, Ivy, and The Real Tuesday Weld