· I've got goose bumps - and an urge to pogo - from the time-traveling rush of two new books that wonderfully chronicle the magic age of punk and "post-punk," a faraway time when creative, disenfranchised youth on both sides of the pond were set free to try anything, encouraged by a vibrant, young record industry. The DIY battle cry of punk unraveled everything in 1976, and communities of like-minded souls found families in the mosh pit, the community radio station, or under the 3 a.m. glow of the florescent lights at a Perkins restaurant after a sweaty all-ages show. Getting lost in George Hurchalla's terrific Going Underground: American Punk 1979-1992, I can almost smell the spilt Foster's beer and rancid bathrooms of the many punk palaces across America that kept it lively back then, from the 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C., and Club 57 in New York City to the Gilman Center in Berkeley and the legendary Jockey Club in Newport, Kentucky. Chapter by chapter, Hurchalla captures each major city's contribution, with the formation and rise of seminal clubs, bands, and indie record labels, all told through the anecdotes of the musicians, club promoters, 'zine publishers, and scenesters themselves. Peppered with original show flyers and rare photographs, this anthropological perfect storm might leave latter-day punks thirsty at the trough, as baby, those were truly the golden years. Keeping with the indie spirit of its contents, look for this one under the Zuo Press imprint.

· The British side of the single is fantastically captured in Rip It Up & Start Again: Postpunk 1978-1984 by Simon Reynolds, well worthy of NME's pick as Book of the Year in 2005. Stateside, Penguin Books has just issued a domestic paperback - perfect for smudging up a little with Coppertone this summer, pretending your iPod is a vintage Walkman spinning the wheels of a C-90 mix tape packed with Bow Wow Wow, Madness, and The Fall. Reynolds takes the geographic approach as well, with the disco, dub, and reggae influences that sparked London, Manchester, Sheffield, and Leeds to fire, as well as the No Wave movement in New York City, the strange drinking water in Cleveland and Akron that spawned Devo and Pere Ubu, and the genre-twisting histories of goth, two-tone, and synth pop. If you ever thrilled under the weekly pages of an vintage Sounds and Melody Maker magazine, or lusted after an original metal-tin edition of PiL's Metal Box in a record-shop window, this is dizzy, melancholy daydreaming at its finest. Highly recommended.

Television Alert:

The Late Show with David Letterman welcomes Emmylou Harris and Mark Knopfler on Thursday and Jerry Lee Lewis on Friday; The Tonight Show with Jay Leno hosts Jewel on Tuesday; this evening overnight Late Night with Conan O'Brien boasts the Hawthorne Heights on Friday overnight and U2 on Monday overnight; The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson features show favorite Mandy Moore on Friday overnight; and Last Call with Carson Daly gets dirty with Bubba Sparxxx this evening overnight.

New Releases Coming Tuesday, May 2:

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


44 Long - Hangover Heights Part 2 (In Music We Trust) terrific, catchy bedroom power pop from Brian Berg, a multi-instrumentalist - and record-store clerk - from Portland, Oregon

Jon Auer - Songs From the Year of Our Demise (Pattern 25 Records) all new album of solo originals from The Posies founder

The Black Keys - Chulahoma (Fat Possum) six-song tribute to Junior Kimbrough

Brandtson - Hello, Control (Militia Group) from Cleveland, Ohio, with new bassist Adam Boose, floating and dipping in the plucky soul of New Order and Depeche Mode

Charlatans UK - Simpatico (Sanctuary) all new

Harry Connick Jr. - The Pajama Game (Columbia)

The Court & Spark - Hearts (Absolutely Kosher) a cinematic, laid-back masterpiece, shimmering in a sunlight-flickered haze of Americana comfort and steel pedal guitar

Billy Cox & Buddy Miles - The Band of Gypsys Return (Image) CD and DVD of new live and studio recordings from Jimi Hendrix's historic backing band

DeVotchKa - Curse Your Heart (Ace Fu) six-track EP featuring cool covers of Frank Sinatra's "Something Stupid," the Velvet Underground's "Venus in Furs" and Siouxsie & the Banshees' "The Last Beat of My Heart" in their shadowy, hypnotic gypsy-crooning style; soon to be heard in their score for the upcoming Steve Carell film Little Miss Sunshine

Drop Dead Gorgeous - In Vogue (Rise)

Emerson Lake & Palmer - The Birth of the Band (Eagle Rock) DVD filmed at the Isle of Wight Festival in 1970

Alejandro Escovedo - The Boxing Mirror (Back Porch) produced by John Cale, who also colors the album with his keyboards and guitar work, with guests Jon Dee Graham and Poi Dog Pondering's Susan Voelz

Roddy Frame - Western Skies (Redemption) import-only, primarily acoustic new solo album from the Aztec Camera founder

First Blood - Killafornia (Trustkill) on tour later this month with Sick of It All

Goldfrapp - "Ride a White Horse" (Mute) new single

Gomez - How We Operate (ATO/RCA)

Homeless J. - Three Seconds to Gaze (3.1 Music/Selectric)

Jewel - Goodbye Alice in Wonderland (Atlantic) featuring songs she'll perform next month in a guest appearance on The Young & the Restless

Ministry - Rio Grande Blood (13th Planet) with guests Tommy Victor of Prong and Paul Raven of Killing Joke

Mon Frere - Blood, Sweat & Swords (Cake Records) full-length debut featuring attention-grabbing vocalist and keyboardist Nouela Johnston, following up on last year's Real Vampires EP, which was recorded with the trio's first-prize finish in the Experience Music Project's underage band competition

Motor - "Black Powder" (Mute) new single in advance of the group's upcoming album, Klunk

None More Black - This Is Satire (Fat Wreck) produced by J. Robbins of Jawbox, featuring new guitarist Colin "CMP" McGinnis of Paint It Black and new drummer Jared Shavelson of The Hope Conspiracy

Pearl Jam - Pearl Jam (J Records) featuring the single "World Wide Suicide"

Glen Phillips - Mr. Lemons (Unami) new from the former Toad the Wet Sprocket vocalist, featuring his cover of the Huey Lewis & the News hit "I Want a New Drug"

Rebel Meets Rebel - Rebel Meets Rebel (Big Vin Records) new from Pantera's Rex Brown and Vinnie Paul with David Allen Coe

Silent Civilian! - Rebirth of the Temple (Mediaskare) new from Jonny Santos of Spineshank, produced by former Machine Head guitarist Logan Mader

SOil - True Self (DRT) with new singer A.J. Cavalier and guest Burton Bell of Fear Factory

Somersault - original motion picture soundtrack (Bella Union) music by Decoder Ring, recently winning the Australian version of the Oscars for Best Music/Best Score

Thursday - A City by the Light Divided (Island)

Andy Timmons Band - Resolution (Favored Nations) new from the former Danger Danger guitarist

Josh Wink - Profound Sounds Vol. 3 (Thrive) featuring his previous bootleg-only remix of Radiohead's "Everything in its Right Place"

Wolfmother - Wolfmother (Modular/Interscope) domestic reissue of this Australian gem from last year , a storm-trooper sludge of heavy riffs flaunting a majestic bravado that would make Freddie Mercury proud

Year Future - First World Fever (Gold Standard Laboratories) featuring former members of Dead & Gone and Angel Hair, and a cover of Dead Can Dance's "Black Sun"

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