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Big Star fans keep an eye on 4-disc set

Kristi Kates - August 10th, 2009
Big Star Fans Keep
An Eye On 4-Disc Set
Kristi Kates 8/10/09

Classic modern-power popsters Big Star, whose work is often said to have directly influenced the likes of The Replacements and R.E.M., are set to release a special four-disc set this fall, complete with live cuts, rare tracks, alternate takes, and unreleased demos. The set, titled Keep an Eye on the Sky, will include 98 tracks from 1968-1975, to pay tribute to a band that struggled with commercial success while gaining a huge underground following for their catchy, witty songs. Keep an Eye on the Sky will be in-stores on September 15; Big Star’s Chris Bell’s solo record, I Am the Cosmos, will also be re-released as a deluxe edition this fall...
Danger Mouse has been working on an album project since - wait for it - 2003, and now he’s finally set to release the project, which will surface under the name Joker’s Daughter. The album will feature folk singer Helena Costas on vocals, along with string arrangements by frequent DM collaborator Daniele Luppi and horns by Scott Spillane; Danger Mouse says he first discovered the singer six years ago, and has been slowly but surely recording songs with her since then. The process was so slow because not only was Danger Mouse kept busy working on Gorillaz’ album, but also because Costas’ songwriting with him kept improving over the years, so they’d scrap old tunes and replace them with new tunes...
As Tall As Lions are returning later this month with their latest album, You Can’t Take It With You, the follow-up to their 2006 eponymous set. Dealing with such song topics as “isolation, anxiety, and money,” the band’s latest is already being called their “smartest and most impressive to date,” and was recorded both in California with producer Noah Shain and at the band’s own studio on Long Island; songs selected for the tracklisting include “Sixes and Sevens,” “Is This Tomorrow?,” “The Narrows,” and “Lost My Mind.” You Can’t Take It With You will drop on August 18...

Richmond Fontaine will release their eighth studio album next week, and they’ve already preceded the full-length album to radio with the rockin’ single “You Can Move Back Here,” which was offered up in late July. The new set, which the band has dubbed We Used to Think the Freeway Sounded Like a River, will serve as follow-up to their 2007 release, Thirteen Cities, and will include songs “Northwest,” “Walking Back to Our Place at 3 a.m.,” “Maybe We Were Both Born Blue,” and “A Letter to the Patron Saint of Nurses”; yes, Richmond Fontaine likes long song titles...

MODERN ROCK LINK OF THE WEEK:
Canadian psychedelic rockers Lightning Dust have just released their sophomore set, Infinite Light, on which they add piano and acoustic instruments to their album’s positive message of “finding love a home”; songs on the new set include “Dreamer,” “The Times,” “Waiting on the Sun to Rise,” and “History.” Check out their forward-looking tunes via their official site at www.lightningdust.com...

MINI BUZZ:
British modern rockers Arctic Monkeys are set to drop their cool third studio album a mere two weeks from now; the band picked ten songs for the album from their sessions with producers Josh Homme (Queens of the Stone Age) and James Ford...
The Roots, currently the house band for Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, are set to join opera singer Jessye Norman, jazz singer Nnenna Freelon, and the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra on August 30th for the West Coast premiere of the orchestral/hip-hop/jazz show 12 Moods for Jazz...
Rolling Stone Mick Jagger is backing a campaign to reopen the Walthamstow EMD Cinema in London, a now-derelict venue that the Stones performed in in the ‘60s; Jagger called the cinema part of “the lifeblood of our cultural history”...
Yeasayer will wrap up their U.S. tour with a special show at New York City’s Pier 54 on August 13, after rocking through both the Bonnaroo and Pitchfork Music fests...
Paolo Nutini and The View’s Kyle Falconer are teaming up to record a mini-album together; the Scottish pair of collaborating pals will each produce a different section of the album...
Dizzee Rascal is working on his new, fourth album, and is so far looking at an early September release, according to the hip-hopster himself...
And this week’s discs are looking at release dates of, well, right about now... ON CD: Julian Plenti’s (Interpol’s Paul Banks’ side project) Skyscraper... Billy Talent’s Billy Talent III... Circulatory System’s Signal Morning... and ON DVD: George Harrison: Beautiful Stranger... and DJ Spooky and Matthew Shipp Trio’s Freedom Now... and that’s the buzz for this week’s Modern Rock.

Questions, comments, rants, raves, suggestions on this column or your favorite musicians? Send ‘em to Kristi at modernrocker@gmail.com

 
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