Indie springs forward

Clap your hands and say Axl
By MATT ASHARE  |  January 2, 2007

FALL OUT BOY: You should be hearing the new single everywhere by now.

For years we waited. And then we started making jokes about it. And then the jokes got old. So we waited some more. And now, well, let’s just say there’s more genuine interest in what the neo-new wavy indie band Clap Your Hands Say Yeah have cooked up for a follow-up to their self-released 2005 debut than there is in the long-awaited Guns N’ Roses album Chinese Democracy — which Axl and the folks at Interscope are promising will come out in March. And, as far as hype goes, the Arcade Fire, another one of those indie bands who have found themselves catapulted out of the clubs and into big theater tours, have taken the prize by creating a huge Internet buzz surrounding the March release of their next disc for Merge, Neon Bible (also the title of that other book by the guy who wrote A Confederacy of Dunces). Yep, those wacky Canadians have posted an enigmatic toll-free phone number (866-NEONBIBLE) that fans can call to hear what appears to be one of the new tunes. And there are a bunch of other big discs by big names like Avril Lavigne (The Best Dam Thing on Arista; no release date), Good Charlotte, Maxwell, Norah Jones, and John Mellencamp. But by far the more interesting and anticipated new releases are going to be coming out of left field, from artists like Dinosaur Jr., who have decided to stay together long enough to record a disc of new material, and the Stooges — reemerging from the left field of long-ago.

January 16
America | Here and Now | Sony
| In what has to be one of the stranger moves of early 2007, Gerry Beckley and Dewey Bunnell, the two main dudes in the band America — yes, the very same band who went through the desert on a horse with no name — have teamed up with a hip crew to release a big ol’ two-disc set. Producing and recording the disc’s new material are Fountains of Wayne hooksmith Adam Schlesinger, Smashing Pumpkins guitarist James Iha, and Ira Elliot of Nada Surf. Then there’s also a bunch of live stuff recorded for XM radio. And it’s all topped off with a few greatest hits, like that horse-with-no-name tune.

January 23
Lee Hazlewood | Cake or Death | Ever | Since Hazlewood, the suave singer/producer best known for his work with Nancy Sinatra, is, at the age of 77, reportedly battling cancer, the title of what will likely be his final studio album is a bit morbid. But with song titles like “Fred Freud” and “Baghdad Nights” it’s clear that he hasn’t lost his wry sense of humor. And he even gets his granddaughter Phaedra Dawn Stewart in on the action along with Duane Eddy and a name that will be familiar only to fans of German pop, Bela B.

Erin McKeown | Sing You Sinners | Nettwerk | McKeown’s already proven that she’s one of those hard-to-pin-down singer-songwriters who’s no folkie. And she keeps it up here by tackling the “Great American Songbook,” whatever that may happen to be.

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Related: Offa my couch, Larroquette, Gay old time, Dancing with the devil, More more >
  Topics: Music Features , Madonna (Entertainer), Coldplay, Dinosaur Jr.,  More more >
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