On the racks: August 29, 2006

Tego Calderon, Bob Dylan, Ray LaMontagne . . .
By MATT ASHARE  |  August 30, 2006

060901_methodman_mian
Method Man
Reggaeton fans can finally stop searching the web for clues about Tego Calderon’s long-awaited, oft-delayed debut CD, The Underdog/El Subestimado because, well, the disc’s finally here. If nothing else, the guest list is impressive. . . On the production end, Danny Fomaris, DJ Nesty, DJ Hoe, Echo & Diesel, and DJ Nelson are among the heavyweights who left their mark on Tego’s tracks. And there are cameos by Bujo Banton, Eddie Dee, Voltio Yandel, Chyno Nyno, Don Omar, and Omar D’Leon. Yep, a veritable who’s who of reggaeton. . .

Bob Dylan spends so many months on the road, it’s hard to figure out when he actually finds time to write and record new songs. But he and his current touring band spent some time in the studio earlier this year and came out with enough material to include a bonus DVD disc with the new Modern Times (Columbia). And, yeah, the DVD actually has extra songs on it. There’s just something spooky about that Dylan guy. . .

In the Boston area, we say “New England’s own” Ray Lamontagne. In Portland, where here’s really from, they call him Portland’s own, and that’s just fine. He teamed up with veteran producer Ethan Johns, the same guy who helped Lamontagne’s rootsy debut CD Trouble become one of 2004’s more buzzed about indie releases, but this time, instead of alt-country, they’ve gone for something a lot more atmospheric – a moody tone that fits Lamontagne’s rough hewn voice. Let the Nick Drake comparisons start rolling off the assembly line. . . Oh, yeah, the new disc’s called Till The Sun Turns Back and it’s on the major label RCA.

Wu-Tang’s most affable wingnut – Method Man – was just around these parts, proving that he cans still do it live. But he wasn’t just shilling for MySpace: he was getting the word out about his new disc, 4:21. . . The Day After (Def Jam), yet another apocalyptic title from a guy who likes quoting the book of Revelations. The good news: the RZA’s on board as one of the main producers. The band news: RZA’s gotta compete with the likes of Dr. Dre and Scott Storch among others, and that just ain’t right on a Wu album.

Does anyone care that Motorhead have a new album? Didn’t think so. It’s called Kiss of Death (Sanctuary). Just give me “Ace of Spades” and I’ll be happy. . . But, the Roots are a whole other story. Blacklove, ?uestlove, and Kamal are back together on Game Theory (Geffen). It’s a dark, paranoid, apocalyptic soundscape of soulfunk grooves and hip-hop flowing that ends, fittingly enough, with an expansive J Dilla production. Or if confessional singer-songwriter is your bag, well, it’s taken a while but Pete Yorn has finally grown into something more than just a one-hit-hopeful. His new Nightcrawler (Columbia) has guest spots by Dave Grohl and the Dixie Chicks, which should give you a sense of its range.

Related: Bands' best, Portland scene report: October 24, 2008, Scrutiny of the bounty, More more >
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