Don't forget to check out our 2012 Music Preview, where we run down nearly 100 albums that are targeted for release this year.
This week's new releases
Each title listed below will go on sale beginning Tuesday, January 24 unless otherwise indicated. Click on any LISTEN link to listen to a free, streaming version of the entire album (typically, available only during the week of release); streaming links go to AOL Music unless otherwise indicated. The week's most noteworthy releases are starred.
- Big Deal, Lights Out
- Busdriver, Beaus$Eros - Digital only (CD release is Feb. 14)
- Cardinal, Hymns LISTEN
- Celtic Woman, Believe [CD/DVD] LISTEN
- Chairlift, Something LISTEN
- Cloud Nothings, Attack on Memory - Produced by Steve Albini LISTEN (Soundcloud)
- Joe Cocker, Hard Knocks
- Dion, Tank Full of Blues LISTEN
- The Doors, L.A. Woman [2xCD] - 40th anniversary edition includes bonus disc with alternate versions and one previously unreleased song
- The Doors, Mr. Mojo Risin': The Story of L.A. Woman [DVD/Blu-ray]
- Craig Finn, Clear Heart Full Eyes LISTEN
The first solo album for the Hold Steady frontman was recorded relatively quickly in Austin last summer with producer Mike McCarthy. Expect a "moodier and twangier" sound on Clear Heart Full Eyes (yes, that title is a play on the Friday Night Lights catchphrase), but don't expect the solo release to mean an end to Finn's main gig; another Hold Steady album is in the works and could also arrive before the year is up. Meanwhile, reviews for the solo album are fairly solid, though unspectacular.
- First Aid Kit, The Lion's Roar LISTEN
- Foxy Shazam, The Church of Rock and Roll LISTEN (Rolling Stone)
- Kirk Franklin, The Essential Kirk Franklin [2xCD] LISTEN
- Gangrene, Vodka & Ayahuasca LISTEN
- Laura Gibson, La Grande
- Gonjasufi, MU.ZZ.LE EP LISTEN (Soundcloud)
- Graffiti6, Colours LISTEN
- Imbogodom, And They Turned Not When They Went
- Jazzanova, Upside Down LISTEN
- Lacuna Coil, Dark Adrenaline
- Lamb of God, Resolution LISTEN
- Leila, U&I - Second Warp LP from electronica producer is a collaboration with Mt. Sims LISTEN (Soundcloud)
- Tim McGraw, Emotional Traffic LISTEN
- Meat Puppets, Up on the Sun - Expanded reissue of 1985 album
- Ingrid Michaelson, Human Again LISTEN
- Mighty Sparrow, Sparromania! [2xCD] - Retrospective covering 1962-74
- Cheyenne Marie Mize, We Don't Need EP - Digital only LISTEN
- moe., What Happened To The La Las
- The Monkees, Head [3xCD] - Remastered limited edition box set with many unreleased recordings
- Nada Surf, The Stars Are Indifferent to Astronomy LISTEN
- Lee "Scratch" Perry, The Upsetter: The Life And Music Of Lee Scratch Perry [DVD]
- Kellie Pickler, 100 Proof
- Plug, Back on Time LISTEN
- Pop. 1280, The Horror LISTEN (3voor12)
- Porcelain Raft, Strange Weekend LISTEN (3voor12)
- Matt Pryor, May Day LISTEN
- Rhyton, Rhyton LISTEN (3voor12)
- Rise to Remain, City of Vultures
- Rodrigo y Gabriela, Area 52 [CD+DVD]
- John K. Samson, Provincial - Solo album for Weakerthans frontman
- Scorpions, Comeblack LISTEN
- Seal, Soul 2 - Covers of 1970s soul classics
- Skrillex, Bangarang [EP]
- U2, From the Sky Down [DVD/Blu-ray] - Documentary about Achtung Baby directed by Davis Guggenheim
- Jason Urick, I Love You LISTEN (3voor12)
- Various, 2012 Grammy Nominees
- Various, Chimes of Freedom: The Songs of Bob Dylan [4xCD] - Box set of Dylan covers by huge roster of artists including Queens of the Stone Age, Bryan Ferry, Patti Smith, Elvis Costello, My Morning Jacket, Sting, Raphael Saadiq, Lucinda Williams, and more; proceeds benefit Amnesty International
- Wilco, iTunes Sessions - iTunes exclusive; new versions of 7 Wilco tracks plus a cover of Nick Lowe's "Cruel to Be Kind"
- Wiley, Evolve or Be Extinct
- Wolf People, Tidings - CD release
- Grace Woodroofe, Always Want
- Yardbirds, Performances [DVD]
- You Me at Six, Sinners Never Sleep - U.S. CD release LISTEN
- Zomes, Improvisations
More streaming and downloadable new music
- NPR is streaming Leonard Cohen's new album Old Ideas (due next week) in its entirety.
- You can also hear the new Gotye album Making Mirrors at NPR this week.
- Stream next week's debut album by 2 Bears (featuring Hot Chip's Joe Goddard) now at the band's website.
- Imperial Teen has a new album, Feel the Sound, due January 31st; listen to the whole thing now at Spin.
- Stream Bruce Springsteen's new single "We Take Care of Our Own" at YouTube (audio only).
- Andrew Bird has a new album, Break it Yourself, due March 6; the first cut to emerge is "Eyeoneye," streaming now at Soundcloud.
- Download the track "Prurient" by ††† (Crosses) at Rolling Stone.
- Get an MP3 of "Gone Tomorrow," the second track released from Lambchop's upcoming album Mr. M, at Stereogum.
- Stream the new Lower Dens single "Brains" at Soundcloud.
- A new, previously unreleased Julianna Barwick track has made its way to the internet; listen to "Never Change" at Soundcloud.
- At Pitchfork, listen to The Chieftans collaborate with Bon Iver on "Down in the Willow Garden," from the former's upcoming album Voice of Ages.
- Download the new Brendan Benson track "Bad For Me" at Stereogum.
- Stream "Usurper," a new track from DFA artists Prinzhorn Dance School, at Soundcloud.
- Download the Youth Lagoon track "Montana" at Rolling Stone.
- Grab a copy of Ben Kweller's new song "Mean to Me" (from his upcoming release Go Fly a Kite) at Spin.
- Stream Die Antwoord's new track "I Fink U Freeky" at Pitchfork.
- Download the new Speech Debelle track "I'm With It" at Rolling Stone.
- Shearwater has a new album out February 14; listen to the album cut "You As You Were" at Soundcloud.
- Catch another new Frankie Rose track, "Night Swim," at Pitchfork.
- Download the Elephant & Castle track "En Memoria," featuring vocals by Merril Garbus of tUnE-yArDs, at Spin.
On TV this week (new episodes only)
- Monday: Wilco (Conan), Young the Giant (Kimmel)
- Tuesday: The Airborne Toxic Event (Kimmel), Julia Nunes (Conan)
- Wednesday: Big Freedia (Kimmel)
- Thursday: Seal (Kimmel), They Might Be Giants (Conan)
- Saturday: Florence + The Machine / Lykke Li (Austin City Limits; airdate varies by station)
Recent artist and industry news
- Legendary singer Etta James died Friday after a long illness. She was 73. - The New York Times
- Popular filesharing site Megaupload was shut down by federal prosecutors last Thursday. - Billboard ... The move seems to have prompted a retaliatory attack on several government and industry websites by the hacker group Anonymous. - Pitchfork ... However, early reports that Megaupload's CEO is producer Swizz Beatz proved to be false. - The Fader
- J. Tillman, the drummer for Fleet Foxes, has left the group, while several other FF members have formed a new band, Poor Moon, that has signed to Sub Pop. - Pitchfork
- LL Cool J has been named as the host of the 54th Grammy Awards (which will air February 12 on CBS), the first time in seven years the ceremony will have a host. - Pop & Hiss
- Adele's 21 was Billboard's #1 album for the 16th time last week, surpassing Pink Floyd's The Wall and The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band as the UK release with the most weeks at #1 in the States. - NME
The latest music videos
Santigold, "Big Mouth":
Xiu Xiu, "Hi":
Ryan Adams, "Chains of Love":
Justice, "ON'N'ON" [NSFW]:
A$AP Rocky, "Wassup" [NSFW]:
Perfume Genius, "Hood":
Class Actress, "Bienvenue":
Nicki Minaj, "Stupid Hoe":
Loney Dear, "Loney Blues":
Unknown Mortal Orchestra, "Thought Ballune":
Sébastien Tellier, "Pépito Bleu":
Grinderman, "Bellringer Blues (Nick Zinner Remix)":
The Internet, "Fastlane":
Jessie Baylin, "Hurry Hurry" [directed by Scarlett Johansson]:
Cake, "Mustache Man":
Dr. Dog, "That Old Black Hole":
In the studio / coming soon
- Bruce Springsteen's new album now has a date and a title: Wrecking Ball arrives on March 6.
- The Mars Volta will release Noctourniquet, their first album in three years, on March 27. - Prefix
- Hip hop collective Odd Future will release their latest compilation, The OF Tape Vol. 2, on March 20, the same week their new live-action variety show (Loiter Squad) debuts on Adult Swim. - Rolling Stone
- Aesop Rock will release Skelethon, his first solo album in five years, at some point this year, reports Pitchfork.
- You'll have to wait a while longer for that David Byrne and St. Vincent collaboration, but in the meantime, Byrne's recent concert with Caetano Veloso will be released as a CD, Live at Carnegie Hall, on March 13. - Pitchfork
- Nick Zammuto, one half of duo The Books, will release his solo album Zammuto April 3rd on Temporary Residence. - Pitchfork
- A new Lower Dens album, called Nootropics, will arrive on May 1st. - Pitchfork
- April 10 brings a new solo album by M. Ward; A Wasteland Companion includes contributions from John Parish, Steve Shelley, and Zooey Deschanel. - BPM
- AU has a new album called Both Lights arriving April 3rd via Hometapes. - BPM
- On March 20, Warp will release a five-song EP (Silent Hour/Golden Mile) by Grizzly Bear member Daniel Rossen. - Pitchfork
- Eve 6 will release Speak in Code on April 24. - Punknews
- Former Polaris Prize nominees Zeus will return with a new record, Busting Visions, March 27 on Arts & Crafts. - BPM
- The Brian Jonestown Massacre will release a new album, Aufheben, on May 1st.
- Shabazz Palaces collaborators THEESatisfaction will release their own Sub Pop debut, awE naturalE, on March 27. - Prefix
- DJ/Producer Laurent Garnier is at work on new music; he tells Rolling Stone that he expects to release a pair of singles by the end of the year and a new album in early 2013.
- Garbage is getting ever closer to releasing its still-untitled comeback album, with spring being targeted for its release. - NME
- Nonesuch will release Jonny Greenwood/Krzysztof Penderecki, a collaboration between the Radiohead guitarist and Polish composer, on March 13. - Pitchfork
- Fresh off his Guided by Voices reunion album, the insanely prolific Robert Pollard will release his 18th solo LP, Mouseman Cloud, on April 3rd. - Prefix
- Chris Brown announced on Twitter that Nas will guest on his next album, Fortune, which is nearing completion. - Billboard
- Warp will release Iradelphic, a new album by Clark, on March 30. - Resident Advisor
Visit Metacritic's Album Release Calendar for a full listing of upcoming release dates, updated daily.
Tours and festivals
- This year's South by Southwest music festival (beginning March 13 in Austin) has added over a dozen new artists (including Best Coast, Danny Brown, Of Montreal, Sharon Van Etten, and The Polyphonic Spree) to its already massive lineup; get the details at Consequence of Sound.
- The National have been selected as curators of this year's All Tomorrow's Parties festival in Minehead, UK, running December 7-9. Confirmed acts include Sharon Van Etten and The Antlers; get the full lineup at the official festival site.
- Death Cab for Cutie will be touring North America once more (this time, with an orchestra) in the spring; some dates feature Youth Lagoon as the opening act. - Consequence of Sound
- St. Vincent has added 17 live dates in May, most east of the Mississippi. - BPM
- Get new spring U.S. dates for Florence + The Machine at Billboard.
- Girls are heading out on a tour of the U.S. this March; Pitchfork has the dates.
- A reunited Happy Mondays will be touring with their original lineup this summer (at least in the UK), reports NME.
- Korn will play U.S. cities in February and March, followed by a trip to Europe; Pollstar has the dates.
- School of Seven Bells kick off a spring North American tour on April 4. - Prefix
- Sonic Youth guitarist Lee Ranaldo has a tour planned in April and May (most dates with M. Ward) in support of his upcoming solo album. - Pitchfork ... And if you are just looking for M. Ward's solo dates, get those at BPM.
- Korallreven will be visiting the U.S. for the first time in March; get the dates at Under the Radar.
- Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder has a solo tour set for the spring. - Billboard
- The Kooks have U.S. dates both as headliners and supporting Foster the People; get them at Pollstar.
- A 2 Live Crew reunion tour is in the works for the summer. - Billboard