Music Release Guide: May 2011

This month sees new releases from Beastie Boys, Death Cab For Cutie, Eddie Vedder, Moby, Fleet Foxes, Lady GaGa, My Morning Jacket & many more!  

Johnny Firecloudby Johnny Firecloud


May is a huge month for new music, and to help you stay on top of it all we've compiled a list of all the major releases you should have on your radar. From the dirty-bass glory of Beastie Boys' comeback album to Eddie Vedder's latest solo effort, to Danger Mouse & Daniele Luppi's star-guested ode to old Italian movie soundtracks and beyond, we're covering all the musical bases so none of the awesome slips through the cracks!


Beastie Boys – Hot Sauce Committee Part Two


Release Date: May 3

Label: Capitol 



What's the deal? Originally slated for the fall of 2009, Vol. 1 was delayed indefinitely while Adam (MCA) Yauch was treated for a throat cancer. Now that the tumor’s been eradicated, the Beatsies set Vol. 2 for launch with a center-court boombox event at Madison Square Garden, and we're already hooked on what's bound to be another classic from the trio. 


What about Vol.1, you ask? Essentially, this collection is a repackaged and supplemented version of that original, with the weaker features scrapped in favor of more recent material.


Why should you care? I'll make this real easy for you. Check out the entire stream for yourself right here:

That's why. 


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Fleet Foxes – Helplessness Blues


Release Date: May 3

Label: Sub Pop/Bella Union



What's the deal? The new Fleet Foxes album has been a long time coming, after seemingly endless touring and a recording process that found the band at odds with their own creative drive, perfectionism leading to several re-recorded tracks and multiple mixing quests. 


"There are so many considerations to make when you are making a record," frontman Robin Pecknold said in an interview with Stereogum. "You just want to make the best thing that you can, you know? You want it to be a good song, but it can't be too much like anything else you've already done. And you can't help but think about the landscape that this music is going to be received in, which also affects your creative process."


Why should you care? Because Fleet Foxes have already proven their worth, and as you can hear in the full album stream below, the quality hasn't diminished from their magic touch:


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Dredg – Chuckles and Mr. Squeezy


Release Date: May 3

Label: Superball Music



Dredg's fifth full-length album, the absurdly named Chuckles And Mr. Squeezy is sure to be their most controversial creative endeavor to date, a collaboration with hip-hop producer Dan The Automator of Gorillaz fame. The lo-fi presentation and pop-chorus curveballs are sure to throw off some fans (let's be honest – the hardcore fans are going to spit fire), but open minds will find salvation in the band's refusal to play it safe. 


Why should you care? Because Dredg haven't led us astray thus far, and everyone could use a little Dan The Automator in their diet. Listen to the entire thing and decide for yourself.


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Le Butcherettes – Sin Sin Sin


Release Date: May 10

Label: Rodriguez Lopez Productions  



Love-snarl punk trio Le Butcherettes' debut album Sin Sin Sin is locked on our radars, after they obliterated Antiquiet's Axis of Audio showcase at SXSW on March 19th. Led by vocalist/guitarist/pianist/spaz Teri Gender Bender, Le Butcherettes' songs & untethered energy evoke early-era Yeah Yeah Yeahs, with the seductive energy of The Kills in an explosive minimalist package. 


Sin Sin Sin was produced by The Mars Volta's Omar Rodriguez Lopez, who also plays bass on all of the album’s tracks, & will issue the album May 10th on Rodriguez Lopez Productions via Sargent House.


Why should you care? Because they're a musical ass kicking of the most fascinating regard, and if they're good enough for Omar, they're sure as hell good enough for us. 


Trade money for music: Le Butcherette's main site.



The Cars – Move Like This


Release Date: May 10

Label: Concord Music



Produced by Garret "Jacknife" Lee and The Cars, finds the 80s heroes – Ric Ocasek, Greg Hawkes, Elliot Easton and David Robinson – returning to their old creative energy with a modern flare.


Their first studio album since 1987′s Door to Door will feature all original members, with the exception of Benjamin Orr, who passed away from cancer in 2000. With ten new studio songs to add to their remarkable catalogue (spanning from 1978′s debut/self titled to the aforementioned Door to Door), Cars fans will enjoy a revitalized legacy we thought was lost to the Y2K bug.


Why should you care? Watch the video for "Blue Tip" and decide for yourself:

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Urge Overkill – Rock & Roll Submarine


Release Date: May 10

Label: UO Records



Preparing the release of a new album titled Rock & Roll Submarine, their first new material in sixteen years, Urge Overkill are pretty accepting of the fact that these days they're best known for their cover of Neil Diamond's "Girl, You'll Be A Woman Soon," a cornerstone song in Quentin Tarantino's masterpiece Pulp Fiction.


The band will kick off a brief U.S. tour in May, where they will be tearing through their new and classic material. The reformed lineup is made up of original singer-guitarists/songwriters Eddie "King" Roeser and Nash Kato, along with two new additions: drummer Bonn Quast (Polvo; The Cherry Valence) and bassist Hadji Hodgkiss (Gaza Strippers). 


Why should you care? UO is not for everyone, but longtime fans won't be disappointed. Listen to the band's first new song in 16 years, "Effigy":

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Danger Mouse & Daniele Luppi – Rome


Release Date: May 17

Label: N/A



This collaboration is set to evoke the spirit of the 1960s' Italian movie soundtracks, the catalyst for Luppi & Danger Mouse's unique collaboration. If that doesn't sound like your cup of tea, here's another reason to get excited: Jack White & Norah Jones contribute to a few tracks.


The album itself defies modern convention, a musical period piece that gives one a distinct sense of time displacement. It's a great listen, but the high point is, indeed, Jack White's performance on "Two Against One".


Danger Mouse told the following to The Guardian about Jack's involvement:


“I played some of the music for Jack White when I was on tour shortly after doing the first session, just to show him what I was doing, because at the time everyone thought I was just a hip-hop guy, or whatever. He liked it, but at the time I wasn’t even thinking of using him – you know, it’s Jack White. But in the end, I thought, he’s really into it – why not? He tried it in different voices – a high voice, a low voice, and I thought, why don’t we leave them all in? There’s a bunch of his vocals on Rose With The Broken Neck, and it doesn’t always sound like him – sometimes you’re like, is that Jack or not?”


Oh it's Jack alright. Listen to "Two Against One" below:

Why should you care? Look at the list of names associated again. If you're not excited yet, slap yourself, listen to the track above and repeat step one. 

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Moby – Destroyed


Release Date: May 16

Label: Little Idiot



On his upcoming tenth studio effort, Moby constructs synthetic symphonies out of sounds manipulated from broken-down gear during insomniac all-night sessions in hotel rooms around the country.


Destroyed arrives in an arty deluxe package complete with a book of Moby’s photography, a fitting companion to the desolation and isolation that pervades much of the music. 


Why should you care? Actually, maybe you shouldn't. This album is immensely depressing. If you're alone or prone to thoughts of suicide, stay away.


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Lady GaGa – Born This Way


Release Date: May 17

Label: N/A



Our only hope for getting Britney Spears the f*ck off the hype train is returning with what she's calling the "album of the decade," which we're sure isn't an overstatement at all. 


In Gaga's own words, the album is "much more vocally up to par with what I’ve always been capable of. It’s more electronic, but I have married a very theatrical vocal to it. It’s like a giant musical-opus theater piece." Of course. How else would you follow this meat-dress triangle-face-implant lunacy?


She's out of her mind trying to convince anyone that "Born This Way" isn't Madonna's "Express Yourself" flipped on its ass, but the girl's an enormous worldwide superstar who's not going anywhere but up anytime soon. She's got undeniable skills, and is riding a high tide of attention.


Why should you care? The hype is hard to ignore. DJ White Shadow spoke to MTV News earlier this year and about the album. "I don't even know how to explain it. [Born This Way] is not a pop album; it's a pop masterpiece of music. If there was no category of pop music, you wouldn't call it pop music," he said.


"She thinks of sh*t that I can't comprehend," he added. "It doesn't make sense to me, and I'm a creative person. … Working with her is totally different than anyone else I've ever done anything with. She's the most hands-on person I've ever run into. She could walk into Steve Jobs' office and tell him he's doing Apple wrong, and he'd listen."


So there's that.


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Thurston Moore – Demolished Thoughts


Release Date: May 17

Label: N/A



May 24 marks the release date for the new 2XLP / compact disc / digital album from Sonic Youth man Thurston Moore, Demolished Thoughts. The Beck-produced 9 song collection is a personal, intimate journey critics are describing as "achingly beautiful". Recorded in Los Angeles and Northampton, MA, Demolished Thoughts also features violinist Samara Lubelski, harpist Mary Lattimore (also heard on Kurt Vile’s latest), bassist Bram Inscore, drummer Joey Waronker and Beck.


Why should you care? Because you'll have one less thing to talk to Eddie Vedder about when you meet him, if you don't. Aside from that, I have no idea. Sonic Youth blows. 


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Death Cab For Cutie – Codes and Keys


Release Date: May 31

Label: Atlantic



The follow-up to DCFC’s smash success of Narrow Stairs was recorded at various studios over the course of several months in 2010, a departure of sorts for the band that's “a more cut-and-paste style of songwriting — as well as more of guitarist/producer Chris Walla’s compositions.” Frontman Ben Gibbard likened Codes And Keys to Brian Eno’s Another Green World


Why should you care? DCFC sold us for good with Narrow Stairs, and despite mixed results. "You Are a Tourist" is a throwaway track and an odd selection for the first introduction to the album, but "Some Boys" is definitely a keeper – listen below:

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Eddie Vedder – Ukulele Songs


Release Date: May 31

Label: Universal/Monkeywrench



Pearl Jam's frontman heads off on his own once more, with an album full of love songs that's bound to follow the same adventurously introspective spirit that carried the Into The Wild soundtrack to such great heights. The collection of original songs and covers performed by Vedder on ukulele is likely to also include a few other gems that the vocalist penned over the years but played only sparingly. One such song is Satellite, perhaps my personal favorite composition the man has ever put together.


Ukulele Songs and the live concert film Water on the Road will be Released on Tuesday, May 31st through Pearl Jam’s Monkeywrench Records. 


Why should you care? If you're a Pearl Jam fan, this is a no-brainer must. If you have any sort of fire in the heart with a side of compassion, some of these songs are going to grab you by the throat. Listen to the first single:

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My Morning Jacket – Circuital


Release Date: May 31

Label: ATO Records



The new album from Southern rockers My Morning Jacket is a more stylistically consistent album than its predecessor, culled from live sessions on 24-track tape at home in Louisville, KY. Converting a church gym into their makeshift recording space, the band gathered in a circle and focused heavily on spontaneity and live performance rather than meticulous perfection, and the result is a glowing warmth and intimacy that, as guitarist Carl Broemel puts it, "feels like a couple of steps forward of what we’d been doing in terms of overall sound.”


Why should you care? MMJ have proven themselves over the course of five albums, earning such high-profile fans as Dave Grohl & Eddie Vedder with an evolving songwriting approach that keeps things fascinating every time. Head to the band's official site for a taste of Circuital all your own – the title track is available for a free download.


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Melvins – Sugar Daddy


Release Date: May 31

Label: Ipecac



The latest live album from these sludge-grunge originators was recorded at the Busta-Guts Club in Downey, California, featuring such fan favorites as "Boris", "A History of Bad Men" and "The Kicking Machine".


Why should you care? You really shouldn't, unless you're a die-hard Melvins fan.


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