It's New Release Tuesday at record stores all over the country, and people are skipping work and playing hooky to get all their favorite new albums that they haven't already stolen off torrent sites.
According to a recent report, music sales have actually been up five weeks in a row. What's to blame? How about some really good albums, and some really great-selling bad albums? The past few weeks have seen new slabs by the Decemberists, The Strokes, Adele, Lupe Fiasco, Dropkick Murphys, and the continuing reigns of Bruno Mars, Mumford & Sons, Katy Perry and Nicki Minaj.
Is this a recovery in the record industry, or has quality finally caught up with what people are willing to pay for a piece of an artist's work? Who knows, but Record Store Day on April 16 should be amazing.
Here's a rundown of some of today's best and biggest releases.
Radiohead, The King Of Limbs
The big daddy this week, Radiohead's newest finally gets a vinyl and disc release. No doubt you have already downloaded or stolen KOL, but think of it this way: if you buy this one, maybe you can help buy Thom Yorke buy a new dune buggy.
Pearl Jam, Vs./Vitalogy (Reissues)
PJ reissues continue after 2009's Ten redux, with Vs. and Vitalogy getting the deluxe treatment. For our money, all you need is Vitalogy, which still holds up today not only as a good album from that era, but also career-high from PJ.
Britney Spears, Femme Fatale
Who is this wannabe Lady Gaga skank?
The Band of Heathens, Top Hat & Crown
Every time we see this Austin band's name in print, we think it's Band of Horses and we get super-excited and it's not.
Those Darlins, Screws Get Loose
"Be Your Bro" is probably one of the best garage-pop singles going this year. We hope the world for this band.
Willie Nelson & Wynton Marsalis feat. Norah Jones, Here We Go Again: Tribute to Ray Charles
This rules too hard. All three step up the game to honor a legend.
Ladytron, Best of 00-10
This makes us miss Danseparc and electroclash too much.
Los Lonely Boys, Rockpango
What we love about the Los Lonely Boys, is that after "Heaven" was a radio hit, that just got harder and more aggressive when they could have went for more pop cash-ins. Rockpango is a scorcher.
Snoop Dogg, Doggumentary
You know, he doesn't really need to keep making music, but he still does it for the love of the game.
Funeral Party, Golden Age of Knowhere
If you miss Bloc Party so much, why don't you marry them?
Wiz Khalifa, Rolling Papers
Hope the rest of this thing is not as irritating as "Black And Yellow." On first spin, it's actually way better.
Jennifer Hudson, I Remember Me
We remember you needed to wear a better bra at the Oscars.
Sum 41, Screaming Bloody Murder
The fuck is wrong with these guys? The title track sounds like really bad, slowed-down later-period Bad Brains. We know Avril left you, but get your shit together.
Hunx & His Punx, Too Young To Be In Love
Loved, loved, loved them at SXSW a few weeks back. We will most definitely be seeing them on April 13 with Vivian Pikkles & The Sweethearts Über Alles at Fitzgeralds, and you should be there too.
Pete Yorn, musicforthemorningafter (Reissue)
One of the most underrated pop-rockers of his generation, Yorn re-releases his excellent 2001 debut. Check it out again to remember how depressing it was.
Broken Bells, Meyrin Fields EP
So we guess that The Shins are never coming back, huh? What a shame. Drats.
Peter Bjorn & John, Gimme Some
Really? This is still happening? We had Writer's Block back in like, 2007, but then we left the table and didn't come back for seconds. They could just be like, the Volkswagen house band, and that would work for us.
Yelle, Safari Disco Club
Paging Marc Brubaker...
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Pains of Being Pure at Heart, Belong
It's not really my thing, but then again I am typing this wearing a Motorhead shirt.