Out Today: Steve Earle Is Alive, Bootsy's Aged Funk, And The Late Poly Styrene's Last Disc

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Yep, it's the third week now that we have been listening to the new Foo Fighters album, Wasting Light. We even acquired it on vinyl this weekend, so we are doubly screwed. Now we just need it on cassette tape and one of those toothbrushes that play music in your skull like you are schizophrenic.

This week brings a trove of treasures from Steve Earle, Emmylou Harris, Explosions In The Sky, and new reissues from Derek & The Dominos, and a huge Rolling Stones singles box set that we would severely sprain our own ankle - or at least drink a gallon of milk in one sitting - for a copy.

Today news came of the passing of punk legend and X-Ray Spex front woman Poly Styrene, who succumbed to breast cancer last night. Today was also the release date of her newest solo disc, Generation Indigo. When you are out today at your favorite record store, be sure to pick up a copy of Indigo and stock up on some Spex while you are at it. Oh cancer, up yours!

As for next week, we will be profiling new slabs from the Beastie Boys, Fleet Foxes, Stevie Nicks, Sixx: A.M., and a new Donny and Marie album. Yes, that Donny and Marie. How bad can it really be? And remember folks, we are weeks away from Lady Gaga's Born This Way.

Steve Earle, I'll Never Get Out of This World Alive: This is Earle's first album of originals since 2007's Washington Square Serenade. It's a country record, helmed by T-Bone Burnett, and featuring Earle's trademark rough-and-ready lyrics. Standouts for us include "God Is God" and the lead-off cut, "Waitin' For The Sky."

We doubt this one will dislodge 2009's Townes in our weekly rotation, but it makes a good companion piece. You can hear plenty of lessons Earle learned on that Townes Van Zandt covers disc on Alive, and it will more than likely grow on us.

Explosions In The Sky, Take Care, Take Care, Take Care: The new EITS only runs six tracks long, but that's more enough for the Austin post-rockers to re-stake their claim as one of the best at what they do in the 21st century. You can hear the full album on their Web site before you take the plunge with your wallet, but you won't need much coaxing. Explosions is also opening for Arcade Fire next week at the Woodlands.

Bootsy Collins, Tha Funk Capitol of the World: Bootsy's newest album features, get ready: Jimi Hendrix, Rev. Al Sharpton, Snoop Dogg, Ice Cube, Chuck D, Buckethead, George Clinton, Sheila E., Bobby Womack, Bela Fleck and, somehow, actor Samuel L. Jackson. Yes, that Buckethead.

Derek & The Dominos, Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs:The only studio album by Eric Clapton's blues-rock band get a deluxe release, with the high-roller package including four discs, two vinyl sides, plus a special collector's box and rare photos, but the only thing you care about is the title track. Thanks a lot, Martin Scorsese.

Emmylou Harris, Hard Bargain: The mother of Americana is back with Hard Bargain, her first since 2008. She just announced a Houston date June 22 at Verizon Wireless, which should be a nice, intimate show with the legendary artist.

The Rolling Stones, The Complete Singles (1971-2006): Drool. You know, Rocks Off probably does more in this zip code to promote the Stones, than anyone ever. You would think we would already have one of these each for all of our freelancers and staffers. Someone dropped the ball getting us this 45-disc box set. It's cool, we can wait a few days.

Dirty Vegas, Electric Love: Since when was Dirty Vegas the straight Scissor Sisters?

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