Welcome to another week of music, old friends - and this one promises to be a doozy. A few bands we've spotlighted on the site are dropping discs this week, and if you've got any wax in your ears, you'd better clean it out. Let's pump up the jams.
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club - Beat The Devil's Tattoo - The California garage band is taking things into their own hands with their first full release on their own label. Their last album, The Effects Of 333, was a purely instrumental curiosity, so I'm excited and curious to hear what the full BRMC attack is going to sound like with a new drummer in tow. Should be good.
jj - jj n3 - We've talked about this mysterious group before, and their third record promises more of the unique fusion of reverb-laden indie pop with bonged-out conceptual visions. It's a little hard to write about these guys, because I barely know a Goddamned thing or even how many people are involved, but this is a must listen.
Gorillaz - Plastic Beach - Conceptual cartoon-rock quartet Gorillaz has stuck around a lot longer than anybody expected them to, and their third record has been in the hopper since 2007. Well, Albarn and Hewlett are finally letting it out of the box, and it looks amazing. Guest spots from people as diverse as Snoop Dogg and Lou Reed has me very curious as to what this is going to sound like.
Ludacris - Battle Of The Sexes - This should be fun - Luda opens up the agora to hip-hop's finest and lets them speak out on the difference between men and women. Starting off with the foul-mouthed lead track "Everybody Drunk As F*ck" and boasting spots from Nicki Minaj, Lil Kim, Flo Rida, Plies, Ne-Yo and many, many more, this might be the best album to get summer bumping.
Pavement - Quarantine The Past: The Best Of Pavement - Okay, the fact that Pavement has a best-of collection makes me feel really old. I remember when these California indie rockers were just a bunch of kids with bad hair ripping off the Fall. After breaking up in 1999, they got back together late last year and are gearing up for some shows in March, which could either be awesome or a complete disaster.
Ted Leo And The Pharmacists - The Brutalist Bricks - Washington D.C.'s long-running indie outfit drops its eighth record, and fans of more of the same will find... more of the same. I've never really got "the deal" with this band, but they certainly have a strong fanbase so they must be doing something right.