New releases, Aug. 31: Leonard Cohen, Disturbed, Heart, Richard Thompson
Long before he dreamed up "Hallelujah" or lived a Zen lifestyle, Leonard Cohen was a cult figure known for detailing the loves and lives of tortured souls. He did little touring, as folkies such as Judy Collins and Tom Rush were the central keepers of the flame prior to the arrival of Jennifer Warnes and Jeff Buckley.
In 1972, British filmmaker Tony Palmer followed Cohen on a European trek and created "Bird on a Wire," which consists of contains 17 performances, the recital of four poems and tour footage. It will make its debut on DVD on Aug. 31.
The film was initially released in 1974 and over the years the whereabouts of the original print has been in question. In 2009, more than 290 rolls of film in rusted cans were discovered containing much of the original rushes and soundtrack of the film.
Among other releases of note on Aug. 31:
Disturbed, "Asylum" (Reprise)
Disturbed began work on "'Asylum" at the end of last summer, entering the studio in February. The band is going the extra mile in delivering bonus goods to folks who buy the physical package. CD purchasers will receive access to the documentary "Decade of Disturbed," which covers the band's 10-year history; a limited edition CD+DVD includes the documentary, an expanded booklet, two bonus live tracks and a feature in which the band demonstrates how to play some of their songs.
Heart, "Red Velvet Car" (Legacy)
"Red Velvet Car" is Ann and Nancy Wilson's first album in six years . Mostly acoustic based, the set is a highly personal song cycle produced by Ben Mink.
Vijay Iyer, "Solo" (ACT Music)
"Historicity," the album pianist Vijay Iyer released with his trio last year, topped multiple year-end lists, among them the New York Times, PopMatters and NPR. In the liner notes of "Solo," Iyer writes "a great deal of musical debt is owed to composer-pianists Thelonious Monk, Andrew Hill, Duke Ellington, Muhal Richard Abrams, Randy Weston, Cecil Taylor and Sun Ra. ... I dedicate the music to each of them, and to three other composer-performers ... Wadada Leo Smith, Steve Coleman and Roscoe Mitchell."
Richard Thompson, "Dream Attic" (Shout Factory)
In February, Richard Thompson recorded each of his shows from Los Angeles to Seattle. The material, though, was all new songs. This 13-song collection is the document of the tour with his band.
Carl Broemel, "All Birds Say" (ATO)
Songs from the solo debut of My Morning Jacket guitarist Carl Broemel "unfold in a dream-like stream of consciousness with lush and elegant arrangements," according to his press release. The instrumentation is folky and points of reference given are Ron Sexsmith, Neko Case, Neal Casal, Andrew Bird, Mose Allison, and early Boz Scaggs.
Also in stores this week:
Mickey Dolenz - "King for a Day" (Red General)
Goo Goo Dolls - Something for the Rest of Us (Warner Bros.)
Bill Frisell - "Beautiful Dreamers" (Savoy)
Lyfe Jennings - "I Still Believe" (Asylum)
Jenny & Johnny - "I'm Having Fun Now" (Warner Bros.)