Somewhere other than the Sonoran Desert, leaves are probably changing colors (and shit).
Here, it's dipped below 90 (most days).
Still, that equinox thing is over and it's fall dammit (or autumn for whoever the hell says that). And in the fall all sorts of people decide it's time to release new albums (and in recent years, various hot-ticket DVD items).
So here's what to expect as the days grow shorter:
Elliott Smith - From a Basement on a Hill (which apparently offers few clues to his death).
I'd probably rank this as the most-anticipated. What a strange story this singer made for himself. I'd just gotten into his stuff when he played a solo-acoustic gig in Tempe, mumbling something about how his band's bus didn't make it. His stoned, barely competent slacker persona as a complete contrast with his amazing performance. Like Zevon and Cash last year, posthumous equals intrigue.
Johnny Cash - American Five
I doubt there's much surprising here, but we'll see he songs he selects to cover - always the most exciting part of his American recordings and damn near always stunning.
Will Beck continue his yo-yo style and come back with a zany dance album? Truthfully, I hope so. Sea Chance was great, but his talen lies so much more with the upbeat music.
Social Distortion - Sex, Love and Rock 'n' Roll
What about the drugs? I've heard a live version of "Don't Take Me For Granted" and it's great. Critiques of this song are off base: Mike Ness has always been heartfelt and honest in his lyrics, so this isn't new, he's just never had a best friend's death to write about.
Tom Waits - Real Gone
If "The Day After Tomorrow" from Future Soundtrack for America is any indication, Tom Waits again proves he's among the best there ever was.
U2 - How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb
Eh. We'll see. Honestly, I don't expect much. Their last one was good-not-great, and they've released enough of those. I'd love to hear a turn back to Achtung-style stuff, but we'll see whether ego will let them go there.
Green Day - American Idiot
It's apparently already out, and while I'm curious, I'm obviously not that curious.
R.E.M. - Around the Sun
I lost interest after Automatic for the People. Still, it might be worth a look...
There's also the interesting Pavement and Clash re-issues, a star-packed Warren Zevon tribute,
and some promising hip-hop releases from Talib Kweli, Mos Def, Nas, Ludacris and the Black-Eyed Peas
It looks like I've already missed fall releases by Drive By Truckers, Old 97s and Rilo Kiley...
What I will not be listening to: System of a Down, Gwen Stefani, Destiny's Child, Eminem, Good Charlotte, various other shite.
Any other albums to look out for?