A Buzz-centric conversation with A a couple of nights ago led to a positively stellar idea, the fruits of which you are mere moments from enjoying.

I asked A if this blog lacked something, or if there was an additional feature he wanted to see, and he told me that, although he relishes the longer new album posts, the one thing he misses from the Tips is an overview of each week’s major music releases. (Which totally cracks me the hell up, because he doesn’t buy records!) To help rectify this issue, A suggested that I begin composing a regular bullet-points column to direct my readers’ attention toward each Tuesday’s worthy new music. (Sherry Ann has given me similar feedback.)

I found this idea to be a fabulous one, and something that seemed easy enough to construct. So, to that end, I offer you Tuesdays in the Record Store with Brandon, Vol. 1. Herewith, a handy pocket guide to the music that requires your attention this week:

The hands-down pride of Iceland’s pop music scene, Sigur Rós, is back with Med Sud I Eyrum Vid Spilum Endalaust, another album — the band’s fifth — of unpronounceable titles, joyous, life-affirming melodies, and humbly acrobatic vocal work.

They scored a crossover megasmash with 2006’s terrific “I Dare You”; intense vocalist Brent Smith and his Florida rock band Shinedown hope to keep that momentum rolling with their third major label album, The Sound of Madness.

His genre is difficult to determine (a little bit jazz, a little bit blues, a little bit pop), but Amos Lee‘s enormous talent is as unmistakable as his husky, searing voice is inspiring. Lee’s third album, Last Days at the Lodge, drops this week.

Special guests Ivan Neville and Joan Osborne team up with one of my all-time favorite artists, the sensational Edwin McCain, on Nobody’s Fault But Mine, a new collection of classic Stax-era covers. (Just wait ’til you hear McCain’s burning take on “Some Kind of Wonderful.”)

Seems safe to say Alanis Morissette’s Jagged Little Pill would not have had nearly the cultural impact it did had Liz Phair‘s 1993 rage-filled debut Exile in Guyville not laid the groundwork. To mark the 15th anniversary of the album’s original release, Rhino Records has minted a new deluxe edition of Guyville complete with four bonus tracks and a DVD documenting the album’s conception.

And, finally, a pair of Sugarland, Little Big Town & Jake Owen - Life In a Northern Town - Single - Life In a Northern Town (Live) Sugarland - All I Want to Do - Single - All I Want to Do exclusives from the peerless Sugarland, who preview their third album, Love on the Inside (due July 22), with the two singles currently duking it out for supremacy at country radio this summer. The first (and, without question, the best) of them is their heart-stopping live cover of the Dream Academy’s 1986 classic “Life in a Northern Town” (whose multiple, monumental merits I’ve already trumpeted in a previous Buzz post). Performed as a collaboration with up-and-comers Little Big Town and Jake Owen, it’s quite conceivable you won’t hear a better song for the remainder of this year. (The smashing way Jennifer Nettles enunciates the word “lemonade” in the song’s first verse alone is enough to make her a living legend.) And the second is Inside’s official first single, the breezy “All I Want to Do,” which the band debuted at last month’s Academy of Country Music Awards. Taking into account the considerable heft of Sugarland’s previous work — and in the five years of their existence, they’ve been on a hit-making hot streak that few artists in any genre have been able to match, for neither quantity nor quality — “All” is a bit of a letdown; it’s not exactly a bad song (certainly, it beats anything that irritating ass Brad Paisley has ever come up with), but it sure ain’t “Settlin’.” Still, no one in the format can touch the impossibly brilliant Nettles right now, and if you’re thinkin’ that Inside is gonna be one of summer 2008’s must-own albums, I’m thinkin’ you’re right on the money.

3 responses to “goin’ back to Guyville
(or: june 24 — a thumbnail sketch)”

  1. the buzz from A.:

    A marvelous addition, Brandon! Now I know what to look for as I pass through Circuit City, Target, B&N, etc. this week…

    Two quick takes on CDs mentioned: (1) Sigur Rós has produced some of the strangest music I have ever heard; I wonder if this CD is similar, and (2) I am dutifully excited for the Sugarland CD – what a great birthday present for Brandon, and less than a month away!

    By the way, I thought Bjork was the pride of Iceland’s music scene?

  2. the buzz from Sherry Ann:

    I needed this!! It shortens the time that I have to spend yelling at the teenager that works at the local record store. You know what I am talking about!! But do you have to take every opportunity to insult my dear Brad Paisley? What did he ever do to you? Leave Brad alone!!!!

  3. the buzz from brandon:

    Having been to your local record store on numerous occasions, I can tell you with great authority that no Buzz post will change your fate in that place, no matter how helpful!

    OK, you can either have Jason or you can have Brad. You don’t get them both! 🙂