Friday, March 31, 2006

Shins Delayed; Simon On The Way; Replacements Say Okay

The Shins -- who expected to release their followup to the breakthrough Chutes Too Narrow this summer, now say they'll have it out in October. Blame it on the road: Billboard quotes frontman James Mercer as saying he just can't write songs in hotel rooms or on a bus. Alternately, the first Paul Simon album in six years is coming out in May. Called Surprise, it's produced by Brian Eno, which is great news indeed. Eno is one of the major figures in rock and roll and has a gift for bringing out the best in artists. As a performer, he was a key figure in earlyn Roxy Music. Eno also virtually invented the genres of ambient, New Age and certainly electronica and trance owe him a debt. But it's his work collaborating with major artists that makes Eno and Simon so promising. Eno helped David Bowie, Talking Heads and U2 among others produce some of the best work of their careers. More good news: the Replacements reunited to record two new tracks for a 20 track best-of out in June from Rhino. Paul Westerberg wrote the songs, called "Message to the Boys" and "Pool and Dive." Meanwhile, the OutKast album and movie remain missing in action.

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