The winter release season is finally upon us.
Here’s what we can expect in stores and online in the first quarter of 2012:
Tuesday: I have high hopes for Future This from The Big Pink, a British band with much potential.
Jan. 24: Craig Finn of the Hold Steady’s solo album, Clear Heart Full Eyes, comes out. Also we’ll get Cloud Nothings’ Attack on Memory, which was produced by Steve Albini.
Jan. 31: Lana Del Ray was the musical guest on SNL without even having an album out. Will Born to Die live up to the hype? And I’ve heard Old Ideas, the first Leonard Cohen studio album since 2004. Fans will be pleased.
Feb. 7: Van Halen (DLR v2.0) returns with A Different Kind of Truth. We’ll also get more metal from Silverstein in the form of Short Songs. Plus Le Voyage Dans La Lune from Air. And Hotel Sessions from Evan Dando and the Lemonheads.
Feb. 14: Sleigh Bells. Can’t wait for Reign of Terror.
Feb. 21: I like what I’ve heard so far from Band of Skulls’ Sweet Sour.
Feb. 28: The Cranberries are back. Those who have heard Roses – their first album since Wake Up and Smell the Coffee in 2001 – say it’s very good.
Mar. 6: Kaiser Chiefs and Start the Revolution Without Me. It’ll certainly be a hit in the U.K., but will it be enough for a North American breakthrough?
Mar. 19: Spiritualized return with Sweet Heart Sweet Light.
Mar. 20: Sharks. Watch this Birmigham-based band. No Gods could be a sleeper.
Mar. 27: The Modfather Paul Weller cranks out another CD. This one is called Sonik Kicks.
Apr. 10: Slash’s new solo album. Still awaiting a title.
Apr. 24: My Darkest Days. No title yet. work Angels.
Alan is the host of the radio show The Secret History of Rock. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org