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Winter months set to yield hot new music

On the plus side, the days are getting longer. The bad news is that we have at least three months of cold, miserable weather ahead of us.

On the plus side, the days are getting longer. The bad news is that we have at least three months of cold, miserable weather ahead of us. And the Christmas credit card bills have started to come in just as the government begins sucking those CPP contributions out of our paycheques. And let’s not forget that our prorogued Parliament is still in a most dysfunctional state.

Good thing we have some interesting music headed our way. Here’s what’s coming our way over the next 90 days or so:

• Franz Ferdinand/Tonight (Jan. 27):
I’ve had a chance to live with the full album since early December and the more I listen, the more I like it, especially when they bust out some weird Soviet-era synthesizers called “Polyvoxes.” British art school rock without the pretension.

• Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band/Working on a Dream (Jan. 27): Bruce says the energy of the last tour inspired much of the songs on his 24th record. Add in a Super Bowl appearance on Feb. 1 and a possible shot at an Oscar with his theme to The Wrestler and it could be the Winter of the Boss.

• Chris Cornell/Scream (Feb. 3): The former Soundgarden and Audioslave singer got Timbaland to produce his third solo album. And if you think that’s dodgy, Justin Timberlake co-wrote and produced at least one song. And as a capper, John Mayer shows up on a hidden track. Oh, dear.

• U2/No Line on the Horizon (March 3): Studio album No. 12 will hit stores in FIVE different versions. Hardcore fans will want the bespoke edition, which comes in a box with a 64-page hardcover book and an Anton Corbijn film. Early word is Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois presided over an Achtung Baby-like record. That’s a good thing.

• Pearl Jam/Ten (March 24): Eighteen years after its release, Ten gets a complete makeover, including a remix and remaster by producer Brendan O’Brien (Pearl Jam never did like the sound of the original album). The reissue will come in four flavours, including a super deluxe version that contains a cassette (!!!) replicating the infamous Mamasan demos that got Eddie Vedder the singer’s gig. This is the first salvo in a series of re-releases of every PJ release leading up to the band’s 20th anniversary in 2011.

– The Ongoing History of New Music can be heard on stations across Canada. Read more at www.ongoinghistory.com and www.exploremusic.com

 
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