I found out yesterday from Jeff Giles at Popdose that the Lemonheads are planning to release a new album next month. I knew there was talk of Evan Dando and his revolving-door bandmates releasing something in '08, but I hadn't heard anything official.
It turns out the new album is a holding-pattern type of release—titled Varshons, it contains 11 covers, or versions, including Gram Parsons's "I Just Can't Take It Anymore," which the Lemonheads have been playing in concert for a while now, and Christina Aguilera's "Beautiful." That one may seem like an odd choice at first, but almost from the beginning the Lemonheads have covered songs originally sung by women—Suzanne Vega's "Luka," Linda Ronstadt's "Different Drum" (performed with the Stone Poneys), Patience and Prudence's "Gonna Get Along Without Ya Now," Whitney Houston's "How Will I Know." I could listen to Dando sing the phone book, so Varshons will be required listening, but I was hoping for a new album of original songs. Dando's never been a prolific songwriter, though—4 of the 11 songs on 2006's The Lemonheads were by other writers—so I'll take what I can get.
In addition to the Lemonheads' new album—which doesn't have a firm release date, so it may not come out next month after all—new releases and new reissues by several other artists I flipped for in college a dozen years ago, back when people still used phone books, will be coming out this fall. Ben Folds's Way to Normal comes out September 30, his first album of new material in three years, and Todd Rundgren's Arena comes out the same day, his first album since 2004's Liars. There's also George Clinton and His Gangsters of Love, which hits shelves September 16 and features a cameo from the once-great Sly Stone, who hasn't appeared on a record since 1987, I think. Since no new Sly and the Family Stone album is forthcoming, and since the band is still canceling concerts at the last minute after all these years, including one in Chicago back in April, fans have to take what they can get from Clinton's album.
Unlike the Family Stone, the Replacements haven't reunited in a new configuration, which is a good thing, but their four albums for Sire Records, which came out between 1985 and 1990, will be reissued by Rhino with bonus tracks on September 23. And a box set called Love Train: The Sound of Philadelphia comes out October 21, featuring the usual Philadelphia International Records classics but also tracks that Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff produced before they founded PIR, plus songs that Thom Bell wrote and produced for Philly groups like the Spinners, Delfonics, and Stylistics.