ROCKING UNTIL THE END: Influential punk rocker Joey Ramone, who died Sunday at age 49, was working on a solo album for the last three years of his life. Longtime Ramones producer Daniel Rey told MTV that the nearly-20-song set would most likely be issued later this year.
ANOTHER PIECE OF THE PAVEMENT: Singer Stephen Malkmus isn't the only former Pavement member pursuing a solo career. Guitarist Scott Kannberg has recorded an album, All This Sounds Gas, with his new band, Preston School of Industry, according to Matador Records. The LP will be released in late summer.
SOUNDTRACK RAIDERS: With the game selling more than 24 million copies worldwide, the Tomb Raider folks haven't had trouble in luring artists to record for the soundtrack to the highly anticipated film. Contributors include Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails, the Chemical Brothers, Basement Jaxx, Fatboy Slim, and Missy Elliott. Produced by John Kirkpatrick, the high-intensity soundtrack is due June 5 from Elektra Records.
ECHOES OF THE BUNNYMEN: Rhino Records will issue a four-disc, 72-song box set for British pop rock act Echo & The Bunnymen titled Crystal Days, 1979-1999. The archival specialists are promising — in addition to the hits — previously unreleased tracks, B-sides, and live versions.
CREEP SHOWS: Pop experimentalist Mike Patton (formerly of Faith No More) teamed with Mr. Bungle bandmate Trevor Dunn and Melvins guitarist Buzz Osborne to record The Director's Cut, 15 reinterpretations of classic cinema songs. The collection — which includes unique takes on themes from The Godfather, Rosemary's Baby, and The Omen — will be issued July 24 from Patton's Ipecac Recordings.
RESTLESS GIANTS: Quirky pop act They Might Be Giants will release its eighth studio LP — and its first for Restless Records — on Aug. 15. The still-untitled album was produced by Adam Schlesinger, and several of the tracks are available through the band's Emusic service.
DEBUT MC: After coming back to the pop scene with Crown Royal earlier this month, Run-D.M.C.'s Darryl McDaniels will make his solo debut with upcoming LP Checks, Thugs, & Rock n' Roll via his own Darryl's Music Company. McDaniels says the album, due this summer, will match his mellow personality.
SUPER CRUNCHY: Welsh pop band Super Furry Animals' new album, Rings Around the World, will be released in Britain on July 16 through Epic Records. The LP, the band's fifth studio project, will follow up 2000's MWNG. The group collaborated with former Beatle Paul McCartney, who reportedly audibly chews on vegetables in the recording.
GO GO GADGET: Chuck Brown — godfather of the distinctive Washington, D.C., musical Go Go style — will release Your Game … Live at the 9:30 Club on June 5. The music blends funk grooves, hip-hop aesthetics, and Latin-influenced, DIY percussion.
QUICK HITS: Rock act 311 has come up with a title for its sixth album, due June 19 — From Chaos. Geggy Tah gets mystical on its groove-driven third album, Into the Oh, due in June on Luaka Bop. LL Cool J will try to top the greatest (last year's The Greatest of All Time (G.O.A.T.)) with the new album he's working on, tentatively scheduled for this fall. Enigmatic songcrafter His Name Is Alive blends R&B vocals with trip-hop rhythms on Someday My Blues Will Cover the Earth, due in late July.
For a comprehensive list of CDs due in the next few weeks, check Wall of Sound's Release Dates.