Sequel albums can be suspect: just ask Metallica fans if anyone liked Re-Load better than Load. But the Dresden Dolls' hastily-arranged No, Virginia -- a followup to their Yes, Virginia -- has a couple of things going for it. The Dolls are due for a rarities disc, anyway, and rather than just limit the scope to recent B-sides, they're tossing in some old-school nuggets (including a demo from their brief stint as a four-piece), some choice covers (including their previously released cover of "Pretty In Pink"), and five new songs: "Dear Jenny," "Night Reconaissance," "Ultima Esperanza," "Sorry Bunch," and "The Sheep Song." For local pride, the closer is a song called "Boston." The record's due May 20 on Roadrunner. This song, however, will not be on it.
Can't help but wonder, though, if Yes, Virginia is a contractual obligation: Amanda's got Who Killed Amanda Palmer, her solo record, in the can; and following her recent vocal-cord surgery, she's starting to roll out some high-profile solo dates. The first and biggest, of course, is the Phoenix's Best Music Poll Concert on May 10 at BOA Pavilion (tix on sale tomorrow), where she's the penultimate act underneath Death Cab for Cutie. After that, she'll follow in the footsteps of her pal Ben Folds (who produced her solo disc) by playing a gig with the Boston Pops as her backing band. In that regard, she's got a lot to live up to: Folds's gig with the Pops resulted in the first fistfight at the Symphony that anyone can remember.