New Vinyl Releases April 19, 2011

Take a deep breath… I know you all have a back log of records to listen to right now. There were literally HUNDREDS of new vinyl goodness released between last Tuesday and Record Store Day. Did you get everything you wanted? If you didn’t, no worries because there is always another Tuesday and more new stuff to peruse.

Before I move on to the list, did you hear that Jack White was given the first-ever Music City Ambassador Award on Saturday, presented to him by Nashville Mayor Karl Dean and the Nashville Music Council. I think that’s pretty cool. Here is what the Mayor had to say:

“Today’s award recognizes an individual who carries Nashville’s diverse musical message worldwide, Jack White’s individual talent and unique creative spirit bridges gaps between genres and generations and I couldn’t be more pleased to thank him for his work on behalf of the music industry and its hometown.”


The B-52s – s/t – Mobile Fidelity – The B-52s were about a decade ahead of the alt-rock revolution when they recorded this delightfully campy, intentionally goofy, lyrically tawdry, and undeniably harmonic 1979 new-wave set that comes off as the best dance party you might ever hear.  This is 40 minutes of nothing but a good time. Mastered on Mobile Fidelity’s world-renowned mastering system and pressed at RTI (America’s best record plant), Silver Label numbered limited edition LP presents the B-52’s brilliant debut in a fidelity it’s never previously enjoyed. So detailed and realistic are the timbres, accents, and harmonies, you’ll think the band’s bright outfits are appearing right in front of you. Plus, the LP is worth the cost alone for the iconic album cover, which spotlights those bouffant ‘dos.

Alela Diane & Wild Divine – s/t – Rough Trade – “Following up the mesmerizing, occasionally grave psych-folk of 2009’s To Be Still, Diane seems to be craving a wider audience. Alela Diane & Wild Divine — referencing the backing band that includes both her husband and father — sports brighter, sunnier textures, thanks to producer Scott Litt (R.E.M., Nirvana), who keeps the quaint splotches of mandolin and steel guitar to a minimum. It’s not pop, but it’s getting closer.” –SPIN

The DiSCiPLiNES – ViRGiNS OF MENACE – Spark and Shine Records – THE DiSCiPLiNES’ sophomore full-length, ViRGiNS OF MENACE, features Ken Stringfellow (The Posies/Big Star), Bjorn Bergene, Baarde Helgeland and Ralla. The Norway-based garage rock quartet scored a massive Scandinavian hit with “Oslo,” the first single off their debut album SMOKiNG KiLLS,in 2008. The band went on to play festivals in the UK, France, USA, Canada and South America. ViRGiNS OF MENACE was recorded in the arctic fishing port of Tromso and is a staggering masterpiece of venomous, broiling, face-melting rock infused with the hooky melodies that Posies fans will instantly recognize. “FATE’S A STRONG BITCH” features a rant by punk legend Lydia Lunch.


Echo And The Bunnymen – Heaven Up Here – Mobile Fidelity – Mastered on Mobile Fidelity’s world-renowned mastering system and pressed at RTI, Silver Label numbered limited edition LP presents Echo and the Bunnymen’s breakthrough in an involving fidelity that blows away what’s on the original pressings. Listeners will revel in the opened-up reverb, sound effects, complex tonalities, swimmy textures, and crafty overdubs that are so essential to the music. This is an 80s landmark, and if you like early U2, you need this album.

Former Thieves – The Language That We Speak – No Sleep Records – Coming from the barren and simple fields of Iowa, Former Thieves have created a record that personifies the feelings and emotions of coming from nothing and fighting the entire way to what they have created. “The Language That We Speak” takes the listener through a thorough commentary on the frustration of midwestern life. Articulate, sharp, and sincerely pissed. Recorded December 1st through 10th 2010 at The Red Room in Seattle, WA with Chris Common (Mastodon, The Sword) at the helm.

The Ghost Of A Saber Tooth Tiger – La Carotte Bleue – Chimera MusicSean Lennon and Charlotte Kemp Muhl. Previously only available on tour, this new EP features 8 electric tracks by The Ghost Of A Saber Tooth Tiger. With special guests Mark Ronson and Matthieu -M- Chedid.

La Carotte Bleue - The Ghost Of A Saber Tooth Tiger (CD)

The Heavenly States – Oui Camera Oui – Hippies Are Dead Records – “What’s so great about this record? In short, everything. It is melodic, addictive, raucous, gentle, endearing and complex. It would beg for your attention if it needed to, but it doesn’t, because it is songwriting and performance at it’s very best. We’ve been listening to it consistently for close to a year, and it’s not even close to wearing thin.” – Hippies Are Dead Records

I’m From Barcelona – Forever Today – AIP – “Forever Today is an infectious, catchy-as-hell, big, breezy, summery statement that doesn’t boast a single bad apple across its expansive ten tracks. It’s a return to I’m From Barcelona’s notably twee sound, considering that their sophomore record, 2008’s Who Killed Harry Houdini?, was a remarkably darker and more melancholic affair. But, here, I’m From Barcelona mastermind Emanuel Lundgren has opened the blinds on his bedroom window, and just let the lazy sunshine come flooding right in.” –Pop Matters

International Submarine Band – Safe At Home (Mono Edition with Bonus 7″) – Sundazed – Safe at Home, the seminal 1968 LP by Gram Parsons’ International Submarine Band, is widely regarded as the record that launched the country-rock movement and was the first album to spotlight Parsons’ charismatic vocals and visionary songwriting. Sundazed’s new edition of this ’60s landmark has been mastered from the rare original mono mix and is perfectly pressed on 180gm vinyl. This limited edition also includes a bonus 7” single of the ISB’s ultra-rare debut release, originally issued in 1966 on the Ascot label, pairing “Truck Driving Man” with “The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming.” Like the album, the single captures a world-changing musical talent discovering his strengths, making this package a powerful testament to Gram Parsons’ singular artistry.

INXS – Kick – Mobile Fidelity – Anchored by the sensual purr of vocalist Michael Hutchence and frisky drumming (recorded in analog) of Jon Farriss, Kick taps into a hybrid style that freshly stays away from the era’s plastic, manufactured sounds and narrow-minded, vacant aesthetic. A seamless fusion of dance beats, sleek rock riffs, soaring hooks, horn-fueled R&B, and string-laden accents, the 12-track set is an irresistibly catchy and liquidly fluid sonic miasma that contains every single element a classic contemporary pop work requires. Mastered on Mobile Fidelity’s world-renowned mastering system and pressed at RTI, Silver Label numbered limited edition LP presents INXS’ studio masterpiece with the tremendous punch, transparent midrange impact, and involving depth the record has always deserved but, until now, never possessed. Textural details, Hutchence’s creamy vocals, and Farris’ diversified percussion positively explode and engage in the manner that only the best pop-rock can.

Eric Johnson – Up Close – VTM – Up Close will be issued on 180 gram vinyl, and housed in a beautiful special double LP gatefold package with printed sleeves.  Additionally, the LP was remastered specially for this vinyl release by Jim Wilson. Click here for more info!

Micachu & The Shapes & The London Sinfonietta – Chopped & Screwed – Rough Trade – Exciting news from Micachu & The Shapes’ camp! The trio have collaborated with London Sinfonietta, one of the world’s leading contemporary orchestras, to create the album ‘Chopped & Screwed’. Recorded live in front of an audience at Kings Place, London in May 2010.

Pantha Du Prince – XI Versions of Black Noise – Rough Trade – The remixed album XI Versions of Black Noise featuring Four Tet, The Sight Below, Animal Collective and other artists.

Robyn Ludwick – Out Of These Blues – Late Show Records

Brian Setzer Orchestra – Setzer Goes Instru-MENTAL! – Surfdog Records – Setzer Goes Instru-MENTAL! is another elegant affirmation of Setzer’s legacy and a beautiful betrayal of what we tend to expect from guitar records.

Tune-Yards – WHOKILL – 4AD – “w h o k i l l, Garbus’ second album as tUnE-yArDs, delivers on the promise of her 2009 debut,BiRd-BrAiNs. Unlike that album, which she recorded almost entirely on her own using a digital voice recorder and the sound editing program Audacity, w h o k i l l was mostly made in traditional studios in collaboration with bassist Nate Brenner, engineer Eli Crews, and a handful of other musicians. The music benefits from the increased professionalism, but Garbus has not abandoned her lo-fi aesthetic. As on BiRd-BrAiNs, Garbus layers sound to create a patchwork of contrasting textures. This time around, the greater clarity allows for more exaggerated dynamics. This is most apparent in “Gangsta”, a carefully arranged track that evokes danger and fear with bluntly abbreviated blasts of horn noise and sounds that cut in and out erratically like a set of headphones with a busted wire or a cell phone that can’t hold its signal. On the opposite end of the spectrum, she creates an almost unsettling intimacy on “Wooly Wolly Gong” by mixing the ambient hum of room sound with closely mic’d arpeggiated chords and vocals.” –Pitchfork

And so, the countdown begins for Record Store Day 2012!

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