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    Vinyl Releases of the Week: October 5, 2011

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    Me oh my, it certainly makes me feel old to think that Nirvana's monumental album Nevermind turns 20 this year... Which means that the baby on the cover, Spencer Elden, is also 20!!  But I'm excited about the 20th anniversary box set that Geffen is releasing in celebration of this milestone. Also out this week: a ballet soundtrack by Paul McCartney, the new Feist record, a handful of Dinosaur Jr. reissues, a Stevie Wonder classic, and a wave of imports from Music on Vinyl.

    Nirvana - Nevermind 20th Anniversary Box Set (Geffen)
    To honor the 20th anniversary of one of the most influential albums in history, Geffen has issued this 180-gram 4xLP vinyl box set. In addition to a fully re-mastered version of Nevermind, the box set includes obscure B-sides, unreleased recordings, alternate mixes, live recordings, radio sessions, and rare studio tapes. Lucky fans in Europe can opt for a special picture disc version of the box set (so be on the lookout for imports popping up on eBay and Amazon).

    Paul McCartney - Ocean's Kingdom (Hear Music/Telarc)
    The former Beatle has done many things, but he has never scored a ballet... until now. Composed by Sir Paul McCartney, conducted by John Wilson, and performed by the London Classical Orchestra, Ocean's Kingdom is an original, four-movement orchestral score for a ballet by the same name.

    Dinosaur Jr. - Dinosaur, You're Living All Over Me, Bug (Jagjaguwar)
    Jagjaguwar pays reverence to the influential alternative rock band with reissues of its first three albums: Dinosaur (1985), You're Living All Over Me (1987), and Bug (1988). Eat up all the pure guitar noise that would impact the next decade of underground rock music.

    Feist - Metals (Interscope)
    The highly anticipated follow-up to Feist's 2007 breakthrough The Reminder was recorded in Big Sur, California and co-produced by Leslie Feist with longtime collaborators Chilly Gonzales and Mocky, as well as newcomer Valgeir Sigurdsson (Bjork, Bonnie "Prince" Billy). Could this be Feist's best album yet? It's sure looking that way. It's definitely her most stirring, intimate, and whimsical art-pop album yet.

    Stevie Wonder - Hotter Than July (Mobile Fidelity)
    Inspired by a meeting with Bob Marley and embracing a sunny, reggae feel, Hotter Than July features the hits "I Ain't Gonna Stand for It," "Master Blaster (Jammin')," "Lately," and "Happy Birthday." The 1980 soul classic has been signed, sealed, and delivered—as well as re-mastered, numbered, and reissued as a limited-edition audiophile LP—by MoFi.

    Hawkwind - In Search of Space (1971), Doremi Fasol Latido (1972), Hall of the Mountain Grill (1974), Masters of the Universe (1977), Space Ritual (1973) (Back on Black)
    English space-rock pioneers Hawkwind are celebrated here with a series of reissues on 180-gram colored vinyl. Included are the band's early studio albums plus a 1977 compilation spanning the years 1971-74 and a 1973 live album.

    Kool and Together - Original Recordings 1970-77 (Heavy Light)
    Remastered LP collecting the psych-rock funk 'n' soul band's best '70s work. Includes a treasure trove of rare material and previously unreleased recordings.

    Kenny Vaughan - V (Sugarhill)
    Solo debut from one of Nashville's best session musicians. On V, guitarist Kenny Vaughan explores vintage country, classic pop, and hard bop.

    The Misfits - "Twilight of the Dead" single (Misfits Records)
    12-inch vinyl maxi-single from The Devil's Rain, the first album from the horror-punk legends in nearly a decade. Features B-side "Land of the Dead" and comes in limited-edition glow in the dark, clear blue, and clear blue with red splatter vinyl. (Note: this release features the album versions of the songs, not those featured on the Misfits' 2009 "Land of the Dead" single.)

    Music on Vinyl Imports:

    Tony Bennett - Duets II (Music on Vinyl)
    The legendary jazz crooner celebrated his 85th birthday this year with his second album of duets (the first was in celebration of his 80th birthday). Produced by Phil Ramone, Duets II is a collection of American Songbook standards featuring Bennett trading lines with Lady Gaga, Aretha Franklin, Norah Jones, John Mayer, Queen Latifah, Carrie Underwood, Mariah Carey, Willie Nelson, Sheryl Crow, and the late Amy Winehouse, among others. In fact, this is the last known recording of Winehouse's. 180-gram audiophile double LP.

    John Mayer Trio - Try!: Live in Concert (Music on Vinyl)
    180-gram audiophile reissue of this 2005 live album and sole release from the blues-rock John Mayer Trio. Try! finds the pop singer wowing the crowd with his guitar chops and some Hendrix and Ray Charles covers.

    Patti Smith Group - Wave (Music on Vinyl)
    Limited 180-gram vinyl reissue of this 1979 album from the Godmother of Punk. This proved to be the last album Smith would record before her nine-year hiatus, and it is widely considered to be her most pop-oriented album.

    Nazareth - Rampant (Music on Vinyl)
    180-gram reissue of the hard-rock band's second release of 1974. With its Southern-rock tinge, Rampant has been described as "early AC/DC meets Lynyrd Skynyrd at their hardest rocking." Gatefold edition contains the bonus B-side "Love Hurts."

    From the Indie Section:

    Minus the Bear - This Is What I Know About Being Gigantic, Highly Refined Pirates (Suicide Squeeze)
    In celebration of Minus the Bear's 10th anniversary, Suicide Squeeze has reissued the band's 2001 debut EP, This Is What I Know About Being Gigantic, and its 2002 follow-up full length, Highly Refined Pirates, on vinyl.

    Zola Jesus - Conatus (Alternate Distribution Alliance)
    With a haunting and operatic voice that's been compared to that of Elizabeth Fraser of the Cocteau Twins, the 22-year-old, Wisconsin-born Nika Roza Danilova (stage name Zola Jesus) is an artist to pay attention to. On her third album, she fuses both organic and electronic darkness, nodding to goth, synth-pop, industrial, and abstract electronica while also employing strings and live drums.

    Bonnie "Prince" Billy - Wolfroy Goes to Town (Drag City)
    Vinyl pressing of the 2011 release from acclaimed singer-songwriter Will Oldham. Sparse, rustic folk that's absolutely gorgeous on vinyl.

    Boots Electric - Honkey Kong (Dangerbird)
    The solo debut from Eagles Of Death Metal frontman Jesse Hughes. Produced by Tony Hoffer (Beck, Depeche Mode) and co-written with legendary keyboardist/Beastie Boys collaborator Marky Mark, Honkey Kong is indeed what you get when you mix honkey tonk with Donkey Kong.

    The Cool Kids - When Fish Ride Bicycles (C.A.K.E. / Green Label Sound)
    The "proper" debut from the old-meets-new hip-hop duo. Features collaborations with Travis Barker, Bun B, Ghostface Killah, Mayer Hawthorne, and Asher Roth.

    Talkdemonic - Ruins (Glacial Pace)
    The fourth album from the Portland duo is a textured and compelling blend of viola, drums, and synths. Soothing and abrasive in its tension and release, Ruins is made for vinyl.

    New Found Glory - Radiosurgery (Epitaph)
    On their seventh album, the Florida pop-punkers pay homage to the punk bands that inspired them (Green Day, the Ramones, Rancid) while staying true to their own evolving style. All in all, a fun punk record.

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