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    Vinyl Releases of the Week: March 21, 2012

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    New music from the Shins + classic Southern soul reissues = awesome week for vinyl.

    The Shins Port of Morrow (Columbia)
    After collaborating with Danger Mouse on the successful side-project Broken Bells, James Mercer returns with his first new Shins material in five years. Described by Pitchfork as “the perfect distillation of the Shins’ back catalog,” Port of Morrow features a new line-up, stellar production from Greg Kurstin of the Bird and the Bee, and a bit of ‘70s AM radio goodness. 180-gram vinyl plus digital download coupon.

    Lyle Lovett Release Me (Lost Highway)
    Lyle Lovett’s new double LP finds the eclectic artist exploring his diverse influences with the help of guests k.d. lang, Kat Edmonson, and Nickel Creek’s Sara and Sean Watkins. Features 12 covers including “Release Me,” “White Freightliner Blues,” “Dress of Laces,” “Brown Eyed Handsome Man,” and “Isn’t That So.” Pressed on 200-gram audiophile vinyl with Side D, featuring the album’s sole two originals, playing at 45rpm.

    Lee RanaldoBetween the Times and the Tides (Matador)
    The new solo album from Sonic Youth guitarist Lee Ranaldo features an all-star line-up including Wilco’s Nels Cline (guitar), Sonic Youth’s Steve Shelley (drums), Alan Licht (guitar), and John Medeski (keyboards). More along the lines of R.E.M. than SY’s No Wave abstractions and dissonant guitar squalls.

    Sam & DaveSoul Men; Hold On, I’m Comin‘ (Hi Horse Records)
    Two classic vinyl reissues from the Memphis soul duo: their 1966 Stax Records debut Hold On, I’m Comin’ featuring the hit title track and “You Don’t Know Like I Know,” and 1967’s Grammy-winning Soul Men featuring their most well-known hit, “Soul Man.”

    Charles Mingus Jazz Portraits (Hi Horse Records)
    Exciting 1959 live album from the innovative jazz bassist and composer, recorded at the Nonagon Art Gallery in New York City.

    Carla Thomas Gee Whiz (Hi Horse)
    Vinyl reissue of the Queen of Memphis Soul’s 1961 Stax Records debut featuring the hit title track “Gee Whiz (Look at His Eyes)” and “A Love of My Own.”

    James Taylor Flag (Mobile Fidelity)
    James Taylor’s 1979 soft-rock album is no longer plagued by muddled sound thanks to this 180-gram audiophile vinyl reissue from Mobile Fidelity. Experience the tonalities, textures, and intimacy of Taylor’s folk arrangements and impeccable storytelling like never before.

    Motorhead 1916 (Back on Black Import)
    Vinyl reissue of the British hard-rock band’s 1991 album featuring their ode to the Ramones (“R.A.M.O.N.E.S.”), their ode to L.A. (“Angel City”), and Lemmy’s reflections on the horrors of WWI (“1916”).

    Percy SledgeWhen a Man Loves a Woman; Warm & Tender Soul (Hi Horse)
    Two incredible 1966 Southern soul records from the Golden Voice of Soul, Percy Sledge.

    ELOElectric Light Orchestra (EMI Import)
    Imported vinyl reissue of the 1971 debut album from the British symphonic rock band that formed to “pick up where the Beatles left off.” Showcasing their experimental “Baroque-and-roll” style, the album features the songs “10538 Overture” and “Mr. Radio.”

    The Sugarhill Gang8th Wonder (Hi Horse)
    This 1982 sophomore release from the Sugarhill Gang is an old-school hip-hop classic (and best album cover nominee) featuring the group’s hit “Apache” as well as the tracks “Hot Hot Summer Day” and “Funk Box.”

    Sun Ra The Magic City (Hi Horse)
    1966 “space-jazz” album from Sun Ra and his Solar Arkestra. Featuring four improv-heavy free-jazz suites, the album is a tribute to Ra’s hometown of Birmingham, Alabama.

    Frank BlackChristmass (Vinyl Lovers)
    Once only available via download, this live acoustic album from the Pixies’ frontman’s Summer 2006 tour is now available on vinyl. Includes Pixies favorites like “Wave of Mutilation” and “Where Is My Mind?” as well as Black’s post-4AD solo material and a few new tracks.

    Queensryche Operation: Mindcrime (Back on Black Import)
    Last but not least, the 1988 breakthrough album from the “thinking man’s metal band.” A complex and ambitious prog-metal concept album and one of the greatest heavy metal albums of all time.

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