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    Vinyl Releases of the Week: June 13, 2012

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    This week in music: Rush reaches new heights on its 20th album, two Bill Evans concerts are unearthed and released as a triple LP vinyl box set, and soul legend Bobby Womack collaborates with Blur’s Damon Albarn on a new album.

    Rush Clockwork Angels (Roadrunner Records)
    The new record from virtuosic Canadian power trio Rush is a richly layered steampunk concept album chronicling a young man’s journey through a world ruled by a watchmaker and populated by anarchists, pirates, carnivals, and lost cities. For all of the album’s conceptual focus and Rush’s notorious precision, Clockwork Angels is surprisingly loose and finds the band reaching a new level of intensity, accentuated by the bristling production of Nick Raskulinecz (Foo Fighters, Deftones). Double 180-gram vinyl pressing.

    John MayerBorn and Raised (Columbia)
    Double vinyl pressing of the Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter’s fifth studio album. A throwback to the Laurel Canyon folk-rock days of the ‘70s, Born and Raised was produced by Don Was (Rolling Stones, B.B. King), and David Crosby and Graham Nash provide harmonies on the vintage-sounding title track.

    Bill EvansLive at Art D’Lugoff’s Top of the Gate (Resonance Records)
    This 180-gram vinyl box set features two newly unearthed, complete, and never before released Bill Evans concerts recorded in Greenwich Village on October 23, 1968. Rare tracks abound including some recorded live with the Bill Evans trio for the very first time. The box set also includes a deluxe insert with essays, photos, and historical documents.

    Jimmy FallonBlow Your Pants Off (Warner Bros)
    The late-night host and former SNL cast member releases his second album of musical comedy on vinyl. Blow Your Pants Off features such hilarious impressions as “Neil Young Sings Fresh Prince of Bel Air,” “The Doors Sing Reading Rainbow,” and “Bob Dylan Sings Charles in Charge,” plus collaborations with Justin Timberlake, Paul McCartney, Eddie Vedder, Bruce Springsteen, Dave Matthews, and Stephen Colbert.

    Bobby Womack The Bravest Man in the Universe (XL Recordings)
    Bobby Womack’s first album of original material in 18 years, The Bravest Man in the Universe was co-produced by Damon Albarn (Gorillaz, Blur) and Richard Russell (who famously produced Gil Scott-Heron’s triumphant swansong, I’m New Here), and features guest vocalist Lana Del Rey.

    Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley BandOne of My Kind (Team Love)
    Accompanying the film documentary One of My Kind: The Story of the Mystic Valley Band (directed by Conor Oberst’s guitar tech Philip Schaffart) is this double LP of outtakes from the group’s recording sessions for its eponymous debut in Tepoztlán, Mexico and for its sophomore album, Outer South, at Sonic Ranch Studios in Texas.

    Stereolab Transient Random-Noise Bursts With Announcements, Mars Audiac Quintet (1972)
    Double vinyl reissue of the English sextet’s 1993 breakthrough, Transient Random-Noise Bursts with Announcements – one of Stereolab’s most experimental, groove-oriented efforts – and its 1994 space-age pop follow-up, Mars Audiac Quintet.

    MetricSynthetica (Mom & Pop Music)
    The fifth album from the Emily Haines-fronted Canadian group features a collaboration with Lou Reed (!!) and plenty of foreboding-yet-catchy synth-pop.

    Hot ChipIn Our Heads (Domino)
    The new fifth album from British electronic quintet Hot Chip is a dance-floor blast of electro, funk, and pop that explores the many sides of joy and easily marks the band’s most earnest album to date.

    Superchunk – “This Summer” 7-inch (Merge Records)
    New limited-edition white vinyl 7-inch featuring Superchunk’s new single “This Summer” backed by a cover of Bananarama’s ‘80s hit “Cruel Summer.” Includes a download code for both tracks plus an acoustic version of “This Summer.”

    Nada Surf Karmic EP (Hi-Speed Soul)
    Vinyl reissue of Nada Surf’s 1996 debut EP. Chock full of indie-pop gems, sharp lyrics, and catchy guitar hooks.

    Pink Martini Hang on Little Tomato (Heinz Records)
    For the first time on vinyl, the 2004 sophomore album from Portland, Oregon’s mini orchestra Pink Martini. Double LP set includes four bonus cuts from the original sessions and plenty of the band’s unique blend of swing, cabaret, lounge, and world music.

    Bouncing SoulsComet (Rise Records)
    180-gram vinyl pressing of the new album from the New Jersey punk band, together now for over two decades. Produced by Bill Stevenson (Descendents, Black Flag).

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