Monday, June 11, 2012

New Vinyl Record and Music Releases - June 12, 2012

2econd Class Citizen - The Small Minority (vinyl)
3 Brave Souls - 3 Brave Souls
ABBA - Essential Collection (2 CDs)
Alice Cohen - Pink Keys
Amon Tobin - Amon Tobin Boxset (15-CD box set)
Anabot - Anabot EP
Architecture in Helsinki - Like It Or Not EP (reissue)
Atlas Genius - Through the Glass
Azealia Banks - 1991 (EP)
Billie Holiday - Lady Day: The Complete Billie Holiday on Columbia - 1933-1944 (limited edition box set) (10 CDs)
BoDeans - American Made
Bobby Womack - The Bravest Man in the Universe
Bouncing Souls - Comet
Brendan Rivera - No Ocean In Ireland
Brian Culbertson - Dreams
Busdriver - Superhands' Mantra (Fuck Us All) (vinyl)
Byrds - Complete Columbia Albums Collection (limited edition box set) (13 CDs)
Casey Jones - Start To Finish
Charli XCX - You’re the One
Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band - One of My Kind (vinyl)
Cookie Duster - When Flying Was Easy
Crass - Ten Notes on a Summer's Day - Swansong (reissue with bonus tracks)
Dean Martin - Collected Cool  (3 CDs/1 DVD)
Dent May - Do Things
Destroyer - Destroyer's Rubies
Dexys (Midnight Runners) - One Day I'm Going to Soar
Diplo - Express Yourself (EP)
Drivin' n' Cryin' - Songs from the Laundromat
E.L.O. - Classic Albums Collection (11-CD box set)
Earth, Wind & Fire - Earth, Wind & Fire-The Columbia Masters (limited edition box set) (16 CDs)
Edens Edge - Edens Edge
Emily Jane White - Ode to Sentience
Emmanuelle De Héricourt - Yaviz
Empires - Garage Hymns
FAWN - Coastlines
Fallon Cush - April
Future of the Left - The Plot Against Common Sense
George Kamel - The Great Coward
Giant Sand - Tucson
Grace Potter & The Nocturnals - The Lion The Beast The Beat (vinyl preorder)
Guided by Voices - Class Clown Spots a UFO
Hammer No More the Fingers - Pink Worm (EP)
Hill and the Sky Heroes - 11:11
Hive Dwellers - Hewn From the Wilderness
Hot Chip - In Our Heads
J. Dilla - Rebirth of Detroit
JBM - Stray Ashes (vinyl)
Jaill - Traps (vinyl)
Jimmy Fallon - Blow Your Pants Off
Joan of Arc - Joan of Arc, Dick Cheney, Mark Twain
John Denver - The RCA Albums Collection (box set) (25 CDs)
Jonathan Boulet - We Keep the Beat, Found the Sound, See the Need, Start the Heart
Josh Turner - Punching Bag
Judas Priest - The Complete Albums Collection (limited edition box set) (19 CDs)
Jukebox the Ghost - Safe Travels
Kandodo - Kandodo
Laurel Halo - Quarantine
Madball - Rebellion
Magic Trick - Ruler of the Night
Mahavishnu Orchestra - Columbia Albums Collection (limited edition box set) (5 CDs)
Mary Chapin Carpenter - Ashes & Roses
Mates of State - Team Boo (reissue)
Maximo Park - The National Health
Men Without Hats - Love In The Age Of War
Metric - Synthetica
Mice Parade - Live: England Vs France
Michael The Blind - Are’s & Els
Mike Scheidt - Stay Awake
Miss May I - At Heart
Motion City Soundtrack - Go
Municipal Waste/Toxic Holocaust - Toxic Waste
Nada Surf - Karmic (EP) (reissue with bonus tracks)
New Monarchs - Stay Awake
Nouela - Chants
Oneohtrix Point Never - Dog In The Fog – Replica Collaborations & Remixes
Onra - Deep in the Night (EP)
Pariah – Rift (EP)
Pat Metheny - Unity Band
Paul Banks - Julian Plenti Lives… (EP)
Phoebe Jean & The Air Force - Heartbreakers
Piano Magic - Life Has Not Finished with Me Yet
Pop Etc. - Pop Etc.
Public Image Limited - This Is Pil : Deluxe Edition (CD and DVD)
Rainer Maria - Long Knives Drawn
Redgrave - National Act (EP)
Richard Hawley - Standing at the Sky's Edge
Rome - Dedication (EP)
Rush - Clockwork Angels (vinyl)
Ryan Humbert - Sometimes The Game Plays You
Scarlet & Black - Scarlett & Black
Sea of Bees - Orangefarben
Solstice - Pray For The Sentencing (2 CDs)
SpaceGhostPurrp - Chronicles Of SpaceGhostPurrp
Spoons - The Best
Stepdad - Wildlife Pop
Stereolab - Mars Audiac Quintet (reissue) (vinyl)
Stereolab - Transient Random-Noise Bursts With Announcements (reissue) (vinyl)
Superchunk - This Summer (7")
The Constellations - Do It For Free
The Hairs - Old Flame Cassingle
The Hive Dwellers - Hewn From the Wilderness
The Hundred in the Hands - Red Night
The Inner Banks - Wild
The Invisible - Rispah
The Rest - Seesaw
The Tallest Man on Earth - There's No Leaving Now
The Young - Dub Egg
The dB's - Falling Off The Sky
These United States - These United States
Thom Janusz - Ron Forella Moves
Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs - Trouble
Usher - Looking For Myself
Variety Lights - Central Flow
Various Artists - Songs of Townes Van Zandt
Volcano! - Piñata
Waka Flocka Flame - Triple F Life
Weather Report - The Columbia Albums 1976-1982 (limited edition box set) (6 CDs)
Welcome Wagon - Precious Remedies Against Satan's Devices
Wintersleep - Hello Hum
Witch Mountain - Cauldron of the Wild
Wymond Miles - Under the Pale Moon

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Vinyl Record News & Music Notes

Slipknot Announces 'Antennas To Hell' Album, Reveals Album Cover Art

For their millions of fans around the world, Slipknot are as much a culture and a way of life as they are a band. To completely engage with all of the perseverance, ingenuity, artistic integrity and holistic vision of Slipknot's creative output in all of its forms, is to fully embrace every facet, and to find community in counterculture and true strength in survival.
Slipknot is like no other band the rock scene has ever encountered and to celebrate two decades of game-changing existence, the band will release Antennas to Hell, a "best of" collection documenting its inimitable career, on July 24. The album is scheduled to be released via Roadrunner Records while the band is spending its summer as the main attraction of the 2012 edition of the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival, as well as curating and headlining the inaugural year of  their very own festival, Knotfest.
The time is right for a "best of" collection from the band, as it captures the first chapter of Slipknot – a chapter where they’ve gone from unknown to the one of the biggest rock bands in the world -- all on their own terms. 
This summer’s Mayhem and Knotfest outings celebrate the band and the life of late bassist Paul Gray, and will serve as ‘the end of the beginning’ for Slipknot – this summer’s performances will be the fan’s last chance to see them as they are now.  Of course the band will continue- but just as inevitable with Slipknot, is the fact that the band will evolve - and the future is unwritten.   Antennas to Hell serves as a companion to that celebration.  The two-disc version of Antennas to Hell includes a bonus live CD that captures the band’s 2009 performance at the legendary Download Festival in the U.K. The live disc showcases the band playing a set of career spanning classics in front of 80,000 rabid fans.  The journey from - “(sic)” - track 1 on their self-titled debut -  to “Snuff”  - the haunting No. 1 rock track from 2008’s All Hope Is Gone  - proves that.  The album features fan favorites, live classics and well-known radio hits. 
Furthering the immersion in the band’s culture, this summer will see the release of the band’s first ever mobile application, Wear the Mask. Part mask builder, part social connector for fans, and 100% Slipknot in its look and execution, the app brings the Slipknot mindset into previously uncharted territory –  the mobile devices of fans worldwide. Wear the Mask will be released simultaneously with Antennas to Hell.

Take a look at the numbers.  Globally, Slipknot have notched 11 Platinum albums and 38 Gold albums, as well as some multi-Platinum releases across albums and DVD releases.  The band's most recent studio album, All Hope Is Gone, debuted at No. 1 on Billboard's Top 200 chart.  The band has won a Grammy, and has also been nominated seven times.
Slipknot march on, 15 years since the first incarnation came together. Personalities may collide but their collective drive continues to keep them bonded as brothers. "We're banded together in hate," says Jordison. "Sometimes we hate each other, sometimes we hate the world. Sometimes we just hate our own lives. But when we get together, something monstrous happens and we pull this amazing sound out of all that energy. Plus, we believe in world domination. And this is the band that’s going to get us there.”

For the tracklist and more info, visit


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Vinyl Record Releases

Marillion - Fugazi (vinyl)

Fugazi, from 1984, saw Marillion fully realise its distinctive contemporary Prog Rock sound.

Perhaps the band's darkest and most lyrically dense album, this heavyweight vinyl reissue is presented in the original gatefold sleeve.

Buy at BurningShed

Marillion - Holidays In Eden (vinyl)

Marillion's 1991 release Holidays In Eden was its second with Steve Hogarth.

Featuring a streamlined production and a greater Rock and Pop influence, the album produced the infectious hit No One Can.

This heavyweight vinyl reissue is presented in a non-gatefold sleeve with a 12" x 12" art print.
Buy at BurningShed

Yes - Open Your Eyes (double vinyl preorder)

Something of an underrated entry in the extensive Yes catalogue, Open Your Eyes was the band's 17th studio release.

The album marked Billy Sherwood becoming an official member of Yes, following Rick Wakeman's departure from the band, and initially grew out of a Squire/Sherwood side project.

The production echoes the sound of 1980s Yes, while replacing 90125's Hard Rock approach with a more harmony vocal orientated Pop sensibility reminiscent of very early Yes and Chris Squire's solo material.

Side four of this very limited (2000 copies globally) heavyweight double vinyl edition contains the 15 minute Ambient hidden track from the cd version.

Pre-order now for July 9th release

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King Crimson - In The Court Of The Crimson King - The Mug

Buy at BurningShed


from our friends at

Bob Welch's Death Came After Unsuccessful Spinal Operation; Tributes From Stevie Nicks & Mick Fleetwood

Soul/Blues Singer Lou Pride Passes Away at 62


vinyl record reviews from our friends at

Mary Black – Speaking With The Angel – 3 U Records/Pure Pleasure Records – vinyl

Irish singer soars on this re-mastered vinyl recording. 

Mary Black – Speaking With The Angel – 3 U Records (1999)/Pure Pleasure Records (2011) PPAN 014 180-gram audiophile stereo vinyl, 51:32 ****:

(Mary Black – bodhran, vocals; Donal Lunny – bouzouki, electric bouzouki, guitar, vocals; Bill Shanley – guitar, vocals; Rod Quinn – drums, percussion; James Blennerhasset – double bass; Pat Crowley – keyboards, accordion, piano, electric piano, Hammond, vocals; Brendan Power – harmonica; Alvin Sweeney – vocals; Frank Gallagher – fiddle, viola, low whistle; Ciaran Tourish – fiddle; Nollaig Casey – fiddle; Liam O  Flynn – whistle, Uileann pipes; Steve Cooney – guitar, double bass, didjeridu, percussion; Brian Dunning – flute, Paddy Cole – clarinet; Laoise Kelly – harp; Colin Dunne – dancing feet; Liam Bradley – tambourine, drums, vocals; Noel Bridgeman – percussion, vocals; Liam O Maonlai – vocals; Billy Robinson – bass; Martin Brunsden – vibes; Lloyd Byrne – percussion)

Born into an intense Irish musical family, Mary Black has been pursuing a career nearly her entire life. Though she played in groups around Ireland, her recognition peaked with her solo career. Early recordings, including the platinum-best seller (By The Time It Gets Dark) elevated her local status.  Her evocative vocal style resonated with the public. Comparisons with other singers including Sinead O’Connor, Enya and Maire Brennan (Clannad), foreshadowed a crossover to UK and American markets.

Among her musical peers, Black is held in esteem. Van Morrison, Emmylou Harris, Joan Baez and Mary Chapin Carpenter have recorded and performed live with her. Subsequent releases of The Holy Ground (1993), Circus (1995) and Shine (1997) enhanced her commercial viability. Black attempted to expand the folk roots contexts of her previous work, with varying results. One aspect that never wavered was the purity of her voice, which has been utilized by English magazine What Hi-Fi?  in ascertaining the sound quality of hi-fidelity systems.  At the core of her music was the tonal connection to Irish aesthetics. Twenty-five years into a memorable career, her legacy was captured in a documentary Still Believing, and the critically acclaimed CD (Full Tide) which included songs by some of her favorite composers including Bob Dylan. Additionally, she contributed original material, consisting of more personalized songs

One of the key, transformative projects was Speaking With The Angel, first recorded in 1999. Merging some of the modern electric instruments with the traditional music that emanated on earlier projects, the songs are sophisticated and share a worldly perspective. Side One opens with an emotional rumination, “Turning Away”. After a slow groove on keyboards (Pat Crowley), the rhythm is altered to a steadier beat, accented by Donal Lunny on bouzouki. The aesthetic core is represented in the gossamer, clear vocals of Black. She is able to sustain the emotional feel, and is helped by a blended vocal chorus. “Cut By Wire” has a folk resonance with harmonica (Brendan Power) and whistle accent (Frank Gallagher). There is an up tempo country rocker (“Don’t Say Okay”) that adds fiddles (Gallagher, Ciarin Tourish) and accordion. But Black seems most comfortable on introspective numbers. On “Bless The Road” (a hymn) and “Broken Wings” her voice soars with pathos and graceful eloquence. The latter features nimble double bass work (Steve Cooney) and elegiac, indigenous pipe and whistle coloring by Liam O’Flynn.

Side Two offers a change in the album dynamics. “Message Of Love” is a freewheeling pop arrangement with a broader, almost orchestral structure. Black’s singing is playful.  But the low key sound emphasizes the singer’s formidable range. The title cut is a simple acoustic ballad with earnest vocals and discreet guitar (Cooney). In the same mode, “I Live Not Where I Love” is an inspirational Celtic ode that underlines the haunting quality of her voice. Her clear, vibrato-less phrasing is reminiscent of Joan Baez. A simple accordion accent (Crowley) and acoustic guitar (Cooney) is all that is needed. Generally, bonus material can be hit or miss, but not here. Black’s mournful cover of Sting’s “Fields Of Gold” is superb. With a slower pace and graceful elocution, the song reflects Black’s persona.

Speaking With The Angel is ideally suited for audiophile vinyl. The re-mastering by Pure Pleasure Records is superior. Black’s voice has exceptional warmth, but with prominent clarity. The acoustic (guitars, bouzouki) and Irish instrumentation (whistles, pipes) is captured with subtlety and precision. The separation is excellent, especially on layered mixes.   

TrackList: Side 1: Turning Away; Cut By Wire; Don’t Say Okay; Bless The Road; Broken Wings; Fall At Your Feet
 Side 2: Message Of Love; Moments; Speaking With The Angel’ Big Trip To Portland; I Live Where I Love; Bonus Track: Fields Of Gold

—Robbie Gerson
Buy It Now

Thad Jones/Mel Lewis – Consummation – Blue Note/ Pure Pleasure Records – vinyl

Iconic jazz orchestra ushers in a new era for big band music.

Thad Jones/Mel Lewis – Consummation – Blue Note (1970)/ Pure Pleasure Records (2012) PPAN BST 84346 180-gram audiophile stereo vinyl, 46:04 *****:

(Thad Jones – Flugelhorn; Mel Lewis – drums; Snooky Young – trumpet; Danny Moore – trumpet; Al Porcino – trumpet; Marvin Stamm – trumpet; Eddie Bert – trombone; Benny Powell – trombone; Jimmy Knepper – trombone; Cliff Heather – trombone; Jerome Richardson – alto & soprano saxophone, flute; Jerry Dodgion – alto saxophone, flute, clarinet; Eddie Daniels – tenor saxophone, clarinet, flute; Billy Harper – tenor saxophone, flute; Pepper Adams – baritone saxophone, clarinet; Roland Hanna – piano, electric piano; Richard Davis – bass, electric bass; David Spinozza – guitar; Jimmy Buffington – French horn; Earl Chapin – French horn; Dick Berg – French horn; Julius Watkins – French horn; Howard Johnson – tuba; with Richie Kamuca & Joe Farrell)

By the mid-sixties, big band jazz was all but extinct. In New York, a band was formed by trumpeter Thad Jones and drummer Mel Lewis. Comprised of an all-star cadre of studio musicians in New York, The Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Orchestra made their debut at the Village Vanguard in 1966. Their arrangements (by Jones who previously wrote and toured with Count Basie) drew on big band, swing, bebop and hard bop influences. Drummer extraordinaire Jones brought a smaller “combo” dynamic to the rhythm section that would be a benchmark for future big band drummers. Decades after their inception, the band remains as the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, playing the legendary namesake venue regularly since the early nineties.

The re-mastered audiophile vinyl of Consummation (recorded in 1970) by Pure Pleasure Records captures the artistry of this progressive big band. With seven original compositions (written and arranged by Thad Jones), forty-six minutes of intricate textured large ensemble jazz unfolds with unpretentious skill and creativity. Side One opens with a presumed ballad, “Dedication”.  Jones’ flugelhorn is lyrical and melodic, backed by tinkling piano, bass and drum cymbal. Adding a soothing reed backdrop, horn accents chime in, only to segue into an explosive swing/dance jam.” It Only Happens Every Time” is laid out in a bossa nova tempo, with muted trumpet (Marvin Stamm) and flute (Jerome Richardson) shading. Roland Hanna contributes an elegant piano solo. Switching to a breezier cadence, “Tiptoe” is a layered arrangement, with graduated, sweeping movements There is an interlude with brush drums (Lewis) and horns that is rousing. Lewis’ band-leading talents are impressive. Roland Hanna’s sensitivity returns on “A Child Is Born”.  Jones also contributes to the emotional landscape with another memorable Flugelhorn lead. Using different approaches, “Us” is a funky brassy number that combines bass (Richard Davis) and guitar (David Spinoza) in a 60s-style rock mode.

Side Two turns up the heat on ”Amunk Amunk”. This opus percolates with soulful horns (especially a muscular tenor saxophone run by Eddie Daniels) and an electric piano. Within this framework, many subtle combinations of instruments are propelled by the driving pulse of Lewis. Fans of bop will be delighted with “Fingers”.  At ten and a half minutes (the longest cut on the album) the uptempo fury energizes the impromptu skills of the players, including a wild solo on trombone by Benny Powell.  Lewis’ driving rhythm (and ending flourish) matches the intensity of Art Blakey. The title cut (another ballad) brings in French horns and tuba (Howard Johnson), to combine with the muted trumpet of Snooky Young. After a nuanced crescendo, the album comes to a harmonious close.

The sound quality of this vinyl recording is dazzling. All of the instruments (even in a heavily blended configuration) are vibrant, and possess a warm resonance (especially the reeds). Delicate touches like a drum brush or flute emerge from the mix unfettered. The incisive liner notes from Jones and Lewis are tantamount to being in the studio during the recording. Even the illustrations by Leo Meirsdorff (color and black & white) are amazing. Consummation is a tremendous accomplishment, especially on hi-res vinyl.

TrackList: Side One: Dedication; It Only Happens Every Time; Tiptoe; A Child Is Born; Us
 Side Two: Ahunk Ahunk; Fingers; Consummation

—Robbie Gerson

Buy It Now

Special thanks to John at for the exclusive rights to reprint this material.

AUDIOPHILE AUDITION focuses on recordings of interest to audiophiles and collectors, with an accent on surround sound for music, and on all hi-res disc formats.  Over 100 SACD, DVD Video/Audio and standard CD reviews are published during each month, and our archives go back to January 2001.