Even though Reader columnist Miles Raymer plays bass for Mannequin Men–the kind of situation I usually approach with caution, as his editor–I think it’d be a case of allowing decorum to override good sense if I didn’t mention that the band’s new album, Lose Your Illusion, Too (Flameshovel), came out today. 

It’s a vinyl-and-download-only release (if you buy the LP you get a download code, of course), and Miles tells me that the album’s in stock (or will be soon) at Laurie’s Planet of Sound, all Reckless locations, and Permanent Records.

The memorable cover photo–no, nobody in the band is pictured–was taken by John Sturdy, who also shoots for the Reader from time to time. The band originally wanted to arrange a much more elaborate shoot, involving dozens of people, but had to scrap that plan to meet Touch and Go’s deadline. (ADA is handling Flameshovel’s distro now, but at the time Touch and Go was still working with the label.) To round up models, Sturdy placed a Craigslist ad (Tankboy also blogged about the shoot), and of the few dozen people who responded, only a handful could make it when the band needed them. As Miles puts it, “They ended up being kinda perfect.”

The release party is Friday at Metro, with Thomas Function, Davila 666, and the Stranger Waves. The Mannequin Men set will include visuals by friends of the band from Ann Arbor–the folks who run the Bang! dance parties and also directed the band’s first video, for “Massage.” The first 150 people to arrive at the show get a laminate that entitles them to stay after for a party in the balcony with free pizza and beer and DJ sets from members of the band. Then Mannequin Men leave on tour with Davila 666, who are from Puerto Rico; the two groups have a split seven-inch in the works.

As if that weren’t enough Mannequin Men news, they’ve also got a new cassette: called Prehistoric Shit Vol. 1 (Plustapes) and limited to 100 copies, it’s a collection of demos and practice tapes from the band’s early years and also includes some recent stuff that didn’t make it onto Lose Your Illusion, Too