This morning I am groggy and hoarse because I spent the whole of last night smoking cigarettes with a friend and listening to an advance promotional copy of the new Art Star Sounds compilaiton from Open Ear Records.
Over the years since I moved to New York I've gotten to hear a number of pretty awesome compilations of the musicians buzzing around (Balloon Heaven's Vol. 1, Rough Trade Records' Antifolk Vol. 1, Dashan Coram's Luvalot Compilaiton). The maturity and deftness displayed by the compiless this time around all but ensure that this latest disc will capture the attention of the world at large and become cemented in the popular imagination as a landmark doccument for generations to come. For its pure unadulterated sense of freedom, the Art Star Scene is Swinging London, the Dirty South and the Sexual Revolution all rolled into one.
As Reverend Jen explains in the liner notes, Art Stardom is the least exclusive movement of all time because it welcomes anyone with open arms anyone who declares themself to be an Art Star into the fold. What this means is that artists who come to the scene become ensconsed in a boundless, seemingly infinite universe of freedom and creative expression. And the more time you spend in it, the more you feel like you're living in some kind of crazy cartoon.
The world will soon be in on the joke.
Anyway without further ado, I bring you the tunes.
1. Toby Goodshank: Sunny Sunny Cold Cold Day
A hauntingly pretty hummable little tune, not unlike his song that opened up Dashan's compilation
2. Jessica Delfino: Sudden Change
The Onion calls Jessica a mix of Redd Foxx and Jewel, and that's pretty much what this song's like- Expaining once and for all the reason for the "sudden change" a woman's personality undergoes when she mensturates. The prettiest song you'll ever hear with a chorus of "Once a month for a week, I bleed from my vagina."
3. Jason Trachtenburg (of the Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players): No Antenna in Ravenna
The hardest rocking Jason Trachtenburg to date. The guitars are really big and crunchy and he still kind of sings like a Smurf about a proposed phone tower.
4. Soce:Be Mine
The world's greatest living rapper, with another one of those melodious "Hey Ya" kind of songs.
5. Jack Less Laissezfaire: Mystic CT
Pretty song about a beach in CT, with a big freakout at the end...
6. Brer Brian: I'll Be Damned
A ferocious quasi-mashup sample instrumental with Elvis, Robert Johnson and a chain gang. Chilling.
7. The O'Debra Twins: Lezbos for Sale
I still don't know what the hell this one's about but it does make me laugh
8. Andrew Katz featuring Stefan Zeniuk: Bury Me Not
This is a stompiing howler of a tune that weds a Shakespeare poem with a New Orleans horny groove. Also chilling.
9. The Isotoners: Lazy Eye
The Isotoners are the Gay Led Zeppelin.
10. Touching You: Neutral Lyrics will make us Neutral Stars Tonight
Touching You, a.k.a Christopher X. Brodeur, with some characteristicly ridiculous prog metal
11. Brook Pridemore: Figure 8
A touching little ditty 'bout a boy and his racecar driving father
12. Nachi: They Ho'z
The second most offensive song of all time (The fist being Nachi's own, "You Gonna Get Raped")
13. Langhorne Slim: And if it's True
14. Prewar Yardsale: Trip
The world-renowned trash-folk duo sweetly sing "We are always gay/ Have a nice day".
15. Moonshine: Exit 2
Moonshine is the Gay Allen Ginsburg, or the Quentin Crisp who can Kick Your Ass.
16. Jeff Dickinson: I May Be Trash (But That's Alright)
A touching little ditty 'bout a boy who may be trash (but that's alright).
17. A Brief View of the Hudson: Half A World Apart
A gorgeous, sweeping tune... I sometimes feel negated by Ann's beauty, but I can't hold it against her.
18. Kimya Dawson: Velvet Rabbit
The queen of wordplay with a nice new tune
19. Taylor Mead: Thing and Dirty Poem
The other queen of wordplay with a dirty poem...
20. Travis Miller: Ain't My Friend Rag
A touching song about someone who isn't Travis Miller's friend
21. Celena Glenn: You Don't Wanna Play Around
I kind of feel like I've heard this before... Little does she know, I kind of do want to play around with her.
22. Jeffrey Lewis: Williamsburg Will Oldham Horror
Another dissertaion from Jeff Lewis, this time about asking a more famous indie rock star about the meaning of life
23. Raven Solano & Brer Brian featuring the Ludlow Tabernacle Choir: Lift Up Your Kilt (& Show Them Your Balls)
A faux-Irish taunt waltz in which warrior poet artists address the yuppies as English.
Well there you have it- I'd go into further detail but I have architecture to go dance about. This CD will be released Feb. 22nd at the Bowery Poetry Club.