Think of this as a mix tape, like one of those cassettes you sweated over in college to slip to that special someone in your Mass Communications class. That batch of songs that was uniquely you, that would open your murky soul to the broad light of day, and let all see how complex and tortured you really were. These 15 songs unveil the murky soul of ANTI- Records to an unsuspecting and largely unprepared public (just like that college mixtape), and it turns out to be darker and danker than anyone suspected.
Take Roky Erickson, an artist who has done his own share of soul searching, recording with Okkervil River, and his contribution "Goodbye Sweet Dreams" - a haunted cry from the heart, with Roky repeating the lines over and over like some obsessed anti-hero from Dostoevsky. Then there's Bettye LaVette's searing reading of the Rolling Stones' "Salt of the Earth," peering in at the grimy window of the "stay-at-home voter" and the rest of the downtrodden, in lyrics that sound more current today than they did in 1969. New signing Lost In the Trees, musical savants from North Carolina, wrap the saddest story you've ever heard in aching melody and surging strings, everything you'd hope for in a song titled "All Alone In an Empty House." And house dissident Sage Francis offers "Slow Man," with music written for Sage by Calexico - a meditation on the artist's belief that "there's no shame in being a dinosaur with an analog heart, a strained spirit and a photo-book filled with senior moments."
These four songs aren't available elsewhere; they are glimpses at farm-fresh, still-in-the-crate, upcoming releases. And the rest of the tracks are all from brand new or recent releases, from our larger stable of ANTI- heroes . How can we do it, you ask? We can get away with the low price of $2.99 because these celebrated artists and this benevolent record company have agreed not to make a profit on this venture. We (and they) feel it's more important that these samples of musical joy be heard. Just don't bring any of this up around our accountants.
1. Dr. Dog - "Stranger" from the album Shame, Shame 2. Tom Waits - "Fannin Street" from the album Glitter & Doom Live 3. Mose Allison - "My Brain" from the album The Way Of The World 4. Bettye LaVette - "Salt Of The Earth" from the album Interpretations: The British Rock Songbook 5. Roky Erickson - "Goodbye Sweet Dreams" from the album True Love Cast Out All Evil 6. Lost In The Trees - "All Alone in an Empty House" from the album All Alone in an Empty House 7. Sage Francis - "Slow Man" from the album Li(f)e 8. Galactic - "Heart Of Steel" from the album YA-KA-MAY 9. The Swell Season - "Feeling The Pull" from the album Strict Joy 10. The Weakerthans - "Benediction" from the album Live At The Burton Cummings Theatre 11. Alec Ounsworth - "Holy, Holy, Holy Moses (song for New Orleans)" from the album Mo Beauty 12. Islands - "Tender Torture" from the album Vapours 13. Dead Man's Bones - "Pa Pa Power" from the album Dead Man's Bones 14. Rain Machine - "Give Blood" from the album Rain Machine 15. Joe Henry - "Death To The Storm" from the album Blood From Stars