Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Dark Was The Night

I find it hard to get into charity compilation albums. There's an earnest element that niggles at me, and often the song and artist choice seems either overly conservative or commercially driven. Being able to reach the most amount of people with the message of your cause is one thing, filling a various artists collection with a variety of nobodies or wannabies is another. Make Mixtapes Not War is probably the only recent compilation i can think of that bucks this trend thoroughly, although I'm sure you can think of more (and feel free to suggest some in comments below). For me tribute albums present the same problems too. Maybe the fascist-mixtaper-selecta in me will never be happy with someone else's choice.

So, a tinge of trepidation is dampening my otherwise totally psyched feelings about the forthcoming compilation for the AIDS charity Red Hot Organization. Aaron and Bryce Dessner from American band The National (above) have been set the task of filling the discs with contributions from some of the leading lights in indie music.

"A total of thirty-two exclusive tracks have been recorded for the compilation, which will be available as a double cd, triple vinyl and download album, with profits benefitting the Red Hot Organization - an international charity dedicated to raising funds and awareness for HIV and AIDS." Official 4AD link.

The list of artists involved is enough to make you gasp:

Andrew Bird
Antony + Bryce Dessner
Arcade Fire
Beach House
Blonde Redhead + Devastations
Bon Iver
Bon Iver & Aaron Dessner
The Books featuring Jose Gonzalez
Buck 65 Remix (featuring Sufjan Stevens and Serengeti)
Cat Power and Dirty Delta Blues
The Decemberists
Dirty Projectors + David Byrne
Kevin Drew
Feist + Ben Gibbard
Grizzly Bear
Grizzly Bear + Feist
Iron & Wine
Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings
Kronos Quartet
Stuart Murdoch
My Brightest Diamond
My Morning Jacket
The National
The New Pornographers
Conor Oberst & Gillian Welch
Riceboy Sleeps
Dave Sitek (TV On The Radio)
Sufjan Stevens
Yo La Tengo

You can hear Sufjan Steven's contribution on Drive By Media.

Various: Dark Was The Night is out through 4AD on February 16th.

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