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+ Donato Wharton - Body Isolations
+ Svalastog - Woodwork
+ Tim Hecker - Harmony In Ultraviolet
+ Rosy Parlane - Jessamine
+ Jarvis Cocker - The Jarvis Cocker Record
+ Múm - Peel Session
+ Deloris - Ten Lives
+ Minimum Chips - Lady Grey
+ Badly Drawn Boy - Born In The U.K.
+ The Hold Steady - Boys And Girls Together
+ The Blood Brothers - Young Machetes
+ The Places - Songs For Creeps
+ Camille - Le Fil
+ Wolf Eyes - Human Animal
+ Christina Carter - Electrice
+ The Decemberists - The Crane Wife
+ Junior Boys - So This Is Goodbye
+ Various Artists - Musics In The Margin
+ Rafael Toral - Space
+ Bob Dylan - Modern Times
+ Excepter - Alternation
+ Chris Thile - How To Grow A Woman From The Ground
+ Brad Mehldau - Live in Japan
+ M Ward - Post-War
+ Various Artists - Touch 25
+ The Mountain Goats - Get Lonely
+ The White Birch - Come Up For Air
+ Camera Obscura - Let's Get Out of This Country
+ Coachwhips - Double Death
+ Various Artists - Tibetan And Bhutanese Instrumental And Folk Music, Volume 2
+ Giuseppe Ielasi - Giuseppe Ielasi
+ Cex - Actual Fucking
+ Sufjan Stevens - The Avalanche
+ Leafcutter John - The Forest And The Sea
+ Carla Bozulich - Evangelista
+ Barbara Morgenstern - The Grass Is Always Greener
+ Robin Guthrie - Continental
+ Peaches - Impeach My Bush
+ Oakley Hall - Second Guessing
+ Klee - Honeysuckle
+ The Court & Spark - Hearts
+ TV On The Radio - Return To Cookie Mountain
+ Awesome Color - Awesome Color
+ Jenny Wilson - Love And Youth
+ Asobi Seksu - Citrus
+ Marsen Jules - Les Fleurs
+ The Moore Brothers - Murdered By The Moore Brothers
+ Regina Spektor - Begin To Hope
+ The 1900s - Plume Delivery EP
+ Alejandro Escovedo - The Boxing Mirror
+ Function - The Secret Miracle Fountain
+ Sonic Youth - Rather Ripped
+ Loscil - Plume
+ Boris - Pink
+ Deadboy And The Elephantmen - We Are Night Sky
+ Glissandro 70 - Glissandro 70
+ Calexico - Garden Ruin (Review #2)
+ Calexico - Garden Ruin (Review #1)
+ The Flaming Lips - At War With The Mystics
+ The Glass Family - Sleep Inside This Wheel
+ Various Artists - Songs For Sixty Five Roses
+ The Fiery Furnaces - Bitter Tea
+ Motorpsycho - Black Hole/Blank Canvas
+ The Red Krayola - Introduction
+ Metal Hearts - Socialize
+ American Princes - Less And Less
+ Sondre Lerche And The Faces Down Quartet - Duper Sessions
+ Supersilent - 7
+ Band Of Horses - Everything All The Time
+ Dudley Perkins - Expressions
+ Growing - Color Wheel
+ Red Carpet - The Noise Of Red Carpet
+ The Essex Green - Cannibal Sea
+ Espers - II
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Flying Sidekick, Home Alive Compilation II
Broken Rekids

Chills run down my spine when Amy Ray sings: "Our father's house/ It's a house of regrets/ With rooms we can't sleep in/ And jokes I don't get," on the impassioned lamentation "On Your Honor." Depicting perfectly what it feels like to be a girl, Amy Ray & The Butchies' contribution to Home Alive's second benefit compilation, Flying Sidekick, captures that sense of abandonment, disrespect and injustice at which we women have come to shrug our shoulders in reluctant acceptance.

It's also a song that tells the story behind Home Alive, a nonprofit, Seattle-based organization designed to empower women against violence, and raise awareness surrounding it. Formed in response to the rape and murder of musician Mia Zapata, Home Alive offers self-defense, safety-awareness and consciousness-raising classes to promote positive change within the community.

Passion such as that displayed by Ray drives like a life force through all 17 tracks — across the album's many musical genres — and endows the compilation with the power to affect, impress and please.

Amid stand-out songs by well-known indie rock and punk acts as The Need, The Gossip, The Makers, Zen Guerrilla and Dead Moon, Flying Sidekick's best songs, I think, are by lesser-knowns. Lesliwood's "This Is What We Get," for example — a heated, raw and explosive track that shifts from sensuous whispers to angry shouts: "We've got the right to remain silent you know/ We've got the right to have our body image sold/ We've got the right to be afraid/ And you say this is what we get for ever trying to make things change .../ This is what we get for ever trying to equally exist."

Far more optimistic and uplifting is Carrie Akre's "Wishing You Well." Led by Akre's strong, sweet gospel-style singing, this is an infectious and passionate piano-driven R&B song.

And then there's Carissa's Wierd's delicate, acoustic "Where Are You Now." Featuring male and female voices, the track has a Velvet Underground-ish feel in its jangly tambourine, low, thumping drums and dark, sad sentiment.

Finally, Sanford Arms' Lush-influenced, ethereal "Orange" feels spacey, full and textured. Combining the moody effects of drum machine and keyboard with the acoustic guitar and shaky, soft vocals, the song is quite moving.

Equally excellent in a less surprising way, songs by the better known artists are not your typical average, ho-hum compilation fodder. The Gossip's "I Want It (To Write)" is gritty, dirty and badass, while The Makers' "Tattoo for Julie" is soft, mushy and lovely. Zen Guerrilla's "Crickets and the Sickle" is great back-roads, ear-tickling country — far less bluesy than their typical tunes. The Need's "Frayed Ends of Sanity" is straight-ahead metal, complete with loud, grinding, scratching guitar riffs.

Flying Sidekick is the perfect record for when you've no idea what you're in the mood for — it's got a little bit of everything. But one thing each artist holds in common here is a passion for a good cause. Because, as Ray sings, "Now you're on your honor to be on my side/ Surely there are some things that won't be denied ... put away your hate, put away your hate."

by Jenny Tatone

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