In the early '80s, some 20 years after the Folk City café opened its doors in New York, a young songwriter type, known only as Lach, under the influence of both Bob Dylan and the Sex Pistols, arrived at an open-mic night armed with an acoustic guitar, only to be booed off stage by the audience of precious folkateers for being too loud. Essentially kicked out of the folk scene, he staged his reaction against the superannuated state of the Greenwich Village legacy by staging his own Anti-Folk open mic in his Lower East Side loft. Ten years on, after Lach's brush with grunge-revolution fame fizzled out, the night settled in at the Sidewalk in Manhattan as the Anti-Hootenanny. By that time, Beck, Paleface and Michelle Shocked had already been a part of the Anti-Folk institution, all involved as much less iconic songsmiths than they eventually became. Over the years, Anti-Hoot's open-mic democracy has nurtured a whole bunch of nutters, Lach cultivating quite the musical community. The current commune has recently received a whole lot of attention due to the recent Rough Trade love affair with the Moldy Peaches and Jeffrey Lewis. Antifolk Vol.1, compiled by the Peaches' Adam Green and Kimya Dawson, is a gesture to such a community a 20-song, 70-minute set that rages against folk as it ranges from super-sweet balladry to raucous punk-strum, filled largely with lots of smart-ass self-deprecation and observationist rants from a slew of weirdos with acoustic guitars. While it's not like there's absolutely no connection to those folkie folk from the early '60s like Karen Dalton, Fred Neil, and Bob Dylan, the more sensible comparisons seem to be Daniel Johnston, Calvin Johnson, John Darnielle, and Lach himself. The songs herein usually court comedy whilst revealing alarming levels of vulnerability. Green, Dawson, Lewis, Lach and Paleface are all on this comp, but, more impressively, there's a whole bunch of folk you've probably never heard of, singing songs you need to hear. There's Green associate Brer Brian, warbling the warped ode "Harlem '99," which details life in the shittiest of housing in the dirtiest of cities; pokerfaced, deliberately rudimentary crud-toned humor from the duo Prewar Yardsale; Jim Flynn's rambling anti-oldies-radio rant "Smokescreen A Capella Techno Blues"; an earnestly beautiful folkie lament from Diane Cluck; and, at the end, there's one of the best things I heard during 2002, Rick Shapiro's anti-multiplex-film stand-up rant that finds him mostly obnoxiously repeating the mantra "Whitney Houston in a Penny Marshall film," a phrase at once drolly comic and utterly mortifying.