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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
+ Wilderness - Vessel States

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Antifolk Vol.1
Rough Trade

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.

by Anthony Carew

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