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All Tomorrow's Parties 3.1

All Tomorrow's Parties 3.1

Release Date: 2006

Label:
Formats: CD
Studio/Live: Various

Matt Groening's compilation of songs from the 2003 All Tomorrow's Party in Los Angeles

  Cover Art

                   

13 Tracks Listing CD #1:


 

BELOW IS THE REVIEW OF THE CD in PITCHFORK MAGAZINE, JAN 2006

 

 
Cover Art
 

Various Artists
All Tomorrow's Parties 3.1

[ATP; 2005]
Rating: 8.0






 

You may remember Matt Groening as the creator of comic strip "Life Is Hell" and a frequent contributor to the FOX network's "The Tracy Ullman Show". What may surprise you is that prior to those short-lived efforts and a moderately funny TV series called "Futurama", Groening was responsible for some caustic L.A. Reader rockcrit. Sample snark: "The bigger the locale the band is named after, the more lame the band will be." See, I always forget it wasn't Asia who did "The Final Countdown".

Leaving overseas imbroglios aside, the stateside arm of the All Tomorrow's Parties festival tapped Groening to select the lineup for its 2003 event. (Other curators have included Slint, Modest Mouse, Pavement, Mogwai, Tortoise, Shellac, Autechre, and Sonic Youth.) As evidenced on this belated compilation, Groening's choices, far from suitable for Grand Funk-worshiping fatties and metal-headed busdrivers, instead exhibit the cranky connoisseurship of a comic book guy-- or a Pitchfork reviewer.

All Tomorrow's Parties 3.1 washes away indie guilt like a revitalizing tonic-- the disc's 13 tracks present aspiring rock-and/or-roll geeks with a lineage of gloriously creative noise linking ATP's Velvet namesakes to the comp's libidinous proto-punk, contempo indie pop, and proudly sideshow avant-garde. Much of this rock snob's anthology is appropriately devoted to the dissonant, if not always the arcane. Sonic Youth's opening "Simpsons Theme", a 46-second instrumental as familiar as a chalkboard maxim, is both, having previously appeared on the 1996 compilation Go Simpsonic With the Simpsons. It's not quite as fun as Yo La Tengo's 1998 psychedelic version, but why split thinning hairs? At the opposite side of the disc, Jackie-O Motherfucker turns in a previously unreleased nine-and-a-half-minute freakout of "Revolution 9" muttering, R2D2 squiggles, and abstract guitars that make more sense than a "Family Guy" plot.

Also in the collections of proper obsessives, like Roger Moore-signed Sean Connery photos and rare suicide editions of Mary Worth, the Stooges' "Fun House" remains a reckless, writhing classic, despite its generally ignored similarities to "Break on Through". The Magic Band bizarrizes "You Really Got Me" riffs on "Dropout Boogie", belching lyrical matter befitting a Dennis the Menace-like character. Daniel Johnston's love song "Syrup of Tears" resonates with simple, sincere devotion-- like lord help me a just-not-that-bright beer-guzzler for his beautiful wife-- that wholly redeems its "Jump"-like synths. Deerhoof's "Desaparecer"? Ay caramba.

Then there's the strain of indie whose late-night thrashings have since accidentally birthed Newsweek articles on "yupsters." Elliott Smith, originally slated to play at 2003's ATP, is represented by his mordant, underrated "Pictures of Me", from 1997 high point Either/Or. With its casual, even jaunty description of "dying just to get the disease," the song prompts the question of whether the folk-punk anti-hero would loathe the underground's O.C.-ization-- or perversely embrace it. Course the Shins appear, squeezing through twisting melodic chutes on the still-revelatory "Young Pilgrims". Modest Mouse waxes disjointedly misanthropic on "Bukowski", a weirder moment from 2004's still-Good News, and Spoon's gruff stranger-dance'n'yarr swordfight "The Two Sides of Monsieur Valentine" sounds even better apart from its excellent surroundings on last year's Gimme Fiction. By comparison, American Analog Set's whispery, emotional deathcab-wish and Electrelane's popular-music-befouled-bass-goes-gospel pale in their hot-diggity-damn good-enoughness.

Not the worst. compilation. ever.

-Marc Hogan, January 20, 2006

 

 

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