Elevate Difference

New Arrivals: Volume 2

Rachel Sage’s Mpress Records presents its second compilation, this one to benefit the organization Artists Against Hunger and Poverty, a division of World Hunger Year. Eighteen performers are showcased, most solidly in the “My heart: here” tradition of straightforward song stylings, some more twang than others. Chicago’s Todd Carey is featured, as well as 2006 Independent Music Award winner Kristy Krüger, introducing us to a “Dark Stranger” that we may have all already met, or wish that we would.

Any compilation that includes an artist with the ovaries to describe herself as “Trent Reznor with tits” (Natasha Alexandra) deserves a listen, although I can’t help but decontextualize for a moment to despair that the male remains the normative. Shell out and give this disc a spin to help the hungry and chip in towards a day when a male performer might be described as “Patty Smith with vas deferens.” But, vive la difference, the boys and girls on this album all tend to play well, although not necessarily ‘nice.’ And that’s how I like it.

Written by: Erika Mikkalo, April 10th 2007