Top two tracks on the Give album
In case you're still waffling on whether or not to buy a GIVE compilation, one of City Arts' regular music writers gives his two cents on his two favorite songs.
written by Todd Hamm
The GIVE Seattle 2009 Project is a remarkable downloadable collaboration (which you can get here for $7) released exclusively by Caffé Vita, featuring over thirty local artists from a multitude of musical genres. The beneficiaries, whom receive 100% of the proceeds mind you, include Arts Corps as well as the Ballard, Rainier Valley, University District and West Seattle Food Banks.
As a compilation, the songs share no common theme, sound, or message — aside from the fact that their makers probably all enjoyed making them — and Caffé Vita thought fans would like them as well. The result is one of the most impressive mixes of musical talent and philanthropy Seattle has ever seen, about which I could gush all day. However, in lieu of a more lengthy explication, I have picked two of my favorite songs from the vast pool of talent to shower with my praise, and here they are:
Head Like a Kite, featuring Tilson
HLAK has always been a dynamic group, and their ability to adapt to a plethora of musical situations has become one of their best qualities — and has led to some very cool collaborations. On "Director's Cut", HLAK has created a sleek, danceable hip hop track for Tilson (of the Saturday Knights). The beat is uptempo, with lingering, low-end piano chords underneath and chopstick-style keys over the top. Tilson sounds at home between vocalist and principle musician Dave Einmo's indie rock hooks. The lyrics take an allegorical trip through the different aspects of showbiz production, in which Tilson pokes fun at the seeming contrivance in everyday life. The collaboration works as well as any on the compilation, so well in fact, that it leaves you wanting another Tilson/HLAK track.
"From a Terrace"
HM continue their innovative songsmithing with this song that traverses moods from somber orchestral to rousing jig. As the track begins, the playfully brushed drums are accented by slow, moaning cello notes, and a gentle accordion lead. The prelude gives way to acoustic guitar chords through which vocalist Matt Bishop weaves bittersweet lines like "leave your love, your life" and "hope your dollars dance." At two minutes and thirty-nine seconds, the melancholy vibe falls away entirely as the band embarks on a two minute accordion-fueled bridge. Muted trumpet sneers, crashing symbols and general carrying-on ensues until Bishop brings the song back to it's humble beginnings, and a refrain of "hope your dollars dance," to complete the movement.
Very Honorable Mentions:
Champagne Champagne featuring Fences - "Victim of the Modern Age"
J. Tillman - "Earthly Bodies"
Joshua Morrison - "Mammoth Cave"
Fatal Lucciano - "Gangsta"
Pica Beats - "Durian Shakes"
The Saturday Knights - "Go!"
The Fences video produced by City Arts:
Note: The Give album is a great last-minute gift for friends living out of town. You can purchase up to five at a time and it's all delivered instantly by e-mail.