Future Soundtrack for America

Future Soundtrack for America

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You say you want a revolution? A fundraising project co-sponsored by the political organizations MoveOn.org and Music for America, along with indie label Barsuk Records and indie publisher McSweeney's, this energetic collection aims to raise both funds and political awareness. But what it will really raise, especially among left-of-center music fans, is excitement.

Overview

You say you want a revolution? A fundraising project co-sponsored by the political organizations MoveOn.org and Music for America, along with indie label Barsuk Records and indie publisher McSweeney's, this energetic collection aims to raise both funds and political awareness. But what it will really raise, especially among left-of-center music fans, is excitement. Rather than the barely heard B-sides and dingy demos that often populate such compilations, Future Soundtrack delivers new music from modern legends (Tom Waits's spare, craggy "Day After Tomorrow," R.E.M.'s nimble "Final Straw") and hot-as-Hades newcomers (Death Cab for Cutie's soaring "This Temporary Life," Bright Eyes' live "Going for the Gold"). Some artists latch on to topical themes: OK Go's spirited cover of the Zombies' "This Will Be Our Year" could be Kerry's "Don't Stop," should he win the presidency, while They Might Be Giants give an electronic-folk update to the first campaign song "Tippecanoe and Tyler Too," from the Harrison–Van Buren race in the 1840s. Other unassuming winners include a lean, Cure-tinged mix of Blink-182's "I Miss You," Jimmy Eat World's buzzing cover of Guided by Voices' "Game of Pricks," and the topical hip-hop cut "Money" from the Black Eyed Peas' will.i.am, the only non-rock-leaning track here. The disc closes with an unreleased, Beatlesque track from the late Elliott Smith, a preview of his final, posthumous album and a sad reminder of what we've lost. Yet the disc as a whole spotlights what can be gained with a little directed effort and a wealth of talent. Proceeds will benefit MoveOn.org and Music for America, as well as a variety of progressive causes, such as Common Assets and the Sierra Club. (And look for McSweeney's companion book, The Future Dictionary of America, featuring contributions from nearly 200 hip writers, including Paul Auster, Michael Chabon, Jonathan Franzen, and Kurt Vonnegut.) Here's to the future.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Johnny Loftus
Future Soundtrack for America might be the No Alternative of 2004. But this time around, instead of HIV, the bogeyman is our own political lethargy. Organized by the Seattle indie Barsuk and They Might Be Giants' John Flansburgh in cooperation with the liberal-minded advocacy groups MoveOn.org and Music for America, the release promises to contribute 100 percent of its profits to "progressive organizations working to involve more Americans in our political process." Like a more literate version of Fat Mike's raucous Rock Against Bush series, Future Soundtrack features material from old hands David Byrne, Tom Waits, and R.E.M. alongside 21st century indie rockers like Death Cab for Cutie and Bright Eyes. Like that old No Alternative comp, the stuff here is a mix of unreleased, rare, and live. Jimmy Eat World contributes a strong live version of the Guided By Voices gem "Game of Pricks," while They Might Be Giants somehow make the vintage campaign song "Tippecanoe and Tyler Too" sound both haunting and hokey. One thing's for sure -- the 1840 campaign between William Henry Harrison ("Old Tippecanoe") and Martin Van Buren ("Little Van") was a negative lyric scorcher! Some things never change. It's nice to hear Mike Doughty freed of Soul Coughing's stilted near-millennium beatnik act -- "Move On" instead features a rangy acoustic guitar backed by warm organ tones and subtle electronics. The title does more than name-check the online activism group; Doughty indicts the U.S. Army as just another hawker "between ads for soda and skin cream" with his unique brand of cynical social comment. Besides sporting one of the set's best titles, Ben Kweller's "Jerry Falwell Destroyed Earth" is a rowdy minute and a half of crap-tone noise pop. Waits' "Day After Tomorrow" is a gentle missive to a faraway family, but Laura Cantrell's take on the John Prine tale of ex-soldiers and morphine -- "There's a hole in daddy's arm/Where all the money goes" -- is made more emotional by the girlish lilt of her voice. She could be the daughter "Sam Stone" never knew. Future Soundtrack for America's most notable track is probably Elliott Smith's "A Distorted Reality Is Now a Necessity to Be Free," from his posthumously released From a Basement on a Hill. While not the most directly political thing here, Smith's sense of foreboding suggests not only his personal struggles, but how crucial it is to be engaged in our nation and world.

Product Details

Release Date:
08/17/2004
Label:
Barsuk
UPC:
0655173103722
catalogNumber:
31037

Related Subjects

Tracks

  1. This Will Be Our Year @@OK Go
  2. Ain't Got So Far To Go @@David Byrne
  3. Game of Pricks @@Jimmy Eat World
  4. This Temporary Life @@Death Cab for Cutie
  5. I Miss You @@Blink 182
  6. Move On @@Mike Doughty
  7. Jerry Falwell Destroyed Earth @@Ben Kweller
  8. Off With Your Head @@Sleater-Kinney
  9. Final Straw @@R.E.M.
  10. Going for the Gold @@Bright Eyes
  11. The Commander Thinks Aloud @@The Long Winters
  12. Money @@will.i.am
  13. Tippecanoe And Tyler Too @@They Might Be Giants
  14. The Ballad of David Icke @@Clem Snide
  15. Date With the Night @@Yeah Yeah Yeahs
  16. Everything's Ruined @@Fountains of Wayne
  17. Your Legs Grow @@Nada Surf
  18. Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots @@The Flaming Lips
  19. Northern Line @@Old 97's
  20. Sam Stone @@Laura Cantrell
  21. Day After Tomorrow @@Tom Waits
  22. A Distorted Reality Is Now A Necessity To Be Free @@Elliott Smith

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Quincy McCrary   Vocals
Hahn Rowe   Violin
will.i.am   Synthesizer
George Pajon   Guitar
Michael Angelo   Bass,Cello
Printz Board   Trumpet
John Roderick   Vocal Harmony
Tim Izo Orindgreff   Saxophone
Niu McCrary   Vocals

Technical Credits

David Byrne   Composer
John Prine   Composer
They Might Be Giants   Producer
Peter Buck   Composer
Patrick Dillett   Producer
Dave Fridmann   Composer
Patrick McCarthy   Producer
Mike Mills   Composer
R.E.M.   Producer
Michael Stipe   Composer
Mark Hoppus   Composer
C.C. White   Composer
Robert Pollard   Composer
Morcheeba   Producer
Elliott Smith   Composer
Jamie Candiloro   Engineer
Adam Schlesinger   Composer
Mike Walter   Producer
Michael Ivins   Composer
Wayne Coyne   Composer
Chris Collingwood   Composer
Steven Drozd   Composer
Eddie DeLonge   Composer
Travis Barker   Composer
Louie Lino   Engineer
Traditional   Composer
Eef Barzelay   Composer
Chris Walla   Composer,Producer,Engineer
Ben Gibbard   Composer
Nick Harmer   Composer
Mike Doughty   Composer
Ben Kweller   Composer
Yeah Yeah Yeahs   Composer
Conor Oberst   Composer
John Roderick   Composer
Jason McGerr   Composer
Javier Valverde   Engineer
Chris Ware   Cover Illustration
William Adams   Composer

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Future Soundtrack for America 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This cd rocks. For anyone who would like to see bush out of office, buy this cd. This cd is a lot better than the slapstick rock against bush series. Death Cab shines again and Jimmy Eat World impresses as well. This cd is for anyone who likes to have good music mixed with great lyrics.