This is a compilation that benefits victims of the Tucson Shooting Tragedy (6 killed, 13 wounded), but it's not all tears 'n' sadness. I'm guessing that most of these bands are AZ locals, or have some kind of tie-in to the event. That's what I love about the music biz; give us a cause and we'll give ya back an LP! At any rate, this is a noble effort.
1) Dead Western Beat "People Beat" - Dirge-y country rock, has potential to be a teen anthem.
2) Kiss & the Tells "Tell Me Now" - Torchy chanteuse w/ 1950s/60s girl chorus. Sounds like a cut from "Grease III"(?!). TOO upbeat for this somber collection, IMO. Nonetheless, it's an HxJx pick-to-click!
3) Ranier "The Oasis" - Laid-back trio does a folksy emo-core song. Traces of Nick Drake, Neil Young, and David Byrne. Appropriately somber.
4) Mariachi Luz de Luna "Luza a la Vida" - Upbeat, traditional-style mariachi song. Beautifully understated. It's in Spanish, so if you can understand it, it hits even heavier. HxJx's pick-to-click!
5) Giant Sand "Recovery Mission" (radio edit) - Good ol' GS comes through with a groaning 1/2-sung, 1/2-spoken reverb'd-out ballad ala Kristofferson. HxJx's pick-to-click!
6) Chango Malo "A Change is Gonna Come" - Nice stab at the Sam Cooke classic, with great horns!
7) Tracy Shedd "Encourage Me" - Shades of Pauline Murray (Penetration) and Strawberry Switchblade (1980s Britpysch). Short 'n' sweet pop. Rock & Roll, OK?? HxJx's pick-to-click!
8) La Cerca " Swin an Ocean" - Not-so-poppy teen anthem/ballad. For some reason, this song reminds me of a really bad mid-1980s San Jose band (?!). Gloomy, yet upbeat.
9) Calexico "Absent Afternoon" - Very gloomy, dark lost-in-the-desert semi-narrative about the tragedy. El Kabong nods out in the heat of the afternoon, only it's no cartoon.
10) Lenguas Largas "Such a Thing" - more depresso-dirge. Short 'n' sweet dreamy pop. If I were their age and in a band in Arizona, I'd be pissed off too.
11) Holy Rolling Empire "Father's Father" - This must be Arizona's version of TRAIN (or any other annoying Live 105 'Boy band') only without the horns. Noodle-y, shoegazer chorus-laden yakpop. I should get extra hours just for making it all the way through this over-produced shlager. feh. sorry, I just didn't like it.
12) Salvador Duran "Gabyinda (Yolanda)" - appropriately sad, solo guitar with whistling/spoken intro, and wonderfully -sung lyrics in Espanol.