Tucson Shootings Benefit Comp LP Due


Calexico, Giant Sand,
Neko Case, Spoon, Robyn Hitchcock and others contribute tracks to a new
compilation aimed at raising funds for victims of the Tucson tragedy. Listen to new songs from
Giant Sand and Dead Western Plains, below.


By Fred Mills


January 8 seems so distant now, given all the turmoil and
tumult that’s gone down in the country – and on the planet – during the
intervening 9 months. But the date of the mass shooting of 19 people in Tucson, by a presumably
insane Jared Lee Loughner, that left six of them dead and Arizona Rep.
Gabrielle Giffords in critical condition, isn’t likely to be forgotten anytime
soon in Tucson.


Stepping up this week, in fact, is Tucson’s Fort Lowell Records, in partnership
with Music Against Violence coalition, with
the release Luz de Vida: A Compilation to
Benefit the Victims of the Tucson Tragedy
. It’s a 12-song LP pressed
on brilliant sunlight-yellow vinyl featuring a host of top-shelf local artists who
contributed their music to the project
to raise money for the Tucson
Together Fund – an officially sanctioned benefit fund established to
assist victims, families and witnesses of the Tucson tragedy. (Fort Lowell
Records started up about two years ago as a 7″ singles label; this will be
their first longplayer.)


Did you know: Luz de Vida translates to “Light of Life.”


Speaking to the Arizona
Daily Star
last week, Music Against Violence member Curtis McCrary noted that with “every cost sponsored so all of the proceeds from the sales, not it
if has to go back to expenses. It all goes to the Tucson Together Fund.” Added
James Tritten of Fort Lowell Records, in an email to BLURT, “I am really hoping
we can raise over $30,000 for Tucson Together Fund.  I think it is totally
doable, and hope to be there before the end of the year.”




MP3: Dead Western
Plains “People Beat”


All of this is inspiring on multiple levels (not the least
of which are the songs), and it hits home for yours truly in particular: I
lived in Tucson
from 1992-2001 and I think of the musicians I met and friends I made there
often. Luz de Vida is about family in
the most literal sense, and the musicians who’ve gathered here in service of
that imperative are speaking in the most universal language of all. From the
ethereal indiepop reveries of Dead Western Plains and the brisk martial crunch
of La Cerca, to Calexico’s elegant twang ‘n’ strum, Giant Sand’s sparse, dusty
tale of tears and Tucson’s “collective heart” and a haunting, slide
guitar-fueled meditation on birth, life, dreams and beyond by the late Rainer
Ptacek, there’s a message being sent – and that message is hope.



MP3: Giant Sand
“Recovery Mission
(Radio Edit)”



See elsewhere on the BLURT site for our review of the album.
It is also available as a digital download that expands the musical selection
to a whopping 37 tracks, many of them previously unavailable. Included are the
above-mentioned artists plus Neko Case,
Spoon, DeVotchKa, Jimmy Eat World,
John Vanderslice, Robyn Hitchcock, Mark Growden,
Ozomatli, Meat Puppets, Rachel Flotard & Jon Rauhouse, along with Tucson locals Rich
Hopkins, Salvador Duran, Silverbell, Al
Perry, Tracy Shedd, Lenguas Largas,
Sergio Mendoza y La Orkesta, and
many others. (The LP includes a download card for access to all the tunes.)


Incidentally, on Saturday, Oct. 22, there will be an album
release party for Luz de Vida held at
Tucson’s Rialto
Theatre (whose general manager is Curtis McCrary mentioned above, also from the Music Against
Violence coalition). Performing at the show will be Joey Burns and John
Convertino of Calexico, Kiss & the Tells, Reno Del
Mar, Mariachi Luz de Luna, Tracy Shedd, Hairsprayfireandgirls, La Cerca, Golden
Boots, Silverbell, Rich Hopkins and Tom Walbank. The concert, like the album is
a benefit for the shooting victims – more details at Fort Lowell Records – with proceeds
going to the Tucson Together Fund.



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