By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Alice Laussade
By Scott Reitz
To make their swinging parties even more happening, '60s fetishists the Lollipop Shoppe came up with the perfect shiny accessory for their groovy thrift-store dresses and go-go boots: a compilation CD. Lollipop gal DJ TigerBee, aka The Shapes' singer/bassist Patricia Rodriguez, recruited some of her favorite retro-rock acts—all Texan except New Mexico-based Dirty Novels—to feature on her collective's first benefit CD (proceeds benefit ... the Lollipop Shoppe!).
But TigerBee and fellow Shoppe-er Captain Groovy (Evan Chronister) created more than a mere compilation; the disc transitions between songs seamlessly, changing from fast to slow and back to fast just when you want it to, and avoids the annoying dramatic volume changes that plague amateur mix CDs.
The disc kicks off with the Klogz's "Sugartown," a psychedelic dance party with fuzzed-out guitar and toy piano. It's followed by the Unbearables' tight power-pop "Zombies Unite" with a chorale of zombies vowing "People, people, we're gonna eat 'em." White Drugs' "Levitation" is the polar opposite: sloppy, hard garage rock with bluesy distorto-guitar. Blackheart Society's brain-dead, monotonous "Groove" is the only time you'll need the skip button.
Mwanza Dover's cover of Pulp's "This Is Hardcore" is the highlight of the album. Dover croons it like a stoned Leonard Cohen at dirge pace over phase-shifting drums and cool keys. Great songs from the S-1 Committee, Prayer for Animals, Lithium Xmas (really) and others make this easily worth $6—and make a great case for future Lollipop compilations.