Our boy Zac Crain, who we in no way are endorsing for mayor till he starts sharing his Star Wars action figures with the 3-year-old who lives in our house, is finally getting that two-disc, 32-song fundraiser CD in stores. It took a little longer than he thought, what with the compiling and the mixing and the mastering and the manufacturing, but Mistah Crain says it should be in stores on January 20, just in time for the release shindig at Good Records featuring performances from Dove Hunter (who's on the disc) and Baboon (who are not, those good sports). You should be able to pre-order it from Zac's Web site, like, any time.
Of the 32 songs on the CD, most are rare or unreleased; some are demos of previously released album tracks (Ben Kweller's "Magic," for instance), while a few are tracks from forthcoming releases (in the case of, oh, J.D. Whittenburg). Two acts Zac wanted on the disc couldn't contribute songs in time: Annie Clark (better known as Unfair Park fave St. Vincent) and Midlake. Of the latter, Zac says, "They aren't very prolific." Nonetheless, Zac says everyone else asked to contribute did -- to the point where a single disc became a two-fer.
After the jump, two MP3s from the album. And Zac talks some more.
So, Mister Crain, how did the disc come together in the first place?
"For the most part, it was me," he says. The dude's already sounds like a politician, if nothing else. Take sole credit for the good stuff. Nice. "But we kinda brainstormed, and there were some bands that, once we had it finished, we were like, 'Why wasn't this band on here? And why isn't this band on there?' Initially it was gonna be one disc, but nobody said no. Then, whatever we couldn't do on the disc, we'd have a code in the CD and a place on the Web site where you could download the tracks and artwork. But we talked to Crystal Clear, and they said it's not much more money to do two discs, and we could charge a tiny bit more and raise more money with two discs, so we went after more bands and ended up with 32. And nobody promised anything they couldn't deliver."
Among the more intriguing selections is Tim DeLaughter's "Winter Wonder Slumber," which closes disc one; it's an oddball beauty, a leftover solo piece left in the Polyphonic Spree bossman's collection of unused -- or, perhaps, unusable -- demos. Zac met DeLaughter at a PSpree show and asked him about getting involved. Not only did he come through with his track, but also gave Zac songs from Good Records acts Philip E. Karnats and Pilotdrift. "Good Records really came through," Zac says. "All the songs Tim gave us are great." Also coming through: Rhett Miller, who contributes the very Rhett-sounding "She Loves the Sunset."
And Zac had good people, not just Good Records: Kris Youmans (the filmmaking cellist who plays with the pAper chAse and The Happy Bullets) assembled the disc and got Matt Barnhart to master it (gratis, what a sport). Youmans also suggested Tony Bones (aka Soler) (aka Solyer) (aka Goya) provide the cover art, which is kinda...awesome.
"For some reason," Zac says, "every time I look at it, it reminds me of Willy Wonka."
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Oh, and in actual ZC4Myr news, he has a new campaign manager: Jonathan Rector, who used to work at...the Dallas Observer (and for Carol Reed, so there's that). Lindsay Graham is now Zac's campaign treasurer. So here's the music. Enjoy while it lasts. Pretty soon, yer gonna have to pay for it. --Robert Wilonsky
Pleasant Grove, "Luzern"
Dove Hunter, "What Turns Inside"