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Dark Was The Night

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Various Artists

Dark Was The Night

12" LP

Availability: In stock

$29.99

Quick Overview

On the occasion of WORLD AIDS DAY today, December 1st a press announcement was made with the complete list of participating artists and cover art for the upcoming 4AD
release Dark Was The Night. Dark Was The Night will be released on February 17th, 2009. Aaron and Bryce Dessner of The National produced the album, and John Carlin, the founder of the Red Hot
Organization was the executive producer. A total of 31 exclusive tracks have been recorded for the compilation. It will be available as a double cd/triple viny and will benefit the Red Hot Organization - an international charity dedicated to raising funds and awareness for HIV
and AIDS. Red Hot was founded on the premise that even without a cure, AIDS remains a preventable disease and music is a great vehicle to raise money and awareness for it.

Dark Was The Night began three years ago with a casual conversation between Aaron and Bryce Dessner of The National and John Carlin. In discussing the project, they agreed it made sense not to do a "theme" album per se; but something that showcased the bast in independent music, with an emphasis on traditional themes played and arranged in a contemporary way, and on songwriting, which is the strength of many of the artists featured here. As Aaron and Bryce started inviting their peers to contribute, their intuition about the pro-social disposition of so many of them was confirmed. As a result, 31 exclusive tracks were recorded.

Details

The 20th Red Hot compilation Dark Was the Night also arrives during the AIDS charity's 20th anniversary. Curated by the National's Bryce and Aaron Dessner and John Carlin, this double-disc set plays like a who's who of late 2000s indie rock, especially of the mellow and/or folky variety: Bon Iver's Justin Vernon, Iron & Wine, Sufjan Stevens, Feist, Ben Gibbard, and Jose Gonzalez all contribute tracks. Though Carlin and the Dessners didn't specify a particular theme for the project outside of updating traditional themes, Dark Was the Night's first disc is remarkably cohesive. Bon Iver's "Brackett, WI," the Decemberists' "Sleepless," the National's "So Far Around the Bend," and Iron & Wine's "Stolen Houses (Die)" are quintessential examples of what these artists are all about. Many of the brightest moments have a spooky, strangely antique feel, particularly the Kronos Quartet's update of Blind Willie Johnson's title track, which keeps the ruminative soulfulness and grit of the original while transporting it to a very different setting. Antony Hegarty and Bryce Dessner's take on Bob Dylan's "I Left Home When I Was Young" is similarly lonely and haunting, but the real standouts is My Brightest Diamond's ambitious cover of "Feelin' Good," which nods to Nina Simone's classic version while staying true to Shana Worden's chilly yet intimate musical vision. Likewise, Feist's collaboration with Grizzly Bear on "Service Bell" brings out an unearthly, almost unrecognizable side to her voice. Dark Was the Night's second disc is more disjointed, but arguably a more interesting listen -- Spoon's brash "Well-Alright," the Arcade Fire's anthemic "Lenin," and Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings' slinky cover of Shuggie Otis' "Inspiration Information" have little in common other than that they're all well-crafted. Skipping from indie hip-hop ("Blood, Pt 2," Buck 65's remix of Sufjan Stevens' cover of Castanets' "You are the Blood" featuring rapper Serengeti) to filmic Americana (Andrew Bird's take on the Handsome Family's "The Giant of Illinois") to roots rock (My Morning Jacket's "El Caporal"), there's little rhyme or reason but lots of entertainment. Other highlights include the Dirty Projects' and David Byrne's "Knotty Pine," Stuart Murdoch's simple and beautiful "Another Saturday," and Blonde Redhead and Devastations' dreamy, unsettling "When the Road Runs Out." Though some of the tracks contributed by Dark Was the Night's artists are a touch too predictable, it's uncharitable to nitpick too much when the collection offers so much music for such a good cause.

Additional Information

Artist Various Artists
Track Listing Disc: 1 1. Knotty Pine (Dirty Projectors and David Byrne) 2. Cello Song - Nick Drake (The Books and Jose Gonzalez) 3. Train Song - Vashti Bunyan (Feist and Ben Gibbard) 4. Brackett, WI (Bon Iver) 5. Deep Blue Sea (Grizzly Bear) 6. So Far Around The Bend (The National and Nico Muhly) 7. Tightrope (Yeasayer) 8. Feeling Good (My Brightest Diamond) 9. Dark Was The Night - Blind Willie Johnson (Kronos Quartet) 10. I Was Young When I Left Home - Bob Dylan (Antony and Bryce Dessner) 11. Big Red Machine (Justin Vernon and Aaron Dessner) 12. Sleepless (The Decemberists) 13. Stolen Houses - Die (Iron & Wine) 14. Service Bell (Grizzly Bear and Feist) 15. You Are The Blood (Sufjan Stevens) Disc: 2 1. Well-Alright (Spoon) 2. Lenin (Arcade Fire) 3. Mimizan (Beirut) 4. El Caporal (My Morning Jacket) 5. Inspiration Information - Shuggie Otis (Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings) 6. With A Girl Like You - The Troggs (Dave Sitek) 7. Blood Pt 2 - The Castanets (Buck 65 and Sufjan Stevens and Serengeti) 8. Hey, Snow White - Destroyer (The New Pornographers) 9. Gentle Hour - Snapper (Yo La Tengo) 10. Another Saturday (Stuart Murdoch) 11. Happiness (Riceboy Sleeps) 12. Amazing Grace (Cat Power and Dirty Delta Blues) 13. The Giant of Illinois - Handsome Family (Andrew Bird) 14. Lua (Conor Oberst and Gillian Welch) 15. When The Road Runs Out (Blonde Redhead and Devastations) 16. Love vs. Porn (Kevin Drew)

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