Sunday, November 24, 2013

Tom Carter benefit album

Many thanks to the bearded wonder over at RFM for highlighting this 99 track compilation download benefit album put together to raise funds for Tom Carter. Carter fell ill during a recent European tour and despite having medical insurance incurred costs that he couldn’t meet. Having spent 40 days in a medically induced coma designed to keep him alive I dare say that the last thing he wanted to see upon reentering planet fuck up was an expensive bill starring starring him in the face. But thats what he got.

For those of you unawares Carter and his wife founded the band Charalambides in early 90’s Texas creating [according to Wiki]  a psychedelic music much in the same vein as Jandek , 13th Floor Elevators and The Red Krayola. I used to have one of their early albums [Historic 6th Ward] and never got the psychedelic link but maybe thats just me? I never got on with it to be honest and sold it on for a sum I cant remember but which no doubt was a pittance compared to what it now commands on Discdogs [sic].

Having listened to pretty much all of these 99 tracks over the last week or so I now find myself looking at the download album through completely new eyes. These 99 tracks run to just over 10 hours - as a CD release it would take time and a not inconsiderable amount of money to assemble, cost more money to post whilst those unsold copies would continue to take up valuable shelf space [lets hope there wouldn’t be any unsold copies but … y’know]. As a download you have this in the palm of your MP3 player within minutes thus cutting out all that unnecessary expense with the money raised going straight to Carter’s medical expenses bill leaving you happily shuffling from one track to the next never spoiling a continuity that doesn’t exist to start with.

The compilation itself contains a multitude of stars with many emerging from the same constellation as Charalambides themselves. Hence plenty of six strings, be it lonesome pluck [Richard Youngs, Ignatz], Neil Young-esque electrified twang [MV & EE] or spaced out blues [Tom Greenwood]. Theres plenty of drone of course and some industrial noise hum from Donald Miller to keep the noise freaks happy. Vibracathedral Orchestra get their hat out as do fellow Leeds blasters The Piss Superstition. Some tracks throb on for half an hour [Ceramic Blade, Iron Insect] and if some of these names mean nothing to you then that makes two of us which leads me to another very important point; this comp makes for a perfect launch pad into further musical territories. Not only are you helping Carter get his medical bill down you’re exploring new musical probabilities. 

A complete review of all ten hours worth isn’t going to happen here. Instead I’m going to play the Richard Youngs track a few more times before going to Norman Records and putting some his albums in my basket. You see, its working already.

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