Jewelled Antler kingpin Glenn Donaldson has always had good taste in music (scroll) and a way with words. It’s no surprise I like the blurb he wrote for the Welcome Home / Diggin’ The Universe compilation. It nails the “scene” in a few sentences, also crystallizing a thread you’ll find across the comp’s specific 13 tracks. Also, from the “early days” through to the recent L.A. festival, Woodsist has always reminded me of a small ’90s cassette label more than a heralded Brooklyn-associated label circa 2010. You get that in there, too.
It’s true–the sons and daughters of Homestead, Xpressway and first-wave Drag City et al.) are now making good music. The ’60s, ’70s, ’80s, ’90s and ’00s are all there, bound together by shitty tape machines, reverb and easy chord changes, but melody is back and so is the joy of jamming a perfectly mangled pop song. Welcome Home might hit some new kids the way Human Music or Nuggets did back in their day. In any case, it’s one of those rare compilations you can play straight through and over again.
Speaking of nods to ’90s cassette culture, onetime Blue Tongue cassette label head David/Arno & his caUSE co-MOTION! crystallize a few things with “Over You.”
As Donaldson suggests, the compilation works best as one long collage — because it’s also best experienced on cassette or LP, here’s a tease courtesy of Woods’ opener.
The tracklist. (It’s worth noting Donaldson shows up a couple of times via Skygreen Leopards and Art Museums. And he’s maybe lurking in a few other shadows.)
01 Woods – “I’m Not Gone”
02 RUN DMT- “Richard”
03 White Fence – “The Love Between”
04 The Fresh & Onlys – “Heel.Toe.”
05 The Mantles – “Bad Movies”
06 Skygreen Leopards – “Catch”
07 Alex Bleeker – “Gettin By”
08 Moon Duo – “A Little Way Different”
09 City Center – “Box of Rain”
10 caUSE co-MOTION! – “Over You”
11 Art Museums – “Darling Are You Out Of Your League Again”
12 Nodzzz – “Old Clothes”
13 Ducktails – “Sun Out My Window”