Various Artists

Calling All Kings and Queens

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Like 1999's superb New Women's Music Sampler, which features noteworthy tracks by acts such as Sarah Dougher and the Need, among numerous others, Mr. Lady's second compilation of unreleased material is another great way to get acquainted with -- or to more fully appreciate -- a variety of queer and queer-positive artists, most of which here are female. The album's unpredictability comes from the fact that the faces included are both new and old. From bigger names like the Indigo Girls' Amy Ray and the Butchies (which both contribute impressive live tracks) to the more obscure Tracy & the Plastics, Calling All Kings & Queens is a mighty fine sampler spanning punk, rock, electronics, folk, and more. The compilation's highlights, which are necessary listens for anyone familiar with the artists, are Le Tigre's "Sweetie" and Kiki & Herb's hilarious drag queen send-up of Sleater-Kinney's "I'm Not Waiting." Of course, with 18 mix and match tracks from the talented friends and fans of Mr. Lady, Calling All Kings & Queens offers more than its fair share of fun.

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