Various Artists

Lagniappe: A Saddle Creek Benefit for Hurricane Katrina

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There was a message on Saddle Creek's website in the days immediately after Hurricane Katrina hit. "Lagniappe was born on September 2nd, 2005, the result of our watching the surreal events unfolding in New Orleans and the greater Gulf Coast," it read. "All of Saddle Creek and its artists' profits from the sale of Lagniappe are being donated to the Red Cross for their relief efforts." The compilation includes tracks from nine roster artists, as well as friends and a few collaborations. There's "San Francisco Via Chicago Blues" from Elected, the lazy alt-country side project of Rilo Kiley's Blake Sennett; it's no Magnolia Electric Co., but it'll do for a benefit album. Azure Ray's Maria Taylor turns up with Now It's Overhead's Andy LeMaster on the dusky almost dream-pop of "Breathe," while Orenda Fink layers her own voice gently over the melodic tension in "No Evolution." Cursive, Sorry About Dresden, and Criteria don't disappoint, "Hypnotize" is tinged with the Faint's usual electro-fuzz swagger, and on "All Your Faithless Loyalties," Two Gallants' Adam Stephens sounds quite a bit like Dave Pirner. The music on Lagniappe doesn't try to do too much. It doesn't attempt to explore the hurricane's effects, or answer all the questions, or find someone to blame. It only wants to help, which is noble enough.

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