Various Artists

Lounge Ax Defense & Relocation Compact Disc

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The well-loved, fun Chicago club Lounge Ax ran into big legal bills fighting the city and a nasty neighbor trying -- and fortunately failing -- to close it. Thus, the club (and classy Touch & Go) put together this CD to help pay the lawyers, asking the many renowned underground touring acts that play there to contribute. Regrettably, none of the bands are recorded live at the smokin' club, but this is still a strong array of indie-minded rock. Sebadoh turns in one of the band's lesser songs, and Shellac's offering is too short. But Superchunk, Seam, and the Archers of Loaf (instrumental) come through, Guided By Voices sounds idiosyncratic and fresh on the unreleased "Beneath a Festering Moon," and newcomer June of '44 is down and dirty. Also doing their part: the Coctails, the Bad Livers, Yo La Tengo, the Mekons, Tortoise, and Rachel's.

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