Various Artists

Pick a Winner [DVD & CD]

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Load Records' considerable reputation had already been established thanks to championing such bands as Lightning Bolt and Wolf Eyes, so in turn it makes sense that their celebratory 50th release would be something quirky and merry rather than something po-faced. Pick a Winner is an odd sort of release in that it has two versions of the exact same collection of songs on both its discs, except that one is just a CD while the other is a DVD and in essence the true heart of the release -- a jam session of sorts between Load stalwarts and a variety of video art collectives and artists. Musically, the emphasis generally veers between extreme tech-heavy drum machine-driven weirdouts and more "rock" pieces, though the more accurate connection point throughout is to be disconcerting regardless of the music -- Load Records in a nutshell (or a DVD package). The Paper Rad bunch kicks it off with a pixelated dream home page fantasy backed appropriately by a synth punk effort from My Favorite Home Page, and throughout contributes a variety of approaches for bands, including a bizarre Alf doll/forest exploration clip (with dog cinematography) for a minimal then ranting Wolf Eyes song and a car race video game for Mystery Brinkman's stuttering, dank electronics. Dear Raindrop does two efforts near the start, including the Lightning Bolt number, featuring the duo wearing masks and jamming away in false color with a frenetic series of backdrops churning away in the background -- an approach taken to even crazier extremes with the brief Neon Hunk clip. Inspired one-offs include Dare Matthewson's black-and-white high-speed nightmares for La Machine, Lightning Bolt's Brian Gibson creating a bizarre wonderful cartoon about a buzzard dreaming of rock stardom and a face-off between an alien snake and a cat with a talking cane, and White Mice's chaotic collage of their titular inspiration.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
blue highlight denotes track pick