Various Artists

Teenbeat Sampler 2001

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Legendary spoken-word icon Butch Willis kicks off the 2001 version of the Teenbeat Records sampler series with "Amateur on Plastic." His crazed coffeehouse rant is followed by Jonny Cohen's ode to Washington D.C., simply called "Washington D.C." These label samplers work best when they serve as a record label's opportunity to put their best foot forward. Teenbeat Records started out as a way for Mark Robinson to record and distribute the D.C. area's brightest independent rock and pop bands. While the label has stretched out to include artists from all over the world, it remains the preeminent label for Washington D.C.-area indie rock and pop. Highlights on Teenbeat Sampler 2001 include the computerized vocals of Brooklyn's tha Cheeky Bastid on their track "Money on You," as well as the sweet vocals of Tracy Shedd on the simple and serene "Circles." The Long Goodbye epitomize everything a Teenbeat band should be. The brazen, pop-filled hooks on their track "Fashion of Fear" are mixed with powerful, bright vocals. Mark Robinson appears twice on the disc, singing on Flin Flon's "Upper Ferry (Version)" and on his own on "Sskii Jjumpp," a remake of the Olympic Death Squad's "Ski Jump." Currituck Country surprises all with a country version of the Unrest classic "Isabel." Bonus tracks on the disc include Aden's "Matinee Idol" from their Hey 19 disc, "A Sparkling Mix" by Eggs, "Deep Red" by Versus, as well as a gem from deep inside the Teenbeat archives. That last unnamed bonus track is performed by Phil Krauth's late-'80s project Clarence. The song's mixture of intricate guitar and hazy, experimental sounds hinted at Krauth's brilliant post-Unrest albums that came in the 1990s. Trevor Kampmann of HollAnd produced many of the tracks. He also mastered the compilation.

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