The release of Homegrown Rawk and/or Roll: Starfire's Mix.
Thursday, Dec. 20 | 9 p.m.
Burrito Union, 1332 E. Fourth St., Duluth
The event is free; the disc costs $8
ALBUM REVIEW BY MATTHEW R. PERRINE, BUDGETEER NEWS
Is there a better way to honor Duluth’s preeminent music event than by letting its founder select the sounds that made it great in the first place?
Well, let’s hope not; because the dudes over at Homegrown Music Festival are about to release “Homegrown Rawk and/or Roll: Starfire’s Mix.”
I know what you’re thinking: There are at least 50 top-notch local compilations — but, you have my word, this is one for the ages. In fact, this is the ultimate overview of the Twin Ports scene on the market. Aside from the meandering/slightly obnoxious opener, I Am the Slow Dancing Umbrella’s 11-minute-plus opus “Origami Whisky and Something,” there isn’t much in the way of “filler” on this essential “Duluth Scene for Dummies” mix tape.
Though the flow is sometimes disjunctive — Amy Abts’ fragile “Number 7” following the Dames’ hard-charging “Taiwan” (aka the greatest hard rock song of all time) and the Black-eyed Snakes’ equally exhilarating “Rise Up!”? — the variety of songs more than makes up for such a petty complaint.
While there are noticeable gaps in the lineup (nothing from Marc Gartman’s three terrific groups?), the best songwriters Duluth has to offer are here: Alan Sparhawk and Tony Bennett both get two slots, Charlie Parr rolls on with newbie “Just Like Today” and Mark Lindquist is represented with Giljunko’s “Mohawks.”
Which brings me to my second nitpicky qualm: Had track selection been up to me, I would’ve certainly replaced “Mohawks” with “Sunnyside Estates,” Giljunko’s true shining hour. It’s more representative of the group’s uncanny sense of humor — and the unmatched quality of Lindquist’s ensuing solo/Little Black Books career.
Nevertheless, as an added bonus, some of our fair city’s lesser-known acts (outside of the Northland, that is) also get some action: Jamie Ness rocks the “Blue Collar,” Mary Bue dazzles with “Red Dirt Trails” and, coming in somewhere between Atmosphere and Ween, Crew Jones proves with “Banjones” that “hip-hop from Duluth” isn’t just a punchline.
Last, but certainly not least, is the curator’s very own composition, “I Like it in Duluth” (recorded during his Father Hennepin days).
If you’re compiling Duluth’s greatest hits, you know you can’t get far without that track — and that’s something that certainly wasn’t lost on its author.