Various Artists – Four Songs by Arthur Russell
Rough Trade, 2007
Acquired: Love Garden Blowout Location, New, 2009
Curated by Jens Lekman, this is a small tribute album that probably made a big impact. I know I definitely sought out Arthur Russell's records after hearing this record. Something so haunting and beautiful, and really, this is just the tip of the iceberg. Did I mention it's great? Verity Sussman of Electrelane opens the record as Vera November with a solo piano version of “Our Last Night Together,” which just kills. My love for Electrelane has been throughly expressed on this site, so no surprise there. Lekman covers what coincidentally ended up becoming my favorite Russell song, “A Little Lost,” via a solo-Kalimba (thumb piano) version. Also on board are Taken By Trees, who cover “Make 1, 2” and Hidden Cameras frontman Joel Gibb who does “That's Us/Wild Combination” w/ El Perro Del Mar on backing vox. Every artist feels perfectly plucked to bring new iterations of Russell's haunts to life. Strangely, there are no cellos here. I thought for sure someone would bust one out, but nope! No cellos!