Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Various - Four Dots (1998, Montesano)

The germ that inspired the location-specific Four Dots compilation was the death of curator Adam Gimbel's girlfriend Summer Brannin, who passed at the tender age of 21 due to cancer. Per the liner notes, Summer developed a taste for indie-pop bands from the Pacific northwest, as well as maritime provinces Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. The four cities/towns specifically honed in on here are Seattle, WA; Bellingham, WA; Halifax, Nova Scotia, and Moncton, New Brunswick.

The international plethora of musical combos that comprise this album were many of Summer's favorites, including Bellingham's then nascent Death Cab for Cutie, proving if anything else, she really had her ear to the ground. Not a "hit parade" so to speak, Four Dots features a bevy of exceptional Washington state guitar pop acts, like Tubetop, Five Gears In Reverse, Peter Parker, that didn't make much of a dent beyond their overcast hometowns. The Emerald City is furthermore represented by the Ken Stringfellow helmed Twin Princess, and the long-running Green Pajamas.

The Moncton and Halifax entries are less recognizable, but the latter city's creme-de-la-creme rawk ambassadors, Thrush Hermit, deliver the vigorous yet sublimely tuneful "Everybody's Gotta Move," one of the choicest nuggets in their catalog, and exclusive to this comp no less. We're also treated to a contribution from Halifax's Elevator Through Hell, an offshoot of Eric's Trip, not to mention noiseniks North of America. Sackville's Sycamores chime in with the Weezer indebted "Me & You," and The Peter Parkers (different from the Seattle band, strangely enough) sweeten the pot to further delight. Four Dots is one of those rare compilations that you buy with one band in mind, only to be introduced to half-a-dozen others that will become eventual favorites. I really dug this one.
01-Tubetop - So Blind
02-Thursh Hermit - Everybody's Gotta Move
03-Elevator Through Hell - Only Sea To Thought
04-The Revolutionary Hydra - Everything Sounds So New
05-Rebecca West - Dead Men (Don't Sing Along)
06-Green Pajamas - Ballerina
07-Death Cab For Cutie - Hindsight
08-The Peter Parkers (Canada) - Different Kind of Stride
09-Veer - Deep Freeze
10-North of America - Walking in Greatcoats
11-Appleseed Apart - Two Separate Hills
12-Purple Knight - To Our Moderesty
13-Twin Princess - Gimme a Kiss
14-This Busy Monster - Don't Walk Away
15-5 Gears in Reverse - Apathetic Regimen
16-The Sycamores - Me & You
17-The Delusions - 96 Beers
18-Peter Parker (USA) - Aesthetic of Dumb
19-The Microphones - Bass Drum Dream


Adam said...

Wow, a friend of mine passed me the link to this today. Really cool to see someone digging the comp so many years later. I didn't actually curate this, it was a friend up north whose mother had fought cancer and he'd already put it together. He heard about Summer's illness and thought it would be a fitting tribute to let me write something. It inspired me to do my own tribute called Songs For Summer which came out two years later with bands like the Posies, Neutral Milk, Soul Coughing & other faves of Summer's. You can read all about it at http://www.thesummersite.org .

Thanks for reminding me how great Four Dots is. It was my introduction to Death Cab and they were very nice when they came through San Diego and played to 3 of us. Sadly, Summer never got to hear them. Whatever happened to those guys?


spavid said...

Hi Adam,

Thanks for setting me straight. I've been corrected a lot lately!I'm actually familiar with the Songs For Summer album.

There's some good stuff on Four Dots...Tubetop, Five Gears in Reverse, etc. Can't believe it's been ten years! I appreciate you checking in.

L said...

I recognize some of these bands, but never would have dug up this comp. Thanks so much for making it available.

Dale said...

released in 98 or 99>>??


spavid said...

Download link has been updated.

Anchored said...

Damn! I missed this! I'm very interested in the Peter Parker stuff.

spavid said...

The link has been updated (yet again).

Anchored said...

Yes, sorry for not catching it the first or second time, and thanks a lot for making it available again.