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Idaho Greentracks


The Idaho Green Party's new compilation CD Idaho Greentracks is the musical equivalent of a Highlights for Children puzzle: how many unexpected instruments can an attentive ear spot in 80 minutes of shoegazer pop, kiddie rock, folk and blues? Here's a map: viola, trumpet, melodica, banjo, accordion, harmonica, clarinet, flute, vibes and a seemingly endless array of keyboard emissions all sprout from the first eight tracks alone—now go find 'em, kiddos! The voices on this excellent collection show similar range, starting with Kris Doty's nonverbal blast-off into the upper strata of the bansheesphere on the opening track "Thumb," which leads into a characteristically laconic Central Boise Library sing-talk about the joys of a pedestrian lifestyle. Doug Martsch expels some ironically zealous power-ballad meowing on the Ozzy cover "Mr. Crowley," while R Heroz's Elijah Jensen whispers as if talking in his sleep on the amiable cymbal-stew "Now the time is new." It's a heady concoction, made all the more interesting by multiple instrumentals and quiet acoustic numbers by artists like Lowbelly, Wendy Matson and Bob Picard. A personal highlight is Gwen Sanchirico's reverently fuzzy Mission of Burma cover "Academy Fight Song," adhering six guitar tracks into an analog homebrew as messy and captivating as the original. Diverse but never condescending, Greentracks is a new highpoint in Idaho music compilations.