In one of the more ambitious and certainly the most heavily populated tribute projects from the Twin Cities music scene in recent memory, 69 local acts recorded one track apiece for the new collection “Absolutely Cuckoo: Minnesota Covers the 69 Love Songs.” We’ll have a feature story on the album/concert in next week’s pages, but given the famously voluminous amount of songs involved, you’d better start listening now. They were posted yesterday as a free download on the project website, 69LS.mn.
If you don’t already know, the songs in question originally come from a cult-adored triple album by Boston-bred fuzz-pop band the Magnetic Fields, featuring wry, whimsical, often demented and occasionally sweet odes to romance. Only a bored, winter-lulled, record-geek haven such as ours would think to re-create the album in its entirety.
The new recordings were spearheaded by local songwriter Matt Latterell, who’s also leading a tribute concert/fundraiser of the same name at First Avenue a week from Saturday, Dec. 29 (6:30 p.m., $10-$12, tickets and more details here). Other performers will include Lucy Michelle, who kicks off the set with the song “Absolutely Cuckoo,” and Bethany Larson -- whose “Come Back to San Francisco” is one of the highlights -- plus Maggie Morrison (ex-Lookbook), Actual Wolf, the Roe Family Singers, Al Church & State, Dan Israel, Me & My Arrow, Como Avenue Jug Band, the Chalice, Mayda, Jennifer Markey and dozens more. Proceeds from the show will go toward OutFront Minnesota, one of the equality groups that helped defeat the amendment banning same-sex marriage last month.
Some of the other artists who recorded one of the songs but are not on the lineup for the concert include Dan Wilson -- his “Things We Did and Didn’t Do” is another must-hear -- plus Communist Daughter, Solid Gold, Kid Dakota, Zoo Animal, Gospel Gossip, Black Audience, James Diers (of Halloween, Alaska) and Chris Koza (Rogue Valley). Go ahead and dive in. The sample of "How F---ing Romantic" posted below is by none other than Rupert, the dancing stage-crasher you've probably seen one time or another at any variety of local gigs.