VARIOUS ARTISTS: Free the Memphis 3: CD

This is some sort of benefit for three kids in Arkansas that were convicted of murder allegedly based on a trial filled with circumstantial evidence and tainted with bias. Some heavy hitters donate their talents to the cause, L7, Tom Waits, Zeke, Nashville Pussy, Killing Joke, Kelley Deal and the Supersuckers among them, which is all fine and good, but the tracks they offer are pretty substandard and dismal. I mean, I know Joe Strummer is hot shit and all, not to mention a “name” artist who’ll provide the project with credibility, but do you honestly believe his mutilation of Jimmy Cliff’s “Harder They Come” is going to help the cause? Judging the project as a whole, I think that the world’s is a pretty sad state when an (ugh!) Eddie Vedder/Supersuckers’ cover of X’s “Poor Girl” is the best track on a compilation aimed at raising money to get three wrongly convicted guys off of death row. In short, nice thought, guys, but I don’t think you did those kids any favors.

 –jimmy (Koch, 740 Broadway, New York, NY 10003)