AAA La Carte

Public Display of Affection (Nettwerk America)
Various Artists

By Kevin Gibson

I've always loved compilation discs like this; this is a great way to find hidden gems and reasons to seek out new albums. This particular collection features independent artists as chosen by four different AAA program directors/DJs across the U.S., including former WFPK jock Dan Reed.

The selections here are as diverse as the tastes of each contributor, which makes for a great listen. Cowboy Curtis leads off with a harder edge than most AAA selections, while Ruby Vileos gives us a quirky electronica tune that sticks in the brain after a few listens. "Driving You Home," from Passenger, meanwhile, is a smooth, melodic rocker reminiscent of Travis' The Man Who album.

Louisville's own Hell's ½ Acre also makes an appearance with "Sun Comes Up," a selection from the band's wonderful Under a Whiskey Moon. This chunky tune stands up remarkably well to the rest of the bunch, and is sure to get the band some much deserved recognition outside the River City.

Other highlights include the Bob Schneider-esque "In the City" by Milton; Amy Correia's sublime "Hold On (The Prison Song)"; the lush, art-rock diversion of Film School's "Harmed"; the Sharp Things' beautifully sad "Demon of Love," and the fun and poignant "Oxygen," by Willy Mason (maybe it's me, but the melody in the chorus sounds conspicuously like "Till There Was You.")

You won't like everything on this disc, but there will be something here for all AAA listeners. I hope this becomes a series.