Stroke: Songs For Chris Knox Limited Edition
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On June 11 2009 musician, artist, father, writer, film critic & jandal wearer Chris Knox suffered a life-altering stroke at his home in Grey Lynn, New Zealand. Everyone wanted to do something to help, so a bunch of his musician mates from New Zealand and around the world have gotten together to do what they do best to celebrate Chris' music by recording versions of his songs. The selected tracks span Chris' entire carer, from The Enemy, Toy Love, and Tall Dwarfs, to his solo recordings and his most recent band The Nothing. Jay Reatard, Yo La Tengo, The Mountain Goats, The Verlaines, Boh Runga, David Kilgour, Lambchop, Bill Callahan, Will Oldham and many more have contributed songs to the album, which has 32 tracks in all. The stunning cover was designed by Chris' fellow Tall Dwarf band mate Alec Bathgate and uses Chris' favourite colour combination of yellow and black. All proceeds is going to assist Chris with his recovery.
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The collection boasts some nuggets for the fanatical, like a track from the recently deceased Jay Reatard and also one from the hermetic Jeff Mangum, an old school synth pop song from Stephin Merritt recorded in the late 1980s, pieces from perennial favorites like Yo La Tengo, Bill Callahan, The Mountain Goats, Bonnie Prince Billy, and Lou Barlow, and a slew of work from fellow New Zealanders. The sheer scope (2 discs!) and breadth (everyone from The Chills to A.C. Newman) of "Stroke" is a testimony to Knox's stature, relevance, and to the devotion he inspires in fans and fellow musicians.
"Stroke" is a solid investment, musically. But more importantly than that, it celebrates a hard-working and talented songwriter and brings him and his family much-needed help in a time of need. Knox himself even makes some post-stroke appearances on wordless vocals on the last two songs -- evidence that he is in no way finished with music. There is a lot here for the casual indie fan and the supporter of Knox alike.