Good FortuneIn an age in which the alphabet of American independent music sometimes seems to stretch only from Athens to Austin, not too many people are touting the San Francisco scene. Berkeley-based Fortune Records is a happy exception, providing fans with albums from local standouts like Killian MacGeraghty of the Gun & Doll Show, 20 Minute Loop, and Jim Greer.
Greer isn't just a client -- he's also the label's president. And if Fortune Records were the show Survivor, he'd be the alliance-building mastermind Richard Hatch. Fortune gives Rich -- oops, Jim -- the means to produce and publicize his own groovy alterna-rockabilly music while supporting the efforts of others. Like any savvy self-promoting labelmeister, Greer has had the good sense to put together a terrific compilation disc, which after half a year kicking around the Bay Area is finally about to get a national release. The first Fortune Cookies show back in January was so successful that he's doing it again, bringing together over a dozen artists whose music is showcased on the album.
There won't be any immunity challenges or larva-eating, but the eclec- tic lineup should provide plenty of thrilling encounters. And the Fortune island dwellers may hang together, but to try to isolate the Fortune sound would be to discount the massive differences between the freak rock of 20 Minute Loop and the punk-pop of Sixkiller or the trip hop of Children of the Fog (who take the prize for best localized name). The juxtaposition of the Loop's "She Hated Dogs" and the Children's "Altitude Sickness" is perhaps the album's most striking. But the bedrock of the show, like the album, will be the moody male singer/songwriter.