Out This Week: New releases in the spirit of giving 11/27

The end of the year is not just a time for buying gifts for your friends and family, but also to recognize and support worthwhile causes. Two albums from Largehearted Boy‘s very short list of new releases this week benefit such causes:

causes_cd_sm.jpgCauses 1: Darfur from Waxploitation features live and exclusive tracks from Spoon, The Shins, Death Cab for Cutie, Thievery Corporation, Travis, Bloc Party, and a whole bunch of others.

100% of the proceeds going to Doctors Without Borders, Human Rights Watch and Oxfam America.

The album will be available digitally on iTunes for only 90 days starting today. “We’ve made a conscious decision to create a sense of urgency – to mirror what is a dire situation in Darfur. It’s not just a symbolic gesture,” says Waxploitation’s founder Jeff Antebi. “These non-profits need help there now.” Waxploitation is also pressing a limited edition CD which can be ordered here.

Bright Eyes – Coat Check Dream Song [Exclusive Live Version] (MP3)

Although estimates of the number of people killed by the conflict in Darfur vary widely from 200,000 to 400,000, what is certain is that more than 2 million people have fled their homes because of the fighting, and 4 million are now in need of humanitarian assistance—making this one of the worst crises in the world today.

madonna_cd.jpgThrough the Wilderness: A Tribute to Madonna from Manimal Vinyl Records.

Eschewing the star-studded cast of Causes, this tribute to the Material Girl is decidedly non-commercial. Even the most recognizable names of the artists included — Giant Drag, The Tyde, The Chapin Sisters, Lavender Diamond — are relatively obscure. While the overall tone is more sedate than you’ll find on any of Madonna’s albums, this is by no means a downbeat album, and the contrast of indie production values on the covers here to the often over-produced originals is intriguing. Say what you will about Madge, but she writes solid songs!

Most importantly, part of the proceeds of Through the Wilderness go directly to Raising Malawi, a non-profit organization working to improve the lives of these children by providing smart solutions to challenging problems. Raising Malawi works with global leaders in health care, education, agriculture, economics, and community based organizations in Malawi, to effectively meet the needs of Malawi’s vulnerable children.

Giant Drag – Oh Father (MP3)
used by kind permission of Manimal Vinyl Records

Find out more about the album on the Through The Wilderness MySpace page.

And of course, don’t forget to support non-commercial radio like KEXP while you’re in a gift-giving mood. Live at KEXP Volume Three is still available but only until the end of the year, which leaves you just a month to pick it up and get copies for your friends and loved ones. This limited release is available in retail stores in the Seattle area and online only until the end of the year. Think of what a great gift it would be to give your friends (and yourself) a collection of exclusive live songs recorded in the KEXP studio from outstanding bands like The Long Winters, The Shins, Ghostland Observatory, Grizzly Bear, Peter Bjorn & John, Beirut, and many more.

The Gossip – Yr Mangled Heart [from Live at KEXP Volume Three] (MP3)

Order online and preview more songs here.

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