By Margaret Welsh
Pittsburgh Current Music Editor
Early in the pandemic, Terry Carroll, like many of us, was stunned at the speed of collapse. “The Pittsburgh food bank’s lines were crazy long, and just seeing that … it came so quick,” the musician (Terry and the Cops, Dark Money, Dirty Faces) recalls.
Being, for the first time, in a place of relative financial security, he and his long time collaborator Eric Yeschke made their own personal charitable contributions, but wanted to do more.
“I think it was Eric who said it would be cool to put out a compilation, because we’ve got all sorts of friends from elsewhere that we’ve played shows with, and people from Pittsburgh that have moved away or that still live here that we’ve worked with on various projects,” Carroll says.
On August 6 they released Everyone We Love Got it On Lockdown, an assemblance of tracks from artists and bands around the world.
No one familiar with Carroll or Jaeschke’s many projects will be surprised by the particular brand of grimy, stripped-down psychedelic vibes emanating from this collection: From the New Poor’s brilliant little country tune, to the smart, wild garage noise of Terry and the Cops, to the sugary weirdo dance pop of Birth Worm, to Shinji Masuko’s atmospheric minimalism, to the mystic free association of Expires, EWLGIOL’s genres overlap and intersect.
Some tracks are new, some have been extracted from various vaults — “The Candlestick Maker,” from Philly’s Rawar, for example, is a decade-old track. And some of the bands featured no longer really exist.
Storied Pittsburgh rockers the Modey Lemon (the members of which are now spread cross-country) submitted “a new recording of an old song,” and Hidden Twin (side project of the Modey Lemon’s Phil Boyd) offered a cover of Martin Rev’s “I Heard Your Name.” There are some nice appearances by other Pittsburgh expats, including Dean Cercone and Nic Lawless, who now live in New York and Colorado, respectively.
The attention put into curation comes through, which makes this feel like a carefully crafted mixtape from someone who loves you, or at least wants to impress you. Like anything else Carroll and Yeschke produce, there’s a central hip-hop sensibility at work here, and dissimilar tracks are melded together with interludes by beatmakers Authentic Beats and Defame.
All proceeds from the comp go directly to the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank, though Carroll and Yeschke advised that people make direct donations rather than involve PayPal and Bandcamp fees. Participating artists were also given the opportunity to choose their own charitable causes to promote.
“We didn’t anticipate the fact that we were asking bands from all around — Philly, New York, Colorado, DC, New Mexico, two Japanese artists,” Carroll says. “So I was like, maybe we should ask what they think, it seems weird to make it the Pittsburgh Food Bank when all these people are in their own cities.” Though, he adds, “most people said, ‘Hey, the Pittsburgh Food Bank sounds good to me.”
Carroll estimates they’ve raised close to $500 so far, but regardless of how people share money, Carroll hopes this comp will remind listeners to help someone out.
“We were like, [the comp] is not going to raise a lot of money because we’re a niche band, and our friend’s bands are fairly niche,” he says. “But we wanted to give people a chance to spread more positivity. We wanted it to be a positive thing.”