In 2008, we spoke to Tom Lee, Arthur Russell's long time partner, about his life with the musician. During the interview Lee also told us about some of his favorite current bands, many of which draw inspiration from the late, great Russell's music, and amongst them was Jose Gonzalez. Now Gonzalez, along with a few handfuls of other great musicians—including Robyn, Glen Hansard, Hot Chip, Sam Amidon, and Scissor Sisters—are coming together with Red Hot and Pitchfork to create an Arthur Russell tribute album.
In order to get this project funded, they've launched a Kickstarter campaign, with a goal of $55,000. Devendra Banhart, who is also contributing to the album, says, "I moved to New York because of Arthur Russell—he's my favorite musician... I've listened to him constantly and have been reading this book called 'Hold On to Your Dreams' about how downtown, experimental, underground disco and classical composition and all those scenes blended together. There's all these addresses where Arthur would go hang out and it was so beguiling and just pulled me towards moving back to New York."
Russell lived in the East Village "from the 1970s until his untimely death from AIDS-related causes in 1992. His work was admired and supported by artist peers such as Allen Ginsberg, Philip Glass, Nicki Siano, and David Byrne in his lifetime, although he was largely underground and not well known." You can back this project, which comes two decades after his death, right here.