RIGHTEOUS BABE BRINGS THE BOYS: NEW RELEASES COMING THIS FALL FROM ARTO LINDSAY AND SEKOU SUNDIATA For the first nine years of its existence, Righteous Babe Records has served primarily as the home for label founder Ani DiFranco's albums—all 14 of them, including a dozen solo recordings and two in collaboration with storyteller Utah Phillips. Come this fall, however, the Babe's roster gets a little bit bigger, branching out in directions both unexpected and entirely consistent with DiFranco's overall aesthetic. Righteous Babe announces the fall 1999 release of new, as-yet-untitled albums by spoken word artist Sekou Sundiata and noise-pop experimentalist Arto Lindsay. In a dramatic break from RBR's usual practice, Ani herself does not appear on either disc. Even so, DiFranco's selection of the two artists bears a distinctly personal touch. Sundiata taught Ani (along with classmate M. Doughty, later of the band Soul Coughing) at the New School for Social Research in Manhattan in the early 1990s; during a recent joint appearance at the People's Poetry Gathering in New York, DiFranco described him as "the man who taught me everything I know about poetry." When he's not busy inspiring new generations to explore fresh combinations of language and music, Sundiata can be found putting theory into practice in breathtaking live performances and his acclaimed debut disc, "The Blue Oneness of Dreams." On the follow-up, Sundiata evokes Mandela, Coltrane, Hendrix, and Mary J Blige in poem-songs rich with soul, jazz, and hiphop grooves, notable for their political insight, their humor, and their unerring feel for the rhythmic possibilities of speech. As for Lindsay, it was a typically compelling concert appearance of his which inspired Ani to approach the man behind the late-70s "no-wave" band DNA, the mid-80s avant-rock outfit Ambitious Lovers, and a trilogy of bossa-nova-influenced mid-90s solo albums. From their casual conversation emerged an offer to release Arto's next album on RBR. The Brazilian-born American musician (who can currently be heard singing an Antonio Carlos Jobim standard on a TV commercial for Banana Republic, of all things) describes his newest album as striving, among other things, to achieve "a balance between delicacy and power that I have never attempted on a record." That's a mighty appealing tease for admirers of his previous work—which embraces bone-crushing guitar feedback, playfully oblique lyrics, drum'n'bass beats, whispered vocals, Japanese experimentation, and Brazilian song structures. Release dates for both albums will be announced this summer.