It was harder than ever to distill the city's music scene into one 15-song compilation CD. Good thing we're professionals. Grab a copy of Alive Amplified this weekend from our Short North street team or come out tonight for a free release show featuring Sinatra, Karate Coyote and Day Creeper. Here's a bit about each track.

It was harder than ever to distill the city's music scene into one 15-song compilation CD. Good thing we're professionals. Grab a copy of Alive Amplified this weekend from our Short North street team or come out tonight for a free release show featuring Sinatra, Karate Coyote and Day Creeper. Here's a bit about each track.

1. Hotel Eden, "Tell Me Where You've Been"

Piano-laden power pop from Kelly Warner, a former Lab Rat and one of the catchiest songwriters in town.

2. Tin Armor, "The Roof and the Rod"

With a stunner from last year's self-titled EP, Tin Armor proves they're as adept with interlocking rhythms as with lung-busting pop-punk melodies.

3. NiQ feat. J. Digg, "City Behind Me"

Professing love for Columbus and girls in Old Navy fleece, one of local hip-hop's rising stars shines brightly on this club banger.

4. House of Heroes, "In the Valley of the Dying Sun"

A soaring, multipart ballad about life, death and faith from one of the city's best and most successful indie-rock outfits.

5. Day Creeper, "Problem at Hand"

Like Stephen Malkmus fronting a Pabst-swilling garage band, Aaron Troyer unleashes his gift for pop songwriting.

6. Karate Coyote, "Move Yourself"

Here, the indie-rock sextet weaves a seemingly boundless array of voices, guitars, keyboards and drums into something singular and potent.

7. The Main Street Gospel, "All Your Love Is Gone"

MSG grew up with vintage rock and soul, and those roots go deep on this selection from a great seven-inch released in January.

8. Couch Forts, "Drones"

The CD's most unique band presents a mystic hoedown with wit and whimsy plucked from the back caverns of Owen Kelley's subconscious.

9. Sick Thrills, "Do What You Want"

This is the best kind of punk: loud, energetic and hooky. It's a lovely, nearly indecipherable mess.

10. Six Gallery, "Say Matte"

Adding a singer to the band's tight, layered indie rhythms was clearly a move in the right direction. They've never sounded better.

11. Ghost Shirt, "Waitress"

They may not be the only true pop songwriters in town, but this melodious folk-rock number posits them as some of the best.

12. Nick Tolford and Company, "Until I Walk Away"

The former Slide Machine bassist returns with this solo project. He's now the closest thing in Columbus to Solomon Burke.

13. Liquid Crystal Project, "Fat Mattress"

Grind-tested producer and musician J. Rawls combines his first loves - jazz and hip-hop - on a stellar instrumental breakdown.

14. Sinatra, "Get It How I Live"

The DJ Drama-affiliated MC drops his money-grubbing mission statement over massive-sounding ceremonial synthesizers.

15. The Floorwalkers, "Good Word"

Ending on an up note, we turn to one of this town's most well-rounded ensembles as they spread the good word.