By Bill Flanagan
Random House, $23.95.
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As far as indie labels are concerned, Lookout! Records is arguably one of the best. The starting point for alternative/punk luminaries such as Green Day, Operation Ivy, and Rancid, Lookout! is currently home to some of the bigger names in the pop-punk world (notably the Mr. T Experience, the Donnas, the Groovie Ghoulies, the Queers, and Pansy Division). In part to promote its roster, the label hosted a going-away party of sorts in the Bay Area over Labor Day weekend last year to commemorate the Y2K hysteria running rampant at the time. The four-day event proved to be a success, showcasing the label's strong lineup and drawing fans from all over the nation. Although the impending doom of the new millennium never materialized, the event has spurred the second annual Lookout! Freakout tour, which features labelmates the Mr. T Experience, American Steel, and the Eyeliners, all of whom appear on the 24-track Lookout! Freakout! compilation. Who knows which if any bands will go mainstream? But that's the beauty of the show: Nobody cares. Headliners the Mr. T Experience, which experiments with the power pop-punk genre on last year's Alcatraz as well as on its new EP "The Miracle of Shame," is at the head of its class, while newcomer American Steel offers a potent, angst-ridden delivery, and the New Mexico-based outfit the Eyeliners aren't far behind.