Bill MacKay "Fountain Fire (Drag City)"
Hey you! Yeah, you playing the Sunday crossword – you need some music to play while you erase all your wrong answers? Then do I have the artist for you! But let’s get there xword style! First name/4 letters: “Paper money.” Last name part one/3 letters: “____ & Me” 80’s ET Rip. Last name part two/3 letters “Every kiss begins with___” Got it? If you fill in your crossword correctly you’ll see it is Bill MacKay! Perfect for your Sunday foibles (an eccentricity in someone’s character) this delightful mix of mostly acoustic instrumentals will def get your cerebrum going and your phalanges tapping. Check out “Try It On” (with vocals!)
C Duncan "Health"
Is there anyone in music dealing in the kinds of stunning harmonies that C Duncan does these days? Seriously. Those stacked vocals! Come on! ELO wishes they sounded this sweet! Mix all that up with an addition to his singular sound. “What addition” you ask? Well, for the first time, he had outside production, and what production it is! Elbow’s Craig Potter brings along a fuller sound than ever appeared on the first two records. But fear not, everything you love is here, but bigger with hints of disco, Twin Peaks-esque noir chill, and vintage ‘50s pop twists. Check out the disco string stings on “Impossible.”
Ex Hex "It’s Real (Merge)"
It’s Real (Merge)…What is REAL to EX HEX? Is it the ROCK that is real? Well that would be about right – as It’s Real is a full-fledged ROCK album. I mean sure, some of the punk tempos of RIPS are still in the house (“Crystal Caves”), but It’s Real could sit right next to anyone wearing spandex and fingerless gloves and some really, REALLY big hair. Now don’t get me wrong this isn’t METAL, but more that POP-METAL (?) of the 80’s with such bands as Def Leopard leading the fray. As a matter of fact I’m sure Merge is saving up the budget to get Mutt Lang to produce the next Ex-Hex record. In the meantime can I start the public demand that Ex-Hex cover “Round And Round” by Ratt? Well, until my gofundme gets funded, let’s keep busy by having fun hearing the rock joy being spread by Mary Timony and crew on “Rainbow Shiner.”
Nonconnah "Dead roses, digged up zombies, broken pieces of diamonds, live cats (EJRC)"
When you think of Ernest Jenning Records, you think of limited edition noise cassettes, right? What? You don’t? Well, that’s about to change with the release of Nonconnah’s Dead roses, digged up zombies, broken pieces of diamonds, live cats. This new project from Zachary Corsa of Lost Trail is a simultaneously haunting and relaxing collection of tunes from Zach and a group of musical friends that any experimental musician would be happy to feature on their release (Dan Friel, Dustin Wong, Kenneth William, and countless others). Really, this is one you need to hear to get a grasp on, so check out the first track from the album “Rainbow Over Pegasus Field.”