Wednesday, September 13, 2006

In House #1704: New Richard Buckner, Magnolia Electric Co., Catfish Haven

Singer-songwriter Richard Buckner, it seems, has always been good. Whether it's been a solo recording, a song cycle based on the writing of Edgar Lee Masters, or a full band setting, his music has been consistently engaging and interesting throughout the past decade or so. His eighth full-length, Meadow (out yesterday on Merge) is an example of the latter in the list as Buckner employs the fullest band setting he has ever used, including musicians like former Guided By Voices guitarist Doug Gillard. The result is something different than his past work to be sure, and it may well be the most thoroughly consistent collection of his career. Songs like "Town," and "Lucky," show Buckner using the band to his advantage, with meaty choruses fleshed out by piano, guitar, and drums. Elsewhere, he strips it down for the album's closer, "The Tether & the Tie," nothing if not vintage Buckner. He's currently on tour in support of the new release, and has recently began keeping a road blog of his exploits, full of glimpses from the touring life both intimate and mundane, as well as cryptic statements like "...chased a feral kitten around the parking lot. Let a Grey Goose chase me around my room."

Also out this week is the second studio full-length from the Magnolia Electric Co. since frontman Jason Molina shape-shifted the band out of Songs:Ohia. While there wasn't a lot of noise from the band in the first place, the MEC bring it down a bit further for Fading Trails, a moody boozer of a release that nevertheless still manages to remain more uptempo than Molina's solo work (his Let Me Go, Let Me Go, Let Me Go was also recently issued). "Don't Fade On Me," and "Memphis Moon," are but two moving examples of the Neil Young-esque country noir to be had, and while this may not be the feel good release of the year, it does sound good. Fading Trails is out now on Secretly Canadian.

In House #1704.
Airdate: 9/13/06
Focus: New releases from Richard Buckner, Meadow, and the Magnolia Electric Co., Fading Trails, plus new music from Catfish Haven, Angela Desveaux, The Be Good Tanyas, and more.

Richard Buckner, from Meadow: "Spell" (MP3) and "Town" (MP3)

Magnolia Electric Co., from Fading Trails: "Memphis Moon" (MP3)

King Straggler, from King Straggler: "Good Man" (MP3)

Angela Desveaux, from Wandering Eyes: "Heartbeat" (MP3)



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