I talked with Zachary Corsa last week to say that I would get a review out about a new album by his project Nonconnah. Nonconnah is a duo of Zachary and his wife Denny. I booked a related project of their's, Lost Trail, a few years ago. I remember that show going well but not many details of it, and Lost Trails golden drones made me lose sense of reality, for moments entering an other world of Faerie or something similar. While I looked at this album, Dead Roses, Digged Up Zombies, Broken Pieces Of Diamonds, Live Cats, I felt small compared to its vastness. "I got scared; I put my phone back in place." After some deliberation and resolve, I have decided to face such a dawn as this. Here we go into the void.

Oh yeah, wait, I still have to talk about the album cover. The cover art for Dead Roses, Digged Up Zombies, Broken Pieces Of Diamonds, Live Cats was created by Zachary's mother, E.M. Corsa, which is pretty cool. It is a nice, neutral cardboard color. I usually don't like this, but it works well here with what I see as a friendly dog creature in a soft environment. Perhaps it is a spirit fox of Japanese myth levitating above a bed instead. That's kind of scary; I might start hiding again. How about those cute dogs and comfy beds?

 The album starts with "Rainbow Over Pegasus Field" which has a nice rising tone, a glitchy sunrise that slowly evolves over three minutes into bells and bats and the soft calls of night. "This Faded Glow Of Ours" is soft with post-rock strings creeping in through the static rivers of phonographic noise. "To Pass Through The Walls And Vanish" has some warbling ghost voices, coughing campfire rattles and chokes, and a tittering snare. "Path Of Tonality/Rapture Drugs" raises the noise levels into a harsh realm. Creatures howl as others moan and chant and the world dissolves. On the fifth track, I learned that "The Light Of A Dead Star Is Not Something To Fuck Around With" as a choir comes thru nearly overwhelming static-stics like nine-year-old me watching anime on the Sci-Fi channel through multicolored snow. The radio sounds at the end were pleasant. "All Those Days, As If Spent In A Fugue State" is eerie and off-putting, a cold slab in a morgue. Strings circle around, flies and gnats drowsy and drifting, drooping after downing dried fermented honey. Or perhaps, this is the view from the corner in the room as seen from those who are between worlds, the scene of the NDE. "Treading Unhallowed Ground" doesn't sound like it would be so bad at first. It sounds kind of dreamy here, but the odd voices that warble at the edges of the sonic landscape seem foreboding of something unwell though not altogether sinister.

"Hill Country Harbinger" is calming after all of the oddness in the last few tracks. I enjoyed the sound like stepping through a thin veil of water. Some people celebrate at the end. "Ceremonial Magic & Wicked Wires" sounds like what that celebration may turn into with the joyful fair reverberating thru alleys and townhouses. "Ego Death At Houston Levee" goes back to cold air eerieness. I have to say that even when Nonconnah sounds kind of creepy, there's something calming about it. Many of these tracks have a relaxed and religious tone to their sound. The end of "Ego Death At Houston Levee" has an interesting little tune too. "Ceiling To Ceiling Transmission Antenna" is another calm piece with another buzzing insect flitting about. The listener pushes through majestic clouds, guided by clarinet and a faucet of pure noise. "Flickering At The Borders Of The Frame" is a scary name for a similarly grim tone. Countless somethings writhe in a black somewhere overtaking the slight synth sounds that cross the air. Eventually, everything kind of coalesces into one and the new sound creator seems like they might be getting used to their condition, but it is hard for me to say. "When You Begin To Blur" is some swamp sound Bad Moon Rising interlude. It's another haunted track. I swear that an orb appeared while I was listening to it and possessed me to write this word. That's some heavy stuff. Speaking of heavy, "We Love Our Rotting Industrial Dystopia" is a heavy name, and I wonder if this one is partially serious and partially satirical. I know that Zachary Corsa takes a lot of pfotos of destroyed buildings and the like, but the name also comes off as a message about America's misguided goals and dreams.

"Half-Built Future Homes" is more droney celestialisms, an organ-esque sound on a sea of light. "Last And Languid Waves" is not the last track, but does sound like the closing track to a film. It's an interstellar drum pileup. "Sorrow Mountain And Assorted Haunting" continues a bit where the last track tapered off but in a spookier way. Instead of a heavenly celebration, it's more like poltergeist activity. The drums beat around in the magnetic resonance of ghosts. Perhaps the "Void Heirlooms Beneath The Floorboards" created the assorted haunting. It's another windy world, this time with a long monologue of lost words. "A Shimmering Veil Pulled Taut Against The Sky" is more warbly wind. "Erasing Spells/Magnet Dragged Over VHS" sounds pretty cool, but these last tracks seem a bit extraneous to me. However, I am not one of the creators of Dead Roses, Digged Up Zombies, Broken Pieces Of Diamonds, Live Cats. The last track is good for sure: "Black Construction Paper Ghosts With Red Glitter Eyes" brings more melody and charm to the album to close it out. "Can we have the lights dimmed to black?"

Dead Roses, Digged Up Zombies, Broken Pieces Of Diamonds, Live Cats is a long journey through the sound of light and the things found along the starlit path. I enjoyed the album overall, but it feels quite long for something of this type. Many of these tracks are formless windy meanderings; the lack of pop structure is both a positive and negative. I felt a bit overwhelmed and lost, though the album also presents something alien to most people making it particularly unique. The odd sounds, guest stars, and care given across the album are what sets this above, even if it could be a little shorter. I will definitely listen more to Dead Roses, Digged Up Zombies, Broken Pieces Of Diamonds, Live Cats and see what cosmic knowledge can be gained from such things. I hope that you will at least give it a chance.

Dead Roses, Digged Up Zombies, Broken Pieces Of Diamonds, Live Cats receives a Good.

I've mentioned this previously, but the last month and a little earlier was a mess for me. I was covered by a veil embroidered with anxiety about death and the fate of the world. In my despair and confusion, the soundtrack full of lofi hip-hop beats from YouTube, I read about an artist called SPELLLING and her own dreams of alien life and other words. Her new album is called Mazy Fly, named after a seemingly gentle spirit of the air. The album resonates with my recent feelings. Let me tell you about it.

The cover art shows SPELLLING glowing amongst an audience of curious cattle, seemingly referencing the correlation between alien visitations and livestock. Her glow gives her an otherworldly quality that the cattle are picking up on. There's also a contrast to The Beach Boys famous Pet Sounds akin to The Clash's London Calling contrasting with Elvis' self-titled album. There's the same kind of text formatting and song list, but while The Beach Boys were standing up feeding the animals, SPELLLING is on the floor amongst them while simultaneously also wearing a cowboy hat. Does technological progress make us the cowboy or put us out to pasture?

The first track, "Red" starts out warbling, vinyl grain, before transferring into a psychedelic, hypnotic Bowie/Yoko Ono pseudo-R&B murmuring. "Haunted Water" comes in with a fantasy journey of synthesizers and drum machines, a song of the Lady of the Lake. The rhythm of the vocals reminds me of "Bridge Over Troubled Water" by Simon & Garfunkel, though that's just a shadow on the surface of something that runs deeper. The various instrumental layers create something that comes from one side of the night, somewhere under the stairs or in a dark closet, something that you hear through walls covered in static. On "Hard to Please" I hear the haunting voices of sirens in a cavern that is mostly submerged. That beat that runs across the surface has a nice solid 'thump' to it. "Golden Numbers" is beautiful, swooning, off-kilter post-war pop. "Melted Wings" is eerie stuff, synthesizer wind painted on by dark strings. "Under the Sun" finishes Side A with a vision of the future in spacy ambiance and near-electro. SPELLLING's techno-prayer inspires me with confidence against my own fears of cosmic voids.

A damp wah-soaked guitar drips down my sight as "Real Fun" starts. This one is explicitly about aliens, musical organs rising up to signal the new age as the air stirs and kids cry out. The song elevates into a dramatic Stooges crescendo before turning in to something like The X-Files. "Hard to Please (Reprise)" opens with a Prince-ish pseudo-pop cheer, a call to the aliens to take her with them (like when the purple one himself sang "Take Me With U" to Apollonia). Prince himself sang about the afterlife on "Let's Go Crazy", and the next song is about just that. This one has more of the Stooges melodrama with saxophones and droning guitars. This song speaks to me after all of the reading I've been doing about metaphysics, religion, and quantum mechanics. "The cavities in my brain are growing a garden," has so many meanings after all of my studying. "Afterlife" is airy, spacey, and mixed with heavenly vocals.

I think "Afterlife" would have made a good ending, but the album keeps going, as we do. "Dirty Desert Dreams" has a more melodic Nico and maybe a bit of Nancy Sinatra. SPELLLING's vocals cross the skies before the song erupts into a funk jam that fades out. The calm "Secret Thread" goes more into the afterlife visions of "the sky at night" and speaks about the "Mazy Fly" who lives up in the clouds. This is what ties the whole thing together, soft chambers to distorted strings and more. And at the end, "Falling Asleep" combines heavy club beats with childhood chimes. Are we butterflies dreaming of being humans?

Mazy Fly is a truly experimental album combining funk, 60s pop, electro, ambient, and New Age in the spirit of Prince or David Bowie. The stories told here about aliens, technology, and the search for lands beyond, both metaphorical and physical and maybe even metaphysical, are as old as time, but SPELLLING has brought new meaning and life to them on Mazy Fly.

Mazy Fly receives a Good.

On February 23rd, Kim Phuc was set to play at The Funhouse at Mr. Smalls. I've mentioned this place before; it's a smaller, cozier, and overall cooler venue than the huge former church that is the main building. I like going to shows here, and Kaiti and I were excited to go to this one.

We missed the first band like true lame-os because we left the house late. Autoreplicant sounded okay from downstairs. I'm sure I'll see them some other time

We did see Limousine Beach, a band that I had heard of before but never seen. They reminded me of Carousel, having the same frontman and a similar cheesy rock sound. Limousine Beach is playing up this kind of Kung Fury 80s neon aesthetic, at least from what I can tell, but sort of in a 70s hard rock, Kiss way. Some of the songs had the inane comedy of stuff like The Replacements' "Tommy Gets His Tonsils Out". It was fun, and it made a lot of sense to watch them play under the little points of light of the back, black wall at The Funhouse.

The second band for goobers that missed the first band (but the third band overall) was Microwaves. It was really loud for that space, that pulsing energy of Flying Lutenbachers/Melvins/Devo/Voivod elements that I have come to know. There is not much I can say about it that hasn't already been said. It's mathy noise rock, and it is good.

Kim Phuc was last, and they seemed in top form. I hadn't seen this band for at least five years, though they did play Skull Fest last year and maybe some other shows. Again, they were pretty loud for what really makes sense for that room, but it was heavy and wild, a camera roll of Iggy Pop in motion. The guitars had an excellent wobbling slashy sound from start to finish. The audience wanted an encore at the end, but there was none.

It was good to see Kim Phuc thrash out again. I was okay with the crowd not trying to kill me and each other too, though some might see that as boring. I think Rob, the frontman, supplied enough writhing for the whole building.

I discovered Wahono, an electronic producer from Jakarta, Indonesia, only recently. He's been releasing music for a few years now with his own label DIVISI 62 and thru Brooklyn label, Madjazz. I just heard  this new single earlier today.

The cover art to the single shows what looks like almost like an eye in maroon on a brown paper background. Various subtle designs are incorporated throughout the image. There's not much to look at here, but the colors make me think of the sounds contained within these files.

"Prambanan" opens with clicking and a gong. The song features various percussive elements in a discordant eerieness. I feel like I am being chased through the dark of the Other World. The layers of ghostly voices, bells, and drums creates a new reality for the listener.

Going to the other side, "Mabad" opens with a loop of voices as more metallic, percussive sounds enter the world. This track features more eerie vocals, though I do not know what they are saying. Slight oscillations in the air bring about an uneasiness, while various instruments enter and exit in unusual patterns.

"Prambanan" and "Mabad" are both stellar tracks that incorporate dance, electronica, and found sounds to make something that is almost otherworldly. Just check it out. It's great.

Prambanan / Mabad receives a Good.

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