Professor and Maryann Professor and Maryann

This isn’t Gilligan's Island, it’s a stripped-down duo that answers the question: what do you get if Mazzy Star-era Hope Sandoval was backed by a noir-ish Las Vegas acoustic guitarist in a smoky French Riviera dive? Danielle Brancaccio's breathy vocals backed by Ken Rockwell's simple guitar strumming is the kind of act that in the ’30s and ’40s would have been a staple in Raymond Chandler gumshoe films. Rockwell would have a ciggy dangling dangerously from his frowning lips and Brancaccio would be in a slinky black velvet strapless number with red painted lips. Of course the gin would be flowing freely and all fedora-shrouded eyes would be transfixed on Brancaccio. The album's moody simplicity is not what I would expect to come from the Bar None label, but lately it's hard to tell what exactly will come form the horrendously eclectic label. I'm glad they're taking the chance on such acts as this, which normally have a hard time finding backing from a respectable indie label such as this New Jersey-based outfit. (Bar/None)