Listen to the New Song by The Staves Produced by Justin Vernon (Bon Iver)


As mentioned recently here, The Staves have been recording with Justin Vernon (Bon Iver) at the production helm.  At long last we now have a taste of the musical magic arising from their collaboration.  Check out below the fantastic new track Blood I Bled.  The song begins cabin-slow and then takes off via layers of hectoring horns before planing to a sultry finish on shimmering strings.  Like a seaplane.  We hear in the track shades of the fantastic Feist and Joni Mitchell (no higher praise-by-comparisons in our book).  Superb!  Will be difficult now to stave off (apologies) our anticipation for the impending EP of the same name and their long-promised, Vernon-produced second album.  Bring ‘em on!


Listen to Strand of Oaks Cover of The National’s “Pink Rabbits”


The last year-plus has been incredibly fortuitous for The National, with the band gaining massive popularity following the release of their Best Album of 2013, Trouble Will Find Me, and receiving rapturous crowds on their everlasting tour in support of that album (including at our Best Concert of 2013).  Unfortunately, The National news has recently dwindled down to intermittent glimpses and semaphores from afar.

So we were very happy today to hear Strand of Oaks (and its leader, singer-songwriter Timothy Showalter), had smartly covered The National’s Pink Rabbits, one of our favorite songs off of Trouble Will Find MeStrand of Oaks recently released the heavy new album HEAL to critical acclaim, and we’re just beginning to catch up with the group. We’ll have more about them later.

In the meantime, check out below Strand of Oaks’ synth-laden, heartfelt cover of Pink Rabbits.  We love it.


Video of The Week: Sinkane’s “How We Be”


Here at the Late (Late Late) Show, we’re just getting to know Sinkane, the group led by Sudan-born, Brooklyn-resident Ahmed Gallab (who has also been a member of the Caribou, Yeasayer and Of Montreal ensembles).  Sinkane began releasing records years ago, but it’s only been recently, with the release of new album Mean Love (on City Slang), that we’ve been hearing more (good things) about them.  Sinkane received assistance on the album from the likes of guests Damon Albarn, David Byrne, The Lijadu Sisters, Money Mark, and members of Hot Chip, LCD Soundsystem, The Rapture, and Blood Orange.   Sold!

With videos/songs as great as How We Be below, Sinkane is destined to impress.  Check out the video (directed by Nick Bentgen) in which crazy-great dancers do their thing to this superb, funkified song.  In addition to soul/funk, we hear the pan-African influence in Gallab’s songs and perhaps a flash-ghosting by Curtis Mayfield.  Check the video 0ut below.

Afterwards listen to another outstanding, soulful track (Hold Tight) off the new album.   You can pick up the new album HERE, HERE and HERE.

Sinkane is on tour in Europe right now (check the dates HERE).


Listen To/Watch The Antlers Show at Mack Sennett Studios for Pandora

Pandora Presents The Antlers At StubHub's Next Stage

Last month we attended a special concert by The Antlers at the Mack Sennett Studios in LA sponsored by Pandora/StubHub (read our rave review and view pictures HERE).  The entire show is now available in audio and a portion in video HERE.   It was a great West Coast showing by the East Coast band, and it still bears up well a month later.  Check it out.


Our Song of the Week: Damien Rice’s New “My Favourite Faded Fantasy”


It’s been eight years since Damien Rice released his last album, but the hiatus will soon end when Rice releases the new My Favourite Faded Fantasy, produced by Rick Rubin.  The album is out on November 11th via Warner Bros Records.

This week Rice released the album’s triumphant title track.  The song begins slowly with Rice’s stirring falsetto, but then adds strings, vocals, drums, fuzzy electric guitar, horns and eventually the entire musical-kitchen-sink as the song builds to dramatic conclusion.  Maybe more artists should take eight years.  Check it out below.


Watch California-Centric Video for Angus & Julia Stone’s “Grizzly Bear”


As we wrote recently, Australian sibling-duo Angus & Julia Stone have just released their new eponymous album.  The duo has since been receiving accolades and preparing for a North American tour that is SOLD OUT (see the dates we missed out on below).  They have also released the official video for the breezy and loping track Grizzly Bear off the album.  Check it out below in all its California-centric glory (Joshua Tree, PCH, Big Sur, etc.).

10/06 – House of Blues – San Diego, CA – SOLD OUT
10/07 – The Regent – Los Angeles, CA – SOLD OUT
10/08 – The Independent – San Francisco, CA – SOLD OUT
10/10 – Vogue Theatre – Vancouver, BC – SOLD OUT
10/11 – Aladdin Theater – Portland, OR – SOLD OUT
10/12 – Neumos – Seattle, WA – SOLD OUT
10/14 – Urban Lounge – Salt Lake City, UT – SOLD OUT
10/15 – Gothic Theatre – Englewood, CO – SOLD OUT
10/17 – Majestic Theatre – Madison, WI – SOLD OUT
10/18 – Cedar Cultural Center – Minneapolis, MN – SOLD OUT
10/19 – Lincoln Hall – Chicago, IL – SOLD OUT
10/21 – Opera House – Toronto, ON – SOLD OUT
10/22 – Virgin Mobile Corona Theatre – Montreal, QC – SOLD OUT
10/23 – The Sinclair – Cambridge, MA – SOLD OUT
10/25 – Sixth & I Historic Synagogue – Washington, DC – SOLD OUT
10/27 – Music Hall of Williamsburg – Brooklyn, NY – SOLD OUT
10/28 – Bowery Ballroom – New York, NY – SOLD OUT
10/29 – Union Transfer – Philadelphia, PA – SOLD OUT


Watch Ryan Adams on Late Night Talk Shows


Ryan Adams is out on tour in support of his critically-acclaimed new album Ryan Adams (which has tied his highest Metacritic rating), and he’ll play the Arlington in Santa Barbara on October 1st (tickets HERE, though it appears to be sold out).  While at it, he’s appeared on both the Letterman and Fallon shows in the last week.  Check out below as Dave Letterman gushes about Adams’ performance of Gimme Something Good off the new album on the Late Show.  Afterwards watch last week’s additional performances on The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon (first, a song off the new album about somebody named Kim, followed by a superb, unplugged performance of great new song My Wrecking Ball).


My Wrecking Ball:


Watch Elbow’s Bucolic Video for “Real Life (Angel)”


Somehow we missed the release by faves Elbow of the official video for track Real Life (Angel) off of their fantastic album, The Take Off and Landing of Everything.  Check out below the video directed by Soup Company.  With all its pastoral, bucolic beauty, you’ll fancy venturing off to Snowdonia, Wales to go swimming as the “music pulls you through” to a”hallelujah morning.”  (Californians: that’s called w-a-t-e-r and r-a-i-n.  You remember, right?)


Watch Interpol Perform “All The Rage Back Home” on Letterman Show


Interpol showed up on the Late Show last night and rallied well around our recent “Song of The Week” All The Rage Back Home, off their much-acclaimed new album El Pintor.  Check it out below, including Dave’s request at the end to “join the band.”


Surprise, Surprise: The Replacements Played on Fallon–And They Were Great!

Back in the day, you never knew what you were going to get with a concert by The Replacements.  Though they were always near-perfection on record, their live shows could either yield sloppy-shambolics or spot-on revelation, or both.  Frankly it was oft-times more of the former (though we’ll never forget those mid-80s Here Comes A Regular singalongs).  After a near-20 year hiatus, the “band” (survivors Paul Westerberg and bassist Tommy Stinson, with newcomers Dave Minehan and Josh Freese) got back together, and have been out on tour for a while now.

Last night, the band showed up on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, and the Minneapolis mavens ripped through a rousing performance of their 1987 homage to late Big Star leader Alex ChiltonJimmy Fallon introduced them as a “massively beloved and influential rock band in the midst of their first tour since 1991,” and off they went.  Unlike many of the old shows, the band played tightly on Fallon with nary a note out of place.  Westerberg’s vocals were fantastically gravelly, and Stinson held down the bottom-end while adopting his best Simonon/Vicious stances.  Thankfully Minehan played in and with the plaid and abandon of yore.  Check it out below.  Long live the ‘Mats!

Now please excuse us while we go put Tim and Big Star on our turntables.

Sidenote:  Sadly earlier Tonight Show guest Keith Richards (hawking a children’s book–huh?) missed the opportunity to come out and join The Replacements in what would have been a historic combo.  See above, though.