Watch Aimee Mann Scoop A Sweet “Goose Snow Cone” And Sing “Can’t You Tell?” on Colbert–Stream Her Impending New Album “Mental Illness”

This Friday the brilliant Aimee Mann will release her highly-anticipated new album, Mental Illness, on Mann’s own SuperEgo Records. It’s her first in five years and one of the best in her nine-album history. The album is perfectly produced and filled with memorable melodies and adroit captures of the mental, modern life. Mann has already revealed the heart-rending, socially-anxious Goose Snow Cone and the masterful keeping-up-with-the-Goldwyns Patient Zero from the album.

Last night Mann appeared on the Colbert Show and, superbly backed by Colbert’s Jon Batiste and Stay Human band, performed Goose Snow Cone. So backed, and replete with with strings and backing vocals, Mann gave a memorable performance of the affecting song.  Check it out below.

As an added, web-exclusive Mann was invited back to sing the melodious, malodorous Can’t You Tell?the song she contributed to an anti-Trump project called 30 Days, 30 Songs. About the song, Mann has said: “I wanted to write about Trump in the first person because I think it’s more interesting to speculate on what people’s inner life might be. I had heard a theory that Trump’s interest in running for President was really kicked off at the 2011 White House Correspondent’s dinner when President Obama basically roasted him, so that’s where I started. And my own feeling was that it wasn’t really the job itself he wanted, but the thrill of running and winning, and that maybe it had all gotten out of hand and was a runaway train that he couldn’t stop.” Watch the stellar web-exclusive performance HERE.


Watch Mondo Cozmo Go Higher and Shine on Jimmy Kimmel Show

We are just over a week into our Mondo Cozmo infatuation, which shows no signs of ebbing. Last night the band appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live in their national TV debut and fulfilled all of our expectations for this skyrocketing band. Aided well by added horn-players and six backup singers, Mondo Cozmo lit up the stage first on their anthem Shine (which you can watch HERE), followed by an electrifying, raving performance of Higher (in a web-only exclusive which you can watch HERE). People: it’s Mondo Cozmo time! Check ’em out!

The band is out on tour now with Bastille and otherwise, and you can see upcoming dates HERE.


Watch Phoebe Bridgers Perform “Smoke Signals” For NPR At SXSW

Phoebe Bridgers has been on our minds a year after Bowie died. While a couple other song contenders have reared their heads (e.g., Middle Kids’ Edge of Town and Mondo Cozmo’s Shine and Hold On To Me), our Song Of The Year (So Far) remains Bridgers’ Smoke Signals. While at SXSW last week, NPR captured Bridgers in her favored Holiday Inn (or some such hotel), avoiding making the bed and performing Smoke Signals. Watch below as percussionist Marshall Vore adds percussive effects and affecting harmonies to Bridgers’ poignant sending of the song. Here’s hoping Smoke Signals is the impressive beginning to a long, illustrious career for Ms. Bridgers.


Watch Aimee Mann’s Affecting New Video for “Goose Snow Cone” And Pick Up Her Great New Album “Mental Illness”

Long-time Lefort-fave Aimee Mann is back with a new, critically-acclaimed album entitled Mental Illness. As usual with this artist, the album (Mann’s ninth) features superb songwriting, arrangements and performances that frame well Mann’s signature vocals. The sound is a bit more restrained on the new album than on some of her recordings, but sweetly so and embellished by soul-stirring strings, which match well the album’s somber themes (whether, as suggested by some, Mann is merely playing into people’s perceptions of her as melancholic and putting us on a bit–she’s actually oft-hilarious as you can read from her Twitter tweets–or baring all, we leave to you dear discerners).

Today Mann revealed a new video for the affecting song Goose Snow Cone off the album. About the song and video Mann says: “I wrote “Goose Snow Cone” when I was on tour in Ireland, on a cold and snowy day. I was feeling very homesick when I saw a picture on Instagram of a cat I know named Goose. Her fluffy white face was looking up at the camera in a very plaintive way, like a little snowball, and I started singing a little song about her that turned into a song about loneliness. I intended to change the lyrics but could never find a phrase to replace the one I started with. When it came time to make a video, I knew the original Goose had to be in it. Her owners are my friends Rob and Puloma who coincidentally produce and direct videos. One of my cats had recently gone through a long illness and I was thinking about that when I came up with the idea for the video, and I knew Puloma had to star in it, as she has a very lovely and expressive face. The vet in the video is my actual vet and he’s a great guy. It was not easy wrangling Goose but the magic of editing makes it all work!”

We completely concur. Oh, and the song is more melodic and moving magic from Mann (lyrics at bottom).

To get more feel for Mental Illness (the album) check out the previously released video for the similarly magical Patient Zero, which you can watch following today’s video. Mann is also out on tour in support of the album (see dates below the videos).

You can pre-order Mental Illness in all formats along with various accoutrements HERE. The album will be officially released on March 31st.


Date Venue Location Tickets Info
04/20/17 Lincoln Theatre Washington, DC Buy Tickets with Jonathan Coulton
04/21/17 Keswick Theatre Glenside, PA Buy Tickets with Jonathan Coulton
04/22/17 The Town Hall New York, NY Buy Tickets with Jonathan Coulton
04/23/17 The Wilbur Boston, MA Buy Tickets with Jonathan Coulton
04/25/17 Hart Theatre, Egg Center for the Performing Arts Albany, NY Buy Tickets with Jonathan Coulton
04/26/17 Danforth Music Hall Toronto, ON Buy Tickets with Jonathan Coulton
04/28/17 The Ark Ann Arbor, MI SOLD OUT
with Jonathan Coulton
04/29/17 Park West Chicago, IL SOLD OUT with Jonathan Coulton
04/30/17 Pabst Theater Milwaukee, WI Buy Tickets with Jonathan Coulton
05/02/17 Barrymore Theatre Madison, WI Buy Tickets with Jonathan Coulton
05/03/17 Fitzgerald Theater St. Paul, MN Buy Tickets with Jonathan Coulton
05/05/17 Boulder Theater Boulder, CO Buy Tickets with Jonathan Coulton
05/06/17 The State Room Salt Lake City, UT SOLD OUT with Jonathan Coulton
05/08/17 The Wilma Missoula, MT Buy Tickets with Jonathan Coulton
05/09/17 Neptune Theatre Seattle, WA Buy Tickets with Jonathan Coulton
05/10/17 Revolution Hall Portland, OR SOLD OUT with Jonathan Coulton
05/12/17 The Fillmore San Francisco, CA Buy Tickets with Jonathan Coulton
05/13/17 The Theatre at the Ace Hotel Los Angeles, CA Buy Tickets with Jonathan Coulton

Goose Snow Cone:

“Lookin’ into the face of the goose snow cone
Should be shaking it loose but you do it alone
Every look is a truce and it’s written in stone

Gotta keep it together when your friends come by
Always checking the weather but they wanna know why
Even birds of a feather find it hard to fly

Thought I saw at my feet an origami crow
It was only the street hidden under the snow
Always snatching defeat, it’s the devil I know

Gotta keep it together when your friends come by
Always checking the weather but they wanna know why
Even birds of a feather find it hard to fly

Lookin’ into the face of the goose snow cone
I could pick up the pace but I couldn’t go on
I just wanted a place but I ended up gone

Gotta keep it together when your friends come by
Always checking the weather but they wanna know why
Even birds of a feather find it hard to fly

Lookin’ into the face of the goose snow cone”


Check Out Kate Tempest’s Riveting, Non-Rosy Performance on The Tonight Show

We first caught wind of talented English rap-poet Kate Tempest in early 2015. Since then this brilliant, frenetic teapot (apologies) has continued to throw-down, and is finally getting the recognition she deserves on this side of the pond (in addition to home). Check out below her recent American TV debut on The Tonight Show. Tempest’s a riveting tour de force not for the weak-of-heart. She means to get into your head and fire some synapses, and for you to aerial some (brain) waves. And to think. And to act. Different.

Check out below her raving performance of her piece Europe is Lost (poetry in full, at bottom) off of last year’s phenomenal album Let Them Eat Chaos. We love the clacking backing band and the 1:56 break when Tempest goes off (on her own) and exhorts until 3:59 when the band renews and she finishes indomitably. A powerful message (the trappings of our conflicted, consumer society and our gracelessness towards “others”/immigrants) and performance from the gallant Tempest.

Tempest‘s North American tour started this week (you can catch her tonight at the Constellation Room in Santa Ana or tomorrow night at Slim’s in SF). Check out the dates below the video and get ye there.

Kate Tempest – 2017 Tour Dates
March 20 San Diego, CA Casbah
March 21 Los Angeles, CA Echoplex
March 22 Santa Ana, CA Constellation Room
March 24 San Francisco, CA Slims
March 26 Boise, ID Treefort Festival
March 27 Seattle, WA Neumos
March 28 Portland, OR Mississippi Studios
March 29 Vancouver, BC Fortune
March 31 Calgary, AB Commonwealth
April 2 Minneapolis, MN 7th Street Entry
April 3 Chicago, IL Lincoln Hall
April 5 Toronto, ON Mod Club
April 6 Montreal, QC Sala Rossa
April 10 Boston, MA Brighton Music Hall
April 11 Philadelphia, PA Boot & Saddle
April 12 Washington, DC U Street Music Hall
April 13 New York, NY Le Poisson Rouge

Europe Is Lost:

“In the basement flat, by the garages
Where people dump their mattresses
Esther’s in her kitchen, making sandwiches
The slats on her blinds are all wonky and skewed
You can see her from the street before she moves out of view
To kick her boots off tired feet
She wipes her forehead with her wrist
She’s just back from a double shift
Esther’s a carer, doing nights
Behind her, on the kitchen wall
Is a black and white picture of swallows in flight
Her eyes are sore, her muscles ache
She cracks a beer and swigs it
She holds it to her thirsty lips
And necks it till it’s finished
It’s 04:18 AM again
Her brain is full from all she’s done that day
She knows that she won’t sleep a wink
Before the Sun is on its way
She’s worried ’bout the world tonight
She’s worried all the time
She don’t know how she’s supposed
To put it from her mind

Europe is lost, America lost, London lost
Still we are clamouring victory
All that is meaningless rules
We have learned nothing from history
The people are dead in their lifetimes
Dazed in the shine of the streets
But look how the traffic’s still moving
System’s too slick to stop working
Business is good, and there’s bands every night in the pubs
And there’s two for one drinks in the clubs
And we scrubbed up well
Washed off the work and the stress
And now all we want’s some excess
Better yet; a night to remember that we’ll soon forget
All of the blood that was bled for these cities to grow
All of the bodies that fell
The roots that were dug from the earth
So these games could be played
I see it tonight in the stains on my hands
The buildings are screaming
I can’t ask for help though, nobody knows me
Hostile, worried, lonely
We move in our packs and these are the rights we were born to
Working and working so we can be all that we want
Then dancing the drudgery off
But even the drugs have got boring
Well, sex is still good when you get it

To sleep, to dream, to keep the dream in reach
To each a dream, don’t weep, don’t scream
Just keep it in, keep sleeping in
What am I gonna do to wake up?

I feel the cost of it pushing my body
Like I push my hands into pockets, and softly
I walk and I see it, this is all we deserve
The wrongs of our past have resurfaced
Despite all we did to vanquish the traces
My very language is tainted
With all that we stole to replace it with this
I am quiet, feeling the onset of riot
Riots are tiny though, systems are huge
Traffic keeps moving, proving there’s nothing to do
‘Cause it’s big business, baby, and its smile is hideous
Top down violence, a structural viciousness
Your kids are dosed up on medical sedatives
But don’t worry bout that, man, worry ’bout terrorists
The water level’s rising! The water level’s rising!
The animals, the elephants, the polar bears are dying!
Stop crying, start buying, but what about the oil spill?
Shh, no one likes a party pooping spoil sport
Massacres, massacres, massacres/new shoes
Ghettoised children murdered in broad daylight
By those employed to protect them
Live porn streamed to your pre-teen’s bedrooms
Glass ceiling, no headroom
Half a generation live beneath the breadline
Oh, but it’s happy hour on the high street
Friday night at last lads, my treat!
All went fine till that kid got glassed in the last bar
Place went nuts, you can ask our Lou
It was madness, road ran red, pure claret
And about them immigrants? I can’t stand them
Mostly, I mind my own business
They’re only coming over here to get rich, it’s a sickness
England! England! Patriotism!
And you wonder why kids want to die for religion?
It goes, work all your life for a pittance
Maybe you’ll make it to manager, pray for a raise
Cross the beige days off on your beach babe calendar
The anarchists are desperate for something to smash
Scandalous pictures of fashionable rappers
In glamorous magazines, who’s dating who?
Politico cash in an envelope
Caught sniffing lines off a prostitutes’ prosthetic tits
Now it’s back to the house of lords with slapped wrists
They abduct kids and f@#ck the heads of dead pigs
But him in a hoodie with a couple of spliffs
Jail him, he’s the criminal
Jail him, he’s the criminal
It’s the BoredOfItAll generation
The product of product placement and manipulation
Shoot ’em up, brutal, duty of care
Come on, new shoes, beautiful hair, bullshit!
Saccharine ballads and selfies, and selfies, and selfies
And here’s me outside the palace of ME!
Construct a self and psychosis
Meanwhile the people were dead in their droves
And, no, nobody noticed; well, some of them noticed
You could tell by the emoji they posted

Sleep like a gloved hand covers our eyes
The lights are so nice and bright and let’s dream
But some of us are stuck like stones in a slipstream
What am I gonna do to wake up?

We are lost, we are lost, we are lost
And still nothing, will stop, nothing pauses
We have ambitions and friendships and courtships to think of
Divorces to drink off the thought of
The money, the money, the oil
The planet is shaking and spoiled
And life is a plaything
A garment to soil
The toil, the toil
I can’t see an ending at all
Only the end
How is this something to cherish?
When the tribesmen are dead in their deserts
To make room for alien structures
Develop, develop
And kill what you find if it threatens you
No trace of love in the hunt for the bigger buck
Here in the land where nobody gives a f@$ck”


Check Out New R&B Force: Khalid

There’s a new, young (but wise beyond his years) force in R&B. Khalid is a 19-year-old Texan (by way of Germany) whose new album American Teen is cracking the charts open and garnering critical raves. To get a feel for the soulful, sagacious force that is Khalid, check out his recent performance of single Location on The Tonight Show as graciously backed by The Roots. Afterwards check out other phenomenal snippets from the singer (including Location’s official video, the powerful Saved, the slinky skate shots in the Shot Down video and the album’s stellar title track). Khalid’s songs are filled with hooks and ladders tailing off to higher places. Step right up. The artist and his songs are infectious.

American Teen is out now on Right Hand/RCA.


Cause for Celebration: Listen to Feist’s Illuminating New Song “Pleasure”

It’s been entirely too long. Leslie Feist lights up the darker corners of this world with her music, and (have you noticed?) there has recently been a dire dimming. Thankfully that is about to change. Late today Feist revealed the title track from her imminent album Pleasure (due April 28th). Check the beguiling new track below (lyrics at bottom).

Feist has said this about the album: “I made this record last winter with 2 of my closest friends, Mocky and Renaud LeTang. I was raw and so were the takes. Our desire was to record that state without guile or go-to’s and to pin the songs down with conviction and our straight up human bodies. I titled the album Pleasure like I was planting a seed or prophecizing some brightness. The experience of pleasure is mild or deep, sometimes temporal, sometimes a sort of low grade lasting, usually a motivator. If the way you look at things is how they look then my motivation is to look with a brighter eye.”

The new song is a tour de force, with a minimalist approach (initially) that heightens the song’s tensions and release as it builds and builds. Classic Feist. Our pleasure to have her back.


“Get what I want
And still it’s a mysterious thing that I want
So when I get it
I make sense of a mysterious thing
‘Cause I’ve taken flight on such a serious wing
I, and you are the same and
Either fiction or dreaming

We know enough to admit
We know enough to admit
We know enough to admit

It’s my pleasure
And your pleasure
It’s my pleasure
And your pleasure

Oh, an echo calls up the line
An indication of time
Our togetherness
That is how we evolved
We became our needs
Ages up inside
Escaping similar pain
Dreaming safe and secure
Generations in line
Old and then the youth
Come to meet or fade
A chromosomal raid
Built by what we got built for
As much as what we avoid
So the mystery lifts

We know enough to admit
We know enough to admit

It’s my pleasure
And your pleasure
It’s my pleasure
And your pleasure
That’s the same
That’s what we’re here for!
Pleasure, it’s my pleasure
It’s my pleasure, it’s my pleasure
That’s what we’re here for!
Pleasure, it’s my pleasure
It’s my pleasure, it’s my pleasure
That’s what we’re here for!
Pleasure, oh

You know it’s true
Pleasure, pleasure
Pleasure, pleasure
Pleasure, pleasure
Pleasure, pleasure”


You Must Hear This–The Big Bold Sounds of New Band Mondo Cozmo

We love long, car-bound sojourns when we can finally wade through the deep musical deluge that flows our way. We were minding our own business out on the high-desert highways recently when the big bold sounds of Mondo Cozmo came on the car stereo and nearly caused us to careen off course. Such is the effect of this band, which is led by Joshua Ostrander (formerly with Eastern Conference Champions).

In a classic “oh-my-who-the-heck-is-this-and-why-have-I-never-heard-them-before?!!” moment, their astounding anthem Hold On to Me came over the speakers and immediately floored us. Not only does the T-Rex/Bowie-meets-Oasis-and-The Verve-with-best-ever-Dylan-vocals melange immediately seize your ears, but thematically the song also hits the heartstrings hard (lyrics below). Perhaps the best introduction to the track is to watch its emotion-inducing video immediately below (beware: water may drip from your head). The video features actress Anna Faris and was filmed at OPICA, which provides “comprehensive personalized services for adults challenged with memory loss, as well as respite and peace of mind for their families.” Amen.

Next up came Shine, an anthem of stadium-swaying proportions that’s rife with big-heart sentiments. Check out its lyric-video below (followed by the song’s official video and a recent live performance on KCRW). Shine is a powerful hymn that bears repeating (but only a thousand times). And the production (credit?) is absolutely perfect. Wow!

To continue your/our Mondo Cozmo dive, next check out the swaying shimmy of Plastic Soul as performed on KCRW (with Ostrander wielding an Ian Felice-esque, world-weary vocal–highest praise possible). According to Ostrander the track was “written for David Bowie and it’s about time travel.” Uh-huh. Afterwards, check out the raging Chemical Dream, which adds on sweet Lou Reed and Joseph Arthur motifs to the mix. And finally, check out the locomotion of Higher in which the band layers on elements of Blur, the Stones and LCD Soundsystem to powerful effect.

With such great songs and delivery, Mondo Cozmo is a sure to be a shining star in the musical cosmos. The band will soon release their first album entitled Regrowth on Republic Records.  The band is also out on tour now so catch them at their SXSW dates, opening for Bastille or at the festivals as shown at bottom.

Hold On To Me:

“Why you sitting on your broken-hearted hands tonight?
You wanna sing like us? You gotta rip your eyes out

No one has ever loved you more than this
Why don’t you come and feel it out?

I can’t promise you anything, but I can tell you I’ll never leave

Hold on to me

Why you sitting on your broken-hearted hands tonight?
You wanna run with us you gotta rip your brains out

I have loved you for a thousand lives
What’s one more night for us to give?

I can’t promise you anything, but I can tell you I’ll never leave

Hold on to me”

Mondo Cozmo – North American Tour Dates With Bastille:

03/17 – Cedar Street – Austin, TX *
03/17 – Stubb’s Bar-B-Q – Austin, TX *
03/22 – Exit/In – Nashville, TN *
03/24 – Air Canada Centre – Toronto, ON
03/26 – Bell Centre – Montreal, QC
03/27 – Agganis Arena – Boston, MA
03/28 – Eagle Bank Arena – Fairfax, VA
03/30 – Barclays Center – Brooklyn, NY
03/31 – Mohegan Sun – Uncasville, CT
04/02 – Elliott Hall of Music – W. Lafayette, IN
04/03 – Aragon Ballroom – Chicago, IL
04/04 – Bradley University – Peoria, IL
04/06 – Smart Financial Center – Sugar Land, TX
04/07 – Bold Sphere Music – New Orleans, LA
04/09 – Verizon Theatre – Grand Prairie, TX
04/11 – Comerica Theatre – Phoenix, AZ
04/13 – UCCU Center – Salt Lake City, UT
04/14 – The Chelsea at The Cosmopolitan – Las Vegas, NV
04/23 – Greek Theatre – San Francisco, CA
04/25 – Keller Auditorium – Portland, OR
04/26 – WaMu Theatre – Seattle, WA
04/27 – UBC Thunderbird Arena – Vancouver, BC
04/29 – Taco Bell Arena – Boise, ID
04/30 – Theatre at Brick Breeden Fieldhouse – Bozeman. MT
05/02 – Orpheum Theatre – Omaha, NE
05/03 – 7 Flags Events Center – Des Moines, IA
05/05 – Ascend Amphitheatre – Nashville, TN
05/06 – Charlotte Metro Credit Union Amphitheatre – Charlotte, NC
05/07 – St. Augustine Amphitheatre – St. Augustine, FL
05/09 – Orlando Amphitheater – Orlando, FL
05/10 – Fox Theatre – Atlanta, GA
05/12 – Red Hat Amphitheatre – Raleigh, NC
05/13 – Shaky Knees Festival – Atlanta, GA +
05/20 – Hangout Music Festival – Gulf Shores, AL +
05/26 – Sasquatch Music Festival – George, WA +
05/28 – Boston Calling – Boston, MA +
06/04 – The Governors Ball Music Festival – New York, NY +
06/08 – Bonnaroo Music Festival – Manchester, TN +
06/17 – Firefly Music Festival – Dover, DE +
07/14 – Forecastle Festival – Louisville, KY +
* Headlining dates w/o Bastille
+ Festival dates w/o Bastille


Watch Spoon Completely Captivate on Corden

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It’s a good week for TV rock ‘n roll (and America) when Spoon appears twice on the talk shows. Last night’s showing was a bit different than we’re used to from Britt Daniels and the boys. We’re more used to seeing Spoon rock hard as if post-spoon (see Exhibit A, this week’s performance of Hot Thoughts on Kimmel). But Spoon will occasionally break out a ballad(-ish). Even when they do, though, they can’t help pulsing it for a bit. Check out the band vacillating and wowing below while performing I Ain’t The One on James Corden’s show last night. Great stuff from the always-reliable Spoon. Their new album is out on Matador on March 17th. Get it.


Watch A Magnificent Performance of “Magnificent (She Says)” By Elbow–Tickets On Sale Today for November North American Tour

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Long-time Lefort faves Elbow have just released their seventh album, the impressive and critically-lavished Little Fictions. The band recently announced (see the video announcement at bottom, followed by the tour dates) that they will tour North America in November, including November 14th at the Observatory in Santa Ana and November 16th at The Wiltern in LA (where we last caught their fantastic live act).

To get a feel for what they’ll bring across the pond, check out below an astoundingly great take on Magnificent (She Says) from their show in Brussels two weeks ago. They never disappoint!

“Bring your faith in humanity and goodwill with you.” Done.

Go get your tickets HERE.

01 NOV – Paradise Club, Boston MA
02 NOV – Webster Hall, New York City, NY
03 NOV – Webster Hall, New York City, NY
04 NOV – 9:30 Club, Washington, D.C.
06 NOV – Danforth Music Hall, Toronto, ON
07 NOV – St. Andrews Hall, Detroit MI
08 NOV – The Vic, Chicago IL
10 NOV – The Showbox, Seattle, WA
11 NOV – Roseland Theater, Portland OR
13 NOV – Fox Theater, Oakland CA
14 NOV – The Observatory, Santa Ana CA
16 NOV – The Wiltern, Los Angeles CA