1
Aug

Watch Son Lux’s Affecting Official Video for “Lanterns Lit”

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Son Lux is essentially Ryan Lott, a classically-trained musician and composer who has written music for various projects.  But beginning in 2008 Lott also began to release music under his nom de paix, Son Lux.  In all candor, we somewhat missed the boat on Son Lux until recently when Lott collaborated with Sufjan Stevens and Serengeti on the worthy Sisyphus project.  Prior to Sisyphus, Son Lux released Lanterns last year, and many believe it his/their best collection of songs yet. The album featured the likes of The Antlers’ Peter Silberman, mandolin virtuoso Chris Thile, DM Stith, and others.

Fast forward to this week when Son Lux released the inspirational and affecting official video for the album’s Lanterns Lit, which you can watch below.  The video was directed and produced by SJ Finlay who writes this about the video:  “This music video was made while shooting a short film to help children at risk in South East Asia. To keep updated about the release of that film and the project, search for #ChildrenofChange.”  The song and video are perfectly matched.

Afterwards, watch a sensational solo-piano rendering of the same song for Soundcheck.  As you will hear, Lott’s perfect siren-singing makes his collaborations with the similar-sounding Sufjan Stevens and Peter Silberman make even more sense.  The song and performance are beauty defined.

You can buy Lanterns HERE.

31
Jul

Watch Temples Perform On Fallon’s Tonight Show

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Last night British psychedelic upstarts Temples made their late night debut on The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon and performed their subtly-masterful track Shelter Song from their critically-acclaimed debut album Sun Structures.   We’re just getting up to speed on this band and, though there’s nothing brand new under the sun (structure) here, these lads seem to be masters of the genre and working hard to eclipse their influences.  Time will tell.

30
Jul

Our Infatuation: Caribou’s “Can’t Do Without You”

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We have been infatuated with Canada’s Caribou (Dan Snaith at core) for quite some time (their song Odessa was our 12th Best Song of 2010).  And four years later, they’ve done it again.  Check out their just-released Extended Remix of their mesmerizing Can’t Do Without You track.  The track is the first single off of their impending new album Our Love (out October 7th on Merge–we’ll have lots more on this album in due time). You can pre-order the album on LP or CD and digitally at iTunes.

Speaking of infatuation, for a good portion of the song it’s lyrics consist solely of the song-title repeated ad hypnotism (yeah, we made that up).  It just builds and builds.  And then it builds some more.  We can’t do without it.  Put it on repeat and get infatuated.

30
Jul

Watch Janelle Monáe’s Official Video for “Electric Lady”

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We love all things Janelle Monáe.  The talented, hyper-intelligent Monáe has finally put out the official video for her superb Electric Lady single from the album of the same name.  Said album is a tour de force that easily made our Best Albums of 2013 list.  Check it out below in which Monáe attends an “Electro Phi Beta” sorority party and features lots of dance, a marching band, and cameos from the singer’s mom, T.I., Esperanza Spalding, and Kimbra, amongst others.  An outstanding song and video entertainment for days.  This Electric Lady is finally getting the attention she has long-deserved.  Brava!

29
Jul

Watch Jenny Lewis Perform on Fallon’s Tonight Show

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Today the gifted Jenny Lewis released her phenomenal new album The Voyager.  To commemorate the release she showed up on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and performed the ponderous and pensive track Just One of the Guys.   Check it out below, including the ending in which some cross-dressing, old-school break-dancers strut their stuff.  As we said, ponderous.  Still pondering.  But the song and performance are the usual greatness from Lewis.

28
Jul

Watch Lucius Perform “Two of Us On the Run”

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Word is coming in regarding last weekend’s annual Newport Folk Festival.  In addition to Glastonbury, Newport’s on ye olde bucket list.  Amongst others at Newport, the group known as Lucius (which we had previously only heard murmurings about) garnered buzz-aplenty.  Though the video’s not from Newport, if their awe-inspiring performance below of their song Two Of Us On The Run doesn’t catch your ears and serve to justify that buzz, then we can’t help you.  We will have to investigate the luscious Lucius further and report back.  Enjoy.

27
Jul

On Sunday: Watch Damien Jurado and Choir Perform “Metallic Cloud” Unplugged

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“Here’s a temporary earth,
In case you don’t get out.”

One of our favorite singer-songwriters, Damien Jurado, continues to enthrall with his spiritual music-adventures.  This year’s Brothers And Sisters Of The Eternal Son album (Secretly Canadian) is the latest in a string of stunningly good Jurado albums produced by the vaunted Richard Swift.  While we love many of the songs off of Brothers and Sisters, the kitchen-sink-and-beyond production overwhelmed us (and many of the songs).  Thankfully, Jurado has hence provided multiple vantages of the Brothers and Sisters songs performed unplugged and comparatively unadorned.  Such is the case below in the Ballard Sessions video in which Jurado and surrounding throng movingly perform Metallic Cloud.  Temporary.  Got it.

Metallic Cloud

Here’s a temporary fix,
In case you don’t come down.
Metallic cloud,
Voice in the crowd.

Cheer yourself up,
There are three to be seen,
Geodesic eyes,
And your life on rewind.
Your name was on fire,
So we pulled the case.
How does it taste?
With your mouth from your face.

Here’s a temporary earth,
In case you don’t get out.
Melodic rain,
Your own choke chain.

Drove yourself here,
So you might as well stay.
You want to be amazed,
And see the sky on delay.
Keep a close eye,
For the ship in the sky.
Resurrection signs,
Do the numbers align?

Zodiac pain,
And the birds flew away,
Colours don’t change,
When your life gets strange.

 

26
Jul

Your Saturday Uplift: Watch Ages And Ages’ Official Videos For “Divisionary (Do the Right Thing)”

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Quite a while ago we had grown weary of the groupsing thing coming out of the Northwest and elsewhere.  Too many cherubic faces singing in unison about uninteresting universes.  Distance can make the heart grow fonder, though.  And it doesn’t hurt the groupsing cause if you toss in a children’s choir and brass for days, and sing an encouraging verse.  To wit, check out the witty Ages And Ages below as they sing Divisionary (Do the Right Thing), seemingly with the entire populous of Portland on tap.  As for the encouraging verse, as the band says:  “This song is about keeping yourself right even amidst darkness and negativity. For the official video [Ed.--following the live video], we decided to portray this struggle through the story of a bunch of young kids who set out to make things right, but lose a part of themselves along the way. They may have started off on the same path and with good intentions, but their struggle reveals varying agendas and leads them in very different directions.”  Hmm.  What part of those words reminds us so much of current and historical world conflicts?  Hmm, let’s see….  Regardless, if you need a lift this Saturday (or any other day), this song might fill that need.  Check it out live and in studio below.  The song’s lyrics follow.

Divisionary

Do the right thing do the right thing
do it all the time do it all the time
make yourself right, never mind them
don’t you know you’re not the only one suffering

I see you up again wandering so diligently
crossing your t’s as though it weren’t irrelevant
they say formality, this is what they really meant:
they can be the walk and we can be the pavement

Do the right thing do the right thing
do it all the time do it all the time
make yourself right, never mind them
don’t you know you’re not the only one suffering

So what you’re up against all the disingenuous
They wave you along and say there’s always room for us
But we know better than that to take’em serious.
Still don’t let’em make you bitter in the process

And when the light is up, this is how oughta be
We’ll make it alright, they’ll come around eventually
They say it’s nothing but that ain’t the reality
They may take us on but they can never take us easy

Cuz they ain’t moving, they’re just moving around
So if you love yourself, you better get out now

I hear a higher calling
Better here than there I guess
so long

25
Jul

Song and Official Video of the Week: Woods’ “New Light”

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East Coast/Big Sur jangle-rockers Woods have in recent years provided some of the most ebullient and brilliant ear-candy to grace the Lefort Jukebox.  Our infatuation with the band and its chiming, Beach Boys-limning sounds began in 2011 with their stirring live set at the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival.  It wasn’t long thereafter that their stupendous 2012 song Cali In A Cup (a place we’re particularly partial to) caught our ears.  Most recently, we’ve been enamored with their latest album, With Light And With Love, and the summery songs thereon (but especially Tambourine Light).  Now comes yet another great track (New Light) off the album and the newly-released official video for the song, which you can check out below.  The delightful animated video is based on some of bandleader Jeremy Earl’s drawings. With Light And With Love is out now via Woodsist.

Woods is also out on an international tour this summer.  You can check out the tour dates at bottom and buy tickets HERE.

Tour Dates:

07-27 Chicago, IL – Wicker Park Festival
07-28 Minneapolis, MN – 7th Street Entry
07-31 Seattle, WA – Neumos **^
08-01 Vancouver, British Columbia – The Fox Cabaret **
08-02 Portland, OR – Pickathon
08-03 Portland, OR – Pickathon
08-05 Big Sur, CA – Woodsist Festival Big Sur *SOLD OUT*
08-09 San Francisco, CA – Brick and Mortar / Official Outside Lands Afterparty ** / ***
08-10 San Francisco, CA – Outside Lands *SOLD OUT*
08-12 Visalia, CA – Cellar Door ***
08-14 San Diego, CA – Casbah w/ Little Wings ***
08-16 Pioneertown, CA – Woodsist Festival Pioneertown ***
08-17 Phoenix, AZ – Crescent Ballroom ***
08-19 Marfa, TX – El Cosmico
08-20 Austin, TX – Holy Mountain
08-21 Baton Rouge, LA – Spanish Moon
08-22 Chattanooga, TN – Sluggo’s

08-30 Birmingham, England – Moseley Folk Festival
08-31 Dorset, England – End Of The Road
09-02 London, England – Dingwalls ****
09-03 Amsterdam, Netherlands – Paradiso
09-04 Groningen, Netherlands – Vera
09-05 Vlieland, Netherlands – Into the Great Wide Open
09-06 Brussels, Belgium – Atelier 210
09-07 Strasbourg, France – Troc Café
09-08 Zurich, Switzerland – El Lokal
09-09 Lausanne, Switzerland – Le Romandie
09-10 Biarritz, France – L’atabal
09-12 Valada, Portugal – Reverence Festival
09-13 Madrid, Spain – El Sol
09-14 Barcelona, Spain – Caprichos de Apolo
09-15 Toulouse, France – La Dynamo
09-16 Paris, France – Eldorado Festival
09-18 Bergen, Norway – Phonofestivalen
09-19 Angers, France – Austin Psych Fest / Levitation
09-20 Belgium, Leffinge – Leffingeleuren
09-21 Tilburg, Netherlands – Incubate
09-22 Bristol, England – The Lantern
09-23 Dublin, Ireland – Button Factory
09-24 Belfast, Ireland – McHughs
09-25 Glasgow, Scotland – Broadcast
09-26 Newcastle, England – Think Thank
09-27 Liverpool, England – Liverpool Psych Fest

10-24 New York, NY – NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts w/ Joshua Light Show

** with Steve Gunn
^ with Foxygen
*** with Skygreen Leopards
**** with Marissa Nadler

25
Jul

Watch Sharon Van Etten on Letterman Show and KEXP

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Sharon Van Etten and her Best Album of 2014 contender, Are We There, have been garnering deserved adulation around the globe.  And last night the artist and band hit another big-top moment when they made their Late Show with David Letterman debut.  Check out Van Etten and superb band below all spruced up and delivering Every Time The Sun Comes Up with confident aplomb.  On this album-closing song Van Etten seems to attempt to leaven the heaviness of Are We There with lighter, off-the-cuff lyrics (such as the bleeped “I wash your dishes, but I still [merde] in your bathroom.”).  Delivered with her confidently powerful and inventive vocals, however, Van Etten masks well the flippant, smirking nature of the song’s lyrics (for an unmasking, see Van Etten’s miming during the KEXP performance of the song below).  Watch the performance on Letterman below, followed by the song’s official video (which we somehow missed when released in May).  And do yourselves a favor and pick up Are We There.

At bottom (though it may deserve to be on top), check out SVE’s full session on KEXP on which she performs Taking Chances, the terrific Tarifa, Break Me, and Every Time The Sun Comes Up.