Watch New EL VY Video for Fantastic Track “No Time to Crank the Sun”


Here in the land of level-headed EL VY acolytes, and contrary to a couple of cranky critics (Pitchfork you are ridiculously callow and shrill*), we hold firm to the belief that EL VY’s album, Return to the Moon, is one of the Best Albums of 2015.  In EL VY, Matt Berninger and Brent Knopf provide each other the perfect foil with which to make great indie-rock-pop music.

Today one of the best and most affecting songs from that album, No Time to Crank the Sun, received its official video release.  Check it out below with its time-lapse video depicting the group’s exhausting efforts to get the word (in song) out.  You may have missed their North American tour, but catch them if you can in Europe (dates/tix HERE) starting next week, and pick up Return to the Moon.

*unless, with your 4.8 score, you were damning-with-faint-praise to creatively address Matt Berninger’s I’m the Man lament “I score an 8.6 on a f@#king par 4.”  But we do over-credit p4k.


Watch Dave Rawlings Machine’s Set on KEXP


Though we were ecstatic to have caught Robbie Fulks in Santa Barbara last month, as a result we were chagrined to have missed the great Dave Rawlings Machine the same night at the Lobero Theater when DRM rolled through town in support of its superb new album Nashville Obsolete. We took some solace that we had caught Gillian Welch and Rawlings two weeks before at the same venue when they gave one of the Best Concerts of 2015.  We now have further consolation thanks to KEXP’s release of the video of DRM’s set in their studios.

Watch below as Rawlings, Welch, Willie Watson, Paul Kowert, and Brittany Haas sing and play your heart out.  The opening song, Short Haired Woman Blues, manages to mesmerizingly mesh threads of Neil Young, the Stones’ Wild Horses and House of the Rising Son into an instant classic.  They also performed The Last Pharaoh, The Weekend (another favorite off the new album) and Sweet Tooth on KEXP.  Check it out below and pick up the great new album. Dave Rawlings Machine continues on tour this month and next, returning to Cali on January 16th at the Ace Hotel.  Tour info and tix can be found HERE.   Don’t ya miss ’em.


Check Out Impressive Debut EP From Talented New Artist Miya Folick


Confidantes and cohorts have been murmuring about LA artist Miya Folick while we prattled away ponderous pixels.  No more.  We’ve had Folick’s debut EP Strange Darling on repeat at Chez Lefort for the last few days and and are heavily enamored by Folick’s artistry.

So jump on the burgeoning bandwagon and check out/buy the EP below. Favorites so far are Talking With Strangers (lyrics below) and I Got Drunk, but there’s not a flat song in the six-pack.  Folick’s craft and passion are obvious on first listen, as are the affecting coming-of-age lyrics.

Word is Folick is a great live performer so if you’re in or around LA on December 3rd, catch her at the Bootleg Theater or, on December 17th, at The Satellite.  Stay tuned for more Folick-les.

Talking With Strangers

“today I talked to a semi-stranger
a girl that I sorta know
but every encounter at the corner grocery
holds potential for our relationship to grow
and half of my brain was totally afraid
that she’d hate me, never want to see me again
and half of my brain was equally afraid
that she’d like me, want to be my friend

I am learning to love
I am learning to let myself be loved
how did I miss this lesson when I was young?
how did I miss this lesson when I was young?
how did I miss this lesson when I was young?

yesterday I was anxious and alone
so I called a friend to make me feel ok
and for a moment I found myself
angry at him for offering help
when I should have just been grateful
for what he gave

I am learning to love
I am learning to let myself be loved
how did I miss this lesson when I was young?
how did I miss this lesson when I was young?
how did I miss this lesson when I was young?

be gentle with me
I might not be ready
be gentle with me
I might not be ready”



On Sunday: Watch The Silver Lake Chorus Perform Justin Vernon’s “From The Snow Tipped Hills”


As we have written before, The Silver Lake Chorus performs arrangements of indie-pop songs.  For their eponymously-titled debut album, Justin Vernon (Bon Iver) gave TSLC his pastoral song From the Snow-Tipped Hills, and they did it perfect justice.  Now the group has released the official video for the song, featuring drone video (directed by bass vocalist Charlie Maas) above their home-base of Silver Lake.  Check it out below.  Tomorrow’s another day; go pick up The Silver Lake Chorus debut album HERE.


Watch EL VY Perform “Sad Case/Happiness, Missouri” Medley in KEXP Studio and at Bowery Ballroom


We caught EL VY at the tiny Troubadour a couple weeks ago in support of their album Return to the Moon (sure to be one of our Best Albums of 2015), and the show was one of the (many) highlights of the fall concert constellation.  Brent Knopf particularly impressed with his ambidextrous instrumental plate-spinning, along with the project’s fantastic rhythm section (drummer Andy Stack from Wye Oak and bassist Matt Sheehy from Lost Lander), special backup singers and, of course, The National’s Matt Berninger out front and doing what he does best.   Their sad-cap medley of Sad Case/Happiness, Missouri was a particular highlight and by itself made the night memorable at the Troubadour.

To get a feel watch the comparatively staid, but compelling KEXP studio performance below followed by a more-animated, get-your-Ian-Curtis-on live version at the Bowery Ballroom in NYC.  Catch ’em if you can.


Watch Courtney Barnett Cover Patti Smith’s “Redondo Beach”


We’re still in love with Redondo Beach.  The Patti Smith song that is.  We’re also huge fans of Courtney Barnett, who performed the song recently in Melbourne at a concert commemorating Smith’s Horses’ album’s 40th anniversary.  Watch below as Barnett goes guitar-less and gives a simmering, synth-infused take on the song. High art.  Check it out, and then watch Smith perform the song a few years back.  Brava!

Patti.Smith.-.Redondo.Beach.(Live.Conan.O’Brien) by von7up


Watch Rhiannon Giddens’ Homage to Paris: “La Vie En Rose”


We’re still reeling from the heinous murder of innocent people across the planet, but especially in Paris (nous sommes Lefort!).  Words cannot express.  But music can.  And Rhiannon Giddens (Carolina Chocolate Drops) today released her homage to to Paris (and other sites) via her heart-rending cover of Edith Piaf’s seminal La Vie En Rose.  Watch Giddens tremulous and affecting take below.

Giddens had this to add:  “This is for Paris, and Beirut, and Kenya, and Charleston, and so many others; for countless innocent people devastated by terrorism- which is just a word for organized hatred and inhumanity. We have to keep seeing the world in shades of rose- we have to keep hoping for peace and working for change and believing that with our art, our love, our knowledge, and most of all, our empathy and understanding for our fellow human beings, we can make a difference.”

Exactement.  Excuse us while we throw on the roses.


Watch Official Video and KEXP Performance of Julia Holter’s “Silhouette” Off Riveting New Album


As we’ve mentioned repeatedly, the multi-talented, smarty-pants artist Julia Holter has released an outstanding, critically-acclaimed new album entitled Have You In My Wilderness on Domino Recording.  The new album is Holter’s most accessible and is filled with lobe-invasion melodies and lyrical mises-en-scenes.  Today Holter has released the official video for the beguiling song, Silhouette, off the new album.  Check it out below, followed by Holter and her gifted band members’ live rendering on KEXP.  Holter told The Guardian that the song was “inspired by a story about two sisters obsessively waiting for their lover – the same lover – to return.”  Scratching our heads about that given the song’s lyrics (below), but we love the evocative song.

Holter is currently out on tour and you can check out the dates HERE.

And do yourselves a favor and pick up Have You In My Wilderness HERE.

“I go out to find
The one with whom I’ve seen all hours’ moons
Once the curtains lifted
And he said, “I only swim to you”

Language is such a play –
He called his exit but his eyes irresolute
What pasts still sit today?
I feel I’m walking around in blue

He can hear me sing
He can hear me sing
Though he is far, I’ll never lose sight of him

He turned to me then looked away
A silhouette
A silhouette
Still returns to me

I’ll hand him his coat
It’s exactly where he left it long ago
We’ll fall all over floorboards
I lose my breath just envisioning the scene

Mysteries that wake up late – the table’s set
And the painting of his face
No time to hesitate
I cede all my light and play abandoned fool”


Words Cannot Express–Paris Part II: Charlie Haden and Quartet West’s “First Song”


In addition to the new Thundercat homage we posted earlier today, we took solace this weekend (and always) in one of the greatest songs ever written: the late jazz-composer Charlie Haden’s First Song. The song has been covered ad infinitum, but our favorite remains his Quartet West recording with the nonpareil Ernie Watts, Alan Broadbent, and Larance Marable.  While it may have been written for Haden’s wife, in First Song we hear a relatively simple, but haunting melody, that moves through many moods.  In the aftermath of Paris, for us it moves from heavyhearted torment, to anger, to soulful wonderment, and then, peaceful resolve.  May you so resolve.  Peace be to Paris.


Words Cannot Express–But Thundercat Expresses in Instrumental Tribute Entitled “Paris”

Lefort Profile

Like many over the long weekend, we grappled with appropriate ways to express our feelings about the senseless attack on innocent people in Paris last Friday and other attacks elsewhere. And then, amongst all the hubris and harrow, we gave up on words.  As usual, music instead came to our aid.  Yesterday, one of our favorite new(-ish) artists, Thundercat (and Mono/Poly) released a short instrumental piece entitled Paris “in tribute to those who lost their lives….”  And it paid its way in peace.  Our thoughts and prayers to all those effected.