29
Jul

Watch The National Debut New Song with Annie Clark (St. Vincent) in LA Last Night

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We’ve been anxiously awaiting The National’s upcoming new album, and the band has been gingerly revealing its new songs at its live shows. As the opening song of their encore last night in LA the band brought out wunder-woman Annie Clark (St. Vincent) to perform the tentatively-titled Prom Song 13th Century (Frankie & Johnny).  The band performed six new songs (see setlist below) from the highly-anticipated album. Watch the video below on which Matt Berninger and Clark duet on the languorous beauty, even dancing together at the end.  As you can see below from Clark’s lyric sheet, it’s yet another song featuring the phrase “anonymous castrati.”

As an added highlight last night, The War On Drugs leader Adam Granduciel accompanied the band on guitar on a couple songs (on new song The Day I Die and on Terrible Love).

Natl Setlist Annie

Anonymous Castrati

27
Jul

Watch Ryan Adams Perform Sweet “Oh My Sweet Carolina” on Colbert’s Late Show–Coming to SB Bowl 8/4

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Monday night on the Late Show With Stephen Colbert, Ryan Adams broke out his seminal Americana chestnut Oh My Sweet Carolina with the help of the Infamous Stringdusters and singer Nicki Bluhm (lending heavenly harmonies in lieu of Emmylou Harris who sang on the original).  While it’s possible that the song was a request by Colbert, who grew up in South Carolina, Adams is also out supporting his recent deluxe-reissue of his Heartbreaker album (one of THE great albums of Americana or any genre and on which the song originally appeared).

Watch below as Bluhm subtly nails the harmony and the Infamous Stringdusters imbue the performance with down-home stylings.  Beauty on all fronts.

Adams will perform at the Santa Barbara Bowl next Thursday night (8/4).  Don’t ya miss it! Get your tix HERE.

24
Jul

Listen to New Song “A 1000 Times” from Hamilton Leithauser (The Walkmen) + Rostam Batmanglij (Vampire Weekend)

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Who doesn’t love Hamilton Leithauser’s vocals?  In and out of The Walkmen, Leithauser’s voice is singular and seriously sending.  Now Leithauser has combined with Rostam Batmanglij (ex of Vampire Weekend) as Hamilton Leithauser + Rostam, and put out an affecting new song entitled 1000 Times Leithauser nails the vocal on the new song.  Check it out below (and the lyrics below it).

Evidently an album is in the works and according to Batmanglij:  “[E]very now and then I get a feeling that it might be one of the best records I make in my whole life. We worked really hard on lyrics and every song tells a story. In some ways, the more that I write songs, the more I feel that telling a story is the most important thing; just being able to close your eyes when you hear some lyrics and go somewhere. It’s worth taking the time to do that, because people respond to it.”

Batmanglij separately said this about the song: “I always wanted to try to really capture his [Leithauser’s] voice in a way I felt like maybe it had never been captured before, just in terms of how it was recorded, and also pushing him to really scream.  Because it’s interesting, like his voice has this kind of choir boy aspect to it, but then when he screams, it’s like a little bit of the choir boy is still intact, and I think that’s a special blend of things. He sings in a way like no one else sings. So I kind of felt like it was my role as the producer, to bring that out of him. And I think ‘A 1000 Times’ is probably one of the best examples of that…. [T]he song started with a beat I made while Hamilton and I were working out of my studio in LA. We picked it back up in New York and finished writing it in Washington, DC. I wanted us to do a song where the snares would crack as hard as Hamilton’s voice. To me, the song became about that interaction between the vocals and the drums.”

Nailed it! We can’t wait for the album!

Speaking of numbers, we couldn’t help but be reminded by this song of the chorus of the old chestnut at very bottom below.

“I had a dream that you were mine
I’ve had that dream a thousand times
A thousand times, a thousand times
I’ve had that dream a thousand times

I left my room, on the west side
I walked from noon, until the night
I changed my crowd, I ditched my tie
I watched the sparks, fly off the fire

I found your house, I didn’t even try
They’d closed the shutters , they’d pulled the blinds
My eyes were red, the streets were bright
Those ancient years, were black and white

The 10th of Novemeber, the Years almost over
If I had your number, I’d call you tomorrow
If my eyes were open, I’d be kicking the doors in
But all that I have is this old dream I’ve always had

A thousand times, a thousand times
I’ve had that dream a thousand times
A thousand times, a thousand times
I’ve had that dream a thousand times

I left my room, on the west side
I walked from noon, until the night
I changed my crowd, I ditched my tie
I watched the sparks, fly off the fire

I found your old house, I didn’t even try
They’d closed the shutters, they’d pulled the blinds
My eyes were red, the streets were bright
Those ancient years, were black and white

I had a dream that you were mine
I’ve had that dream a thousand times

But I don’t answer questions, I just keep on guessing
My eyes are still open, the curtains are closing
And all that I have is this old dream I must have had.

A thousand times, a thousand times
I’ve had that dream a thousand times
A thousand times, a thousand times
I’ve had that dream a thousand times

A thousand times, a thousand times
I’ve had that dream a thousand times
A thousand times, a thousand times
I’ve had that dream a thousand times”

21
Jul

Watch Broken Social Scene Play New Song “Gonna Get Better” In Rare Live Outing

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Fantastic news has come in that one of our all-time favorite bands, Broken Social Scene, are working on a new album (their first since Forgiveness Rock Record in 2010). To boot, the phenomenal-live band played a rare live set last week in Chicago and performed a new song entitled Gonna Get Better.  Check out great footage from their set below that features the new song and their much-loved Anthems for A Seventeen-Year Old Girl and Cause=Effect.  Gone are Feist and Emily Haines, but Amy Millan is thankfully in the fold and new singer Ariel Engle tosses around some Feist-isms vocally to round out the sound.  Great stuff from this seminal ensemble.  We can’t wait for the new album and tour!

20
Jul

Watch Jenny Lewis’ New Band Killin’ With Love Last Night on Colbert Show

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Time has shown Jenny Lewis to be one of the most talented musical artists of her generation. From the influential Rilo Kiley band to solo artist, to Postal Service member and back again, Lewis has shown that she is a musical force to be reckoned with. After a hiatus, Lewis has returned in a nice way with a new collaboration entitled Nice As F*#k (“NAF”, let’s say). Joining Lewis in the trio are Au Revoir Simone’s Erika Forster and The Like’s Tennessee Thomas. The trio have been out on a virtual pop-up tour wowing audiences, surprise-released their acclaimed debut album and last night made their TV debut on the Colbert Show.

Watch below as NAF perform an uber-vibrant medley of (pro-love) Door and (anti-gun) Guns, both songs off of their stellar debut.  To our ears NAF is a perfect meeting between the indie-rock of Rilo Kiley and the more synth-based Postal Service.  Add to that mix the seminal Joy Division’s bass-intro on Doors below and fan singalong, and it’s all nice as feck!

19
Jul

Watch New Unknown Mortal Orchestra Video for Single “First World Problem”

UMO

The well-known Unknown Mortal Orchestra have released a brand new video for their newish song, First World Problem (the band’s first new song since last year’s phenom album Multi-Love).  The new track furthers UMO’s claim to the Post-Prince Throne.  Leader Ruban Nielson has said this about the song: “I think ‘First World Problem’ is about modern love in a crumbling empire.”  Crumble on people!  The song’s lyrics are below the video.

The music video was directed by James Lees and Kianí Del Valle (who also choreographed and dances in the video).  Del Valle has said this about the video: “I aimed to create a dialogue between two art forms — film and music. I wanted the video to be a response to the band’s lyrics and musical melodies, rather than showing literally what the song is saying. I am a heavy fan of silent films and how unspoken language could add a second layer to the one we speak.” Layer on people.

Enjoy and make sure to catch UMO out on tour (dates at bottom)–coming to Cali in September.  We caught their tour in April, and they made our month.

First World Problem:

“When I woke
I found my phone in the bed clothes
and the curtain glowed crimson through the window
To think of her was to want her
Would you want me too?

She’s got it all and yet
She’s betting all she has on a first world problem
You’ve got to understand
That I could be your man or a first world problem

I know that I was better as a loser
She’s eating birthday cake inside the disco
I may be lost but I’m a lost man
In love with you

She’s got it all and yet
She’s betting all she has on a first world problem
You’ve got to understand
That I could be your man or a first world problem”

07/19 Cleveland, OH @ Beachland Ballroom (an alternative or antidote to the RNC?)
07/20 Pontiac, MI @ Crofoot Ballroom
07/22 Oro-Medonte, Canada @ WayHome Music & Arts Festival
07/23 Ottawa, ON @ Ritual Nightclub
07/24 Burlington, VT @ Signal Kitchen
07/25 Portland, ME @ Port City Music Hall
07/28 Providence, RI @ Fete Ballroom
07/30 New York, NY @ Central Park Summerstage
08/12-13 Eau Claire, WI @ Eaux Claires Festival
08/17 Paredes De Coura, Portugal @ Paredes de Coura
08/18-21 Wales, United Kingdom @ Green Man Festival
08/19-21 Hamburg, Germany @ Dockville
08/28 Portland, OR @ MusicFest NW (Project Pabst)
08/30 Petaluma, CA @ Lagunitas Brewing Company
09/01 Santa Monica, CA @ Santa Monica Pier
09/02 Berkeley, CA @ Greek Theatre – UC Berkeley w/ Tame Impala
09/03 Berkeley, CA @ The Greek Theatre – UC Berkeley w/ Tame Impala

1
Jul

Throwin’ Back: Watch Elvis Costello’s and Elton John’s Sensational Cover of David Ackles’ “Down River”

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Among the best music shows ever to air on television was Elvis Costello’s spectacular Spectacle show on The Sundance Channel, which sadly only ran for two seasons. Every episode featured The Great Curator’s (Costello’s) tremendous taste in music, musicians and songs, and is highly recommended for your archival pursuits. You knew immediately that something special was going to ensue during the first episode, when Costello joined first guest Elton John in performing the doleful David Ackles’ song Down River (in which the imprisoned protagonist loses the girl, Rosie, to another man while in prison).  The poignant song is but putty in the hands of interpretive-impresarios Costello and John, who are joined by the late, great Allen Toussaint on organ/keys. After both artists take turns deftly vocalizing, hold in for the 2:50 mark when Costello unleashes impressively impassioned harmonies to close out the powerful song.

Check out this beauty below.

28
Jun

Watch Sampha’s Lump-Inducing Performance of New Track “Plastic 100°C” Off Impending New Album

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Sampha previously took the world by storm and then went missing. Now he’s back to fulfill the earlier promise. After suffering through his mother’s passing (adding to the earlier loss of his father) and throat/vocal issues, the gallant gent is back with an impending new album. In conjunction, he’s performed a stunning new piece as a part of a Fader interview (worth your effort and found HERE). Watch below as Sampha swings for Stevie Wonder/Ellingtonian fences and delivers supremely on poignant new track Plastic 100°C”. Artist. In residence. “Up and away” indeed.

27
Jun

Watch Beyonce and Kendrick Lamar Deliver A Ferocious “Freedom” On The BET Awards Last Night

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Photo: Paras Griffin/BET/Getty

Unlike a lot of awards shows, the BET Awards never fail to bring the entertainment and art in full. Last night was no exception when Beyonce and Kendrick Lamar rained serious fireworks on the Awards show. Watch below their powerful collaboration on Freedom off of her monstrous Lemonade album.  There is water everywhere and fireworks to match, but especially when Kendrick climbs into the water pit and the two lock in together from the 5:44 mark on. Wow!  Once again, these two have set the artistry and entertainment standards by which all others will be judged. With all the water, it was like a hip-hop steeplechase.

25
Jun

Watch The Avett Brothers Perform Song “Satan Pulls The Strings” On Fallon Show

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On Friday night, the fantastic live band The Avett Brothers showed up on the Fallon Tonight Show and performed a rousing version of Satan Pulls the Strings off their brand new, critically-acclaimed album True Sadness.  Check it out below and check out their tour dates HERE.