9
Dec

Exiting In Style–Watch Swan Song “Hymn On The 45” From Allo Darlin’

The great indie band Allo Darlin’ won our coveted Best Album of the Year in 2012 for their pop masterpiece Europe. Sadly, the band is ending its great run with a series of farewell shows in London that start tomorrow. But to exit in style, Allo Darlin’ has gifted us with a nostalgic video for their sweet, chiming swan song Hymn On The 45, which you can watch below.  The song is available as a 7″ coupled with B-side Wanderlust (which you can pick up HERE). Long live Allo Darlin’!!

7
Dec

Check Out Ryan Adams’ New Heartbroken Rocker “Do You Still Love Me?”

The indefatigable, ever-busy Ryan Adams has just announced he will release his next album Prisoner in February.  Adams has given us a powerful sample in the form of new song Do You Still Love Me?, which you can listen to below. We love the Petty-esque song that opens mournfully with Procol Harum-sounding organ before quickly segueing  into an out-right ’80s-esque rocker. A whiter shade of wail! Bravo!

Prisoner apparently revolves around Adams’ separation from Mandy Moore after six years of marriage. Adams has said that “I started writing this record while I was going through a very public divorce, which is a humiliating and just a f@#$ing horrible thing to go through no matter who you are,” he said. “To be me and to go through that the way that I did was destructive on a level that I can’t explain. So a lot of extra work went into keeping my chin up and remembering what I did and what I loved about who I was.”

Adams put on our favorite show of any that we saw at the Santa Barbara Bowl this year, and we can’t wait to catch him again out in support of Prisoner.

The album’s tracklist is at bottom. You can pre-order the album HERE.

  1. Do You Still Love Me?
  2. Prisoner
  3. Doomsday
  4. Haunted House
  5. Shiver and Shake
  6. To Be Without You
  7. Anything I Say To You Now
  8. Breakdown
  9. Outbound Train
  10. Broken Anyway
  11. Tightrope
  12. We Disappear
6
Dec

Listen to New Elbow Song “Magnificent (She Says)”–New Album Coming in New Year

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Happy holidays are finally here in the form of new song Magnificent (She Says) from the great British band Elbow along with news that the band will release a new studio album entitled Little Fictions (on Polydor) in February.  See the new album’s tracklist below.

According to the band’s press release, the new album was recorded in Scotland and Manchester, was produced by Craig Potter and features string players from the Hallé Orchestra, backing vocals from Hallé Ancoats Community Choir and London Contemporary Voices, and session drummer Alex Reeves.

Elbow’s last album was 2014’s The Take Off and Landing of Everything, which was one of our Best Albums of 2014.

Check the new song out below, featuring strings and ample swoon. Great stuff from the always-reliable Elbow. While the band has frequently featured strings in its recordings and tours, the strings here remind of Radiohead’s Burn The Witch.

Tracklist:

Magnificent (She Says)
Gentle Storm
Trust the Sun
All Disco
Head for Supplies
Firebrand & Angel
K2
Montparnasse
Little Fictions
Kindling

You can pre-order the new album HERE.

2
Dec

Watch Car Seat Headrest Perform “Drunk Drivers/Killer Whales” on Late Night TV

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Singer-songwriter Will Toledo has evolved from laptop-recording/Bandcamp maven to the leader of the superb rock ‘n roll band Car Seat HeadrestThe band’s outstanding 2016 album Teens of Denial (on Matador) is deservedly on many Best Albums of 2016 lists (including No. 4 on Rolling Stone‘s list).

This week Car Seat Headrest showed up on late night TV and gave a raving performance of their much-loved song Drunk Drivers/Killer Whales with members of The Roots adding great horn support. We loved everything about the performance, which reminded much of the great Okkervil River (the two bands have much in common, including intelligent and be-glassed singers named Will).  Check out the performance below. The official lyric video for the song follows.

You can pick up Teens of Denial HERE.

Above photo: Kenny Sun

1
Dec

Songs For These Times–Check Out Local Natives’ Cover of Kanye West’s “Ultralight Beam”

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LA greats Local Natives have covered Kanye West’s shining Ultralight Beam to superb effect. Check it out below, followed by the inimitable original and the song’s lyrics.

People: we on an ultralight beam.

“I’m tryna keep my faith
We on an ultralight beam
We on an ultralight beam
This is a God dream
This is a God dream
This is everything
This is everything
Deliver us serenity
Deliver us peace
Deliver us loving
We know we need it
You know we need it
You know we need it
That’s why we need you now, oh, I
Pray for Paris
Pray for the parents
This is a God dream
This is a God dream
This is a God dream
We on an ultralight beam
We on an ultralight beam
This is a God dream
This is a God dream
This is everything
Everything (Thing, thing, thing)

I’m tryna keep my faith
But I’m looking for more
Somewhere I can feel safe
And end my holy war
I’m tryna keep my faith

So why send oppression not blessings?
Why, oh why’d you do me wrong? (More)
You persecute the weak
Because it makes you feel so strong
(To save) Don’t have much strength to fight
So I look to the light
(War) To make these wrongs turn right
Head up high, I look to the light
Hey, ’cause I know that you’ll make everything alright
And I know that you’ll take good care of your child
Oh, no longer am afraid of the night
‘Cause I, I look to the light

When they come for you, I will shield your name
I will field their questions, I will feel your pain
No one can judge
They don’t, they don’t know
They don’t know
Foot on the Devil’s neck ’til it drifted Pangaea
I’m moving all my family from Chatham to Zambia
Treat the demons just like Pam
I mean I fuck with your friends, but damn, Gina
I been this way since Arthur was anteater
Now they wanna hit me with the woo wap, the bam
Tryna snap photos of familia
My daughter look just like Sia, you can’t see her
You can feel the lyrics, the spirit coming in braille
Tubman of the underground, come and follow the trail
I made Sunday Candy, I’m never going to hell
I met Kanye West, I’m never going to fail
He said let’s do a good ass job with Chance three
I hear you gotta sell it to snatch the Grammy
Let’s make it so free and the bars so hard
That there ain’t one gosh darn part you can’t tweet
This is my part, nobody else speak
This is my part, nobody else speak
This little light of mine
Glory be to God, yeah
I’ma make sure that they go where they can’t go
If they don’t wanna ride I’mma still give them raincoats
Know what God said when he made the first rainbow
Just throw this at the end if I’m too late for the intro
Ugh, I’m just having fun with it
You know that a nigga was lost
I laugh in my head
Cause I bet that my ex looking back like a pillar of salt
Ugh, ’cause they’ll flip the script on your ass like Wesley and Spike
You cannot mess with the light
Look at lil’ Chano from 79th

We on an ultralight beam
We on an ultralight beam
This is a God dream
This is a God dream
This is everything
Everything

Yes, God
Hallelujah
I’m tryna keep my faith
(Yes, Jesus)
But I’m looking for more
Somewhere I can feel safe
And end my holy war

Father, this prayer is for everyone that feels they’re not good enough
This prayer’s for everybody that feels like they’re too messed up
For everyone that feels they’ve said “I’m sorry” too many times
You can never go too far when you can’t come back home again
That’s why I need…
Faith, more, safe, war”

23
Nov

Watch Wilco Perform Two “Schmilco” Songs For The Take Away Show

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American greats Wilco have had two very prolific years, releasing a critically-acclaimed album each year. Following on the heals of last year’s heralded Star Wars album, Wilco won hearts and minds this year with their album Schmilco. The band has been touring behind the new album and recently played Le Guess Who? Festival in Holland.  Fortunately, La Blogotheque caught up with Wilco while they were there and captured two stellar performances by the band of the nostalgic If I Ever Was A Child and Normal American Kids, both of off Schmilco (lyrics below).  Though the setting is dusky, as usual the band shines brightly (especially Nels Cline and the harmonists).

Check ’em out below and go buy Schmilco HERE.

If I Ever Was A Child:

“I’ve never been alone
Long enough to know
If I ever was a child

I was tied up like a boat
Unbuttoned like a coat
Set free for a while
Well I jumped to jolt my clumsy blood
While my white, green eyes
Cry like a window pane
Can my cold heart change
Even out of spite?

I slump behind my brain
A haunted stain never fades
I hunt for the kind of pain I can take

And I cry like a window pane
Can my cold heart change
Over night?
So I won’t ever want to touch
Your heart too much
Or hold you too tight

I slump behind my brain
A haunted stain will never fade
I hunt for the kind of pain I can take

I never was alone
Long enough to know
If I ever was a child”

Normal American Kids:

“I remind myself of myself long ago
‘Fore I could drive, ‘fore I could vote
All of the time, holding a grudge
‘Fore I knew people could die just because
Shot from a sling, head full of buzz
I knew what I liked was not very much
High at the time, tied to the grid
Always afraid of those normal American kids

Oh, all of my spirit leaked like a cut
I knew what I needed would never be enough
I was too high to change my bid
Always afraid to be a normal American kid

Always hating normal American empty summer days
Lightning crazed and cracked like an egg
High behind the garden shed
Painting myself as a normal American kid
I always hated it

High as high as high can loom
Under the sheets in my bedroom
I was high as high can get
Always afraid of those normal American kids

Oh, bongs and jams, and carpeted vans
Hate everything, I don’t understand
High times tightening the lid
I had to get away from those normal American kids
Always hated those normal American kids
Always hated those normal American kids”

22
Nov

Watch Unofficial Video for Chuck Prophet’s Telling New “Bad Year For Rock And Roll” Song

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First the bad news: in many ways 2016 has, how you say, sucked. Beyond recent political events, many seminal artists have left the planet, the most recent being the loss of the great Sharon Jones. And folks remaining on the planet are rightfully bereft.

Now the good news: the ever-entertaining and talented Chuck Prophet (never miss a chance to catch him live) has a new album coming out entitled Bobby Fuller Died For Your Sins. Prophet has already released the audio for new song Bad Year For Rock and Roll (see at bottom). Now comes a video put together by a Prophet fan, which you can watch below, which depicts the artistic loss (minus Ms. Jones). Indeed it’s been a bad year for rock ‘n roll (and the arts in general). You can stream/pre-order Bobby Fuller Died For Your Sins (out on Yep RocHERE.

Kids: if you don’t know Bobby Fuller, look him up.  And you can start HERE.

RIP all you greats.

18
Nov

Lift Off For The Weekend–Watch The Rebel Light’s “Goodbye Serenade” Video

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rebel-light

We were taken today by a video recently released by LA band The Rebel Light for their superb song Goodbye Serenade. We’ll let the band’s press release below provide the backdrop for the video, which they released a week before the election but is even more relevant now:

“It has been a very dark and divided few days, so in the spirit of trying to remain positive in the face of so much adversity and negativity, we would like to share with you the video that we put together ourselves for our song Goodbye Serenade…. We wanted to visually create something that highlights the power of the human spirit and the incredible accomplishments that mankind has achieved. It’s about how great we as a human race can truly be when we focus our energy into creating something positive in this world. It’s also a reminder that regardless of our differences we are all brothers and sisters. Our greatest achievements in history have come from tearing walls down…. not by building them.”

The Rebel Light’s most recent release is the summery five-song EP A Hundred Summer Days that is now on repeat at Chez Lefort (Strangers is beguilingly catchy and Afterlife is highly recommended), and you can listen/pick it up HERE. Good stuff.

Watch the video below, and take heed and take heart. Lyrics at bottom.

“I couldn’t hear what you say
falling apart at the seems
its not the notes that you play
it is the silence between

I couldn’t tell if you’ve changed
or does the darkness remain
im just a stranger to you
a picture of someone you knew

strange days going in circles
we make time running in circles for your eyes
serenade all of your goodbyes
all of the reasons we make time
going in circles for your eyes
serenade all of your goodbyes…

sacrifice all of my thoughts
bleeding my memories dry
stealing the moments we’ve lived
from deep inside of my mind

strange days going in circles
we make time running in circles for your eyes
serenade all of your goodbyes
all of the reasons we make time
going in circles for your eyes
serenade all of your goodbyes

silence in my sleep
its the death of what I’ve done
a coma for your love
they’ll kill me on the run

strange days going in circles
we make time running in circles for your eyes
serenade all of your goodbyes
all of the reasons we make time
going in circles for your eyes
serenade all of your goodbyes”

15
Nov

The Perfect Repurposing For These Times: Listen to Okkervil River’s Cover of Leonard Cohen’s Authoritative “Anthem”

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It’s times like these…. In the wake of Leonard Cohen’s passing nearly a week ago and while finishing up their tour leg in England, Okkervil River honored Cohen by covering his So Long Marianne and his inspirational hymn Anthem.

Okkervil River’s Will Sheff then put the latter cover’s audio to a picture taken from their travels on a ferry to Germany and posted it with the following statement:

“It’s been a terrible week, over here finishing a European tour watching my country slide towards doom. The news of Leonard Cohen’s death had nothing to do with everything else in the news but, in my agitated state, seemed somehow like it did. Cohen was a songwriting hero to me. I opened our Bristol show, the morning after the announcement of his death, with this solo cover of ‘Anthem,’ which sounds distressingly appropriate to the current moment. We did a full band version of ‘So Long, Marianne’ later in the set. This picture was taken on the ferry from Denmark to Germany. Grey afternoon.”

Check out the song’s lyrics below, along with the following encouragement by the wondrous Cohen about the song’s chorus:

“That is the background of the whole record, I mean if you have to come up with a philosophical ground, that is ‘Ring the bells that still can ring.’ It’s no excuse the dismal situation, and the future is no excuse for an abdication of your own personal responsibilities towards yourself and your job and your love. ‘Ring the bells that still can ring’: they’re few and far between but you can find them. ‘Forget your perfect offering’ that is the hang-up that you’re gonna work this thing out. Because we confuse this idea and we’ve forgotten the central myth of our culture which is the expulsion from the garden of Eden. This situation does not admit of solution of perfection. This is not the place where you make things perfect, neither in your marriage, nor in your work, nor anything, nor your love of God, nor your love of family or country. The thing is imperfect. And worse, there is a crack in everything that you can put together, physical objects, mental objects, constructions of any kind. But that’s where the light gets in, and that’s where the resurrection is and that’s where the return, that’s where the repentance is. It is with the confrontation, with the brokenness of things.”

RIP Leonard Cohen.

Anthem:

“The birds they sang
At the break of day
Start again
I heard them say
Don’t dwell on what
Has passed away
Or what is yet to be

Ah the wars they will
Be fought again
The holy dove
She will be caught again
Bought and sold
And bought again
The dove is never free

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in

We asked for signs
The signs were sent:
The birth betrayed
The marriage spent
Yeah the widowhood
Of every government
Signs for all to see

I can’t run no more
With that lawless crowd
While the killers in high places
Say their prayers out loud
But they’ve summoned, they’ve summoned up
A thundercloud
And they’re going to hear from me

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in

You can add up the parts
You won’t have the sum
You can strike up the march
There is no drum
Every heart, every heart
To love will come
But like a refugee

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in
That’s how the light gets in
That’s how the light gets in

13
Nov

Watch SNL’s Emotional Opening: Hillary Singing Leonard’s “Hallelujah”

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It was a tough week for many owing to the Presidential election and the loss of the great Leonard Cohen. Last night Saturday Night Live smartly wove the two through Kate McKinnon’s Hillary Clinton persona accompanying herself on the piano and singing Cohen’s Hallelujah, giving new meaning to many of the song’s couplets.

McKinnon’s Clinton particularly resonated in the following lines:

“Now I’ve heard there was a secret chord
That David played, and it pleased the Lord
But you don’t really care for music, do you?
….
I’ve seen your flag on the marble arch
Love is not a victory march
It’s a cold and it’s a broken hallelujah
….
I did my best, it wasn’t much
I couldn’t feel, so I tried to touch
I’ve told the truth, I didn’t come to fool you
And even though
It all went wrong
I’ll stand before the Lord of song
With nothing on my tongue but hallelujah”

At the end McKinnon, as Clinton, said “I’m not giving up and neither should you.”

Never give up the fight people. Keep evolving. There’s work to be done in the name of love.