14
Jan

Watch Broken Social Scene (with Feist, Jason Collett and La Force) Perform A Rapturous Set of New and Old Songs on “House of Strombo”

We learn something every day. House of Strombo? Who knew (forgive us Mr. Strombo)? But thankfully we now know. House of Strombo is self-described as “the home of the best records played in the best order, from the 1-2-3-4 to the 808’s and beyond. Interviews, intimate sessions and full blown house concerts.” And so it is. To back up their words, watch the session below and afterwards go HERE to see a recent House of Strombo session with the deservedly famed John Prine.

We arrived at House of Strombo thanks to the bountiful (in song and number) Broken Social Scene, one of our favorite bands of all-time. Check out below as the band (and all its illustrious members) perform an enthralling set featuring old favorites (Cause = Time–alone well worth your time–and Ibi Dreams of Pavement) and new songs (Can’t Find My Heart and 1972). The democratic/unselfish band also takes time out to feature members Jason Collett (I’ll Bring The Sun), Feist (Lover’s Spit) and La Force (TBT) while band leaders Kevin Drew and Brendan Canning graciously kill (along with a cast of a thousand greats, including a new-to-us female horn player). Witness a trademark Canning-Kick, the righteous and riotous Pavement-stylee dishevelment on Ibi Dreams, the deft drumming by Justin Peroff (especially on new song Can’t Find My Heart), Jason Collett’s great song, and then that magic that Feist always does on Lover’s Spit (and especially during its coda when Feist she crouches down to Ariel Engle and the two quietly harmonize beautifully to close).

What an ensemble! This made our week! Enjoy!

10
Jan

Kicking Off the New Year Stella Donnelly Releases New Song/Video “Old Man” from Impending New Album “Beware of the Dogs”

So this is the new year! In 2018, stellar Stella Donnelly completely bowled us over with her thralling Thrush Metal EP (two songs of which were on our Best Songs of 2018 list) and live performances. Donnelly is a very self-aware and gifted songwriter/vocalist who is not afraid to say her piece about the pieces around her. Amen to that.

Today Australia’s Donnelly has released new song Old Man via its official video below. The song is a harbinger of hope for her debut album, Beware of the Dogswhich will be released March 8th on Secretly Canadian. Lyrically (see at bottom), the song is a righteous reproach of the ridiculous rakes that refuse to act their age (in this day and age!) and leave females and young-enoughs alone. This isn’t the first time Donnelly has rightly sounded these themes. Her early song, Boys Will Be Boysassaulted victim-blaming and excuse-making inherent in sexual assault aftermaths. Musically, the song jangles and sways, with heavenly harmonies in the chorus (that remind of us of the British band Heavenly from the 80’s), all of which belies the reproach of the message. It’s heaven and hell in a song. Brava!

Check the superb song out below. Afterwards check out Beware of the Dogs‘ tracklist and upcoming tour dates (see you at the Bootleg in LA on 4/6!). We can’t wait for all of the above!

You can pre-order the album HERE.

Beware of the Dogs Tracklist:
1. Old Man
2. Mosquito
3. Season’s Greetings
4. Allergies
5. Tricks
6. Boys Will Be Boys
7. Lunch
8. Bistro
9. Die
10. Beware of the Dogs
11. U Owe Me
12. Watching Telly
13. Face ItP

Stella Donnelly Tour Dates:
Fri. March 15 – Washington, DC @ U Street Music Hall #
Sat. March 16 – Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brenda’s #
Mon. March 18 – Brooklyn, NY @ Rough Trade #
Wed. March 20 – Hamden, CT @ Space Ballroom #
Fri. March 22 – Somerville, MA @ ONCE Ballroom #
Sat. March 23 – Montreal, QC @ Casa Del Popolo #
Sun. March 24 – Toronto, ON @ The Drake Hotel #
Mon. March 25 – Detroit, MI @ Deluxx Fluxx #
Wed. March 27 – Columbus, OH @ Ace of Cups #
Thu. March 28 – Bloomington, IN @ The Bishop #
Fri. March 29 – Chicago, IL @ Schuba’s #
Sat. March 30 – St. Paul, MN @ Turf Club #
Tue. April 2 – Seattle, WA @ Barboza #
Wed. April 3 – Portland, OR @ Polaris Hall #
Fri. April 5 – San Francisco, CA @ Cafe Du Nord #
Sat. April 6 – Los Angeles, CA @ Bootleg Theater #
Thu. April 11 – Berlin, DE @ Badehaus
Fri. April 12 – Hamburg, DE @ Skybar
Sat. April 13 – Rotterdam, NL @ Rotown
Mon. April 15 – Cologne, DE @ Yuca
Tue. April 16 – Brussels, BE @ Botanique  
Wed. April 17 – Amiens, FR @ La Lune Des Pirates *
Thu. April 18 – Paris, FR @ Le Pop Up Du Label
Tue. April 23 – Cardiff, UK @ Clwb Ifor Bach
Wed. April 24 – Bristol, UK @ Thekla
Thu. April 25 – Southampton, UK @ Joiners
Sat. April 27 – Brighton, UK @ Haunt
Sun. April 28 – Manchester, UK @ Yes
Mon. April 29 – Dublin, IE @ Grand Social
Wed. May 1 – Glasgow, UK The Blue Arrow
Thu. May 2 – Leeds, UK @ Brudenell Community Room
Sat. May 4 – Liverpool, UK @ Liverpool Sound City
Sun. May 5 – Nottingham, UK @ Bodega
Tue. May 7 – London, UK @ Scala

# = with Faye Webster
* = supporting Yak

Old Man:

“He’s reading sport on the news, white man white teeth in a suit
He’s got that style
And then alone in his house, he wants to take baby out
Give us a smile
Boy if you touch her again, I’ll tell your wife and your kids
About that time
Cos this is not ninety-three, you lost your spot on the team
You’re out of line

I’ve worked too hard for this chance to not be biting the hand
That feeds the hate
So have a chat to your friends ‘cos it’s our words that will keep
Our daughters safe
Your personality traits don’t count if you put your dick
In someone’s face
And no it’s never too late, we sat there silently while
You kept your job and your place and your six-figure wage

Oh, are you scared of me, old man?
Or are you scared of what I’ll do?
You grabbed me with an open hand
The world is grabbing back at you

Oh, are you scared of me, old man?
Or are you scared of what I’ll do?
You grabbed me with an open hand
The world is grabbing back at you

Oh, are you scared of me, old man?
Or are you scared of what I’ll do?
You grabbed me with an open hand
The world is grabbing back at you”

21
Dec

Watch Mitski Perform Two of the Best Songs of 2018 on Kimmel

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Mitski released one of the Best Albums of 2018 with
Be the Cowboy. The superb songwriter, crystalline-lyricist and moving vocalist appeared last night on Kimmel (for the first time on television with full band) to perform the scintillating song Nobody and the equally insighful Two Slow Dancers (our favorite off of Be The Cowboy), the latter as a web-exclusive. Watch below as Mitski delivers two gripping performances and then watch her incredible acappella version of Nobody recently. If you haven’t heard Be The Cowboy, do yourself a favor HERE.

Listen to our Best Songs of 2018 HERE or at bottom.

15
Dec

Song of the Week – “All I Want” by Matt Berninger, Stephen Altman and Julien Baker

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We are all ears when songs come out of the mouths of Matt Berninger (The National) or Julien Baker. Today Berninger, Stephen Altman (composer for new documentary film American Chaos) and Baker have released their emotionally-charged new song All I Want (lyrics at bottom).  Listen below as Berninger and Baker swap affecting lead vocals interspersed with their conjoined and inspired harmonies. Beauty right there.  

The song appears on a new benefit 7″ that you can pick up HERE.

All I Want

“Just to see the sun break in
Just to find a place to stand
Just to not be overtaken
When I hold you in my hands

It’s all I want
I keep trying to remember that
It’s all I want
I keep trying to remember that

Just to watch you in the window light
Just to do a better job
Just to leave a little when I go at night
Just to get along with God

I can’t tell if you’re finally coming back to me
Or if you’re finally leaving
Sometimes you gotta keep a little bit to yourself
A little something to keep believing

It’s all I want
I keep trying to remember that
It’s all I want
I keep trying to remember that
I keep trying to remember that

I know I dance around the things I should come clean to
I don’t mean to
Nobody should ever have to go round anywhere at all with their head down
I wouldn’t dream to
Said it was true but it’s hard to believe
Feels like we’re losing now more than we’ll win
I’m up through the night because God never sleeps and I’m tryin

Trying to reach you to tell you that I am still faithful
We’ll be alright
Just to meet you in the morning light
Just to find an easy place
Just to be a little less hard on everything
Just to see you face to face”

 

29
Nov

Watch The 1975’s Joyous, Captivating Video for New Song “Sincerity Is Scary” Off Impending New Album

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We have intermittently been wowed by concert vignettes featuring one of Britain’s pop-rock vanguard, The 1975, and especially the band’s unabashed front-man Matt Healy. Healy simply holds no bars on stage. After taking some time off to get various personal matters straightened out (including Healy’s harrowing detox), The 1975 will this Friday release its confessional, but boisterous third album, A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships.

While we have been off tripping on tryptophan (detox in the works), The 1975 managed to release one of the more upbeat and captivating music videos in recent memory. Check out below their video for Sincerity Is Scary. It’s a joy to behold from its opening to close. Both the song (the lope, the horns, etc.) and the video smack (in a good way) of Chance The Rapper’s mien. And amen that mien! The video is replete with throwback dance moves and shimmering shtick from Healy. We can’t stop watching it.

You can pre-order the new album HERE.  The band is also headed out on tour in support of the new album, and you can check out the North American dates HERE (Coachella is obviously on the docket for all the chinchillas).

27
Nov

Watch Blood Orange Perform One of the Best Songs of 2018 on The Tonight Show

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Blood Orange appeared on The Tonight Show last night and fantastically performed Charcoal Baby, one of our Best Songs of 2018. The soulful song is flute and sax infused, and Dev Hyne’s guitar and vocals are simply stentorian. Check it out below and give Blood Orange’s stellar new album Negro Swan it’s rightful due HERE.

“Can you break sometimes…?” Yeah, sometimes.

And check out our Best Songs of 2018 playlist below.

16
Nov

A Must-Watch: the Tiny Desk Concert of Boygenius (Phoebe Bridgers, Julien Baker and Lucy Dacus)

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The “super-group” Boygenius recently released its debut recording (listen HERE and buy it HERE). Phoebe Bridgers, Julien Baker and Lucy Dacus have combined in an ensemble that may be greater than its great parts. A fantastic introduction to the group can be found below when they performed recently at NPR’s Tiny Desk.

This may not be Friday fare for everyone (perhaps on Sunday mornings coming down or on I don’t like Mondays?), but when you’re ready to wade into some deeper and well-wrought (albeit melancholy) songwriting waters as exhibited in the touching ensemble performance below, there will be rewards.

Watch below as Boygenius performs Souvenir, Me & My Dog, and Ketchum, ID off of their EP.

Boygenius is currently on tour and will be in Cali at the end of this month. Get your tickets HERE.

26
Oct

Suss (Another) Superior Thom Yorke Song from Suspiria Soundtrack and Watch Performance

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We previously raved about Thom Yorke’s song Suspirium off of the just-released-today Suspiria film soundtrack that combines an instrumental score with songs and interludes in a double-album. The album is out now on XL Recordings and you can pick it up HERE.

Yorke has now released Unmade, another outstanding twinkling/tinkling piano-based sorrow-bender from the soundtrack. The song’s composition is more complex than on first blush, and the lyrics (see at bottom) and vocals completely take you over.  Yorke continues to show that he remains at the top of the songwriting game. Bravo!  To add to the beautiful recorded version below, afterwards watch Yorke’s  hauntingly enthralling performance of Unmade in BBC Radio 6 Music’s Maida Vale studios on solo piano.  Wow.

“Come under my wings, little bird
Come under my wings, little bird
Come under my wings

Unmade, unmade
I swear that there’s nothing up my sleeves
And then back again
I swear there’s nothing
Unmade

There’s no faces
Won’t grow back again
Broken pieces
Unmade

I swear there’s nothing
Won’t grow back again
I swear there’s nothing
Come under my wings
Come under my wings
Come under my wings
Under my wings
We’re unmade”

18
Oct

Miya Folick Wears Her Redress Well in New Song “Thingamajig” Off Impending Debut Album

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We’ve raved about Miya Folick since first encountering her music in 2015. Since then Folick has gone on to thrash and feather and frolic among disparate modes and sounds, including some agro-punkish forays. Folick’s most recent release, single Thingamajig, can be heard below and is from her highly anticipated debut album Premonitions on Terrible Records/Interscope. Thingamajig is a stunningly beautiful song that can stop you in your tracks and cause you to forgive and labor in love. We’re sorry, but we love this song.

Folick explains, “The first song on my album is called THINGAMAJIG. It’s about realizing you were wrong, apologizing, and relinquishing control. It feels pretty relevant right now, so I’m putting it out…. I know that I have people I need to say sorry to. I think most people do. I think some people have bigger apologies to make than others. I want to hear you say you’re sorry.”

Check out the song below and lyrics after. In particular, we love this couplet: “I am smiling wide, I’m the reason the sky is blue.” We have loved artists’ use of the “I am” aggrandizement, and Folick’s is another to add to the likes of The National (“I’m a festival, I’m a parade”). Thinking big thoughts.

You can listen to three other songs from Premonitions and pre-order it HERE.

Folick kicks off a worldwide tour at LA’s vaunted Troubadour this Monday, October 22nd.  Get tickets HERE.

“All the hands I’ve made
Grow in time
Feel my light
Your plastic bones are mine

If you want to be angry
I don’t mind. I’ll let you go
If you want to be angry
I don’t mind. I’ll leave you alone

I am sorry
I know I am wrong

So take it all
I want to be out of control
So take it all
I want to be out of control

I am smiling wide
I’m the reason the sky is blue
Careful design
Was poured into me and poured into you

If you want to be angry
I don’t mind. I’ll let you go
If you want to be angry
I don’t mind. I’ll leave you alone

I am sorry
I know I am wrong

So take it all
I want to be out of control
So take it all
I want to be out of control

Only you know what to do now
Only you know what to do
Only you know what to do now
Only you know what to do”

2
Oct

Watch The National Perform “Dark Side of the Gym” (with Dancers) on The Tonight Show

Last night ever-busy The National performed on The Tonight Show. We were wondering what/how they would play that would transfer well to the TV studio and format. We imagined lead-singer Matt Berninger’s possible trademark singalong with the studio audience or some special accompanying singers such as Phoebe Bridgers, Cat Power or possibly Sharon Van Etten (more about her later today). What we didn’t imagine is that the band would engage two dancers to gracefully lace their endearing Sleep Well Beast song Dark Side of the Gym.

True confession: without any judgment of the good souls who love and engage in the art-form, dance is easily our least favorite genre. We’re not the best “dancers” (slow or otherwise). And we don’t generally appreciate others dancing and especially anything even remotely in the “interpretive dance” realm. So when we heard about our favorite American band performing with dancers on The Tonight Show, we were prepared for copious eye-rolling and embarrassment on our and others’ parts. But as you can see below, Justin Peck (New York City Ballet resident choreographer) and former Miami City Ballet principal dancer Patricia Delgado, added graceful, inventive dancing that coalesced perfectly with the song. Bravo!

In the meantime, the best live American band did what they do best (in, for them, a more contemplative and nuanced performance).

Check it out below.