24
May

Check Out “Waitress” From Philly’s Hop Along

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We were recently tipped off by a Philadelphia native (thanks Jon) of that city’s indie-punk band, Hop Along, and the otherworldly vocals of its singer, Frances Quinlan.  Turns out the tip was spot on.  Check out below Quinlan’s powerful, hectoring vocals on their track Waitress off of the band’s break-out album, Painted ShutIf you aren’t seriously impressed when you hit the 26th second of Waitress and Quinlan first let’s howl with “just” her heart, then we fear for your musical soul.  Her vocal reminds us of that day in 1991 when we drove onto the Bay Bridge and first heard Kurt Cobain’s ground-breaking vocals on Smells Like Teen Spirit and immediately scrambled (pre-Shazam, y’all) to discern the name behind the voice.  Yes, Quinlan is THAT good on this song.

According to Quinlan, the song is derived from her day jobs in various bars and restaurants around Philly, and the intermittent humiliation: “It’s about one of the first times when I looked at somebody and felt the distaste in the air,” she explains. “I mean, I could have been making it up. You don’t know what people think about you, but just being in a situation where you know someone has reason to be disgusted with you. And I was just trying to do my job. It was one of the first times I felt really small.”

Check Waitress out below and pick up Painted Shut (now on Saddle Creek).  The song’s lyrics are at bottom.  We’ll have more on Hop Along soon come.

“Realized I knew you from
His photo when you walked
Into the restaurant
And my heart just sunk
Your friend looked over from the bar
She must’ve known, who I was
The worst possible version of what I’d done
As, seating couples
I tried to listen

By the time it’s old
A face will have been seen
One and a half
Million times
One million times
I don’t know why I worry, I mean
Maybe she didn’t recognize me

I call you enemy
Cause I’m afraid of
What you could call me
The world’s gotten so small and
Embarrassing

By the time it’s old
My face will have been seen
And I’ll share a very
Common poverty
It’s a very common kind
Common kind, common kind
It’s a very common kind
It’s not that I am worried
I just wish you and your friends would leave

We’ve long since closed now
Still you and some others, stick around
You and some others stick around
You and some others stick around
We’ve long closed now, still
You and some others stick around
You and some others stick around
You and some others stick around”

23
May

Watch Villagers’ Rending Take Away Show

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Ever make a mistake?  Twice?  Apparently Pavlov was wrong.  We once again took leave of our minds and lost track of Ireland’s Villagers.  Thanks to a new album (Darling Arithmetic on Domino Records) and La Blogotheque’s Take Away Shows below featuring songwriter-leader Conor J. O’Brien, this memory-lapse has been corrected.  AgainCheck out the beauty found in these lyrics expressed so well in a church, the perfect reverberating backdrop for O’Brien as he performs Hot Scary Summer (worthy lyrics at very bottom) off of the new album.

Afterwards, watch O’Brien performing Everything I Am Is Yours acoustic with accompanying harpist.

And finally, watch O’Brien accompanying Ala Ni covering Cry Me A River in that same church.

Villagers will be coming through California the first week in June and the dates can be found HERE.

“Ohh Lord

So you thank me for my hard work
But you’ve had it up to there
‘Cos this shouldn’t be hard work
But I’ll fight to care if you’d care to fight

Thank you for your hard work
But I’ve had it up to here
‘Cos this shouldn’t be hard work
Least not the kind that makes us half a person
Half a monster
Stuck together in this hot scary summer

Ohh Lord
Hot scary Summer
Ohh

Remember kissing on the cobblestones
In the heat of the night
And all the pretty young homophobes
Looking out for a fight

We got good at pretending
And then pretending got us good
We’ve always been up against it
But now it’s sad to see
We’re up against each other in this hot scary summer

Ohh Lord
Hot scary Summer
Ohh

I live inside you
And you live in me
And I live inside you
And you live in me
And Nothings gonna change that dear
Nothings gonna change that dear
Not even being apart
We travel right to the heart
Of this Hot Scary Summer

Ohh Lord
Hot scary Summer
Ohh

So you thank me for my hard work
But we’ve had it up here
‘Cos this shouldn’t be hard work
Least not the kind that make us
Half a person
Half a monster
Stuck together in this hot scary summer”

21
May

Listen to The Weather Station’s “Tapes” Off New Album “Loyalty”

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Now that all the Letterman hoopla is (unfortunately) over, it’s time to get back to some new music.  And the music that’s resonating most on this gray, oil-slick California day is Canada’s The Weather Station and the sterling track Tapes off of their new album LoyaltyTamara Lindeman is the Canadian singer-songwriter that is The Weather Station, and she is emblematic of the best of Canada’s female singer-songwriters.  On the intimate Tapes below Lindeman manages to channel the Canadian greats Joni Mitchell, Mary Margaret O’Hara, and Kathleen Edwards all in one heart-breaking, haiku-like, cautionary lament.  Cautionary in the sense that we, like many, have got some tapes laying around that no one may ever hear.  Check Tapes out below.  The song’s lyrics are at bottom, though the singer’s mournful vocals convey as much or more.

We’ll have more on The Weather Station and the critically-acclaimed Loyalty soon.  Loyalty was recorded in France with Bahamas’ multi-talented Afie Jurvanen and engineer Robbie Lackritz (Bahamas, Feist).  In short: we concur completely with the acclaim of those critics.

TAPES

“I found the little tapes you kept under your bed, and I played and played and played
them, over and over again. Years ago, walking alone, you sang “Oh.”
In your high strange voice, your feet scuffing along the pavement. Trying to sing what
you meant, late at night

it was too important.
I’m older now than you ever were, or ever would become.”

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21
May

In Honor of David Letterman: Watch The Foo Fighters Last Night On Letterman’s Finale

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Well here’s something you haven’t seen on The Lefort Report: the Foo Fighters. Nothing against the Foos, but they seem to be doing alright without any coverage by this humble rag.  In honor, however, of the great David Letterman and his favorite band and song, check out below the Foo Fighters performing their song Everlong last night as the culmination of the last episode of the Late Show with David Letterman.  We will say this about the Foos (in addition to Dave Grohl’s huge-heartedness):  Taylor Hawkins shreds on drums.  Wow.  Check it out.  So sorry to see you go Dave Letterman.  An era ends, but happy trails to one of the greatest entertainers to ever live.

20
May

Watch Janelle Monae Stretching Her Talents on Jimmy Fallon Show

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Whoa…it’s been a crazy-busy time with all sorts of stuff goin’ down.  Chief amongst the “entertainment stuff” going down is David Letterman’s retirement after tonight’s last show of his 30+ year rein. Dave’s had a gaggle of great guests on the past few weeks in particular (the high point being the inimitable Tom Waits last week). And all the while the other talk show host have been paying tribute to Dave (Jimmy Kimmel’s choked-up tribute last night was sweet) and plying their wares.

For example, on Monday night Jimmy Fallon had on the highly entertaining Janelle MonaeWe’ve been touting Monae since 2010 so it’s great to see her finally getting her due and scoring big.  On Fallon, with superb support from The Roots and her pal Jidenna, she simply took over the studio and scintillated with her new track Yoga.  The song is as catchy as SARS and, to our ears, takes a page out of M.I.A.’s estimable songbook.

Check it out and if you want more, watch her desk-stomping performance on the Letterman Show in 2013 HERE.

After the Fallon vignette, check out the official video for Yoga.

15
May

Refreshed and Updated: Tom Waits on TV

Following last night’s Waits-ian finale on Letterman, it makes sense to refresh and update our old TW on TV compendium.  As mentioned earlier today, one of our favorite songwriters, performers, and interviewees is Tom Waits. With respect to the latter, his television interviews/performances are legendary, dating from the mid-70s on The Mike Douglas Show and the underrated Fernwood Tonight. This is one very talented, bright and hilarious lad. And it’s the stellar string of Letterman Show performances over the last 30+ years that best capture the humor and live performances. He’s a national treasure, plain and simple.  This was further supported last night with Waits’ final appearance on the Letterman Show.

Check out the 1976 piano performance and interview with Mike Douglas to start and then his Fernwood Tonight (The Piano Has Been Drinking) spot, and then a series of Letterman segments, and at the very bottom a Conan spot and then a stunning delivery of Tom Traubert’s Blues, and a few others to boot. There’s lots more where these came from so we’ll just keep updating.

Here’s part 2 to that 1983 Letterman segment. Check out his performance of On The Nickel. If you aren’t moved by this song, starting at 1:59, you simply have no soul.

Tom Waits on Late Night With Conan O’Brien 05.04.2007 from Anti Records on Vimeo.

And then it gets really heart-felt, and you have to Waltz with Matilda and Tom right here:

15
May

Watch Tom Waits Last Night on David Letterman

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Simply put, Tom Waits is a national treasure.  He has graced us with some of the best songs ever written, is a legendary performer, and has been a storied guest on the late night TV circuit for four decads.  We’ve had coffee with he and his friends, spent New Years Eve with him (sure, with a thousand others at the Orpheum in San Francisco on 12/31/90) and caught him live on multiple occasions.  We have yet to feel under-entertained by Waits.

Such was the case last night when Waits appeared on one of the last Late Shows with David Letterman.  Waits performed a new wistful homage to Letterman entitled Take One Last Look (lyrics at bottom).  Waits introduced the new song by saying: “This one’s for you, Dave.”

As usual with Letterman, Waits also gave his now-standard interview with Letterman before performing.  Check out both below.  Très charmant.  Waits rarely performs live these days, last appearing two years ago at Neil Young’s Bridge School Concert.  If you get a chance to catch him, don’t miss it.

We will next post a refreshed and updated compendium of Waits other historic late night performances and interviews.  There goes your Friday.

“Let’s watch the sun come up in another town
Try our luck a little further down
Leave the cards on the table
Leave the bread on the plate
Put your hand on the gear-shift
put your foot off the brake.

And take one last look at the place that you are leaving
Take one last look
Oh take one last look at the place that you are leaving
Take one last look

Our bed was something that the wind can carry
The arrow points away across the waiting prairie
This car looks like it could give us a good run
Our choice to leave was a good one.

And take one last look at the place that you are leaving
Take one last look
Oh take one last place at the place that you are leaving
Take one last look

Let’s look forward to the lights that are new
The world is a ribbon of road for you
All towns have churches and tire shops
They put up speed limit signs in the eye of the cops

I love to see the wind in your hair
All we ever need, we can get anywhere

And take one last look at the place that you are leaving
Take one last look
Oh take one last place at the place that you are leaving
Take one last look”

14
May

Check Out the Crazy-Catchy Pop of “Under Light Symphonies” by New Artist Remi Miles

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We recently stumbled upon Brighton, England’s new pop sensation, Remi MilesMiles recently released his debut EP entitled Under Light Symphonies.  We are completely hooked on the title track in particular, but check out all four gems off the EP below.  The title track just managed, seemingly all by itself, to disburse the clouds outside and bring forth the sun’s rays.  Superb stuff from Remi Miles that bodes incredibly well for this new artist.

13
May

Watch Spoon’s New “Inside Out” Video

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Spoon’s 2014 album, They Want My Soul, was one of the Best Albums of 2014, and the track Inside Out was one of the bests of that Best.  So much so that the band recently released a four-track EP of remixes of the song and the original demo of the song. And, in connection with his Eaux Claires Music Festival (at which Spoon will play), Justin Vernon has done the song justice by covering it well.  And now the song has been honored with its official video, which you can check out below.  The video was directed by LeBlanc + Cudmore (ALt-J, Belle & Sebastian).  In the video, time has indeed gone inside out with sepia-toned vignettes of a robbery, a heinous fight; a prowling vixen in a tawdry motel; a backup singers’ studio session; and a too-young wedding.  Most of the scenes have some unsavory flavor to them, playing into our prior theorem about the song’s lyrics.  Check the video out below and solve the visual riddle for us.

In the meantime, Spoon remains out on tour and is headed to California later this month.  We can’t wait.

12
May

Track and Field Mixtape–Torres’ “Sprinter”

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It’s that time of year.  In the next month-plus the best of our athletes will head toward the California State Track and Field Championships, NCAA Championships, NAIA Championships, USA National Championships, and eventually the World Championships.  For some athletes their season/career is complete, all effort given and exploited in their exploits.  Some may have remorse (or joy) in being done.  Regardless, as Stephen Malkmus wrote:  “Carry on, it’s a marathon.”

As we’ve done in the past (HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE), we add a season-end song to the Track and Field MixtapeSprinter, the title track of Torres’ brand new album that is justly receiving critical huzzahs.  May this headstrong song serve as encouragement on any and all levels.  First we sprint.  And then we run.  Choose to run.  Choose the sun.

We’ll soon have a full review of Torres’ formidable new album.  Until then, put Sprinter on repeat below.  The song’s commendable lyrics are at bottom.

“Word of Life
On severed tree
I picked it up
And took a swing

My pastor told us,
“Don’t you worry,
Even Zaccheaus
Found his glory.”

I was a sprinter then
Living to see it end

Well, pastor lost
His position
Went down
For pornography

So I found myself some
Ground to stand
Bound to be
The better man

I was a sprinter then
Living to see it end

Wound up in
A holding pattern
Circled my landing
In a lather

Unnerved, I laughed,
“I planned the snag!”
Then went down
For a dipso jag

I was a sprinter then
Dying to see it end
I was a sprinter then
Dying to see it end

There’s freedom to
And freedom from
And freedom to run
From everyone

There’s freedom to
And freedom from
And freedom to run
From everyone

Well, what I did
Is what is done
The Baptist in me
Chose to run

But if there’s still time
To choose the sun
I’ll choose the sun
I’ll choose the sun

I’ll run it back
I’ll choose the sun
I’ll run it back
To everyone

If there’s still time
I’ll choose the sun
And I’ll run it back
To everyone”