April, 2010 Archives

30
Apr

Avi Buffalo (Sans Maria)

by Lefort in Music

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The Long Beach band, Avi Buffalo, came to Santa Barbara to play at Jensen’s courtesy of the ubiquitous Club Mercy.  Everywhere and mercy-ful!

Consisting of Avi on guitar and vocals, Rebecca Coleman on keys and vocals, Arin Fazio on bass, and Sheridan Riley on drums, and recently signed to SubPop, this band of 19-year olds plays and strives decades beyond their years.   Their songs feature complex, extraordinary chords and key changes, with Shins-esque vocals thrown in intermittently.  From time to time one hears Beach Boys influences, at others the Byrds, and still others the Beatles.  These are the  Killer-Bs.  Add to that some crazy-good musicianship (with an occasional dollop of prog) and limned innocence lyrics-wise, and you have a band preparing to bust through.  Good stuff.  Check out (in particular) the songs Remember Last Time and What’s In It For? below.

Avi Buffalo–Remember Last Time

[audio:http://www.thelefortreport.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/09-Remember-Last-Time.mp3|titles=09 Remember Last Time]

Avi Buffalo–What’s in it For?

[audio:http://www.thelefortreport.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/02-Whats-In-It-For_.mp3|titles=02 What’s In It For_]

28
Apr

I’ve Been From Here To Salina Kansas

by Lefort in Music

The Brothers Avett came to Santa Barbara and wowed the avid crowd at the Arlington tonight.  They took to the stage right on time and played throughout with boat loads of beauty and love and deliverance.  Their continuous arch is the proverbial everyman, and every man, woman and child reveled in the authenticity.  They restored our faith in humanity, and did it with  sonorous two-story, two-part harmonies and perfectly matched banjo, guitar, keys, drums, bass and, naturally, bowed cello .

You get a good feel for their musical story from their well-rendered videos (I and Love and You is representative), but these southern lads deal from the heart, and every dealt hand is aces.  We listened to Scott and the band talk to fans after, straining to hear a false syllable or sentiment.   Not one syllable.  The Avetts profess to know they are blessed, and we heard it lived out on and back of the stage.

And they had to play that dang song.  Salina.  It took us back to our roots and made us pine for Salinans and Concordians, and especially for quite a few now departed for parts beyond California and this earth.

“Salina, I’m as nowhere as can be.  Could you add some somewhere to me.  Ah Kansas, I’m kneeling, ah Kansas, please.”

Afterwords, Scott said the town, for them, is an American crossroads through which they have passed frequently.  Same here, but a native son can feel his life’s priorities at times misaligned.  Boatloads of shame.  Make sure y’all go home frequently, ya hear?

To sum up, according to a good woman we know and love:  “Dem boys were salt of the earth, barnyard thumping, country cauterwaling, country-slicking rock n’ roll.”

We concur.  The Avetts are, at a minimum, the best Americana band currently on the planet.

Tonight we started the week’s A-List with the Avetts.  Tomorrow night it’s Avi Buffalo (thanks Club Mercy).  And Friday it’s the Antlers.   Be right back.  In the meantime, here’s Salina.

[audio:http://www.thelefortreport.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/07-Salina.mp3|titles=07 Salina]
27
Apr

Lupe Yorke–Don’t Erase the Fiasco

by Lefort in Music

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We alluded previously to Lupe Fiasco, and he remains our favorite current American rapper.  Lupe Fiasco?  Well, it’s a tad catchier than his given name:  Wasalu Muhammad Jaco (though following the bank meltdown, we think WaMu Fiasco would have been far more appropriate).  Regardless, Fiasco brings urgency and literacy to a genre forever plagued by misogynistic, one-upsman, gangsta ridiculousness (Put ’em on the glass, indeed–jeesh).  Fiasco ain’t perfect (but is compared to others who succumb even on this track), and as stated previously, we’ll generally throw on K’ Naan and Nneka first, but his wordplay is comparatively breath’s fresh air, and when riding on top of Thom Yorke’s Eraser track, the combination compels completely.

Lupe leads off this track by Child Rebel Soldier (CRS) super-hip-hop group, and is followed by Kanye and Pharrell Williams.

All the money in the world don’t make it painless.  Don’t let it erase you.

Check out CRS’s US Placers (found on Fiasco’s “Follow the Leader” record and Kanye’s “Can’t Tell Me Nothing” record).

[audio:http://www.thelefortreport.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/Lupe-Fiasco-f.-Kanye-West-Pharrell-US-Placers.mp3|titles=Lupe Fiasco f. Kanye West, Pharrell – US Placers]
26
Apr

Rock the Casbah! Rock the Casbah!

by Lefort in Film

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Speaking of The Clash, we can’t wait to see the Iranian film No One Knows About Persian Cats.

In what many are touting as the best music film in quite some time, this film is said to offer both an authentic perspective on current-day Iran and a great exploration of its underground and under wraps indie rock scene.  It’s winning prizes everywhere, including a Special Jury Prize at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival.

No One Knows About Persian Cats follows a boy and girl as they plan to start an indie rock band shortly after being released from prison.  Both travel to Tehran where they meet other underground rock musicians and attempt to convince them to leave Iran, all of which is highly unlikely without funds or passports.

The music sounds scintillating and features Take it Easy Hospital, Mahdyar Aghajani, Hichcas, and The Yellow Dogs Band.

Coming soon to a theater or high def television near you.

We’re sure Joe Strummer is giving the film two thumbs up, way up, from above.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M0yNALZaFio&feature=PlayList&p=C1874FDEA0F4A5FC&playnext_from=PL&playnext=1&index=11

25
Apr

The Avetts are Coming! The Avetts are Coming!

by Lefort in Music

Given the impending Avett Brothers concert this Wednesday at the Arlington in Santa Barbara, we encourage you to come out and see one of the most soulful new-ish bands in America.

Straight outta ‘Bama; royally Rubinized (Rick) on their most recent recording; and raring to take America by storm.

For a glimpse, check out their emotionally-charged, Hipstamatic stylings on the video for the title song of their record “I and Love and You”.  And then feel the love on their song Shame off of their 2007 recording “Emotionalism.”

The Avett Brothers-Shame

02 Shame

24
Apr

Magnificence on The Tom Snyder Show

by Lefort in Music

Back in the day, we didn’t have no stinkin’ YouTube, Vimeo, or even MTV (horrors!).  So we desperately combed the air waves for good music.  And of all places, folks like Dick Cavett, Johnny Carson and Tom Snyder would deliver the goods, and especially the latter.

We’ve recently encountered new Clash fans pining for recollections of the energy and power The Clash delivered live back in the day and wanting to know more about their live shows.

Combining the two, we give you (thanks YouTube!) The Clash killing it on The Tom Snyder Show in 1981 on their magnificent song The Magnificent Seven.  The video quality ain’t perfect, but you get the picture.  Joe Strummer’s left leg tells the story best.  RIP Joe.

23
Apr

National New-National Day!

by Lefort in Music

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The New York Times is streaming The National’s new record “High Violet” starting today through April 27th.  Check it out at the link below.

They continue to show their creative mettle.  Sounds amazing so far.  And their great song “Terrible Love” (done on Fallon Show as viewable way below) opens the proceedings.

Looking forward to tapping my foot to the band at the Wiltern on May 22nd.  The last time there, Berninger came out into the audience during Mr. November and tightrope-walked a barrier while exhorting the crowd; and pregnant women in the audience went into labor.  National labor power.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/25/magazine/25national-t.html

22
Apr

Make a Believer Out of Me

by Lefort in Music

Like you, we get tons of people asking for our favorite song ever recorded on a phone machine.  And without hesitation, we know that it’s Damien Jurado’s “Ohio” as covered by CocoRosie for Believer Magazine.

In this recording, CocoRosie records Jurado’s great song via a phone machine and adds a concatenating swing to the song, while the lyrics/vocals recall remorseful long distance phone calls re-imagined with a tin cans and string motif.

The lyrics “I’ve not seen my mother in ages, it’s been a long time, a real long time” can indeed stick in the throat of a “home”-sick listener.

Every July/August Believer Magazine (another fine Dave Eggers publication) puts out its Music Issue, including CD.  There’ve been a couple of clinkers along the way, but the tracks are generally special-commissioned performances or offerings, and often featuring unique cover tracks.  Highly recommended.

As for CocoRosie, they too are highly recommended for their other ethereal offerings.  Check out “Ohio” below.

Coco Rose-Ohio

04 Ohio

21
Apr

Shatterday

by Lefort in Music

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As predicted elsewhere, we were shattered yesterday after four concerts in five nights.  And did we mention we are old and not getting any younger?

So briefly, on behalf of Greg Lawler and all the nostalgic photo-folks at Brooks Institute and elsewhere, we give you Yo La Tengo’s  Emulsified off of their seminal “Fakebook” longplayer.  They rocked it hard on an encore Monday night in Santa Barbara.

[yolatengo.jpg]

Yo La Tengo-Emulsified

07 Emulsified

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20
Apr

Velvety Yo La Tengo

by Lefort in Music

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My Photos | YO LA TENGO

For the first time ever, Yo La Tengo came to town last night, playing a sold out show at Velvet Jones in Santa Barbara.  Their excuse for not playing here previously?  They claimed to have vowed not to play here until Jeff Bridges won an Oscar.  And voila, here they were!

Let me just say right up front:  middle age becomes this band.  The last times we had caught them were in the Bay Area (Berkeley Square and GAMH circa ’93-’95), and there was angst and piss aplenty.  It’s nice to see what 15-17 years will do for a band (and, one assumes, the marriage of Ira Kaplan and Georgia Hubley).

At the Velvet, YLT played like they were making up for lost time and opportunities in Santa Barbara.  They were in great spirits, particularly an ebullient Ira, and very generous throughout, providing at least twice as many songs as they performed at Coachella over the weekend (reduced sets being part of our complaint with festivals).  Their set covered a good amount of their discography, and stylistically spanned across a wide range of 20th and 21st century American music.  Everything from doo wop, to thrash rock, to three-part harmonies, to folky madness was exhibited.  And, prodded by the great crowd, they came back for three stellar encores (hello, calling Mr. Yorke), including great renditions of Fakebook’s Emulsified and Griselda, a rousing cover of Adam and the Ants’ Ant Music, and a beautiful ballad by John Cale (Hanky Panky Nohow off of his classic “Paris 1919” album, which also includes the plaintive Andalucia covered by YLT on “Fakebook”).

The musicianship was marvelous, with Ira alternately wielding fedback and deftly plucked guitar, Georgia reaching high with her mallets to bring the beat back, and James providing adroit bass and guitar touches (and the occasional “Indie Barry White” delivery).

It was all there, and great beyond expectation.  They’ve got it, and they gave it all to us.

Hopefully, it won’t take another 20 years to get them back to Santa Barbara.  We’ll hope that Mr. Bridges wins another deserved Oscar next year so the band’s again required, per their own standard, to again play Santa Barbara.