May, 2011 Archives

31
May

The Real Country–No. (20)11

by Lefort in Music

The Real Country is oft-times of earlier eras.  But Real Country is still alive and kicking today if you look hard enough.  While they are not straightahead, straitjacket purveyors of strictly country music, at its core Megafaun embodies the heart and soul of Real Country.

The boys from Megafaun were originally in the band DeYarmond Edison with Justin Vernon, until he left for the good musical winter that is Bon Iver.   Since then these Raleigh-NC-by-way-of-Eau-Claire-WI lads (Phil Cook, Brad Cook, and Joe Westerlund) have re-grouped in North Carolina as Megafaun.  Megafaun resounds in an eclectic and multifarious sound incorporating indie, folk and sweet harmonies augmented with varied sounds such as free-jazz and psych-folk.  Megafaun has released three “albums” and have garnered critical acclaim throughout.

From the Real Country portion of their discography, check out the addicting song Volunteers off of their 2010 album “Heretofore.” After the second or third listen, you’ll be fawning over Megafaun.

Megafaun–Volunteers

[audio:http://www.thelefortreport.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/megafaunvolunteers.mp3|titles=megafaunvolunteers]
31
May

Radiohead Coverland–Weezer Covers “Paranoid Android”

by Lefort in Music

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This must be the season of (the witch and) Radiohead covers.  The interweb is blowing up with Radiohead covers.  And there was joy across the land.  Comes now Rivers (Phoenix Mario) Cuomo and Weezer with a stellar covering of Paranoid Android.

30
May

Arctic Monkeys on Letterman

by Lefort in Music

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We flipped over to Letterman the other night and were reminded why the Arctic Monkeys are one of our favorite Brit rock bands.  The band is about to release their fourth album, the ridiculously entitled “Suck It and See” (of course Letterman had fun with that title).  You can check out the pre-release stream of the new album at the Guardian HERE.  Check out the video in which the band perform the very greazy “Don’t Sit Down ‘Cause I’ve Moved Your Chair,” with its interesting lyrical bent (frontman Alex Turner is slyly one of rock’s great lyricists when you can make it out amongst all the venom).  And after that check out one of the best songs ever recorded by man (Riot Van) and a few of their great rockers.

Up rolls the Riot Van and sparks excitement in the boys.  Indeed.  One of the greats.  We love:  “Up rolls the riot van and these lads just wind the coppers up, and that’s why they don’t catch proper crooks.”  It’s a variation of sorts lyrically on Arcade Fire’s Sprawl I (Flatland) and countless other great rock songs.

Arctic Monkeys–Riot Van

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

And sounding at times like early Jam and The Clash, with some dashes of The Strokes and The Libertines, these lads also wind the rockers up.  Check ’em out and then look out for the new album.

Arctic Monkeys–When the Sun Goes Down

[audio:http://www.thelefortreport.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/11-When-The-Sun-Goes-Down.mp3|titles=11 When The Sun Goes Down]

Arctic Monkeys–Red Light Indicates Doors Are Secured

[audio:http://www.thelefortreport.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/08-Red-Light-Indicates-Doors-Are-Secured.mp3|titles=08 Red Light Indicates Doors Are Secured]

Arctic Monkeys–From the Ritz to The Rubble

[audio:http://www.thelefortreport.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/12-From-The-Ritz-To-The-Rubble.mp3|titles=12 From The Ritz To The Rubble]


29
May

Hope for Bieber–More Radiohead Covers

by Lefort in Music

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We have been smitten again by the songs of Radiohead and have drudged up a couple of fine, surprising covers of the band’s offerings.

Check out Gnarls Barkley covering Reckoner with Cee-Lo killing the vocals.  Oh my.

Even more surprising is kiddy band, Hanson (you know, MMMBop??), doing a  respectable version of Optimistic. Before you know it Bieber will be covering Kanye, sorry Kharma, Police.

Check it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=upgejnlYgSE&feature=player_embedded#at=320

25
May

A Canadian Paisley

by Lefort in Music

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Doug Paisley has been kicking the tail of that other (unrelated) Paisley poseur in the songwriting department (we’ll give Brad the guitar-playing nod for now).   Paisley’s released two well-regarded albums, including last year’s fine “Constant Companion” (see photo above).

There’s nothing too fancy here; just malingering melodies supporting evocative, carefully-tended lyrics delivered via matter-of-fact, well-sung vocals.  Sometimes you can tell the worth of a musician by the attention paid by fellow musicians.  In Paisley’s case, he’s drawn the attention of the fabulous Feist and legend Garth Hudson of The Band, along with other fine musicians who supported him on Constant Companion.  Check out a few of his songs below.  Up first is What I Saw.

Doug Paisley–What I Saw

[audio:http://www.thelefortreport.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/11-What-I-Saw.mp3|titles=11 What I Saw]

Right off in this song we hear an opening homage to Neil Young, circa “Comes a Time” or “Harvest Moon.”  And then we get Paisley’s seemingly simple story and delivery, as elevated by Feist’s angelic choral vocals and Garth Hudson’s organic organ accompaniment.

“Fell out of love, wandered around

Wore out my shoes, went to the town

Wouldn’t you know, well I couldn’t get back

Train that I took was torn from the tracks

Did you see what I saw?

Could it be that I’ve lost

A way to go on and a reason to go

And all that I see is all that I know

Sad as I feel, a lonesome room (on the video version below: “Sad as I fear, the monkey in me”)

Banishing words heckle the gloom (video version:  “I’m looking at you, looking at me”)

I’m up on the hill, and I look to the sea

Ship on the shore is waiting for me.

Did you see what I saw?

Could it be that I’ve lost

A way to go on and a reason to go

And all that I see is all that I know”

Here’s the song done live, providing even more reason to love the violin.

Also check out No One But You and, with a further tip of the influence hat to Neil Young, Paisley’s cover of Young’s Out on the Weekend.

Doug Paisley–No One But You

[audio:http://www.thelefortreport.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/noq025.mp3|titles=noq025]

Doug Paisley–Out on the Weekend

[audio:http://www.thelefortreport.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/01-Out-On-The-Weekend.mp3|titles=01 Out On The Weekend]

Fell out of love, wandered around

Wore out my shoes, went to the town

Wouldn’t you know, well I couldn’t get back

Train that I took was torn from the tracks

Did you see what I saw?

Could it be that I’ve lost

A way to go on and a reason to go

And all that I see is all that I know

Sad as I feel, a lonesome room

Banishing words heckle the gloom

I’m up on the hill, and I look to the sea

Ship on the shore is waiting for me.

Did you see what I saw?

Could it be that I’ve lost

A way to go on and a reason to go

And all that I see is all that I know

23
May

The Talk Show Music Roundup

by Lefort in Music

There have been some great musical performances in the past few days on the late night talk shows.  First up is Iron & Wine from the Tonight Show.  The band gave a stunning performance of their song, Tree By The River, replete with female back-up singers, piano, mandolin, and clarinet.  We love this band.

Next up is the cover-happy Bon Iver from the Jimmy Fallon Show.  The band begins with Donny Hathaway’s A Song for You, before segueing into Bonnie Raitt’s I Can’t Make You Love Me, coupled with a bit of Nick Of Time.  We would have preferred their clarion new song, Calgary. But make no mistake:  the boy can sing and create a mood like few others.

In stark contrast to Bon Iver’s smooth delivery, check out the powerful Joy Formidable from Wales, performing their song Whirring on Conan.  The group starts mid-tempo, but steadily builds to an energetic, thunderous closing capped off by the bass player devolving into some sort of performance-art headstand that may end up being the butt of some jokes.  But before that end, there was some impressive and passionate playing and singing.  We were pleasantly surprised that this is a band living up to the hype.  Definitely a band to keep an eye on.

Also making the talk shows were L.A’s Foster the People on Jimmy Kimmel performing their uber-catchy songs Pumped Up Kicks and Helena Beat.  The band just released their debut album, “Torches,” this week. Check them out.

And last, but not least, Yeasayer was on Conan the other day.  The Brooklyn band debuted a new song, The Devil and The Deed, a raucously rhythmic layout, and which they plan to record and release in the near future.  Check it out.

21
May

Yet Another Radiohead Cover–The Great Toots and the Maytals Cover “Let Down”

by Lefort in Music

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Let’s see, we love Radiohead.  Check.  And we love Toots and the Maytals.  Check.  How good would it be if the two were combined??  Checkmate!

Check it out.  And then check out a few other great videos by the always uplifting (even when “Let Down”) Toots and the Maytals.

19
May

“Traitor”–New Richard Buckner Song

by Lefort in Music

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The cognoscenti know. Richard Buckner is the real deal.  We’ve loved Buckner’s work from the beginning.  If you haven’t heard it, we highly recommend you pick up Buckner’s album, “Devotion + Doubt,” which is one of the all-time greats (listen to Lil Wallet Picture from that album, way below).

The cognizant have been waiting since 2006 for a new album release from one of America’s best.  Comes now “Our Blood,” which Merge Records will release on August 2nd.  There’s a reason or two it took so long for “Our Blood” to be finished and released.  Read about it below from Merge’s press release.

“First, there was the score to a film that never happened. Then there was a brief brush with the law over a headless corpse in a burned-out car that had all eyes in Buckner’s small hometown in upstate New York turned toward him and his long-suffering truck. Shortly after a move to a safer, less popular corpse dumping ground, the death of his tape machine led to yet another reboot. After Richard called in pedal steel and percussion players and put new mixes on his laptop, his new “safer” place was burglarized. Goodbye, laptop.

Buckner says: “Eventually, the recording machine was resuscitated and some of the material was recovered. Cracks were patched. Parts were redundantly re-invented. Commas were moved. Insinuations were re-insinuated until the last percussive breaths of those final OCD utterances were expelled like the final heaves of bile, wept-out long after the climactic drama had faded to a somber, blurry moment of truth and voilà!, the record was done, or, let us be clear, abandoned like the charred shell of a car with a nice stereo.””

Listen to Traitor, the phenomenal first song off of “Our Blood” below and download it HERETraitor is so good that Our Blood has to be one of our most highly anticipated releases of the year.

Check in HERE to read Buckner on “Our Love” generally and Traitor specifically.

Richard Buckner–Traitor

[audio:http://www.thelefortreport.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/traitor.mp3|titles=traitor]

And check out one of Buckner’s all-time greats, Surprise, AZ (as covered by Cynthia G. Mason from The 2005 Believer Magazine Music Issue). The song sings first of a man (woman, as covered?) traveling home with his mother after the funeral of his father, her estranged husband.  A relationship and a separation are sung, and he adds, “I think about him still/When I see you all alone.”  But his mother counters with memories of her son’s lost lover — the woman her son met when he was 23, who “let me down so far/I never quite made it back.”  A son and mother share their memories of lost love.  If you’re not affected by this song and its storylines, you simply have no soul.

Richard Buckner–Surprise, AZ

[audio:http://www.thelefortreport.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/09-Surprise-AZ-11.mp3|titles=09 Surprise, AZ 1]

And finally, below is Buckner’s moving Lil Wallet Picture. Buckner knows how to grab you by the ventricles.  Fourteen years later we’re still blown away by this song.

Richard Buckner–Lil Wallet Picture

[audio:http://www.thelefortreport.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/12-Lil-Wallet-Picture-1.mp3|titles=12 Lil Wallet Picture 1]

“Underspent
and too young too
I stumbled onto a picture of you
you wild bitter tale
all cherry oak and tears
as the branches looked in
the summer is done
and we are too, dear
pull back the drape
and let the silent light in
soon I’ll be on that highway

And damn this stretch of 99
that takes so many lives
one of them was mine

Hand me that lil wallet picture
1985
one more time

the lights of the street
where I’d walk to you at night
were so blindly lit
yeah, there were four little flames
his, mine, and yours,
and the torch in the attic
i woke up late
and kissed you awake
and as you packed up your load,
there was one last look
and then the U-haul broke free
now the ditches are flooded over the backroads

And damn this stretch of 99 that takes so many lives
one of them was mine

hand me that lil wallet picture
1985
one more time
underspent
and too young too
i stumbled onto a picture of you”

18
May

Death Cab on Fallon

by Lefort in Music

Death Cab for Cutie performed “You are a Tourist,” the first single off their impending new album, “Codes and Keys,” which will be released on May 31st, on The Jimmy Fallon Show.  How’s that for a run-on sentence, Teach?

Check it out below.

17
May

“Calgary”–New Bon Iver Release

by Lefort in Music

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Bon Iver took the indie world by storm a few short years ago.  Since then they’ve issued the “Blood Bank” EP and deferred a sophomore album release, while spending some quality time collaborating incessantly with the likes of St. Vincent, Feist and, more recently, GAYNGS.

Comes now Calgary, the first sampling of their forthcoming, eponymously-titled sophomore album that is due out June 21 on JagJaguar.  The song starts off with Justin Vernon’s (Peter) Gabriel-esque vocals in synth and guitar wash a la “For Emma.”  But then the song gradually accelerates, taking flight at 1:52.  And at and beyond 2:34 there is euphoria in sound.  Complexity and drums that drive.  And the lyrics entice (particularly the first and last stanzas).  “Don’t you cherish me to sleep.”  Indeed.

Though just one song, Calgary confirms the rumors seeping out that Vernon brought in an orchestra for the album and that he had filled the new album with layers and layers of instruments and complexity, taking the band’s sound to an entirely new level.

Judging from Calgary, Bon Iver chose to evolve rather than merely recreate “For Emma.”  Sounds to our ears a very positive step.

You can check it out below and download it HERE.

Bon Iver–Calgary

[audio:http://www.thelefortreport.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/Bon-Iver-Calgary.mp3|titles=Bon Iver — Calgary]

“don’t you cherish me to sleep
never keep your eyelids clipped
hold me for the pops and clicks
I was only for the father’s crib

hair, old, long along
your neck onto your shoulder blades
always keep that message taped
cross your breasts you won’t erase
I was only for your very space

hip, under nothing
propped up by your other one, face ‘way from the sun
just have to keep a dialogue
teach our bodies: haunt the cause
I was only trying to spell a loss

joy, it’s all founded
pincher with the skin inside
you pinned me with your black sphere eyes
you know that all the rope’s untied
I was only for to die beside

so itʼs storming on the lake
little waves our bodies break

there’s a fire going out,
but there’s really nothing to the south

swollen orange and light let through
your one piece swimmer stuck to you

sold, I’m Ever
open ears and open eyes
wake up to your starboard bride
who goes in and then stays inside
oh the demons come, they can subside”

don’t you cherish me to sleep

never keep your eyelids clipped

hold me for the pops and clicks

i was only for the father’s crib

hair, old, long along

your neck onto your shoulder blades

always keep that message taped

cross your breasts you won’t erase

i was only for your very space

hip, under nothing

propped up by your other one, face ‘way from the sun

just have to keep a dialogue

teach our bodies: haunt the cause

i was only trying to spell a loss

joy, it’s all founded

pincher with the skin inside

you pinned me with your black sphere eyes

you know that all the rope’s untied

i was only for to die beside

so it’s storming on the lake

little waves our bodies break

there’s a fire going out,

but there’s really nothing to the south

swollen orange and light let through

your one piece swimmer stuck to you

sold, i’m ever

open ears and open eyes

wake up to your starboard bride

who goes in and then stays inside

oh the demons come, they can subside