June, 2011 Archives

22
Jun

More Bon Iver–Fallon Reprised

by Lefort in Music

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Bon Iver played on the Jimmy Fallon Show again last night and delivered the new Holocene. Check it below and buy the new eponymously-titled album following its official release earlier this week.

22
Jun

Bon Iver On Colbert

by Lefort in Music

In advance of their fine new album, Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon appeared on The Colbert Show the other night. Check out the usual hilarious Colbert interview and Vernon’s performance of the great new song Calgary. Then below that is the extra performance of the massive Skinny Love.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LUDMZfJpjFc&feature=related

22
Jun

Anna Vogelzang and the Sleepover Shows

by Lefort in Music

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Wisconsin troubadour Anna Vogelzang has been garnering some serious buzz in the singer-songwriter realm with her lyrical poetry and musical conviction.  To (lovingly) kill two birds with one post, check out her performance below for the scintillating Sleepover Shows, and then go on over and check out some of the other great sleepovers put to bed by those Sleepover folks HERE.

This is how the Sleepover Shows folks describe themselves:

Sleepover Shows are three song sets of acoustic or stripped down versions performed by bands that we love as they make their way through Boston. Though it started as something we did when bands needed a place to crash on the night of their shows, we now mostly film the sessions before or after a show and let the bands find their own ways home (though the offer still stands).

Basically, we try to use our spaces as creatively as we can.  We’ve filmed in the back seats of cars, on top of playground equipment, in doorways and alleys, in bathtubs and stairwells.  We try our best to get the bands to take their music outside of the confines of the studio and have some fun.

And that’s the point: to capture some great music that maybe isn’t always as polished, but shows these artists having a good time doing what they love. We’re doing what we love too, and hope you enjoy the videos!”

To sum up: the Black Cab packs up the Tiny Desk and comes to Boston.

There are gobs of great artists and performances to check out on Sleepover Shows, other examples are below with OK Go covering the Pixies’ Wave of Mutilation (though, as nice as it sounds, we’re not sure that the accompanying kiddie xylophone conveys “mutilation” exactly) and Wye Oak performing their song Civilian.

21
Jun

U2 Fans–A Hairy Look Back

by Lefort in Music

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If you haven’t seen it, check out the first U2 performance on American television in 1981 on Tom Snyder’s Tomorrow Show.  We watched it that night and were forever sold.  Even then Bono was evincing his shamanistic tendencies, demanding and getting the audience to get up out of their seats for a band that the audience most likely had not heard before that night.  And oh the hair!!

21
Jun

New Radiohead Track and Video

by Lefort in Music

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From Radiohead comes a new track called Staircase from the “King of Limbs” sessions, taken from their our upcoming ‘From The Basement’ live video session.  “And no, you’re not seeing double. The doppelganger drummers are myself [Philip] and Clive Deamer. Clive has long been one of my favourite drummers and so I was really excited when he agreed to perform with us.”

On July 1, BBC Worldwide Music Television will broadcast a 55-minute performance, during which Radiohead will play King of Limbs in its entirety for an episode of Nigel Godrich’s “Live From the Basement.

If you haven’t checked out “Live from the Basement,” you should do so HERE.

20
Jun

In Case You Were Wondering–tUnE-yArDs

by Lefort in Music

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If you were wondering (like we were for a while) what all the hubbub is about new phenomenon, tUnE-yArDs (our kEyBoArD does not like to do tHaT), check out below the KEXP video of the multi-layered complexity and frenzy known as Gangsta and then the sonic send-up of My Country (Tis of Thee).

20
Jun

Bill Callahan–Concertus Interruptus

by Lefort in Music

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Bill Callahan (of Smog-fame) came to Santa Barbara for the first time last Friday (courtesy of Club Mercy) and filled Soho with his deceptively faineant songs and delivery.  Callahan took the stage in sartorial splendor (seersucker suit, dress shoes), addressed his audience with steely-/sleepy-eyed gaze, and proceeded to present a no-nonsense set of his finely crafted and delivered songs.  It can take an audience a moment or two to smooth its nerves to Callahan’s minimalist mien and properly down-shift to be drawn in, but it didn’t take long for the crowd to wind down to Callahan-speed and get lost in his songs.  With only Callahan’s nylon-stringed guitar, deft and subtle percussion (Neal Morgan) and accentuating electric guitar (Matt Kinsey) in support, Callahan’s baritone and songs were given the spotlight.  And they did shine and soar (in gliding fashion, rather than the usual jetting).

Callahan grabbed us immediately with his (seemingly) mission-statement song, Riding for The Feeling.  We’re glad you still are Bill; we’re so glad you are.  Thereafter Callahan played a filling set of mesmerizing songs, taken primarily from his most recent albums, “Apocalypse,” and “Rough Travel for a Rare Thing,” but also including songs from older solo albums (such as “Sometimes I Wish We Were An Eagle“) and from his Smog discography (such as Say Valley Maker).  His songs are marvels of restraint and artistry, and only a few performers are still settling into such subtlety and eschewing the more modern cacophonous bombast.  He’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but is one of our favorite brews.

We were chagrined to have to leave before set’s end (car-breakdown, save-the-women-and-children-first motif), but trust that Callahan will return after having found a rapt and appreciative audience in Santa Barbara (bravo to the rare attention-span of this Soho audience).

For a good feel for Callahan, check out his performance of River Guard from the Black Cab Session below, and then the more-embellished Tiny Desk Concert after.

19
Jun

Best in Music Videos

by Lefort in Music

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We stumbled upon a couple of very inventive and innervating official videos from The Manchester Orchestra and Eskmo.

First up is Eskmo‘s  video (directed by Cyriak Harris) for the song We Got MoreEskmo is Brendan Angelides, a San Francisco-based electronic music producer who records and performs live as Eskmo.  Technically impressive, this Escher-esque video provides great encouragement to leave the computers, smart-phones and TVs behind and set out on a stroll along the beach or hike up into some hills, and think outside the silicon.

Next up is The Manchester Orchestra‘s video (directed by DANIELS) for their anthemic song Simple Math (the title track to their most recent album).  The Manchester Orchestra took the Santa Barbara Bowl by storm recently at the Summer Roundup, and is orchestrating a growing following.  The song Simple Math has echoes of Built to Spill vocally, and the video’s visuals are built to spill your emotions across the road and kitchen. Check it out.

Manchester Orchestra – “Simple Math” from DANIELS on Vimeo.

18
Jun

The Real Country No. 12 (and Related Take-Away Show)

by Lefort in Music

Earlier this year Josh T. Pearson (of Saddlecreek’s one-album band, Lift to Experience) put out one of the most personal and affecting albums of this or any year, “Last of the Country Gentlemen.”  Amongst a harem of harrowing songs on the album can be found the walloping Woman, When I’ve Raised Hell.  In this song the protagonist demands acceptance of his alcoholism because refusal will result in his seriously bad company, and ultimately recommends saving departure.  Lyrically astounding, this is Real Country.  Check the album version below, the well-crafted lyrics and a live video of the song thereafter.

Josh T. Pearson–Woman, When I’ve Raised Hell

[audio:http://www.thelefortreport.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/01-Woman-When-Ive-Raised-Hell.mp3|titles=01 Woman, When I’ve Raised Hell]

Woman When I’ve Raised Hell:

Woman when I’ve raised hell, you’re gonna know it
There won’t be a shadow of doubt in your bright little mind
No pictures left hangin’ only lonely unpainted nails
Ah Honey you’ll connect those dots read the writin’ on the walls

Woman when I’ve raised hell, heaven knows you’re gonna know it
Don’t make me rule this home with the back of my hand
Just let me sit alone in this chair, my own make believe little throne
Ah Honey and collect the thoughts that’ll help me to stand

Honestly, why can’t you just let it be
And let me quietly drink myself to sleep
I said honestly, it’s not what it appears to be
But only memories that ain’t got shit to do with you

Woman when I’ve raised hell, you’re gonna know it
There won’t be a shadow of doubt in your bright little mind
No pictures left hangin’ only lonely unpainted nails
Ah Honey you’ll connect those dots read the writtin’ on the wall

Woman when I’ve raised hell, there won’t be a star left untouched in your sky
When my lightening crashes across that night
No shadows of doubt or of turnin’ in that questioning’ little mind
Just a burnin’ rekindled truth and one single agonizin’ blinding white light

Cuz honestly, Honey you are the Queen
But you had better leave or I will be forced to be King
So now quietly, without questions or screams
Just gently leave it well enough alone

Woman when I’ve raised hell, you of all people are gonna know it
There’ll be nothin’ not nailed down left unturned in this home
Then your old friend silence will creep back into this pettiest of all places
He’ll ask you again, “Which is better or for worse, livin’ with me or livin’ with all my ghosts?”

Honestly, why can’t you just let it be
And let me quietly drink myself to sleep
Honestly, it’s not what it appears to be
But only memories that ain’t got shit to do with you

Woman when I’ve raised hell, heaven knows you’re gonna know it
There won’t be a shadow of doubt in your bright little mind
No pictures left hangin’ only lonely unpainted nails
Ah Honey you’ll connect those dots read the writin’ on the walls

For some further proof of the worth of Pearson, check out The Take-Away Video below wherein Josh performs Sweetheart I’m Not Your Christ and Thou Art Loose.  Though over 20-minutes long, we couldn’t take our eyes off the video.  Check out in particular the juxtaposition of lyric and the Christ-like visual effect (on the Sweetheart I’m Not Your Christ portion of the video) starting at 5:48 and ending at 6:15 in emblematic glow.  And there is circumstantial magic (thanks to Take-Away Video’s site-selection) that ensues between the 6:15 mark and the renewed, naturally-reverberating singing that starts at 16:58.  We reckon Pearson is a beating force to be reckoned with.  You can read more about this Take-Away Show and Pearson HERE.

Josh T. Pearson | Sweetheart I Ain’t Your Christ | Thou Art Loose | A Take Away Show from La Blogotheque on Vimeo.

17
Jun

The National’s “England” Covered by Mumford & Sons

by Lefort in Music

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Some things just seem so natural and apropos.  Like Mumford & Sons covering The National’s great song England. The video was released as a precursor to the band’s upcoming Unplugged show on VH1, which will be broadcast next week.  According to Marcus Mumford, the English band is “still trying to figure out whether or not [the song is] offensive towards English people,” though he acknowledged that the Mumfords love the song and “High Violet.” Check out the video of this fine Mumford-ized take on England below.