May, 2018 Archives

18
May

Watch Courtney Barnett and Band Ragin’ on The Tonight Show

by Lefort in Music

A week ago, we caught Courtney Barnett in full flight at the intimate Pico Union Project. Last night, in advance of today’s release of her new album Tell Me How You Really Feel, Barnett and blazing band set The Tonight Show afire with their raging performance of Nameless, Faceless off the new album (lyrics at bottom). Watch below. We particularly loved the mix, with the vocals mixed way up and highlighting the band’s harmonies. And of course Courtney’s guitar playing was perfect throughout. Brava!

You can order/stream the fantastic new album HERE.

Nameless, faceless

Don’t you have anything better to do
I wish that someone would hug you
Must be lonely
Being angry
Feeling over-looked.
You sit alone at home in the darkness
With all the pent-up rage that you harness
I’m real sorry
Bout whatever happened to you

I wanna walk through the park in the dark
Men are scared that women will laugh at them
I wanna walk through the park in the dark
Women are scared that men will kill them
I hold my keys
Between my fingers

He said “I could eat a bowl of alphabet soup
And spit out better words than you”
But you didn’t
Man you’re kidding yourself if you think
The world revolves around you
Yknow you got lots to give
N so many options
I’m real sorry
Bout whatever happened to you

I wanna walk through the park in the dark
Men are scared that women will laugh at them
I wanna walk through the park in the dark
Women are scared that men will kill them

I hold my keys
Between my fingers
Go on tell me
You’re just kidding
He said, she said
Nameless, faceless

16
May

Check Out Superb Songs and Videos from Wye Oak’s Outstanding New Album “The Louder I Call, The Faster It Runs”

by Lefort in Music

We have once again lost track of amazing musical talent. Wye Oak has always been a bright blip on our musical radar. Like many, we first latched onto them via their breakout 2011 album Citizen before they moved from that album’s guitar-dominated sounds and shape-shifted into the synth-sounds of 2014’s fantastic Shriek. In 2016 the band’s lead singer Jenn Wasner also released (under the Flock of Dimes totem) a superb solo(ish) album entitled If You See Me, Say Yes.  All told, these albums comprise a very impressive discography. But we have a bit of the ADD, and so we lost track of the band and didn’t pay attention when their outstanding new album, The Louder I Call, The Faster It Runs, was released in early April. Our bad. It’s among the Best Albums of 2018.

The Louder I Call, The Faster It Runs combines the best of Citizen’s guitar-grandeur and Shriek’s synth-dominated gestalt, resulting in their best album to date. We hear great influences in the album, including Kate Bush and Peter Gabriel (It Was Not Natural), Laurie Anderson and LCD Soundsystem (the title track and Instrumental), Broken Social Scene (Lifer) and Joni Mitchell (I Know It’s Real), to name a few.  No matter the fantastic mix of influences we hear, Wassner and colleague Andy Stack always make the sounds and songs altogether their own, and to powerful effect, with Wassner’s vocals always a heady clarion call to the soul.

To get a feel, check out three great tracks off the album below. First up is the music video for It Was Not Natural, one of the album’s strongest songs. After, check out the lyric video for heart-strung Lifer, followed by the official video for the title track.  These songs’ superb, soul-baring lyrics are at bottom.

You can order The Louder I Call, The Faster It Runs HERE.  Or stream it on your favorite streaming source.

Wye Oak is out on tour in support of the new album, and you find dates/tickets HERE.

IT WAS NOT NATURAL

when i am tired
unbidden
i go for a walk
i have to walk
or else
i do not recognize myself
my foot uncovers
what my heart wishes
is a treasure
seemingly foreign
but somehow still it is familiar
it could be amber
it could be animal or antler
they do resemble
they do remember one another
it was not natural
all along
only human hands
could give us
something so
unforgiving
as i expected
with time
it hasn’t gotten easier
i have to work now
at things
that used to be
like breathing
i try to focus
forgive myself
for having so much
i am too busy for it
or else i am not busy enough
when i think clearly
i know we share the same devotion
but joy is hungry
and you know i can’t promise anything
it was not natural
all along
only human hands
could give us something
so unforgiving

LIFER

you worry i have given up
have lost direction for the cause
have traded truth for confidence
went back on all my promises
i am not old but i’ve become
afraid of things i never was
and stumbling on without a pause
can only go so long
did you say that i was the lifer
did you say that life could be better
it seems to those who know me best
my luck is wild and in excess
i don’t know why some suffer so
and others never fear to go
i won’t reduce myself to air
undo myself for your affair
i’ve shown you everything i am
you choose or not to understand
there is a logic to the rule
the end is kind, the mean is cruel
i have to love the life i make
make up for all the space i take
mistaken for an oversight
the absence of my appetite
the source of all my arrogance
i left it up to chance
i believed that i was the lifer
i believed that life could be better
i want to see you rise again
to see life in your eyes again
to feel your pulse is beating strong
to prove all of us wrong
will you say that you are the lifer
do you think that life could be better
will you say that i am the lifer
do you think that life could be better

THE LOUDER I CALL, THE FASTER IT RUNS

and we were jubilant
willing to pretend
we were not losing time
time wasted
like any other day
we will make the bed
thinking it is dead
it is finally dead
the louder i call, the faster it runs
the louder i call, the faster it runs
the quiet is ours, the work has begun
the louder i call, the faster it runs
i search for patterns
sense that isn’t there
you can have everything
and still you have nothing
so i take them all apart
and then i put them back
sometimes it takes a long
long, long time
the louder i call, the faster it runs
the louder i call, the faster it runs
the longer the day, the nearer the sun
the louder i call, the faster it runs
the louder i call, the faster it runs
the louder i call, the faster it runs
the quiet is ours, the work has begun
the louder i call, the faster it runs

11
May

Review: Courtney Barnett At Peak of Powers at Pico Union Project

by Lefort in Music

After waiting 4-1/2 years to finally catch the brilliant musical force that is Courtney Barnett, we were treated last night to an intimate, but raucous, show by Barnett and her brilliant band at the sold-out and febrile Pico Union Project.  Yes, we had caught a show of Barnett’s and Kurt Vile’s joint tour last year in support of their fine album, but we craved unadulterated Courtney. And last night gave us the uncut Courtney we needed, and it was pure delight. In addition to her melodies and incisive lyrics, Barnett’s unorthodox claw-hammer, finger-pick guitar-playing continues to wow and particularly live while in full-flow.

The obviously confident and commanding Barnett hit the PUP stage with a sweet swagger, letting the crowd know she meant business by throwing down song after song and riff after riff of furious abandon. She performed her fantastic-sounding new album, Tell Me How You Really Feel, from front to back in sequence. Our album review in short: the world is in for fistfuls of smashing new songs. Live highlights from the album included Hopefulness, the rollicking, groove-riddled City Looks Pretty, Charity, Need A Little Time, Walking On Eggshells, and Sunday Roast.

After knocking out the new album, Barnett shifted into the “hits” half of the night (see setlist below). Thankfully she played the all-time word-play great Avant Gardener and a revved-up version of the heart-strung Depreston, but also reached back for fan-faves Anonymous Club, History Eraser and Pedestrian At Best. The crowd knew every word and, despite the heat, pitched around the PUP in joyful abandon. It was a musical night to remember that set the bar very high for other artists seeking to claim the coveted Best Concert of 2018 award.

The Bay’s Jay Som opened with an impressive set of jazz-prog inflected songs that spotlighted the band’s superb ensemble playing. We look forward to seeing them again.

Photos by LA Music Scene.

5
May

Watch Middle Kids Light Up CBS This Morning

by Lefort in Music

Comments Off on Watch Middle Kids Light Up CBS This Morning Comments

This morning the top-flight Middle Kids showed up on CBS This Morning and built upon the buzz of Friday’s Lost Friends album release (full review imminent). Watch below as the Sydney band (Hannah Joy, guitarist/bassist/producerist Tim Fitz, drummer Harry Day and a guitar-player-to-be-named- later) performed three resounding songs from their magnificent and deft debut album: Edge of Town, Mistakes and On My Knees. This is easily our favorite TV performance by the band to date.

You can order Lost Friends HERE.  The band will open their world tour in Australia before returning to the U.S. on June 1st (late June in Cali).  Go HERE for tickets.