‘Music’ Category Archives

7
Feb

Today is “International Clash Day”–City of Los Angeles Adopts Resolution in Honor of “The Only Band That Mattered”

by Lefort in Music

Photo: Pennie Smith

The Clash was simply one of the greatest bands to grace this planet (and nonpareil live). We were in attendance for their second U.S. show ever at the Santa Monica Civic on February 9th, 1979 (nearly 40 years ago), and it was easily the best concert we have witnessed in our lives (and we’ve seen a few). The Clash raged through the show while still managing to care for their fans. Anything and everything felt possible during and after that show.

Entire books, movies, encyclopedias, and websites have been devoted to “The Only Band That Mattered.” And rightly so.

Today, February 7th, has been designated “International Clash Day“, and the City of Los Angeles has rightly adopted the resolution you can read below, joining with the band in proclaiming “we know our rights, and we are not afraid to use them in the fight against hate, tyranny, and ignorance.” Well done Los Angeles!

If you haven’t ever seen the band, below you can watch a (grainy) video of their incredible performance of The Magnificent Seven on the illustrious Tom Snyder Show.

On International Clash Day, we say long live The Clash, and RIP Joe Strummer!

2
Feb

Adrianne Lenker Performs Tomorrow Night (2/5) at Soho in Santa Barbara

by Lefort in Music

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Big Thief’s Adrianne Lenker will play Soho on Tuesday night in Santa Barbara. Lenker is a gifted lyricist and guitar player whose solo sound reminds of the ballads of Radiohead as arranged by Iron & Wine and sung by a less-affected Joanna Newsom. In short: she provides a complex and beguiling mix. Lenker’s most recent solo album, entitled abysskiss (on Saddle Creek), is highly-acclaimed and is well-represented by the superb song Symbol which you can listen to below. Get thee to Soho tomorrow night!

1
Feb

Better Oblivion Community Center Tour On Sale–Watch “Dylan Thomas” Video

by Lefort in Music

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It’s been a busy time for Better Oblivion Community , the new
Conor Oberst and Phoebe Bridgers collab. After being delightedly assaulted by their performance on Colbert Wednesday night , surprised by the release of their debut album, and their three-song performance on CBS This Morning, the band subsequently released the official video for their fantastic new song Dylan Thomas.

According to a press release: “Today, the band is sharing the video for the album’s lead single, Dylan Thomas, directed by Japanese Breakfast’s Michelle Zauner. Speaking on the origins of the clip, Zauner states: “Phoebe Bridgers and Conor Oberst are two of my favorite songwriters and lyricists of our time, so it was an honor to get to work with them on the visuals for their new project together. As always I worked with Adam Kolodny, my DP and creative collaborator to bring this cross between an Eyes Wide Shut LA mansion party and the Great Northern Hotel to life.

Check the video out below:

In addition to the video, tickets went on sale today for their upcoming tour. You can get tix HERE.

And last but should have been first, go listen to the album (on Dead OceansHERE. Lyrics to the song is at bottom.

Dylan Thomas

It was quite early one morning
It hit me without warning
I went to see the general speak
I was standing for the anthem
Banners all around him
Confetti mad it hard to see
Put my footsteps on the pavement
Starved for entertainment
Four seasons, a revolving door
So sick of being honest
I’ll die like Dylan Thomas
A seizure on the barroom floor
I’m greedy with this private hell
I’ll go it alone but that’s just as well
These cats are scared and feral
With flag pins on their lapels
The truth is anybody’s guess
These talking heads keep saying
The king is only playing
A game of four dimensional chess
There’s flowers in the rubble
These weeds are gonna tumble
I’m lucid but I still can’t think
I’m strapped into a corset  

Climbed in to your Corvette
I’m thirsty for another drink
If it’s advertised I’ll try it
And buy some peace and quiet
And shut up at the silent retreat
They say you got to fake it
At least until you make it
That ghost is just a kid in sheet
I’m getting used to these dizzy spells
I’m taking a shower at the Bates Motel
I’m getting greedy with this private hell
I’ll go it alone but that’s just as well

31
Jan

Check Out Stella Donnelly’s Charming New Video for Standout Song “Lunch” Off Upcoming Album

by Lefort in Music

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It’s hard to say who’s been most active in the last week–Better Oblivion Community Center or Stella Donnelly in support of exciting impending albums. Better Oblivion has performed new songs on Colbert and CBS This Morning, and released a new video (discussion soon-come), while Donnelly has performed new songs on Tiny Desk and released another new song (the stellar Old Man). No rest for the weary.

As if that wasn’t enough, in further support for upcoming album Beware Of The Dogs, Donnelly has today released Lunch, one of the best songs we’ve heard so far in 2019. Check out the touching and hilarious (the subtitles!) video for Lunch below in all it’s lo-fi, grainy glory. The song is a lavish lament to a lyricist’s life on-the-lamb, with heartrending lyrics of disruption framed in superbly-sophisticated musical twists (particularly in its chorus and the accents found in the sprite-like background vocals and “Heys!”). In the coda one also hears limned a Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds musical motif (“Picture yourself….). It’s all magical. Brava!

Despite the song’s melancholy lyrics, the video diffuses the sadness with hilarious subtitles and vignettes. In other words: Sad Happy (Tim Buckley in reverse).

In a press release, Donnelly wrote this about Lunch:

This is my favourite song on the record. It was a massive team effort the night before I flew away on tour. A song that was only ever meant to be played on a single guitar and sung turned out to be the most intricate and textured piece of music I’ve ever produced. I wrote this about the feeling of displacement I get when I go on tour and come back and nothing feels the same. There’s a disconnect there.

Check out Lunch below. Not to sound like Marlon Brando, but in toto, it’s a tour de force!

Beware Of The Dogs is out on March 8th on Secretly Canadian.

Photo credit: Pooneh Ghana

29
Jan

Watch Stella Donnelly Perform Three New Songs in Tiny Desk Concert

by Lefort in Music

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Fearless and unflinching singer-songwriter Stella Donnelly had previously announced her impending debut album Beware of the Dogs (coming March 8th on Secretly Canadian) and released new song Old Man via its official video. Donnelly is back with three more well-wrought, new songs off the album via her Tiny Desk Concert. Check out below Donnelly’s superb, self-supported set consisting of the album’s title track, U Owe Me (about an old boss) and rare (for Donnelly) break-up song Allergies. Great songs/performances that bode well for the debut album and tour.

At bottom check out upcoming tour dates (see you at the Bootleg in LA on April 6th). We can’t wait for all of the above!

You can pre-order the album HERE.

Stella Donnelly Tour Dates:
Fri. March 15 – Washington, DC @ U Street Music Hall #
Sat. March 16 – Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brenda’s #
Mon. March 18 – Brooklyn, NY @ Rough Trade #
Wed. March 20 – Hamden, CT @ Space Ballroom #
Fri. March 22 – Somerville, MA @ ONCE Ballroom #
Sat. March 23 – Montreal, QC @ Casa Del Popolo #
Sun. March 24 – Toronto, ON @ The Drake Hotel #
Mon. March 25 – Detroit, MI @ Deluxx Fluxx #
Wed. March 27 – Columbus, OH @ Ace of Cups #
Thu. March 28 – Bloomington, IN @ The Bishop #
Fri. March 29 – Chicago, IL @ Schuba’s #
Sat. March 30 – St. Paul, MN @ Turf Club #
Tue. April 2 – Seattle, WA @ Barboza #
Wed. April 3 – Portland, OR @ Polaris Hall #
Fri. April 5 – San Francisco, CA @ Cafe Du Nord #
Sat. April 6 – Los Angeles, CA @ Bootleg Theater #
Thu. April 11 – Berlin, DE @ Badehaus
Fri. April 12 – Hamburg, DE @ Skybar
Sat. April 13 – Rotterdam, NL @ Rotown
Mon. April 15 – Cologne, DE @ Yuca
Tue. April 16 – Brussels, BE @ Botanique  
Wed. April 17 – Amiens, FR @ La Lune Des Pirates *
Thu. April 18 – Paris, FR @ Le Pop Up Du Label
Tue. April 23 – Cardiff, UK @ Clwb Ifor Bach
Wed. April 24 – Bristol, UK @ Thekla
Thu. April 25 – Southampton, UK @ Joiners
Sat. April 27 – Brighton, UK @ Haunt
Sun. April 28 – Manchester, UK @ Yes
Mon. April 29 – Dublin, IE @ Grand Social
Wed. May 1 – Glasgow, UK The Blue Arrow
Thu. May 2 – Leeds, UK @ Brudenell Community Room
Sat. May 4 – Liverpool, UK @ Liverpool Sound City
Sun. May 5 – Nottingham, UK @ Bodega
Tue. May 7 – London, UK @ Scala

# = with Faye Webster
* = supporting Yak

27
Jan

Watch Better Oblivion Community Center Perform on CBS This Morning

by Lefort in Music

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After being completely ambushed by their performance on on Colbert Wednesday night and the fanfare-less release of their bombshell debut album, Better Oblivion Community Center (Conor Oberst and Phoebe Bridgers) was back at it on Saturday on CBS This Morning to perform Dylan Thomas, Didn’t Know What I was In For and My City (Oberst’s adopted Los Angeles) off the prodigious new album. Check out the superb performances below (in reverse order). And go listen to the album (on Dead Oceans) HERE. Lyrics to these songs at bottom.

My City

Looking out on the river bend
Looking out on a thing that isn’t
Looking out on the freeway’s push and pull
Looking out for the current
Little spells of forgetfulness
Little sounds that are shrill and urgent
Little insects that sting as they come and go
Little moments of purpose

I loved you
I wore you out
I miss you 
Where are you now?
This town is a monolith
This town is a crowded movie
This town depot, I come and go
This town is my city
I hate you
I tore you down
I miss you
Where are you know?
Looking bad like those Vegas odds
Wear a smile like its camouflage
Today was a smoking sky
Today was a civic menace
Today I went walking while things explode
Some sad independence
I want to be just as loud
All this freedom just freaks me out
Risk it all on a game of chance
Chasing love like an ambulance

Didn’t Know What I Was In For 

My telephone it doesn’t have a camera
If it did I’d take a picture of myself
If it did I’d take a picture of the water
And the man on the off ramp 
Holding up the sign that’s asking me for help
I got a job and I work here for the summer
I fold the towels and set them by the pool
Everyone looks happy with each other
Until they step aside and say the thing they really meant
It always sounds so cruel
I didn’t know what I was in for
When I signed up for that run
There’s no way I’m curing cancer
But I’ll sweat it out
I feel so proud now for all the good I’ve done
I know a girl who owns an boutique in the city
Selling clothes to the fashionably late
She says she cries at the news but doesn’t really
Cause it’s too much fun, there’s to much time
And too much plastic money to be made
I didn’t know what I was in for
When they took my belt and strings
They told me I’d gone crazy
My arms were strapped in a straight-jacket
So I couldn’t save those T.V. refugees
When they’re on their backs
In a bloody bath
Full of sarin gas
On a screen
I didn’t know what I was in for
When I laid out in the sun
You get burned for being honest
I’ve really never done

Anything for anyone
To fall asleep I need white noise to distract me
Otherwise I have to listen to me think
Otherwise I pace around
Hold my breathe and let it out
Sit on the couch and think about
How living’s just a promise that I made

Dylan Thomas

It was quite early one morning
It hit me without warning
I went to see the general speak
I was standing for the anthem
Banners all around him
Confetti mad it hard to see
Put my footsteps on the pavement
Starved for entertainment
Four seasons, a revolving door
So sick of being honest
I’ll die like Dylan Thomas
A seizure on the barroom floor
I’m greedy with this private hell
I’ll go it alone but that’s just as well
These cats are scared and feral
With flag pins on their lapels
The truth is anybody’s guess
These talking heads keep saying
The king is only playing
A game of four dimensional chess
There’s flowers in the rubble
These weeds are gonna tumble
I’m lucid but I still can’t think
I’m strapped into a corset  

Climbed in to your Corvette
I’m thirsty for another drink
If it’s advertised I’ll try it
And buy some peace and quiet
And shut up at the silent retreat
They say you got to fake it
At least until you make it
That ghost is just a kid in sheet
I’m getting used to these dizzy spells
I’m taking a shower at the Bates Motel
I’m getting greedy with this private hell
I’ll go it alone but that’s just as well

25
Jan

Check Out Bombshell Album Release By Super-Duo Conor Oberst and Phoebe Bridgers–“Better Oblivion Community Center”

by Lefort in Music

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Out of nowhere a dream super-duo has dropped a phenomenal new album. Longtime Lefort-fave Conor Oberst (Bright Eyes) and comparative-yearling phenom Phoebe Bridgers (Boygenius) have combined to release a new album under the guise of Better Oblivion Community Center. We should have known. Oberst has appeared on Bridgers’ stunning debut album and live on various stages with her. And both are songwriters of grand-canyon depth and incisive vision. Bring on the Better Oblivion Community Center!

We only became aware of the collab when they suddenly appeared on Wednesday night on Late Show with Stephen Colbert and performed their outstanding new song Dylan Thomas. Check it out below in all its curiously-framed glory. You’ll see throwback effects and phone numbers for a help center (reminding of a ’70s telathon). And if you focus in through the white noise you’ll see a ripping-good performance of a phenomenal song. These two were simply meant to be together on stage. Just watch Bridgers’ glee (at the 2:55 mark) throughout the ferocious guitar coda. Supplying that good guitar was Nick Zinner (Yeah Yeah Yeahs’s) and uber-talented Carla Azar (Jack White, Autolux), along with touring band members, Emily Retsas, Elizabeth Goodfellow and Christian Lee Hutson. According to a PR release the album was “produced by Bridgers, Oberst and long time Oberst/Bright Eyes collaborator Andy LeMaster…and features the work of several talented friends: Zinner appears on two tracks (first single Dylan Thomas and Dominoes) while Azar plays drums on half of the album. Dawes‘ rhythm section Wylie Gelber and Griffin Goldsmith appear on the other half. Singer/songwriter Christian Lee Hutson contributes guitar and Anna Butterss provides bass.” And Nathan Wolcott and John Congleton make cameos on synthesizers.

In more good news: Better Oblivion Community Center will perform on CBS’ This Morning on Saturday, January 26th.

The net effect is surely one of the Best Albums of 2019. Check out the Colbert performance below. And then do yourselves a favor and go listen to the entire masterwork out on Dead Oceans HERE.

Top photo credit: Nik Freitas

14
Jan

Watch Broken Social Scene (with Feist, Jason Collett and La Force) Perform A Rapturous Set of New and Old Songs on “House of Strombo”

by Lefort in Music

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We learn something every day. House of Strombo? Who knew (forgive us Mr. Strombo)? But thankfully we now know. House of Strombo is self-described as “the home of the best records played in the best order, from the 1-2-3-4 to the 808’s and beyond. Interviews, intimate sessions and full blown house concerts.” And so it is. To back up their words, watch the session below and afterwards go HERE to see a recent House of Strombo session with the deservedly famed John Prine.

We arrived at House of Strombo thanks to the bountiful (in song and number) Broken Social Scene, one of our favorite bands of all-time. Check out below as the band (and all its illustrious members) perform an enthralling set featuring old favorites (Cause = Time–alone well worth your time–and Ibi Dreams of Pavement) and new songs (Can’t Find My Heart and 1972). The democratic/unselfish band also takes time out to feature members Jason Collett (I’ll Bring The Sun), Feist (Lover’s Spit) and La Force (TBT) while band leaders Kevin Drew and Brendan Canning graciously kill (along with a cast of a thousand greats, including a new-to-us female horn player). Witness a trademark Canning-Kick, the righteous and riotous Pavement-stylee dishevelment on Ibi Dreams, the deft drumming by Justin Peroff (especially on new song Can’t Find My Heart), Jason Collett’s great song, and then that magic that Feist always does on Lover’s Spit (and especially during its coda when Feist she crouches down to Ariel Engle and the two quietly harmonize beautifully to close).

What an ensemble! This made our week! Enjoy!

10
Jan

Kicking Off the New Year Stella Donnelly Releases New Song/Video “Old Man” from Impending New Album “Beware of the Dogs”

by Lefort in Music

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So this is the new year! In 2018, stellar Stella Donnelly completely bowled us over with her thralling Thrush Metal EP (two songs of which were on our Best Songs of 2018 list) and live performances. Donnelly is a very self-aware and gifted songwriter/vocalist who is not afraid to say her piece about the pieces around her. Amen to that.

Today Australia’s Donnelly has released new song Old Man via its official video below. The song is a harbinger of hope for her debut album, Beware of the Dogswhich will be released March 8th on Secretly Canadian. Lyrically (see at bottom), the song is a righteous reproach of the ridiculous rakes that refuse to act their age (in this day and age!) and leave females and young-enoughs alone. This isn’t the first time Donnelly has rightly sounded these themes. Her early song, Boys Will Be Boysassaulted victim-blaming and excuse-making inherent in sexual assault aftermaths. Musically, the song jangles and sways, with heavenly harmonies in the chorus (that remind of us of the British band Heavenly from the 80’s), all of which belies the reproach of the message. It’s heaven and hell in a song. Brava!

Check the superb song out below. Afterwards check out Beware of the Dogs‘ tracklist and upcoming tour dates (see you at the Bootleg in LA on 4/6!). We can’t wait for all of the above!

You can pre-order the album HERE.

Beware of the Dogs Tracklist:
1. Old Man
2. Mosquito
3. Season’s Greetings
4. Allergies
5. Tricks
6. Boys Will Be Boys
7. Lunch
8. Bistro
9. Die
10. Beware of the Dogs
11. U Owe Me
12. Watching Telly
13. Face ItP

Stella Donnelly Tour Dates:
Fri. March 15 – Washington, DC @ U Street Music Hall #
Sat. March 16 – Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brenda’s #
Mon. March 18 – Brooklyn, NY @ Rough Trade #
Wed. March 20 – Hamden, CT @ Space Ballroom #
Fri. March 22 – Somerville, MA @ ONCE Ballroom #
Sat. March 23 – Montreal, QC @ Casa Del Popolo #
Sun. March 24 – Toronto, ON @ The Drake Hotel #
Mon. March 25 – Detroit, MI @ Deluxx Fluxx #
Wed. March 27 – Columbus, OH @ Ace of Cups #
Thu. March 28 – Bloomington, IN @ The Bishop #
Fri. March 29 – Chicago, IL @ Schuba’s #
Sat. March 30 – St. Paul, MN @ Turf Club #
Tue. April 2 – Seattle, WA @ Barboza #
Wed. April 3 – Portland, OR @ Polaris Hall #
Fri. April 5 – San Francisco, CA @ Cafe Du Nord #
Sat. April 6 – Los Angeles, CA @ Bootleg Theater #
Thu. April 11 – Berlin, DE @ Badehaus
Fri. April 12 – Hamburg, DE @ Skybar
Sat. April 13 – Rotterdam, NL @ Rotown
Mon. April 15 – Cologne, DE @ Yuca
Tue. April 16 – Brussels, BE @ Botanique  
Wed. April 17 – Amiens, FR @ La Lune Des Pirates *
Thu. April 18 – Paris, FR @ Le Pop Up Du Label
Tue. April 23 – Cardiff, UK @ Clwb Ifor Bach
Wed. April 24 – Bristol, UK @ Thekla
Thu. April 25 – Southampton, UK @ Joiners
Sat. April 27 – Brighton, UK @ Haunt
Sun. April 28 – Manchester, UK @ Yes
Mon. April 29 – Dublin, IE @ Grand Social
Wed. May 1 – Glasgow, UK The Blue Arrow
Thu. May 2 – Leeds, UK @ Brudenell Community Room
Sat. May 4 – Liverpool, UK @ Liverpool Sound City
Sun. May 5 – Nottingham, UK @ Bodega
Tue. May 7 – London, UK @ Scala

# = with Faye Webster
* = supporting Yak

Old Man:

“He’s reading sport on the news, white man white teeth in a suit
He’s got that style
And then alone in his house, he wants to take baby out
Give us a smile
Boy if you touch her again, I’ll tell your wife and your kids
About that time
Cos this is not ninety-three, you lost your spot on the team
You’re out of line

I’ve worked too hard for this chance to not be biting the hand
That feeds the hate
So have a chat to your friends ‘cos it’s our words that will keep
Our daughters safe
Your personality traits don’t count if you put your dick
In someone’s face
And no it’s never too late, we sat there silently while
You kept your job and your place and your six-figure wage

Oh, are you scared of me, old man?
Or are you scared of what I’ll do?
You grabbed me with an open hand
The world is grabbing back at you

Oh, are you scared of me, old man?
Or are you scared of what I’ll do?
You grabbed me with an open hand
The world is grabbing back at you

Oh, are you scared of me, old man?
Or are you scared of what I’ll do?
You grabbed me with an open hand
The world is grabbing back at you”

21
Dec

Watch Mitski Perform Two of the Best Songs of 2018 on Kimmel

by Lefort in Music

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Mitski released one of the Best Albums of 2018 with
Be the Cowboy. The superb songwriter, crystalline-lyricist and moving vocalist appeared last night on Kimmel (for the first time on television with full band) to perform the scintillating song Nobody and the equally insighful Two Slow Dancers (our favorite off of Be The Cowboy), the latter as a web-exclusive. Watch below as Mitski delivers two gripping performances and then watch her incredible acappella version of Nobody recently. If you haven’t heard Be The Cowboy, do yourself a favor HERE.

Listen to our Best Songs of 2018 HERE or at bottom.