‘Music’ Category Archives

19
Feb

Homage to Parkland: We’ll Stand By You–Watch The PS(22Chorus) and Stop The BS

by Lefort in Music

In the wake of the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, Americans seem to have finally galvanized behind a powerful and heartbreaking speech given by that school’s Emma Gonzalez (you can watch it HERE) and the outcry and actions from her classmates and countless other students and parents across the nation against the maleficent inability of our political “leaders” to meaningfully control guns in America. The madness must end or be meaningfully reduced! No other nation suffers a similar affliction! The damnable NRA gun-manufacturers’ lobby must be stopped and its political prostitutes (see one list HERE) must pay for the blood on their complicit hands. Let’s not let this just be one more in an endless string of shootings and killings. Let’s cut the cord. Come one, come all and march on March 24th, April 20th and any and all other days necessary towards this goal. Let’s work to register voters and then get out the vote to toss out the NRA’s political henchmen and begin to make meaningful change.

In the aftermath of this latest atrocity, we were struck (yet again) over the weekend by a performance by the PS22 Chorus. This time of their take on The Pretenders’ I’ll Stand By You (lyrics at bottom). Watch it below in all its sweet glory. And then imagine these innocent children slaughtered by yet another automatic-weapons wielding psychopath. Yes, it seems unimaginable. But in America, as sure as the day becomes night, if we don’t throw out the NRA’s accomplices and things don’t meaningfully change, Parkland (following Sandy Hook, Columbine, etc. ad nauseam) will happen again. And again. Let’s not let that happen!

“Oh, why you look so sad, the tears are in your eyes,
Come on and come to me now, and don’t be ashamed to cry,
Let me see you through, ’cause I’ve seen the dark side too.
When the night falls on you, you don’t know what to do,
Nothing you confess could make me love you less,

I’ll stand by you,
I’ll stand by you, won’t let nobody hurt you,
I’ll stand by you

So if you’re mad, get mad, don’t hold it all inside,
Come on and talk to me now.
Hey there, what you got to hide?
I get angry too, well, I’m alive like you.
When you’re standing at the cross roads,
And don’t know which path to choose,
Let me come along, ’cause even if you’re wrong

I’ll stand by you,
I’ll stand by you, won’t let nobody hurt you,
I’ll stand by you.
Baby, even to your darkest hour, and I’ll never desert you,
I’ll stand by you.
And when, when the night falls on you baby,
You’re feeling all a lone, you’re wandering on your own,
I’ll stand by you.

I’ll stand by you, won’t let nobody hurt you,
I’ll stand by you, baby even to your darkest hour,
And I’ll never desert you,
I’ll stand by you,
I’ll stand by you.
I’ll stand by you, won’t let nobody hurt you,
I’ll stand by you, baby even to your darkest hour,
And I’ll never desert you
I’ll stand by you”

16
Feb

Check Out Frank Ocean’s Mesmerizing Meander Along “Moon River”

by Lefort in Music

Frank Ocean’s indelible music can creep up on you like, well, a moon rising over a river.  First you’re engrossed by the enlightening hues of his vocals, followed by the shimmering effects thereon. It’s a winning package repeatedly borne out on his recordings. This week Ocean released (on Valentine’s Day) his winsome, yet world-weary, take on the moody chestnut Moon River written by the masterful Henry Mancini and Johnny Mercer. The song was originally heard in the sad, sad film Breakfast at Tiffany’s and made most famous by crooner Andy Williams. Check out Ocean’s superb cover of the song below, followed by the song’s breathy cover by Audrey Hepburn in the movie, and Williams’ worthy take. The song has been covered by countless artists, but Ocean’s takes it to the heavens.

12
Feb

A Reason To Get Out of Bed On a Wednesday (Updated): New Okkervil River Album Coming–Listen to New Song “Don’t Move Back to LA”

by Lefort in Music

Woke on Monday morning and found a reason to get out of bed. Long-time Lefort-faves, Okkervil River, this morning announced the release of their next album In the Rainbow Rain in April, following on the heals of their superb last album Away.  To get a feel, check out below the swaggering swing of new song, Don’t Move Back to LA (that drops a bit of dub in the break). The intermittently hilarious lyrics are at bottom (our best guess). The song bodes incredibly well for the new album. We can’t wait!

Today, leader Will Sheff posted this explanatoin regarding the song: “I had pretty straightforward reasons for writing this song: I had a lot of friends all moving to LA around the same time and I didn’t want them to go. I think the song is also me rooting for myself to get out of NYC, and I feel like it’s also kind of about how you could make your hometown cooler if you went back and fought to elevate it. But one fun audio fact is that this is a first take. We recorded it once, it sounded good and we moved on to the next song.”

Sheff also has this to say about the impending album:

“This time around everyone was in such a good mood that the music ended up capturing this new spirit of freedom and playfulness and joy and sounding totally different than Away, even though my working approach was similar. I didn’t really fight it, because everything felt so good. It was a really happy and productive period of music-making during a very terrifying (and ongoingly terrifying) time period, and I felt like it was appropriate to try to make something uplifting and encouraging. As ever, the band is augmented with all of these great players including string arrangements by Rob Moose, Frank LoCrasto and Jared Samuel on keys, Sharon Jones’ backup singer Saundra Williams leading a vocal trio, Alex Spiegelman on sax and Cole Kamen-Green on trumpet, the legendary Jonathan Meiburg of course, and my good old inanimate friend Mr. CR-78 laying down some rhythms here and there. The whole thing was mixed by the incredible Shawn Everett with crazy bold hairy technicolor bravado. I’m so proud of this thing – it’s maybe the most fun Okkervil River record ever. And it’s going to be great playing it live.”

Speaking of which, new tour dates can be found HERE . The tour will include dates in Cali in late-May/early-June, where it’s 70 out and we’re living at the ocean’s lip.  Tix go on sale this Friday, 2/16. Whatever you do, don’t miss ’em. Their last two tours through these parts have been inspirational affairs.

You can pre-order In the Rainbow Room HERE.

Don’t Move Back to LA:

“Don’t move back to LA
Don’t move back to LA
Don’t move back to LA
Although it’s 70 out
Don’t move back to LA
You got a bigger house
Don’t move back to LA
I know you’re sober now
Don’t move back to LA, my baby
In your place out in LA, my baby

I’m gonna send this out to Mistress Smike [?]
She knows who she is and what I like
I’m gonna send this out to Susan Sneeze
I’m gonna say thirty rosaries
I’m gonna tell her

Don’t move back to LA
Don’t get your license back
Don’t move back to LA
Don’t cut your in-take back
Don’t move back to LA
You think it’s bad?
It’s actually worse out in LA, my baby

‘Cause those West Coast cats
They’re gonna tune, gonna turn, gonna turn, gonna turn you out
They’re gonna chew you up and spit you out
They’re gonna break, gonna break, gonna break, gonna break you down
They’re gonna waste your time and watch you drown
They’re gonna make, gonna make, gonna make, gonna make you die
You say I lost my soul or sold it out
But I told you, I warned you
I told you, I warned you
I told you now

Well, in two more weeks I’ll drop this track
And you can have your New York City back
Well, I will send this out to Space Camp Chip
I saw him living on the ocean’s lip
And I will send this to a lone Hot Crisp
He might not agree, but I’ll insist

And I will tell him
Don’t move back to LA
I said I’ll move back to LA
You got a midwest song so sing it out
Don’t move back to LA
You got a deep south song so sing it out
Don’t move back to LA
You got a mountain song, just sing it out
I got a east coast song, I’ll sing it out
Don’t move back to LA
I won’t move back to LA
my baby
Don’t move back to LA

They’re gonna tune, gonna tune, gonna tune, gonna tune you out
Don’t move back to LA
You got a beach state song, country state song, wolverine state song
They’re gonna break, gonna break, gonna break, gonna break you down
Don’t move back to LA
So sing it out
Or fight it out, sing it out
They’re gonna make, gonna make, gonna make, gonna make you die
Oh
Don’t move back to LA”

31
Jan

New Music: Check Out Middle Kids’ “Mistakes”–New Album Coming

by Lefort in Music

Comments Off on New Music: Check Out Middle Kids’ “Mistakes”–New Album Coming Comments

We first caught on to awesome Aussie band Middle Kids in January of last year. Their ability to write catchy, subtly-clever songs and to perform them with verve was evident from go. The trio today brings news of their debut album, Lost Friends, and gives us a video for their catchy new single Mistake. The song is just what you need to get you through the day. Check out director Onil Kotian’s video below.

About the album, lead singer Hannah Joy says: ““In a time where a lot of division is growing, we want to be part of the conversation that unites people around certain ideals that are universal, like hope and love. That’s so much a thread throughout this album: Even though things are tough, it’s worth believing in something good and in the idea that we can heal. And in some ways, I wanted the music to be beautiful and a respite from what’s going on.”

Amen to that!

We can’t wait for Lost Friends, which is out May 4th on Domino Records. You can pre-order it HERE.

Photo Credit: Maclay Heriot

19
Jan

Great News: The Decemberists Release New Song “Severed” From Impending New Album–Playing Santa Barbara For First Time Ever

by Lefort in Music

Comments Off on Great News: The Decemberists Release New Song “Severed” From Impending New Album–Playing Santa Barbara For First Time Ever Comments

Long-time Lefort-faves The Decemberists are back with new song Severed from their impending new album I’ll Be Your Girl to be released on March 16th on Capitol Records. Just as exciting, the band announced that they will be touring and playing the Arlington Theater in Santa Barbara, their first ever visit to these environs. You can check out their tour dates and get tickets HERE.

According to the band’s press release, the band sought to mix it up and reach for something beyond their (phenomenal) standard textures on I’ll Be Your Girl:

“We recorded the eleven-ish songs during the early fall in Portland, Oregon, with noted producer and ailurophile John Congleton. You perhaps may be familiar with some of the work he’s done with such bands as St. Vincent, Lana del Rey, Wye Oak, Angel Olsen, Swans — oh, everybody, really. He’s a bit of a goer, production-wise. The songs tend to the darker, more absurdist side of things —  I mean, how can you blame us — and features a lot of nice vintage synth work by Jenny and Chris, some heavy drumming from Mr. Moen and, of course, the sort of baroque bass work you’ve come to expect from the former Mr. Lincoln High, Nate Query. All in all, everyone acquitted themselves quite nicely.”

Evidently, while working on the new material, the band discussed additional musical influences, such as Roxy Music and early glam music, and Meloy has described the album’s mood as “exuberant nihilism” to reflect these times.

Watch the Severed video below. The song is a sound update of The Decemberists’ musical motifs, with added analog-synth lead a la New Order or Depeche Mode, with autocratic, POTUS-inspired lyrics and heavenly harmonies. It’s a beauty that bodes incredibly well for the new album.

You can pre-order I’ll Be Your Girl HERE.  Severed’s lyrics are at bottom.

Severed:

“I alight like a whisper
I alight with the lights out
And it won’t take me long just to find you
And it won’t take me long just to find you

I’m allied to the winter
But don’t you get clever
Don’t you get clever
I’m allied to the landslide
Gonna leave you all severed
Gonna leave you all severed

I alone am the answer
I alone will make wrongs right
But in order to root out the cancer
It’s got to be kept from the sight

I’m allied to the winter
But don’t you get clever
Don’t you get clever
I’m allied to the landslide
Gonna leave you all severed
Gonna leave you all severed

I was born in a whiteout
Gonna smother you all till I choke you
Gonna smother you all till you kick out

I’m allied to the winter
But don’t you get clever
Don’t you get clever
I’m allied to the landslide
Gonna leave you all severed
Gonna leave you all severed”

18
Jan

Santa Barbara Soundtrack: Check Out “Six Wave Hold-Down” by Hot Snakes

by Lefort in Music

Comments Off on Santa Barbara Soundtrack: Check Out “Six Wave Hold-Down” by Hot Snakes Comments

Smoke. Fire. Flu. 1000-Year Flood. Isolation. Economic Crisis.  It’s felt like a six wave hold-down ’round the South Coast, and there is grief and anger to match. At least that’s we hear in the new song of the same name by the re-formed garage-punk band Hot Snakes (out of San Diego; former Drive Like Jehu members). Check it out below in all its fiery glory.

The band will release its new album, Jericho Sirens (its first in 14 years) on Sub Pop on March 16th. Based on the energy and verve on this captivating new song, we’re all ears.

Sub Pop will also reissue Hot Snakes’ first three albums, Automatic Midnight, Suicide Invoice and Audit in Progress, tomorrow (1/19). Hot Snakes are also heading out on tour, and all dates can be seen HERE.

“Six wave hold-down!”

May it relent.

12
Jan

David Byrne Remains Cheerful and Releases New Song “Everybody’s Coming To My House” From New Album

by Lefort in Music

Comments Off on David Byrne Remains Cheerful and Releases New Song “Everybody’s Coming To My House” From New Album Comments

Where have all the hours gone? Gone to smoke, fire-storms, flu, a new year, flash-floods and mudslides everyone. When will we ever learn?

Weeks have fallen to a fire and flu haze, but we’re making our way back.

David Byrne is a renewed and renewing inspiration. Ever since we first saw Byrne and the Talking Heads in that 200-person space in San Diego in 1978 (and every tour thereafter), we’ve drawn great inspiration from the artistry, entertainment, philosophy and humanity of David Byrne. Whether it’s his music, his bicycle infatuation, his art, his philosophy or a thousand other reasons, we’ve continued to be drawn to Byrne and his offerings. He’s never stopped making sense.

Despite (or because of) the political and cultural turmoil of late, and this life during wartime, Byrne has remained in the light and has been giving presentations entitled Reasons To Be Cheerful, about which Byrne has said:

“I began to look for encouraging things that are happening anywhere, and if they have been tested, if they have been proven to work, if they can be transferred and adopted in other places, if they can scale up—then let’s hold them up for consideration, and let’s invite others to add to this project. There are actually a LOT of encouraging things going on around the world—they’ve given me hope, and I’d like to share them.” We’re on the road to somewhere.

Continuing in this motif, Byrne has now announced his impending new album entitled American Utopia, which is his first solo album in 14 years. To introduce the album, Byrne has given us a video for the album’s first song, Everybody’s Coming to My House. The song was written with Byrne’s foremost collaborator Brian Eno and features the up-and-coming Sampha, TTY and Happa Isaiah Barr from Onyx Collective.

Check it out below in all its polyrhythmic glow and recognizable Byrne patter and epiphanies. It’s the Song of the Year so far.

Byrne said of American Utopia in a statement, “These songs don’t describe an imaginary or possibly impossible place but rather attempt to depict the world we live in now. Many of us, I suspect, are not satisfied with that world—the world we have made for ourselves. We look around and we ask ourselves—well, does it have to be like this? Is there another way? These songs are about that looking and that asking. This album is indirectly about those aspirational impulses. Sometimes to describe is to reveal, to see other possibilities. To ask a question is to begin the process of looking for an answer. To be descriptive is also to be prescriptive, in a way. The act of asking is a big step. The songs are sincere—the title is not ironic. The title refers not to a specific utopia, but rather to our longing, frustration, aspirations, fears, and hopes regarding what could be possible, what else is possible. The description, the discontent and the desire—I have a feeling that is what these songs touch on.”

We can’t wait for American Utopia, which is out March 9th on Nonesuch Records. You can pre-order it HERE.

The album’s tracklist and the song’s lyrics are found below the video:

American Utopia tracklist:

1. “American Utopia”
2. “I Dance Like This”
3. “Gasoline And Dirty Sheets”
4. “Every Day Is A Miracle”
5. “Dog’s Mind”
6. “This Is That”
7. “It’s Not Dark Up Here”
8. “Bullet”
9. “Doing The Right Thing”
10. “Everybody’s Coming To My House”
11. “Here”

Everybody’s Coming To My House:

I wish I was a camera
I wish I was a postcard
I welcome you to my house
You didn’t have to go far
A house and a garden
There are, there’s plants and trees
Make a, a closer inspection
If you get, get down on your knees

Now everybody’s coming to my house
And I’m never gonna  be alone
And everybody’s coming to my house
And they’re never gonna go back home

I’m pointing and describing
And I can be your guide
The skin is just a roadmap
The view is very nice
Imagine looking at a picture
Imagine driving in a car
Imagine rolling down the window
Imagine opening the door

Everybody’s coming to my house
Everybody’s coming to my house
I’m never gonna be alone
And they’re never gonna go back home

We’re only tourists in this life
Only tourists but the view is nice
And we’re never gonna go back home
No we’re never gonna go back home (all right)
We’re only tourists in this life
Only tourists but the view is nice

Now everybody’s coming to my house
And I’m never gonna be alone
And everybody’s coming to my house
And they’re never gonna go back home

Everybody’s coming to my house
Everybody’s coming to my house
I’m never gonna be alone
And I’m never gonna go back home

15
Dec

For Hamilton Fans: Listen to The Decemberists Perform “Ben Franklin’s Song” By Lin-Manuel Miranda/Colin Meloy

by Lefort in Music

Comments Off on For Hamilton Fans: Listen to The Decemberists Perform “Ben Franklin’s Song” By Lin-Manuel Miranda/Colin Meloy Comments

For the insatiable fans of Hamilton and The Decemberists (and they are legion), Lin-Manuel Miranda and The Decemberists have today announced The Decemberists’ opening salvo, Ben Franklin’s Song, for The Hamildrops. The Hamildrops will consist of new Hamilton content being released every month from now until December 2018.

The Decemberists explain the project thus:

“Well, it happens that Mr. [Lin-Manuel] Miranda reached out to our own Colin Meloy to put music to a set of lyrics that had been written for HAMILTON but had never been used: a first-person introduction to one of the US’s founding fathers, Mr. Benjamin Franklin. Lin said that he’d wanted to include Franklin as a character in the show initially, but it just never quite worked — something about not wanting to remove the audience more than once from the action taking place in our nascent United States. Funnily enough, he said he’d imagined Franklin singing in a sort of Decemberist-y way, whatever that means. FAST FORWARD TO 2016: Lin passed on the lyrics to Colin, who was very much up to the task, and a new song was born: BEN FRANKLIN’S SONG, to be exact. We really like it. It’s very swear-y, but there’s a clean version too.

We hope you like it. It was a lot of fun to write and record. If you’re a HAMILTON fan, we hope it will add a new dimension to the world of the show for you — but you can also just enjoy it as a history lesson. Franklin invented bifocals, you know. And the glass harmonica. WHAT A F***ING GUY.

Yours,
The Decemberists”

Listen below (to the “clean” version) on Spotify or pick your poison HERE. Once again, The Decemberists have acquitted themselves beautifully with Ben Franklin’s Song. The melody and playing are quintessential Decemberists. Miranda’s intelligent, oft-hilarious lyrics are at bottom.

“Electricity
Yeah, you can all thank me
Took some lightning, a kite, and a fat brass key
And they’re putting up streetlights in Gay Paris
You’re welcome from our young nation

I’m the only American the French wanna see
They call me a genius, I can’t disagree
They have guns, they have funds
They can set us free
Invest in my reputation

And do you know who the f I am?
Yeah, do you know who the f I am?
Do you know who the f I am?
I am Poor-Richard’s-Almanack-writing Benjamin Effing Franklin

I said, early to bed, boys, early to rise
They make a man healthy, wealthy, and wise
Soldiers are fighting for freedom, they have no supplies
So diplomacy happens at night

John debates at the gates of Versailles
He whines and parades and awaits a reply
As I stay up late with a succulent breast or a thigh
Alright, diplomacy happens at night

And do you know who the f I am?
Yeah, do you know who the f I am?
Do you know who the f I am?
I am 76-and-I’ll-Still-Kick-Your-Ass Effing Franklin

One pain that lingers, the hitch in my stride
Is my son back at home who I could not guide
Who sits all alone in a prison cell on the wrong side
Stands against our young nation

So I play my ambassador part with pride
I am known in the world, and the world is wide
To my children, my sins may be magnified, but I’d
Do it all again, no hesitation

And do you know who the f I am?
Yeah, do you know who the f I am?
Do you know who the f I am?
I am Poor-Richard’s-Almanack-writing Benjamin Effing Franklin

(Do you know who the f I am?) Who the f I am?
(Do you know who the f I am?) Who the f I am?
(Do you know who the f I am?)
I am Poor-Richard’s-Almanack-writing
Polymath, bifocal-wearing
Hardened glass-harmonica-playing
Benjamin Effing Franklin”

14
Dec

Listen to S. Carey’s Seasonal Ode “Still, Still, Still.”

by Lefort in Music

Comments Off on Listen to S. Carey’s Seasonal Ode “Still, Still, Still.” Comments

Bon Iver’s uber-talented S. Carey has provided calming musical balm for the senses over the last few months. Last month Carey provided the guiltlessly-gilded song Fools Gold, from his impending new album Hundred Acres. Before that Carey provided the beguilingly-beautiful song Brassy Sun. Now comes Carey to provide the heavenly harmonies of holiday song Still, Still, Still. Enjoy this beauty below. And give thanks for guardian angels.

About Still, Still, Still, Carey gifts the following:

“Wishing everyone a peaceful, relaxing, and beautiful holiday season! I covered this obscure Austrian Xmas carol, one of my favorites! Enjoy.”

14
Dec

Watch The National’s “Dark Side of the Gym” Video and Performance of “Day I Die” on Ellen

by Lefort in Music

Comments Off on Watch The National’s “Dark Side of the Gym” Video and Performance of “Day I Die” on Ellen Comments

While we’ve been preoccupied with wildfires and smoke-avoidance, The National released a romance-dance video for their Dark Side of the Gym love song. NYC Ballet Resident Choreographer Justin Peck directed, choreographed and is featured in the video, together with Patricia Delgado.

In the interim the band also showed up on Ellen to perform their great song Day I Die. Check out both below.

The National continues out on tour in support of their Best Album of 2017 contender Sleep Well Beast.