August, 2011 Archives


Eleanor Friedberger–Solo Acoustic–“My Mistakes” and New Song

by Lefort in Music

Comments Off on Eleanor Friedberger–Solo Acoustic–“My Mistakes” and New Song Comments

One of our favorite albums of the year so far is the first solo album by Eleanor Friedberger of The Fiery FurnacesWe posted her official video for her brilliant summer song, My Mistakes, during the depths of the coastal June gloom, and it remains one of our favorite songs.  We just found this sweet solo acoustic rendition of the song below as captured by Jeff Martin and Matt Tanski.  And below that is a brand new heart-strings song, Stare At the Sun, done up acoustic by Eleanor (she of the Patti Smith/Feist visual motif).  The song is so new she has to read the lyrics, and the emotion is palpable.  We can’t wait to catch her at The Wiltern on September 10th in LA.

Eleanor Friedberger – My Mistakes from Jeff Martin on Vimeo.

Here’s Stare at the Sun, the lyrics of which are:

“In the back of the taxi, you turned off the TV
And read me a book on your phone
Here’s the return of your skeleton key
Oh baby the places we’ve gone
If that was goodbye then I must be high
You know I’ll be seeing ya soon
If that was goodbye it’ll snow in July,
Like it hailed in the middle of June

If that was goodbye it’ll snow in July
Like it hailed in the middle of June

Give me your toothpaste
Give me your ointment
Give me your body in bed
Keep this in amber
Keep our appointment
Remember the things that we said
If that was goodbye
Then I must be high
You must be the sugar I need
If that was goodbye
Then i am a fly
The future is guaranteed
Because when I’m with you
Everything’s treasure
I forget what it’s like to be gone
Far from the town
In the suburbs of your pleasure
You can tell I was in exile so long
Try not to stare at the sun
Try not to stare at the sun
Try not to stare at the sun

Cooperative coffee and synchronized showers
Try not to look at the clock
Bye to your castle
Wave from the tower
Then drop me a line at the dock
If that was goodbye,
You must be high
and maybe I’m losing the thread
If that was goodbye,
Our sea has run dry
So fill it with tears instead
Because when I’m with you everything’s treasure
I forget what it’s like to be gone
Oh far from the town
In the suburbs of your pleasure
You can tell I was in exile so long
Try not to stare at the sun
Try not to stare at the sun
Try not to stare at the sun”

Eleanor Friedberger – Stare at the Sun from Jeff Martin on Vimeo.


Tom Waits Announces New Album With Hilarious Promo Video

by Lefort in Music

Photo by Jesse Dylan

Tom Waits announced his new album, “Bad As Me,” today with a hilarious video (entitled “Tom Waits’ Private Listening Party”) that is, amongst other things, a commentary on internet piracy.  Check it out way below.  We can’t wait for more Waitsian charm and art. has this to say about the new album:

“Bad As Me is Tom Waits’ first studio album of all new music in seven years. This pivotal work refines the music that has come before and signals a new direction. Waits, in possibly the finest voice of his career, worked with a veteran team of gifted musicians and longtime co-writer/producer Kathleen Brennan. From the opening horn-fueled chug of “Chicago,” to the closing barroom chorale of “New Year’s Eve,” Bad As Me displays the full career range of Waits’ songwriting, from beautiful ballads like “Last Leaf,” to the avant cinematic soundscape of “Hell Broke Luce,” a battlefront dispatch. On tracks like “Talking at the Same Time,” Waits shows off a supple falsetto, while on blues burners like “Raised Right Men” and the gospel tinged “Satisfied” he spits, stutters and howls. Like a good boxer, these songs are lean and mean, with strong hooks and tight running times. A pervasive sense of players delighting in each other’s musical company brings a feeling of loose joy even to the album’s saddest songs.

Pre-order Bad As Me at the Tom Waits Store.
Get the “Bad As Me” MP3 at your favorite digital retailer.
View the “Bad As Me” lyrics here.

Bad As Me Tracklisting

01. Chicago
02. Raised Right Men
03. Talking At The Same Time
04. Get Lost
05. Face To The Highway
06. Pay Me
07. Back In The Crowd
08. Bad As Me
09. Kiss Me
10. Satisfied
11. Last Leaf
12. Hell Broke Luce
13. New Year’s Eve Read More”


30 Years of Music Industry Change in 30 Seconds or Less

by Lefort in Music

Comments Off on 30 Years of Music Industry Change in 30 Seconds or Less Comments

Go check out the animated historical pie chart of music sales by format over the last 30 years at Digital Music News HERE. The digital Pac-Man has been insatiable.


KEXP’s Vaunted Video Vault

by Lefort in Music

Comments Off on KEXP’s Vaunted Video Vault Comments

We have repeatedly lauded Seattle’s great left-of-the-dial public radio station KEXP and their treasure trove of archived videos and audio sessions.  We hadn’t visited for a bit, but when we did we found lots to like and particularly from bands we had recently covered.  Check some great performances from the last months.

We wrote about Handsome Furs last week and their performances at Radio K, but we were newly captivated by their performance of What About Us? on KEXP, and especially beginning at the 3:36 mark when husband-singer Dan Boeckner drops to his knees and follows-up by helicoptering hugs all around the assembly.  This version has an ineffable appeal ’cause it feels like the f’-in real deal.

We wrote about Nneka and her stellar song Kangpe previously.  Now come the building Suffri and Hearbeat as performed live on KEXP.  Check ’em out.

We loved Stillwater’s own Other Lives when they played Soho recently.  The Others have been building on the buzz and seem to have escaped Stillwater’s atmosphere.  Check out their performance of their great song For 12 below.

We previously stumbled upon and raved about The Lonely Forest’s show at Muddy Waters last year.  Check out their revved up version of We Sing In Time below.

Like many, we’ve fallen heavily for the band Wye Oak.  And why not?  Check out their delivery of song-beauty Civilian.  Girl can play guitar.

And we recently raved about Raphael Saadiq and his fine new album “Stone Rollin'”.  Check out his rendering of the touching song Good Man and some fine guitar playing.

And though older in time, check out Colombian band, Bomba Estereo, and their cross-cultural dance-bomb Fuego that we wrote about early-on, and then Feelin’.

We encourage you to go HERE and check out the vaunted video vaults at KEXP.


Charles Bradley Coming to Soho This Friday

by Lefort in Music

Charles Bradley, backed by The Menahan Street Band, is coming to Soho this Friday.  If you never saw Otis Redding (guilty), James Brown (caught him tear the roof of The Rodeo in ’81 in San Diego) or Wilson Pickett (caught him in ’85 at Bumbershoot in Seattle) live, and you want to know what you missed (or if you just love great R&B), don’t miss this show.  You can get tickets over at Club Mercy.  Reviews of Bradley’s live shows are pegged at “Rave!”

For further evidence and motivation, check out the video below of Bradley and Band performing his song, Why Is It So Hard?, live from Mellow Johnny’s Bike Shop (Lance’s) in Austin, TX, during KEXP’s broadcast at SXSW this past March.  Sold.


Good Old War

by Lefort in Music

Comments Off on Good Old War Comments

Good Old War’s most recent release is last year’s self-titled album on Sargent House.  Check out the official video for their song, That’s Some Dream, and then a live acoustic version thereof.  And then check out their song Weak Man and their live performance of My Own Sinking Ship. After having opened for Alison Krauss & Union Station here at the Santa Barbara Bowl (we skipped as we can just as easily sleep at home), we hope they’ll bring the CSN-esque harmonies back and headline in Santa Barbara.


Regrets, We’ve Had a Few More

by Lefort in Music

Comments Off on Regrets, We’ve Had a Few More Comments

Having come of age listening to and enlisting in the fandom of the band Joy Division, we couldn’t help but love Interpol from the moment they first entered our conscience.  We’ll write more about this great band another time, but unearthing the videos below of their semi-obscure song, The Specialist, has caused us regret again.  We thoroughly regret skipping their show last year in Santa Barbara and not driving down to LA ages ago to catch one of their prior tours.  We haven’t seen them live, but our motivation to see them is on high-alert after re-visiting this fine song off 2003’s “The Black EP.”  Check out the band performing The Specialist in Dallas in 2003 (for effect) and then the studio version of the song (for the sublime sound).  The drums and bass alone are worthy of wow, and then the staccato guitar simmers and slays.


Oupa–Soundtrack for a Fogust Day

by Lefort in Music

Comments Off on Oupa–Soundtrack for a Fogust Day Comments

Sometimes we just relent and wallow in the wretched gray that won’t relent here on the coast.  And frequently we give up to a sorrowful soundtrack that ultimately provides comfort and catharsis.  Oupa’s songs provide that soundtrack this morning.

Oupa is the soft-side project of Daniel Blumberg of the un-yucky band, Yuck, and its first album, “Forget,” was released this past week on Fat Possum.  Check out the official videos of Oupa’s songs, Windows and Physical, below.  We particularly like the effects in the Windows video and the harmonies that wash in at 2:53.  No musical ground is being broken here, but there’s beauty to be found in this minor-chord melancholy.

Oupa – Windows from Boiled Egg on Vimeo.

Oupa – Physical from Boiled Egg on Vimeo.


New Malkmus Song and Video

by Lefort in Music

Comments Off on New Malkmus Song and Video Comments

The New York Times is exclusively featuring the new video for the new Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks song No One Is (As I Are Am) in advance of the release of their new album (“Mirror Traffic”) on Tuesday.

In the Times blurb accompanying the video we learn that Bobbie Gentry’s Ode to Billie Joe inspired the song:

“So if the song in the … video, called “No One Is (As I Are Am),” seems to evoke Bobbie Gentry’s dusty Delta ballad “Ode to Billie Joe,” it’s no coincidence: that’s the tune Mr. Malkmus cited as his sonic inspiration for the track. (Though lyrics like “I cannot even do one sit-up, sit-ups are so bourgeoisie” are purely his invention.)

As for what gave rise to the video itself, that remains as mysterious as the unknown item Billy Joe MacAllister threw off the Tallahatchie Bridge in Ms. Gentry’s song. But we are told that, among the adorable children seen running around at the end of the clip, are Mr. Malkmus’s own offspring. So at least things worked out better for him.”

Check out the video HERE.  We love the song’s laconic vibe and especially when the horns kick in at 1:56.  Beck should stick to producing.


Diego Garcia

by Lefort in Music

Comments Off on Diego Garcia Comments

Honestly, we had not heard of Diego Garcia or his album, “Laura,” until yesterday.  And now we can’t stop listening.  We’re especially enamored with the acoustic performance below of  You Were Never There on KCRW this summer, but also that same song done full-band stylee at the Standard Hotel in NYC.

Garcia’s parents are Argentine, but he was raised in the United States.  Fittingly then, Garcia combines nylon-stringed Latin sounds with English-lyric romanticism.  Thematically, “Laura” is a nine-song reflection on a love that begins where a couple has split up (Garcia is now married to said love).  Musically, we at times hear Lloyd Cole and at others Harry Nilsson (along with a tinge of B.J. Thomas, circa Butch Cassidy).  Those influences say it all right there.  Sold.

Check out the two videos of You Were Never There, and then his performance of the very Nilsonn/Thomas-esque Separate Lives from his show on the roof of the uber-hip Standard Hotel in downtown LA (what’s up with the Standard standard?).  And you can view the entire KCRW show HERE.