February, 2012 Archives


Radiohead Kicked Off Their Tour in Miami Last Night With Two New Songs and “Feral”

by Lefort in Music

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Radiohead kicked off their new tour last night in Miami.  In the process, they performed two new songs, Cut A Hole and Identikit.  You can see videos of both performances below via At Ease.  The band subsequently also made available their performance of Feral (off of their Best of 2011 album, The King of Limbs).  Check ’em below.


The Wooden Sky Release New Album and New Video (Exclusively on Interview Magazine)

by Lefort in Music

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Toronto’s The Wooden Sky have today released one of the Best Albums of 2012 so far, Every Child a Daughter, Every Moon a Sun via Black Box Recordings.  You can stream the record in its entirety here at Paste and buy it here.  We previously raved about it HERE.

In celebration of this fine album, the band has unveiled “Grace On A Hill Pt. 1,” the first of a five-part series of live performance videos shot in the Grace On A Hill church in Toronto, directed by Scott Cudmore.  In this beautifully filmed segment, the band performs one of the many song highlights off the new album, Bald, Naked and Red.   Watch “Grace On A Hill Pt 1” here courtesy of Interview Magazine.


Canada’s Elliott Brood Coming to Cali

by Lefort in Music

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Canada’s Elliott Brood have evolved into an “alt-Canadiana” band that plays what they’ve dubbed “death country” music.  If this is death, then call us when you’re ready.  The band recently performed in CBC’s Studio Q.  The first two songs below (the catchy and cathartic Northern Air and Hold You) are from that recent Studio Q session and are off their new album, Death Into Years, which is being released in the U.S. this very day and which you can pick up HERE on Paper Bag Records.  After those two performances, check out a 2009 Studio Q session on which they played the driving-and-thriving songs Miss You Now and The Valley Town from their Polaris Prize-nominated 2008 album, Mountain Meadows.  And then finally check a couple of rocking performances of Johnny Rooke and The Bridge off of their first album.   These guys can throttle it with the best of ’em.  Though the studio versions of the new album’s songs add textures and instruments, we like these stripped-down, raw singalongs too.

They have a bit of the Avetts feel to them, particularly when you see the earlier emphatic deliveries way below.

The band is embarking on a U.S. tour that will bring them to San Francisco’s Rickshaw Stop on March 2nd (INFO & TICKETS) and to The Echo in LA on March 3rd (INFO & TICKETS).

Northern Air

A song written in homage to a departed friend from their youth and to the locale that that friend cherished.


Hold You


Miss You Now

The Valley Town

Johnny Rooke and The Bridge



New Order’s “Blue Monday” for a Gray Monday

by Lefort in Music

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New Order helped meld electronic music with rock back in the early 80s’.  What began in the shattering music of Joy Division evolved and was first convincingly introduced by New Order with their seminal album, Power, Corruption & Lies,  along with the release of their song Blue Monday, each in 1983.  The latter has been rightfully remixed and covered for 29 years since.  In honor of the band’s recent re-grouping, Mojo recently featured the band and album on its cover and compiled covers of the songs from the album, along with Blue Monday and some bonus songs.  Check out the official video for the band’s original version followed by an inventive cover/remix by Norwegian ambient-techno maestro, Biosphere.   And after, check out Fujiya & Miyagi’s fine job on Your Silent Face and our fave Destroyer’s gripping cover of Leave Me Alone.

Biosphere–Blue Monday

[audio:https://www.thelefortreport.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/09-Blue-Monday.mp3|titles=09 Blue Monday]

Fujiya & Miyagi–Your Silent Face

[audio:https://www.thelefortreport.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/05-Your-Silent-Face.mp3|titles=05 Your Silent Face]

Destroyer–Leave Me Alone

[audio:https://www.thelefortreport.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/08-Leave-Me-Alone.mp3|titles=08 Leave Me Alone]



Girls New Video for “My Ma”

by Lefort in Music

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Conan is moving more and more into the music realm, with new exclusive album streams and video releases.  The latest from Team Coco is their exclusive viewing of Girls’ new video for My Ma, the third single off of their Best of 2011 album, Father, Son, Holy Ghost, which you can purchase here.  Girls will also appear on Conan on March 22nd.  The video and song are a no-holds-barred, but poignant ode to Christopher Owens’ mother (she is a part of quite a backstory for Owens).  The video starts off Sisquoc-esque and then transitions to other locales and moods.  The song’s jangle-and-crunch guitars under-gird the song before a George Harrison-esque guitar gently weeps over the vignettes, while all the time Owens’ plaintive vocals pair perfectly with the lyrics.  We heartily approve.


The Best Albums of 2012

by Lefort in Music

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Sure, it’s only February.  But we’re so sick of the gunjumpers chiming in with their “Best of” lists prematurely each year that we thought we’d get in on the action.  So without further adieu, set forth below are the Best Albums of 2012.

We kid.  But they are the Best Albums of 2012–so far.  The reason for the list?  We’ve recently been asked what new albums we’re devoting most of our listening time to.  Realizing there’s a lot of material on this site for some to wade through (particularly for those suffering from amnesia or those not properly prioritizing their lives so as to regularly hit TLR), we thought we’d list our current favorite albums and provide links to posts in which we wax more prolixic about them.  Perhaps you have just received a tax refund and are looking for musical investments.  Or maybe you’re putting together a list in preparation for Record Store Day on April 21st.  Regardless, here are our favorites so far in the young 2012.

1.  John K. Samson–Provincial

This album has continued to grow on us since we wrote about it HERE.  Samson’s vocals have always slayed us in The Weakerthans, and he continues to do so on his first solo album.  But we also hear musical evolution from Samson (there is even a song with jazz inflections, if you can imagine such a thing).  As opposed to many solo outings by band members, Provincial finds Samson in prime form.

2.  Damien Jurado–Mariqopa

Damien Jurado has been one of our favorites for a while now, and Mariqopa does not disappoint with its bigger production values supplied by Richard Swift.  We frothed at the mouth about this one HERE.  After repeated listens, our feelings have only gotten stronger about Mariqopa.

3.  The Wooden Sky–Every Child a Daughter, Every Moon a Sun

Toronto’s The Wooden Sky have taken over the roots segment of our listening time with their new album, Every Child a Daughter, Every Moon a Sun.  If you love Americana or alt-country, this is the band and album for you (though they add other facets and textures as we wrote about HERE).

4.  Joseph Arthur–Redemption City

Joseph Arthur is one of our all-time favorites and he’s outdone himself this time with Redemption City, which is a multifaceted double-album.  Arthur has gone the way of Radiohead with Redemption City and is offering the album for whatever amount you deign appropriate, as we wrote about HERE.  It’s worth its weight in gold, but you make the call.

5.  The Deep Dark Woods–The Place I Left Behind

We admit this album came out in 2011, but it’s brand new to us.  Saskatchewan’s The Deep Dark Woods have given us a boatload of beauty and ache with their album, The Place I Left Behind.  We wrote about it HERE.

6.  Sharon Van Etten–Tramp

Sharon Van Etten tramped into our musical lives with her masterful 2010 album Epic.  With her new album, Tramp, Van Etten shows she’s here to stay.  The album is dense and deep, and again emotionally charged.  We wrote a bit about it HERE.

Other Options:  If you want some new music, any of these albums will serve you well.  If you have a good-sized tax refund, you could add Leonard Cohen’s Old Ideas, Laura Gibson’s La Grande or Chuck Prophet’s Temple Beautiful to your cart.  If you can wait a bit, M. Ward, The Shins, and Lambchop have laudable new albums due soon.


K’naan and Nellie Furtado on Letterman

by Lefort in Music

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We are huge fans of big-hearted, Somali-American, soul-rapper K’naan.  K’naan showed up with Nellie Furtado on the Letterman Show last night in support of a new EP, More Beautiful Than Silence.  Check out the uplift below on his new song, Is Anybody Out There? “This is for everyone who has felt invisible.”  It is so refreshing to have K’naan in the rap mix, keeping it real real and beaming a light (along with a few others, including Macklemore) in that realm of such darkness.  If you don’t know him or if you just need a boost, go to the link at the top, or  HERE or HERE to see more.  Long live K’naan!


Seattle’s Deep Sea Diver–New Album Released Today

by Lefort in Music

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Seattle’s Deep Sea Diver is Jessica Dobson (The Shins), Peter Mansen, John Raines and Michael Duggan. The band is releasing its new record History Speaks today. Sound on the Sound has posted a new video of the band diving deep into two songs. Check it out below and watch out for the band opening for The Shins on their tour in June 2012.


The Wooden Sky–A Great New Album of North Americana

by Lefort in Music

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Perhaps its our French-Canadian ancestry.  Perhaps there’s something special in the Canadian water that its musicians are lapping up.  For whatever reason, we’ve found ourselves repeatedly drawn to the music coming out of Canada these days.

Our latest Canadian find is a scintillating slice of (North) Americana straight outta Ontario.  The Wooden Sky hails from Toronto and is preparing to release a new album, Every Child a Daughter, Every Moon a Sun, on February 28th on Black Box Recordings.  We were introduced to the band last year via a captivating five-song EP of straight-ahead Americana featuring the deep vocals of leader Gavin Gardiner.  While the new album includes townloads of twang and folk, additional facets, textures and styles have been layered onto the mix (horns here, ’50s doo-wopisms there, organ here, a wall of guitar there, etc.) by the band, Howard Bilerman (Arcade Fire) and Radwan Ghazi Moumneh .  Make no mistake though–The Wooden Sky’s two mainstays are low moods and high harmonies.  And that is a sure-fire mix for us, particularly when done so well and so convincingly.

The new album kicks off impressively with Child of the Valley, with its horns and harmonies and ’70s guitar-play, before rolling into the arresting country love song, Angelina.  The first single off the album, Malibu Rum, is a loping, minor-masterpiece with its reverberating vocals, harrowing harmonies and big-sound production (check out the video way below).  Bald, Naked and Red and City of Light are other impressive highlights of the album.  But the most moving song (one which completely took us out when we first heard it) is Your Fight Will Not Be Long, an ode to a dearly-departed.  After the sad story is sung, horns (Shaun Brodie on trumpet and Tom Richards on trombone) enter half-way through the song and masterfully conjure the mourn.  But as the song plays on, the horns turn to “relief” and joy before fading into seeming resolve.  A more fitting musical epitaph we have not heard.  There are many other gems to be found on the album (the rocking I’m Your Man, the addicting The Night Goes On and On), which is one of the early highlights of 2012.

To check it out, you can stream the new album over at Paste Magazine HERE.  In addition, you can  download “Malibu Rum” at Paste Magazine here.  And make sure to check out their performance of Malibu Rum on the Kitchen Session video way below.  But then next Monday support the band by picking up the album HERE.

The band will embark on a two-month tour of North American in support of the new album, with a visit to the West Coast and California in early April.  A full list of dates is below, followed by the Kitchen Session.

Tour Dates:

2/24 – Ottawa, ON @ Ritual Night Club
2/25 – Quebec City, QC @ Le Cercle
2/29 – Charlottetown, PEI @ Hunter’s Ale House
3/01 – Fredericton, NB @ The Capitol Bar
3/02 – Moncton, NB @ Tide & Boar
3/03 – Halifax, NS @ The Seahorse Tavern
3/05 – Montreal, QC @ La Sala Rossa
3/22 – Hamilton, ON @ The Casbah
3/23 – London, ON @ London Music Hall
3/24 – Windsor, ON @ FM Lounge
3/25 – Chicago, IL @ Schubas
3/27 – Minneapolis, MN @ Fine Line Music Cafe
3/28 – Fargo, ND @ The Aquarium
3/29 – Winnipeg, MB @ West End Cultural Centre
3/30 – Saskatoon, SK @ Amigo’s
3/31 – Calgary, AB @ Palomino Bar
4/02 – Seattle, WA @ Sunset Tavern
4/04 – San Francisco, CA @ Hotel Utah
4/05 – Los Angeles, CA @ Silverlake Lounge
4/07 – Sacramento, CA @ Luigi’s
4/09 – Portland, OR @ Bunk Bar
4/10 – Victoria, BC @ Lucky Bar
4/12 – Vancouver, BC @ The Biltmore
4/13 – Nelson, BC @ The Royal
4/14 – Edmonton, AB @ The Pawn Shop
4/16 – Regina, SK @ The Exchange
4/18 – Sault Ste Marie, ON @ Lop Lop Gallery
4/19 – Sudbury, ON @ The Townehouse
4/20 – Toronto, ON @ The Opera House
4/21 – Peterborough, ON @ Red Dog Tavern
4/27 – St. John’s, NL @ The Ship
4/28 – St. John’s, NL @ The Ship
5/08 – Boston, MA @ Radio
5/09 – Brooklyn, NY @ Union Pool
5/10 – Philadelphia, PA @ Kung Fu Necktie
5/11 – New York, NY @ Pianos


New Multitudes Album Streaming on Conan’s Site

by Lefort in Music

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As we posted three weeks ago, legendary folk-troubadour, Woody Guthrie, is getting his due (again) courtesy of a new supergroup comprised of My Morning Jacket’s Jim James (billed as Yim Yames), Son Volt’s Jay Farrar, Centro-Matic’s Will Johnson, and Varnaline’s Anders Parker, who have teamed up and dreamed up music for more Woody Guthrie lyrics.  The result is a new group and album entitled New Multitudes.  The album comes out February 28th, but you can stream it now over at Conan’s site (Team Coco) HERE.

Musically it’s all over the map with everything from psychedelic rockers, to folk , to spare soul-inflections and even some “wimowehs” seemingly from The Token’s The Lion Sleeps Tonight on Yim Yames’ Changing World.  Go over to Team Coco and check it out.