January, 2013 Archives


Watch Daughter’s New Video For “Still” Off New Album

by Lefort in Music

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Brit-band Daughter held sway with us the entire month of October and beyond last year.  We became hopelessly enamored by the songs and delivery of leader Elena Tonra while the band (including Igor Haefeli and Remi Aguilella) frolicked across North America and prepared their debut album If You Leave for release two months from today.  Comes now, the band has released the official video for Still off the new album.  For which couples has this video not at some point hit home?  Maybe not the tattoo part.  Come on–we dare ya.  Once again–you’re not alone.


Watch Of Montreal Unplugged On NPR

by Lefort in Music

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We had an inkling of a (temporary?) seismic-shift in the band Of Montreal and its leader Kevin Barnes last summer when Barnes and crew appeared unplugged on Bandstand Busking.  Gone was a good portion of the flash and flamboyance the band is known for live, supplanted by four musicians playing unplugged and plucking at heartstrings.  Now comes an even-more subdued Barnes (together with Rebecca Cash–looking more like a Presley than a Cash to us–and Bryan Poole on first song Feminine Effects), performing three very personal new songs for NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert.  The net effect (e.g. on Imbecile Rages) sounds a bit like Stephen Malkmus-Meets-Bob Dylan-inside-Noah and the Whale.  All good in our book, though Barnes’ vocalistics at 7:28 set him apart from the others listed.  Check it out after the setlist below.

Set List:

Feminine Effects
Imbecile Rages
Amphibian Days


Watch Palma Violets in Studio Q

by Lefort in Music

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This is your weekly Palma Violets update.  As we’ve said, the band is making their way across North America.  They made their North American broadcast debut on CBR’s Studio Q show last Friday.  Check it out below.  Sweet music to our ears!  You can hear the entire Studio Q segment HERE.



New Iron & Wine Album “Ghost On Ghost” Coming–Listen to New Song “Lovers’ Revolution”

by Lefort in Music

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Let’s not beat around the bush shall we?  Mr. Iron & Wine, Sam Beam, the leader/singer/songwriter of the band is one of the best songwriters extant.  In particular he is our finest lyricist.  There.  Said.

We have loved Iron & Wine since their initial appearance on Sub Pop (at the time a head-scratcher given the label’s rocking ways) in 2002 with the spare, plucky, much-loved Creek Drank the Cradle.  Since then the “band” has released four more well-crafted studio albums and one of the best-ever rarities/B-sides/discards compilation (Around the Well).  2011’s Kiss Each Other Clean was a departure from the early acoustic, virtually-solo albums, with its big-band sounds and arrangements and added rock/R&B elements.  Today Iron & Wine began streaming Lovers’ Revolution, the first track released from new album Ghost on Ghost, which will be released on IRS Day (4/15).  Check out the jazzy song below, which wouldn’t have sounded out of place on an early Tom Waits album.  In other words:  we love it.

The new album was recorded in New York and produced by Beam’s longtime collaborator Brian Deck (Modest Mouse, Califone, Fruit Bats).  Assisting were stellar musicians Rob Burger of Tin Hat Trio, Steve Bernstein, Tony Scherr, Kenny Wollesen, and Briggan Krauss of Sex Mob, jazz drummer Brian Blade, trombonist Curtis Fowlkes of the Jazz Passengers, bassist Tony Garnier (Bob Dylan’s band), cellist Marika Hughes, Maxim Moston and Doug Wieselman of Antony and the Johnsons, and Anja Wood. Burger (Tin Hat Trio) also handled the string and horn arrangements.  For the album’s cover, Beam, who is also a visual artist, chose an image from the series Private Lives by noted photographer Barbara Crane.  The tracklist is below the song.


1. Caught in the Briars
2. The Desert Babbler
3. Joy
4. Low Light Buddy of Mine
5. Graces for Saints and Ramblers
6. Grass Windows
7. Singers and the Endless Song
8. Sundown (Back in the Briars)
9. Winter Prayers
10. New Mexico’s No Breeze
11. Lovers’ Revolution
12. Baby Center Stage


Welcome Back to Brooklyn’s Hem–Check Out Animated Video For New Song “Tourniquet”

by Lefort in Music

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Once upon a time there was a brilliant, early-Brooklyn-adopter band called Hem.  In 2001, Hem released an album entitled Rabbit Songs that took over our ears with its heart-rending melodies, traditional instrumentation, stirring lyrics and singer Sally Ellyson’s luminous vocals.  Hem followed Rabbit Songs with two more similarly enthralling albums in 2004 (Eveningland) and 2006 (Funnel Cloud).   Over a decade after the release of their first album, Hem is back and will in April release a new album entitled Departure and Farewell on Waveland Records.  We can’t wait.  They’ve now released the first song from the album and animated video for Tourniquet, which you can check out below via NPR.  After the song’s lyrics and video, download the song via the provided widget.


Songwriter and pianist Dan Messe told NPR recently that he “discovered the healing power of his own music in a song he wrote called Tourniquet,” for the new album.   Check out below the song’s trouble-laden topics as depicted in the song and its new animated video from Jordan Bruner.  Dan Messe told NPR “the band fell for the idea of animals that come to the city and become human. ‘We in Hem are suckers for anything involving anthropomorphic animals, so of course we jumped at this idea. It was important to us that the video ended with the wolf finding his way back home. It makes me especially pleased to see him and his girl howling at the end.'”

Check out the song’s sterling lyrics below followed by the video.  The pain is palpable when Sally Ellyson ends the song’s first stanza with a barely-whispered “Where it sinks to the bottom, and it hurts like hell.” If you don’t know Hem, do yourselves a favor and pick up their entire discography.  And then pre-order Departure and Farewell.

“Brooklyn, I’m broken – I’m breaking apart –
Greenpoint pins down my hand, Red Hook pierces my heart –
And my blood runs into the Gowanus Canal
Where it sinks to the bottom
And hurts like hell.

The Prospectors still search for highs in the heights
‘Til their first bloody nose which they laugh off despite
How it seems that whatever gets left in a bar
Just becomes part of Brooklyn
And here we are.

Oh, here we are…

Brooklyn, your war was just won by the South –
Some kid’s shooting off rounds from the roof of his mouth –
And these trains held in Chambers are ready to blow
All the way back to Brooklyn
And here we go.

Oh, here we go…

Oh Brooklyn, your bridges are bound up in light –
Every artery’s clogged as you pull the belt tight –
And this tourniquet turns even tighter until
Traffic comes to a standstill.
We come to a standstill.
I come to a standstill.

Oh, here we are…”

© 2012 Peep Music, Inc.



Watch Jessica Lea and David Mayfield Perform The Dillards’ “There Is a Time”

by Lefort in Music

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We’ve written repeatedly of our love of Jessica Lea Mayfield’s music.  Turns out it runs in the family.  Check out Jessica and her brother David Mayfield below covering The Dillards’ ole chestnut There Is a Time.  David simply slaughters on mandolin.  After, you can listen to The Dillards’ perform their original on The Andy Griffith Show.  The Mayfields’ cover could very well be a eulogy of The Dillards’ leader Doug Dillard who passed away last year.



Stream New Jim James and Frightened Rabbit Albums

by Lefort in Music

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Let the new music floodgates open.  After a new year break, the musical Niagara Falls is spewing forth.  We’ve dipped our nets into the replenished falls and are listening repeatedly to the new albums by Jim James (of My Morning Jacket) and Frightened Rabbit.  You can stream James’ debut album Regions of Light and Sound of God over at NPR HERE.  You can stream Frightened Rabbit’s fantastic new, anthem-filled (our particular weak spot) album Pedestrian Verse over at the Guardian HERE.


Watch New Animal Collective Video For “Applesauce”

by Lefort in Music

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Animal Collective has premiered their new music video below for Applesauce, the latest single off of last year’s sensational album Centipede HZ.  The video was directed by filmmaker Gaspar Noé (Enter The Void; Irreversible ).  According to the press release:  “It is intended to be viewed in complete darkness for maximum effect.”  We would just ask:  couldn’t find an apple, huh?  Great song nonetheless.

Animal Collective will be on tour throughout North American this spring (see tour dates HERE), and will return to Europe in May to perform at Primavera Sound, Barcelona, Spain on the 23rd and to close the main stage at Field Day, London on the 25th.


We Should Watch David Byrne and St. Vincent on TV (Last Night On Late Night With Letterman)

by Lefort in Music

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The collaboration between David Byrne and St. Vincent continued last night on the Letterman Show.  The artists and their big band reeled off the best song, I Should Watch TV, off of their album from last year Love This GiantByrne has said the following about the song that was inspired by Walt Whitman’s poem Song For Myself:  “In the poem, he begins by talking about himself and then extrapolates outward: ‘I am multitudes, I am everybody, everybody is in me, I love everybody.’  He talks about people he sees on the street, the people he sees in Brooklyn, in New Jersey, and on and on– how he’s in all of them and they’re all in him.  That’s taking the idea of watching other peoples’ lives on television to a more cosmic place.”  Check out David Byrne at his theatrical best with horns and band killin’ below.  The song’s lyrics follow the video.

“I used to think that I should watch TV
I used to think that it was good for me
Wanted to know what folks were thinking
To understand the land I live in
And I would lose myself
And it would set me free

This is the place where common people go
A global franchise; one department store
Yes, there were many awkward moments
I had to do some self-atonement
Well, if I opened up
Well, it would set me free

I know, I like
Behold and love this giant
Big soul, big lips
That’s me and I am this
Everybody is a touched up hairdo
Everybody’s in the passing lane
Had a reason that she touched all channels
The weird things that live in there

I took a walk down to the park today
I wrote a song called ‘Just Like You and Me’
I heard the jokes from the sports reporter
The rival teams when they faced each other
The more I lost myself,
The more it set me free

How am I not your brother
How are you not like me
Everybody’s in the hotel lobby
I’m living in here, yes I am
I feel it moving in my arms and fingers
Touch me, Feel happy

It’s good to lose and it’s good to win sometimes
It’s good to die and it’s good be alive
Maybe someday we can stand together
Not afraid of what we see
Maybe someday understand them better
The weird things inside of me”


Watch Kathleen Edwards Cover Nirvana’s “All Apologies”

by Lefort in Music

Kathleen Edwards put on one of our Best Concerts of 2012.  To get a feel for Edwards’ performance appeal and crystalline voice, check her out below with stalwart standbys Jim Bryson and Gord Tough giving Kurt Cobain’s end-note, All Apologies, a fitting read in London in December.  Note to guitar players everywhere:  if you want to hear how to subtly accompany an artist with brilliant, but chaste, embellishment (instead of showy gunslinging), check out Gord Tough’s perfect “solo” at 2:32.  We could listen to Edwards’ lustrous vocals and the boys’ fine harmonies till the end of time.  And the next time she comes around to your town, don’t you miss it.  The Edwards “Trio” Tour, with talented Sera Cahoone opening, is happening now in a city near you.  Check the dates HERE.