April, 2013 Archives


Watch Colin Stetson Perform in a Brooklyn Pipe for La Blogotheque

by Lefort in Music

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We have been yammering repeatedly about the great Canadian sax colossus Colin Stetson and his mindblowing new album New History Warfare Vol. 3:  From the Light.  Now you can visualize what we’ve been talking about.  Check out Stetson below heavy-breathing in a concrete pipe in Brooklyn for a Take Away Session for La Blogotheque.  In theory no one person should be able to render that many sounds from and through mere pieces of metal.  Circular breathing.  On steroids.  Stellar.  Now take a breather Colin.


Watch Josh Ritter Perform “Hopeful” on KCRW

by Lefort in Music

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Twelve years ago Josh Ritter brought us Midwestern joy and hope via his first proper album, Golden Age, which spelled victory for the middle and their (mostly) unsung heroes.   We have held onto that hope for the middle since.  But good times come and go, and lives move on.  It turns out that during these ‘tween times, Josh Ritter recently went through departure and divorce.  Thus, as you might imagine, Ritter’s new album The Beast In Its Tracks is divorce- and aftermath-centric.  Even though we’ve awaited the new album, we hadn’t until, now  heard a lot to cling to.  But then we happened upon his performance on KCRW today of song Hopeful (that would be the post-aftermath/reconciliation stage of divorce matters, but as a best case).  And we became hopeful once again (about Ritter, humans, et. al).  Check it out below.  And, as always, do your best to be that way.


Watch Cat Power Perform “Bully” on Later…with Jools Holland

by Lefort in Music

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It’s been a tough year for Chan Marshall, otherwise known as Cat Power.  She was jilted by her “soul mate,”  then in and out of hospitals with afflictions, and left to wind her way through new ways to expand her sound-palette to maintain interest and relevancy.  The upshot?  She delivered a deftly-adventurous, critically-acclaimed album, Sun, with its modern-sounding rhythms and added effects.   Many would have been perfectly happy with a classic Cat Power sound, rather than the comparatively-evolved sounds on Sun.

It wasn’t surprising, therefore, that rumors began swirling that Cat Power will release a new compendium of songs that didn’t fit onto Sun.  One of the first song-clues can be heard below.  Marshall recently performed the song Bully on Later with Jools Holland, accompanied only by solo piano.  Bully exhibits more of the fragility and emotion that originally won her fans and which would have fit well onto her older albums Moon Pix or The Covers Record.  But instead Bully is (as of now) a bonus track on the iTunes-purchasable Sun album.  Check the performance below.  In other good news:  Cat Power’s tour is going so well that she/they have announced the addition of more shows.  The current dates follow the lyrics at bottom.


“Boy, you’re a bully
Through the grass and the river you chase
You were cruel, you were so mean
Laughing right in my face
All the while you had my back, my best friend
I can still feel that smile on my face
27 was a good year, the best
The back of the bar watching me dance in a dress
Remember that night in Paris, all those candles you lit
You and all the alcohol
Sleeping on the street, sleeping on a …
Looking like a crook for trying to come back home
With a twist of your tongue and a devilish smile on your face
When you get sick
You were through with fun and games
Now that the times have all changed
I can’t find you,
I can’t put you back into place
Nothing could be done
For this young, wild son
Standing on the street in a hospital sheet
All on the run from the police
Dumb girl on your arm
That look on your face
And all those crazy things you said to me
I can never forget
Everything you have to go through
With a smile on your face
Everything we now know, with a smile on our face
I, I can never forget”

Cat Power Tour Dates (new in bold):

May 18 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil / Circo Voador
May 19 Recife, Brazil / Espaço Catamarã
May 21 São Paulo, Brazil / Cine Joia
May 23 Buenos Aires, Argentina / Teatro Coliseo
May 25 Santiago, Chile / Teatro La Cúpula
May 27 Montevideo, Uruguay / La Trastienda
May 31 Nelsonville, OH / Nelsonville Music Festival
June 1 – 2 Houston, TX / Free Press Summer Festival
June 13 – 16 Manchester, TN / Bonnaroo
June 16 Jacksonville, FL / Florida Theatre
June 18 Atlanta, GA / The Buckhead Theatre
June 20 Vienna, VA / Wolf Trap Filene Center
June 22  Duisburg, Germany / Traumziet Festival
June 23  Berlin, Germany / Tempodrom
June 25  London, UK / Roundhouse
June 26  Brussels, BE / AB
June 27  Zurich, CH / Volkshaus
June 28 Munich, DE / Theater Fabrik
June 30 Somerset, UK / Glastonbury – SOLD OUT
July 2  Amsterdam, NL / Paradiso
July 3  Hamburg, DE / Grosse Freiheit
July 5 Barcelona, ES / Cruilla Festival
July 6 Montreux, SW / Montreux Jazz Lab
July 7 Milan, IT / Carroponte
July 8 Rome, IT / Parco della Musica
July 17 Paris, FR / Olympia
July 19 Suffolk, UK / Latitude
July 20 Ponznan, PL / Malta Festival
August 2-4 Chicago, IL / Lollapalooza
August 8 Oslo, NO / OYA festival
August 9 Helsinki, FI / Flow festival
August 10 Gothenburg, SE / Way Out West festival


Listen to Debut Savages Album “Silence Yourself”

by Lefort in Music

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Mondays are getting to be listening-party days with all the streamers streaming in advance of Tuesday (because?) album releases. Joining the fray today are the muscular and dynamic all-female Savages from Britain with the stream of their new album Silence Yourself.  Check it out below and go order the album.


On Sunday: Watch Band of Horses’ Ben Bridwell and Tyler Ramsey Perform Two Songs Unplugged

by Lefort in Music

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The pick of the litter of local shows during the Coachella Heaven/Hell Week (the concert week between the two Coachella weekends when the Coachella bands span out around California) was the Band of Horses show at the Majestic Ventura Theater.  The Band showed up in Ventura with decidedly different setlist (see at bottom) and mindset from their Troubadour show that we caught last Fall.  Out were many of the slower/acoustic moments and most of the songs from last year’s Mirage Rock album, and in was The Big Rock Show.  And they wore it well (see the video at very bottom of the band performing Funeral at Ventura).  The played loud and full-tilt the entire night, only slowing down for a few quieter moments along the way and paying rightful homage to the late, great Jason Molina (with Ben Bridwell wearing a Magnolia Electric Co. t-shirt).   They played all the hits and then some, and it was truly majestic. Bridwell’s voice, even after six months of virtual non-stop touring, is a force of nature, and the entire band was hitting its stride at the Majestic.  Our favorite song of the night was the rarely-performed Blue Beard from Infinite Arms.

To get a feel for Bridwell’s voice, check out Ben and Tyler Ramsey below performing No One’s Gonna Love You for Rookie.  After, listen to the duo eventually (at 2:37) perform the lilting and lovely Everything’s Gonna Be Undone, interspersed with an interview of Bridwell by Rookie.

Ventura Setlist:

For Annabelle
The First Song
The Great Salt Lake
Is There a Ghost
Marry Song
Islands on the Coast
Cigarettes, Wedding Bands
Knock Knock
Everything’s Gonna Be Undone
No One’s Gonna Love You
Infinite Arms
Ode to LRC
The Funeral

Blue Beard
I’ve Been Riding With The Ghost (Jason Molina cover)
The General Specific


Stream Daughter’s Debut Album “If You Leave”

by Lefort in Music

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One of our favorite discoveries last fall was Brit-band Daughter.  Fast forward six months, and the band will release their first album, If You Leave, this Tuesday.  Singer Elena Tonra wraps her words well around melancholy mise en scenes, and the band frames the montage in steely sweet sounds.  All good in our book.  You can listen to the album now over at Rolling Stone.  Read more and pick it up HERE.


Watch Iron & Wine on Jimmy Fallon Show

by Lefort in Music

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It’s been a great week for music on the talk shows, and nowhere better than on The Jimmy Fallon Show. Last night Iron & Wine closed out the week on Fallon in support of their new album Ghost on Ghost. Check out below as Sam Beam and his large band gallop through new song Grace for Saints and Ramblers.  After, check out the web-exclusive Grass Widows, also off the new album.  We prefer the latter, which is well within the Wine’s wheelhouse (versus Beam’s somewhat shambolic vocal on the first). We trust Sam’ll get that ironed out in due time.

Iron & Wine open their tour with a May 11th performance at the Bottle Rocket Festival in Napa.  No other Cali dates are scheduled as of now.  The band’s tour dates (with The Secret Sisters opening) follow at bottom.

Tour Dates:

05/11 – Napa, CA @ Bottle Rock Festival
05/13 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Carnegie Music Hall of Homestead *
05/14 – New York, NY @ Beacon Theatre *
05/15 – Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer *
05/16 – Richmond, VA @ Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens *
05/17 – Boston, MA @ Berklee Performance Center *
05/18 – Portland, ME @ State Theatre *
05/19 – Port Chester, NY @ The Capitol Theatre *
05/29 – Dublin, IE @ Olympia Theatre *
05/30 – Manchester, UK @ Opera House *
05/31 – London, UK @ The Barbican *
06/01 – Paris, FR @ La Cigale *
06/02 – Utrecht, NL @ Vredenburg *
06/03 – Brussels, BE @ Cirque Royal *
06/05 – Berlin, DE @ Admiralspalast *

* = w/ The Secret Sisters


Watch The National Nationalize The Jimmy Fallon Show

by Lefort in Music

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There are some phenomenal American bands currently on the “indie” scene.  Wilco, Bon Iver, Grizzly Bear, My Morning Jacket, Bright Eyes,The Walkmen, Band of Horses, Like Pioneers, Buellton, etc.  That said, national treasures The National returned to television last night on the Jimmy Fallon Show and reasserted their claim as the best American band on the scene, and particularly live.  The original-Brooklyn band will soon release their sixth studio album, Trouble Will Find Me, and are hitting the tour trail soon in support.  We can’t wait to catch them at the Greek Theater in LA in August.  It’s gonna be a hot August night.

In addition to the new album and tour, The National will also soon release a new documentary film by Tom Berninger (Matt’s younger brother), Mistaken for Strangers, and will put on their annual music festival, Crossing Brooklyn Ferry.

But last night the band was on a mission on Fallon.  Check them out below as they played two new songs off the new album:  Sea of Love and a web-only rendering of I Need My Girl.   Their live dynamic is vividly seen on Sea of Love, which started out great and ramped up from there (watch at 2:20 and 3:14 and thereafter, as the band continuously lifted the love swell).  Oh my.  Check ’em both below.

Trouble Will Find Me will be released on May 21st on 4AD, and will include contributions by the likes of such Brooklyn neighbors as Sufjan StevensSharon Van Etten and Annie Clark (St. Vincent).  You can pre-order the new album HERE.


Watch Colin Steton’s Video For “Among the Sef”–A Proper Video/Soundtrack for Our Current Whale Migration Season

by Lefort in Music

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As we’ve already written about, saxophonist Colin Stetson has released the last, and possibly best, segment of his New History Warfare project.  You can go to NPR now and stream the album titled To See More Light in it’s entirety.

To See More Light is a wonder of technical prowess within wondrously evocative soundscapes,  which at times is aided and abetted by Justin Vernon’s (Bon Iver) vocals and other assists.  Depending on your mood, the album may leave you joyous, tearful, fearful or speaking in tongues.  Likely all of the above.  Turn off the alternative entertainment, put this album on, and be transported to an alternative universe.  In a good way.  Our favorite tracks:  What Are They Doing In Heaven Today, To See More Light, And In Truth, Who The Waves Are Roaring For, and Among The Sef.

Speaking of Among The Sef, last week Stetson released the official video for the song viewable below. Given the current migration of blue (primarily) whales off of our Central California Coast, the video is particularly apt.  Music and video match perfectly to help convey the mystery and manifold shades of the ocean, the whales and las bufadoras.  Check out the video below, go over to NPR (at the link above) and then go buy To See More Light HERE.  And if you’re on the Cali Coast, go check out the whales.

Colin Stetson – Among the Sef from Constellation Records on Vimeo.


Watch Phoenix on KCRW

by Lefort in Music

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Phoenix showed up at KCRW last Wednesday courtesy of Corpchella and performed Trying To Be Cool/Drakkar Noir and others off their new album Bankrupt!  Check ’em out below and go HERE to listen/watch the full session.