May, 2013 Archives


The Groove Hypnosis: Watch Junip Perform on KCRW

by Lefort in Music

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We confess to not previously “getting” Sweden-based Junip or its leader Jose Gonzalez.  While critics and fans have been singing their praises for years, we were slowly falling asleep in our armchairs.  That is until now.  Junip showed up on KCRW yesterday, and we have been obsessing over two video vignettes from the session, the repeat button mashed and unyielding.  These are well-crafted songs that continue to mesmerize with their hypnotic grooves (especially Walking Lightly).  Both songs are from Junip’s eponymous second album released in late April, which shows marked improvement over their first or any Gonzalez recording we’ve attempted.  Junip is currently on  tour in the US (now in California), and the tour dates can be found HERE.


Harmonious Friday: Watch The Staves’ Black Cab Session, Etc.

by Lefort in Music

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We’ve been unknowingly deprived again.  The musical Niagara Falls continues unabated, and we’ve let more mouthfuls geyser past.  Take, for example, The Staves, a sister-trio out of Watford, England.  They may be just what the world’s needed to fill the gene-harmony void left by The Roches (see in particular the second video below). Our initial discovery of The Staves came courtesy of their Black Cab Session, which you can watch immediately below.  These are some seriously harmonious sisters, with the centerpiece of the sisters sounding a bit like Feist (no higher compliment can we pay).  After, check out some other winning vignettes from The Staves. They’ve been at it for some time now, but only last November released their debut album entitled Dead & Born & Grown, which was produced by legendary producers Glyn and Ethan Johns.  Their performance of the title track can be seen below. If you like what you hear and see, go over to the sisters’ YouTube Channel for a plethora of possibilities.  The Staves are currently on tour and coming to Cali in June. Check the dates HERE.


Watch Tricky’s Official Video for “Nothing Matters” with Nneka off New Album “False Idols”

by Lefort in Music

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Tricky used to be the “it” dude of trip-hop. When he first hit definitively in 1995 with Maxinquaye, critics and fans alike were agog.  But after some years of frivolous behavior and comparatively-mediocre musical missteps, Tricky appears to be back in fine fettle with his new album entitled False Idols.  On False Idols Tricky’s surrounded himself with the likes of Francesca Belmonte (check the second and third videos below), The Antlers’ Peter Silberman and, one of our favorites, NnekaSpeaking of Nneka, check out the just-released official video for Nothing Matters below.  After, listen/watch a few others from False Idols.  Moody and atmospheric, False Idols is not for everyone.  This is cinematic, challenging and ominous material that will reward repeated listens.  If they ever make Blade Runner II, Tricky just provided the perfect soundtrack.


Watch Ben Folds Five Perform on Conan and Stream New Live Album–Coming to the Santa Barbara Bowl

by Lefort in Music

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Pop maestro, mischief-maker and concert-legend Ben Folds and his Ben Folds Five (three actually) showed up last night on Conan to play two tracks (Erase Me and Draw A Crowd) from their first live album, Ben Folds Five Live, which is due out next week.  Check out the zany, rocking performances below, and then go over to the The Wall Street Journal to stream the new 15-track album.  Ben Folds Five play our Santa Barbara Bowl on June 22nd (with Barenaked Ladies and Guster), and you can get tickets at the Bowl’s box office or HERE.  It’s sure to be a melodious blast.


Watch Majical Cloudz’ Take Away Show

by Lefort in Music

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Majical Cloudz ben geddin’ summ prez deez dayz.  Oh, sorry.  English, eh?  Right then:  Montreal’s keyboard crooners Majical Cloudz (Devon Walsh and Matthew Otto) have been receiving raves for the emotional intensity of their live shows and their new album Impersonator (Pitchfork gave it an 8.2, but as you know they’re not to be trusted). To get a feel, watch Majical Cloudz (Devon Walsh) perform Bugs Don’t Buzz for La Blogotheque on a Metro train in Paris below.  After, listen to the band’s Soundcloud and check out their just-announced tour dates.  Intensity.  And penetrating stares.

Tour Dates:

06/13 – Brooklyn, NY @ Northside Festival *
06/15 – Toronto, ON @ North by Northeast
06/18 – Miami, FL @ The Fillmore #
06/19 – Tampa, FL @ The Ritz Ybor #
07/27 – Long Island City, NY @ MoMA PS1 %
08/02 – Montreal, QC @ Osheaga Festival
08/10 – Detroit, MI @ Magic Stick
08/12 – Chicago, IL @ Schubas Tavern
08/13 – Minneapolis, MN @ 7th Street Entry
08/14 – Winnipeg, MB @ Union Sound Hall
08/15 – Saskatoon, SK @ Amigos Cantina
08/16 – Edmonton, AB @ Brixx
08/17 – Calgary, AB @ The HiFi Club
08/19 – Vancouver, BC @ Electric Owl
08/20 – Seattle, WA @ Barboza
08/21 – Portland, OR @ Mississippi Studios
08/23 – Santa Cruz, CA @ The Catalyst Atrium
08/24 – San Francisco, CA @ Rickshaw Stop
08/26 – Santa Ana, CA @ Constellation Room
08/27 – Los Angeles, CA @ Echo
08/28 – San Diego, CA @ Casbah
08/31 – Austin, TX @ Red 7
09/02 – Houston, TX @ Fitzgerald’s
09/07 – Raleigh, NC @ Hopscotch Music Festival
09/09 – Washington, DC @ DC9
09/10 – Philadelphia, PA @ Kung Fu Necktie
09/11 – New Haven, CT @ Cafe Nine
09/13 – Brooklyn, NY @ Glasslands
09/14 – New York, NY @ Mercury Lounge
09/15 – Boston, MA @ Great Scott
10/08 – Glasgow, UK @ Broadcast
10/09 – Manchester, UK @ Deaf Institute
10/11 – London, UK @ Lexington
10/12 – Brighton, UK @ Green Door Store
10/16 – Brussels, BE @ Botanique Rotonde
10/17 – Amsterdam, NL @ Bitterzoet
10/18 – Berlin, DE @ Berghain Kantine
10/19 – Hamburg, DE @ Prinzenbar
10/21 – Copenhagen, DK @ Jazzhouse
10/22 – Oslo, NO @ Blaa

* = w/ Body/Head and Foreplay
# = w/ Grizzly Bear
% = w/ Ben UFO, A Guy Called Gerald, Daniel Avery, Roosevelt


Watch Dawes’ Unplugged Cover of John Fogerty’s “Someday Never Comes” and With Fogerty on Letterman Show

by Lefort in Music

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While growing up on the Central Coast, and spending every single summer driving to and from the Midwest, radio dominated our musical lives.  And from 1968-1972 America’s radio waves were dominated by Creedence Clearwater Revival and their masterful, deceptively-simple, three-chord songs. During that time, CCR’s songwriter-leader John Fogerty penned many of America’s greatest rock songs (amongst others, Proud Mary, Bad Moon Rising, Green River, Unfortunate Son, Down on the Corner, Lodi, Fortunate Son, Who’ll Stop the Rain, Up Around the Bend, Have You Ever Seen The Rain?, Lookin’ Out My Back Door).  In a scant two years (’69-’70) of preternatural productivity, CCR released five (!) of the best rock albums this country has ever produced.  After the band’s breakup in 1972, Fogerty went solo and produced some good songs, but only with fits and starts of similar creativity (c’est la vie, non?).  Regardless, Fogerty has continued as a vital performer live, with his concert at the Santa Barbara Bowl in 2006 one of the best shows of that or any other year.

Fast forward to 2013, and John Fogerty just turned 68 years old on Tuesday.  The occasion was marked by Fogerty with the release of a new album entitled Wrote a Song for Everyone.  Fogerty brought some of rock’s current faves (Foo Fighters, Dawes, and My Morning Jacket), some current country and R&B artists and his sons together to re-do many of CCR’s and Fogerty-solo songs.  It’s a grab bag (Kid Rock and Keith Urban?  Maybe that song wasn’t written for Everyone!!) with some clear standouts.  For a feel for the latter, check out below (via Rolling Stone) as Dawes (well, Taylor Goldsmith and his Lakers-hat-sporting brother Griffin) performs Someday Never Comes unplugged with their native Los Angeles in the background.  A perfect match of performers and song.

After watch Fogerty and Dawes perform the song on the Letterman Show last week.



Watch New “Repave” Album Trailer From Justin Vernon’s Side-Project “Volcano Choir”

by Lefort in Music


While Bon Iver is out on hiatus, we’ve been casting around for more Justin Vernon to fill the void.  While Vernon’s contributions to Colin Stetson’s recent album were fantastic, we were happy to discover that Vernon has been busy recording a new album entitled Repave with his side-project Volcano Choir. Volcano Choir is Jon Mueller, Chris Rosenau, Matthew Skemp, Daniel Spack, Justin Vernon, and Thomas Wincek.   Repave is the band’s second album, and it will be released in September on Jagjaguwar.  You can pre-order it HERE.  Check out their new album “Trailer” below.  More magnificence!

And while we’re at it, dear fellow media sites and bloggers:  please attempt to be less cut-and-pasty bandwagoneers will ya?  Exhibit A for the prosecution:  some “genius” has described Volcano Choir as  “post-rock,” and now nearly every other site has included that descriptor in their Volcano Choir news.  Huh?? First of all, what do (not does) it mean (about that, we guarantee no two sites will agree)? And secondly, there is no “post-rock” at all about the song featured in the trailer below.  It simply rocks!

The new album’s tracklisting and current tour dates at very bottom.

Repave Track Listing:
1. Tiderays
2. Acetate
3. Comrade
4. Byegone
5. Alaskans
6. Dancepack
7. Keel
8. Almanac

09.06.13 – Chicago, IL – Metro #
09.07.13 – Indianapolis, IN – Vogue #
09.08.13 – Toronto, ON – Phoenix #
09 09.13 – Burlington, VT – Higher Ground #
09.11.13 – Boston, MA – Paradise #
09.12.13 – Washington, D.C. – 9:30 Club #
09.14.13 – New York, NY – Webster Hall #
09.27.13 – Madison, WI – Orpheum Theater
09.28.13 – Milwaukee, WI – Pabst Theater
10.18.13 – Minneapolis, MN – First Ave.

#with Sylvan Esso


Blue Skies: Listen to New Camera Obscura Album “Desire Lines”– Coming to Soho on 6/16

by Lefort in Music

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There are particularly appropriate times and places for certain music. After Central California was spared from yet another fire disaster yesterday, the breezy Brit-pop sounds of Glasgow’s Camera Obscura and their new album Desire Lines are a perfect soundtrack for the unobscured sun and blue skies outside today.  We’re not saying there isn’t weight in the lyrics; just that the sweet musical sounds mesh well with the day.  We’ve been fans of Camera Obscura for a decade or so, and the new album does not disappoint. Go over to NPR HERE, and give a good listen.  Camera Obscura plays Soho in Santa Barbara on June 16th courtesy of Club Mercy. Not to be missed.  Get your tickets HERE.


On Memorial Day: Watch Stornoway Perform “The Ones You Hurt the Most”

by Lefort in Music

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We ventured down to LA’s Bootleg Theater on Saturday to see Oxford, England’s Stornoway.  Needless to say, Stornoway’s show was one of the highlights of the concert year (much more on that later).  Along the way, the band performed a stripped-down, virtually-acappella version of their heart-lightning song, The Ones You Hurt the Most, which you can watch below.  Comes now Memorial Day, and all we can do is conjure the many lives that have been given, and the saints along the way.  May this soulful song provide you peace this day.


Watch Grizzly Bear Perform “Yet Again”–On Ellen(?)

by Lefort in Music

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Grizzly Bear showed up on Ellen this morning (huh?) to perform a stripped-down version of Yet Again off of 2012’s ShieldsEd Roste is really taking to his new LA domicile.  In related news, Grizzly Bear will play Hollywood Forever Cemetery on August 9th, and you can still get tickets HERE.