November, 2013 Archives


Listen to Neil Young Sing “Cinnamon Girl” While Accompanying Himself on Piano

by Lefort in Music

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We wrote the other day about Neil Young’s imminent release of Live at The Cellar Door from his archives. The album features Young solo on guitar and piano, and was recorded live at The Cellar Door in D.C. in 1970.  Now Young has released his performance of Cinnamon Girl on which he accompanies himself on solo piano (a first and last on the song).  Check it out below.


Give Thanks for 826 National–Listen to Tracks and Buy Benefit Album “You Be My Heart”

by Lefort in Music

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There are a few stops we HAVE to make when we go to San Francisco. Fort Point, House of Nan King, Amoeba, Green Apple Books, City Lights, Bi-Rite Creamery, and Dave Eggers-founded 826 Valencia. 826 Valencia has been supplying writing workshops to children aged 6-18 in San Francisco since 2002.  The organization has expanded to become 826 National, and opened up centers/stores in cities across the country. Each location provides “a variety of inventive programs that provide under-resourced students, ages 6–18, with opportunities to explore their creativity and improve their writing skills.”  To help fund the effort, each store sells various theme-related products created by the organization.  In San Francisco the theme is “pirates.” We love pirates (except for those dastardly Somalian fakes) so it’s a must-stop for us.

To benefit this fine cause some of the country’s best musicians have helped out 826 National and recorded songs for a new benefit album entitled You Be My Heart, which will be released on December 9th.  Fantastic musical artists such as Mark Kozelek, Marissa Nadler, Fruitbats (RIP), Field Report, Bowerbirds and Maps and Atlases have contributed to the benefit album, which features songs written solely by 826 Valencia volunteer coordinator Devon Reed.  Listen blow to four phenomenal tracks from the album, which you can eventually buy HERE.  The songs covered by Kozalek, Nadler, and The Cloud Room in particular impress.  Reed should quit his day job!  No wait….

Listen below, give thanks and buy heartily!


Listen to Neil Young’s “Old Man” from New “Live at The Cellar Door” Album Recorded in 1970

by Lefort in Music

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On December 10th, everyone’s favorite (save a couple of cranks) Neil Young will release Live at The Cellar Door from his archives. The album features Young solo on guitar and piano, and was recorded live at The Cellar Door in D.C. in 1970.

After Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young went on hiatus in 1970, Young naturally wrote a raft of great new songs and scheduled a solo tour.  To prepare, he arranged some intimate warm-up shows at The Cellar Door.  As can be seen from the set list and stream below, Young debuted Old Man (from 1972’s Harvest) and See the Sky About to Rain (which would eventually appear on 1974’s On The Beach), and added Buffalo Springfield’s Expecting to Fly and Flying On The Ground Is Wrong, and a rare solo piano version of Cinnamon Girl.  The remainder of the album is largely made up of superb songs from fan-favorite After The Goldrush.  Regardless, the album gives a great glimpse of the gamut of Young’s early career.

Check out Young’s performance of Old Man below. The album’s track list follows the recording.

Live at The Cellar Door:

1  Tell Me Why
2  Only Love Can Break Your Heart
3  After The Gold Rush
4  Expecting To Fly
5  Bad Fog Of Loneliness
6  Old Man
7  Birds
8  Don’t Let It Bring You Down
9  See The Sky About To Rain
10 Cinnamon Girl
11  I Am A Child
12  Down By The River
13  Flying On The Ground Is Wrong


On Monday: “Take Care” by Big Star

by Lefort in Music

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We admit we didn’t fully appreciate Big Star’s Third/Sister Lovers 1978 album until much, much later.  It wasn’t until 1985 when we couldn’t take the huzzahs any more and bought PVC’s reissue of the vinyl album.  And then we wore out the grooves.  To this day, the album serves up some of the best, most harrowing pop/rock ever recorded.


Over the weekend we read Brainpickings’ review of Jennifer Hecht’s superb counter-suicide book Stay).  As we listened (yet again) to Sister Lovers (with the Stay review still picking our brains), we were taken anew by one of our favorite songs, Take Care, off of Sister Lovers (Nighttime is another).  There have been many superb anti-suicide songs throughout time, but Take Care is what we heard this time.  Listen below to the sweet encouragement we hear in Alex Chilton’s song.

Do take care this Monday and throughout.  The song’s lyrics follow the song.


“Take care not to hurt yourself
Beware of the need for help
You might need too much
And people are such

Take care
Please, take care

Some people read idea books
And some people have pretty looks
But if your eyes are wide
And all words aside

This sounds a bit like goodbye
In a way it is, I guess
As I leave your side
I’ve taken the air.”


Must Watch: Joseph Arthur Performs/Paints “I Miss The Zoo” On Live TV–And Stream/Download Recent German Concert

by Lefort in Music

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We love the artist Joseph Arthur, and especially the musician.  We’ve been all-in since 2000’s Come To Where I’m From.  It’s been a long and bumpy road for this artist and his fans, but he’s come out the other side in stentorian form.  To see/hear what we’re talking about, watch and listen below.

Last week we posted Arthur’s powerful performance of I Miss the Zoo (off of his outstanding 2013 album The Ballad of Boogie Christ) while painting in Lichtenstein. Today Arthur posted this larger-than-life-and-sound version (on Canadian TV on Belle and Bum), which is evidently the first time he (or anyone?) has painted/performed concurrently on live TV.  Check it out below first.  Magnifique!  He not busy getting chills is busy dying.  The song’s superb, confessional lyrics are at bottom.


Arthur and stellar band are currently out on tour in support of his fantastic 2013 album The Ballad of Boogie Christ.  To get a feel for how great they are live, listen/download Arthur’s recent concert from Münster, Germany (the setlist follows the stream).  We missed our chance to catch him when he came through Cali on this tour, but you still have plenty of opportunities and can check out possible dates HERE.  As you can see from this I Miss The Zoo performance, you won’t be disappointed.


King of Cleveland
Still Life Honey Rose
The Ballad of Boogie Christ
Saint of Impossible Causes
I Used to Know How to Walk on Water
Black Flowers
I Miss the Zoo
A Smile That Explodes
In the Sun
Travel as Equals
Blue Lights in the Rear View
I Am the Witness
Honey and the Moon
Black Lexus
Akron Skies
It’s OK to be Young/Gone
Currency of Love

“I Miss The Zoo”

I miss the drunk
I miss the fiend
I miss the simplicity of addiction
And the scene
I miss wandering aimlessly
In half-dead sewers with rats for eyes
Chewing on forgiveness
And the will to apologize
I miss the return of no return
As I burn in avalanches
Of white snow and yellow cocaine
I miss talking to brick walls
While following the grain
And human dolls as I plagiarize myself like a dummy
Stuffed with counterfeit money
For Cairo and black honey
I miss illusions begging to be chased
Even as they disappear into me (erased)
Until there is no one or nothing but the chase
And a powdery ghost with no face
(Or faith)
And the woman of my dreams disappearing without grace

I miss the zoo (x3)

I miss evolving into a cloud
Of blue marijuana blown from the lips
Of hookers and pimps
As they shake each other down
In alleys for the dammed but mighty
With no one but the weak around
And the beautiful unsightly
I miss numb Neanderthals marching
In rows of living dead
From my wisdom teeth to Spain and back again (in my head)
I miss salvation in syringes and angels of mercy
In blooms of smoke numbing rain
Which drinks when thirsty
I miss glasses full of spirits
Who without tongues speak to me of Napoleon’s wild nights
I miss staying up for days and becoming a psychic pretzel
Flying kites
Chewed on by a Zulu heading with toads to Mars
A mysterious prison
And one without bars
(at least those kind of bars)

I miss the zoo (x3)

I miss waking in the arms of strangers
Like puppies just born in the pound to a dead mother with eyes sealed shut
Looking for a tit to suck
And other dangers
When the night before laughter was our only pursuit
Even as knives carved up our backs
And demons sat like Buddhas eating fruit
Meditating on hate forever in our minds
I miss exposing even my bones
And the need that rewinds
Even my burning home
Even my gutted inner child
Even my dead grandfather
Beneath the ground that’s wild
Even my criminal family
Even my weed whacker thoughts
Whipping a thin plastic string
To cut the ears off others
As I sing
I miss van Gogh’s revenge
I miss his nightly binge
I miss spiders surrounding my bed
And lifting me as if an effigy
Or a dead king
A prophet of doom
A Jesus for the apocalypse
Wearing dirt like perfume
Or a mother for Satan
Or ghost for all the children of abuse
Taking me into the fire
Watching me burn
Like a goose
As they sing
In spider voices
There goes creation
There goes the moon
There goes the butterfly
Wanting a cocoon
I miss being a bloom
And a goon
Waking up too soon in the afternoon
A doctor of regret
Hanging onto guitar strings in tune
And hanging by a belt
Wrapped around some pipe to nowhere and felt
My lips, too, wrapped around
What appears to be stained glass
As religious figures dress like rocks with class
Burn into gas
To the center of my brain
The euphoria of dying and being born all at once
While wearing the hat that reads “dunce”

I miss the zoo (x3)


Stream Destroyer’s “Five Spanish Songs” Recording

by Lefort in Music

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As mentioned HERE last week via the video for one of the Five, Destroyer’s Dan Bejar is back with the Five Spanish Songs EP to be released next week under the Destroyer banner.  This is the first Destroyer release since the perfecto Kaputt, one of our favorite albums of 2011.  Bejar is one of our more gifted lyricists and songwriters but evidently his muse has been missing (at least as visited in English).  The new EP features songs (all written by Antonio Luque of the band Sr. Chinarro) sung in exactly that:  Spanish.

You can now stream the new EP below courtesy of Hype Machine.  Nos guste!  Once again the sounds, arrangements and playing are all superb a la all Destroyer albums.  Babieca in particular moves with its skittering early guitar and its build via strings and bongos (a natural combo, no?).  And the entire time Bejars signature vocals float over the melodies.  We wish we were more fluent in Spanish, but we’ll take any Destroyer/Bejar we can get, and hope that Bejar’s muse will return to him (in English) soon.
Enjoy it below while you can.


Electronic-Ish Friday–Listen to and Download Grizzly Bear Remix by Diplo

by Lefort in Music

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It’s Electronic-ish Friday and Jeune Lefort remains AWOL.  So we will keep up the fight on our own.

Grizzly Bear’s Shields was one of our Best Albums of 2012.  Earlier this month the band released Shields Expanded and Shields B-Sides.  The collections added to Shields exclusive b-sides, demos and remixes. One of those tracks, Will Calls (Marfa Demo), kicked off well the release of Shields Expanded.  Today the band released Diplo’s remix of Will Calls.  You can listen to and download the track below which was not included in the various Shields releases.  We love what Diplo does to Grizzly Bears.  Superb!


Watch Dave Rawlings Machine Perform “Going to California” Last Night with John Paul Jones

by Lefort in Music

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We love everything about David Rawlings and his collaborator Gillian WelchRawlings is without doubt the most soulful acoustic-guitar shredder extant.  Bar none.  And Welch is, well, Welch.  She can do no wrong in our book and has written some of the best songs of this generation (Time the Revelator, Miss Ohio, etc.).  So were thrilled/chagrined to learn that the Dave Rawlings Machine (the duo’s version in which Rawlings takes the vocal lead) would be going out on tour for the first time since 2010, but not coming to California.  Just to rub it in (evidently) the band covered Led Zeppelin’s Going to California in Nashville last night.  The band started the evening with Will the Circle be Unbroken and ended with The Weight.  And along the way they covered Neil Young’s Cortez the Killer, along with Bright Eyes, Ryan Adams, Bob Dylan songs and This Land is Your Land.  Be-still our hearts.

Hopefully we’re reading the performance of Going to California wrong and instead it is a playful foreshadowing of a visit to California soon to come.  We pray it so.  You can check out two fan captures of the performance below in all it’s glory.


Updated: Listen to and Watch Video For New U2 Song “Ordinary Love”

by Lefort in Music

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U2 released new song Ordinary Love to U2 fan club subscribers last night.  The song is included in the soundtrack to the new biopic Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.  The song’s official video is also expected to be released tonight at 7 p.m. EST (OK, it’s below if you’re on Facebook).  The song will be available in vinyl on Black Friday as part of Record Store Day’s Black Friday sale with a digital download.  You can listen to it HERE at the link embedded below the video trailer.

Post by U2.

Watch Arcade Fire’s Affecting Official Video for “Afterlife”

by Lefort in Music

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After third, fourth and fifth second-guessings of Arcade Fire and the PR campaign surrounding the release of their new album Reflektor, ultimately the world is left to assess the merit of the band’s new songs and album.  We should have known their worth.  We have been on the fence somewhat about the new album and said PR campaign, but no mas.  Reflektor is one of the best albums of 2013 (not 1975, as has been asserted).

Arcade Fire has just released their official video for key song Afterlife off the new album.  With this video (amongst other worthwhile touchstones) Arcade Fire shows once again why they are one of the best bands on the scene.  They’ve always asked the big questions and given greatly of their gigantic hearts.  The video below, directed by the talented Emily Kai Bock, furthers their fine legacy.