October, 2015 Archives


To Cap Off “EL VY Week”: Watch EL VY on CBS Saturday Morning and Listen to KCRW Set

by Lefort in Music

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EL VY Cover

Turns out this was “EL VY Week” on The Lefort Report.  To re-cap the week: new favorites EL VY premiered two lyric videos (for Need a Friend and Silent Ivy Hotel), laid down a captivating six-song, full-band set on KCRW, and (most importantly ) yesterday released their fantastic new album, Return to the Moon.  The new album is a tour de force (review, soon come) that you should pick up immediately HERE.  And today EL VY (just Matt Berninger and Brent Knopf actually) closed out the week by giving stirring, pared-down performances of the poignant No Time to Crank the Sun (with Knopf’s piquant piano-playing and Moonlight Sonata-isms), Paul Is Alive, and Need a Friend (in order of preference) on this morning’s episode of CBS This Morning: Saturday.  Check it out below and go HERE to listen to their scintillating, full-band set on KCRW.


You Must See This: London’s Jack Garratt Killin’ on Conan

by Lefort in Music

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Jack G

London’s Jack Garratt made his American television debut this week on Conan in advance of his debut album, Phases, which will be released in February on Island Records.  Let’s just say, given the current sport season, that he knocked it out of the park on Conan.  Garratt is a one-man-band force-of-nature that soundly slaughtered on Conan while performing his impressive song Worry.  In so doing, Garratt one-upped the likes of fellow one-man-bands Ed Sheeran and Andrew Bird. While his recorded songs are brilliantly-produced, spare gems, heavily-accented with his distinctive guitar sonics, it is live where Garratt truly shines.

Watch below as Garratt opens on Conan with riveting percussive moments on Worry and ranges across Jack White-worthy guitar and vocal territories, also limning the likes of Disclosure and Radiohead, all the while propelling the song to higher heights. We can’t wait to catch him live when he returns in support of Phases, which can be pre-ordered HERE.

After the superb Conan vignette, check out below a few other outstanding examples of Garratt at play.


Just In Time For Halloween–EL VY Releases Spooky “Silent Ivy Hotel” Lyric Video

by Lefort in Music

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EL VY is on a roll in front of the release of their fantastic debut album, Return To The Moon, tomorrow on 4AD.  Today they’ve released their lyric video for Silent Ivy Hotel.  The video was again directed by Michael Brown and Tom Berninger and features some Halloween-appropriate, dress-up vignettes (zombies, EL VY jack-o-lantern, etc.) to match the song’s sinister-sounding elements.  As we’ve said repeatedly, EL VY consists of The National’s Matt Berninger and former Menomena member Brent Knopf (who has gone on to form Ramona Falls).

Check out the well-done video below, pick up the album tomorrow, and get ye to one of their tour stops (most of which are sold out: hint).


Watch Sufjan Stevens Perform “All Of Me Wants All of You” in Santa Barbara

by Lefort in Music

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We won’t bore you with another rave review of a Sufjan Stevens concert (go HERE for that).  Suffice it to say that Stevens and his suave supporters (Dawn LandesCasey Foubert, and drummer James McAlister) honored Santa Barbara with as moving and splendiferous a performance as has been seen in these parts.  Stevens yet again craftily accented and embellished the affecting Carrie & Lowell songs and capped the show off with an encore of fan favorites.  To get a feel watch the fan video below of the mesmerizing All Of Me Wants All Of You as performed in Santa Barbara.  Stevens confessed this was his first visit to Santa Barbara and his adoration of the soap opera of the same name (gads). Here’s hoping Stevens brings his musical mystery tour back soon.

You can check out photos and the setlist below the video (they did not perform Heirloom).  To get a more expansive feel, you can watch videos from the earlier Dorothy Chandler shows HERE and go HERE to listen to/download a well-captured, recent show in Madrid.

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Watch/Listen to EL VY’s New Song “Need A Friend” Via Tom Berninger’s Lyric Video

by Lefort in Music

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el vy need a friend

Halloween and the spectacular debut album from EL VYReturn To The Moon, cometh this weekend. Spooky.  Today EL VY has divulged another great song, Need A Friend, via a lyric video directed by Matt Berninger’s brother Tom (director of the award-winning Mistaken For Strangers film).  Need A Friend recalls Matt Berninger’s musical coming of age as constructed within and without Cincinnati’s now-demised Jockey Club.  The video depicts the band performing live with drummer Andy Stack (Wye Oak) and bassist Matt Sheehy (Lost Lander), who will accompany on the band’s upcoming tour.  Speaking of which, all tour dates and links are below the video.  Check it out.

You can pre-order Return To The Moon on LP/CD HERE.

2nd – Doug Fir Lounge, Portland OR, US^£ – SOLD OUT
3rd – Doug Fir Lounge, Portland OR, US^# – SOLD OUT
4th – Neumos, Seattle WA, US# – SOLD OUT
6th – The Independent, San Francisco CA, US# – SOLD OUT
7th – Troubadour, Los Angeles CA, US% – SOLD OUT
8th – Troubadour, Los Angeles CA, US# – SOLD OUT
10th – Union Transfer, Philadelphia PA, US~ [Tickets]
11th – 9:30 Club, Washington DC, US+ [Tickets]
13th – Bowery Ballroom, New York NY, US~ – SOLD OUT
14th – Music Hall of Williamsburg, Brooklyn NY, US~¥- SOLD OUT
15th – The Sinclair, Boston MA, US~ – SOLD OUT
16th – Theatre Fairmount, Montreal QC, Canada* [Tickets]
17th – Opera House, Toronto ON, Canada* SOLD OUT
19th – Metro, Chicago IL, US* – SOLD OUT
20th – The Turner, Milwaukee WI, US* [Tickets]
21st – First Avenue, Minneapolis MN, US* [Tickets]

1st – Pumpehuset, Copenhagen, Denmark• – SOLD OUT
2nd – Grunspan, Hamburg, Germany• [Tickets]
3rd – Melkweg, Amsterdam, Netherlands• – SOLD OUT
4th – Kantine, Cologne, Germany• [Tickets]
6th – Astra, Berlin, Germany• [Tickets]
7th – AB, Brussels, Belgium• – SOLD OUT
8th – Le Trabendo, Paris, France• [Tickets]
9th – Electric Ballroom, London, UK• – SOLD OUT
10th – Electric Ballroom, London, UK• – SOLD OUT
12th – Gorilla, Manchester, UK• – SOLD OUT
13th – Vicar Street, Dublin, Ireland• – SOLD OUT

# w/ Hibou
~ w/ Wye Oak
^ w/ Moorea Masa
£ w/ Lost Lander
% w/ Ethan Lipton & His Orchestra
+ w/ Flock of Dimes
¥ w/ Mina Tindle
* w/ Søren Juul
• w/ The Penny Serfs


Watch Entire Manchester Concert by Elbow

by Lefort in Music

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Elbow yes

Many know we are enormous fans of Manchester band Elbow.  In addition to the band’s astounding discography, Elbow remains one of the best live bands extant.  Given how little they travel across the pond, you may not have had the chance to catch them live.  While nothing can match the in-person presence of the commanding Guy Garvey and band (with added horns, strings and the best of kitchen sinks), you now have an opportunity to at least catch an entire show by Elbow, this one a full live set from the Manchester Apollo, recorded this past February.  Highly recommended.  Watch this amazing capture of one of the great bands in full flight and full setlist (see below), coupled with a great sing-along Manchester crowd.  For the uninitiated, check out One Day Like ThisNew York MorningGrounds For DivorceLippy Kids or My Sad Captains, but really, all good. Put this one up on the big screen with your Apple TV, Google Chromecast or whatever and let it fly (boy blue)!  So very, very good.  Enjoy!


This Blue World
Any Day Now
Fly Boy Blue / Lunette
Fugitive Motel
The Bones of You
Mexican Standoff
One Day Like This
New York Morning
Real Life (Angel)
Switching Off
Bitten by the Tailfly
Grounds For Divorce
Lippy Kids
The Take Off and Landing of Everything
The Birds
My Sad Captains


Listen to Sufjan Stevens Remix of “Blue Bucket of Gold”–Coming to Santa Barbara This Saturday

by Lefort in Music

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Sufjan Stevens is coming to Santa Barbara for the first time ever this Saturday to perform at the Arlington Theater. Stevens is kicking off  a new tour leg here in support of his phenomenal recent album Carrie & Lowell (which you can stream HERE).  Having reviewed back-to-back, heavily-evocative shows at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion a few months back, we can tell  you you don’t want to miss this performance. Stevens and band have re-arranged and augmented many of the Carrie & Lowell recordings to lift them to even higher levels live (not to mention performing older fan-favorites).

To get a feel for the live approach, today Stevens dropped an official remix of Blue Bucket Of Gold, off the album.  According to Stevens, the remix is a rearrangement of the track’s live performance and was “recorded while on the road by Tucker Martine in Portland, Oregon, and at Stevens’ studio in Brooklyn.”

Check out the brilliant remix below and get ye to the Arlington Theater on Saturday.  Go HERE to get tickets for Saturday and other nights of the Tour.  You can also purchase the remix HERE.


Watch Kendrick Lamar Take Over the Kennedy Center Last Night with National Symphony Orchestra

by Lefort in Music

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Kendrick Lamar is everywhere these days, and deservedly so. Last night Lamar and his band were backed by the National Symphony Orchestra on To Pimp a Butterfly and other songs, and hip-hop strutted a victory lap in Washington, D.C.  Watch below as the ensemble performs These Walls.  After starting out slow and sans-sync, everything comes together and magic ensues.  Pay particular attention from 2:40 on, but especially from 3:30 to 3:51 when Kendrick shows why he is king.  Haven’t seen a conductor work it like that in a while, if ever. Who else but Lamar (OK, Nas) can perform with an orchestra and bring it to such stirring heights, con brio and expleto?  Afterwards watch fan video of the chant-along uplifter, Alright, along with King Kunta.  We would have given most everything to have been there (see the setlist at bottom).  At the Kennedy Center, Lamar exclaimed: “At the end of the day, we ain’t nothing but God’s children.” Amen and bravo!!


Orchestral Overture
For Free?
Wesley’s Theory
Backseat Freestyle
Swimming Pools (Drank)
These Walls
For Sale?
Hood Politics
Complexion (A Zulu Love)
m.A.A.d city (Part I)
King Kunta
How Much a Dollar Cost
The Blacker the Berry
Mortal Man



Review: Up-and-Comer Elliot Moss at the Troubadour

by Lefort in Music

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Elliot Moss

By Dylan McDaniel

Last night Lefort took a trip out to WeHo to catch up-and-comer Elliot Moss perform at the hallowed Troubadour. It was our second Troubadour show in four nights (the last being some unsung band named, umm what was it, oh yeah, The National). While the crowd was very different for Moss, the show was once again musically memorable.  To our ears Elliot Moss sounds like a mix of Baths, Bon Iver, and James Blake, with falsetto vocals, keyboards, electronic beats, and horns all tossed together in a captivating mix. Moss’s first album Highspeeds was a comparatively-subdued album, full of songs about giving up (or fighting that urge), but live at the Troubadour (and backed by a bassist/keyboardist, and drummer) there was no giving up by Moss and crew, with a much more electric and positive feeling in the air. Moss played only five songs, including the excellent Slip and Highspeeds (check out both superb songs below), but made each count. Unfortunately, that’s all the time that was allotted t0 the more-deserving Moss. Rest assured, the next time Moss comes to Cali, he won’t be the opener.  He’ll slip into higher ground.


Watch Dave Rawlings Machine’s Official Video for “The Weekend” Off of New “Nashville Obsolete” Album

by Lefort in Music

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Dave Rawlings Machine (including Gillian Welch, Willie Watson, Paul Kowert, Brittany Haas and Jordan Tice) recently released its outstanding second album, Nashville Obsolete, to critical acclaim.  The group is now out on tour of the new album, having kicked off their tour last night at the Lobero Theater in Santa Barbara to rave reviews from the cognoscenti.  They play the Warfield in San Francisco tonight.  DRM has now released the official video to their superb new song The Weekend, the opening track of the new album.  The Weekend sounds to these ears like it could have been recorded during Neil Young’s Harvest sessions, replete with Nitzsche-ian strings.  That’s high praise in our book, aided and abetted by Rawlings’ soulful guitar and Welch’s harmonies (not to mention those matching Nudie Suits).  Nicely done!

About the video, directed by Reid Long, a press release says:  “The video was shot on a breakneck road trip from Nashville to California. ‘It was the craziest idea’ says Rawlings,’to document a weekend trip from Music City to the beach and back.’ The opening scene shows Rawlngs and Welch packing up the ’65 Chevy Impala they first toured in. West coast bound, outfitted in Nudie Suits and armed with guitars and a beach blanket, the story unfolds over the course of ‘The Weekend’. The trip is real, the breakdown is real, the mechanic is real, unplanned, but evidence that Dave Rawlings Machine will go wherever the road leads them.”

You can buy Nashville Obsolete HERE and HERE, or on cassette HERE.  And go HERE to see the dates of their tour and pick up tickets.