Sunday, April 12, 2009

Rivers Cuomo and Rainn Wilson - One of Us

Recording was done for this weekend's "takeover" of Sirius Radio's AltNation by Rivers Cuomo of Weezer and actor and Coconut Records frontman Jason Schwartzmann (two Coppola posts in a row, what are the chances?). They don't actually start the song until 4:40 but Rivers sings it quite beautifully, and Rainn does a more than serviceable job on bongo.

MP3 Joan Osborne - One of Us
(from 1995's Relish)

Friday, April 10, 2009

Phoenix - Love Like a Sunset

Like Air and Daft Punk, this French band is from Versailles, but unlike their neighbors, Phoenix are not a techno outfit, but more of a straight-up indie rock band (though with some techno elements), who sing in English. In other words, they sound like they could be from Brooklyn.

Frontman Thomas Mars (looking right at you, above) is director Sofia Coppola's boyfriend and father of her two-year-old daughter. They met when Mars was helping with the music for Coppola's directorial debut, The Virgin Suicides, one of Anneliese's favorite movies when she was a teenager.

Below, this seven-and-a-half minute opus off the nicely titled new album starts out instrumental and ambient, morphs into a (still wordless) dance number at about 3:45, and then at 5:45 completely folds on itself to become a lovely rock ballad (with vocals).

And while these vids are still up, catch the band on SNL last weekend, doing Lisztomania and 1901. As somebody said, they couldn't be from Brooklyn because they actually looked like they were having a good time on SNL, lol.

MP3 Phoenix - Love Like a Sunset (from 2009's Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix)

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

M. Ward - For Beginners (aka Mt Zion)

You really have to read 35-year-old Portland, OR native M. (Matt) Ward's Wiki to get a feel for the kind of people he has worked with in his 10-year career. He is an absolute top-shelf songwriter with a warm, sexy voice, and his records are impeccably produced. The latest is fantastic, and features Ward's She & Him collaborator Zooey Deschanel, the great Lucinda Williams and Jason Lytle of Grandaddy. Highly recommended.

Very nice recent Vanity Fair interview with Ward here.

MP3 M Ward - For Beginners (aka Mt Zion) (from 2009's Hold Time)

Monday, April 6, 2009

Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr - A Little Help from My Friends (live at Radio City)

I'm very grateful I've had the chance to go to spectacular venues like Radio City Music Hall, so when I see a video like this, I can really imagine what it was like to be in that very big and very beautiful room participating in this communal spectacle of half-a-Beatles-reunion. Quality is poor but this is a must-see anyhow. Paul (66) and Ringo (68) share a mic and everybody knows all the words.

There's a better quality video of just Paul doing Drive My Car over here. And Ringo reaches WAY back into the catalog for Boys, here. The whole gang (including Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam, Sheryl Crow, Donovan, and Mike Love of the Beach Boys) does I Saw Her Standing There, here. This was a benefit for transcendental meditation organized by movie director David Lynch.

The thunderous applause that follows is of course a thank you not only for this performance but for almost 50 years of art and entertainment from these guys. It's basically a thank you for rock and roll as we know it.

I have a feeling Sir Paul is going to actually kill headlining at Coachella in eleven days. And with Morrissey (49), Franz Ferdinand (Alex Kapranos, 37), and Leonard Cohen (74) playing right before him, night one is quite excellent, if a bit on the older side for the festival. I wonder what the kiddies will think of all these geriatrics...