From Pleasure, out April 28 on Interscope. Since we last heard from Leslie Feist she grew out her bangs and stripped her sound down even further. “Pleasure” is a funky song with kooky, Yoko-inspired vocals. “I make sense of a mysterious thing,” she says and goes on to describe the evolutionary basis of pleasure in regards to the continuation of our species:
That is how we evolved
We became our needs
Ages up inside
Escaping similar pain
Dreaming safe and secure
Generations in line
Old and then the youth
Come to meet or fade
A chromosomal raid
Built by what we got built for
Not super romantic, but hey: whatever gets you through the night. It’s alright.
Directed by Jenny Lewis. Starring Fred Armisen, Zosia Mamet, Leo Fitzpatrick, Feist, and Vanessa Bayer. From the album The Voyager, produced by Ryan Adams. This is one of my favorite albums from last year. I never got into Rilo Kiley, but Lewis won me over when I saw her with the Postal Service at Lollapalooza in 2013. She’s a super charismatic performer. And her videos are full of her famous pals, which comes across as a lot more charming than you might expect.
Jenny Lewis – Just One Of The Guys [Official Music Video]
Directed by Jenny Lewis. Starring Anne Hathaway, Brie Larson, Kristen Stewart, and Tennessee Thomas.
Lewis told Rolling Stone that Adams was “the most unique producer I’ve ever worked with, in his approach and behavior… He made me listen to five or six Creed songs, really loudly on these beautiful tube speakers. My ears were bleeding. And it was Creed! He was like, ‘This is great music. I want you to hear it.’ And by the third song, I was like ‘Huh. Umm. Yeah, I can maybe see that.'”
I’m just glad that not much Creed oozed into The Voyager, like it did on Adams’ own self-titled 2014 album. Yuck!
I did a quick search of the archives and I’m surprised to see we haven’t covered Beck‘s “Record Club” project at all. It’s a cool idea where a bunch of musicians get together and cover an entire album in one day. Beck then releases the songs on his web site and Vimeo channel. He’s already done The Velvet Underground and Nico (ft. Nigel Godrich, Giovanni Ribisi) and Songs of Leonard Cohen (ft. MGMT, Devendra Banhart), and now he’s halfway through Skip Spence‘s Oar (ft. Wilco, Feist, Jamie Liddell).
“Broken Heart” features a duet with Jeff Tweedy and Leslie Feist, and it’s really nice. A few more of my favorites from this installment after the jump…
People really think narrowly when it comes to those types of challenges, and the idea that something has to be aggressive or avant grade, or atonal, even, to be a challenge. I’ve found it to be the exact opposite. We literally put 15 minutes of noise on a record that did not raise an eyebrow, but if you make a pop song with Feist on it, people are going to cry like the sky’s falling. It’s really going to hurt somebody. Our goal is to make some shit that we fucking like to play and feel good about, with the knowledge that that doesn’t hurt anybody. You’re basically doing something that you love to do, and you’re not really hurting anybody.
Emphasis added. While it’s hard not to read that and think he’s quite possibly being more than a little defensive, it’s impossible to argue with the facts. As a huge fan of straightforward pop songs, I’d like to challenge anybody—including Tweedy himself—to write a song as thoroughly great as “New Madrid,” “Passenger Side,” or “Forget the Flowers.” Why do people think you have to get weird?
My two-year-old totally loves “Wilco (The Song)” and “I’ll Fight” from the new album. And what’s not to love? They’re simply good songs.
They have a new album—Wilco (The Album)—coming in late June, but you won’t have to wait until then to get yourself some new Wilco. A new cover of Woody Guthrie’s “The Jolly Banker” is available now on their website with suggested donation of $2 to the Woody Guthrie Foundation and Archives. (GLONO donated $10, so a couple of you can slide by without guilt if you can’t scrounge the dough.)
Jeff Tweedy talks about how Woody’s Depression-era song is once again timely on American Public Media’s Marketplace.
Has the disappointment over the last couple of Wilco albums turned you off of the band for good? Or are you looking forward to seeing what they come up with next? Despite some quibbling over the band’s recent directions, we still definitely fall into the latter camp. Gluttons for punishment? Not really. We all believe that Jeff Tweedy is a great songwriter; we just want him to loosen up a little.
Looks like we won’t have to wait much longer to find out. A yet to be titled album is “currently scheduled for late June” on Nonesuch Records.
Jim Scott and the band spent the last few weeks mixing in Jim’s studio in Valencia, California and here’s a list of song titles spied on the reels — note this is not necessarily complete and not in sequence. Deeper Down – Conscript (aka I’ll Fight) – One Wing – Solitaire – Wilco (the song) – Country Disappeared – Everlasting – Bull Black Nova – Sonny Feeling – You and I
Rumors and blogs regarding a guest appearance on that last track are, amazingly, quite true. Feist does indeed lend a great vocal to You and I. Other details will emerge in the coming weeks.
“I stole my friend Leslie Feist’s album off the Internet because I was too lazy to go down to the office and pick it up. It’s that easy to steal music off the Internet. And I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing, but I also think there are people who love the band and genuinely want to support the band and have 10 bucks to spare. If you don’t give people the option at least to buy a record, then you can’t blame them for stealing it.”