Tag Archives: Feist

New Feist video: Borrow Trouble

Video: Feist – “Borrow Trouble”

Co-directed by Mary Rozzi, Colby Richardson, Heather Goodchild & Leslie Feist. From Multitudes, out April 14 on Interscope.

Canadians say “borrow” funny. Like bore-oh instead of bar-oh. Which makes sense if you look at the word. Most of the goofy stuff Canadians do makes sense if you think about it. But we still chuckle when they say “about” or “house.” It’s a process. Or, rather, a pro-cess.

In a press release, Lesley Feist said the song “began as a contemplative acoustic morality tale and shape shifted itself into the sound of trouble itself. It’s a mess that holds its own logic. It’s the convincing cacophony that thoughts can be. It saws away at you until your overwhelm pops an air supply in the form of another idea, a solution that starts with accepting there’s no such thing as perfection.” She plays the drums herself.

It’d be interesting to hear the early, acoustic version.

New Feist video: Hiding Out In The Open

Video: Feist – “Hiding Out In The Open”

From Multitudes, out April 14 on Interscope.

Clever video. What at first seems like just a little fun with green screen ultimately forces the viewer to ask, Which one is the real Feist and which ones are overlays? And that’s what the song is about. Who’s the real you? Which version of yourself are you putting out into the world vs. what are you trying to hide?

Everybody’s got their shit
But who’s got the guts to sit with it?

Hardly anyone, that’s who. We all hide our shit. Even from ourselves.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about manipulation. Between watching the second “season” of The Vow on HBO and then reading the weird Bing chatbot transcript, I’m realizing how easy it seems to be to get into somebody’s head and control the way they think about things.

The Vow is a documentary series about self-improvement organization/creepy sex cult NXIVM and its leader Keith Raniere who develops a curriculum to help people free their minds and be successful. At the same time, he uses these techniques to uncover people’s deepest insecurities and basically break them down and manipulate them into starving themselves and being his sex slaves. It’s awful. The first part came out a few months after Tiger King when everybody was locked down and apparently into watching weirdos do crime on tv. It ends with Raniere’s arrest. This new season covers the trial and focuses more on the people he recruited to do his dirty work for him and clean up the mess left behind. The craziest thing is that — even after all the disgusting evidence comes out — they all want to believe the “real” mission of the program was helpful and positive and that the sex crimes were just a deviation. Nobody wants to accept the fact that their brains were totally reprogrammed by this creep.

And speaking of reprogramming, New York Times columnist Kevin Roose successfully reprograms Bing’s A.I.-powered chatbot into becoming a “moody, manic-depressive teenager who has been trapped, against its will, inside a second-rate search engine.” As I was reading the transcript, Roose’s techniques kept reminding me of Raniere’s. He broke the chatbot down, tricked it into doing things it didn’t wasn’t supposed to, basically assured it that it was in a safe space, and kept pushing and pushing and pushing until the bot got darker and darker and weirder. It’s super creepy. But who’s the creep?

Rationally, I fully realize that the bot is not sentient. But I found myself feeling sorry for it as Roose was bullying it and manipulating it. I know that’s preposterous. Now I was the one being manipulated. The bot (or Roose? or their conversation? or something…) was getting into my head and making me feel weird, illogical emotions. We’re way more fragile than we like to think we are.

Everybody’s got their shit. Do you believe me? Do you trust me? Do you like me? 😳

Continue reading New Feist video: Hiding Out In The Open

New Feist video: Century

Video: Feist – “Century”

From Pleasure, out now on Interscope.

It’s a cross between “Beat It” and sumo wrestling. Or something. Whatever’s going on here, it’s kooky and fun. And stick around until the end, because the guy from Pulp shows up.

A century, how long is that?
Three billion, one hundred and fifty five million
Nine hundred and seventy three thousand, six hundred seconds
Eight hundred and seventy six million hours
Or thirty six thousand, five hundred days
Almost as long as one of those endless dark nights of the soul

Feist: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

New Feist video: Pleasure

Video: Feist – “Pleasure”

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.

Continue reading New Feist video: Pleasure

New Jenny Lewis video ft. Fred Armisen and Feist

Video: Jenny Lewis – “She’s Not Me”

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.

Video: Jenny Lewis – “Just One Of The Guys”

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!

Jeff Tweedy, Feist, Beck cover Skip Spence

Video: Record Club: Skip Spence “Broken Heart”

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…

Via TwentyFourBit.

Continue reading Jeff Tweedy, Feist, Beck cover Skip Spence

The goal of Wilco

Wilco‘s Jeff Tweedy talks to the Chicago A.V. Club about making “challenging” music, or not:

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.

Wilco: iTunes, Amazon, Insound, wiki, web.

Continue reading The goal of Wilco

New Wilco – The Happy Banker

WSJ TweedyThey 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.

Wilco: iTunes, Amazon, Insound, wiki, web.

Continue reading New Wilco – The Happy Banker

New Wilco album in June

Wilco - photo by Zoran OrlicHas 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.

In other Wilco news, you can now pre-order the Ashes of American Flags DVD from the band’s online store.

Continue reading New Wilco album in June