Posts Tagged ‘Ezra Furman’

UK artist Du Blonde (aka Beth Jeans Houghton) will release new album “Homecoming” April 2nd, and the album features appearances from Garbage’s Shirley Manson and Ezra Furman. Here’s the first fizzy  track Furman collab, a catchy rocker titled “I’m Glad That We Broke Up.” Due for release in April 2021, ‘Homecoming’ is the first record to be engineered, produced and self released by Du Blonde. Written and recorded over several sessions between Los Angeles, London and Newcastle, ‘Homecoming’ is a no holds barred collection of Garage, Glam and hard rock finery, featuring a couple of tear-your-hair-out slow saddies for good measure.

Du Blonde is back with this new album Homecoming and with it, her own record label, clothing brand and all-round art house Daemon T.V. Written, recorded and produced by Du BlondeHomecoming is a refreshing taste of pop-grunge finery, featuring guests including Shirley Manson, Ezra Furman, Andy Bell (Ride/Oasis), The Farting Suffragettes, and members of Girl Ray and Tunng among others.

The album began as a few songs hashed out on a porch in LA in early 2020, and as Houghton’s desire to create something self-made and self-released merged with the then incoming pandemic. Admirers of Du Blonde’s previous two studio albums (2015’s Welcome Back to Milk and 2019’s Lung Bread for Daddy) might be surprised to find that Homecoming takes on the form of a pop record. The garage rock, grunge and metal guitar licks that have come to define Du Blonde are still there in spades, but as a whole the direction of the album is pop through and through. Houghton’s freak flag is still flying high however, a fact that’s no more apparent than on ‘Smoking Me Out’, a bizarre mash up of 80’s shock rock, metal and 60’s pop group harmonies.

This defiant and energetic attitude can be heard throughout Homecoming, whether writing about her medication (30mg of citalopram, once a day), her queerness on ‘I Can’t Help You There’ (“I’ve been a queen, I’ve been a king, and still I don’t fit in”), to the joyous and manic explosion of ‘Pull The Plug’ (“say that I’m deranged, but I’ve been feeling more myself than ever”), Houghton is nothing if not herself, full force and unapologetic in her approach to writing, playing and recording her music.

I’m Glad That We Broke Up (feat. Ezra Furman) · Du Blonde through Daemon T.V Released on: 2021-02-03

Ezra Furman finally takes her first steps back towards the ordinary life we all crave as she performs a full live solo set in the magnificent confines of Boston’s Museum Of Fine Arts. 

In a year which has continued to challenge the creative arts and both inhibited and reshaped the art of live performance, we have at least been blessed by innovation in a way we could not have imagined. And with good fortune Ezra Furman has not only provided us with the magnificent soundtrack to the Netflix series “Sex Education” earlier in 2020 but has also performed a consistent stream of live songs through her Facebook channel, demonstrating her wide ranging and eclectic taste which have inevitably fueled her consistently high quality of song writing over recent years. But with the ever growing frustrations of having to cancel or postpone the vast majority of her 2020 touring schedule, Ezra set about plotting to bring us a very special and intimate solo show with just her and her guitars and the songs she’s spent her life crafting.

The setting for this performance was the magnificent Museum Of Fine Arts in Boston. The inspiration for this came from Ezra’s hero, rock’n’roll minimalist Jonathan Richman, who referenced the building in The Modern Lovers classic song Girlfriend. The prospect of hearing the performance of some great songs filmed against the stunning backdrop of the Museum’s galleries was certainly something not to be missed.

Drift back to the start of our journey with Ezra Furman and his band The Boyfriends but on a cool October evening back in 2012. The diminutive figure of Ezra Furman who took to the stage in a denim jacket with an acoustic guitar strapped over his shoulder. It was a nervous entrance with Ezra, previously completely unknown to myself, having an almost apologetic look on his face as he performed the half hour support set. But it soon became clear to me that this was no ordinary support set. Someone appearing so frail and nervous in front of an audience yet delivering such powerful and assured messages through his songs. I found myself wondering if this is how a youthful and inexperienced Bob Dylan would have portrayed himself in those early days performing in Greenwich Village, not appreciating how his songs would resonate with so many people over so many years to come. 

Fast forward through a period when Ezra’s onstage and offstage persona began to fully recognise more assurance Ezra’s bisexual and gender-fluid status, You could only wonder how the rock’n’roll outsider would feel performing in the presence of some of the finest American art of the 19th century that is displayed on the walls of the Boston Museum. However reassured when Ezra commented that “I think my stuff can measure up to theirs” and I had little doubt that it would.

Ezra Furman plays ‘The Queen of Hearts’ as part of a streamed performance film shot at The Museum of Fine Arts Boston

As the live stream commenced and Ezra moved in to take her place and pick up her electric guitar, there was a further overlaying intermittent commentary by Ezra which made it sound at times like she was conversing with herself. As Ezra explained how important the medium of a song is in her life and “how we all belong in a song”, it was clearly her intention to make moments for others as her favourite artists have made moments for Ezra

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We’ve just released a collection of 26 demos/etc. from the making of Transangelic Exodus (2018) – we ask you to PAY WHAT YOU CAN/WANT for it to support us in a time of cancelled shows and lost income (we’ll divide the proceeds amongst the band and our teeny touring crew). It’s a kind of audio “making of” document for you if you are a fan of that record… thanks all…

Get it from https://ezrafurman.bandcamp.com/

Demos, Rehearsals and Shots in the Dark for Transangelic Exodus

Welcome to a collection of malformed reject recordings, the unpolished refuse of the process of making our 2018 LP, Transangelic Exodus. I’m proud of the final version of the record, but I always yearned to let people glimpse some of the strange process of making it.

We all knew that we wanted to approach making this record differently than we had our other albums. In the past we’d usually listen to my solo acoustic recording of a song, talk about what we might do with it, get the band all together in a room and go with our best instincts of how to bring it to life. This time, we wanted to abandon our first instincts. Tim’s idea was that I should get together one on one with each band member and see what we came up with together when the others weren’t watching. Try out different combinations of band members and think of ourselves as a different band, playing for a different audience, or no audience. We wanted to get weird. Then we’d pool our findings and try to make a record of maximal impact, maximal originality and excitement.

So what we have here are some of the more listenable or potentially interesting artifacts of that process, which began in 2016 and really got going in early 2017. The last recordings featured here are from around March 2017—after that point we were working on the actual tracks for the record, where (as you can hear on the album) we made all kind of other steps forward, toward what I consider the best thing I’ve ever made.

This is for fans of Transangelic Exodus who want to hear a little bit of the process of mutation along the way. There’s a lot more that I won’t ever show you. Also, I’ve only included versions of the songs that made it onto the final album; there were many more songs we left behind as we realized they wouldn’t be part of the best record we could make. I also left off most of the solo acoustic demos; I kept one or two that showed how much the songs progressed from my initial idea for them. But I wanted to keep the whole experience close to the average length of a feature film. One shouldn’t spend too much longer than that being this up close and personal with my psyche.

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I have catalogued the tracks with the personnel that appears on that track, plus my best guess at a date of the recording. The band members (The Visions) are: Ben Joseph, Jorgen Jorgensen, Sam Durkes and Tim Sandusky.

I’m very grateful that the weird passionate fictional-conceptual record we made has some fans that appreciate it. This is a little X-Ray of the process if you’re curious. The fact that you’ve let my dark hopeful dreams into your heart means so, so much to me. I hope those dreams are as useful to you as they have been to me.

Love, Ezra Furman

PLEASE BUY AND SUPPORT THIS SUPERB ARTIST

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I’m a big fan of the TV show Sex Education for a lot of reasons. Otis is a great character with lots of interesting but relatable issues. His high school seems completely insane, his friends, enemies, acquaintances are all good characters. But the first thing that got me hooked on the show was the fact that it featured so much music from singer songwriter Ezra Furman.

Ezra Furman has long been one of my favorites his live shows are a great experience. Who better to set the musical tone than someone who writes so eloquently about the obstacles facing down those in the LGBTQI community. So much of the conversation around sex has changed in the last couple of decades, and it’s nice to see a show that covers all of it with respect and reverence.

In the last couple of weeks an album of music from the show was released by Ezra Furman, featuring some older songs and some written specifically for the show. The single, “Every Feeling,” got a new video released .

The song is a great introduction to his work. If you’re not a fan already, check this one out and then move on to his other amazing albums that have come out over the last six or seven years. The Sex Education soundtrack gathers the original songs that Furman composed for the first series and the brand new second series, whilst adding tracks featured on the show that can be found on prior Furman albums such as Perpetual Motion People and Transangelic Exodus. Lining up alongside older cover versions of LCD Soundsystem’s I Can Change and Melanie’s The Good Book is a new rendition of Devil Or Angel, The Clovers’ doo-wop jewel from 1956. It all adds up to a bumper 19-track set of Furman’s trademark enthusiastic emotional catharsis.

Ezra Furman returns with the soundtrack of special songs written from season 1 and 2 of the hit Netflix TV show. The 19-track LP is released via Bella Union Records. When the makers of the hit Netflix series Sex Education told Ezra Furman, “We want you to be the Simon & Garfunkel to our The Graduate”, they clearly recognised a kindred spirit. Who better to articulate all that awkwardness and alienation than Furman? 

Thanks to Music Defined

ezra furman

Like a lot of people, Ezra Furman has been alarmed by the “broken world,” as he calls it, that has emerged over the past few years. It shows in his music. Though the Oakland singer has long channeled his disaffection into his songs, he’s never done it with as much immediacy as on Twelve Nudes. Furman’s latest is the rapid-fire follow-up to his 2018 album, Transangelic Exodus, and in many ways, it’s the jagged flip-side. Though Transangelic Exodus was also a reaction to the regressive shitstorm swirling outward from Washington D.C., the album had a certain polish. By contrast, Twelve Nudes has a punk edge that is chaotic and raw, made in a hurry with a first-thought, best-thought sensibility that sprays psychic shrapnel in every direction. It’s also catchy as hell.

Though Twelve Nudes is certainly a political album, it’s rooted in Furman’s emotional reaction to politics, which makes these 11 songs more personal than polemical. It’s a brash come-on from a singer with enough confidence to say what’s on his mind, and the talent to express it in songs you want to listen to over and over. Twelve Nudes is loud, sometimes sarcastic, often pointed and invariably entertaining. The album is the work of an artist with a keen sense of his own capabilities, and it’s a fitting soundtrack to a world in turmoil.

‘Twelve Nudes’ by Ezra Furman, released 30th August 2019 via Bella Union

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Ezra Furman delivered a powerful acoustic live set for Les Inrocks featuring his song “I Wanna Be Your Girlfriend”, which appeared on his latest album “Twelve Nudes”. Installed on a red sofa in the privacy of the Gibson showroom, Ezra drops a performance on edge by fixing the right lens in the lens. The year was busy for the artist, between the promo and the concerts surrounding the release of his latest album, and at the same time the composition and recording of the super soundtrack for the Netflix event series, Sex Education , whose second season came out a few days ago.

Moreover, Ezra Furman announced in a press release the January 24th release of the OST album in digital. Nineteen new tracks will be available – Every Feeling is already on Youtube. Read also: Ezra Furman: rage and spirituality in his fifth disc “Twelve Nudes” “As a fan of many high school comedies such as The Breakfast Club and 10 Things I Hate About You, I understood how entertaining and emotional music can be. I wanted to take up the challenge, ”he said in the press release.

If the soundtrack is so beautiful, it is because the producers trust the singer-songwriter: “We want you to be for us what Simon & Garfunkel were for The Winner”, they would have said to Furman.

‘Every Feeling’ is by Ezra Furman and features in the hit Netflix series ‘Sex Education’.

Our new song and video, “I Wanna Be Your Girlfriend,” has arrived! Dedicated to trans people everywhere, it is a song very dear to my heart, the one ballad on our forthcoming record “Twelve Nudes” (due out august 30th preorder it now here https://www.ezrafurman.com/pre-order jabber jabber clang clang)

This video was a joy to make. Directed by Alix Spence, choreography by Sarah Prinz, and dancing by the delightful Brandon Mathis (red) and Jobel Medina (blue), and all kinda of other help from many other people. Everyone involved is so good at what they do. I think this might be my favorite music video we’ve ever made. It comes out tomorrow. “I Wanna Be Your Girlfriend,” a song of transgender longing, track 7 on Twelve Nudes which by the way comes out August 30 and you can preorder it there’s a link in our Instagram bio. Thanks a million everyone who worked on this vid with me. It was such a fun and oddly empowering process. Many blessings.

I Wanna Be Your Girlfriend’ is taken from the album ‘Twelve Nudes’ by Ezra Furman, released 30th August 2019 via Bella Union Records.

As any doo-wop-type song should, this one has a B-side, also out today: it’s called “Evening Prayer”
and it’s available on all the streaming services  Also from “Twelve Nudes,” it is perhaps even dearer to my heart. It’s a furiously spiritual song calling for us to throw our whole souls into the fight for economic and climate justice.

‘Evening Prayer’ is also taken from the album ‘Twelve Nudes’ by Ezra Furman, released 30th August 2019 via Bella Union Records.

Thank you all for your support.
-Ezra

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The perpetually underrated indie-rock mainstay Ezra Furman has shared the lead single from his latest album release“Twelve Nudes”, due out August. 30th. It’s accompanied by a colorfully macabre music video that visualizes the song’s panic attack-driven narrative, as Furman dances, falls and smokes through the anxiety.

As is typically the case with Furman’s songwriting, “Calm Down” (aka “I Should Not Be Alone”) just shreds. Furman has always been able to bridge this gap between pop-rock and garage meltdowns with a particular punk-rock sensibility; the immediately laid-back and groovy bass line that kicks the song off paves the way for an absolute ripper of a bridge that finds Furman yelling at the listener to calm down.

It’s almost impossible to calm down while listening to the song, though—this thing rocks. The video, animated by frequent Furman collaborator Beth Jeans Houghton, matches the breakneck pace of the track, using vibrant colors to underscore the cognitive dissonance between feeling pretty on the outside and like you’re on the verge of a meltdown on the inside. There’s dancing eyeballs, demon babies, fornicating dogs and all sorts of other psychedelic imagery. “Calm Down” is over way sooner that you’ll want it to be,

That catchy mentality seems to pervade the rest of Twelve Nudes, which Furman says will be among his punkiest, most political songwriting. Furman says of its lead single in a statement:

Desperate times make for desperate songs. I wrote this in the summer of 2018, a terrible time. It’s the sound of me struggling to admit that I’m not okay with the current state of human civilization, in which bad men crush us into submission. Once you admit how bad it feels to live in a broken society, you can start to resist it, and imagine a better one.

Twelve Nudes is inspired in equal parts by the legendary punk-rocker Jay Reatard and the poet/essayist Anne Carson, whose work inspired the album’s title. “Anne had these visions, or meditations, to deal with the intense pain in her life, which she calls ‘nudes,’” Furman says. “So, my album is called Twelve Nudes.”

The record is produced by John Congleton, whose recent work with Sharon Van Etten rather impressed. Furman will be backed by Sam Durkes, Jorgen Jorgensen and Ben Joseph on this record.

Official music video for ‘Calm Down aka I Should Not Be Alone’ by Ezra Furman. Taken from his forthcoming album ‘Twelve Nudes’ out 30th August via Bella Union Records.

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Hello my dears, I hope you enjoy this musical video-film, made by the incomparable Joe Brett. This is pretty much an accurate depiction of what my life is like. Zipping around the San Francisco Bay Area, feeling insane, looking amazing. Reading, dancing, falling, encountering Death. This is how I live, moving wildly and freely through a world that has nothing to do with me. Special thanks to the fabulous Restless Year Dancers, the good people at Kayo Books, and Death, who as always was available at short notice.

Director Joseph Brett adds: “Ezra pushes so much energy through his music and I knew it would be important to find that same energy in the video for Restless Year. Stop motion might not seem like the obvious choice for that, but with a huge amount of patience from Ezra we were able to make something together which is as energising and adventurous as the song itself. Over a process of days we made our way around San Francisco frame by frame, step by step, in what is probably the slowest tour of a city I’ve ever been on. Ezra took to the technique almost immediately, and it’s his performance within that brilliant city which makes the video so fun.”

Ezra Furman at Bowery Ballroom

Ezra Furman, currently on tour behind his latest release Transangelic Exodus, stopped by NYC’s Brooklyn Steel . Playing in front of a beautifully-designed set backdrop, Ezra played many cuts from the new record, such as the driving “Suck the Blood from My Wound” and anthemic single “Love You So Bad.” Ezra also played some older favorites like “My Zero,” and covered Kate Bush’s “Hounds of Love.”

Furman, who has released solo albums as well as albums with his bands Ezra Furman and the Harpoons and Ezra Furman and the Boy-Friends, identifies as gender fluid. A musician himself, he seems the ideal writer for an exploration into the many iterations of Lou Reed’s persona.

Ezra Furman has also penned the most recent installment in the 33 1/3 book series, which focuses on Lou Reed‘s classic album “Transformer”. Here’s the book’s official synopsis:

Transformer, Lou Reed’s most enduringly popular album, is described with varying labels: it’s often called a glam rock album, a proto-punk album, a commercial breakthrough for Lou Reed, and an album about being gay. And yet, it doesn’t neatly fit into any of these descriptors. Buried underneath the radio-friendly exterior lie coded confessions of the subversive, wounded intelligence that gives this album its staying power as a work of art. Here Lou Reed managed to make a fun, accessible rock’n’roll record that is also a troubled meditation on the ambiguities-sexual, musical and otherwise-that defined his public persona and helped make him one of the most fascinating and influential figures in rock history. Through close listening and personal reflections, songwriter Ezra Furman explores Reed’s and Transformer‘s unstable identities, and the secrets the songs challenge us to uncover.

Ezra Furman will be in Austin next week for SXSW, Ezra is also part of Willie Nelson’s “Luck Reunion” fest at his ranch during SXSW.

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