Last night at L.A.'s 280-capacity Largo, Randy Newman performed the entirety of his excellent Harps and Angels (due in stores August 5th) for a VIP-packed crowd that included Mandy Moore, Jason Schwartzman and ex-That Dog frontwoman Anna Waronker, whose dad Lenny co-produced Harps with Mitchell Froom. "It never hurts to start with a religious tune," Newman said by way of introduction after opening the show with the album's title track, in which an unbeliever takes a memorable trip to heaven.
Harps contains no shortage of Newman's trademark social satire: He got big laughs from Largo's limousine-liberal contingent with "A Few Words in Defense of Our Country," which puts Dubya's foibles in perspective by comparing them to Hitler's and Stalin's, and the Sondheim-esque "A Piece of the Pie," whose gentle John Mellencamp dig Newman said he hoped wouldn't offend the heartland rocker. After he and his four-piece band played Harps and Angels, Newman encored with a handful of old chestnuts: "You Can Leave Your Hat On," "Louisiana 1927," "The World Isn't Fair" and "I Love L.A." At Largo there was no doubting that L.A. loved him back.
"Harps and Angels"
"Laugh and Be Happy"
"A Few Words in Defense of Our Country"
"A Piece of the Pie"
"Only a Girl"
"Feels Like Home"
"You Can Leave Your Hat On"
"The World Isn't Fair"
"I Love L.A."
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