In Stores Now 2/20

Highlights this week include the latest from Swedish singer/songwriter Jens Lekman. KEXP Music Director Don Yates calls Lekman’s fourth LP, “a smartly crafted set of buoyant orchestral dance-pop inflected with disco, calypso, samba and other styles, combining bouncy dance beats and a variety of instrumentation with his nasal crooning, sunny melodies and finely chiseled, often-wry lyrics.” Strand Of Oaks share their latest: “the fifth album from this Philly-based project led by Tim Showalter is a diverse, well-crafted set ranging from anthemic rockers to desolate ballads, with emotive lyrics revolving around the tension between cutting loose and taking responsibility.” Americana legends Son Volt return this week; the “latest album by Jay Farrar & co. is a diverse, well-crafted set ranging from raw, stomping blues-rock to wistfu country-rock and ghostly, atmospheric ballads.”

Vancouver, BC trio The Courtneys release their sophomore LP, the first from a non-New Zealand act to be released by the legendary Flying Nun Records. Yates notes, “they fit right in with this strong set of ’90s-steeped power-pop with fuzzy guitars, driving rhythms, soaring vocals and buoyant pop hooks.” On her debut album, LA-bred, Austin-based artist Molly Burch releases a “beautifully crafted set of atmospheric dream-pop steeped in classic torch-pop, ’60s girl-groups, doo wop and other vintage styles, featuring a spacious, haunting sound with gently shimmering guitars, atmospheric keyboards and unhurried rhythms accompanying her smoky vocals, wistful melodies and melancholy lyrics of lost love.” And Ryan Adams releases his 16th studio album, “a breakup record inspired by his recent divorce. It’s a well-crafted set with a polished and cavernous though somewhat subdued sound indebted to mainstream ’80s rock, combining ringing guitars and atmospheric keyboards with his yearning vocals and often-poignant lyrics of lost love.”

Alison Krauss – “Windy City”
from Windy City on Capitol / Decca

Bing & Ruth – “Starwood Choker”
from No Home of the Mind on 4AD

Charlie Wilson – “Chills”
from In It to Win It on RCA

The Courtneys – “Silver Velvet”
from The Courtneys II on Flying Nun

Danny Worsnop – “Mexico”
from The Long Road Home on Earache

Earthen Sea – “about that time”
from An Act of Love on Kranky

Electric Guest – “Dear To Me”
from Plural on Downtown Records / Interscope

Fat Joe / Remy Ma – “Heartbreak (feat. The-Dream & Vindata)”
from Plata o Plomo on Empire

Grails – “Chalice Hymnal”
from Chalice Hymnal on Temporary Residence

Hanni El Khatib – “Freak Freely”
from Savage Times on Innovative Leisure

Jens Lekman – “What’s That Perfume That You Wear?”
from Life Will See You Now on Secretly Canadian

Jidenna – “Helicopters / Beware”
from The Chief on Epic

London O’Connor – “Nobody Hangs Out Anymore”
from Circle/Triangle on True Panther Sounds

The Manikins – “Love at Second Sight”
from From Broadway to Blazes on Manufactured Recordings

Meat Wave – “The Incessant”
from The Incessant on SideOneDummy

Middle Kids – “Never Start”
from Middle Kids on Domino

Mind Over Mirrors – “To the Edges”
from Undying Color on Paradise of Bachelors

The Modulators – “Tomorrow’s Coming”
from Tomorrow’s Coming on Manufactured Recordings

Moiré – “Façade (ft. James Massiah)”
from No Future on Ghostly International

Molly Burch – “Wrong For You”
from Please Be Mine on Captured Tracks

Novella – “Thun”
from Change of State on Sinderlyn

The Orwells – “M.A.D.”
from Terrible Human Beings on Atlantic

The Paperhead – “Over And Over”
from Chew on Trouble in Mind

PVT – “Another Life”
from New Spirit on Felte

Robert Randolph & the Family Band – “Got Soul”
from Got Soul on Masterworks

Ryan Adams – “Shoplifting”
from Prisoner on Blue Note / Pax Am / Virgin EMI

Son Volt – “Back Against the Wall”
from Notes of Blue on Transmit Sound

Strand of Oaks – “Rest Of It”
from Hard Love on Dead Oceans Records

Tall Tall Trees – “Backroads”
from Freedays on Joyful Noise

Tim Darcy – “Still Waking Up”
from Saturday Night on Jagjaguwar

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TV Eye: Week of 2/20

Kendrick Lamar

Kendrick Lamar // photo by Matthew B. Thompson (view set)

KEXP has our TV eye set for this week in late night television. Set your DVR, TiVo, or just drink some coffee to stay awake for these musical guest performances on your favorite talk shows. Here are the highlights:

Monday, February 20th:
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon: Stevie Wonder (R)
The Late Show with Stephen Colbert: Alison Krauss
Late Night with Seth Meyers: Old 97s
The Late Late Show with James Corden: Pharrell Williams (R)

Tuesday, February 21st:
Jimmy Kimmel Live!: Cee-Lo Green (R)
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon: Future

Wednesday, February 22nd:
The Late Show with Stephen Colbert: The Lemon Twigs
Conan: The Head and the Heart (R)

Thursday, February 23rd:
The Late Show with Stephen Colbert: Lupe Fiasco
The Late Late Show with James Corden: Ryan Adams
Last Call with Carson Daly: Moving Units
Conan: clipping. (R)

Friday, February 24th:
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon: Chronixx
Last Call with Carson Daly: Foals (R)

Saturday, February 25th:
Austin City Limits: Kendrick Lamar

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Monday Music News

Clyde Stubblefield

photo by Benjamin Franzen for The New York Times

  • On Saturday, February 18th, musician Clyde Stubblefield passed away from kidney failure in his Madison, Wisconsin home. He was 73 years old. Stubblefield rose to prominence as the percussionist for the James Brown Band during the ’60s and ’70s. His improvised backbeat in the song “Funky Drummer” became one of the most sampled drumbeats in music history. Last year, KEXP payed tribute to Stubblefield with Funky Drummer Day; read coverage from the event on the KEXP Blog here. [ Spin ]

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Hail to the Chief: KEXP’s Presidents Day Video Roundup

It’s Presidents’ Day, a day originally designated to honor the birthday of George Washington (born on February 22, 1732), but then in the ’50s, a committee lobbied to make the day for all presidents, and in 1971, they shifted the day to the third Monday of February. All you really need to know is, parking is free on the streets today.

To celebrate the occasion, KEXP is honoring Black History Month with an entire day of music from black artists. Beginning at 6 AM on the Morning Show, Morgan will be joined by Prisilla Ray (Trick Candles, Cute Lepers, Purple Mane Prince cover band), Riz on the Midday Show, Troy will be joined by Tilson (Tilson XOXO, The Saturday Knights) in the Afternoon, Chilly will highlight afro-Latin artists on El Sonido, and Stas THEE Boss will cap off the day from 9 PM to 1 AM.

But what about the 45 mostly-white men who have ruled over the Oval Office? Presidents have been inspiring songs throughout history, and leaving them out seemed almost darn right un-American. KEXP salutes them here with a Video Roundup featuring a couple of They Might Be Giants songs, and a few surprises, too.

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Song of the Day: Lady Wray – Do It Again

photo by Aviva Klein

photo by Aviva Klein

Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part of our Song of the day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unrealeased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJ’s think you should hear. Today’s song, featured on the Morning Show with John Richards, is “Do It Again” by Lady Wray, from her 2016 album, Queen Alone, via Big Crown Records.

Lady Wray – Do It Again (MP3) Read More »

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Music that Matters: The Tummy Ache Music that Matters Podcast

Check out some of the KEXP DJ’s favorite artists from the Pacific Northwest and around the world on-the-go. KEXP’s Music That Matters weekly podcast brings you an exclusive mix of new music from the world’s best independent artists.

Porcelain Raft at KEXP in 2015 // photo by Jim Beckmann (view set)

Currently you’ll hear:

Music That Matters, Vol. 552 – The Tummy Ache Music that Matters Podcast

The tummy ache Music That Matters podcast, featuring a vast array of fantastic new music. Why? Because I said so. Keep asking and I’ll turn this podcast around and we’ll go home.

1. Hand Habits – Sun Beholds Me
2. Porcelain Raft – Big Sur
3. Tori Bukle – Rooms
4. C Duncan – Nothing More
5. Western Haunts – Man Made Heart
6. Slowdive – Star Roving
7. Rudy Willingham – Why?
8. Virginia Wing – ESP Offline
9. Diet Cig – Tummy Ache
10. The Courtneys – Tour
11. Hiccup – Teasin’
12. John Wesley Coleman – Shovel
13. Hater – Mental Haven
14. The Olympians – Sirens of Jupiter

Listen here: (MP3)

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You can subscribe to all of our podcasts here.

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Friday Music News

photo by Matthew B. Thompson (view set)

  • She’s already ruled in the guitar world, and now St. Vincent is trying her hand at film directing. XX is an all-female directed anthology collecting four short horror films. St. Vincent’s clip is titled The Birthday Party, and captures an 8-year-old’s birthday party gone wrong. Watch below for an intense panda stare-down. XX is in theaters and on-demand today. [ Pitchfork ]

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KEXP Suggests: Sound Off! Semi-Finals #2 at the MoPOP Museum 2/17


It’s that time of year again: MoPOP’s Sound Off! has been pitting local bands against each other for 16 years now. The all-ages “battle of the bands” has introduced us to acts like The Lonely Forest, Naked Giants, Manatee Commune, and more. Every Friday night this month, a new band will progress to the finals on Saturday, March 11th, where KEXP’s Audioasis will be broadcasting live. Last week, Jason McCue took the first round, with Fluencie winning the Wild Card. (Runners-up will be entered into the Wildcard Pool, and one of the three Wildcard bands will be selected by the Mo’Pop Youth Advisory Board to compete in the finals.) Let’s take a look at this week’s competitors below:

[ Photos courtesy of MoPOP Museum ]
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Don’t You Forget About Them: A John Hughes & Molly Ringwald Birthday Video Roundup


Anyone who grew up in the ’80s got their first look at being a teenager thanks to writer/director John Hughes and actress Molly Ringwald, and weirdly enough, they share the same birthday — February 18th, 1950 for him and 1968 for her. His coming-of-age films reigned over the metroplex, and she was the star in most of them: Sixteen Candles (1984), The Breakfast Club (1985), Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986), Pretty in Pink (1986), Some Kind of Wonderful (1987), just to name a few of his blockbuster hits.

Hughes was also a huge new wave fan, introducing artists like The Smiths and Echo & the Bunnymen to a wider audience via his soundtracks. He even turned to Ringwald for ideas: her Sixteen Candles character Sam Baker had The Rave-Ups scrawled on her 3-ring binder, and the band later performed in the movie Pretty In Pink. When Ringwald wanted to move on to more “mature” roles, it created a rift that the two didn’t repair for nearly 20 years. Sadly, Hughes passed away in 2009, but he leaves behind a legacy in film and music. In honor of their birthdays, KEXP has compiled a roundup of songs that the two popularized through their film collaborations (and a few without Molly) — see if you can listen without seeing the scene in your head, because we bet you can’t.
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Trans Musicales and KEXP: The Perfect Partnership

Talmud Beach // photo by Morgan Chosnyk

One of my favorite things about humanity is when we discover common bonds between us regardless of environment and background. Of course there are the basic necessities: food, water, shelter, but the commonality we share that is the most interesting, because it is abstract, is music. – DJ Morgan

KEXP’s hardworking video production team is constantly on the go. At the station, that means setting up and breaking down a constantly shifting schedule of bands from across the musical spectrum. But Seattle isn’t the only place these active creatives engage their passion for musical discovery. Occasionally, they reach other shores as KEXP seeks not just new bands but new and like-minded partners along the way, like the Trans Musicales festival in Rennes, France.
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