Video Roundup: Happy Weedster!

In a bizarre act of serendipity, Easter falls on April 20th this year, or, uh, “4/20“. So, be careful what kind of “Easter grass” you use to line your baskets, and your kids might have to battle some adults in the Easter candy aisle. In fact, plenty of different treats will be, um, “baked” this weekend, and rabbits won’t be the only ones with red eyes. Since this kind-of cross-celebration doesn’t happen every year, KEXP shares this video round-up with you:

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Album Review: WOODS - With Light and With Love

Determined and unwavering Brooklyn-based folk rock band WOODS have released over six albums since their inception in 2005, distinguishing them as some of the hardest-working indie rockers. Singer-guitarist and founder Jeremy Earl even runs the record label Woodsist, from which WOODS release their albums. Additionally, the group arranges a music-gathering in Big Sur, with this year marking the fifth annual Woodsist Festival. “Work Hard, Play Harder,” seems to be the overarching aphorism for WOODS and, with the release of an album with that very name, released last Tuesday, this philosophy has never been more apparent.
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KEXP Q&A: Julia Shapiro and Lydia Lund of Chastity Belt

photo by Sarah Creighton

Seattle’s Chastity Belt play energetic indie rock ‘n roll. They are sarcastic, sharp and both complex and simple all at once. They are also an all-female band. But does gender matter when it comes to the music they produce? Does it matter for the bands Childbirth, Lemolo or La Luz? You get the sense it’s something they joke about together, making light of the questions they get about gender – and how it doesn’t really matter. KEXP caught up with two of Chastity Belt’s band members, Julia Shapiro and Lydia Lund, to talk about this as well as get their take on Nickelback, sports and their well-known band photo featuring a cut of raw beef.

Chastity Belt took – some might say – a controversial band photo (with a steak and a padlock placed over lead singer Julia Shapiro’s crotch). What was the impetus for the picture and what sorts of reactions did you get?  

Julia Shapiro: Well, it was mostly Sarah Creighton’s idea. She was the one who took the photo. We told her that we wanted our press photo to involve raw steak and then she came up with the rest of it. She basically said, “Alright, Julia, you are going to be front and center lifting up your dress to reveal a chastity belt made of steak” and I was like, “Cool, I’m in.” We got a lot of really strong reactions. I guess a lot of people either love it or are disgusted. I just think it’s funny.
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Live Video: Clap Your Hands Say Yeah

photo by Mike Emigh (view set)

Recently, Alec Ounsworth, frontman of Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, happened to be in the vicinity of the KEXP studio. He wasn’t scheduled, and we only learned he was in town the same day, but we grabbed him anyway, sat him down, and asked him to play a few songs on the Midday Show with Cheryl Waters. Fortunately, he wasn’t too traumatized to perform a charming set featuring acoustic renditions of Hysterical‘s “The Witness’ Dull Surprise” and two new songs from the upcoming CYHSY album. You’ll have to wait until June 3rd for the recorded versions on Only Run, but you can hear (and watch) this special preview of “Blameless” and “Beyond Illusion” right now:

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Friday Music News

photo by Steven Dewall

  • Here’s a little pre-weekend of adorableness courtesy of Belle and Sebastian. The Scottish indie-pop band performed for a group of sick children with the Song for Kids Foundation at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. Their carefree rendition of Journey’s smash hit “Don’t Stop Believin’” was a perfect escape for their very precious audience. [CoS]

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Record Store Day 2014: Events Around Seattle

Vinyl aficionados, our holiday cometh: Record Store Day!

The third Saturday of April approaches, and anticipation among record collectors is palpable in Seattle. Independent record stores in Seattle are hunkering down for the hoards and stocking up on special releases. Here’s what you can expect at your favorite stores around town.

Easy Street Records:

The beloved West Seattle record shop will open at 7:00 AM on Saturday, with Rick Friel serving Caffe Vita’s newest coffee, Easy Street’s Indo 25 Blend, to folks in line starting at 6:00 AM!

Store employees Michael Whitmore and KEXP’s Troy Nelson will be DJ’ing, and staff will be giving away prizes throughout the day. Barrett Martin and Van Conner of the Screaming Trees will be signing at 11 AM. There will be a Kids Happy Hour at 3:00 PM with Caspar Babypants signing and performing a DJ set. And at 7:00 PM, Sub Pop band Rose Windows will treat shoppers to an in-store performance!

Tune in to The Afternoon Show on KEXP this Friday, April 18th at 3:00 PM PT as DJ and renowned record collector Kevin Cole previews the day’s releases with store owner, Matt Vaughan.
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Record Store Day 2014: KEXP DJ Picks

GET OUT OF THEIR WAY! This Saturday, April 19th is the seventh annual Record Store Day, and KEXP DJs are planning their attack! Record labels are planning special vinyl and CD releases for the day to help celebrate independently-owned record stores around the world. What’s on your shopping list this year? KEXP DJs share their picks below.

And be sure to tune in to The Afternoon Show on KEXP today at 3:00 PM PT to hear some of these tracks first! DJ Kevin Cole will be joined by Matt Vaughan from Easy Street Records to preview many of these releases.

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Friday on My Mind: Happy Anniversary

It’s time again for Friday on My Mind. Our weekly blog post where we look at videos centered around one common theme. This is a collaborative effort between KEXP and King 5 News.

It turns out that today and tomorrow mark the anniversaries of a few releases that we hold pretty near and dear to our hearts here at KEXP. A couple of them celebrate their 25th anniversary and that also makes it official that you’re old because you remember getting these on tape. Or you’re just kind of old because you got them soon after on CD. Or just young and just discovered them on vinyl and that’s the only way you listen to music now. Or maybe you’re just someone who downloaded it illegally and aren’t even sure when any of this came out, what an album is or that Scream wasn’t the first time Red Right Hand saw the time of day. Either way, these are three very important seminal records.
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Song of the Day: Kithkin - Altered Beast

photo by Alex Crick

Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Every Friday, we feature a song from a local artist. Today’s song, featured on the Midday Show with Cheryl Waters, is “Altered Beast” by Kithkin from the forthcoming 2014 album Rituals, Trances & Ecstasies For Humans in Face of The Collapse on Pesanta Urfolk.

Kithkin - Altered Beast (MP3)

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Record Store Day 2014: DJ Kevin Cole’s Picks

This Saturday’s Record Store Day will be kind of like the Easter egg hunt for me and my fellow music lovers and record collecting geeks. We’ll gleefully race down the aisles in search of that colorful surprise and treat. And, this year there are plenty of goodies — rarities, long out-of-print re-issues, first-time releases, colored vinyl, picture discs, etc., in all kinds of formats including 7”, 10”, and 12” vinyl, CDs, and even cassettes. Some of the golden eggs I’ll be looking for include:
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