Music That Matters: What Do You See?

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.

Psychic TV at Macefield Music Festival 2016 // photo by Melissa Wax

Currently you’ll hear:

Music That Matters, Vol. 562 – What Do You See?

Sonic Reducer host Jenn plays a mix of punk, hardcore, and other vibrant tunes to force you through spring like April showers making way for May flowers.

01. Kid Chrome – TV In My Head
02. Lemonade – Noches Blancas
03. Nachthexen – Ring Ring
04. Shopping – Straight Lines
05. Private Room – Good Behavior
06. Haram – دم Blood
07. Krimewatch – Coward
08. Mujercitos – Su Tumba De Su Cuate
09. Concealed Blade – Blame Game
10. Warthog – Culture?
11. S.H.I.T. – Information
12. Nandas – Dawntown
13. Cold Sweat – Nightmare
14. Druj – War Hymns
15. Psychic TV – (It Was) Never Enough

Listen here: (MP3)

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Local Artist Spotlight: Ruler

photo by Dan Fromhart

photo by Dan Fromhart

Leading up until the Upstream Music Fest + Summit, KEXP will be featuring a new local artist from the lineup with an interview and suggested tracks for where to start. Today’s post features Seattle indie rocker Ruler, performing Saturday, May 13 on the Barsuk stage.

If you’ve been around the Seattle music scene long enough, you’ve almost surely seen or heard Matt Batey perform. Whether he’s playing in Cataldo or doing harmonies for artists like Rocky Votolato, Batey is always popping up around town. However, over the years Batey began performing his own solo material under the moniker Ruler. His vibrant, catchy pop-rock tracks are gems within themselves and it’s easy to hear why his contemporaries utilize him so much as a collaborator. We caught up with Batey to dig more into the project’s origins and how he writes such great hooks.
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Friday Music News

photo by Matthew B. Thompson (view set)

  • CHVRCHES have teamed up with actress Kristen Stewart for a live version of their track “Down Side of Me,” which can be found on the box set 7-Inches for Planned Parenthood (with 100% of the proceeds being donated to Planned Parenthood, natch). In a press release, frontwoman Lauren Mayberry says the track, “was not written specifically for this project but I really like how the lyrics can be interpreted in a way that supports the goal of the project as a whole. We should all be able to have faith that our governments are working in our best interests — and if they aren’t then, they should be challenged and held to account. ‘I’ll believe that you’re all that you said you would be.’ We have always tried to be socially aware and to link in with organizations whose work we support. Planned Parenthood is an incredibly important resource for so many women (and men) in America and the fact that Planned Parenthood has come under so much fire in the current political climate does not sit well with us. Now is not the time to stay quiet, and if artists want to help by raising money or awareness for causes that we believe in, then I think that they should.” Watch below: [ Under the Radar ]

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Live Review: Mastodon, Eagles of Death Metal and Russian Circles at Paramount Theatre 4/15/2017

photos by Matthew B. Thompson (view set)

It is a truly beautiful sight to see a swarm of of black t-shirts filling up the halls of an 89-year old theater. A strikingly atypical one, considering the venue’s usual programming, but a beautiful one nonetheless. Mastodon’s return to Seattle coincided not just with the Georgia outfit’s most focused (and perhaps not coincidentally, their strongest) LP in some time, Emperor of Sand, but with a trip to the storied Paramount Theatre. Notably atypical on a surface level? Certainly, but considering Mastodon’s most affecting album features a conceptual storyline relating an astral plane-traveling child with the suicide of drummer Brann Dailor’s sister, atypical is the speed at which Mastodon do their best work.
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KEXP at Trans Musicales: Vagina Town

photo by Morgan Chosnyk

This week, we continue sharing our discoveries from the Trans Musicales festival in Rennes, France, where last December we captured twelve exclusive sessions. We’re sharing with you one unique session each Friday, and you can watch all the previously released ones here. This week, we present Nantes-based garage rock combo Vagina Town:

DJ Morgan says of watching the band during our first day of recording:

Vagina Town was the first of three bands we filmed today. They are from Nantes, a town approximately 100 km from Rennes. Playing together since 2009, the four piece came out in an amazing array of costumes that had various tongue-in-cheek religious overtones. Gina, on bass and vocals, was dressed in a giant magenta feathered head piece she got in Brazil during Carnival and an outfit that would have made Screamin’ Jay Hawkins proud – including a skull named Henry hanging from the mic stand. I asked her if she was a Hawkins fan and she excitedly told me she was and in fact named her skull his that hung from his iconic staff. They played a ripping set of garage rock a la The Cramps.

Watch our live session below with Vagina Town, recorded beneath a Roman frieze in the Chapelle du Conservatoire de Rennes, a small chapel attached to a vibrant interdisciplinary art school, and be sure to find more about the band on their Facebook page.

Watch more sessions recorded by KEXP at Trans Musicales here.

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Song of the Day: LAKE – Turn Around

photo by Eli Moore

photo by Eli Moore

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, unreleased 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 “Turn Around” by Olympia indie-pop act LAKE, from their 2017 album, Forever or Never, on Tapete Records.

LAKE – Turn Around (MP3) Read More »

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KEXP Presents: Punk Rock Flea Market at Seattle Center 4/29 + 4/30


This weekend, Saturday, April 29th and Sunday, April 30th, KEXP is proud to co-host the Punk Rock Flea Market alongside our neighbors at the The Vera Project and SIFF. More than 100 vendors will be scattered across our three buildings, and there will be DJs, booze, food, and live music from Bacteria, The Derelicts, and The Botherations! Doors open at noon each day and a small donation to Low Income Housing Institution gets you through them. To celebrate, KEXP spotlights some of our favorite punk rock bands who won’t be there in person, but will be there in spirit.

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Thursday Music News

photo by Maria Mochnacz

  • We’re just a week away from PJ Harvey‘s first Seattle show in five years, and just when we thought we couldn’t be more excited, she goes and drops a new single outta nowhere. Stream the track “A Dog Called Money” below, arriving tomorrow via a double-A side digital single with “I’ll Be Waiting.” Both songs were recorded with her longtime collaborators Flood and John Parish. “A Dog Called Money” originally debuted on Lauren Laverne’s BBC 6Music show earlier today. Harvey plays Friday, May 5th at CenturyLink Field. [ Consequence of Sound ]

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Local Artist Spotlight: MASZER


photo by Rachel White

Leading up until the Upstream Music Fest + Summit, KEXP will be featuring a new local artist from the lineup with an interview and suggested tracks for where to start. Today’s post features pysch-rock outfit MASZER, performing Thursday, May 11 on the Tractor stage.

MASZER is built on maximalism. Whether they’re indulging in wayward desert jams or dreamy, slow-burners, the quartet always pushes each element to its brink. It’s a skill the band members have honed in in their previous roles in local acts like Reignwolf and Mother’s Anger. Their latest EP, dreamz, was recorded between Los Angeles and Seattle – a testament to the band members being split between the two cities. We caught up with the band to dig more into their philosophy, multimedia presentation, and what to expect from their Upstream set.
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Review Revue: Ramones – Subterranean Jungle

Subterranean Jungle

Here’s another one: How is this the first time I’ve covered a Ramones album in this almost decade-long series of blog posts? I mean, the Ramones! Come on! Is there a more influential band with a deeper catalog more filled with albums that college radio DJs are likely to have intensely critical and controversial opinions about? I have no excuse, all I can do is try to correct the record.

The Ramones need no introduction, but what their seventh album, Subterranean Jungle, might well need is a healthy dose of college-radio-DJ-splaining. Unlike some other albums I could have chosen (and might choose in the future), Subterranean Jungle was seen by many as a return to form and didn’t elicit too many nasty complaints about selling out, overproduction, and so on. It’s still a fun bunch of music-nerding out, though. Read More »

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