Thursday Music News

photo by Jim Bennett (view set)

  • Proof that Jack White has always been inventive with his musical releases: back in 2004, White and his friend Brian Muldoon were part of a band called The Upholsterers, named for their actual day job professions. Inspired by their own name, White and Muldoon, um, upholstered 100 copies of their first single into pieces of furniture, without their customers’ knowledge. According to White’s Third Man Records, only two singles have been found, which means 98 copies remain at large. Check your furniture, Detroit residents. [Pitchfork]

  • Last night, Sub Pop’s own King Tuff rocked the stage of Conan with “Eyes of the Muse” off their 2014 release, Black Moon Spell. Watch their “spellbinding” performance below, and keep track of all the TV musical highlights with KEXP’s TV Eye column. [Consequence of Sound]

  • Speaking of late night TV highlights, the celebrated Colbert Report is down to its final episodes before host Stephen Colbert takes over David Letterman’s Late Night show. Colbert is cleaning out nine years worth of memorabilia, including… R.E.M.‘s Michael Stipe, who has been part of a years-long running gag as a possession on Colbert’s shelf. (Price for the influential frontman? A quarter.) Watch the hilarious yard sale footage below: [Consequence of Sound]

  • Kathleen Hanna’s band The Julie Ruin have shared the previously-unreleased track “Blueberry Island,” which was left off the band’s 2013 debut Run Fast, but included in the documentary on Hanna’s life, The Punk Singer. A 7″ single of the once-forgotten track is being released by TV On The Radio’s Dave Sitek on his label Federal Prism, with a YACHT remix on the B-Side. Hanna will be speaking at The Neptune Theatre on Wednesday, April 29th, presenting a Riot Grrrl: Then and Now lecture. [Stereogum]

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Review Revue: Dukes of Stratosphear – Psonic Psunspot


I guess this year I’m making up for the previous lack of XTC posts in this series. The Dukes of Stratosphear were XTC in all but name, working under a different moniker to crank out a couple albums of pop genius that heavily mined some of their favorite sounds of the ’60s, from Barrett-era Pink Floyd to Beatles and Stones to The Beach Boys and beyond. As you can see below, despite being perhaps a bit tongue in cheek, it’s an incredibly satisfying musical experience (but what else could we expect from Partridge and co.?). The DJs apparently got so bored agreeing with each other, they had to start correcting each other’s spelling. Read More »

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Celebrate Public Radio Day 2014

Public Radio Day 2014 logo orange

“Listener powered” KEXP isn’t the only Seattle station supported by engaged, passionate individuals like you. Our region teems with great commercial-free radio outlets, including KPLU, KNHC (aka C89.5), KING, KBCS, KAOS, and KUOW. Whether you’re seeking in-depth news coverage, non-stop dance beats, masterpieces of classical music, or original programs made right in here the PNW, Seattle offers some of the nation’s finest public radio.

Today is your opportunity to celebrate all the great information and entertainment available to you in the Puget Sound region, because it’s Public Radio Day. We’re still reeling from last week’s outpouring of support during our New Home fundraising drive (thank you!), but we hope you’ll consider donating to one or more of our public radio colleagues and keep Seattle’s commercial-free radio culture diverse and vibrant.

In addition, when you make a gift of $120 or more to any of this year’s six participating stations, your donation goes even further—the United Way of King County will use a portion of your gift to provide thermal socks to neighbors in need at area homeless shelters this winter. And if you’d like to share your love for public radio on social media, please use hashtag #Pubradioday.

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Live Video: Árstíðir at Iceland Airwaves

photo by Jim Bennett (view set)

In Icelandic their name means “seasons”, but the warm, acoustic chamberpop songs of Árstíðir are particularly comforting on these cold days of winter. Recently, the group has been busy recording and crowd funding their third LP, Hvel (due February 2015), but they took time to share a handful of gorgeous new songs during their performance at Kex Hostel in Reykjavik as part of KEXP’s broadcast during Iceland Airwaves. Read more about their radiant set here and bask in their glow here:

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2014 Top Ten List Spotlight: DJ El Toro

For the rest of the year, we’ll be spotlighting our KEXP DJs Top Albums of 2014, leading up to our 2014 90.3 Top Album Countdown! Voting has ended, but tune in on Friday, December 19th to hear if your picks made the list.

Perfume Genius

Perfume Genius // photo by Morgen Schuler (view set)

DJ El Toro’s 2014 Top Ten Albums

artist album label
Zola Jesus Taiga Mute
Aphex Twin Syro Warp
Steve Gunn Way Out Weather Paradise of Bachelors
King Tuff Black Moon Spell Sub Pop
Budos Band Burnt Offering Daptone
Chimurenga Renaissance riZe vadZimu riZe Brick Lane
Warpaint Warpaint Rough Trade
Owen Pallett In Conflict Domino
Neneh Cherry Blank Project Smalltown Supersound
Perfume Genius Too Bright Matador

DJ El Toro hosts the variety mix show on Wednesday nights from 9 PM to 1 AM on KEXP 90.3 FM Seattle and His occasional rant, “Weird At My School,” appears infrequently on the KEXP Blog.

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Song of the Day: Museum of Love – The Who’s Who of Who Cares

photo by Amber Knecht

Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Today’s song, featured on the Afternoon Show with Kevin Cole, is “The Who’s Who of Who Cares” by Museum of Love from their 2014 self-titled album on DFA Records.

Museum of Love – The Who’s Who of Who Cares (MP3)

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Video Roundup: In Memory of Artists Passed in 2014

Bob Casale of Devo // photo by Jim Bennett

Death is an unavoidable part of life, and remembering is a form of celebrating those who have been lost. This morning, KEXP Morning Show host John Richards pays tribute to many of the great musical figures who passed away this year.

From beloved folk music activist Pete Seeger to Seattle grunge architect and London Bridge Studios mastermind Rick Parasher. From last remaining original Ramones member Tommy Ramone, to Devo founder Bob Casale. From soul superstar Bobby Womack, to early rap pioneer Big Bank Hank. This musical memorial covers an eclectic range of artists who passed this year.

Tune in starting at 6:00 AM on Thursday, December 18th as John shares fascinating stories and bios, as well as music by as many of these artists as he can fit in four hours. Several of these artists we have sadly lost will be familiar to listeners, but many others are folks who spent their time behind the scenes. Here on the KEXP Blog, we’d like to share and celebrate their contributions to music with this Video Round-Up below:

Stax soul singer Wendy Rene (1947 – December 17, 2014)

Grammy Award winning engineer John Hampton (1953 – December 12, 2014)

Songwriter Bob Montgomery (May 12, 1937 – December 4, 2014)

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Live Video: Sóley at Iceland Airwaves

photo by Jim Bennett (view set)

Sóley is the cutest creeper out there. The Icelandic singer-songwriter is so disarmingly charming, and her voice so exquisite, that even her songs about killer clowns, murderers and weird, one-eyed ladies are quite soothing. She’s also an expert looper and a snappy dresser. In other words, there’s a lot for KEXP listeners to love about Sóley, so we were thrilled to hear, when she visited us in Seattle in October, that she had new songs to share from a forthcoming album. You can read about her creepy/funny/fantastic set at Kex Hostel in Reykjavik as part of KEXP’s broadcast during Iceland Airwaves here and get spooked now:

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Wednesday Music News

photo by Dave Lichterman (view set)

  • Her self-titled release has been popping up on tons of End-of-the-Year Top Albums lists, and today, St. Vincent shares a video for album highlight “Birth In Reverse.” In the clip, Annie Clark shreds in a cloud of smoke. Watch below: [Consequence of Sound]

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Live Review: Say Hi with Unlikely Friends at Barboza 12/12/14

all photos by Brittany Brassell

Holy shit, Say Hi knows how to get the party started on a Friday night at 9PM! I honestly think I saw more empty drink cups and shot glasses lining the Barboza shelf of subwoofers tonight than I’ve ever seen at their weekly Saturday night dance gigs. In a city on a hill where we show the Rocky Horror Picture Show weekly and regularly have Twin Peaks themed dance nights, I guess it’s really no surprise that Seattle knows how to get weird. But to welcome Seattle native Eric Elbogen back to a local stage after more than forty dates between now and the beginning of his tour in support of new record Endless Wonder, things got very fun very fast. But of course, that’s no surprise at all – it’s just Eric doing what he does best in the way that only he could do it. Together with budding Seattle supergroup (technically!) Unlikely Friends, Say Hi brought the house down at the Barboza for his second to last show of the year.
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