For those lamenting beloved NYC band The Walkmen’s indefinite hiatus, rejoice in the band’s bassist Peter Matthew Bauer‘s solo album, Liberation!. Don’t be offended by the title, it’s not an enthusiastic goodbye to the band Bauer has dedicated 13 years of his life to. The album marks an opportune moment for Bauer, an experienced multi-instrumentalist, to explore what he can do solo. Although Bauer has spent years playing music, recording his solo work was not without obstacles, obstacles which Bauer credits with ensuring his album steers clear of being boring. On the surface, Liberation! is an album steeped in traditional folk and rock influences, but as the song titles and lyrics reveal, the work is deeply personal and exclusive. Beyond the biographical subject matter (Bauer spent much of his childhood in an Ashram in New York) Bauer infuses his songs with religious speculations, finding a balance somewhere between Western and Eastern philosophy. The album, recorded in a space converted by Bauer in Philadelphia, was conceptualized by “a guy sitting alone in the dark,” but what we saw during his live set at KEXP was a large group of friends backing Bauer on his promising plunge into a solo career. Watch his entire set on the Midday Show below:
Tag! This Thursday is IT, as former KEXP DJ Marco Collins will host Tag 2.0, an experimental music project, at Chop Suey.
Tomorrow night, August 21st, five artists will perform, and for each of them, their last song must segue into the following artist’s first song, and so on, throughout the night. Bands are only given one rehearsal during sound check. Collins explains, “The concept presents a challenge for the artists because I try to place artists next to each other that may never play together and might sound very different. The artists must collaborate, and that’s where things get interesting!” Read More »
For Thurston Moore fans, it truly is the “best day” as the former Sonic Youth frontman shares the title track from his forthcoming solo album, The Best Day, out October 21st via Matador Records. As we mentioned earlier this month, Moore’s supporting band consists of longtime collaborator Steve Shelley, My Bloody Valentine’s Debbie Googe, and English guitarist James Sedwards. Catch the crew on Saturday, October 4th at Neumos, playing with Sebadoh. [Consequence of Sound]
A Place to Bury Strangers // photo by Victoria Holt
Seattle Center was the place to be last Friday night as Brooklyn band A Place to Bury Strangers brought a sonic thunder to the Mural Amphitheatre stage. As you can see from the photos below, it was an explosive performance! Local trio Wimps kicked off the evening, and Portland’s Matt Drenik brought his project Battleme to the stage.
Join us this Friday at Seattle Center for the final Concerts at the Mural show of the 2014 season. Our Wednesday night show The Roadhouse combines forces with our Thursday night show Swingin’ Doors for Swingin’ Roadhouse, a night of alternative country and roots rock n’ roll with DJs Greg Vandy and Don Slack spinning between sets. Local artists Mark Pickerel and His Praying Hands and Star Anna will get the night started, and Alabama-based band Lee Bains lll & the Glory Fires will finish off the summer with some down-home Southern rock! Plus, at 5:00 PM, Mindie Lind, the winner of Seattle’s Pianos in the Parks contest, will perform for you all. See you there!
KEXP DJ Larry Mizell Jr. // photo by Victoria Holt
Earlier this month, KEXP returned to the magical space of the Bunny Glade during Pickathon 2014 to capture intimate acoustic sessions in this wooded oasis. Each of the 17 exclusive performances were special, but one of the most endearing moments for sure took place during Valerie June‘s set when a very young and enthusiastic listener couldn’t help but hear the call of “Raindance” and broke away from her mother to listen more closely. A sweet moment for sure, and each of the stunning Tennessee native’s songs touch all of our hearts in their own way. Watch this short session recorded live at Pickathon and then hear Valerie June again on Monday, September 1, at 12PM, live from the Bumbershoot Music Lounge. You’ll be tempted to do a rain dance of your own!
Punk shows are always more visceral when you’re hurting. You’re feeling a mix of emotions, and despite how cheesy it sounds (no pun intended), sometimes the best way to let them out is to thrash around in a mosh pit and sing your heart out. Saturday night, during The Coathangers’ headlining set at the Highline, Crook Kid Coathanger (Julia Kugel) told the crowd they’d been robbed the night before in Portland, and how they’d lost a friend this week too. Her and her bandmates, Minnie (Meredith Franco) and Rusty (Stephanie Luke), wailed on their instruments as the crowd crashed forward over and over, flattening the front row against the monitors. “This has been great,” Crook Kid said. “I really needed this.”
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. Today’s song, featured on The Midday Show with DJ Cheryl Waters, is “Red Hand” by Owl John from the 2014 self-titled album on Canvasback/Atlantic.
Seattle has increasingly become a more bike-friendly town. For the past few years, KEXP has proudly hosted an Energizer Station during “Bike to Work Day.” And now, this weekend, August 23rd and 24th, the Gigantic Bicycle Festival continues to combine bikes and beats at Centennial Fields Park in Snoqualmie, Washington.
Sure, you can get in your car and drive to Snoqualmie, or you can join your fellow music-lovers this Saturday morning at Seattle’s Magnuson Park for a bike ride along supported century and 77 mile road rides to the festival grounds. (Register to ride and you’ll get a weekend festival pass, and a 2014 Gigantic Bicycle Festival jersey!) Read More »
On November 11, the star-studded collaborative album Lost on the River: The New Basement Tapes will finally be released. The album features unreleased lyrics written by Bob Dylan that date back to 1967. The track “Nothing To It” is lead by My Morning Jacket’s Jim James and also features Mumford and Sons’ Marcus Mumford, and Elvis Costello. Watch they lyric video that features Dylan’s actual handwriting, below. [CoS]
After a blistering in-studio session at KEXP, young Benjamin Booker has released his self-titled debut album, which KEXP’s Music Director Don Yates calls “a powerful blend of energetic garage rock and postpunk with gritty blues and soul, featuring a variety of visceral songs with explosive guitar riffs, rollicking organ and often-frenetic rhythms accompanying Booker’s raspy vocals and spiritually troubled lyrics.”
Other highlights this week include the latest from New York band Bishop Allen, returning with their first new album in five years, “a fine set of bittersweet indie-pop with jangly guitars, bright synths, bouncy rhythms, wistful melodies and often-melancholy lyrics.” Swedish duo JJ return with “an often-entrancing blend of moody electro-pop, hip hop/R&B, orchestral pop and other styles, combining an ethereal, heavily atmospheric sound with soaring pop melodies and Elin Kastlander’s airy vocals.” Iconic indiepop label Slumberland Records release the latest from Literature, “a fine set of C86-inspired pop-rock with jangly guitars, bright keyboards, relentlessly uptempo rhythms, hazy vocals and sunny melodies.” And UK band The Fat White Family domestically reissue last year’s debut, “a scabrous set of lo-fi garage-rock tinged with elements of psych-rock, spaghetti western and other styles, combining a ramshackle sound with half-buried vocals and seedy, misanthropic lyrics.”
(Various Artists) Bill Miller - “Look Again To The Wind”
from Look Again to the Wind: Johnny Cash’s Bitter Tears Revisited on Masterworks