2016 Top Ten List Spotlight: Brian Foss

For the rest of the year, we’ll be spotlighting our KEXP DJs Top Albums of 2016, leading up to our 2016 90.3 Top Album Countdown! Voting has ended, but tune in on Friday, December 16th from 6AM to 6PM PT to hear if your picks made the list. And check out all our DJs Top Ten Albums of 2016 lists on the KEXP Blog here.

Xurs // photo by Greg Stonebraker (view set)

Brian Foss’ 2016 Top Ten Albums

artist album label
Alice Bag Alice Bag Don Giovanni Records
Giuda Speaks Evil Burning Heart Records
Kit Convict & Thee Terrible Two Cobra’s Blood Convicted Records
Sir Coyler & His Asthmatic Band Don’t Shake FIVE-FIVE HOLE RECORDS
Xurs Xurs Self
The Gallow Swings Under the Overpass Self
Blotterz 46 Beers Later Self
The Dumps Get Worse Self
The Snubs The Snubs Moodkiller Records
Nail Polish Authentic Living Help Yourself Records

Brian Foss is one of the hosts of Sonic Reducer, airing Saturday nights, 9PM-midnight.

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2016 Top Ten List Spotlight: Kevin Cole

For the rest of the year, we’ll be spotlighting our KEXP DJs Top Albums of 2016, leading up to our 2016 90.3 Top Album Countdown! Voting ends on Friday, December 9th at 6:00 PM PT, so let us know your favorites now, and tune in on Friday, December 16th to hear if your picks made the list! Anyone who votes is automatically entered to win the Top 10 Albums of 2016 as voted on by you, the listener, provided by Sonic Boom Records. Winners will be notified by email on Friday December 16th.

DJ Kevin Cole with Deep Sea Diver // photo by Melissa Wax (view set)

Kevin Cole’s 2016 Top Ten Albums

artist album label
Júníus Meyvant Floating Harmonies Record Records
Deep Sea Diver Secrets High-Beam Records
David Bowie Blackstar Columbia
Kate Tempest Let Them Eat Chaos Lex
Blood Orange Freetown Sound Domino
Pinkshinyultrablast Grandfeathered Club AC30
A Tribe Called Quest We Got It From Here… Thank You 4 Your Service Epic Records
Anderson .Paak Malibu Empire/OBE/Steel Wool/Art Club
Car Seat Headrest Teens of Denial Matador
Frank Ocean Blonde Boys Don’t Cry

Kevin Cole is the host of The Afternoon Show, on the air Monday through Friday from 2-6PM.

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Friday Music News


  • Northwest artist Joey Casio has been identified in the aftermath of last weekend’s Oakland warehouse fire, one of the deadliest building fires in history with a total of 36 people killed. Joey (real name: Joseph Matlock) was scheduled to perform under his alias Obsidian Blade. Originally from Vancouver, Matlock moved to Olympia where he stayed for about a decade. He recorded several singles with K Records under the Joey Casio moniker, and toured California with label founder Calvin Johnson in 2011. Former K Records intern Edmond Lapine was also a victim of the fire. In an interview with KOMO News, Johnson said, “What it means is two less positive people in the world which we really can’t afford to lose even one.” K is currently offering a Joey Casio singles pak, with all funds donated to the Ghostship Fire Relief Fund. (Update: the pak is now sold out, but donations can still be made to the fund here.) Our thoughts go out to the families and friends of Matlock and Lapine. [Pitchfork]

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Music that Matters: Sweep Me Off My Feet

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.

Hiss Golden Messenger at KEXP in 2016 // photo by Matthew B. Thompson (view set)

Currently you’ll hear:

Music That Matters, Vol. 542 – Sweep Me Off My Feet

For her final mix of 2016, Cheryl Waters dives into a colorful spectrum of hip-hop, rock, and roots music from the Pacific Northwest and beyond, featuring new tracks from Pond, SISTERS, and Springtime Carnivore.

1. Hiss Golden Messenger – Biloxi
2. DRAEMHOUSE – Hard Times For Good Days
3. Headwaves – Bare Hands
4. The Away Days – Best Rebellious
5. Aan – All You Have To Say
6. SISTERS – Trails
7. Secretary – Words
8. Springtime Carnivore – Double Infinity
9. Pavo Pavo – Ran Ran Run
10. Chimurenga Renaissance – The B.A.D. Is So Good
11. Fujiya & Miyagi – Extended Dance Mix
12. Kate Tempest – Ketamine For Breakfast
13. Pond – Sweep Me Off My Feet

Listen here: (MP3)

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You can subscribe to all of our podcasts here.

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Midnight In A Perfect World: Erik Blood


Erik Blood has been a vital figure within Seattle’s music community, emerging as a solo artist in 2009 to explore the cosmic intersections of shoegaze, dream-pop, and electro-pop, while frequently displaying his nuanced production talents with local co-conspirators such as Shabazz Palaces, Moondoggies, and THEESatisfaction. Recently winning The Stranger’s Genius Award in Music before relocating to Los Angeles, the longtime Seattle-based artist latest album Lost In Slow Motion was another KEXP favorite and a beautiful new entry into his vast catalog. His exclusive guest DJ mix for Midnight in a Perfect World showcases his eclectic and sharp ear, beautifully stitching together dusty underground gems that traverse the cinematic outer fringes of electronics, pop, funk, soul, hip-hop, and everything in between, for a transportive and rewarding sonic journey.

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Live Review: Jim James with Twin Limb at Neptune Theatre 12/6/16

all photos by Brittany Feenstra

Touring heavy records is hard. In today’s day and age, heavy-handed works of staggering genius are hardly appreciated in the album form, let alone trying to communicate that weight in a crowded room facing a loaded bar. But in these heavy times, there are those who brave the difficulties and make it happen, and few men are few better examples of this than Jim James. The My Morning Jacket frontman followed up his illuminating debut solo LP, Regions of Light & Sound of God, with a dark and groggy inversion. Eternally Even is an intentional fall from grace, no longer counting on the motherly love of a benevolent creator, and instead, dwelling on a stark understanding of cosmic karma. But where Eternally Even gets darkest, Jim James’s live incarnation was most apt for brilliant reimagination. Cast alongside the best of Regions and a handful of progressive, foundation-shaking covers, James’s sophomore somber was given an equal opposing force of eagerness for change. Together with Louisville trio Twin Limb (who also played as part of James’s band), Jim James brought the light and sound we need upon tumultuous tides.
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Song of the Day: Klunks – Vanersom

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 DJs think you should hear. Today’s song, featured on the Afternoon Show with Kevin Cole, comes from the Norwegian producer Klunks. “Vanersom” is the first track off Hollow Scenes, released this year on Seattle label Hush Hush Records, run by KEXP’s DJ Alex.

Klunks – Vanersom (MP3) Read More »

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2016 Top Ten Spotlight: Sean

For the rest of the year, we’ll be spotlighting our KEXP DJs Top Albums of 2016, leading up to our 2016 90.3 Top Album Countdown! Voting ends on Friday, December 9th at 6:00 PM PT, so let us know your favorites now, and tune in on Friday, December 16th to hear if your picks made the list! Anyone who votes is automatically entered to win the Top 10 Albums of 2016 as voted on by you, the listener, provided by Sonic Boom Records. Winners will be notified by email on Friday December 16th.

Crater // photo by Melissa Wax (view set)

Sean’s 2016 Top Ten Albums

artist album label
Jessy Lanza Oh No Hyperdub
Crater Talk to Me So I Can Fall Asleep Help Yourself
Puro Instinct Autodrama Manifesto
Angel Olsen My Woman Jagjaguwar
Lust for Youth Compassion Sacred Bones
Kaytranada 99.90% XL
Hinds Leave Me Alone Mom+Pop
Kamaiyah A Good Night in the Ghetto Self-Released
Japanese Breakfast Psychopomp Yellow K
Kero Kero Bonito Bonito Generation Double Denim

(note: excluded a lot of stuff, tried to highlight under-the-radar albums I really enjoyed this year!)

  • Jenny Hval – Blood Bitch
  • Seth Bogart – Seth Bogart
  • Omar-S – The Best
  • Babyfather – BBF Hosted by DJ Escrow
  • Ian Sweet – Shapeshifter
  • Ohal – Acid Park
  • NV – Binasu
  • Croatian Amor – Love Means Taking Action
  • James K – Pet
  • Helena Celle – If I Can’t Handle Me At My Best, You Don’t Deserve You At Your Worst
  • Nef the Pharaoh – Neffy Got Wings
  • Cocainejesus – We’re Worried About You
  • Olga Bell – Tempo
  • MJ Guider – Precious Systems
  • Negative Gemini – Body Work
  • Scraps – TTNIK
  • Nots – Cosmetic
  • Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith – Ears
  • KING – We Are King
  • Kiki Hitomi – Karma No Kusari
  • Geneva Jacuzzi – Technophelia
  • Steven Julien – Fallen
  • Payroll Giovanni & Cardo – Big Bossin’ Vol. 1
  • Mourn – Ha, Ha, He.
  • Airport – Lorde Playlist
  • Dreamboat – Dreamboat
  • Gaika – Security
  • TALsounds – Lifter + Lighter
  • Malawi Mouse Boys – Forever Is 4 You
  • Seahawks – Escape Hatch
  • Steve Hauschildt - Strands
  • Maja Osojnik – Let Them Grow
  • Bullion – Loop the Loop
  • Anna Meredith – Varmints
  • Pill – Convenience
  • Fear of Men – Fall Forever
  • Warehouse – Super Low

EPs & 12″s

  • Plush – Please
  • Elysia Crampton – Demon City
  • Call Super – New Life Tones
  • Willow – Workshop 23
  • Cherushii – Far Away So Close
  • Nite-Funk – Nite-Funk
  • Sensational & Kruton – You in the Right Spot
  • Odeko – A History with Samus
  • D.K. – Island of Dreams
  • Bludwork – Nightmare
  • Chinese Slippers – House Party Slippers
  • Kedr Livanskiy – January Sun
  • Kool A.D. – Official
  • X-Coast – Mango Bay
  • Throwing Shade – House of Silk
  • Leif – Macro Beat
  • Kask – Periferia
  • Sheer Mag – III EP
  • Alexandria – Promise
  • Jayda G – Jaydaisms
  • Fit of Body – Fit of Body
  • Daymé Arocena – One Takes
  • Hazel English – Never Going Home
  • Wye Oak – Tween
  • SFV Acid – DOep & Jazzchamber
  • Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever – Talk Tight
  • Powder – Afrorgan
  • Lorenzo Senni – Persona
  • Lindstrøm – Windings
  • Antenna – Primavera


  • CC Dust – CC Dust
  • Bamban & Freaky Pup – Banana Split
  • Pleather – Cherries / Love in Lusts Cup
  • Gifted Gab – Gab the Most High
  • Dave B & Sango – Tomorrow
  • Nail Polish – Authentic Living
  • Unknown Mobile – No Motion
  • Mood Hut – MH 013
  • Casual Hex – Fleshed Out
  • Siddiq & Vektroid – Midnight Run
  • Khotin – Baikal Acid
  • Natasha Kmeto – Pour Down / Free for Tonight
  • Aos – 90 East
  • Gazebos – Die Alone
  • Tay Sean – Leavings
  • VATS – Green Glass Room
  • Mu – II
  • SassyBlack – No More Weak Dates
  • Jarv Dee – The Red Eye Jedi
  • V/A – Rhythms of the Pacific Vol. 3
  • Lisa Prank – Adult Teen
  • Simic & Conduit – BC 001
  • iji – Bubble
  • Dumb – Beach Church
  • Medina & Walsh – Vault of Angels
  • Karl Blau – Introducing Karl Blau
  • Fish Narc – Fish Snake Narc
  • Dude York – Lose Control / Love Is
  • So Pitted – Neo
  • Posse – Perfect H
  • G.L.O.S.S. – Trans Day of Revenge
  • Jay Arner – Jay II
  • Candace – New Future
  • Tender Age – Disappear Here
  • Mackned – Born Rich
  • OC Notes – Rap Loops II
  • Lnrdcroy – Ooze City
  • US41 – “The Lodge (Live Recording 07.17.16)”

Reissues & Compilations

  • Digital Zandoli
  • Sky Girl
  • Motor City Drum Ensemble – Selectors 001
  • Larry Levan – Genius of Time
  • Close to the Noise Floor (Formative UK Electronica 1975-1984)
  • V.O. – Mashisa
  • New York Noise (Dance Music from the New York Underground 1978-1982)
  • So Low
  • Sun Ra & His Myth Science Arkestra – The Lady with the Golden Stockings
  • Jeremy Underground Presents Beauty
  • Linear Movement – The Linear Way
  • The Brotherhood of Lizards – Lizardland: The Complete Works
  • Wicked Witch – Under Your Spell
  • Aloha Got Soul

Thanks for reading! Hope you found some good music to get you through 2016 and into 2017 going strong. I post lots of music on Tumblr and if you’re really bored at word or on the bus follow along on Twitter!

Sean is on the air every Thursday morning from 1AM – 6AM.

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Thursday Music News

The Jesus and Mary Chain

photo by Steve Gullick

  • As we reported last month, Scottish siblings The Jesus & Mary Chain are releasing their first new album in eighteen years, Damage and Joy, out March 24th via ADA/Warner Music. (The album title is apparently “a reference to the English translation of schadenfreude.” Interpret that as you will!) Today we have the first track, “Amputation” — which debuted on Steve Lamacq’s BBC Radio 6 show, and can now be streamed below. The once estranged brothers Reid have patched things up, with younger sibling Jim reporting, “In the last couple of years, we’ve buried the hatchet to some degree, and thankfully not into each other.” The album also features the band’s touring drummer Brian Young and former Lush bassist Phil King. Jim adds, “The interesting thing about this record is what comes out of the speakers. To make a good record is an achievement if you’re twenty-two, but to do it in your fifties, the way we are, I think is a minor miracle.” [Pitchfork]

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Review Revue: Paul Kelly and the Messengers – Under the Sun

Paul Kelly and the Messengers - Under the Sun

Where would we be without Wikipedia? And by we I mean both the human race and people who write blog posts as quickly as possible about esoteric subjects. If I were trying to write this series without Wikipedia, most of my information would come from the comments written by the DJs themselves, some highly questionable blogs and other internet sources, and maybe the band’s own facebook page, if they’re still active. But we live in 2016 and we have Wikipedia, and there is what amounts to a highly detailed short book written by several collaborators over several years on just about any topic, including Mr. Paul Kelly, a quite distinguished musician from Australia. (BTW you should go kick Wikipedia a few bucks before the end of the year. Their little pitch is at the top of every page right now. Try this one.) In fact, you could almost say there’s too much information to digest on some Wikipedia pages, and it might be that sometimes I end up getting most of my information from the DJ comments. But they were a very smart bunch!
One thing about Paul Kelly is that he belongs to that highly selective club of people with incredibly questionable band names inspired by (or connected with) classic rock songs. Unlike some NW bands that I could name (but won’t), Mr. Kelly at least understood that maybe his original, Lou Reed-inspired name wouldn’t fly in the States, so he released albums here as the Messengers. Eventually he shifted to the Messengers across all markets, which might have been more for the sake of convenience than any revelation that his chosen name was exploitative and wrong. (I mean, imagine the hassle of getting t-shirts printed with different band names for an international tour!) But these days he just goes as “Paul Kelly,” and I’ll just give him the benefit of the doubt that he’s learned the errors of his old, mid-to-late-’80s ways. (He seems to have shaved and ditched the sunglasses, too.)<

“Side 1, jazzy pop w/harmonica, keyboards. Track 1 sounds the best. Track 4 folk w/violins. Sounds too much like the Moody Blues. Last track is good!”

“Much like a country type pop rock. First track tells it all. I like it. Lyrics are good in most the songs. Harmonica voicing w/jazzy tunes.” [I think these first two were written by the same person, but they’re on different labels and signed individually.]

“Definitely more straight up rock, especially compared to most of the Australia artists we have been seeing…”

“Why doesn’t he shave and take off the sunglasses. It gives him away. Really.”

“In Australia, they’re called ‘Paul Kelly & the Coloured Girls.'”

“A wonderful live performer, grade footballer and altogether fine songwriter. The arrangements can be a bit AORish but it’s the thought that counts (with me, anyway, who loves P Kelly dearly!)”

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