Music That Matters: Sound Off! 2016

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.

sound_off-2016

Currently, you’ll hear:

Music That Matters, Vol. 499 – Sound Off! 2016
Audioasis host DJ Sharlese presents KEXP’s Sound Off! podcast, featuring bands participating in the 2016 Sound Off! competition, the premiere Northwest battle of the bands hosted by the Experience Music Project (EMP) Museum.

Tracklist:
1. Copalis – Deep End
2. COSMOS – House Warming
3. Jazzy Tee – Heartless Grl
4. Party Shark – Pick & Choose 1
5. Animal Camera – Diane
6. Crews – One by One
7. Paris Alexa – All You Guys
8. Travis Thompson – No Se Feat. Ryan Caraveo
9. Dre’zy and Too Smoove – I Found That Good
10. Hello, I’m Sorry – Be Okay
11. Paralexis – Freefall
12. Lee – Into the Flames

Listen here: (MP3)

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Friday Music News

photo by Dave Lichterman

  • James Blake is sly as a fox. While everyone was completely distracted by Kanye West’s album drop and fashion nonsense, Blake debuted a gorgeous new song called “Modern Soul” during his BBC Radio 1 show. It’s such an incredible song and Blake’s effortlessly stunning vocals will blow you away. Seriously. [CoS]


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Live Review: Super Furry Animals, Dead Meadow at the Neptune Theatre 2/6

all photos by Kari Nickole Taylor (view set)

When it comes to Britpop, Super Furry Animals are truly a whole ‘nother beast. Though they tend to get lumped in with bands like Pulp (who were an early champion of SFA) and Blur, the Furries are a unique animal, bending genres and breaking boundaries throughout their 20 year career. The band went on hiatus in 2010, with both frontman Gruff Rhys and keyboardist Cian Ciaran releasing a few solo albums. Then last year, they emerged from hibernation with the 15th anniversary reissue of Mwng, their only album written entirely in Welsh, and the 20th anniversary of a release the Guinness Book of Records awarded as the EP with the world’s longest title. (It’s Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch (In Space), if you were wondering.)

Which is all a really long way of saying: the band have been away, we missed them, and fans were thrilled to see them back together again at the Neptune Theatre this night.
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KEXP Suggests: EMP’s Sound Off! Semi-Finals #1 at the EMP Museum 2/13

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Every year, EMP’s Sound Off! competition showcases emerging stars in the all-ages music scene. Previous winners have included The Lonely Forest, Dyme Def, Sol, Kithkin, Brothers from Another, Manatee Commune, Fauna Shade, Schoolyard Heroes, Tomten, and Brite Futures, just to name a few. This Saturday, February 13th, EMP kicks off their 15th annual competition at the EMP Museum with the first round of semi-finals. For the next three Saturdays in February, these talented youths will battle it out towards the finals on Saturday, March 5th.

The first round features Copalis, COSMOS, Jazzy Tee, and Party Shark.

[ Photos by Brady Harvey, courtesy of EMP Museum ]

copalisWoodinville duo Copalis cite Radiohead, Weezer, the Beach Boys, and the Pixies as influences on their psych-rock sound. And according to their Facebook page, KEXP volunteer Van Wolfe will be filling in for some absent band members!


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Song of the Day: Damien Jurado – Exit 353

photo by Elise Tyler

photo by Elise Tyler

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 Afternoon Show with Kevin Cole, is “Exit 353” by Damien Jurado from his 2016 album, Visions of Us on the Land, due March 18th on Secretly Canadian.

Damien Jurado – Exit 353 (MP3)

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El Sonido: Chicano Batman, Algodón Egipcio, Los Blenders, La Yegros

Chicano Batman // photo by Chilly

This week in El Sonido, we’ll check out superheroes from L.A., party in the desert, rock out alone in our room and dig some experimental electronic pop from planet D.F. via Venezuela.

First up is an awesome live set from Los Angeles group Chicano Batman. They stopped by KEXP in the summer of 2015, dressed me in one of their tux tops and then blew me away with their unique psych soul sounds. This session was part of KEXP’s Immigrant Songs series that celebrates the work of immigrant musicians living in the United States. Check the Chicano Batman set below, and watch all the Immigrant Songs videos here.


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Review Revue: Happy Flowers – Lasterday I Was Been Bad

Lasterday I Was Been Bad

OK, you’re all in trouble. Why am I only just now learning about Happy Flowers? Noisy, disturbing/hilarious songs written from the perspective of a toddler? Band members named Mr. Anus and Mr. Horribly Charred Infant? Covers of Big Star, Michael Schenker, and Silver Apples on the same album? These guys were obviously geniuses way ahead of their time, and I missed the whole thing. They even had a 20th anniversary reunion show in 2004 and I still had no idea who they were. Fortunately we can all experience the whole delirious thing via the magic of youtube (audio NSFW right off the bat).

Well, in case you also happened to miss the Happy Flowers train, please take this moment to familiarize yourself as much as possible, and tip your hat once again to the supreme coolness of the KCMU DJ population. Read More »

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Live Video: Youth Lagoon

Youth Lagoon

photo by Amber Knecht (view set)

As Cheryl Waters jokes, it’s taken over ten years to get Trevor Powers’ band Youth Lagoon in the KEXP studio. Really, the band has only been around since 2010 – it just feels like we’ve all been waiting that long. We were all happy finally to have wrangled Youth Lagoon come grace us, and the timing was fortuitous: Powers announced on February 1st that his third album, Savage Hills Ballroom, would be his last under the YL moniker. The four-piece hunkered down in the as-yet unfinished studio of KEXP’s new home at Seattle Center, playing three songs from Savage Hills and one from his second album, Wondrous Bughouse, and showing how the band’s live show has evolved to a fully realized sound from the early two-man-touring days of Year of Hibernation. But before Youth Lagoon takes the big sleep and wraps up their final tour (with a Northwest date at Treefort Fest in their hometown of Boise), you can enjoy this glorious footage of what may become Youth Lagoon’s final Seattle appearance.

 
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Album Premiere: Marlon Williams – Marlon Williams

photo by Victoria Holt (view set)

Though a relative unknown here in the states, singer/songwriter Marlon Williams is a star in his native New Zealand and his recently-adopted home of Australia. At the age of 17, he, some high school classmates, and their apparently-pretty-cool science teacher formed the band The Unfaithful Ways. In 2011, Williams formed a duo with acclaimed country artist Delaney Davidson, releasing three albums together. He’s already been nominated for five New Zealand Music Awards, and an Australian ARIA Award (similar to an American Grammy), and he’s only 25.

With his solo work, we can expect the accolades to keep coming. KEXP is excited to present a full-album stream of this young talent’s debut full-length, out February 19th via Dead Oceans. Originally released in 2013 at home, the album debuted at #10 on the New Zealand Albums Chart and was hailed as “one of the most impressive country records this year” by Tone Deaf. Williams himself has been hailed as “the impossible love child of Elvis, Roy Orbison and Townes Van Zandt,” a comparison that resonates through his bluesy, country-style songs and vocal delivery. Listen below:
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Song of the Day: Crater – Habits Die Slow

photo by Melissa Wax

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 Afternoon Show with Kevin Cole, is “Habits Die Slow” by Seattle duo Crater from their 2016 album, Talk To Me So I Can Fall Asleep, on Help Yourself Records.

Crater – Habits Die Slow (MP3)

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