Wednesday Music News

photo by Amber Zbitnoff (view set)

  • Jersey boys Real Estate head south of the border for the video for “Had to Hear,” out 8/25 as a limited edition 7″ single from Domino Records. (The b-side will be their cover of “Paper Doll” by The Nerves that they performed in their Seattle encore earlier this year.) Directed by Richard Law, the clip captures scenes from their show in Mexico City. They’ll be back in town on Labor Day weekend, playing the Bumbershoot Music & Arts Festival. [Pitchfork]

  • Not only does J Mascis have today’s KEXP Song of the Day, but he’s shared another track with the interwebs today from his forthcoming solo sophomore release, Tied to a Star, out August 29th on Sub Pop. Stream the track “Wide Awake” below, featuring guest vocals from Cat Power. (J will be LIVE on KEXP Friday, August 29th at 9:00 AM PST from The Cutting Room Studios in New York City, and live in Seattle on Wednesday, November 19th at the Tractor Tavern.) [Under the Radar]

  • Conor Oberst hit the stage on The Late Show With David Letterman earlier this week for a passionate performance of “Hundreds of Ways” off his latest Upside Down Mountain. Watch below, and keep an eye on all late-night TV musical moments with KEXP’s TV Eye column. [Spin]

  • In a video totally befitting his psychedelic sound, Mac DeMarco shares a clip for the woozy track “Chamber of Reflection” off his most recent release, Salad Days. The bizarre video (which DeMarco jokingly credits to Al Pacino) features a woman in a Homer Simpson mask going about her day. Check it out below, and you can also check out DeMarco LIVE at the Bumbershoot Music & Arts Festival. [Consequence of Sound]

  • And one more weird video for the day: watch Bill Callahan as the moon in this clip for “Javelin Unlanding” from last year’s album, Dream River, out now on Drag City. (Is Callahan a “Mighty Boosh” fan?) [Stereogum]

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Video Roundup: Pickathon 2014

This Friday, August 1st through Sunday, August 3rd marks the 16th Annual Pickathon Music Festival at Pendarvis Farm in Happy Valley, Oregon, and every year, the festival continues to live up to its city’s name! The festival features a line-up of over fifty joy-inducing bands — including The War on Drugs, Warpaint, Valerie June, Foxygen, Mac DeMarco, Courtney Barnett, just to name a few — and most bands play twice during the festival. Tickets are still available here.

Can’t make it to Happy Valley? Let KEXP bring the happiness to you with the festival’s live video broadcast, featuring bands on both the Woods stage and the Galaxy Barn stage, and running from 11AM to 2AM each day. Find out more and view the video broadcast schedule here.

As in previous years, KEXP will be on-site to capture special, intimate performances from the artists over the weekend, which we will happily share with you later. But in the meanwhile, check out some previous KEXP live performances from the artists you’ll see this weekend:
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Album Review: Jenny Lewis - The Voyager

Jenny Lewis has always been a voyager. Whether it was way back when penning heartbreak after heartbreak with Rilo Kiley or finding fresh, rocky footing on her own Rabbit Fur Coat and Acid Tongue, she’s wandered around like an ongoing cameo in someone else’s story. Lewis is a gifted spectator, blessed with the ability to tell a tale from afar, even when the events may have ripped through her soul just the night before. She’s never been to question her place - rather, she’s taken it with a grain of salt and moved forward with shinier shoes than the next one. For all these reasons and a couple dozen more, Jenny Lewis has given us a thousand sunsets to drink to - a sage from the Vegas strip, come to tell stories of the neon night life in the stark, brutal honesty of the day-glow.

On her new record, The Voyager, Lewis makes a conscious change in article. Her first full-length record in six years, Lewis is done being one of many. The Voyager is a collection of stories, not altogether unlike ones we’ve heard from her somber strings before, but the siren singing is more defiant. This is Jenny Lewis, the one and only, and every track makes a fully realized statement of grounding and independence that only Lewis could make. Unapologetic as ever and still unlike anyone else, Jenny Lewis returns this year with a timeless effort of priceless value.
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Live Video: Dean Wareham

photo by Charina Pitzel (view set)

If Dean Wareham‘s own name isn’t familiar, his previous projects most likely are. Galaxie 500 and Luna may never have quite reached the commercial success to match their critical acclaim, but both bands inspired a generation to follow of dream-pop wanderers and romantic rock dreamers. And both were favorites among KCMU and KEXP DJs and listeners alike. Fortunately, Dean Wareham kept busy after Luna’s demise, focusing on soundtracks and collaborative work with former Luna bassist, and his wife, Britta Philips, and he returns now with his self-titled “solo debut”, which forgoes none of the dreamy psych-pop, chiming guitars, atmospheric keyboards and gentle vocals that he’s always been known for. Accompanied by Philips, in addition to guitarist/bassist Raymond Richards and drummer Roger Brogan, Dean Wareham stopped by KEXP recently to draw us back into his own world and it couldn’t be dreamier.

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Song of the Day: J Mascis - Every Morning

photo by Dave Lichterman (view set)

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 Cheryl Waters, is “Every Morning” by J Mascis from the 2014 album Tied To A Star out August 26th on Sub Pop Records.

J Mascis - Every Morning (MP3)

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KEXP & Seattle Center Presents: Concerts at the Mural Donor Appreciation Night 8/1

It’s hard to believe it’s already August, but that just means it’s time for our Concerts at the Mural series! Every Friday in August, KEXP teams up with Seattle Center to bring you FREE, all ages entertainment on the Mural Amphitheater lawn.

And this Friday, August 1st, we’re kicking things off in a major way with our Donor Appreciation Night. KEXP is listener-powered, and without our donors, an event like this is impossible. We’ve paired up the adorable Anacortes, WA quartet Cumulus with the frenetic percussive-pop of Kithkin to open the show. And who better than “the Screaming Eagle of Soul” to headline: Charles Bradley and his Extraordinaires, all the way from Brooklyn, New York. If you’ve seen Bradley in concert before, you know this man gives an incredible, passionate performance — it’s the same passion KEXP has for music, and we’re grateful to YOU for powering our airwaves, our concerts, and our community events, like this one!

In fact, we want to look out on the Mural Amphitheatre lawn and see a sea of KEXP t-shirts, so if you’re a donor, wear any KEXP t-shirt you have to the concert to show everyone you power the station where the music matters! Each donor who sports a KEXP tee and stops by the KEXP tent will be entered into giveaways for special KEXP swag. See you under the Space Needle!
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Tuesday Music News

photo by Dave Lichterman

  • TV on the Radio announced their plan to release a sixth studio album titled Seeds,the first since 2011′s Nine Types of Light. According to a press release, Tunde Adebimpe said this album is “1000%, without a doubt, the best thing we’ve ever done.” Check out the Seeds preview below. [CMJ]

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Out This Week 7/29

It’s been six long years, but the latest solo album from Rilo Kiley frontwoman Jenny Lewis is out today. KEXP Music Director Don Yates describes the album, The Voyager, as “a strong return to form steeped in classic West Coast ‘70s and ‘80s pop-rock with smartly crafted songs juxtaposing breezy melodies with incisive lyrics that cut deep. Produced by Ryan Adams along with Beck and Johnathan Rice, the album features a warm, lush sound that puts the focus on Lewis’s gorgeous vocals and consistently strong songcraft.”

Speaking of Beck, today he releases a full-album version of his 2012 sheet music release, Song Reader, with each song recorded by a guest artist including Jack White, Jarvis Cocker, Laura Marling, Eleanor Friedberger, and many more. Beck himself appears on one track, “Heaven’s Ladder.”

KEXP is also excited about the latest from local duo Shabazz Palaces. Their latest, Lese Majesty, is “another mind-blowing set of experimental hip hop with woozy beats and spacy textures accompanying Butler’s reverberating vocals and abstract raps.” (You can read a more indepth review of the album on the KEXP Blog here, and tune in for a LIVE in-studio from the boys on Monday, August 4th at 3:00 PM PST.)
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Song of the Day: Spoon - Rent I Pay

photo by Dave Lichterman

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 Cheryl Waters, is “Rent I Pay” by Spoon from the forthcoming album They Want My Soul on Loma Vista Records.

Spoon - Rent I Pay (MP3)

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Capitol Hill Block Party 2014: Saturday Part 2 - The Thermals, SOL, Pillar Point, and more!

The Thermals

photo by Victoria Holt

Every summer, the crowds pack into Pike street between Broadway and 12th to throw a party unlike any other. Capitol Hill Block Party is a tried and true block party, rocking the streets until 12:30 in the morning, showering them in confetti, and giving both attendees and nearby Capitol Hill apartment dwellers a show to remember for months to come. This year is no different! Check the KEXP blog for coverage of the full weekend’s experience!

The second day at my first Capitol Hill Block Party could not have been more sublime. Friendly faces, stellar shows, and free KIND bars greeted my baggy eyes as I passed through the main gates. I spent the majority of my time shuttling myself between the Vera and Main Stages, whose large crowds made me feel the familiar camaraderie that filled me up all of yesterday!

The Vera Stage’s first show kicked off to a rocky start as feedback blared through the speakers. Otieno Terry played right on through the volume adjustments until he and his band’s comfortable vibe shown through like the sun they kept singing about! Together, the soul singers persuaded the tiny early-bird crowd to sway to the sweet movements of the beautiful band behind them. The group topped off sets of slightly-dissonant chord progressions with nothing but familiar melodies. This contrast created an inspiring tension that drew our attention to the stories unfolding from Terry’s lyricism.
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