Throwaway Style: Señor Fin Confront Ego and Weed Demons with Jazzy

Senor Fin

Throwaway Style is a weekly column dedicated to examining all aspects of the Northwest music scene. Whether it’s a new artist making waves, headlines affecting local talent, or reflecting on some of the music that’s been a foundation in our region; this space celebrates everything happening in the Northwest region, every Thursday on the KEXP Blog.


Señor Fin aren’t coy when it comes to what they sound like. Their latest album is called Jazzy and it’s, well, pretty jazzy.  It’s always nice when an album outright tells you what you’re getting into before you even press play. In an era when trying to describe your sound to someone can end up with an Iliad length rant of genre tags, it’s refreshing to see something so blunt yet ambiguous —
almost like shrugging your shoulders and saying, “I dunno, it’s jazzy.” In one word they not only give a pretty apt descriptor of the music but also the breezy, carefree ethos that washes over the album. But this album is far more than a shrug.

When Señor Fin uprooted themselves from Denton, Texas to Seattle, they brought along with them a chunk of their hometown’s own DIY scene. Back in Denton, they sought to bridge the gap between the town’s jazz and rock scenes. It’d be inaccurate to say that they’re the first band to try and fuse these genres, but what Señor Fin does is find a remarkable middle ground between the two that feels natural, casual, and creates a malleable foundation for them to turn into whatever they want. By filling space between these two worlds, the band is able to exercise surrealism and confessional songwriting without throwing off the listener. It’s immediate and accessible on first listen, floating dreamily from track to track. But hidden beneath the layers of guitars, keys, and the soft drum patterns is some heavy introspection.

Opening track “Egoa” could easily fit any summer road trip soundtrack with its lightly strummed acoustic guitars and airy vocals, but the lushness of the mix is counteracted by the self-criticism and internal conflict on ego, refreshing Facebook feeds, and trying to find balance in a world that really isn’t set up for anything like that. “Weed Demon” is pure escapism from mania, taking solace in weed when the pressures of the world are becoming too much. It’s this keen ability to turn the everyday into psychedelic odysseys that really makes Jazzy such a thrilling experience.

Reality can be weird, scary, and mundane — sometimes all at the same time. The way the band exhumes all of this into something so light and charming is a testament to their prowess as musicians and songwriters. Put this record on, sit back, relax, and soak in all of the paranoia and existential crisis your heart desires.

Jazzy is out now via United Workers Party, U.S.A. The band plays their official album release show this Saturday, October 21 at Woodland Theatre.

 

New and News

Upstream Artist Submissions Opening November 3

Upstream Music Fest + Summit made its debut this past May in Pioneer Square, boasting a lineup stacked with local musicians. If you missed out on last year’s submissions, now is the time to mark your calendars. November 3 the festival will begin to accept entries from artists to play the fest. More details will be coming soon on how to submit, but for now, the fest has provided a handy checklist of things you’ll need to get the process going.

Da Qween Drops BabeSpace Mixtape

If you don’t know Da Qween yet, consider BabeSpace Mixtape your final warning before they completely blow up. On their first mixtape, Da Qween runs the gamut of emotions from ferocious bangers to sultry and emotional ballads. Qween proves themselves to be an exceptional rapper and vocalist across the nine tracks, promising to “encourage all queers to take the unconventional route and be the star the beauty the love they want in this world by giving them the tools to get free through music and performance.” It’s inspirational, exciting, and infused with remarkable depth. Start listening now before they completely takeover.

 

Brakebill Shares New Track, “Two Weeks”

Brakebill has made a name for himself around town producing beats for rappers like DoNormaal and AJ Suede, helping to define the sound of the city’s latest hip-hop boom. Alongside his work behind the boards, he’s also kept a steady output of solo material. His latest single, “Two Weeks,” showcases once again just how powerful he is with crafting hazy, wondrous beats but also highlights just how great he can be on the mic as well. He raps his confessions in staccato, opening up about drug abuse, and struggling to find fulfillment in life. It’s one of the most gorgeous tracks he’s released so far in his career.

 

Mo Troper Shares New Single, “Wicked”

Portland songwriter Mo Troper was a fixture in the city’s DIY scene for nearly a decade before he began releasing his own solo material. On the verge of releasing his sophomore record, Exposure & Response,  he’s dropped a new single called “Wicked” that shows just how much he’s gleaned over his time in the City of Roses. The pounding drum rhythms, chugging acoustic guitars, and Troper’s soaring power-pop vocals coalesce into two minutes of nearly impeccable songwriting. It’s one of those timeless feeling songs, rising into a chorus that needs to be shouted along to by crowds of fans. Exposure & Response is out November 17 via Good Cheer Records.

 

Live and Loud: This Week’s Recommended Local Shows

Oct. 19: Sisters, Spirit Award, and Sundries at Neumos

 

 

Oct. 20: Doug Martsch (Built to Spill), Sam Coomes, Otis Crooke at Fremont Abbey Arts Center

 

 

Oct. 21: R Day with My Goodness, Bread & Butter, and Naked Giants at The Old Rainier Brewery

 

 

 

Oct. 21: Sundae Crush, Señor Fin, and Younger Shoulder at Woodland Theatre

 

 

Oct. 22: WAND and Darto at The Vera Project

 

 

Oct. 23: Stas THEE Boss (Album Release), Porter Ray, JusMoni, Jay Stone, and Queens D. Light at Barboza

 

 

 

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Thursday Music News

photo by Niffer Calderwood (view set)

  • King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard are having possibly the most prolific 2017 than anyone else in music. They set a goal at the beginning of the year to release five studio albums just this year and so far they’ve released three albums: Flying Microtonal Banana, Murder Of The Universe, and Sketches Of Brunswick East. It seems their fourth may be on the near horizon with new single “Crumbling Castle,” a 10 minute psychedelic dreamscape that comes along with visuals from frequent collaborator Jason Galea. [ Pitchfork ]

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Review Revue: Tom Verlaine – Cover

Tom Verlaine - Cover

Yet again, I come to you on this Thursday somewhat surprised. I’ve covered the first two Television albums, plus Richard Lloyd’s Field of Fire, but this is my first time bringing you one of Television guitar genius Tom Verlaine’s own solo albums. Cover was certainly well-loved in the halls of KCMU – if not perhaps a bit too well-loved. But if an album’s main flaw is that some people think it’s spent too long in rotation, I’d say it’s probably doing pretty well.

You just missed your chance to see the current version of Television in Seattle (including Jimmy Rip, who plays on Cover), but he does have some East coast dates coming up. (Side note: Am I the only dummy who just now put it together that Tom Verlaine, of Television, has the initials T.V.? Anybody else? Anyone?)

“T.V. is back!! His 4th LP (solo) after 2 years, and stronger than ever. Oh yeah, if you don’t know, Tom is originally from the band Television (and my very personal hero). Rejoice!”

“Could be his best solo effort yet. Check out ‘Travelling.'”

“Who said T.V. wasn’t any good anymore? This is some of the best programming since ‘Petticoat Junction.'”

“Hey!! This is good!!”

“T.V. is great! ‘5 Miles of You’ is real nice.”

“‘O Foolish Heart’ is pretty. Yes.”

“Actually, while this has its good points, I’m getting rather sick of hearing this so often.”

“Please put me back in H! I’m lonely.”

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KEXP Premiere: The Dip – Atlas

TheDip_edits (34 of 87) blog

Amongst the fervent Seattle soul scene, The Dip stands out as one of the most exciting and joyous acts to emerge in recent years. The seven-piece act fronted by Beat Connection‘s Tom Eddy emerged in 2015 with their decadent self-titled debut LP and have kept the momentum going with last year’s Won’t Be Coming Back EP and a slew of upbeat shows that practically compel you to get up from your seat and embrace the groove. But one of the keys that make The Dip work so well is the level of introspection they infuse in their music, emphasizing the soul in soul-searching. Their latest single, “Atlas”, may be one of their most thoughtful and inspiring cuts yet.

The song doesn’t mince words when it comes to the Greek myth of Atlas, punching through with a chorus of “don’t put the world on your shoulders.” It’s an easy statement to make and a harder one to take to heart for many people. However, when Eddy punches through with his smooth croon over a swell of trumpets, saxophones, and funky rhythms, it’s an easier pill to swallow. It’s one of those songs that gives you the right words when you need to hear them. If you’re overwhelmed or feeling pressured, throw this track on, turn it up loud, and let the soulful tones melt away the pain and anxiety. Here’s what the band has to say about the track: Read More »

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KEXP Presents: R-Day with My Goodness, Bread & Butter, Naked Giants 10/21

KEXP_RDay2017_640x426-rev

Northwest music and northwest beer — it’s hard to imagine a better pairing. This Saturday, you’ll be treated to some of the best of both as KEXP and Rainier Beer team up once again for the annual R-Day celebration. KEXP’s The Morning Show DJ John Richards will be on site hosting the event with performances from local rock mainstays My GoodnessBread & Butter, and Naked Giants.

It doesn’t just stop with music and beer, either. You’ll be able to test your might with the Jubilee Team Challenge, which pits 20 teams of four in games of flip cup, giant Jenga, a stein holding contest, and a 50 foot inflatable obstacle course. The event is happening rain or shine with free ponchos being handed out at the event. And, oh yeah, the whole event is free. RSVP on Facebook now. Check out a preview video for the event below as well as in-studios from the performing artists below. Read More »

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Midnight In A Perfect World: Sweatson Klank

MIAPW-Sweatson-Klank_640

Sweatson Klank is the alias of Los Angeles-based electronic producer Tom Wilson, also previously known as Take. He’s a veteran of the underground beat scene with releases for revered labels such as Brainfeeder, Project Mooncircle, Alpha Pup, and All City Records. He’s consistently evolving his cutting-edge fusion of instrumental hip-hop beats with slick electronic flavors. and his brand new EP, Then I Was Me, marks his debut for Los Angeles label Friends of Friends. It’s another impressive addition into his stacked catalog. His exclusive guest DJ mix for Midnight in a Perfect World offers a prime showcase of his sultry sound as well as a spotlight on some of his contemporary favorites. Leading off with a few groovy mid-tempo house jams, he then smoothly takes a deep dive through seductive and spacious R&B-tinged downtempo beats that pack plenty of atmosphere, intrigue, and intricate details for an immersive sonic journey.


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Song of the Day: Holiday Ghosts – Paranoia

photo by Charlie Fairbairn

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 Morning Show with John Richards, is “Paranoia” by Holiday Ghosts, from the 2017 album Holiday Ghosts on PNKSLM Recordings.

Holiday Ghosts – Paranoia (MP3) Read More »

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Wednesday Music News

photo by Gregory A. Perez

  • Gord Downie, founder and frontman for influential Canadian band The Tragically Hip, has passed away at the age of 53. Downie had been diagnosed with terminal brain cancer last year, but he didn’t let it hold him back, going on to tour that summer in support of the band’s 14th studio album Man Machine Poem. Later that year, he released his fifth solo LP Secret Path (co-produced by Kevin Drew of Broken Social Scene), which garnered him a nomination for the prestigious Polaris Music Prize and won two Juno Awards for Adult Alternative Album and Recording Package of the Year. (The Tragically Hip, incidentally, won Rock Album of the Year that same year.) Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau delivered an emotional statement this morning, praising both Downie’s music and his work with Indigenous Peoples, declaring with tears that “Canada was less of a country for having lost Downie.” Just last month, Gordie announced a new double album titled Introduce Yerself is scheduled to be released October 27th on Arts & Crafts. A statement from his family was shared this morning via social media. [ Pitchfork ]


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Scribes Sounding Off: Did It! From Yippie to Yuppie: Jerry Rubin, An American Revolutionary

Did IT cover

Author Pat Thomas and Sean Jewell will be guests on The Roadhouse on KEXP tonight from 7:30 to 8:30 PM to discuss his new book and play music from the era with fill-in host DJ Hans.

Review by Sean Jewell, DJ assistant for The Roadhouse on KEXP

Pat Thomas is the author of Listen, Whitey: Sounds Of Black Power, he was a consultant on PBS’s Black Panthers: The Vanguard Of The Revolution. He’s a public speaker, and archivist who curated Invitation to Openness, a book of Les McCann’s photography, and the Allen Ginsberg box set Last Word On First Blues. His new book Did It! From Yippie To Yuppie: Jerry Rubin, An American Revolutionary (out now via Seattle publishers Fantagraphics Books) is a trip.

Jerry Rubin was a political satirist, an innovator of social media, an American revolutionary, a self-made self-help guru. His contributions to American culture stem from the formation of the Youth International Party with Abbie Hoffman, which became the Yippie movement. He’s infamous for aiding the end to American involvement in the Vietnam War as an ally in the Civil Rights movement and bolstering the counterculture left with immense, absurd protests. His particular genius was in catching the attention of the media in order to spread his message of peace — at any price. He also wrote several books in his lifetime exploring subjects like the revolution and his own toxic masculinity. He threw huge parties in the eighties at Studio 54 that may have been the precursor to social media. Read More »

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Song of the Day: Madeline Kenney – Always

photo by Cara Robbins

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 Morning Show with John Richards, is “Always” by Madeline Kenney, from the 2017 album Night Night at the First Landing on Company Records.

Madeline Kenney – Always (MP3) Read More »

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