photo by Brian Stansfield
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. This week we are featuring songs by bands who will appear on our CMJ broadcast next week. Todayâ€™s featured selection, chosen by Afternoon Show host Kevin Cole, is “We Are Gods! We Are Wolves!” by Le Loup from the 2007 album The Throne of the Third Heaven of the Nations’ Millenium General Assembly on Hardly Art.
What began as a personal solo project grew into a seven-piece powerhouse thanks to an initial posting on MySpace and a few ads in Craigslist. D.C. musician Sam Simkoff, originally hailing from Portland, OR, enlisted his current band online after tentatively posting his own songs on popular social networking site and getting very encouraging response. While Simkoff is the primary songwriter and wrote the album’s songs before he had even met the others, it is the full band the brings his original compositions on The Throne of the Third Heaven… to life. You can read more about the album itself in a review we posted earlier on the blog. It’s interesting to note, though, that the album’s title is taken from the work of a D.C. area nighttime janitor named James Hampton. The son of a self-ordained minister, Hampton was taken to visions from an early age and spent the last fourteen years of his life working on the “throne” in a rented garage, using only bits of tinfoil, cardboard, mirrors, and any other material he could salvage or find. The multi-piece work of 177 objects was discovered only after Hampton had died and is now on display at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Considering the very private process by which Simkoff originally created his own intricate artwork — the songs employ up to 30 different vocal and instrumental elements — it’s no wonder Simkoff found the so-called outsider artist James Hampton appealing. Fortunately, the accessibility of the Internet (and presumably his less hermetic nature) allowed Simkoff to bring the others into the fold. Expect future releases of Le Loup to be composed by all members of the band. And when you get the chance to see Le Loup perform in your town, and make sure that you do, you’ll witness a dynamic stage performance as entertaining as the music itself. Be sure to check the band’s website and MySpace page for updates.
Le Loup will be live on KEXP at CMJ, Monday, October 15, 1 pm (PST).
For a preview of the band live, here’s a clip of the Le Loup performing “Le Loup (Fear Not)” at the Velvet Lounge in Washington, D.C. on March 29 — check out the steady build to insanity!