Song of the Day: The Cute Lepers - It’s Summertime, Baby

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. Every Friday, the Song of the Day podcast spotlights local musicians. Today’s featured selection, chosen by Afternoon Show host Kevin Cole is “It’s Summertime, Baby” by The Cute Lepers from their debut full-length album Can’t Stand Modern Music on Blackheart Records.

The Cute Lepers - It’s Summertime, Baby (MP3)

Steve E. Nix hit the Seattle punk scene as a guitarist/vocalist with the The Briefs, known for their old-school punk rock, and created quite a stir with his on-stage antics and attention-grabbing persona.  Whereas Mr. Nix shared vocal duties with others in The Briefs, there is no question he’s the frontman for the Lepers though all contribute vocals.   The band was created when The Briefs went on hiatus and was originally billed as Steve E. Nix and The Cute Lepers but is now known simply as The Cute Lepers.   

After releasing several 7” singles on different labels, the Lepers recently signed to Joan Jett’s Blackheart Records (yes, THE Joan Jett, who incidentally was the first female performer to start her own record label) earlier this year.  The album, Can’t Stand Modern Music, is high energy punk/new wave/power pop featuring female back up vocals. The song “It’s Summertime, Baby” is relatively mellow with a 50’s beat and Beach Boy-esque harmonies, but it’s still rockin’ enough to kick-start your weekend.  The Cute Lepers can also be heard on the Funhouse compilation or you can catch them live at Hell’s Kitchen with Powercords, Avenue Rose, and the Freakouts on August 1st (all ages).  More US tour dates can be found on their website or MySpace page

Check out the video for the album’s first single, “Terminal Boredom,” shot in part at KEXP!

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