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. Each and every Friday we offer songs by local artists. Today’s featured selection, chosen by Afternoon Show host Kevin Cole, is “Ward” by Visqueen off their latest album Message to Garcia available from Local 638 Records.
When you think about the musical landscape of Seattle this millennium, it’s nearly impossible not to think of Visqueen. They originally formed in 2001 and brought their brand of power pop with a punk edge all over the world though they never became household name outside of our fair city. It’s been five years since their last album, Sunset on Dateland, and hungry fans have been awaiting a new Visqueen album for years even though its members have been keeping pretty busy with other projects.
The past few years Rachel Flotard has been torn between two worlds as she moved forward in her musical career which included collaborating and touring with Neko Case (who returns the favor by appearing on this album) and spending time with her family after her father moved here from the East Coast to spend his last days with his daughters. Message To Garcia is a rock and roll epitaph to Rachel’s father who passed away from cancer last year. The album features several rockers like today’s song ”Ward” as well as some ballads that show a different side of Rachel’s powerful voice. Message is the first album to be released on a label started by Flotard and powered by the band. The label Local 638 is another homage to her father, who belonged to the Steamfitter’s union 638 in New York for most of his life. It was a way for her to bridge her East Coast and West Coast homes and memories and provide a vehicle for her music around the world. There’s a touching letter describing her vision from Ms. Flotard on the label’s website.
Continuing with the duplicity surrounding this release, Visqueen will be celebrating the release of Message to Garcia with two CD release parties on October 3rd including an early/all ages show at The Ballard Eagles at 4pm and a 21+ show at The Crocodile later that same night. Check out their website or MySpace page for more info. For those who like to remember the good old days, here they are at the old Croc performing “Vaxxine”: