KEXP’s Top Videos of 2010

photo by Nate Watters

One of the major accomplishments of the online team in 2010 is the growth of the KEXP videos. I’m proud to have worked with some of the most talented people at KEXP, both in our Seattle studio and on remote locations as far as Iceland and Toronto. We’ve always been a scrappy group, trying to make the most out of a shoestring budget (we are, after all, a radio station and not a high-end video production house). The contributions of Scott Holpainen, Justin Wilmore, Shelly Corbett, Zachary Young, Luke Knecht, James Bailey, Patrick Richardson Wright, Dan Torok, Carlton Eide, Christopher Meister, and several others have all made a huge success of our collection, which since the first of the year has seen over 10 million views YouTube and over 800 published videos (and counting!). So, I figured it was only fitting that while KEXP DJs list their top albums and music moments of 2010, we videographers list our favorite moments of shooting, editing or otherwise just enjoying the videos we captured this year:

Jim Beckmann

Of Monsters and Men – Little Talks

One of the best bands we recorded during Iceland Airwaves this year… there there were a ton of great bands! They’re gonna be huge!

!!! (Chk Chk Chk) – AM/FM

Singer Nic Offer goes nuts live and not only does he name check KEXP a lot, but he practically humps Scott’s camera while dancing 15 feet above the crowd… and look for him shaking it with Kevin Cole!

Nosaj Thing – Live/DJ set

Call it whatever you will — DJ set, live set — but this performance from Jason “Nosaj” Chung is intense… and one of our most popular videos to date!

The Head and the Heart – Lost In My Mind

These guys are gonna be huge too… oh, wait, I think that they already are!

The Chameleons Vox – In Shreds

I’ve been a fan for 25 years… so not only meeting but filming Mark Burgess was a major life landmark for me… and what an amazing moment for all Chameleons fans!

Alejandro Escovedo & Chuck Prophet – Always a Friend

Two old pals, great musicians each, but add heartwarming camaraderie in this intimate location backstage during the No Depression Festival and you get a magic performance.

The Wedding Present – Kennedy

Another one of my heroes: David Gedge never lost it. The Wedding Present are still going strong, but hearing these older songs again… wow!

Black Prairie – Taraffa

Scott and I filmed this impromptu outdoor performance in Portland during Musicfest NW, and everything came together perfectly… the light waited long enough for the song to end, and Christopher Funk and the band pulled the oncoming train right into the performance as if it were another band member. Amazing! Why don’t we do more of this kind of thing?

Joel Savoy and the Caleb Klauder Country Band – Ouvrez La Porte

I love Louisiana music, but I had no idea how good this would be. Joel, Caleb, with Jesse Lege on accordion… damn! It was a tossup, though, between this and the Stanton Moore Trio’s set.

Dave Rawlings Machine – Monkey and the Engineer

Partner to Gillian Welch, who joins him in this performance, Rawlings is an amazing songwriter who has for too long remained in the background. Thankfully, A Friend of a Friend is changing all that.

Scott Holpainen

Plants and Animals – Game Shows

For A Minor Reflection – Ókyrrð

Petur Ben – I’ll Be Here

Colin Meloy – The Crane Wife, Parts 1, 2 & 3

Jeff The Brotherhood – Heavy Days

Black Prairie – Taraffa

Sky Parade – I Should Be Coming Up

Dave Rawlings – Ruby

The Cute Lepers – Smart Accessories

Grant Lee Phillips – Little Moon

Justin Wilmore

Sharon Van Etten – Peace Signs

The day Sharon and her band came into KEXP was busy (we had Small Black and Junip that day too) but I was blown away by how nice they all were. They laughed at how many of us there were and started taking pictures of us with their camera phones, we responded by taking pictures of them.

School Of Rock – Outshined

I don’t think I had a bigger smile during any session at KEXP than this one. These kids blew me away but especially this girl who will probably replace Chris Cornell in Soundgarden at some point when she is older.

!!! (Chk Chk Chk) – AM/FM

(I didn’t really have much to do with this shoot but I think it was destined to be classic KEXP video of the year. I mean having a band like !!! putting on such a great show for us in that smelly little room at Caffe Vita, changing the lyrics to include “KEXP” and climbing up the bean bag wall was very very rare.)

Unnatural Helpers – Sunshine/Pretty Girls

Short, fast and loud. All-star Seattle band drinking beer and playing rock music at work on a weekday, sounded good to me.

CocoRosie – Lemonade

Another session of great people and general niceness all around. I always love watching Kevin Suggs try and tell TEZ (beatboxer) not to sit on Cheryl Waters stool and he never understands. At least he remembers his toothbrush though.

Shelly Corbett

Justin Townes Earl – Midnight at the Movies

(I will always have a soft spot for this one since it was my first. Scott’s camera work is what I aspire to.)

Badly Drawn Boy – You Were Right

I loved Jim’s idea of the Seattle Whistle Ensemble

Alejandro Escovedo & Chuck Prophet – Always a Friend

(This song still gets me all teary)

Fitz & The Tantrums – Picking Up the Pieces

(I’m starting to get the hang of it here, plus what a fun show!!)

Olof Arnalds – Surrender

(Jim’s edits are beautiful, I’m proud to have helped with this one)

Luke Knecht

Fistful of Mercy – Fistful of Mercy

Nneka – Suffri

The Swell Season – Low Rising

Alejandro Escovedo – Sister Lost Soul

The Head and the Heart – Lost In My Mind

Zachary Young

1. !!! (Chk Chk Chk) – AM/FM

A burst of powerhouse bombast inside of an odd-smelling stockroom of the Caffe Vita Bean Room in the heat of summer. A definite highlight of the 2010 Capitol Hill Block Party.

2. The Chameleons Vox – In Shreds

The Vox rocked, and Burgess still has it.

3. Fitz and the Tantrums – Pickin’ Up the Pieces

A full, fun set at The Triple Door from an up-and-comer in the best sounding venue in Seattle.

4. Bomba Estereo – Raza

Slayed the crowd at the Bumbershoot Music Lounge with sheer Colombian swagger. I didn’t understand a word out of Ms. Saumet’s fiery mouth, but she managed to win me (along with a few hundred or so adoring male fans) over.

5. Quasi – Repulsion

An odd, but rousing set from the veterans at the Mural Amphitheater

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