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 tracks, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Each and every Friday we offer songs by local artists. Today’s selection, featured on the Afternoon Show with Kevin Cole, is “Blackout Baby” by My Goodness from their 2011 self-titled album on Sarathan Records.
In contrast to the increasingly-popular folk, country, western, Americana, whatever-you-want-to-call-it collectives that have been springing up around the Northwest like daisies, local upstarts My Goodness play nothing but bare-bones, bang-the-shit-out-of-your-instruments, scream-your-lungs-out rock and roll, and you aren’t going to hear any harmonizing. There are no keyboards, strings, or horns – only drums, a guitar, a beard, and on stage, they’re likely to be hunched over their instruments with hair in the face in lieu of belting their hearts out in unison or ceremoniously stomping their feet. They are the closest the Northwest has come to The Black Keys, from the drums and electric guitar dynamic, to the Western shirts, to the uncompromising, stripped-down blues rock lyrics, to guitarist and vocalist Joel Schneider’s raspy wail.
While the similarities to The Black Keys are unavoidable (just watch the video below), there is a distinctly Northwest punk element to My Goodness’ music that sets them apart. While The Black Keys tend to be more devout disciples of their blues heroes, My Goodness are more reckless, freewheeling, and deviant in their playing style. Schneider’s cohort, drummer Ethan Jacobson is an unabashed drum smasher who sounds like he is simply taking his aggression out on whatever he can get his sticks on, while Schneider uses his voice to a similar effect, producing a raw, punk-ish scream rather than a more refined bluesy howl. The duo’s skewed take on blues rock is easy to trace; Schneider is also a member of wound-up local punk rockers The Absolute Monarchs!, while Jacobsen comes from the band Navigator vs. Navigator. However it came about, their music is a breath of fresh air into the local scene, and it will be exciting to see where they go from here now that the ball is rolling.
As far as touring goes… well… they’re playing TONIGHT, Wednesday, the 29th at the Tractor Tavern with Fox and the Law. It’s their CD release party. Get your tickets now! If you’ve already made plans, they’re a local band, so hopefully they won’t be strangers to the many venues around town in the future. Here’s the video for their son “I’ve Got A Notion” (even the song title is reminiscent of The Black Keys), from their self-titled debut: