We’ve all heard about locavores, foodies dedicated to consuming only products grown and made in their immediate geographic region. At KEXP, our passion for promoting music made close to home is insatiable. “Locavoracious,” as it were. Yes, we’re counting down the very best Local Albums of all time in the final hours of the Summer Membership Drive, but that’s not such a big departure from what we do the rest of the year either. Not an hour passes on KEXP where you don’t hear music made in the Pacific Northwest. And don’t even get me started on the genius of Audioasis, our long-running Saturday night show dedicated exclusively to local artists.
At Folklife Festival over Memorial Day weekend, a student filmmaker cornered me and asked me to speak on-camera about the Seattle scene. I was happy to help, but I almost froze when she opened the interview with what should be a softball question: “who are some of your favorite local bands?” There are so many... I rattled off the reasons I love Blue Scholars, Beat Connection, and one or two more, but honestly? I could’ve talked for hours. From stalwarts like Mudhoney, Sky Cries Mary, Supersuckers, David Bazan, and the Gossip, to emerging acts like Craft Spells, Shabazz Palaces, and Seapony, jazz icons such as Overton Berry and underground electronic artists Luisine and The Sight Below, the Pacific Northwest is teeming with great artists.
Your gift to KEXP during our Summer Drive ensures that all those acts have a vital platform to share their music with the world. Once upon a time a local band might hope to make it big by having a regional hit on the radio, then slowly crossing over to a national audience as the popularity of their music spread. But corporate consolidation of mass media has virtually eliminated that phenomenon. At KEXP, you hear artists from the Pacific Northwest before some of them have even made a record; when Seapony played their first KEXP in-studio, they didn’t have a record deal. This summer is going to see the release of new albums from Star Anna (pictured above), Shabazz Palaces, and Helms Alee -- to name just three local acts we’ve championed in the past -- and they’ll all have a place at KEXP.
Seattle denizens are passionate about where they live: that’s why we host the Hood-to-Hood Challenge every Summer Drive. You’re passionate about local music. And you’re passionate about supporting local businesses that nourish and fortify us. Yes, that means farmers -- but it means KEXP, too. If you haven’t had a moment to make a gift of support, do it now to ensure that your favorite artists from across the Pacific Northwest continue to have this resource to promote their music, at home and around the globe. Heck, if your neighborhood wins 2011 Hood-to-Hood, we might bring those very bands to your neighborhood for a full day of performances next year!
And, as always, thanks for keeping “locavoracious” KEXP listener-powered!