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. Today’s selection, featured on the Morning Show with John Richards, is “Stay Away from Downtown” by Redd Kross from the 2012 album Researching The Blues on Merge Records.
Legendary rock band Redd Kross was started 34 years ago during the initial rise of punk rock in the Los Angeles area, founded by brothers Jeff and Steven McDonald. The band got their start after a much publicized opening for Black Flag during their middle school graduation party and eventually caught the ears of KROQ DJ Rodney Bingenheimer. The rest as you might say is history. While the band maintained its roots in punk over the years, they also branched out, resulting in a sound that was always just a little bit ahead of their time. Researching The Blues is their first new album in 15 years, released on Merge. The hiatus has given them time to work on other things, one of which has been bassist Steven Shane McDonald’s participating as an active member of hardcore punk group OFF!, which has done nothing short of improving the band even more.
Despite being completely different than anything else released this year, Researching the Bluesis a exactly what we needed this summer, a predictably cool record to listen to with friends while kicking back and talking about old times. Despite the long hiatus, this album wastes no time ripping right into it with 10 songs and 32 minutes of power pop joy. Today’s featured song, “Stay Away From Downtown,” might just be the highlight of the album, full of all sorts of great riffs and crunchy guitars, and may still be one of their best songs ever written. If you’re not familiar with Redd Kross by now, this is a great time to take a listen and for those who forgot, you’ll be caught up instantly.
The band just performed live on KEXP from the Doug Fir during our broadcast at MFNW. The session will be archived very soon on our Live In-Studio Performances archive, so keep checking back. In the meanwhile, catch up with the band on their website or go check them out on Facebook. For now, enjoy this video for today’s featured song, “Stay Away From Downtown”: