Gay-E-X-P 2014

Bob Mould live on KEXP from the Cutting Room Studios NYC // photo by Beth Eisgrau-Heller

I swear KEXP gets gayer every year.

Granted, the station was pretty gay to begin with. So many of the artists you hear on a regular basis on KEXP are members of the LGBT community: The Magnetic Fields, Sleater-Kinney, Bob Mould, Antony & the Johnsons. Plus the Pacific Northwest scene teems with amazing queer musicians like the Gossip, THEESatisfaction, and Perfume Genius. The hard part of programming a show like tonight’s “Gay-EXP” extravaganza from 9:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. isn’t finding enough “music that matters” with a LGBT hook, but fitting as much of it as possible into a mere four hours.

That’s why KEXP keeps adding to its Pride activities every year: so you can hear more great music. For this first time ever, on Sunday, June 29, KEXP is marching in Seattle’s annual Pride parade, accompanied by a music mix from Larry Rose. Saturday’s edition of Audioasis includes an hour of local LGBT artists plus an in-studio with Seattle band Tenderfoot at 8:00 p.m.. KEXP’s Pride Party with the 5 Point Café is back for the third year in a row. And this year’s Big Gay Podcast, featuring twenty tracks spanning more than 40 years, is bigger and gayer than ever before (more on that when the podcast launches this Friday).

Even though it sometimes seems like “We Are Family” plays on a month-long endless loop every time June rolls around, I always associate Pride with discovering new and underground music. From seeing bands like D.C. post-punk quartet Nuclear Crayons play Pride rallies in my teens, to NYC homocore parties featuring God Is My Co-Pilot and Scissor Girls in the ’90s, right up to the last few action-packed year’s at Seattle’s Wild Rose, I’ve never had to search too hard to find “music that matters” during Pride.

That situation has only improved since I came on board at KEXP. With allies like my colleagues from El Sonido, Audioasis, and Sonic Reducer recommending even more artists and songs at this time of year, the KEXP Community is in no danger of running out of cool LGBT tunes for our annual Pride soundtrack. And as long as that’s true, listener-powered KEXP is going to keep getting a little gayer every year—and that’s definitely something we can all be proud of.

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