Monday Music News

photo by Jim Bennett (view set)

  • My Morning Jacket frontman Jim James is releasing an album of covers at the beginning of next month called Tribute To 2. The album follows 2009’s George Harrison-focused cover album Tribute To, will also be reissued with extra bonus tracks on the same day as Tribute To 2. James previously shared his rendition of The Beach Boys’ “I Just Wasn’t Made For These Times” and today he’s given us his take of Abbey Lincoln’s 1990 track “The World Is Falling Down” (are you sensing a theme from these song choices?). Other artists covered on the new album include Sonny and Cher, Bob Dylan, Lake and Palmer, and Irving Berlin. Tribute To and Tribute To 2 will both be out December 8 via ATO. [ Line of Best Fit ]

  • Widowspeak guitarist Robert Earl Thomas has announced today that he’ll be releasing his debut solo album this February. Entitled Another Age, the album was recorded last year in New York with producer Kevin McMahon, who produced Widowspeak’s Almanac and this year’s Expect the Best. He’s also shared the lead single and title track. Thomas said of the new song, “I wrote ‘Another Age’ after an eye-opening visit back to New York City that felt like a chance encounter with an ex. It was kinda like a dream, exciting but uncomfortable. I guess that’s what the whole record is about: looking backward and forward at the same time.” Another Age is out February 16 on Captured Tracks. [ SPIN ]

  • In the wake of the allegations against Harvey Weinstein and countless other famous men, a slew of female Swedish musicians including RobynFirst Aid Kit, and Nina Larsson of the Cardigans have written an open letter acknowledging and condemning the widespread sexual abuse and harassment issues in the Swedish music industry. Published in the Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter last week. “We demand zero tolerance for sexual exploitation or violence. Sexual assault or violence will have consequences in terms of terminations of contracts. We will put shame back where it belongs—with the perpetrators and the people protecting them.” [ Pitchfork ]
  • Miguel has partnered up with Natalia Lafourcade on a song called “Remember Me (Dúo)” for the new Pixar movie Coco. In the video for the song, released today, the two artists are celebrating their Mexican heritage (Miguel’s father is Mexican while Lafourcade is full Mexican) by making altars for their elders and dressing in traditional Mexican garb while dancing. Lafourcade released her latest album Musas this year and Miguel just released his latest single “Pineapple Skies” last week. [ Stereogum ]

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Live Review: Elbow at The Showbox 11/10

All photos and review by Alan Lawrence (view set)

Earlier this month, Elbow brought their wide range of emotional music to The Showbox, performing to a sold out, adoring crowd. In fact, the show sold out in one day making tickets some of the most highly sought after of the year.

Read More »

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In Stores Now 11/20


This week sees new albums from two soul greats. Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings share their seventh and final album, recorded before Jones passed away from cancer in November 2016. KEXP Music Director Don Yates calls it “a strong set of buoyant old-school soul and funk, with songs mostly written by members of the Dap-Kings combining punchy horns, chunky rhythm guitar, searing organ riffs, cinematic strings and in-the-pocket grooves with her gritty, soulful vocals.” The latest from Chicago legend Mavis Staples is “a powerful set of politically charged, bluesy soul, gritty funk-rock, R&B-tinged folk-rock and gospel. Produced by Jeff Tweedy (who’s now produced three of her last four albums) and featuring all songs co-written by Staples and Tweedy, the album finds Staples flashing more anger than usual in confronting complacency while still refusing to give up on love and hope.”

Additional highlights this week include the sophomore release from Brooklyn band Gingerlys, “a strong set of ’80s-steeped dream-pop with jangly guitars, bright synths, driving rhythms, ethereal vocals and soaring song hooks juxtaposed with often-melancholy lyrics.” John Dwyer “sets aside the Oh Sees’ psych-tinged garage-punk and revives his early OCS moniker for a fine set of gentle psych-folk. The album also sees the return of former accompanist Brigid Dawson, and she’s prominently featured throughout on vocals and keyboards.” Anacortes, WA Karl Blau returns with “an eclectic blend of prog-pop, psych-rock, funk, jazz, Afro-beat, dub and more, featuring an intricate, groove-driven sound and a variety of colorful instrumentation.” And Morrissey returns with his eleventh album, his first full-length LP since 2014, produced by Joe Chiccarelli (The White Stripes, Spoon). Read More »

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Song of the Day: Curtis Harding – On and On

photo by Matthew Correia

photo by Matthew Correia

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 songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Today’s song, featured on The Afternoon Show with Kevin Cole, is “On and On” by Curtis Harding from his album Face Your Fear, available now via ANTI-.

Curtis Harding – On and On (MP3) Read More »

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POP Montreal Live Video: Wake Island


The very first band we had in during our residency at Breakglass Studios for POP Montreal was Montreal-via-Beirut duo Wake Island. Comprised of Philippe Manasseh and Nadim Maghzal, the two grew up in war-torn Beirut before coming to Montreal where they ended up meeting in college and bonding over their common roots and music. After graduating, they knew music was their true calling and made it their life. With Phil on vocals and synth and Nadim on guitar and drum machine, they bring a raw electro/no-wave sound, influenced by Alan Vega/Suicide and techno with deeply personal lyrics. Their live performance reflects the pure joy creating music brings them. Enjoy!

Be sure to check out more of our POP Montreal live performance videos on the KEXP Blog here. Read More »

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R.I.P. Malcolm Young of AC/DC


Malcolm Young, co-founder and guitarist for influential rock band AC/DC, has passed away at the age of 64. Young had been battling dementia for several years. A statement on the band’s website reports he “passed away peacefully with his family by his bedside.” On Facebook, his younger brother and fellow band member Angus writes:

With enormous dedication and commitment he was the driving force behind the band. As a guitarist, songwriter, and visionary he was a perfectionist and a unique man. He always stuck to his guns and did and said exactly what he wanted. He took great pride in all that he endeavored. His loyalty to the fans was unsurpassed.

As his brother it is hard to express in words what he has meant to me during my life, the bond we had was unique and very special.

He leaves behind an enormous legacy that will live on forever.

Malcolm, job well done.

The brothers formed AC/DC in 1973, and have released 17 albums throughout their 40+ year career. They’re cited as one of the best-selling music artists of all time, with their 1980 LP Back in Black selling an estimated 50 million units worldwide. In 2003, they were inducted into the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame.

Malcolm is survived by his loving wife O’Linda, children Cara and Ross, son-in-law Josh, three grandchildren, sister, and brother. The family asks for privacy during this time of grief, however, the Sydney Morning Herald Malcolm Young Memorial website will launch next week to allow for messages. The family has asked instead of flowers to send donations to The Salvation Army.

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POP Montreal Live Video: Napster Vertigo


One of the many reasons KEXP went to Montreal was at the recommendation of our friend Dan Boeckner (Wolf Parade, Operators), so when we had our plan in place to record at Breakglass Studios during the POP Montreal Festival, naturally we asked Dan if he had any local bands that he would recommend that we check out. One of those was Napster Vertigo, who has sort of an elusive web presence at the moment. With just a Bandcamp page containing one single and a few live tracks, we weren’t sure what exactly to expect when they showed up for their session.

The full band, led by frontman Andrew Wood, and including well-known Canadian solo artist Basia Bulat whose album Good Advice was short-listed for the 2016 Polaris Music Prize, played a really great set of catchy songs they self-describe as belonging to a genre they like to call “Zinger-Zongwriter,” which I honestly can’t think of a better description once it sticks in your head. Think Mac Demarco, Ariel Pink — these I would also categorize as Zinger-Zongwriter. It just works. Read More »

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Music That Matters: In Which Elvis Sees the Face Of Stalin in the Clouds

Check out some of the KEXP DJ’s favorite artists from the Pacific Northwest and around the world on-the-go. KEXP’s Music That Matters weekly podcast brings you an exclusive mix of new music from the world’s best independent artists.

A Giant Dog at KEXP in 2017 // photo by Niffer Calderwood

Currently you’ll hear:

Music That Matters, Vol. 591 – In Which Elvis Sees the Face Of Stalin in the Clouds

John in the Morning invades your “Dreams” and insists “You Would Have To Lose Your Mind” to “Poor the War Away” “In Another Century” which sends us back to “Primeval” times where it’s a “Private Understanding” that one must “Bendover” when you are sent a “Dispatch From Mar-A-Lago” that has a picture of dice rolled to “Snake Eyes” on it. It’s then you know that we’ve entered the Age of “Aquarius”.

1. Alice Boman – Dreams
2. Lor – Aquarius
3. The Barr Brothers – You Would Have to Lose Your Mind
4. Karl Blau – Poor the War Away
5. The Church – Another Century
6. Until the Ribbon Breaks – Here Comes the Feeling
7. Casper Skulls – Primeval
8. Protomartyr – A Private Understanding
9. A Giant Dog – Bendover
10. L7 – Dispatch from Mar-a-Lago
11. No Age – Soft Collar Fad
12. Trouble – Snake Eyes

Listen here: (MP3)

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You can subscribe to all of our podcasts here.

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Friday Music News

photo by Matthew B. Thompson (view set)

  • St. Vincent has unveiled the video for MASSEDUCTION highlight track “Pills.” Following in the vein of her previous visuals for “New York” and “Los Ageless,” the video is a brightly colored, high fashion affair. Director Philippa Price focuses on a slew of model-appearing women making mannequin-like movements while popping pills. The song features Annie Clark’s ex Cara Delevigne and saxophonist Kamasi Washington. MASSEDUCTION is out now on Loma Vista. St. Vincent will spend two night in Seattle on Thursday, January 18 and Friday, January 19 to play the Moore Theatre. [ SPIN ]

Read More »

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Song of the Day: Shenandoah Davis – Orbit

photo by Lou Daprile

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 songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Today’s song, featured on The Midday Show with Cheryl Waters, is “Orbit” by Shenandoah Davis from her album Souvenirs, available now via Plume Records.

Shenandoah Davis – Orbit (MP3) Read More »

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