Author Archives: Jim Beckmann

Live Video: CYMBALS

For a band celebrating The Age of Fracture, CYMBALS sure form a cohesive sound. On their debut, the UK foursome may shirk “concepts”, but their songs are nevertheless about ideas – about “action and desire”, “the city”, “working”, “love” and so much more – but they’re even more about dancing and elation. On their seriousRead more...

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Live Video: Hurray for the Riff Raff at the Bumbershoot Music Lounge

Usually, you’d want to hustle the riff raff out, but when it comes to the New Orleans band Hurray for the Riff Raff, you want them to stick around. That’s why we featured them three times this year: in our studio, at our SXSW showcase at Mellow Johnny’s, and during our broadcast over Labor DayRead more...

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Song of the Day: The Barr Brothers - Half Crazy

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 song, selected by Midday Show host Cheryl Waters, is “Half Crazy” by The Barr Brothers from the 2014Read more...

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Live Video: Cymbals Eat Guitars

Though much of the latest Cymbals Eat Guitars album is about loss – of a childhood friend, of innocence, of easier days – frontman Joseph D’Agostino has turned LOSE into an emotional gain, for himself and his listeners. Often tumultuous, sometimes anthemic, always melodic, the new songs are the band’s most directly impactful yet, tradingRead more...

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Live Video: Big Star’s Third at Bumbershoot Music Lounge

It’s one of those touchstones of rock that if you don’t have in your collection, you’re likely to add immediately on first hearing. Big Star’s Third never reached the commercial success it deserved upon its release, but over the years it grew into a cult favorite frequently name-checked (and cribbed from) by all sorts ofRead more...

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Live Video: Chuck Prophet

While his previous release, Temple Beautiful, looked backwards, particularly at the storied past of San Francisco, Chuck Prophet‘s latest, Night Surfer (out today!), looks brazenly forward. But even if the future isn’t always bright on this, his 13th album, the songs are characteristically punchy, well-crafted rockers, the kind you want to sing along to, evenRead more...

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Top 12 Spotlight: Kevin Cole’s 12 Favorite Musical Innovators

KEXP wants to know: “Who are your Favorite Artists of All Time?” Pick out a dozen musicians, bands, projects, and share them with us before Friday, September 19th at 6:00 PM PST. And then tune in during KEXP’s Fall Fundraising Drive, September 26th through October 3rd, to hear which artists your fellow members of theRead more...

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Live Video: The Reverend Horton Heat at Bumbershoot Music Lounge

Call it rockabilly, psychobilly, punkabilly... whatever kind of “billy” you want to call it... The Reverend Horton Heat practically sets fire to the stage whenever he performs. After nearly 30 years and 11 albums, the Heat hasn’t lost the spark, and still packs the house with fans of all ages and tastes, just as heRead more...

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Live Video: Sylvan Esso

It’s the classic peanut butter meets chocolate kind of story. A chance meeting, or really, a shared bill, brought Amelia Meath (of the harmonizing folk trio Mountain Man) and Nick Sanborn (of psychsters Megafaun and his own electronic project, Made of Oak) together. A conversation led to the two sharing their separate talents on aRead more...

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Live Video: Ages and Ages & Quilt at Pickathon

We’ve recorded a lot of unique performances during Pickathon over the past few years, but there’s nothing quite like lush orchestration and natural harmonies to complement the gorgeous wooded oasis that is the Bunny Glade. Two of the bigger ensembles this year were also two of the most enjoyable, including the lively sing-along-friendly Portland bandRead more...

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