Author Archives: Jim Beckmann

Live Video: Dillalude at Iceland Airwaves

Today marks the birthday of James Yancey, better known as J Dilla, one of the most influential hip-hop artists of this century. Just days after his 32nd birthday, back in 2006, the Detroit-based DJ and producer passed away, leaving an enduring legacy for others to follow. Above the nine albums he produced in his lifetime,Read more…

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Live Video: Zola Jesus

In Taiga, Zola Jesus has made her songs truly evergreen. Named for the Russian word for forest, the new album by Nika Roza Danilova draws upon the cold Siberian woods of her ancestors, the frosty clime of her childhood home, Wisconsin, and most recently, the great outdoors of her must residence on Vashon Island, Washington,Read more…

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KEXP Suggests: Metalhead at Nordic Lights Film Festival, SIFF Film Center 1/17

We’ve all heard of music’s power to heal, but, as everyone who was or knew a rebellious teen in their life understands, it can also isolate, alienate or offend. In Ragnar Bragason’s Metalhead (Málmhaus), music can be both a creative and destructive force for young Hera Karlsdottir, who witnessed her brother’s death in a farmingRead more…

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Live Video: The Jayhawks

Talk about a storied past. The Jayhawks rose from the fertile era of Twin Cities rock that also produced such contemporaries as The Replacements, Hüsker Dü, Soul Asylum and Prince. Though they often get tagged as “country rock revivalists” or “alt-country icons”, the band’s sound and personnel shifted throughout their nearly 30-year career. When oneRead more…

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Live Video: Sólstafir

When Sólstafir plays for KEXP, the gods take notice. Two years ago, during KEXP’s broadcast at Iceland Airwaves, hurricane-level gales swept across Reykjavik as the hard rocking band brewed up their own storm inside Kex Hostel. Last month, on their first tour of the West Coast, heavy winds followed them to the KEXP studio toRead more…

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Live Video: Girl Band at Iceland Airwaves

There’s nothing pretty about Girl Band. In fact, the Dublin-based four-piece play some of the most abrasive pop songs you’re likely to hear. But it hadn’t always been that way. Singer Dara Kiely and guitarist Alan Duggan had played together in more conventionally “indie” type bands before hitting upon, quite literally, their aggressive sound. WithRead more…

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KEXP’s Top 90.3 Albums of 2014: A Video Roundup!

As 2014 comes to a close, we thought we’d take one last look at the albums KEXP listeners chose as their favorites of 2014 and present to you the mother of all video roundups, featuring 91 videos — 53 of which were filmed by KEXP’s own video crew — covering the Top 90.3 albums asRead more…

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2014 Top Ten List Spotlight: Iceland Bands

It’s mind-boggling how a place so small can create so much terrific music. This year, as I was compiling my list of top Icelandic releases, I couldn’t help but wonder if I’d find as many great albums as last year and the year before. Would I find ten? Twenty? Actually, as it turns out, aRead more…

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Song of the Day: Happy Fangs – All I Want for Christmas Is Halloween

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. This week, we are featuring Christmas-themed songs selected by Brian Foss. Brian Foss started hosting KEXP’sRead more…

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Monday Music News: Joe Cocker R.I.P.

View image | gettyimages.com One of the most distinctive voices of rock ‘n’ roll is silent now, as Joe Cocker died today at age 70. Starting in the 60’s, the UK singer rose in prominence, from the pubs to the arenas, recording over 20 studio albums, earning many awards and becoming an icon of rockRead more…

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