Author Archives: Jim Beckmann

Live Video: tUnE-yArDs

tUnE-yArDs — even the typography of the name seems to pop off the page like the ecstatic rhythms of the band’s new album. For Nikki Nack, Merrill Garbus has traveled far, sonically and literally, expanding upon the conceit of her self-recorded debut and turning tUnE-yArDs into a communal arts tribe of singers, dancers and performers.Read more...

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Live Video: Hjaltalín

Not all of the magical places in Iceland are majestic glaciers, crystal waterfalls, bubbling thermal springs, or the lava field dwellings of the so-called hidden folk -- some are as common as public swimming pools. Sundlaugin, for instance, was for some sixty years a local pool just outside Reykjavik, until Sigur Rós converted it intoRead more...

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Song of the Day: The Pains of Being Pure at Heart - Simple and Sure

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, featured on the Midday Show with Cheryl Waters, is “Simple and Sure” by TheRead more...

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Iceland Flyaway Spotlight: Mammút

One of the joys of returning to Iceland year after year is watching young bands grow up. All teenagers when they began in 2004, and some were even still when we first discovered them back in 2009, Mammút have honed their emotionally expressive and dynamic sound over the past years into an award winning combination.Read more...

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Iceland Flyaway Spotlight: Sóley

Iceland breeds some unique vocalists. One of our favorites, who we discovered a few years ago at Icelandic Airwaves Festival is Sóley, a former member of Seabear who has become an acclaimed songwriter on her own. We know we’re not the only ones to fall in love with her, as Sóley’s performance of “I’ll Drown”,Read more...

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Live Video: Lykke Li

Emotionally, Lykke Li may be repeating past mistakes, but on her latest album, I Never Learn, the Swedish singer-songwriter is definitely growing. While continuing to work with Björn Yttling (of Peter Bjorn and John), as on her first two albums, Lykke Li decided to take the helm in producing this very personal third LP. Musically,Read more...

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Iceland Flyaway Spotlight: Of Monsters & Men

One of Iceland’s most popular musical exports, after Björk and Sigur Rós, has to be Of Monsters & Men. We were fortunate to discover this talented young band early and capture them on video as they practiced for their first ever performance at Icelandic Airwaves Festival back in 2010. They’ve since become international superstars, butRead more...

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Live Video: Mobb Deep

Last month, Street Sounds went old school, featuring veterans of hip-hop Mobb Deep, who’ve been keeping it real since the early 90′s, when New York MC’s Havoc and Prodigy first made a name for themselves depicting hardcore street life and became key players in the East Coast rivalry with West Coast rappers like 2Pac andRead more...

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Iceland Flyaway Spotlight: Drangar

One of the highlights of last year’s Icelandic Airwaves Festival was the live session we did with Icelandic supergroup Drangar, recorded at Sigur Rós’ Sundlaugin (or “Swimming Pool”) studio. The three bandmates — Mugison, Jónas Sigurðsson and Ómar Guðjónsson — each highly respected musicians with their own projects — joined together over a shared loveRead more...

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Live Video: Black Lips

It’s not so bright Underneath the Rainbow — at least not the way Black Lips tell it — but their seventh LP still has its share of sonic gold. The Atlanta garage-punks continue to sharpen their songwriting with a bluesier take on their sound while losing none of their attitude or swagger. During a recentRead more...

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