Monday Music News

photos by Morgen Schuler (view set)

  • Remember when The Decemberists performed on the NBC show Parks & Recreation? Well, now one of the stars of that TV show, Nick Offerman, stars in the video for the Portland band’s track “Make You Better.” Watch their hilarious spoof on a ’70s German interview show below. The Decemberists’ upcoming release What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World will be out January 20th on Capitol Records. [Pitchfork]

  • Thanksgiving is this week, which means… Record Store Day’s Black Friday approaches! One of the limited edition 12″ singles that’ll be lurking in record store bins is this split release from UK group Daughter and L.A. quartet Warpaint. Each band remix a track of the other’s, and today we have Warpaint’s take on the Daughter track “Winter” from their most recent release, If You Leave. Stream it below: [Under the Radar]

  • If you’re looking for a good family holiday soundtrack, both young and old are sure to appreciate the upcoming release from She & Him, streaming in its entirety via NPR Music. The forthcoming album, Classics, features the duo of Zooey Deschanel and M Ward performing old jazz and pop standards with an orchestra. Stream the release on their site, and check out a video for the Dusty Springfield cover “Stay Awhile” on the KEXP Blog here. [NPR Music]
  • Brooklyn band TV on the Radio took the stage at the Late Show With David Letterman on Friday night for a fantastic performance of the track “Happy Idiot” off their brand-new release, Seeds. Watch the clip below, and keep on top of all the late-night TV musical highlights with KEXP’s TV Eye column. [Consequence of Sound]

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Live Video: Kiasmos at Iceland Airwaves

photo by Jim Bennett (view set)

Not surprisingly, a country known for its epic landscapes like Iceland also produces similarly cinematic music, like that of Kiasmos. The breathtaking sound of this new duo, featuring composer Ólafur Arnalds and Janus Rasmussen (also of Bloodgroup), was the perfect intro for the first day of KEXP’s four-day broadcast from Kex Hostel in Reykjavik during Iceland Airwaves. Read more about their picturesque set of earthy yet ambient melodies, heavy downtempo beats, and organic textures here and watch the entire set on the widescreen now:

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Song of the Day: Dream Police – Hypnotized

photo by Kevin Faulkner

photo by Kevin Faulkner

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 Afternoon Show with Kevin Cole, is “Hypnotized” by Dream Police from the 2014 album Hypnotized on Sacred Bones Records.

Dream Police – Hypnotized (MP3)

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Live Video: Sloan

photo by Charina Pitzel (view set)

We knew an excellent in-studio session was in the cards when Canadian rock legends Sloan stopped by KEXP. On their eleventh studio album, Commonwealth, the Toronto quartet split the deck on an ambitious double album, with each band member taking a side represented by a playing card symbol. The foursome brought that democratic approach to our studios with each songwriter performing one of their songs — even drummer Andrew Scott performed a snippet of the 18-minute-long opus that he chose for his album side. No matter how you shuffle it, it’s a winning hand. Watch:

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Music That Matters Podcast: Bound To Earth

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.

The Shivas // photo by Amber Zbitnoff

Currently, you’ll hear:

Music That Matters, Vol. 435 – Bound To Earth
Afternoon Show host Kevin Cole brings a mix of poppy punk, hypnotic trance, and narcotic drifter ballads, with new songs from Meatbodies, The Young Evils, The Shivas and more.

1. The Young Evils – It Happens All the Time
2. Meatbodies – Mountain
3. Dream Police – Hypnotized
4. Hookworms – Radio Tokyo
5. HOLLY – Easy Company | Interlude
6. Atoms and Void – The Architect and the Atomizer
7. The Twilight Sad – Last January
8. The Shivas – Stalkin Legs
9. The Blind Shake – Old Lake
10. Restorations – Separate Songs
11. Smokey Brights – If I Can’t Change Your Mind
12. Weyes Blood – Land of Broken Dreams
13. Nude Beach – Yesterday
14. The Vaselines – Last Half Hour

Listen here: (MP3)

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Friday Music News

photo by Beth Eisgrau-Heller

  • Former frontman of The Walkmen, Hamilton Leithauser, may have release an album only a few months ago, but today he’s gifted us with a stunning, non-album track called “Room For Forgiveness”. It was previously only available as a 7″ single on his tour. [Stereogum]

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Live Video: Merchandise

photo by Dave Lichterman (view set)

Some frontmen were born to brood across the stage with enigmatic allure, but Merchandise‘s Carson Cox is not one of them. When the Tampa, Florida, quintet arrived in the KEXP studio in October, Cox’s loquacious charm outfitted the session with a series of one-liners, ad-libs, and shoutouts to fellow musicians, but despite the singer’s uncanny penchant for hilarious off-the-cuff remarks (“This song is for driving… so if you’re at home… get in your car and turn on the radio”), his charisma never overshadowed the music. Highlighting tracks from their latest album and 4AD debut, After The End, and a song from their split with Milk Music and Destruction Unit, the band just sounded as powerful and engaging during the early morning session as they had during their headline gig played just under twelve hours prior. Below, watch Cox and the band burn through tracks from After The End and discuss recording in a closet, evolving as a band, and the importance of caffeine when playing a gig early in the morning.

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Friday on My Mind: Happy Thanksgiving 2014!

It’s time again for Friday on My Mind. Our weekly blog post where we look at videos centered around one common theme. This is a collaborative effort between KEXP and King 5 News.

It’s Thanksgiving time again. Let the yearly gorging begin!!! While the very first Thanksgiving meal took place in 1621, it wasn’t declared an actual holiday for a long while after that feast. 200 years after the fact in 1863, Abraham Lincoln declared Thanksgiving a holiday and said that it would fall on the fourth Thursday of November every year. This was in part due a woman named Sarah Josepha Hale. Sarah Josepha Hale, who also happened to be the original songwriter of “Mary Had a Little Lamb”, spent 17 years working to have Thanksgiving designated as a national holiday. 17 years. Thats a true Thanksgiving groupie. In 1939, President Roosevelt bumped up the date of Thanksgiving by a week in an attempt to stimulate the economy during The Depression, but two years later we went back to celebrating on the fourth Thursday.

And now as the fourth Friday of November draws near for 2014, here are some food songs to listen to as you stuff your face:
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Song of the Day: Joseph Giant – First And The Last To Know

photo by Kelli Faryar

photo by Kelli Faryar

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 “First And The Last To Know” by Joseph Giant from the 2014 self-released Lucky Love EP.

Joseph Giant – First And The Last To Know (MP3)

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Live Review: Shakey Graves with Esmé Patterson and Rayland Baxter at Neumos 11/15/2014

All photos by Matthew B. Thompson

If you were anywhere in Seattle on the evening of November 15th, Neumos was the venue you’d count yourself lucky to spend it at. Those who ventured out to Capitol Hill, hopefully with tickets in hand, were treated to an outstanding sold-out performance by Shakey Graves. Alejandro Rose-Garcia who performs under that moniker, brought along with him two equally and distinct artists in support for a full night of, at times, raucous but indelible performances. Graves has been keeping busy with the release of his album, And the War Came, as well as a full schedule to which Saturday’s show marks the third time he has played the Northwest this past year. Judging from the size of the crowd, it will not be the last for quite some time.

Colorado native Esmé Patterson, formerly of the group Paper Bird, opened the show. Patterson has a new album out, titled Woman to Woman, which follows the conceptual perspective of women depicted by other well known artist from the likes of The Beatles (with songs like “Eleanor Rigby”), The Beach Boys and Elvis Costello, just to name a few. Patterson’s vocals were strident at times, reverberating throughout the audience, interspersed by the sustained of the guitar and drum accompaniment. The crowd was enthralled from the beginning.

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