Song of the Day: The Districts – 4th and Roebling

The Districts

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 Morning Show with John Richards, is “4th and Roebling” by The Districts from the 2015 album A Flourish and a Spoil on Fat Possum Records.

The Districts – 4th and Roebling (MP3)

Hailing from the small town of Libitz, Pennsylvania, The Districts took the idea of using rock and roll as their ticket out of their hometown and followed through on it, mixing storytelling lyrics with tight and ragged performances. Rob Grote, Mark Larson, Connor Jacobus, and Braden Lawrence formed The Districts in 2009 while they were still in high school and released their first EP in 2011. Intent on striking while the iron was hot, they released their full length debut, 2012’s Telephone and the acoustic-leaning While You Were In Honesdale not long after. Signing with Fat Possum only weeks before the members’ intended start date at Temple University, (save for Larson, who went to school and was replaced by Pat Cassidy), the label reissued the band’s output ahead of a year of heavy touring, including a triumphant showing at SXSW 2014. Their second LP, the stronger, hookier, more engaging A Florish and a Spoil, arrived earlier this year to critical acclaim and another year of heavy touring. “4th and Roebling” serves as both the album’s opening track and a thesis statement of sorts: it’s a Casablancas/Turner-style character study of the band, by the band. Riding a wave of nervous energy, Grote wanders the streets and train station of his hometown, toeing the line between sober reflection and inebriated introspection. With the rhythm section channeling a ragged R&B vibe, Grote’s vocal performance pushes the song from simply being loud to something more urgent. When he shouts out the final lyrics – “I ain’t the same anymore, you’ve gone and changed I’m sure/You’ve gone and changed from before and I’m trying to find the right words” – Grote has never sounded more unsatisfied, confused, or anguished, but he’s also produced an absolutely thrilling climax to his own drunken self-dissection.

Next week, The Districts will bring A Flourish and A Spoil to Seattle when they play at the Tractor Tavern on Wednesday, March 4th and LIVE on KEXP the next afternoon, on March 5th, at 1:00 p.m. Get more info and tickets to that 21+ Tractor show here, keep up with the band at their website and Facebook, and below, watch the band play “4th and Roebling” live at SXSW 2014.

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Midnight in a Perfect World: Nordic Soul

Nordic Soul, the DJ and production alias of Decibel Festival founder/director Sean Horton, kicks off Midnight In A Perfect World with a brilliant mix inspired by the thrilling and mysterious roller coaster known as LOVE. Launching off with a beautiful a capella from The Beatles, Nordic Soul’s mix seamlessly blends together 24 groovy, sexy, and downright amorous selections, with a particular focus on contemporary jams with a smoky R&B and pulsating house streak. Featuring tracks by artists such as FKA twigs, Dusky, and ODESZA, as well as unstoppable bootleg remixes by Soul Clap, L-Vis 1990, and Ryan Hemsworth, Nordic Soul’s mix will transport your ears, body, and heart to a most seductive dance floor.

KEXP Presents Midnight In A Perfect World with Nordic Soul by Kexp on Mixcloud


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Out This Week 2/24

Following yesterday’s hypnotic in-studio session on The Midday Show on KEXP, local ladies THEESatisfaction release their sophomore album EarthEE today via Sub Pop. KEXP Music Director Don Yates describes it as an “entrancing blend of Afro-futurist hip hop, cosmic R&B, psychedelic funk and astral jazz. Produced again by Erik Blood (and also featuring appearances from Shabazz Palaces, Meshell Ndegeocello, Porter Ray and Taylor Brown), the album features a warm, hypnotic sound with spacy keyboards, blunted rhythms, airy harmonies and poetic lyrics balancing sharp social commentary with more spiritual yearnings.”

Other highlights this week include the latest from Baltimore artist Dan Deacon, a “return to a more basic, electronic-oriented method of composing and producing his euphoric trance-pop, though still as densely layered as ever with circular rhythms, looped samples and bright pop hooks.” Jersey trio Screaming Females release their sixth full-length. Yates notes “their muscular blend of garage-punk, ‘70s stoner-rock and post-punk sounds as potent as ever on tight, focused songs propelled by Paternoster’s fierce guitar riffs and inventive solos.” On their fifth album, UK band Dutch Uncles bring “a bit more of an electronic bent to their arty, funk-inflected pop-rock, combining synths and a variety of other electric and acoustic instrumentation with taut rhythms, shifting time signatures, elastic vocals and bright pop hooks.”

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Tuesday Music News

photo by Victoria Holt

  • After signing with Capitol Record’s label Harvest, Best Coast have announced the May 5 release date of their new album California Nights. They’ve shared the video for the stunning title track. Bethany Cosentino sounds so incredible that it almost makes you want to move to California. Check it out below. [Pitchfork]


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Live Video: Erik Blood

photo by Rachel White (view set)

Another local favorite – the impeccable Erik Blood drops by KEXP to sink his multitalented fangs into a succulent selection of tracks from his upcoming untitled release. With help from XVIII Eyes talent Irene Barber, Blood fills the KEXP live room with warm, caressing tones that mingle freely with dark, hypnotizing undercurrents that tiptoe on the fine kaleidoscopic line between joyful and jaded. These are tracks drenched in emotionally intense yet hopeful sonic streams of ambiance and space that will stir up your emotions and boost your imagination. Watch the full set and treat your eyes to the tranquil shapes of color that perfectly visualize the impassioned music.


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Song of the Day: Nikhil P. Yerawadekar & Low Mentality – Reel It In

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 Morning Show with John Richards, is “Reel It In” by Nikhil P. Yerawadekar & Low Mentality from the 2015 single on 3rd Generation Recordings.

Nikhil P. Yerawadekar & Low Mentality – Reel It In (MP3)

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Live Around Town This Week

photo by Dave Lichterman (view set)

Monday, February 23rd:

The Church at The Triple Door // All Ages (more info)

Enabler, Call of the Void, the Drip, Transient at The Highline // 21+ (more info)

Tuesday, February 24th:

The Church at The Triple Door // All Ages (more info)

Brett Harris (of The dB’s and Big Star Third), Dean Johnson at The Sunset // 21+ (more info)

Machine Head at Neumos // 21+ (more info)
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TV Eye: Week of 2/23

photo by Brigitte Sire

photo by Brigitte Sire

KEXP has our TV eye set for this week in late night television. Set your DVR, TiVo, or just drink some coffee to stay awake for these musical guest performances on your favorite talk shows. Here are the highlights:

Monday, February 23rd:
Late Show with David Letterman: Steve Earle

Tuesday, February 24th:
Late Show with David Letterman: JD McPherson
Last Call with Carson Daly: Natalie Prass

Wednesday, February 25th:
Late Show with David Letterman: Glass Animals
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon: Lupe Fiasco

Thursday, February 26th:
Late Night with Seth Meyers: Sleater-Kinney
Last Call with Carson Daly: Colleen Green
The Tavis Smiley Show: Steve Earle

Friday, February 27th:
Late Show with David Letterman: Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings (R)
Last Call with Carson Daly: King Tuff (R)
Late Night with Seth Meyers: The Mavericks (R)

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Monday Music News

photo courtesy of the artist

  • Local faves Death Cab for Cutie share another track from their upcoming release, Kintsugi, their first new full-length without founding member Chris Walla. Stream the album’s opening track “No Room In Frame” below. Kintsugi hits stores March 31st via Atlantic, and the boys play two nights at The Paramount, Saturday, October 3rd and Sunday, October 4th. And frontman Ben Gibbard will curate a special DJ mix for KEXP’s new show, Midnight in a Perfect World, airing this Friday, February 28th at midnight PST. [Spin]


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Live Video: Steve Earle

photo by Dave Lichterman (view set)

It’s difficult to imagine something Steve Earle hasn’t done yet, but, believe it or not, until recently, the Texas-raised singer, songwriter, performer, actor, writer and teacher had yet to sing the blues. On his new LP, Earle pays overdue tribute to those who preceded and inspired him, and like the subject of the Robert Johnson song for which Terraplane takes its name, he gets around, running into an array of styles across the wide vista of the blues. Though he recorded the album Lightnin’ Hopkins-style with his full band, The Dukes, Steve Earle made like Mance Lipscomb and performed a handful of solo shows to promote the new record upon its release, including a stop at the KEXP studio where he donned the mantle of “King of the Blues”. Watch the entire set here:


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