Song of the Day: METZ – Cellophane

photo by Brady Harvey (view all)

Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part of 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 “Cellophane” by METZ from their album Strange Peace, available now via Sub Pop Records.

METZ – Cellophane (MP3)

If METZ and Steve Albini hadn’t finally teamed up for the Toronto punk trio’s third album Strange Peace, we probably would have had to have had some kind of national conversation about why these two aesthetic soulmates hadn’t worked together yet. METZ’s first two self-produced albums documented the growing up process of an unruly outfit that had clearly spent some time with the frayed, livewire recordings that the famed producer (or, “engineer,” to use Albini’s preferred moniker) had made with Nirvana, the Jesus Lizard, and PJ Harvey. On Strange Peace, which was recorded live on the floor in four days, Albini makes drummer Hayden Menzies sound like a piston and sharpens frontman Alex Edkins’ guitars until they draw blood.

On “Cellophane,” METZ rumble along, destroying everything in their path via a surprisingly surf-rock flecked groove, but beneath the instrumental might lurks a heart of uncertainty, as Edkins tears his lungs out hoping to get a sense of where he stands in a relationship: “Where do we go from here/How will I know it’s real/How will I know?”

KEXP presents METZ on Thursday, December 7th at Neumos. ‘Til then, check out a video for today’s featured track below. Director Shayne Ehman describes it as a sphere where “consciousness is split, and a world of contrast unfolds. The resulting disembodiment disperses one’s spatial awareness and new kinds of empathy develop. Two become three, and it’s only half the story.”

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KEXP Exclusive Interview: Sub Pop CEO Megan Jasper on The Grunge Hoax of Greatness

photo by Owen Murphy

photo by Owen Murphy

On this day in 1992, the number-one hit song in the U.S. was “How Do You Talk to an Angel” by The Heights. The Jacksons: An American Dream, which chronicled the rise to fame of the Jacksons, premiered on ABC and movies like A River Runs Through It, Glengarry Glen Ross, and the Steven Seagal classic Under Siege were in theaters.

More importantly, it was on this day in history that the “grunge speak” hoax is bought hook, line, and sinker by a reporter from the New York Times after Megan Jasper, a receptionist at the time for Sub Pop Records (now their CEO!), makes up a list of fake slang terms. Under pressure from the writer who wanted to know if grunge fans had their own slang, Jasper shared a set of slang terms that she claimed were associated with the scene in the early 1990s, but which she had, in fact, invented on the spot. The information given by Jasper appeared in the sidebar of a feature article by reporter Rick Marin in The New York Times, revealing him to be the lamestain in the tom-tom club. Listen below and read excerpts from a chat with Jasper and KEXP’s Morning Show host John Richards as they swing on the flippity-flop and remember this score.

WACK SLACKS: Old ripped jeans
FUZZ: Heavy wool sweaters
PLATS: Platform shoes
KICKERS: Heavy boots
SWINGIN’ ON THE FLIPPITY-FLOP: Hanging out
BOUND-AND-HAGGED: Staying home on Friday or Saturday night
SCORE: Great
HARSH REALM: Bummer
COB NOBBLER: Loser
DISH: Desirable guy
BLOATED, BIG BAG OF BLOATATION: Drunk
LAMESTAIN: Uncool person
TOM-TOM CLUB: Uncool outsiders
ROCK ON: A happy goodbye

Posted in Interviews, John In The Morning, KEXP, Local Music | 1 Comment

Local Artist Spotlight and Album Premiere: Mo Troper – Exposure & Response

mo troper 640

photo by Samantha Sutcliffe

A catchy melody doesn’t just get stuck in your head – it lives there. You sit with it, sometimes for days or even years, ruminating on it whether you want to or not. Writing just one of these songs can be an accomplishment. Portland songwriter Mo Troper does this 15 times over on his latest album, Exposure & Response, out November 17 via Good Cheer Records. Resounding string arrangements, chunky guitar chords, and booming drum patterns coalesce, coming and going at a rapid pace before Troper moves on to his next big idea. Just try and get the single “Wicked” out of your head, with it’s snapping rhythms and undeniable chorus.

In true power-pop fashion, Troper’s music maintains catchiness without losing an aching, emotional core. Troper’s skills at arrangement and melody are only paralleled by his deft lyricism. Throughout the album, he plays both cynic and romantic. One minute he’s shouting undying love on “Jumbotron,” the next he’s calling out Ivy League elitism on “Big School.” He takes on the absurdity of the music industry on “Your Brand” and frequently calls himself out on his own bullshit on songs like “Clear Frames” and “The Poet Laureate of Neverland” – peppering self-criticism throughout the record. Listening to the record is immersing yourself in the dysfunction of the world through Troper’s eyes. He doesn’t claim to have the answers and is candid about his own flaws throughout. Read More »

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Wednesday Music News

photo by Santiago Felipe

  • A brand new song from Björk has emerged called “Blissing Me,” along with a video premiered via Amazon Music UK. The song recounts the story of Björk and a fellow “music nerd” crush “sending each other MP3s, falling in love to a song,” according to the lyrics. It’s a beautiful change after 2015’s heartbreaking album Vulnicura, focused on the dissolution of her 13-year relationship. Björk has previously called her new album Utopia her “Tinder album” and we now see what she means by that. The video features Björk is gauzy blue outfit and completely face-changing makeup, dancing in a white room. Utopia is out November 24 on One Little Indian. [ Rolling Stone ]

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Song of the Day: L.A. Witch – Baby In Blue Jeans

photo by Marco Hernandez

Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part of 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 “Baby In Blue Jeans” by L.A. Witch from their self-titled album, available now via Suicide Squeeze Records.

L.A. Witch – Baby In Blue Jeans (MP3) Read More »

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Tuesday Music News

photo by Amber Knecht (view set)

  • Australian psych band King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard set a lofty goal at the beginning of the year to release five albums this year and by George, they just may do it. So far they’ve released three: Flying Microtonal Banana, Murder of the Universe, and Sketches of Brunswick East. Today they’ve announced the fourth, Polygondawanaland, will be released this Friday, November 17 for completely free. “Free as in, free. Free to download and if you wish, free to make copies. Make tapes, make CD’s, make records,” they stated on the Instagram announcement. They’re even allowing fans to download the album’s digital, CD, or vinyl masters. “We do not own this record. You do,” said the band. You’ll be able to acquire it on their website. [ Under the Radar ]


POLYGONDWANALAND This album is FREE. Free as in, free. Free to download and if you wish, free to make copies. Make tapes, make CD’s, make records. The following files will be available to download at 9am Friday 17 Nov, Melbourne, Australia time at kinggizzardandthelizardwizard.com 1. DIGITAL MASTERS & ARTWORK: This is the best option if you wish to download the album for personal use. Available as high quality MP3 files 320 kbps (≈100 MB) or uncompressed WAV files (≈500 MB). Each version contains hi-res digital artwork of the front cover at 4000 x 4000 resolution. 2. CD MASTERS & ARTWORK: If you wish to press CDs you will need to download the DDP master and CD Artwork template. The DDP master is the format used for identifying information on optical discs. This master has the tracklist, ISRC codes & metadata embedded. In this .ZIP file you will also find a folder with a CD template, front cover art and extra artwork for back cover, inner tray, spine and booklet that you will need to put together yourself. 3. VINYL MASTERS & ARTWORK: The vinyl master is a completely seperate master to CD & Digital masters. There are physical limitations to what the head of the lathe can produce when cutting vinyl. For this reason these files will not sound normal on generic Hi Fi speakers. Only use this master if you wanna press vinyl. It will contain a Side A and a Side B WAV file as well as a PQ log for both sides with metadata for the pressing plant. In this .ZIP file you will also find a record cover template and a folder full of artwork ideas you can use to make your own back cover, spine and inner sleeve. Ever wanted to start your own record label? GO for it! Employ your mates, press wax, pack boxes. We do not own this record. You do. Go forth, share, enjoy. P.s. If u wanna make cassettes I don’t really know what you would do. Be creative. We did it once but it sounded really shit. Maybe try the WAVs idano bye bye

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Live Review: Taylor McFerrin, SassyBlack, and Noel Brass, Jr. at Nectar 11/11

Photos by Dusty Henry (view set)

Even with the most voracious of music fans, there’s still likely a certain feel or sound that comes to mind when you see the word “jazz.” Maybe it’s the swing of the music or that magical feeling of seventh chords walking down a piano. For others, it might be the drone of smooth jazz or the coolness of Miles Davis howling on the trumpet, crafting free-form audacious masterpieces. Jazz can be all those things, but its trademark is that it goes beyond limits. In its purest form, the genre can be whatever its creators want it to be. It’s a liberating concept, opening up the umbrella for a whole swath of artists to take refuge under. The 29th Annual Earshot Jazz Festival has done a remarkable job highlighting artists who push these ideas to their bring, booking innovators who are building off of jazz’s storied roots and crafting something completely new. Saturday night at the Nectar in Fremont, Earshot brought together three artists who are doing just that for an evening of future-minded, no limits jazz and improv.

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Song of the Day: Gordi – Heaven I Know

photo by Jim Bennett (view set)

Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part of 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 “Heaven I Know” by Gordi from the album Reservoir, available now via Jagjaguwar.

Gordi – Heaven I Know (MP3) Read More »

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Monday Music News

photo by Morgen Schuler (view set)

  • Beach Slang either have terrible luck or are possibly not very good at locking up their equipment. The band announced today that they were, once again, robbed. The unfortunate event happened right here, in Seattle, after their November 11 show at Chop Suey. Their brief statement on Facebook reads: “OUR VAN & TRAILER WERE STOLEN LAST NIGHT. All of our gear, all of our merch, but none of our charge. It’s a pretty beautiful thing to be surrounded by people who refuse to be broken. Portland, we’ll see you tonight.” Last November the band was burglarized in Austin and lost four instruments, a GPS, a cooler, a camera, sunglasses, headphones, “and countless irreplaceable sentimental items that mean so much to us personally.” If you have any information on the missing van and trailer, please do the decent thing and help get it back to the band. [ Brooklyn Vegan ]

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In Stores Now 11/13

instoresnow

We’ve been sharing sneak peeks at the new Angel Olsen album in our Music News Roundups, and now we have the complete collection of b-sides, cover songs, previously unreleased recordings, and other rarities. KEXP Music Director Don Yates calls it “a first-rate collection…ranging from bristling folk-rock to stripped-down country-folk.”

Ian Svenonius (of The Make Up, Chain & The Gang, Nation Of Ulysses, etc.) has a new solo project called Escape-ism. “His debut album under that name is a fine set of minimalist post-punk with shards of angular guitars and hypnotic drum-machine rhythms accompanying his heated vocals and often-sardonic lyrics.” Dawn People is the new collaboration between Peter Negroponte of Guerilla Toss and Nick Forte of Raspberry Bulbs. And Denver-based band Tennis share “a fine five-song EP of wistful, hook-filled pop-rock.”

Also, this week sees two collections from some indie rock icons. Hüsker Dü deliver a 69-track box set (4LP or 3CD) featuring remasters from soundboard tapes, session masters, and demos captured between 1979 and 1982; 47 previously unreleased tracks; a completely alternate version of their Land Speed Record live album, and a hardbound book featuring 40 previously unpublished photographs. Meanwhile, R.E.M. celebrate the 25th anniversary of their renowned eighth LP Automatic for the People with a deluxe reissue, freshly mixed by original producer Scott Litt and engineer Clif Norrellin in the new Dolby Atmos format, as well as a bonus disc of 20 never-before-heard demos from the Automatic sessions. Read More »

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