Thursday Music News

photo by Gerrit Feenstra

  • If you weren’t one of the lucky few to get into Tuesday’s Death Cab for Cutie show, you can now watch videos of the legendary locals performing three new tracks below, via Revolt.tv. The not-so-secret show at The Crocodile sold out in 15 seconds, and was the band’s first public performance without founding member Chris Walla. The three debuts — “Black Sun,” “The Ghosts of Beverly Drive,” and “No Room in Frame” — will appear on the band’s forthcoming album Kintsugi, out March 31st via Atlantic. (And stay tuned to the KEXP Blog for a full review of the show with more exclusive photos.) [Under the Radar]

  • Interpol frontman Paul Banks co-directs this new video for the track “Everything Is Wrong” from their latest El Pintor. Along with co-director Carlos Puga, they paint a portrait of the band walking around the streets of New York before a show. The song will also appear on a limited edition 7″ single being produced for Record Store Day, which will feature artwork by Shepard Fairey. [Pitchfork]

  • This March, beloved Brooklyn band Parquet Courts will release Parquet Courts: Live at Third Man Records, an 11-track album recorded at the infamous Nashville studios last summer. Preview their blistering take on the track “Sunbathing Animal” below: [Consequence of Sound]

  • West coast weirdos Avi Buffalo share a new video today for the track “Think It’s Gonna Happen Again,” a creepy musical tale from last year’s Sub Pop release At Best Cuckold. Director White Buffalo captures the ominous tone of the track in this clip, which you can watch below. You can also watch the band perform live on KEXP in this 2014 in-studio session on the KEXP Blog. [Stereogum]

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Review Revue: Slowdive – Just for a Day

Slowdive-just-for-a-day

Reading’s Slowdive were one of the bands that defined the shoegaze sound of the early ’90s, although their career suffered somewhat in that their first album, Just for a Day, was released just as the British press was tiring of the scene and ready for some backlash. Today, they’re remembered as a key band in an important and influential musical moment, and like other bands from that scene, have resurrected themselves recently to much global acclaim. With My Bloody Valentine, Slowdive, and Swervedriver all active right now, it’s almost as if the backlash never happened. Now let’s head back to a simpler time and place, free of the cynicism of the British press… KCMU, Seattle, 1991. Read More »

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Live Review: Another One Bites The Dust! Chop Suey’s Last Hurrah 1/18/15

Chop Suey's last stand

all photos by Victoria Holt

As the song goes, the times, they are a-changing. The face of Capitol Hill continues to shift and grow and morph in different ways. And while we aren’t cynics here at KEXP, some of those shifts are very, very sad, the latest of which being the demise of one of our favorite little venues, Chop Suey. Chop Suey has given a home to Capitol Hill’s DIY and indie rock scene for over 9 years, giving them a place to draw sizable crowds, hone their skills, and also just mess around. Thus, saying goodbye to it is no easy task.

Wimps

Lucky for us, the best way to say goodbye isn’t in sadness, but in celebration, and that’s where Another One Bites The Dust! comes in. Boasting an impressive local lineup and brutally ambitious schedule, the night was maybe the best you’ve ever gotten out of ten bucks ever in your life.
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Song of the Day: Ultimate Painting – Central Park Blues

photo by Tsouni Moss

photo by Tsouni Moss

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 “Central Park Blues” by Ultimate Painting from the 2014 self-titled album on Trouble In Mind Records.

Ultimate Painting – Central Park Blues (MP3)

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Wednesday Music News

photo by Renata Steiner (view set)

  • The Mountain Goats have announced a new release today: Beat the Champ, a concept album about pro-wrestling. In a press release, frontman John Darnielle writes, “It is, as any fan of the band will expect, a heartbreaking and heartreviving album about imperfect people described perfectly, with melodies that will stay with you for days.” To prove it to you, he’s shared the first track, an ode to Mexican-American wrestler and former WWE Cruiserweight Champion Chavo Guerrero Sr. which you can stream below. Beat the Champ will be out on April 7th via Merge Records, and the band will play Friday, May 29th at The Showbox. [Consequence of Sound]


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Live Video: Ben Watt and Bernard Butler

Words and photo by Charina Pitzel:

They met, not exactly incongruously, at a sopping wet backyard gathering of a mutual friend in London, sharing shelter and cradling warm beers. The fact it took so long for the fortuitous occasion to take place is what makes it so surprising. Ben Watt (one half of Everything But The Girl with wife Tracey Thorn, DJ, producer, former head of Buzzin’ Fly Records and sister label Strange Feeling, host on BBC Radio 6, and critically-acclaimed author of Patient and Romany and Tom) and Bernard Butler (founding guitarist of Suede, lauded by some critics as “the greatest guitarist of his generation,” and collaborator/producer for artists including Tricky, The Veils, Aimee Mann, Edwyn Collins, The Libertines, and Kate Nash) are indisputable titans in the British music scene — each with esteemed careers spanning 34 and 26 years respectively — yet they were only properly introduced in 2012. Says Watt of the time, “We tiptoed round each other. We seemed, however, to be in a similar space. Each of us had spent ten years away from guitar-playing — me as a DJ and label boss, him as producer and songwriter. We each seemed to want to play guitar again, in a simple uncomplicated way. We then met at my place and jammed one afternoon but it didn’t quite gel.”
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Song of the Day: Deerhoof – Paradise Girls

photo by Chad Kamenshine

photo by Chad Kamenshine

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 “Paradise Girls” by Deerhoof from the 2014 album La Isla Bonita on Polyvinyl Records.

Deerhoof – Paradise Girls (MP3)

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Out This Week 1/20

It’s an impressive week for new releases! Beloved Northwest band Sleater-Kinney end their hiatus with the release of No Cities To Love. KEXP Music Director Don Yates notes, “The recently reunited trio’s eighth album (and first in 10 years) is a strong return-to-form, with an intense blend of punk, classic and hard rock combining fierce guitar interplay, urgent, dynamic rhythms, searing vocals and sharply crafted lyrics examining power, injustice, love and the band’s place in the world.” Another Portland band, The Decemberists, share their seventh studio album (and first in five years), “a consistently strong set of polished, fairly diverse folk-pop combining a richly layered, impeccably detailed sound with Colin Meloy’s plaintive vocals and finely chiseled, often-poignant lyrics, which are also some of his most personal and poignant to date.” Scottish popsters Belle & Sebastian also return with their ninth full-length, “one of their strongest and most diverse offerings, combining sophisticated arrangements with often-spiritually inspired lyrics on expertly crafted songs ranging from jangly folk-pop and atmospheric orchestral ballads to sleek, discofied dance-pop.”

There are also some stand-out new releases from up-and-comers like UK group Menace Beach. Yates notes their debut is “a promising, ‘90s-inspired blend of fuzzy shoegazer psych-rock and grungy slacker-pop. Produced by Hookworms frontman MJ, the album combines scuzzy guitars, driving rhythms, alternating male/female vocals and catchy pop hooks.” Calgary-based band Viet Cong (comprised of ex-Women members Matt Flegel and Mike Wallace along with Monty Munro (ex-Lab Coast) and guitarist Danny Christiansen) release their debut, “an expansive, impressively arranged blend of dark post-punk and prog-tinged psych-rock.” The latest from Hanni El Khatib “finds him clothing his blues-tinged garage-rock in darker, more brooding tones while also stylistically broadening his sound a bit by injecting it with elements of psych-rock, hip hop, electronic and more.” And Until The Ribbon Breaks expands from the solo project of Pete Lawrie Winfield into a trio on their debut release, “a dark, brooding blend of electro-pop, hip hop and R&B with haunting keyboards, spacious hip hop beats, breathy vocals and intimate lyrics.”

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Tuesday Music News

photo via Stereogum

  • Sleater-Kinney‘s highly anticipated, reunion album No Cities to Love is out today. The vinyl version features the bonus track “Heavy When I Need It.” It’s such a dynamic rock track that it’s hardly fair that there’s limited availability. Luckily you can listen to it below. [Stereogum]

Heavy When I Need It
by Sleater-Kinney on No Cities To Love [Deluxe]
2,358 plays

  • Swedish singer-songwriter José González has shared a stunning new single called “Leaf Off/The Cave.” The track will be featured on his new album Vestiges & Claws, which is out on February 17. [Pitchfork]

  • On February 9, a deluxe version of St. Vincent‘s self-titled album will be released. This special edition will contain a previously unheard tracks “Del Rio”, “Pieta”, and”Bad Believer.” You can listen to the latter below. [CoS]

  • The Go! Team have debuted the psychedelic video for their latest single “The Scene Between.” There’s some crazy editing of different landscapes and the trippiest choir I’ve ever seen. It’s kind of amazing. Their new album of the same name is out on March 24. [Stereogum]

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Album Review: Sleater-Kinney – No Cities To Love

sleater-kinney-no-cities

Listening to No Cities To Love, the eighth album by Sleater-Kinney, has to be done with one thing in mind: Sleater-Kinney did not have to make this album. That’s not meant in a idol-worshipping, “we’re not worthy” way, but quite literally. They all have alternate careers that they’re perfectly happy with and their legacy is as impeccable as they come (which is something they’re quite aware of.) They, quite frankly, have something to lose. Now that nearly every seminal band in the indie rock canon has reunited for some combination of touring and new recordings, it’s safe to say that the bar is so low that not embarrassing yourself is considered a rousing success. So why the hell would Sleater-Kinney reunite, much less make a new record? Because they had no reason not to. Sleater-Kinney have always been a band about conquering fear from sources both internal and external, and it is with a triumphant cry that, on No Cities to Love, they still are.


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