Loyal listeners of The Roadhouse on KEXP may have noticed host Greg Vandy was absent a bit last year… well, now you can hold in your hand the reason why: 26 Songs in 30 Days: Woody Guthrie’s Columbia River Songs and the Planned Promised Land in the Pacific Northwest, out now via Sasquatch Books. This fascinating tome details a period in Guthrie’s life when he was hired by the Bonneville Power Administration to promote the benefits of cheap hydroelectric power, irrigation, and the Grand Coulee Dam. Vandy, with co-writer Daniel Person, “takes readers inside the unusual partnership between one of America’s great folk artists and the federal government, and shows how the first American folk revival of the 1930’s was a response to hard times.”
And on this Friday, April 29th, Vandy will be joined by fellow music historian Charles R. Cross for a conversation about Woody Guthrie at Town Hall. Together, they’ll explore Guthrie’s legacy and impact on the political landscape 75 years ago. Singer/songwriter Mike Giacolino (frontman of Seattle-based Cosmic Country outfit Ole Tinder) and musician Cahalen Morrison will perform some of Woody Guthrie’s most-loved songs. Tickets are $5, and are available online here. Learn more about the book on their Facebook page here.
Portland band Radiation City have come a long way since their cassette-exclusive underground releases, tapes that quickly earned praise for their vintage stylings, pleasant dream-pop explosions over 60’s harmonies and sways, synth parts that sound like what people thought 1984 would sound like before 1984. Some of these elements have remained, and even on their recently released third album, Synesthetica, you can hear some of what one review called “Jetsons-era doo wop” on tracks like “Come and Go.” But the band has refined their vintage-futurist synth-pop sound on their third album, leaving behind some of the devil-may-care youthful fun for a more economical, straight ahead appeal. There are subtle layers of drum machine, more headbanging stop and starts, a more deliberate rotation through their carousel of talented vocalists, evoking cleaner, multi-gendered version of bands like their labelmates STRFKR. Recently, Radiation City stopped by KEXP’s Audioasis with DJ Sharlese to talk about their new album, their progress on an upcoming fourth, and their personal favorite Brazilian bossa-nova records. Watch it here:
Who doesn’t want to learn how to play guitar like Bob Mould? The veteran musician has certainly honed his chops over the last 40 years with previous projects Hüsker Dü and Sugar, and last night on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, he broke down his technique. Watch below. He and his fantastic band also tore through the track “The End Of Things” off his latest Merge Records release, Patch The Sky. Bob and friends will be LIVE on KEXP on Tuesday, May 10th at 3:00 PM PT, and playing The Showbox later that night. [Under the Radar]
KEXP and Goodwill Seattle have teamed up yet again to honor the month of Earth Day and a night of amazing music! Join us at the Tractor Tavern on Monday, May 2nd for Sustainable Sounds featuring local bands Ivan & Alyosha, Lemolo, and Evening Bell.
Proceeds from the night will go towards supporting Goodwill’s Job Training and Education Programs. Last year, Goodwill was able to help over 8,700 people through this program, and thanks to generous and eco-friendly donors, they kept over 50 million pounds of useful goods out of landfills. And, did you know, you can donate damaged clothing, stained towels, and other linens? While they don’t get sold, they do get recycled and made into home insulation and industrial shop rags!
Not only can you find out more at our “Sustainable Sounds” event, but you get to rock out to some of Seattle’s finest local bands! Tickets are on sale now for this 21+ show. Read More »
Even as it feels like rock ‘n’ roll is losing too many of its heroes lately, we should also remember those who continue to carry the flame. Among them, KEXP favorites Capsula, who exalt the rock gods of yore with a fiery passion. On eight kinetic LPs, plus a handful of collaborations, compilations and live recordings, the Spanish based, Argentinian bred group, led by Martin Guevara and Coni Duchess, have stoked a reverent – and suitably irreverent – love for all things garage, glam, and psychedelic. This week, they’re about to release their latest album, Santa Rosa, and on it a song KEXP listeners might remember from a session they recorded a year ago in our studio, “Candle Candle”, a searing rocker that burns doubly bright, like its title. Watch this exclusive premiere of their video for “Candle Candle” now and pick up Santa Rosa this Friday, April 29th, when it’s released on French label Vicious Circle.
Barboza, the intimate venue underneath Neumos, feels cut off from the rest of the world, with no sight or sound of the rest of the world. In some ways, it’s the perfect venue for a band like Hælos, whose particular brand of UK club R&B feels wholly detached from the rest of the world, cinematic and visually evocative, the perfect thing to close your eyes and get taken away – you wouldn’t expect something that sounds so much like the cosmos to fit so perfectly in a basement. The young band only began releasing singles in 2015, but their debut album made enough of a splash that they were thrown right into international circuit, playing festivals like Coachella and coming through the KEXP studios last time they were in town, so fans were pleased to hear that their next Seattle show would be somewhere as intimate as Barboza instead of one of the larger venues like the Paramount of Neptune. They moved, inspired, and crushed the crowd with their set, perfectly conjuring equal parts atmosphere and dance, although the audience was well greased by the opening act, Seattle’s own Murder Vibes who were out promoting their debut album. The two were a perfect match: they both pedal electronic music reminiscent of bygone eras – Murder Vibes capturing the very late 80’s gloom rock while Hælos played off of the trip-hop that was partly inspired by those electronic projects that Murder Vibes made their specialty. Both play melancholy dance, archetypal to all the kids who spent their first concerts staring down at their shoes, slowly bobbing back and forth, getting wrapped up in the rapture. Read More »
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 DJ’s think you should hear. Today’s song, featured on the Midday Show with Cheryl Waters, is “I Was Home” by Sunflower Bean from their debut album, Human Ceremony, out now on Fat Possum Records.
There’s a new super group in our midsts. Pearl Jam’s Mike McCready, Guns N’ Roses’ Duff McKagan, and Screaming Trees’ Barrett Martin have joined forces to create Levee Walkers. Their website describes them as “a Seattle band to be sure, but their roots are firmly dug into the foundational music of blues, rock, and punk, reinterpreted through the filter of the Pacific Northwest. To become a Levee Walker you must have at least 25 years of musical experience, survived battles with the forces of darkness, and perhaps even kissed death on the cheek.” If they were trying to sound extremely badass, then mission accomplished. They’ve shared their first two singles, “Freedom Song” and “Tears for the West,” on Spotify. [CoS]
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 DJ’s think you should hear. Today’s song, featured on the Midday Show with Cheryl Waters, is “Pacifist Masochist” by Prism Tats from his 2016 self-titled debut, out now on ANTI-.
Now that we’re in our New Home, the Bumbershoot Music & Arts Festival is in our own backyard of Seattle Center! And now that they’ve announced their 2016 line-up, we’re even more excited: local boys Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Death Cab for Cutie, and (former Seattleite) Father John Misty are playing this year, as well as friends from faraway including Aussies Tame Impala and east coasters Run the Jewels. That’s barely scraping the surface of the hundreds of incredible artists who will be here Labor Day weekend, September 2nd, 3rd, and 4th.
Check out the complete line-up above. Tickets go on sale this Friday, April 29th at 10:00 AM, and keep it tuned to KEXP that day for your chance to win passes from DJs John Richards, Cheryl Waters, and Kevin Cole! See you at Bumbershoot!