Song of the Day: Holiday Ghosts – Paranoia

photo by Charlie Fairbairn

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 Morning Show with John Richards, is “Paranoia” by Holiday Ghosts, from the 2017 album Holiday Ghosts on PNKSLM Recordings.

Holiday Ghosts – Paranoia (MP3)

A title like “Paranoia” couldn’t be any more timely, but Holiday Ghosts‘ scrappy, snappy rock ‘n’ roll feels almost timeless. Hailing from Falmouth, England, the garage rock band take plenty of cues from cult favorites like The Modern Lovers and The Velvet Underground, drawing out savory hooks from minimal arrangements.

The band — which began as frontman Sam Stacpoole’s solo project — just released their self-titled debut on September 22 via PNKSLM Recordings. The album represents a full-on collaboration between Stacpoole, drummer Katja Racking, and guitarist Charlie Murphy; they all share songwriting duties and time at the mic.

But “Paranoia” is Stacpoole’s baby, his Jagger-esque yelps popping out from under Racking’s steady, swinging beat. “I don’t know what to say/I guess I’ll do it anyway,” he snarls with an air of nonchalance, backed up by Murphy’s playful harmonies. Though the rhythm remains urgent and taut, the guitars stay jangly and loose. By the time Stacpoole breaks into a sticky, bluesy guitar solo, the band taps into the raw, electrifying energy of rock ‘n’ roll back from back when it was still called rhythm and blues.

No U.S. tour dates on the horizon, but get a taste of their live sound with this performance filmed at Troubadour Studios in Falmouth. (And you can follow them on Facebook for future announcements.)

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Wednesday Music News

photo by Gregory A. Perez

  • Gord Downie, founder and frontman for influential Canadian band The Tragically Hip, has passed away at the age of 53. Downie had been diagnosed with terminal brain cancer last year, but he didn’t let it hold him back, going on to tour that summer in support of the band’s 14th studio album Man Machine Poem. Later that year, he released his fifth solo LP Secret Path (co-produced by Kevin Drew of Broken Social Scene), which garnered him a nomination for the prestigious Polaris Music Prize and won two Juno Awards for Adult Alternative Album and Recording Package of the Year. (The Tragically Hip, incidentally, won Rock Album of the Year that same year.) Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau delivered an emotional statement this morning, praising both Downie’s music and his work with Indigenous Peoples, declaring with tears that “Canada was less of a country for having lost Downie.” Just last month, Gordie announced a new double album titled Introduce Yerself is scheduled to be released October 27th on Arts & Crafts. A statement from his family was shared this morning via social media. [ Pitchfork ]


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Scribes Sounding Off: Did It! From Yippie to Yuppie: Jerry Rubin, An American Revolutionary

Did IT cover

Author Pat Thomas and Sean Jewell will be guests on The Roadhouse on KEXP tonight from 7:30 to 8:30 PM to discuss his new book and play music from the era with fill-in host DJ Hans.

Review by Sean Jewell, DJ assistant for The Roadhouse on KEXP

Pat Thomas is the author of Listen, Whitey: Sounds Of Black Power, he was a consultant on PBS’s Black Panthers: The Vanguard Of The Revolution. He’s a public speaker, and archivist who curated Invitation to Openness, a book of Les McCann’s photography, and the Allen Ginsberg box set Last Word On First Blues. His new book Did It! From Yippie To Yuppie: Jerry Rubin, An American Revolutionary (out now via Seattle publishers Fantagraphics Books) is a trip.

Jerry Rubin was a political satirist, an innovator of social media, an American revolutionary, a self-made self-help guru. His contributions to American culture stem from the formation of the Youth International Party with Abbie Hoffman, which became the Yippie movement. He’s infamous for aiding the end to American involvement in the Vietnam War as an ally in the Civil Rights movement and bolstering the counterculture left with immense, absurd protests. His particular genius was in catching the attention of the media in order to spread his message of peace — at any price. He also wrote several books in his lifetime exploring subjects like the revolution and his own toxic masculinity. He threw huge parties in the eighties at Studio 54 that may have been the precursor to social media. Read More »

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Song of the Day: Madeline Kenney – Always

photo by Cara Robbins

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 Morning Show with John Richards, is “Always” by Madeline Kenney, from the 2017 album Night Night at the First Landing on Company Records.

Madeline Kenney – Always (MP3) Read More »

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Tuesday Music News

superchunk

  • North Carolina indie rock legends Superchunk have dropped a new limited edition 7″ featuring the anthemic original track “Break the Glass” on the A-side (featuring vocals from A Giant Dog‘s Sabrina Ellis), and a cover of Corrosion of Conformity’s “Mad World” on the B-side. The band released another 7″ earlier this year but haven’t released a full-length since 2013’s I Hate Music. Frontman Mac McCaughan says the track, “is a song about realizing you are in an emergency situation and trying to not lose your shit so you can respond to the ongoing disaster in a productive way. Trying to figure out why so many people around you are acting like nothing is wrong and wondering if maybe you’re the one that’s crazy… but you know you’re not.” All proceeds from the single are being donated to the Southern Poverty Law Center. [ Brooklyn Vegan ]

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Song of the Day: Florist – What I Wanted To Hold

photo by Stephanie Griffin

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 Morning Show with John Richards, is “What I Wanted To Hold” by Florist, from the 2017 album If Blue Could Be Happiness on Double Double Whammy.

Florist – What I Wanted To Hold (MP3) Read More »

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Live Review: The War on Drugs with Phoebe Bridgers at the Moore Theatre 10/9

all photos by Matthew B. Thompson (view set)

Last Monday, at the first of two sold-out shows at The Moore, Philly’s The War on Drugs delivered nothing short of a visually and viscerally stunning display of dream rock dopeness with their cascading waterfall of sound. It’s like multiple shots of Nixon-defying dope coursing through your veins that makes you in-the-moment bliss out, forget your surroundings, cavort in (or around) your seat, and cathartically howl along to the atmospheric amphetamine that is their euphoric sound. But the dark calm before the synth-riders-on-the-storm was opener Phoebe Bridgers, an LA-bred songstress and embracer of acoustic and melancholic strummers.

Phoebe Bridgers

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Monday Music News

photos by Matthew B. Thompson (view set)

  • The eternally sarcastic Father John Misty has created a country version of the title track off his latest album Pure Comedy. Clearly intentioned as parody, Josh Tillman puts on a country accent and changes the instrumentation, adding the exclaim: “That’s right boys, bring it on home!” He even accidentally lets out a laugh at one point. The caption below the YouTube video says “now libs and chuds each have their own version to weaponize.” [ Under the Radar ]

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In Stores Now 10/16

instoresnow

On her fifth full-length, Dallas-bred, New York-based artist St. Vincent (aka Annie Clark) “successfully combines bigger production with some of her most personal songs to date,” notes KEXP Music Director Don Yates. “The album’s diverse sound ranges from frenetic New Wave and slinky funk-pop to lush, string-laded ballads on songs combining an intricately textured, densely produced sound with anxiety-fueled lyrics revolving around issues of power, control, identity, and mortality.”

Melbourne, Australia’s Courtney Barnett hooked up with Philadelphia’s Kurt Vile for “a warm, casual and utterly charming set of shaggy-dog folk-rock. The songs are a mix of originals and covers, with most of them about writing songs, musician camaraderie and the creative process.” On his latest solo LP, Led Zeppelin frontman Robert Plant delivers “a well-crafted blend of folk-rock, blues and various North African and Middle Eastern influences, featuring a warm, often-dreamy sound combining a variety of acoustic and electric instrumentation with his weathered vocals and reflective lyrics.”

Montreal band Stars shine on their eighth album with “a fine set of anthemic, ’80s-steeped synth-pop combining bright synths, ringing guitars and occasional strings with wistful melodies and melancholy lyrics of love’s travails.” Toronto-based trio The Rural Alberta Advantage bring a “well-crafted set of anthemic folk-pop with energetic acoustic guitar, soaring keyboards, punchy rhythms and fist-pumping song hooks.”
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Song of the Day: Wilsen – Garden

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 Morning Show with John Richards, is “Garden” by Wilsen, from the 2017 album I Go Missing In My Sleep on Secret City Records.

Wilsen – Garden (MP3) Read More »

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