Review Revue: Adam Ant – Friend or Foe

adam-ant-friend-or-foe

If you’re my age and MTV was a huge part of your musical awakening, this album (or really its hit single “Goody Two-Shoes”) was your first exposure to the artist known as Adam Ant. And you probably thought it was pretty cool. But if you were a college radio DJ at the time, and had been enjoying the somewhat grittier work of his band Adam and the Ants, perhaps you wouldn’t know what to make of this slick dude burning up the airwaves. And perhaps you would write rude things on its album cover, which you might even come to regret. Fine. We’ve all been there.

In my “research” for this here blog post, I discovered that not only is Mr. Ant still quite active musically, but at least a few sources out there report that he has a new album in the works. I swear, more often than not when I look up these bands from 30-plus years ago, they’re still touring or putting out new music. Warms the old heart, it does.

Bonus tidbit: Did you ever notice that the name “Adam Ant” is really the word “adamant” split in two? A friend of mine pointed that out a while back and it blew my mind, but perhaps everybody else knew all along. Anyway, some of the KCMU DJs were certainly adamant in their opinions.

“Catchy…”

“I think he’s cute! -A fan”

“Foe!”

“Trashmaster!! Crack this with a sharp icepick. -EM”

“Don’t write so big EM.”

“Yeah, EM, besides, I think it’s alright.”

“Herman’s Hermits for the ’80s.”

“Please don’t insult Peter Noone & co like that Charlie!”

“Friend or Foe isn’t too bad.” [Not sure if this is in reference to the album as a whole or the title track.]

“I apologize for this.” [Arrow pointing to “crack this with a sharp icepick” comment.]

“Also, ‘Place in the Country is extremely hot!!”

“OH ADAM!!!”

“How big is it?? My teen idol, ‘try this for sighs.'”

“Good Question…” [Written on the cover in marker, I presume in response to the album title.]

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Live Review: HÆLOS with NAVVI at Sunset Tavern 1/27

all photos by Dave Lichterman (view set)

You’ll wish you could say you were there. It was just one of those shows that all in attendance knew they were blessed by some kind of angelic beings to attend, as HÆLOS played for a respectably sized, though not packed, crowd at The Sunset Tavern last week. The UK trio decided to advance their forthcoming debut, Full Circle (due March 18 on Matador), by gracing select cities with intimate shows. Fortunately for us, Seattle was one of the chosen ones, and HÆLOS performed, live as a six-piece, a dazzling set featuring eight songs from the LP (two of which also appear on the already available 4-song Earth Not Above EP), plus a cover of 1989 UK hit “The Sun Rising”. That their version of The Beloved’s songs is so spot-on is telling of their sound. HÆLOS draw heavily from late 80’s and early 90’s post-new wave dance music, even touching upon trip-hop, with their atmospheric slow groove and truly celestial vocals from all three members – Lotti Benardout, Arthur Delaney and Dom Goldsmith. Though Goldsmith was armed with a battery of live and programmed electronics, it took the additional two percussionists and guitar player to fully realize their sound. And live, it sounds perfect, glorious even. We all knew, while watching and hearing HÆLOS live, that the next time we saw them would be on a much larger stage, surrounded by many more believers.
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Go Your Own Way: A Rumours Tribute Video Roundup

rumours

It was on this day in 1977 that soft rock icons Fleetwood Mac released their most successful album ever, Rumours. The now-classic LP won the Grammy Award for “Album of the Year” in 1978, and is easily one of the best-selling albums of all time. With this generation growing up on their parents’ beat-up vinyl copies of the album, it’s no wonder that today’s artists continue to cover the eleven tracks that make up this release. (Local band Pony Time even mimicked the album artwork on last year’s release Rumours 2: The Rumours Are True.) In honor of the anniversary of this influential album, KEXP compiles this Video Roundup of unlikely covers:


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Song of the Day: Bob Mould – Voices In My Head

Bob Mould with Jason Narducy and Jon Wurster at Bumbershoot 2013 // photo by Dave Lichterman

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 “Voices In My Head” by Bob Mould from his forthcoming album, Patch the Sky, due March 25 on Merge Records.

Bob Mould – Voices In My Head (MP3)

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International Clash Day: Riot in Times Square

1981 commemorative poster signed by various New York graffiti artists for DJ/musician Pearl Harbor.

1981 commemorative poster signed by various New York graffiti artists
(including Futura 2000 and Fab 5 Freddy) for DJ/musician Pearl Harbor

For many New York-area music lovers, seeing one or more of The Clash shows at Bond International Casino in May and June of 1981 remains a lifelong highlight. But “the only band that matters” wasn’t the only act that performed during that historic run in Times Square.

The line-up of support bands during the Bond’s run showcases The Clash’s commitment to musical and cultural diversity, and included hip-hop, reggae, country, and rockabilly acts. Bands led by women featured prominently. Tonight at 10PM I’ll honor those incredible support bands with Riot in Times Square, a special “warm-up” segment for Friday’s International Clash Day festivities.
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El Sonido: Solamente Mujeres

Ana Tijoux live at Bumbershoot // photo by Morgen Schuler

This week in El Sonido, guest writer Aarin Wright recommends some of her favorite female artists. (¡in Enlgish y en español!):

One of the major perks of being a female-identified, enormous Latin music fan is the vast amount, and incredible quality, of content created by Latina women. No matter where in the world you turn to, be it Spain, Chile, Costa Rica y más, these women are holding their own and seriously bumping up the Latin music scene. Of the Latin artists who have broken into the mainstream, some of the most popular are female. This includes Chilean MC Ana Tijoux, (who rocked Bumbershoot back in 2012) and Mexican singer-songwriters Julieta Venegas and Carla Morrison (Venegas has performed large US festivals such as Coachella and Outside Lands, and Morrison has secured her own Coachella spot this year.) It’s easy to adore these powerhouses, and give them the listening-time they clearly deserve. However, through my eternal search for more amazing Latin music, I have discovered multiple female artists and groups who merit just as much attention.
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Wednesday Music News

photo by Renata Steiner (view set)

  • Northwest singer/songwriter M. Ward stopped by The Late Show with Stephen Colbert last night to share two tracks from his forthcoming full-length, More Rain. Watch a replay of “Confession” and the web exclusive of “Girl From Conejo Valley” below. More Rain hits stores on March 4th via Merge, and features guest appearances from Neko Case, R.E.M.’s Peter Buck, K.D. Lang, The Secret Sisters, and Joey Spampinato of NRBQ. You can catch him at the 2016 Sasquatch Music Festival on Memorial Day weekend. [Consequence of Sound]


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Live Video: Ty Segall & The Muggers

photo by Amber Knecht (view set)

Could there be a better symbol of KEXP’s rebirthing in our new home than the “Baby Big Man” that is Ty Segall? Donning a creepy torn-up baby mask and wielding an adult-sized umbilical chord, the KEXP listener- and DJ-favorite artist christened the new KEXP live room with our first ever live broadcast session in that space. To engender the songs from his latest LP, Emotional Mugger, Ty was joined by his playmates (or maybe his babysitters?), who appropriately enough were called The Muggers, a who’s who of today’s psych and garage rockers, including Kyle Thomas of King Tuff, Mikal Cronin, Wand’s Cory Hanson and Evan Burrows, and Emmet Kelly of The Cairo Gang. Raw and raucous, their set literally spewed with zany passion, as Ty dribbled, drooled, squealed, bawled and threw lyrical tantrums over blistering guitars, squelching keys and pummeling rhythms. Big baby, bad baby, weird baby – if Ty Segall is the first baby born from KEXP’s new studio, we can only marvel at the generations to come. Find your inner infant as you watch this session now.

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Video Roundup: The Day the Music Died

buddy_holly_ritchie_valens_the_big_bopper

It’s been 57 years since a plane crash in Clear Lake, Iowa took the lives of musicians Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and J. P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson, but their music and influence live on, as strong as ever. Called “The Day the Music Died,” after a lyric from Don McLean’s tribute single “American Pie,” on this February 3rd, KEXP honors the musical contributions from these artists who left us too soon:


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Song of the Day: Yeasayer – I Am Chemistry

photo by Eliot Lee Hazel

photo by Eliot Lee Hazel

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 Am Chemistry” by Yeasayer from their forthcoming album, Amen & Goodbye, due April 1st on Mute.

Yeasayer – I Am Chemistry (MP3)

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