Tuesday Music News

photo by Alan Lawrence (view set)

  • His new album Pure Comedy may be in stores now, but Father John Misty hasn’t stopped sharing new music. FJM (real name: Josh Tillman) covers the Velvet Underground classic “Who Loves the Sun” off their 1970 LP Loaded for the Mondo Boys score to Shangri-La Suite, a feature-length film from Los Angeles writer Eddie O’Keefe. Skip to 2:59 for his track in the mix tape stream below. The Mondo Boys tell Pitchfork, “Josh Tillman came in during the bottleneck of the score on a Saturday night. He showed up in sunglasses and did the first few takes great. It could have just stopped there but we wanted to try a few takes ‘going too far’ just to see what would happen. We ended up reworking the track on the fly to fit Josh’s voice, so the backing vocals and backing music were pitched up, giving it a touch of that chipmunk sound. Josh was really into it and said something like ‘I know you guys are going to try to fix that, but it’s really cool’ and encouraged us to leave it. We re-recorded the backing music but left those pitched vocals in the final version in the film. Afterward he treated us to an exclusive Honeybear listening party in his rental car (this was just prior to its release).” Shangri-La Suite will be in theatres this fall. [ Consequence of Sound ]

  • Every once in a while Ellen surprises us with a great daytime musical guest, and today, she welcomed Spoon, introducing them by saying, “I love this band so much and I am obsessed with this song.” The song in question is “Hot Thoughts,” the title track from their latest LP on Matador Records. Watch below, and keep in track of all these musical TV highlights with KEXP’s TV Eye. [ Under the Radar ]

  • Late last week, Kendrick Lamar dropped his new album DAMN., which features such guests and collaborators as U2, Rihanna, James Blake, Kaytranada, and many more. Today, he shares the video for the single “DNA.” and the guest appearances keep rolling with Oscar-winning actor/producer Don Cheadle. Watch as Cheadle portrays a police detective interrogating a handcuffed Lamar, who is later released back to the streets and his friends, including ScHoolboy Q (the list keeps increasing!). This past weekend, Lamar turned out a powerful performance from Coachella, which he’ll do again this coming weekend. [ Consequence of Sound ]

  • There’s some real creativity bubbling in the Crutchfield genetics: Alison made her solo debut earlier this year, and now her sibling Katie (who records as Waxahatchee) has announced a new album, Out in the Storm, out July 14th via Merge. (In fact, Alison will support her sis on keyboards/percussion, along with backing band Sleater-Kinney touring guitarist Katie Harkin, Katherine Simonetti, and Ashley Arnwine.) In a press release, Katie says, ““It’s a very honest record about a time in which I was not very honest with myself. It’s about self-preservation, self-care, and reclaiming your autonomy. When you find the things that make you happy, sometimes it’s easier to see things that make you unhappy.” [ Pitchfork ]

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Local Artist Spotlight: COSMOS

COSMOS seattle upstream

photo by Alex Crick

Leading up until the Upstream Music Fest + Summit, KEXP will be spotlighting a new local artist from the lineup with an interview and suggested tracks for where to start. Today’s post features Seattle hip-hop collective COSMOS, performing Thursday, May 11 on the Sound Off! stage.

Seattle hip-hop has garnered national attention for the “space rap” sounds of artists like Shabazz Palaces and THEE Satisfaction, but there may be no other group that embraces the idea of the celestial more than COSMOS. The young group won over judges at the 2016 Sound Off! competition with their invigorating blend of rap, jazz, and soul – not to mention their killer NASA jumpsuits. The group released their official debut mixtape, MOONSHINE, late last month. Below, the band reveals more about their fascination with the stars and gives some hints about what to expect in their Upstream set.
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Live Video: Ty Segall

photo by Amber Knecht (view set)

Ty Segall is like the American Horror Story of rock ‘n’ roll. The now-LA based maniacal, musical polymath constantly reinvents while rotating a cast of characters around a shifting approach to one theme: to rock the living shit out of you. Though his latest album – and what we can assume to be just the first of several releases this year – is self-titled, it’s maybe the first time he’s brought a full backing band into the studio. And they’re each killers in their own right: Mikal Cronin on bass, Charles Moothart (CFM) on drums, Emmett Kelly (The Cairo Gang) on guitar, and (newcomer to the crew) Ben Boye on keys. The Freedom Band, Ty calls them, and together they toured behind the new record and assaulted KEXP’s studio, for the second time in two years. (You might remember they were the first band to perform live in our new studio.) This time, Ty’s voice may sound a bit murdered, given the numerous times he’s killed it on the road (three sold-out shows in Seattle!), but Ty Segall and The Freedom Band are as deadly as ever.

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Song of the Day: Molly Burch – Wrong For You

photo by Dailey Toliver

photo by Dailey Toliver

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 Afternoon Show with Kevin Cole, is “Wrong For You” by Molly Burch from her 2017 album, Please Be Mine, released on Captured Tracks.

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Song of the Day: Julie Byrne – Sleepwalker

photo by Jonathan Bouknight

photo by Jonathan Bouknight

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, unrealeased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJ’s think you should hear.  Today’s song, featured on the Afternoon Show with Kevin Cole, is “Sleepwalker” by Julie Byrne from her 2017 album, Not Even Happiness, on Ba Da Bing!

Julie Byrne – Sleepwalker (MP3) Read More »

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Live Review: Little Big Show #18 with Mitski, Kadhja Bonet, Steady Holiday, DJ Yung Futon

All photos by Sarah O'Connor

all photos by Sarah O’Connor

“How much do you think we’re gonna cry tonight?” I ask my friend as we enter the Neptune for another legendary Little Big Show, this one featuring the incomparable Mitski. The 18th iteration of KEXP, Starbucks, and STG’s Little Big Show series, which donates 100% of the ticket sales a local non-profit, definitely put the “big” in Little Big Show, with the tickets being sold out weeks in advance. The non-profit featured for this show was Seattle Music Partners whose mission is to empower kids in low-income schools through music education. They introduced us to a very cool 13 year old flutist, which the audience was incredibly enthusiastic about. You’d think it was Bon Jovi on stage rather than a local pre-teen girl and I can imagine that must have been an incredibly encouraging experience for her.

Speaking of encouraging, the interesting thing about this lineup, along with most Mitski lineups, is the prevalence of Asian women on them. Last year Mitski, Jay Som, and Japanese Breakfast embarked on what was possibly North America’s first Asian-American female triple-bill tour. Little Big Show #18 was very similar and special in the fact that all four artists are women of color. If you think this is insignificant then you probably don’t go to a lot of shows. Many bookers give themselves a pat on the back as long as they’ve got one female artist on the lineup, let alone an entire lineup of women of color. So it was a special night indeed.
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Video Roundup: Easter Songs

photo by Shelly Corbett

Can we just admit that American Easter is kind of a weird holiday? While originally a deeply religious holiday, the introduction of bunnies and eggs, which have absolutely nothing to do with that, continue to be carried down year after year to the point that it’s possible most children probably don’t even know that the whole point is to celebrate the resurrection of a guy named Jesus. Anyway! Today we’re celebrating the strange holiday we call Easter by rounding up some of our favorite songs that, like most of the traditions of Easter, have very little to do with anything. But it’s fun! We’ve got songs about Jesus stealing girlfriends and building hotrods (which is obviously high on his priority list), rabbits that are frightened and in your headlights (life is terrifying as a rabbit), and a song about lillies because apparently that’s yet another symbol of Easter. Happy Day of Painting Eggs, everyone!

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Music that Matters: Big Beautiful Day

Check out some of the KEXP DJ’s favorite artists from the Pacific Northwest and around the world on-the-go. KEXP’s Music That Matters weekly podcast brings you an exclusive mix of new music from the world’s best independent artists.

PWR BTTM at KEXP in 2016 // photo by Melissa Wax

Currently you’ll hear:

Music That Matters, Vol. 560 – Big Beautiful Day

Spring is here, and Cheryl Waters’ latest mix comes into bloom with rootsy, sparkling, and exuberant new songs from artists including PWR BTTM, Gillian Welch, and Guided By Voices.

1. Gillian Welch – I Don’t Want To Go Downtown
2. Happyness – Falling Down
3. Father John Misty – Total Entertainment Forever
4. Hurray For The Riff Raff – Hungry Ghost
5. Benjamin Booker – Witness (feat. Mavis Staples)
6. J GRGRY – Cave Birds
7. Xiu Xiu – Wondering
8. Chico Mann & Captain Planet – Oye Bien
9. Fast Romantics – Why We Fight
10. Jeff Rosenstock – I Did Something Weird Last Night
11. Hanni El Khatib – Paralysed
12. Sleeping Lessons – 1995
13. Old 97’s – Good With God (feat. Brandi Carlile)
14. PWR BTTM – Big Beautiful Day
15. Guided By Voices – Hiking Skin
16. Of Montreal – Gratuitous Abysses

Listen here: (MP3)

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You can subscribe to all of our podcasts here.

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Friday Music News

photo by Victoria Holt (view set)

  • Miami-based garage rockers Jacuzzi Boys have launched a new label Mag Mag, and who better to be on their first release but the Grandfather of Punk himself, Iggy Pop. Check out the single “Asshole Blues” below, officially out April 21st as the first in a series of flexi-discs. In an interview with Rolling Stone, Pop describes, “I wrote a blues song about an asshole who’s out to get me. It’s full of negative energy. Listen at your own risk. It’s fun to play the blues.” [ Consequence of Sound ]

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KEXP at Trans Musicales: Moon Gogo

photo by Morgan Chosnyk

This week, we continue sharing our discoveries from the Trans Musicales festival in Rennes, France, where last December we captured twelve exclusive sessions. We’re sharing with you one unique session each Friday, and you can watch all the previously released ones here. This week, we present a French-Korean fusion with Nantes duo Moon Gogo:

DJ Morgan says of meeting the band during our third day of recording:

The first band of the day was something of a mystery to us leading up to the festival. With few recorded videos available online and just two song clips coming in at a minute and a half each, all we knew about Moon Gogo was that the band featured two members – French musician Frederico Pellegrini on vocals, guitar, and electronics and E’Joung-Ju from South Korea on the traditional Korean 6-stringed instrument called a geomungo. As soon as they started sound checking, we knew we were in for something really cool and unique. The only way I can think to describe their sound is dark folk/blues fusion on Frederico’s side and hypnotic acoustic trip hop rhythms (I know that sounds crazy, but like I said, it was unique) on E’Joung-Ju’s side provided by the geomungo. The result of the fusion of their styes makes for a mesmerizing set of cyclical melodies. In short, it was great and I can’t wait to listen back to the session again. Fun fact: I talked to Frederico after the performance and found out that he has played Trans Musicales a couple other times in the last 25 years – the first time in 1991 where his old band, The Little Rabbits, actually opened for Nirvana who were also on the festival lineup that year.

Watch our live session below with Moon Gogo, recorded in the rotunda of the Rennes Opera House, and be sure to find more about the band on their Facebook page.

Watch more sessions recorded by KEXP at Trans Musicales here.

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