Live Video: Broken Bells

photo by Dave Lichterman (view set)

It’s hard to imagine a better indie pop dream team than this – a multi-Grammy winning producer Danger Mouse (a.k.a. Brian Burton) and a beloved singer-songwriter James Mercer (of the Shins), each responsible for some of the most infectious songs you’ve heard in the past ten years, joining to create blissful music together. Unsurprisingly, their debut as Broken Bells was a critical success, as it drew from their diverse pasts and shared loves (like Pet Sounds, dream pop, psych rock, and the Bee Gees). This year’s followup, After the Disco, is even more dynamic and engaging, further pushing Burton’s studio wizardry and Mercer’s lyrical range, while adding even more hooks and memorable melodies. But don’t think Broken Bells merely a studio project. The duo stopped by KEXP, with live BB members Jon Sortland and Dan Elkan, to perform acoustic interpretations of three new songs plus their very first single, “The High Road”. It’s astonishing to watch them switch instruments with ease in this astonishing exclusive performance:

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Monday Music News

photo courtesy of the artist

  • We’re about a month away from the release of the fifth Interpol album El Pintor, and the New York City trio have shared the third single from the upcoming release. Stream the track “Ancient Ways” below. El Pintor hits stores September 9th via Matador Records, and the boys will hit the Paramount Theatre on Tuesday, September 16th. [Consequence of Sound]

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Live Around Town This Week

Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires, playing Concerts at the Mural this Friday! // photo by Kristina Moravec

Monday, August 18th

Split Single at the Tractor Tavern // 21+ (more info)

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Song of the Day: BRONCHO - Class Historian

photo by Jaret Ferratusco

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 DJ Cheryl Waters, is “Class Historian” by BRONCHO, from the 2014 album Just Enough Hip To Be Woman out September 16th on Dine Alone Records.

BRONCHO - Class Historian (MP3)

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R.I.P. Rick Parashar

photo from

This week, Seattle lost a shining star as legendary producer Rick Parashar passed away on Thursday. With his brother Raj, Rick Parashar founded London Bridge Studios, where many of Seattle’s iconic records were recorded, including Pearl Jam’s Ten, Soundgarden’s Louder Than Love, Alice in Chains’ Dirt, Blind Melon’s self-titled LP, Mother Love Bone’s Shine EP, plus many others by Temple of the Dog, Brandi Carlile, Hammerbox, Queensrÿche, Candlebox, and, more recently, Death Cab for Cute, Fleet Foxes and My Goodness. It’s easy to say that Seattle would not have become the musical destination and wellspring that it is today if it weren’t for Rick Parashar. Thank you, Rick, and rest in peace. Your legacy will live on.

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Music That Matters Podcast: Bring the Noise

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.

Brownout // photo by Rachel White

Currently, you’ll hear:

Music That Matters, Vol. 421 - Bring the Noise
KEXP’s Morning Show host John Richards presents a new mix featuring tracks from Odonis Odonis, Tom Vek, Young Fathers, Brian Jonesetown Massacre, The GOASTT, King Dude and more. From fuzzed out post-punk to funked up Black Sabbath, there’s a noise here for everyone.

1. Cymbals Eat Guitars - Jackson
2. Pink Mountaintops - Ambulance City
3. Odonis Odonis - Are We Friends
4. Tom Vek - Sherman (Animals In the Jungle)
5. Young Fathers - Get Up
6. Wussy - Teenage Wasteland
7. Brian Jonestown Massacre - Vad Hände Med Dem?
8. Kingdom of the Holy Sun - Thirteen Eyes
9. Gentlemen - Late Nacht
10. A Sunny Day in Glasgow - Crushin’
11. Slow Club - Complete Surrender
12. The GOASTT (The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger) - Too Deep
13. Brownout presents Brown Sabbath - The Wizard
14. King Dude - Cloven Hooves (Of Fear)

Listen here: (MP3)

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You can subscribe to all of our podcasts here.

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Live Video: Benjamin Booker

photo by Matthew B. Thompson (view set)

Like fire from the bayou, word of mouth is spreading fast about Benjamin Booker. The young New Orleans based singer-songwriter hasn’t even released his full-length debut (it’s due next Tuesday), but he’s already made appearances on Conan and Letterman and currently is touring across the country. On his stop in Seattle, Booker brought his pals – drummer Max Norton and bassist Alex Spoto – to perform an incendiary set of bluesy rock and roll live in the KEXP studio. We featured this yesterday as part of our Live Streaming Video series, and today, you can re-watch it in all its blazing glory.

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Friday Music News

  • English singer-songwriter Johnny Marr calls out our cash-obsessed culture in his video for “Easey Money.” He described the video as, “a ‘high times in low rent England’ kind of thing.” The track is featured on his upcoming album, Playland, which will be released in the US on October 7. [Pitchfork]

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Friday on My Mind: Tom Petty!

It’s time again for Friday on My Mind. Our weekly blog post where we look at videos centered around one common theme. This is a collaborative effort between KEXP and King 5 News.

The show to be at tonight is going to be Tom Petty way over in George, Washington, at the Gorge. Yeah, I said it. I often say that Tom Petty is my guilty pleasure, but to be honest, I don’t really feel guilty, and I don’t think I should because he is awesome. The man is one of the best songwriters alive right now. The length and success of his career is particularly impressive for someone who is known for not compromising. The dude has been through the wringer with major labels and is still standing while continuing to churn out good music. Anyone growing up during pre-reality TV days of MTV during the 80′s and early 90′s could identify each of the Heartbreakers from their numerous videos which were consistently aired during that time. It’s pretty safe to say that I probably wouldn’t recognize any of them if it hadn’t been for those early videos. The band enjoyed enormous success during those years. In 1989, when Petty released his first official solo album, Full Moon Fever, it contained some of his most famous songs and was THE album of that year. You couldn’t escape those songs wherever you went. Those were some of his best songs to date and they still sound great today. Last week, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers’ 13th album, Hypnotic Eye, debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard album charts, proving that his music remains relevant to recent generations. For those of you who aren’t making the trek out to The Gorge tonight, here are a few video choices to get your Petty fix...
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Agitated Atmosphere: Tom Carter - Numinal Entry

As major labels continue to exist behind the times, artists and labels with little capital and lesser reputations are producing some of the most innovative, interesting, and inspiring music. Whether it’s creating a new niche in digital technology or looking to once obsolete formats, Agitated Atmosphere hopes to pull back the curtain on a wealth of sights and sound from luminaries such asTom Carter.

The lasting myth of Tom Carter is mammoth, even as forces opposed to its existence work to dwarf the impact. Yet a history as rich and a career as long as Carter’s trumps any chance of that happening; his is a canon too devastatingly rare to be ignored.
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