Song of the Day: Eggshells - In the Background

photo by Benjamin James

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 Morning Show with John Richards, is “In the Background” by Eggshells from the 2014 album LP1 on Mammal Trouble Music.

Eggshells - In the Background (MP3)

Local artist Eggshells is a tough egg to crack. From the remnants of previous bands In Praise of Folly and Can the Boy Tell Time, singer/songwriter Peter Verdoes ventures out with the aptly-titled debut, LP1. Verdoes calls upon his siblings Benjamin (Iska Dhaaf/Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band) and Marshall (Scarves/Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band) for support on the new release, plus, Sam Miller (Ravenna Woods/Sean Nelson/Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band) and Matthew Dammer (Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band/In Praise of Folly). Iska Dhaaf’s other half Nathan Quiroga makes a special guest appearance, as well.

True to such an eclectic collection of musicians, the sound of Eggshells is a scramble of trip-hop and garage rock, with a psych-rock feel. Today’s Song of the Day is a laid-back electronic groove with an impressive range of vocals. Crack open Eggshells on Facebook and Twitter, and check out more music on Bandcamp.

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Review Revue: Wendy O. Williams’ Ultrafly and the Hometown Girls - Deffest! and Baddest!

Obviously, my parents did way too good of a job raising me, as I have pretty much no familiarity with the woman who, according to the Internet, was “widely considered the most controversial and radical female singer of her day” – Wendy O. Williams’ day being more or less the first twelve years of my life, leading up to the release of Deffest! and Baddest! I blame MTV for not doing more to publicize her brand of confrontational sexuality.

This album has her turning from the aggressive, confrontational punk rock that started with her years fronting the Plasmatics to take a stab at rock-infused hip-hop along the lines of Run DMC. It seems many of her fans consider this an unfortunate departure, but for the KCMU DJs it might have been just the departure they were looking for.  Sadly, this was her last recording. A decade later she made her final departure, taking her own life. As the last comment on this record says, “R.I.P. W.O.W.” Read More »

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Thursday Music News

photo by Matthew B. Thompson (view set)

  • Ever since his jaw-dropping in-studio session at KEXP over the summer, we’ve been dying to hear the new full-length from Mark Lanegan. Today, you can finally stream his forthcoming release, Phantom Radio, below. The ninth full-length album from the former-Screaming Trees frontman will hit stores on October 21st via Vagrant. [Stereogum]


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Song of the Day: Ballet School - Heartbeat Overdrive

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 “Heartbeat Overdrive” by Ballet School from the 2014 album The Dew Lasts An Hour on Bella Union.

Ballet School - Heartbeat Overdrive (MP3)

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Live Video: Alt-J

photo by Dave Lichterman (view set)

Few bands generate as much excitement among KEXP listeners as alt-J. We followed their stratospheric rise from the beginning and even helped stoke the fire of the early buzz by which they burned brightly. The anticipation of their sophomore album was almost unbearable, though, particularly following the departure of bassist and multi-instrumentalist Gwil Sainsbury and the pressures of improving upon such a beloved and award-winning debut. But the wait paid off. In true alt-J fashion, the band defied expectations with a Miley Cyrus sample on their first single and a rocking Black Keys-ian riff on their second, and the album itself is refreshingly unpredictable with its more subdued, organic and atmospheric arrangements. The songs remain distinctly alt-J – quirky, surprising, yet solidly constructed and thrilling to hear. Join us, as we welcome alt-J for the first time to the starry space of the KEXP studio for this very special session.


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Wednesday Music News

photo by Morgen Schuler (view set)

  • Dive into the latest video from Bonnie “Prince” Billy for the track “Quail And Dumplings” off his latest, Singer’s Grave A Sea Of Tongue. The clip captures a dramatic day at the Quail And Dumplings Wet & Wild Water Park. If you’ve ever wondered about Will Oldham’s sunblock usage, watch below. Singer’s Grave A Sea Of Tongue is out now on Drag City Records. [Under the Radar]


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Song of the Day: So Cow - Get Down Off That Thing

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 “Get Down Off That Thing” by So Cow from the 2014 album The Long Con on Goner Records.

So Cow - Get Down Off That Thing (MP3)

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Out This Week 10/14

It’s another jam-packed week of new releases! Highlights include the latest from London-based artist Adam Bainbridge (aka Kindness). KEXP Music Director Don Yates notes the relase “finds him toning down the disco influences of his promising debut album in favor of an often-gorgeous set of ‘80s R&B-influenced electro-pop, featuring a spacious sound with atmospheric keyboards, occasional warm sax, harp and other instrumentation, gentle funk rhythms and soulful vocals from Bainbridge along with some special guests including Kelela, Robyn and Devonte Hynes (Blood Orange).” Portland-based trio Greylag “follows up their 2012 EP The Only Way To Kill You with their debut full-length, and it brings a harder, edgier and more dynamic sound to the band’s expansive folk-pop. Produced by Phil Ek, the album combines rumbling electric guitars and muscular rhythms with rich acoustic instrumentation and warm folk-rock harmonies. ”

Legendary Nigerian drummer Tony Allen releases his tenth solo album, “an impressive set of expansive Afro-Beat inflected with soul, jazz, dub, psych-rock and other styles.” Seattle singer-songwriter Jen Wood shares “a strong set of intimate indie-pop that finds her adopting a more piano-based sound with atmospheric synth and guitars, haunting melodies and deeply personal lyrics of love and identity.” Montreal band Stars turn in “a fine, fairly diverse set ranging from disco and house-influenced electro-pop to bouncy New Wave pop-rock and sweeping ballads, with the band’s usually dark lyrics taking a comparatively brighter, at times more hopeful turn this time around.” Bloc Party frontman Kele releases “a darker, more subdued and R&B-influenced take on the propulsive electro-pop of his solo debut.”
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Live Video: Conor Oberst

photo by Renata Steiner (view set)

It’s not like Conor Oberst needs much help sounding great. The Omaha, NE, native has been writing and performing with various projects, most notably with Bright Eyes, since his early teens, and he is a co-founder of not one but two independent labels: Saddle Creek and Team Love. In other words, we love everything he does at KEXP. Now in his 30′s, Conor Oberst is recording solely under his own name and to mix things up, he sought help for his latest album from another KEXP favorite, Jonathan Wilson. Together, they’ve created a magical space in Upside Down Mountain, and fortunately for us, they continued the collaboration on tour as Jonathan’s band not only opened up for Conor but backed him up on his own songs as well. We were thrilled to have two of our favorites stop by KEXP for this amazing session:

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Tuesday Music News

photo by Dave Lichterman

  • Isaiah “Ikey” Owens, Jack White’s keyboardist and member of the Mars Volta, has passed away. Ownes was currently touring with Jack White in Mexico. The following statement was posted on Third Man Record’s website: [Pitchfork]

“It is with great sadness that we tell the world of the passing of the incredible musician Isaiah “Ikey” Owens. He will be missed and loved forever by his family, friends, bandmates and fans. Ikey Owens was an astounding keyboard player in Jack White’s backing band. He also played with Mars Volta, Free Moral Agents, and many other projects. Out of respect for Ikey, the remaining shows of the Jack White Tour in Mexico have been cancelled. We will all miss you Ikey. You were and are an incredible artist.”

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