Friday on My Mind: KEXP Is Breaking Ground!

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 time has finally come. It’s time to start building KEXP’s new home. This is a good thing since we need to be out of our current digs within less than a year. We’re going to get this construction party officially started next week, and we’d love for you all to be there to mark the occasion. To celebrate the beginning of new home construction, we’ll kick things off at 10:00 AM next Wednesday, January 28, with a ground breaking ceremony right at the courthouse of our new location at the Seattle Center’s Northwest Rooms. The KEXP family will be there, as well as other members of the Seattle’s music community, and local elected officials. After the official ceremony, hang out and spend the afternoon with us. We’ll be offering public tours of the space so everyone will have a chance to see our future home up close and personal. KEXP DJs will provide a soundtrack for the afternoon, but there will also be games, prizes, and if you get hungry, there will be food trucks near by for you to grab a bite. And if you wear your favorite KEXP T-shirt, something special may happen. Let everyone know you’re going by joining our Facebook event. Now, here are a few songs to get us all ready to begin building:

Peter Gabriel – Digging In the Dirt

From his 1992 release, Us, our first choice is “Digging in the Dirt” by Peter Gabriel. It had been a while since the world had heard new material from Peter Gabriel. So, his previous album from 1986, was Gabriel’s most commercially accessible and successful release to date. Us did not necessarily contain blockbuster songs like So and contained a darker sound, but by this time, Gabriel had already gained attention for his innovative music videos for his songs,“Shock the Monkey” and “Sledgehammer”, so it was no surprise that the video for “Digging in the Dirt” was another memorable video experience, and even went on the snag a Grammy. So check out the video here and let it serve as inspiration as we begin digging in the dirt to make KEXP’s new home possible….

Cinematic Orchestra – To Build a Home

Cinematic Orchestra was started by visual artist, Jason Swinscoe during the late 90’s. Since then, the project has expanded in number of contributors, as well as musically. When Cinematic Orchestra’s third studio album Ma Fleur was released, the group had gained much critical acclaim for living up to their name. “To Build a Home” is probably one of the most recognizable songs from the Cinematic Orchestra’s catalog. Swinscoe wrote this beautiful song along with Canadian singer, Patrick Watson, who provides vocals to this tune. Seems a fitting song for us as KEXP begins to build a home…

Starship – We Built This City

This gem dates back to a magical year called 1985. That year people were blessed with new Coke, we went Beyond Thunderdome, and then there was Starship. Starship weren’t a new group, but an 80’s incarnation of Jefferson Airplane. This was the same Jefferson Airplane known for being a driving force in the 1960’s San Francisco counterculture and psychedelic music scene. While it’s a far cry from “White Rabbit”, “We Built This City” went to number one on the billboard charts, making the tune one that the band is most (in)famously known. Re-live the magic of the official video, featuring Grace Slick’s shoulder pads and Mickey Thomas’ feathered mullet. They rock so hard, even Abraham Lincoln had to get up from his seat at the Lincoln Memorial to sing along. If Lincoln’s down, then we have to use this one to motivate all of us who are building the new KEXP…

Honorable Mentions:

Bill Monroe and the Bluegrass Boys – I’m Working On a Building

Iggy Pop – Home

Pete Seeger – If I Had a Hammer

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Live Video: Museum of Love

photo by Amber Knecht (view set)

Museum of Love‘s frontman Pat Mahoney has been killing it for so long you would have to think he has made a pact with the devil. As evident in this stunning KEXP session by his new project with DFA’s Dennis NcNany, a.k.a. Jee Day, the former LCD Soundsystem stickman and his pals fire out a grandiose aesthetic that is both endlessly addicting and pleasantly infectious. Their interplay is mesmerizing with invigorating instrumentation and excellent vocal dynamics creating an ocean of sound that is nothing short of remarkable considering the tiny confines our live room. Watch the full set and let your ears slowly soak into bubbly tranquility.

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Agitated Atmosphere: Jefre Cantu-Ledesma – A Year With 13 Moons


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 as Jefre Cantu-Ledesma.

It’s difficult to thoroughly explain the appeal of drone. Anyone can recognize a rock riff or pop hook and parse it down to its most boring elements. But with an expansive and elusive genre, pinpointing why some artists falter and others endure hasn’t quite become a Nate Silver quotient.
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Song of the Day: The Weather – 1983

The Weather

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 Cheryl Waters, is “1983” by The Weather from the forthcoming album Waters Electric.

The Weather – 1983 (MP3)

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R.I.P. Ian Allen of Negativland

It was reported on Facebook yesterday, Ian Allen, longtime member of influential group Negativland, passed away on January 17th at the age of 56 following complications from a heart valve replacement surgery. The band’s founding member Mark Hosler writes:

Ian was very active with Negativland from 1981 to about 1987, and his impact, inspiration, and influence on the group is impossible to overestimate. There would be no group as we know it today, no Over The Edge radio show, no “culture jamming” and no “A Big 10-8 Place” LP without him.
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Thursday Music News

photo by Gerrit Feenstra

  • If you weren’t one of the lucky few to get into Tuesday’s Death Cab for Cutie show, you can now watch videos of the legendary locals performing three new tracks below, via The not-so-secret show at The Crocodile sold out in 15 seconds, and was the band’s first public performance without founding member Chris Walla. The three debuts — “Black Sun,” “The Ghosts of Beverly Drive,” and “No Room in Frame” — will appear on the band’s forthcoming album Kintsugi, out March 31st via Atlantic. (And stay tuned to the KEXP Blog for a full review of the show with more exclusive photos.) [Under the Radar]

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Review Revue: Slowdive – Just for a Day


Reading’s Slowdive were one of the bands that defined the shoegaze sound of the early ’90s, although their career suffered somewhat in that their first album, Just for a Day, was released just as the British press was tiring of the scene and ready for some backlash. Today, they’re remembered as a key band in an important and influential musical moment, and like other bands from that scene, have resurrected themselves recently to much global acclaim. With My Bloody Valentine, Slowdive, and Swervedriver all active right now, it’s almost as if the backlash never happened. Now let’s head back to a simpler time and place, free of the cynicism of the British press… KCMU, Seattle, 1991. Read More »

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Live Review: Another One Bites The Dust! Chop Suey’s Last Hurrah 1/18/15

Chop Suey's last stand

all photos by Victoria Holt

As the song goes, the times, they are a-changing. The face of Capitol Hill continues to shift and grow and morph in different ways. And while we aren’t cynics here at KEXP, some of those shifts are very, very sad, the latest of which being the demise of one of our favorite little venues, Chop Suey. Chop Suey has given a home to Capitol Hill’s DIY and indie rock scene for over 9 years, giving them a place to draw sizable crowds, hone their skills, and also just mess around. Thus, saying goodbye to it is no easy task.


Lucky for us, the best way to say goodbye isn’t in sadness, but in celebration, and that’s where Another One Bites The Dust! comes in. Boasting an impressive local lineup and brutally ambitious schedule, the night was maybe the best you’ve ever gotten out of ten bucks ever in your life.
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Song of the Day: Ultimate Painting – Central Park Blues

photo by Tsouni Moss

photo by Tsouni Moss

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 Cheryl Waters, is “Central Park Blues” by Ultimate Painting from the 2014 self-titled album on Trouble In Mind Records.

Ultimate Painting – Central Park Blues (MP3)

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Wednesday Music News

photo by Renata Steiner (view set)

  • The Mountain Goats have announced a new release today: Beat the Champ, a concept album about pro-wrestling. In a press release, frontman John Darnielle writes, “It is, as any fan of the band will expect, a heartbreaking and heartreviving album about imperfect people described perfectly, with melodies that will stay with you for days.” To prove it to you, he’s shared the first track, an ode to Mexican-American wrestler and former WWE Cruiserweight Champion Chavo Guerrero Sr. which you can stream below. Beat the Champ will be out on April 7th via Merge Records, and the band will play Friday, May 29th at The Showbox. [Consequence of Sound]

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