The Spirit of Juneteenth: A KEXP Video Roundup

juneteenth_blog

This Sunday, June 19th, KEXP will observe Juneteenth — the holiday commemorating the end of slavery in the United States — with day-long programming celebrating freedom, achievement, education, and building bridges. Starting at 9:00 AM PT with Preachin’ the Blues and ending at 2:00 AM PT with Jazz Theatre, we’ll spotlight artists whose work celebrates the African American experience. The events of 1865 in Texas are not forgotten, and we are moving forward and (as DJ Riz puts it) “stirring the great pot that makes this country what it is today.” For the occasion, Riz has compiled this Video Roundup. Enjoy below, and tune in this Sunday for even more.



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Live Video: Wild Nothing

photo by Patrick Luhrs

“There’s so many kinds of music I’m interested in that I just never let into my own songwriting, so in a way with this record, it was kind just of like opening the curtains and letting stuff come in,” Jack Tatum of Wild Nothing says of Life of Pause. Continuing with his style of creating a new world with every record, the new LP gives an updated feel to nostalgic, retro indie-pop. In addition to playing four songs from Life of Pause while live in the KEXP studio, Tatum also talks writing the record in Stockholm and Los Angeles, and relocating to the West Coast from Virginia with KEXP DJ Cheryl Waters. Watch the full performance with Wild Nothing below:


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Music That Matters: Big Gay Podcast 2016

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.

DJ El Toro w/ John Grant // photo by Morgen Schuler (view set)

Currently, you’ll hear:

Music That Matters, Vol. 517 – Big Gay Podcast 2016
When LGBTQ musicians raise our voices, we push back against a world that often still tries to erase or invalidate our mere existence through omission, discrimination, and violence. For more than 30 years, I’ve sought out reflections of myself and my community in art. It hasn’t always been easy to find.

From PWR BTTM to Patti Labelle, music by “out” artists and our allies powers me through happiness, hopelessness, and hardship … and always steers me back towards love. Regardless of your orientation or identity, I hope the 2016 Big Gay Podcast does the same for you.

Ten years after DJ Mr. Smith and I compiled the very first BGP, I feel more grateful than ever to music lovers like you who make KEXP a safe, welcoming platform for LGBTQ artists and songs to be heard, seen, discovered, and shared. Thank you. — DJ El Toro
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Friday Music News

photo by Eric Gonzalez Alfaro

  • Brooklyn punk rockers The So So Glos have shared the video for “Dancing Industry,” a track off of their recently released album, Kamikaze. The video features an amazing dance crew showing off their talents on a New York City subway. It’s pure joy that will have you dancing into the weekend. [Stereogum]


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Live Review: John Carpenter at Paramount Theatre 6/14/16

all photos by Brittany Feenstra

At a particularly triumphant moment in his Paramount debut, John Carpenter looks out at the crowd and smiles. “All my career I’ve made horror movies”, he laughs, while the crowd, obviously, shouts and cheers and screams in acknowledgement. “I love horror movies”, he smiles, “and horror movies will last forever”. The cheers go up as another timeless theme enters the fray. It’s the theme from one of John’s all-time greats, The Fog. The Seattle crowd loses their minds like they would for any great rock band breaking out a seminal classic. And truly, John deserves every bit of it. Here and now, in 2016 at age 68, John has decided to embark on his first ever live music tour, in support of two excellent albums out this year and last on Sacred Bones Records, Lost Themes and Lost Themes II. Joining him is the Lost Themes band, featuring son Cody Carpenter on lead synthesizer, godson Daniel Davies on lead guitar, and the backing ensemble of Scott Seiver, John Spiker, and John Konesky (all three also touring members of Tenacious D). This tour, slated as a live retrospective, makes its way through 40 years of cinematic score history, along with new material from each of the Lost Themes records. It’s an event unlike any other, that could truly be heralded by no other person on the planet. Carpenter is right – horror movies will live forever. And we have none other than the man in this room to thank. Burning through every fan favorite from 1976 theme Assault on Precinct 13 to this year’s Lost Themes II clincher “Distant Dream“, John and the Lost Themes band made tonight an unforgettable and irreplaceable experience.
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Live Video: Marissa Nadler

photo by Matthew B. Thompson (view set)

From heartbreak to the end of the world: that’s how DJ Troy Nelson describes the trajectory of albums from singer/songwriter Marissa Nadler. “I think this is album seven or something? I don’t know,” she says with a smile and a shake of her head. Over the past 16 years, this ethereal singer/songwriter has become known for her lovelorn lyrics sung in her delicate, dramatic voice. With her brand new album Strangers, out now on Sacred Bones, Nadler tackles the world and the characters around her. Recorded again at Seattle’s Avast Studio and produced by Randall Dunn, the music itself takes a more fleshed-out approach (“the record’s got some beats!”), but for KEXP, she strips it back down for this hauntingly beautiful exclusive solo performance:


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Song of the Day: Draze – The Hood Ain’t The Same

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 “The Hood Ain’t The Same” by Draze from his 2016 self-released album, Seattle’s Own.

Draze – The Hood Ain’t The Same (MP3)

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Live Review: The Gits, The Raveonettes, Black Lips, Ming City Rockers at Elysian’s 20th Anniversary 6/12/16

The Gits with Rachel Flotard // all photos by by Patrick Luhrs

Music and beer are a perfect pair. Add Seattle as a backdrop, and it gets even better. At Elysian’s 20th Anniversary event this past Saturday, fans of all three came together for a celebratory day at Seattle Center’s Fisher Pavilion. Festival attendees sipped Elysian brews to sets by Ming City Rockers, Black Lips, The Raveonettes, and The Gits, featuring Rachel Flotard, with the Space Needle towering overhead.
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Thursday Music News

photo by Matthew B. Thompson (view set)

  • CHVRCHES and Death Cab for Cutie have recently hit the road together, and last night in Charleston, SC, frontwoman Lauren Mayberry joined the Seattle band on stage for “Brothers on a Hotel Bed,” a track from 2005’s Plans. Watch fan shot video of their collaboration below. We’ve also got fan shot footage of frontman Ben Gibbard storming off-stage later during the set. Apparently, some “drunken” fans in the crowd had started a fight, and Gibbstack had just had enough. He reportedly returned and the band finished the show. Death Cab play a hometown show on Labor Day weekend at Bumbershoot, sans CHVRCHES, and hopefully, sans violent, drunken fans. [Under the Radar]


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Review Revue: Edward Ka-Spel – AaΔzhyd China Doll

Ka-Spel-China-Doll

I think I’ve found, in Ed Ka-Spel (and his band Legendary Pink Dots), an artist who could go up against Peter Hammill in terms of voluminous artistic output and lasting influence. Yet again I find myself faced with an insanely daunting discography and biography, and a raft of adoring comments (and, of course, a few less-than-adoring ones) by KCMU DJs, and I don’t even know where to begin. (And I don’t know why I didn’t begin back in 2009, when I posted about the LPD.) I am certainly intrigued by this, Ka-Spel’s fourth solo album (and fourth of five to contain the words “China Doll” in the title), so perhaps I’ll start here. Otherwise I guess I might just head over to the Legendary Pink Dots Bandcamp page, which hosts all of his and their music from 1981 into the future, and perhaps never find my way out.
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