Song of the Day: STRFKR – Open Your Eyes

photo by Morgen Schuler

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, comes from Portland psych rockers STRFKR. “Open Your Eyes” hails from their brand new LP, Being No One, Going Nowhere, out now on Polyvinyl Records.

STRFKR – Open Your Eyes (MP3)
STRFKR have traversed psychedelic landscapes of dance for almost ten years now – that’s nuts! From the very first listen of “Rawnald Gregory Erickson the Second” to the breakout hit of “While I’m Alive” to the strobing edge of their spacey, crowd-float heavy live extravaganzas, STRFKR seem to only be able to find new waves to extend the groove spectrum to fit their needs. This fact continues with their latest album Being No One, Going Nowhere, even in the midst of its fairly disparate title. As their placement on festival lineups continues to ascend, STRFKR find new ways to make their sound more fitting to the expanding horizon. Being No One sees them at their most stadium ready, letting the tight psych-rock grooves ripple out to the furthest edges yet.

“Open Your Eyes” is the definitive number from Being No One. The driving groove knows no limit in terms of size or scope, as the reverberating shimmer seems to echo to the heavens. Where elsewhere, Being No One tends to focus on the massive expanse of the universe and all that we don’t know, “Open Your Eyes” focuses on what is close. Love is at hand and within our grasp, and it can change everything about how we see the world. Upon repeat listens, you can’t help but believe them – this is a fall jam like none other.

STRFKR will tour relentlessly in support of their new album, and you have plenty of time to prep before catching them at the Showbox on March 24. In the meantime, look for more info and music on their website and Facebook page, and watch their performance of “Open Your Eyes”, recorded live at KEXP earlier this year:

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2016 Top Ten List Spotlight: DJ Shannon

For the rest of the year, we’ll be spotlighting our KEXP DJs Top Albums of 2016, leading up to our 2016 90.3 Top Album Countdown! Voting ends on Friday, December 9th at 6:00 PM PT, so let us know your favorites now, and tune in on Friday, December 16th to hear if your picks made the list! Anyone who votes is automatically entered to win the Top 10 Albums of 2016 as voted on by you, the listener, provided by Sonic Boom Records. Winners will be notified by email on Friday December 16th.

Jagwar Ma

Jagwar Ma // photo by Brittany Feenstra (view set)

DJ Shannon’s 2016 Top Ten Albums

rank artist album label
1 Sticky Fingers Westway (the Glitter & the Slums) Sureshaker
2 The Crookes Lucky Ones Modern Outsider
3 Jagwar Ma Every Now & Then Mom + Pop
4 Minor Victories Minor Victories Fat Possum
5 Desert Mountain Tribe Either That Or The Moon Membran
6 Oh Malo As We Were Self-released
7 Daughter Not To Disappear Glassnote
8 Augustines This Is Your Life PIAS
9 Wild Beasts Boy King Domino
10 Me the Giant Light in My Eyes Self-released

DJ Shannon is on the air every Thursday from 9PM-1AM.

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Video Roundup: Happy Thanksgiving 2016

SMooCH

SMooCH 2015 VIP Pre-Show // photo by Morgen Schuler (view set)

It’s that time of year again, and KEXP has a menu of musical delights for your Thankgiving! And in the spirit of the holiday, we want to thank all our donors and listeners for helping make listener-powered KEXP happen. (And if you’re not a donor yet, why not make a tax-deductible gift before the end of the year!) Dig in to this delicious playlist below. Happy Thanksgiving, from all of us at KEXP!


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Song of the Day: Sad13 – <2

photo by Shervin Lainez

photo by Shervin Lainez

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, comes from Sad13, the solo project of Sadie Dupuis, also of Speedy Ortiz. “<2″ (pronounced “Less Than 2″) is the lead track from her debut LP, Slugger, out now on Carpark Records.

Sad13 – <2 (MP3)
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Record Store Day Black Friday 2016 Preview

M_RecordStoreDayBlackFriday630_112112

Black Friday is upon us, and nothing makes us happier than the blackest black of a vinyl record! This year’s Black Friday is extra special for us, as local label Light In The Attic Records will be opening a store in the KEXP Gathering Space, bringing the exclusive, limited-edition releases right to us. This annual event is presented by the same folks who do Record Store Day in April, and the same rules apply: quantities are limited, and not every store will have the same things in stock. Guess you’ll just have to visit all the awesome independent record stores around Seattle! Here are some things we’ll be keeping a lookout for, but you can see the entire list right here or in PDF form.

Alice in Chains — Live—Facelift (LP)

Angel Olsen / Steve GunnLive at Pickathon (LP)

Big StarBig Star Complete Third Vol. 1: Demos to Sessions to Roughs (2xLP)

Bill Callahan — Apocalypse: A Bill Callahan Tour Film (LP/DVD)

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Wednesday Music News

photo by Matthew B. Thompson (view set)

  • Icelandic etherealists Sigur Rós have released a special remix of their track “Hoppípolla,” exclusively for the BBC TV series Planet Earth II. This nature documentary program is presented and narrated by Sir David Attenborough. In a statement to the BBC, the band state:

    In Iceland we are blessed with a seemingly inexhaustible supply of wild and untamed places. But even here, in the very furthest flung corners of Europe’s largest wilderness, the scars of human industry are visible, the plans for future encroachments, by dam and smelter, legion. If lost the Icelandic highlands are not recoverable. Around the world the story is the same; the traffic, literally, going in one direction. Sigur Rós are proud to be associated with Planet Earth II and its all-important mission to hold us rapt in understanding of, and respect for, this endlessly fascinating, utterly surprising and ultimately fragile place we are lucky enough to call home for a short while.

    Listen to the “Planet Earth II” remix below. The original version of the song can be found on their 2005 album Takk... Planet Earth II begins airing on BBC America starting January 28th. [Pitchfork]


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2016 Top Ten List Spotlight: Stevie Zoom

For the rest of the year, we’ll be spotlighting our KEXP DJs Top Albums of 2016, leading up to our 2016 90.3 Top Album Countdown! Voting ends on Friday, December 9th at 6:00 PM PT, so let us know your favorites now, and tune in on Friday, December 16th to hear if your picks made the list! Anyone who votes is automatically entered to win the Top 10 Albums of 2016 as voted on by you, the listener, provided by Sonic Boom Records. Winners will be notified by email on Friday December 16th.

Margo Price

Margo Price // photo by Melissa Wax (view set)

Stevie Zoom’s 2016 Top Ten Albums

artist album label
David Bowie Blackstar Columbia
Chance The Rapper Coloring Book self-released
Common Black America Again Artium/Def Jam
Drive-By Truckers American Band ATO
The Frightnrs Nothing More To Say Daptone
Frank Ocean Blonde Boys Don’t Cry
Iggy Pop Post Pop Depression Loma Vista
Margo Price Midwest Farmer’s Daughter Third Man
Sturgill Simpson A Sailor’s Guide To Earth Atlantic
Solange A Seat At The Table Columbia

Stevie Zoom is on the air every Sunday from Noon-3PM.

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El Sonido: Female Indigenous Artists

Lila Downs at KEXP // photo by Charina Pitzel

This week in El Sonido, guest writer Aarin Wright recommends some of her favorite female indigenous artists:

In belated celebration of Indigenous Peoples’ Day, we’re thankful for and want to spotlight some truly inspiring artists. Indigenous women are creating some of the strongest music up and down North and South America. Whether utilizing native languages, traditional instruments and rhythms or telling impassioned stories, below are just a few of these badass ladies.
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KEXP at Trans Musicales de Rennes

Trans Musicales 2016

“Discover new music”. In all we do, KEXP seeks to fulfill that mission and share with you the best new music we can find. But it’s a big world! We’re fortunate to have many resources at our fingertips, and a lot of great artists come directly to us, yet sometimes we rely on fellow curators whose passion for music leads us to new discoveries we might not otherwise find. Trans Musicales de Rennes, or Les Trans, shares a similar vision. Created in 1979, this winter-time festival held in Rennes, France, has made a name for itself in featuring artists just before they break and seeking new talent from around the world. Next week, Trans Musicales will host the KEXP video crew and DJ Morgan, bringing us to capture exclusive live sessions around the festival.

Check out a few artists we’re eager to record, below, and look for updates next week on KEXP’s Facebook page and blog, and video later on KEXP’s YouTube channel.


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Live Review: Sturgill Simpson at Paramount Theatre 11/11

photos by Matthew B. Thompson (view set)

The increasingly common trend of anniversary tours has further validated a longstanding posit that, for better or for worse, audiences and performers both hold: almost everyone wants to hear your old material more than they want to hear your new material.(There is a reason Paul McCartney closes with “Hey Jude.”) So maybe that’s why Sturgill Simpson closes with the entirety of his fantastic new album, A Sailor’s Guide to Earth. He knows people want to hear the songs they’re most familiar with first. But if that was the case, he’d just save the singles – the hits, if you will – for the encore. Backloading your set with some of your new material is par for the course. Playing all of it as the closing segment is a total leftfield call, but as every profile of the Kentucky songwriter is contractually obligated point out, Simpson has hardly made any conventional choices thus far, and onstage at his biggest Seattle show to date at the Paramount, he continued down his unpredictable, unorthodox road.
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