Not only is today Earth Day, but we’re also on the cusp of music festival season. As we take time to celebrate our planet on this day, think about carrying that spirit with you all summer long: carry a reusable water bottle, or bring your own forks. Our planet will thank you!
And in the spirit of preserving our earth’s resources, KEXP is teaming up with Seattle Goodwill to present Sustainable Sounds, a special night of music at the Tractor Tavern with Ivan & Alyosha, Lemolo, and Evening Bell on Monday, May 2nd. The event benefits Goodwill’s Job Training and Education Programs, and Goodwill keeps over 50 million pounds of useful goods out of landfills.
Get inspired to help save the planet with KEXP’s Video Roundup of Earth-inspired songs. Like Sparks say, “be more faithful” to Mother Nature.
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 Morning Show with John Richards, is “Sunset” by Tangerine from their 2016 EP, Sugar Teeth, on Swoon Records.
Beacon is the project of Brooklyn-based duo Jacob Gossett and Thomas Mullarney III. The two have unveiled a top-notch brand of dark, seductive R&B-tinged electro-pop over two albums and a few EPs for stellar American electronic music label Ghostly International, most recently on their fantastic sophomore album, Escapements. Their guest DJ mix for Midnight in a Perfect World spotlights their love for hypnotic tech-house rhythms with a stellar selection of contemporary underground cuts, while also sneaking in three tracks of their own, including a standout remix of Fault Lines from their London-based label mate Dauwd.
As if today isn’t heartbreaking enough with the death of Prince, but the news also reports that Richard Lyons, founding member of Negativland, passed away earlier this week from complications due to a nodular melanoma. He had just turned 57 years old the day before. Lyons, better known to fans as “Pastor Dick,” had been battling cancer for 12 years. The avant-garde group formed in the Bay Area in the late ’70s, taking their name from a Neu! track. The band gained notoriety in the early ’90s with the U2 EP, resulting in lawsuits from Island Records and their own label, SST Records. Our thoughts go out to all his family, friends, and fans. [Rolling Stone]
I wish I was in Seattle to do my show today, but I’m out of the country traveling, lucky to be with a small group of friends and loved ones from Minneapolis from back in the day, several of whom worked with me at First Avenue, and worked on Purple Rain, so we’re having our own special ceremony. I’ll put together a tribute for when I’m back, because this isn’t about today, but the rest of our lives.
Prince was an artist with a capital A; one of the greatest guitar players of all time, a brilliant songwriter, amazing singer and dynamic performer who was also a champion of personal freedom and individualism. He was fearless—singing about sex, God, gender, race…sometimes all in the same song. He could move your ass and stir your soul simultaneously. He was deeply spiritual – even in a g-string and leg warmers. Read More »
Every so often (OK, fairly regularly) I pull out a record with a name that seems vaguely familiar only to realize that I am way out of my depth. Peter Hammill has a long, storied, and critically acclaimed career that is pretty much the reason they invented things like Wikipedia and Allmusic.com. I mean, you could spend days going down various Peter Hammill rabbit-holes on the Internet. You could take a master’s level course on Peter Hammill – maybe people already do, I wouldn’t be surprised. Not only did he co-found the much-lauded British prog band Van der Graaf Generator, which has released thirteen studio albums and several live albums between 1969 and now (and which I don’t know nearly enough about), but he has a rich and varied solo career as well. In fact, the guy just released his thirty-second solo album at the end of 2014, and that’s not counting live albums, such as this gem we have right here.
I feel like I should spend the next few months listening to only Peter Hammill-affiliated music and then come back and write a proper blog post, but I’ve already begun this, so we’ll have to call it good and, as the KCMU staff of 1985 wisely did, leave the rest to Jonathan – who, it must be said, composed the first hand-written album cover review with a footnote I have seen in my years writing these posts. Read More »
Sad news is spreading quickly across the internet. Prince has died. The 57-year old icon, Prince Rogers Nelson, has been reported by TMZ, and now with many others confirming, to have passed away at his Chanhassen, Minnesota, estate. Just days ago, Prince required an emergency landing in his private jet and later told the press that he was ill with the flu. Earlier, he had canceled a handful of shows. News is still pending on the cause and any other details. Undoubtedly, you’ll hear more soon. For now, we celebrate the man and his legacy. KEXP DJs Cheryl Waters and Troy Nelson will be honoring his music on the air ’til 6:00 PM PT, and we invite those in the community who share our grief to join us in the Gathering Space of KEXP’s New Home, to listen to his songs and share our memories. Good night, sweet Prince.
10:15 on a Thursday morning, and today happens to be the birthday of Robert Smith, godfather of goth (even though he hates that term) and legendary frontman of The Cure. It’s hard to believe, but The Cure will be here Memorial Day weekend, headlining the 2016 Sasquatch! Music Festival. Throughout his forty year music career, Smith has defined a sound, a look, and influenced an entire generation of artists, from filmmaker Tim Burton to writer Neil Gaiman and too many musicians to list. In honor of his birthday, we’ve collected just a sampling of the bands who’ve payed tribute to The Cure with a cover, so, pull on your hair, pull on your feet, and let’s hit opening time on this KEXP Video Roundup.
Out in support of her third album, New View, Eleanor Friedberger stopped by the KEXP studios to share some of the new tracks. This wasn’t her first time in studio – she was here back in 2013 in support of Personal Record , but it’s clear that three years of grind have sharpened her act. Her albums have long drawn comparisons to Neil Young in particular for both her pleasantly off-tone voice and the candid frankness of her lyrical storytelling, but the unassuming elegance of her songwriting doesn’t lean as heavily on the melancholy of some of her predecessors – or, as she puts it: “I hope that this album sounds like an adult who’s OK, as boring as that sounds! I don’t want to sound like I’m miserable.” New View has a far more settled sound than her previous works, as evidenced on tracks like “Sweetest Girl”, in which she begs for calmness from the people around her. Check out her soothing in-studio performance now:
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 Morning Show with John Richards, is “Change for the World” by Charles Bradleyfrom his 2016 album, Changes, on Daptone Records.