Monday Music News

photo by Melissa Wax (view set)

  • Killer Mike, rapper and half of the duo Run the Jewels, took a stand against Mike Pence’s announcement that he had left the Colts vs 49ers game because the players peacefully protested by kneeling during the national anthem. “I wonder how he feels about the constitution. The document that contains the principles this republic is founded on. The 1st being #FreeSpeech. Free speech is what protects this and any protest. The constitution that guards against Tyranny like the state abusing and denying citizens full rights. U know the stuff that prompted the kneel. ” said Mike, who ended with: “God speed on our next election. I hope we send his religious nut ass back home to relish in his false understanding of what this country is and we never see him on a national stage again.” Run the Jewels will play the Key Arena on Friday, March 9 opening for Lorde. [ Brooklyn Vegan ]


I wonder how he feels about the constitution. 🤷🏾‍♂️The document that contains the principles this republic is founded on. The 1st being #FreeSpeech. Free speech is what protects this and any protest. The constitution that guards against Tyranny like the state abusing and denying citizens full rights. U know the stuff that prompted the kneel. The kneel is to bring awareness to the public that officers of the law are playing Judge, Jury and executioner therefore denying Americans Citizens their constitutional rights becuz they are a racial minority. I wonder if he knows he and the soldiers I respect and value swear to uphold that constitution and not simply be propaganda agents for the state. He loves religion to much to hold public office in my opinion and he shows that he cares nothing for our republic by not honoring the constitutional rights of its citizens. I'm glad he left that event because he cheapened it with his presence. God speed on our next election. I hope we send his religious nut ass back home to relish in his false understanding of what this country is and we never see him on a national stage again. 😊

A post shared by Killer Mike (@killermike) on


  • Parquet Courts frontman Andrew Savage is releasing his debut solo album Thawing Dawn this Friday under the name A. Savage. Today he shared the fourth single off the album, “Ladies From Houston.” Savage claims the song was written after going to a small gathering of friends, who were going through some stuff of one of the friend’s father’s, who had just died. They found a small collection of erotica and photographs that they sorted through. “This investigation set off a string of stories that went on late into the night. We all learned something about everyone else. The words are based on the stories told that night.” Thawing Dawn is out October 13 on Dull Tools. [ SPIN ]

  • The National are touring behind their newest album Sleep Well Beast and during a stop at Forest Hills Stadium in Queens, the band took a stab at Donald Trump by playing The Ramones’ 1981 song “The KKK Took My Baby Away.” The song, according to some, is about Trump stealing Joey Ramone’s girlfriend (although more fans tend to believe the theory that it’s about Johnny Ramone stealing Joey’s girlfriend). Berninger clarified that their cover was “for Joey, not for that dick,” before launching into a rousing cover of the song. The National will be in Seattle for two nights to play the Paramount on Tuesday, November 28 and Wednesday, November 29. [ Stereogum ]

  • Wolf Parade released their fourth album Cry Cry Cry last Friday via Sub Pop. Shortly after the release the band shared a trippy double video/short sci-fi film lasting just short of ten minutes and  features the closing track of the album, “Cry III (King of Piss and Paper / Artificial Life).”  Directed by Brook Linder, the film recounts strange happenings in the town of Benton (although it’s never quite revealed exactly what it is). Wolf Parade are playing the Showbox on Saturday, January 13 with Charly Bliss. [ Under the Radar ]

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Music Heals: Mental Health Organizations Spotlight

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This Thursday, October 12th, KEXP presents Music Heals: Mental Health, a day of programming to call attention to the public health crisis that is depression and anxiety and how music can help you know you’re not alone. Over the next few days, DJs John Richards and Kevin Cole will be airing interviews with some of the non-profit mental health organizations we spoke to. Check out the schedule below, and then tune in this Thursday from 6 AM to 6 PM as we share requests from our listeners as well as exclusive interviews from musicians about mental health issues they’ve dealt with and how music helped.
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In Stores Now 10/9

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Over the past few weeks, DJ Kevin Cole has been premiering tracks from the new 2-disc set The Replacements For Sale: Live At Maxwell’s 1986, which is now in stores. The collection features remastered versions of a show taped with a 24-track mobile studio, with new liner notes by Bob Mehr, author of Trouble Boys: The True Story Of The Replacements, as well as never-before-seen photos from the Maxwell’s show by photographer Caryn Rose.

Canadian band Wolf Parade returns with their fourth album (and first in seven years. KEXP Music Director Don Yates calls it “a smartly crafted blend of New Waveish post-punk, Bowiesque glam, spacy prog-pop and more, combining a densely textured sound with anxiety-fueled, often-politically charged lyrics for these troubled times.” British band My Sad Captains also deliver their fourth LP, featuring “a revamped lineup and a more varied sound ranging from hypnotic motorik jams and chugging Velvet Underground-style pop to ambient dream-pop.”

On their sophomore full-length, New Zealand band Yumi Zouma bring a “well-crafted set of buoyant indie-pop with shimmering synths, glistening guitars, lush strings, gently propulsive rhythms, soft vocals and sugary melodies.” Mister Heavenly — a collaboration of Ryan Kattner (aka Honus Honus of Man Man), Nick Thorburn of Islands and Joe Plummer (Cold War Kids, Modest Mouse) — release a “playful, eclectic set ranging from propulsive, motorik post-punk and noise-addled garage-rock to bouncy psych-pop and reggaefied yacht-rock.” And on their third album, Toledo, OH band Citizen bring “a well-crafted set of emotive, ’90s-steeped rock combining a thick, muscular sound with anthemic song hooks.”
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Song of the Day: Tristen – Glass Jar (feat. Jenny Lewis)

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 Afternoon Show with Kevin Cole, is “Glass Jar” by Tristen from the 2017 album Sneaker Waves on Pupsnake Records / Modern Outsider.

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Friday Music News

photo by Chad Syme (view set)

  • Singer/songwriter Billy Bragg is known for never shying away from political content in his songs. (As he sings on the track “Waiting for the Great Leap Forwards”, musing about music journalists who ask, “Mixing pop and politics he asks me what the use is / I offer him embarrassment and my usual excuses.”) His most recent one-off single is titled “Saffiyah Smiles” and was inspired by a brave UK woman who stepped in to protect a woman wearing a hijab who was being harassed by members of the far-right group, the English Defence League. He elaborated for NPR:

    Following the shocking scenes of white supremacists marching through the streets of Charlottesville this past summer, my mind went back to an image of a young woman facing down a ranting fascist with nothing but a serene smile. Saffiyah Khan had been taking part in a counter-demonstration against the neo-fascist English Defence League in Birmingham, England, in April this year when she saw a woman being surrounded by taunting EDL supporters.

    Saria Zafar was targeted because she was wearing a hijab and when the police failed to intervene, Saffiyah stepped up and got in the face of the loudest aggressor, holding him at bay with nothing more than a smile until police eventually intervened. A press photographer (Joe Giddens) captured the moment and the picture went viral. Local Labour MP Jess Phillips memorably tweeted the image with the caption, ‘Who looks like they have the power here?’

    Listen below via Spotify. Bragg was recently a guest at KEXP, discussing his latest book, Roots, Radicals and Rockers: How Skiffle Changed the World. You can watch video from that Q&A on our Facebook page for a limited time. [ Stereogum ]

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Music That Matters: Sidestep The Spiral

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.


Versing at the 2017 Upstream Music Festival // photo by Bebe Labree Besch

Currently you’ll hear:

Music That Matters, Vol. 585 – Sidestep The Spiral

DJ Kevin Cole surfs the sea of possibility on Sidestep The Spiral, a head spinning new music mix featuring Lamb, Makthaverskan, Battleme, Versing, Faye Webster, Nilüfer Yanya, and more.

Tracklist:
1. Who Is She? – Seattle Freeze
2. Worriers – The Possibility
3. Versing – Body Chamber
4. Battleme – No Truth
5. Makthaverskan – In My Dreams
6. Lamb – Illumina
7. Moonchild – Every Part (For Linda)
8. Casper Skulls – Lingua Franca
9. Turnover – Butterfly Dream
10. Faye Webster – Remember When
11. Nilüfer Yanya – Baby Luv
12. Shigeto – Ice Breaker
13. Boy Harsher – Motion

Listen here: (MP3)

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Mastering the Hustle: Creating & Booking Shows

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KEXP, Upstream Music Fest + Summit, and MoPOP have partnered together to present Mastering The Hustle: a new panel discussion with six annual events, tackling a different topic to help emerging artists make better decisions earlier in their careers. Throughout the series, we’ll be discussing everything from how to get airplay, legal and licensing, healthcare for artists, and promoting your brand.


Live performance is one of the most immediate ways to engage with music. It helps build a bond between yourself and your fans. It can lead to life-changing moments on both sides of the stage. So, how do you get booked to make it all happen? In our fourth installment of the Mastering The Hustle workshop series, we invited a panel of Seattle booking and promoting professionals to speak on the ins and outs of getting booked for a show. This series is in conjunction with Upstream Music Fest + Summit, MoPOP, and KEXP’s Artist Education Initiative< — a new program dedicated to providing educational resources for local artists. Read More »

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Live Review: Seun Kuti & Egypt 80 at the Neptune Theatre 10/3

all photos by Alan Lawrence (view set)

Review by Emily Slider, DJ assistant for Wo’Pop on KEXP

Seun Kuti and the Egypt 80 brought the house down at the Neptune Theater on Wednesday, October 3rd. Supporting his latest release, Struggle Sounds (out now on Sony Masterworks), his music burst from the stage painting a picture of the socio-political landscape in Nigeria. Each member of the fourteen-piece ensemble arrived on stage individually. Some of the members have been in the band since his father, afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti, lead the Egpyt 80, but other members are newer. Regardless of how long any given member had toured with the group, everyone brought an incredible energy and a strong sense of ensemble. Seun himself came out after the first song, and the party began.

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Audioasis on KEXP Co-Presents: Freakout! Fest Announces Full 2017 Lineup

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Since 2012, Freakout Records has taken over venues in the Ballard neighborhood for multiple nights of blaring, sweaty, and all around thrilling local music with their namesake Freakout! festival. Now entering its fifth iteration on November 17th and 18th, Freakout! is stepping up with one of their most exciting lineups yet that covers the breadth of Northwest music. Earlier this year Freakout! announced their initial lineup which featured Guantanamo Baywatch, Magic Sword, Roadkill Ghost Choir, My Goodness, CHARMS and more. Today they’ve revealed the full roster and it’s about as stacked as you can get. New additions include some of Seattle’s rising hip-hop stars like Taylar Elizza Beth, JusMoni, and Porter Ray as well as rap outfits and collectives Cosmos and The White Tears & Pearl Dragon Is Dead. Seattle songwriter Tomo Nakayama and Portland’s Kelli Schaefer also help round out the bill, adding some peace and power to the roster. Read More »

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Song of the Day: Shake Some Action! – Waiting for the Sun

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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 Midday Show with Cheryl Waters, is “Waiting for the Sun” by Shake Some Action! from their 2017 album, Crash Through or Crash, out now on Satellite 451 Records.

Shake Some Action! – Waiting for the Sun (MP3) Read More »

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