KEXP Live at Iceland Airwaves 2017, Day 4: Lido Pimienta

Photos by Jim Bennett

Next on our video stream live from Kex Hostel at Iceland Airwaves was Colombian-Canadian musician Lido Pimienta. The queer-identified musician, visual artist, and curator blends Afro-Colombian and indigenous music with experimental electro-pop. Her first album “Color” was released in 2010 (KUDETA),  and she pursued a degree in art criticism and spent time learning about audio production before releasing last year’s La Papessa, which was awarded the Polaris Prize. Lido Pimienta is also known for her collaboration with A Tribe Called Red on their 2016 release We Are the Halluci Nation. Her work was described by Toronto’s Mercer Union as being concerned with “the politics of gender, race, motherhood, identity and the construct of the Canadian landscape in the Latin American Diaspora and vernacular”

Kex was filled with festival attendees ready to get their dance on, even at only three in the afternoon. Lido was clad in colorful clothing, with cascading silver braids and colorful fabrics draped all over the stage and instruments—little did we know that the vibrant setup wouldn’t even begin to compare to how colorful her performance itself was. She opened with “En Un Minuto” a song that really highlights Lido’s beautiful voice, as well as her mix of the super traditional (It features the Tambora prominently, an instrument that is essential in Cumbia) and the super modern (with her digital clicks and tones). Her sound ranges from gentle harmonized vocal loops, to heavy drum beats and everything in between. She has an incredible vocal range, and her beautiful soulful voice and cathartic wailing made for a very emotional performance. I admit, it feels a bit cliché to compare a Latinx artist to Frida Kahlo, but with Lido Pimienta’s colorful clothes, beautiful braided hair, fierce pride in her heritage and cultural traditions, political and social advocacy, work pushing the boundaries of her medium, and her outspoken, bright, and funny, personality, it’s almost impossible to avoid the connection to the iconic painter.

Lido is an incredibly compelling performer, energetically engaging with the audience, telling stories and making jokes. She introduced “Fornicarte Es Un Arte” (“Fornication is an Art”) with “oh, there are kids here….this is a song…about…fornicating…and…polyamory,” and her careful choice of words had the crowd in stitches. She also approaches the darker parts of her life with humor. She told a story about the origin of “La Capacidad” (“The Capacity”), a song she wrote after leaving a violent relationship. When she wouldn’t take her ex back, he threatened to put naked photos of her online. She called her mother to tell her about the problem, and her mom said she would take care of it. Her mom called him and said “please put those pictures online, when it happened to Kim Kardashian she became a millionaire and I don’t want to work anymore.” The audience loved her banter between songs just as much as the music—laughing, cheering, and dancing the whole time. One of the stand-out performances of this year’s festival, her performance was an absolute pleasure from start to finish.

 

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KEXP Live at Iceland Airwaves 2017, Day 4: Megas

Photos by Jim Bennett

Wow, what a way to open our last day of music live at Kex Hostel! We were fortunate to host legendary Icelandic musician Megas. Considered the father of Icelandic rock, Megas is one of Iceland’s most influential rock musicians. He’s been working as a professional musician since 1968, when he published his first set of sheet music at the age of 23. His music is satirical and openly critical of Icelandic society and culture, which made it not particularly accessible to the wider Icelandic audience at the time. There was so much controversy surrounding his releases in the early and mid-70’s that his songs were banned on Icelandic radio, helping him quickly rise to cult status among young Icelandic rock enthusiasts. Performing with Icelandic electronic rock band Judas helped his music reach a wider audience, and by the late 70’s Megas was firmly planted in the annals of Icelandic rock history, and his 1977 release Á bleikum náttkjólum was even voted the best Icelandic album of all time. Not bound to a single genre, his discography has something for everyone: rock, folk, electronica, he’s even released children’s music. He then withdrew from music for several years while he attended university and moonlighted as a dock worker, but in the mid-80’s he came back with a bang, making music with the now-legendary Icelandic post-punk band KUKL, and one project Hættuleg hljómsveit (A Dangerous Band) even featured Björk as a background singer. Read More »

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KEXP Live at Iceland Airwaves 2017, Day 3: Högni

Photos by Jim Bennett

Rounding out night three of the Iceland Airwaves broadcast live from Kex Hostel is prolific Icelandic songwriter Högni Egilsson. Known for Hjaltalín and GusGus (and his incredible head of hair), Högni is no stranger to KEXP, having performed for us with all of his major musical projects. Högni describes himself as a bit of a musical amoeba, able to fit into a variety of projects. His new solo album, Two Trains (Erased Tapes), released just a couple weeks ago, is a new direction for him—creating a lovely, textured sound to highlight his soulful voice. Read More »

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Music That Matters: Shapeshifter

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.


Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings at KEXP in 2016 // photo by Matthew B. Thompson

Currently you’ll hear:

Music That Matters, Vol. 589 – Shapeshifter

The latest mix from Cheryl Waters comes from all kinds of places and artists, featuring new songs from Zola Jesus, Ty Segall, and Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings.

Tracklist:
1. Kevin Morby – City Music
2. Django Django – Tic Tac Toe
3. Widowspeak – When I Tried
4. Dream Wife – Somebody
5. Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings – Matter of Time
6. L.A. Witch – Baby In Blue Jeans
7. Moon Palace – Shapeshifter
8. Ty Segall – Alta
9. Weaves – Walk Away
10. Zola Jesus – Soak
11. Bully – Feel The Same
12. METZ – Cellophane

Listen here: (MP3)

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You can subscribe to all of our podcasts here.

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KEXP Live at Iceland Airwaves 2017, Day 3: Fai Baba

Photos by Jim Bennett

Next on the broadcast live from Kex Hostel at Iceland Airwaves was the genre-bending psych-pop/blues/avant-garde band Fai Baba. Based in Zurich, Fai Baba is the solo project of Fabian Sigmund, accompanied by a varied lineup of musicians over the years. Fai Baba began about 10 years ago, after Fabian returned from extensive travel through India (the name is based on that of noted Indian spiritual leader Sai Baba). It was first a solo project, but he collaborated with other musicians as he went back and forth between Zurich and New York. He’s attracted to the raw minimalism of blues, taking that philosophy and applying it to his own brand of psychedelia. Last year’s full-length record Sad and Horny (A Tree In A Field) is sunny, raw, and fuzzy in a way that nods to the likes of Ty Segall and Mikal Cronin, sounding more at home under the shadow of California palm trees than the Swiss alps. Read More »

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Friday Music News

photo by Melissa Wax (view set)

  • Lackadaisical singer/songwriters Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile joined forces last month release the collaborative album Lotta Sea Lice. Since then they’ve been on tour and last night were the musical guests on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. They performed “Over Everything” on the broadcast show and shot a black & white acoustic version of “Continental Breakfast” for the web-exclusive. Barnett and Vile recently stopped by KEXP to play live in our studios and also played two sold out Seattle dates at the Moore and the Showbox. Lotta Sea Lice is out now on Matador. [ Under the Radar ]


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Album Review: Billy Bragg – Bridges Not Walls

braggep

When faced with the same global turmoil that has left so many people feeling unsettled and bewildered, Billy Bragg asked himself this question: “What’s a singer-songwriter to do when events keep challenging the way that we see the world?” His answer was to write, record, and release his musical responses as soon as they were ready, a process that took the 59-year-old back to his roots as a protest folkie in the 1980s. (Most tracks were released one-by-one over the summer via Bragg’s social media channels, with two additional singles.)

It’s remarkable that Bragg found the time, being so busy with projects like Roots, Radicals, and Rockers: How Skiffle Changed the World, his fascinating book about the under-heralded influence of the pre-rock skiffle craze on the British sounds that followed. But he was clearly energized: not since the Bard of Barking’s salvos against the hypocrisies of the Thatcher era has he released songs as pointed as the six that gradually arrived last summer and now fill his new EP, Bridges Not Walls. Read More »

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KEXP Live at Iceland Airwaves 2017, Day 3: Gordi

Photos by Jim Bennett

Second on today’s broadcast live from Kex Hostel at Iceland Airwaves was Australian artist Gordi. Gordi is the stage name of Australian Folktronica artist Sophie Payten, who began playing music while in university, and began to gain traction across Australia after she was featured in prominent radio station Triple-J’s “Unearthed.” Her debut album Reservoir was recorded in Iceland and the US, and included collaboration with notable Reykjavik-based artist and musician Alex Somers, best known for his work with Sigur Rós. Maintaining her connection with Iceland, she toured her native Australia with Icelandic artist Ásgeir.  Read More »

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KEXP Live at Iceland Airwaves 2017, Day 3: Mikko Joensuu

Photos by Jim Bennett

Opening today’s broadcast live from Kex Hostel at Iceland Airwaves was Finnish singer-songwriter Mikko Joensuu. Over the course of the last year and half or so, Mikko has released a series of three records over the course of a year or so, called Amen 1-3 (Svart records) exploring coming into faith, then later abandoning it, themes heavily influenced by the singer’s own Pentecostal background. When he was a child, Mikko’s family was very active in the church, as was he before leaving at age 15 after a crisis of faith. The stylistic shifts from record to record feel like a symbolic progression, echoing the personal journey taken over the course of the three works. From the more traditional analog/folk feel of Amen 1, symbolizing a more traditional upbringing in the faith, to the more modern, digitally-influenced sound of Amen 3, symbolizing the departure and full realization of the self individually.  Read More »

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Song of the Day: Fai Baba – Can’t Stop Loving You

photo by Peter Hauser

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. This week, we are featuring songs by Icelandic artists performing at the 2017 Iceland Airwaves Music Festival, curated by Kevin Cole, host of The Afternoon Show on KEXP. Today’s song is Fai Baba‘s “Can’t Stop Loving You” a 2017 single on A Tree In A Field Records.

Fai Baba – Can’t Stop Loving You (MP3) Read More »

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