Thursday Music News

photo by Sally Gray Mahon (view set)

  • For the single “You Don’t Get Me High Anymore,” Phantogram seem pretty pissed about not getting high anymore. Watch the New York duo tear apart a house in the desert in this clip directed by Grant Singer, and filmed at the Salton Sea, a drought-afflicted saline lake in Southern California. In an interview with FADER, co-member Josh Carter says, “‘You Don’t Get Me High Anymore’ is about the loneliness in superficial relationships and that feeling of not being able to find happiness in places that were once so easy to come across. The desolation in Bombay Beach represents that feeling really well. The area was once a promising vacation spot before the droughts and now it’s a ghost town. We were excited that Grant [Singer] picked that spot, he understood the aesthetic of the song right off the bat and ran with it.” The band release their appropriately-titled third album Three on September 16th via Republic, and then stop in Seattle on Friday, October 7th at the Paramount. [Consequence of Sound]

  • Earlier this month, indie influencers Pixies announced a new album, Head Carrier, out September 30th via Pixiesmusic/[PIAS]. We’ve been playing the single, “Um Chagga Lagga,” on the air already, and at Portugal’s NOS Alive festival, they debuted three more tracks, “Baal’s Back,” “Classic Masher,” and the album’s title track. Watch below. [Pitchfork]

  • Today’s KEXP in-studio guest, Lisa Prank, went back to junior high in her clip for “Starting Again,” off her latest full-length, Adult Teen. Director Faye Orlove captured the Seattle sweetheart in a recently-opened school in Los Angeles. “Making this video was an excuse for me to get my genius friend Faye Orlove, who also did the Adult Teen album art, to hang out with me for many hours when I was in L.A. for a day,” Lisa (real name: Robin Edwards) told She Shreds. “She dressed me up in a bunch of different outfits and we filmed in her brand new and then-empty space Junior High — which is now decorated with all sorts of beautiful things and throws amazing art events to showcase marginalized voices — and ate sandwiches, and both got really, really sick of hearing this song about my sad feelings on repeat a bunch of times.” Watch below. Adult Teen is out now via Father Daughter Records, and Lisa plays Saturday afternoon at the Capitol Hill Block Party. [Stereogum]

  • And another stand-out Seattle artist, Sassyblack, has unveiled a short film for her track “New Boo.” Directed by herself and Dave Wilson, the video also features a guest appearance from KEXP’s own DJ Sharlese, host of Audioasis on KEXP. Watch below. Sassyblack performs at the Capitol Hill Block Party this Sunday on the Vera Project stage. [Okayplayer]

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Review Revue: Killing Joke – Fire Dances

Killing Joke

One thing about browsing through the KEXP stacks is that you never know when you’ll come across something that should probably be in a museum, and not on a shelf where some grubby-fingered scribe such as myself can pull it out, snap a picture of the cover, and transcribe the pithy comments scrawled on it. I don’t know if this is, as one of the reviewers mentions, a test pressing of post-punk heroes Killing Joke’s fourth album, Fire Dances (and their fourth album in four years, I might add), or just a seriously no-frills press copy, but it’s definitely cool and rare, and definitely has the wrong title printed on it (The Fire Dances, rather than Fire Dances).

And if you look down at the bottom left corner, you’ll see this particular disc was added to the KCMU library almost exactly thirty-three years ago! Happy birthday, you marvelous slab of plastic, you! You don’t look (or sound) a day over thirty. Read More »

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Live Video: Twin Peaks

photo by Amber Knecht (view set)

If the Rolling Stones had started their career in 2014 Chicago, they might have been called Twin Peaks. Having evolved out of their 2010 airy psychedelia origins, the youngsters have released Wild Onion (2014) and Down in Heaven (2016) that demonstrate textures reminiscent of the early 70s era of warm rock ‘n’ roll hits to produce a new generation of garage songs. The warm, laid-back chemistry exuded by this crew of bluesy rockers is so over-the-top fun to watch that it’s almost hard to not want to just shoot the breeze with them all night over drinks instead – almost!

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Song of the Day: The Parrots – Jame Gumb

photo by Simon Sarin

photo by Simon Sarin

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, is “Jame Gumb” by The Parrots from their forthcoming debut, Los Niños Sin Miedo, due August 26th on Heavenly Recordings.

The Parrots – Jame Gumb (MP3)

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Wednesday Music News

  • Are you going hungry… for Seattle grunge nostalgia? Supergroup Temple of the Dog (comprised of Chris Cornell of Soundgarden, Eddie Vedder, Jeff Ament, Stone Gossard, and Mike McCready of Pearl Jam, and drummer Matt Cameron of both bands) are reuniting for the 25th anniversary of their self-titled (and only) LP. They’ll be reissuing that album with various outtakes and demo versions newly remixed by Brendan O’Brien, and then going on a five-date tour. Via a press release, Cornell explained, “We wanted to do the one thing we never got to do… play shows and see what it feels like to be the band that we walked away from 25 years ago.” Hometown show is November 20th at the Paramount Theatre. Tickets go on sale Friday, July 29th at 12:00 PM. Get pumped by revisiting their massive hit “Hunger Strike,” with a video filmed in Seattle’s Discovery Park. [Under the Radar]

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Win A Trip to Iceland Airwaves 2016!

Júníus Meyvant

Júníus Meyvant at KEX Hostel // photo by Jim Bennett

We can think of dozens of reasons why you should enter the 2016 Iceland Airwaves flyaway contest, but today let’s concentrate on the big one: MUSIC.

Every year, music lovers like you return from Reykjavik and rave to us about the cool new bands they discovered at Iceland Airwaves. Longtime KEXP donors Kathleen and Gene, who attended in 2015 after years of enjoying KEXP’s festival coverage, are no exceptions:

“The number of Icelandic musicians was astounding given the tiny population,” recalls Gene. “Growing up on an isolated island they’ve developed their own unique musical and performance styles.” Even if you don’t speak the language, discovering great local bands at the festival is easy: “Just pick an Icelandic name in the program and show up,” he adds. “You’ll leave wanting to move to Iceland!”

It’s just as easy to enter KEXP’s 2016 Iceland Airwaves Flyaway contest. Winner receives airfare for two, hotel accommodations, and a pair of five-day passes to the festival, featuring PJ Harvey, Warpaint, Lush, Digable Planets, Júníus Meyvant, and many more.

Entering the contest will only take you a moment, but don’t delay—this opportunity only lasts a few days.

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Midnight In A Perfect World: Chrissy


Chicago DJ and electronic producer Chrissy (real name Christopher Shively) has been a prolific provider of exciting underground electronic rhythms over the last 10 years. Beginning with his debut EP in 2005 under the Chrissy Murderbot alias, his steady evolution in sound has witnessed multiple new monikers (Chris E Pants, currently just Chrissy) and amassed a stacked catalog of releases on labels such as Planet Mu, Hypercolour, Hyperboloid, as well as his own imprint, The Nite Owl Diner. His latest release finds him teaming up with Chicago vocalist Hawley Shoffner for a collaborative album of 80’s-steeped dance-pop with heavy nods to disco, electro, New Wave, and freestyle styles. These high-energy styles are on full display throughout his seamless guest DJ mix for Midnight in a Perfect World, as he pieces together underground gems both new and old, alongside a few of his own top-notch tracks and remixes.

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Song of the Day: The Big Pink – Hightimes

photo by Chad Syme

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, is “Hightimes” by The Big Pink from their 2016 EP, Empire Underground, out now on B3SCI Records.

The Big Pink – Hightimes (MP3)

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Album Review: Clams Casino – 32 Levels

32 Levels

There are few producers on the scene today with as much silent sway as Clams Casino. Over the last six years especially, the New Jersey beat-maker has completely changed the approach to emotion and empathy in beat-making. Artists like A$AP Rocky, Mac Miller, and Vince Staples have been able to thrive thanks to his unique style of juxtaposition, working airy textures and ethereal emotion into bass heavy textures and gnarly breaks when needed. These are the tools that Clams uses to make his playground, and its one that remains beyond trend and beyond a single artist in very high demand. And yet, taking his productions back from the artists he gave them to, he’s given us three free instrumental mixtapes chock full of spacious magic. With the exception of one-off experimental EP Rainforest, it’s not until now that Volpe has made a big-time big label platform statement. No longer a niche voice or a hidden production credit, with 32 Levels, he gives us one of the best productions of the year, featuring pretty much every artist he’s ever worked with, plus some. Long time collaborators like Lil’ B show up here in full form, as do new, emerging R&B voices like Kelela and Sam Herring of Future Islands. 32 Levels comes at the right time in Volpe’s production history. It not only showcases how he’s made a name for himself – it also gives us a preview of his vision for the future. While he’s inspired plenty of cloud-rap knock offs, Clams Casino moved beyond the subgenres a long time ago. 32 Levels gives us a vision of the visionary with plentiful layering. It’s exactly the record that every fan of Volpe’s work could hope for.

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Tuesday Music News

photo by Matthew B. Thompson

  • Wilco‘s upcoming, and tenth, studio album, Schmilco, drops on September 9. They’re latest song “If I Ever Was a Child” and is available for immediate download if you pre-order the album on iTunes. Thanks to Spotify, you can check out the track below. [Pitchfork]

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