Thursday Music News

photo by Christopher Nelson (view set)

  • It’s been a few years since we last heard from The Strokes, but today they triumphantly return with not one, not two, but three new tracks! All of ‘em will appear on their upcoming EP Future Present Past, out June 3rd via Cult Records. Check out the singles “OBLIVIUS,” “The Threat Of Joy,” and “Drag Queen” below, as well as a video chat with the boys where they talk about the upcoming release. At this rate, if we wait one more hour, maybe we’ll get the fourth and final track from the EP! (Edited to Add: Yup, it happened!) [Pitchfork]


  • Portland’s Unknown Mortal Orchestra share a new one today, too. Stream the fantastically-fun single “First World Problem” below. A press release states the track was recorded this past March while the band was on a break from the road. Frontman Ruban Nielson explains, “I think ‘First World Problem’ is about modern love in a crumbling empire. The feeling that you’re trying to build your life and get what you need while a decadent world falls apart around you.” If you’re heading to the Sasquatch Music Festival, you can catch the band this weekend; they’ll also be playing a hometown show at Project Pabst on August 28th. [Spin]

  • Earlier this month, we reported on how the vinyl release of the new Car Seat Headrest album, Teens Of Denial, has gotten delayed at the last-minute when Ric Ocasek denied the homage to The Cars’ 1978 single “Just What I Needed.” The AV Club reports that the label Matador Records had to destroy 10,000 vinyl copies with that track on it, resulting in a cost of $50,000. You can stream the “demo” version of the song below; note how CSH founder Will Toledo also slyly references both Pavement and Dido. (Good thing they’re cool.) Catch a hometown show from Car Seat Headrest in late July when they play the Capitol Hill Block Party. [AV Club]

  • Last weekend, Spoon debuted a new track during a performance at the Festival Marvin in Mexico City. Catch fan-shot footage below. They also paid tribute to two of 2016’s greatest musical losses to date: Prince (covering “Under the Cherry Moon” which I hope they segued into “You Got Yr. Cherry Bomb”) and David Bowie (with “I Can’t Give Everything Away”). Watch below: [Pitchfork]


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Live Video: KEXP’s New Home Grand Opening

photo by Matthew B. Thompson (view set)

Last month, KEXP officially opened the doors to our new home. To celebrate, we invited all our friends. Thousands of listeners and supporters showed up to our all-day party, featuring many of our favorite artists performing. Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings, Bob Mould and Deep Sea Diver wowed the crowd outside in the Seattle Center’s courtyard, while Strand of Oaks, Hey Marseilles, and Icelandic band Samaris played to a standing room only audience in our new public gathering space. Now that KEXP is open to the public, we invite you to come down to view live performances available weekly in our studio and the gathering space. Find out more about how you can attend here, and watch these groundbreaking sets from KEXP’s New Home Grand Opening now:


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Live Video: Wolf People at Pickathon, Logging Road Sessions

photo by Amber Knecht

Welcome to Pickathon’s 2016 Spring Season. Each week, the rustically set, Portland-area festival is running an ambitious program of four new episodes. Through twelve individual channels of content, you can experience this one-of-a-kind festival in the most intimate of ways… you’ll go, On The Farm, up to The Pumphouse, across to The Slab, out to The Woods Stage, into The Galaxy Barn, and to so many other unique locations where the magic of Pickathon happens.

KEXP is proud to take part in this series. On every fourth week of each month, we present the Logging Road Sessions, featuring twelve exclusive performances captured by the KEXP crew deep in the woods of the festival grounds. The six episodes we featured in the Fall Season, include Ty Segall & Cory Hanson, Langhorne Slim, Happyness, Rodrigo Amarante, Fruitbats, JD McPherson, Sam Amidon and Edna Vazquez.

This month, we present UK’s Wolf People. Though you’re more likely to find the four-member group plugged-in on stage, their psychedelic update of pastoral folk rock fits perfectly in the woods deep behind the festival grounds. Entangle yourself in this intricate performance of “Cotton Strands” as Wolf People take to the Logging Road Sessions in this exclusive session, recorded by KEXP at Pickathon:

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Song of the Day: Tourist – To Have You Back

photo by Stephanie Sian Smith

Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part 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 “To Have You Back” by Tourist from the 2016 album U on Monday Records.

Tourist – To Have You Back (MP3)

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KEXP Suggests: Northwest Folklife Festival 5/27-5/30

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From outside the windows of KEXP’s New Home, we can see them setting up: it’s almost time for the 2016 Northwest Folklife Festival! This Memorial Day Weekend, May 27th through 30th, Seattle Center will transform itself into a multi-cultural arts and music extravaganza.

This year’s focus is “The Power of the Human Voice through Song,” a proposal from long-time Northwest Folklife Community Coordinator James Roe, who sadly passed away last summer. Kelli Faryar, Programs Director for Northwest Folklife, explained, “When Jim passed away… we envisioned a festival of many, many voices coming together to sing in his honor, and ‘The Power of the Human Voice through Song’ concept was born.”

As they explain on their website, “Singing is one of the most natural means of human communication and expression. Songs play an essential part of the social fabric of cultures – every ritual a community shares calls for its own song: birth, marriage, death, the planting and harvest, the coming of spring and fertility, the changing of the seasons. Songs are used for protest, for love and honor. They are used as expressions of unity through national anthems and sports teams. Songs are used to sing babies to sleep and to accompany a child’s play. Singing is thus an ideal tool to express the common themes of humanity and culture.”
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Wednesday Music News

photo by Amber Knecht (view set)

  • If his KEXP in-studio session didn’t creep you out enough, Ty Segall has just released a clip for the track “Candy Sam” off his Drag City Records release, Emotional Mugger. Watch as a woman rocks out in his now-iconic baby mask spliced with eerie filtered footage of babies. #Shudder [Spin]


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KEXP Suggests: A Tribute to Woody Guthrie at Benaroya Hall 5/26

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On Wednesday, May 25th, KEXP will celebrate the 75th anniversary of Woody Guthrie’s Columbia River Songs with a day full of exclusive interviews, special programming on The Roadhouse on KEXP, and a live streaming video session with Bill Frisell, Gerald Collier, and John Doe.

The following evening, Thursday, May 26th, Frisell, Collier, and Doe will continue the tribute from the stage of Benaroya Hall, alongside Dave Alvin, Sera Cahoone, Shelby Earl, Ian Moore, Tim Easton, Gerald Collier, and former Seattle mayor Mike McGinn. While the focus of the evening is the songs Guthrie was commissioned by the Bonneville Power Administration to write during his stay at the Grand Coulee Dam, the artists have been granted free reign to cover other songs. In an interview with the Seattle Times, Frisell confessed that he’ll revisit an instrumental version of “Pastures of Plenty” that he performed at a Guthrie trbute two years ago at Jazz at Lincoln Center, in New York.
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SIFF Face The Music 2016 Preview: The Music of Strangers: Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble

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The Music of Strangers: Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble
(Directed by Morgan Neville, USA, 2015, 96 minutes)

Festival screenings:
Saturday, May 28th at 3:30 PM – Shoreline Community College Theater
Sunday, May 29th at 7:00 PM – SIFF Cinema Uptown

“We don’t speak perfect English, or perfect Chinese, or perfect Persian, but we speak perfect music language.” — Wu Man, The Silk Road Ensemble

The Silk Road is an ancient trade route dating all the way back to the Han Dynasty of China (206 BC – 220 AD), connecting China to Eastern Europe. While it was created to allow the transport of goods transcontinentally, it also resulted in an exchange of cultures.

Inspired by this Euro-Asia connection, in 2000, renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma formed the musical collective The Silk Road Ensemble. The group features a rotating cast of about 60 musicians, across 20 different countries. And, much like the historic roadways across the continent, the music they create combines cultures, using instruments like a Chinese lute, a Japanese bamboo flute, a Mongolian horse head fiddle, and so much more.
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Live Review: Nada Surf w/ Prism Tats at The Neptune 5/18/16

all photos by Brittany Feenstra

Next month we celebrate the 20th birthday of High/Low, the timeless full-length debut from New York indie rock stalwarts Nada Surf. The band celebrated the milestone in great fashion, reissuing the record on beautiful orange vinyl through Vinyl Me Please and giving it a fantastic packaging makeover. But High/Low’s 20th year was much sweeter for an entirely different reason, as Nada Surf also gave us their seventh studio album (eighth, if you include the covers album If I Had A Hi-Fi), You Know Who You Are, a record that answers the hyperbolic tendencies of their debut with priceless perspective on identity and hopefulness in times of change. Nada Surf’s wisdom and musical excellence both only seem to ripen with time, and here in their third decade, they are writing the best material of their career. This is the first record the band has recorded with additional guitarist Doug Gillard, who has brought the band’s live presence to excellent new levels. Tonight’s show at the Neptune was a second to none Nada Surf performance, and for a city that loves them so immensely, this was a real treat to experience. Together with rising indie rock act Prism Tats, tonight was a joy for fans of all eras.
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Song of the Day: The Coathangers – Make It Right

photo by Matt Odom

photo by Matt Odom

Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part 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 “Make It Right” by The Coathangers from their 2016 album, Nosebleed Weekend, on Suicide Squeeze.

The Coathangers – Make It Right (MP3)

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