Music That Matters: In Which Elvis Sees the Face Of Stalin in the Clouds

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.


A Giant Dog at KEXP in 2017 // photo by Niffer Calderwood

Currently you’ll hear:

Music That Matters, Vol. 591 – In Which Elvis Sees the Face Of Stalin in the Clouds

John in the Morning invades your “Dreams” and insists “You Would Have To Lose Your Mind” to “Poor the War Away” “In Another Century” which sends us back to “Primeval” times where it’s a “Private Understanding” that one must “Bendover” when you are sent a “Dispatch From Mar-A-Lago” that has a picture of dice rolled to “Snake Eyes” on it. It’s then you know that we’ve entered the Age of “Aquarius”.

Tracklist:
1. Alice Boman – Dreams
2. Lor – Aquarius
3. The Barr Brothers – You Would Have to Lose Your Mind
4. Karl Blau – Poor the War Away
5. The Church – Another Century
6. Until the Ribbon Breaks – Here Comes the Feeling
7. Casper Skulls – Primeval
8. Protomartyr – A Private Understanding
9. A Giant Dog – Bendover
10. L7 – Dispatch from Mar-a-Lago
11. No Age – Soft Collar Fad
12. Trouble – Snake Eyes

Listen here: (MP3)

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Song of the Day: Shenandoah Davis – Orbit

photo by Lou Daprile

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 Midday Show with Cheryl Waters, is “Orbit” by Shenandoah Davis from her album Souvenirs, available now via Plume Records.

Shenandoah Davis – Orbit (MP3) Read More »

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Throwaway Style: Vektroid is Bigger Than Vaporwave on Seed & Synthetic Earth

Vektroid

Throwaway Style is a weekly column dedicated to examining all aspects of the Northwest music scene. Whether it’s a new artist making waves, headlines affecting local talent, or reflecting on some of the music that’s been a foundation in our region; this space celebrates everything happening in the Northwest region, every Thursday on the KEXP Blog.


Creating a genre-defining work must be a blessing and a curse. How many interviews with Krist Novoselic and Dave Grohl do we have to sit through where they get asked, “When you made Nevermind, did you know it was going to CHANGE EVERYTHING?” They always say some polite, tactful version of “no.” We already know the answer to the question, yet those dudes are gonna be asked about that for eternity, even more so than any of their other work in and outside of the band. It doesn’t take being a giant, ubiquitous act to get relegated to this media purgatory where your name gets associated with one idea or project. Portland-based producer Ramona Andra Xavier has been releasing music under a variety of aliases, primarily as Vektroid, since 2009. But if you know one of her works, it’s most likely Macintosh Plus‘ 2011 album Floral Shoppe — aka the “definitive vaporwave album.”

  Read More »

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Midnight In A Perfect World: Saint Etienne

MIAPW-Saint-Etienne_640x427

Influential British trio and longtime KEXP favorites Saint Etienne released a wonderful cover of Neil Young’s song “Only Love Can Break Your Heart” as their breakout debut single nearly 30 years ago, and they’re still going strong today. With each new release, they continue to find ways to tweak and perfect their sophisticated blend of contemporary dance-pop with psych-pop, glam-rock, and disco nostalgia. Earlier this year they released their 9th studio album, Home Counties, to continued critical acclaim. Their exclusive guest DJ mix for Midnight in a Perfect World is a playful and groovy set that keeps things fun and kinetic throughout while breezing through some throwback gems, new remixes of old favorites, and a few contemporary dancefloor burners.


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Thursday Music News

photo by Matthew B. Thompson

photo by Matthew B. Thompson (view set)

  • Alt-J have shared an incredibly cinematic video for “Pleader,” off their latest album Relaxer, released back in June. Directed by Isaiah Seret, the exact plot is difficult to derive but according to the band: “When we set out to make a video for ‘Pleader,’ Joe sent the following one-line brief to director Isaiah Seret: ‘a Welsh mining love story; a tidal wave of earth.’ What Isaiah came back with was an epic short film, inspired both by the song’s source material and Tarkovsky’s The Sacrifice. A family must pit their desire to have a child against the knowledge that this would destroy their community. The hypnotic, hymnal quality of the song binds the video throughout, hinting at redemption while destruction takes place.” [ Under the Radar ]

Read More »

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Review Revue: Third Circle – Last Night Was the Best Night of My Life

Third Circle - Last Night Was the Best Night of My Life

There’s not a lot out there in Internet-land about Third Circle – or even about their label, Rouska – despite the fact that pretty much everybody at KCMU in 1986 seemed to agree that their debut release was some version of “good.” Discogs and this one other blog post agree that Third Circle was mostly a guy named Martin Kelly, who was also part of Rouska head Richard Paddison (aka Rouska)’s project W.M.T.I.D. (Which I’m sure stands for something.)

But hey, sometimes we’re just shedding a tiny bit of light on a relatively forgotten recording and seeing how many ways college radio DJs can find to call something good. Enjoy!

“2.2 is live and is very good. The two studio cuts are devastating. Hard, driving pop with an enormous drum sound. Go Rouska!! Medium. I repeat – big fucking drums.”

“Pot very, very low!!”

“No big drums here. They’re just mixed way up front. [Correct.] Very good, nonetheless.”

“Incredibly good.”

“This is good.”

“But, technically?”

“You couldn’t tell that from the raucous sound of this album.” [Written on the bottom half of a label way off in the bottom right corner of the album. Maybe a comment on the title? Or response to someone else’s missing comment? We may never know.]

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Song of the Day: METZ – Cellophane

photo by Brady Harvey (view all)

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 Midday Show with Cheryl Waters, is “Cellophane” by METZ from their album Strange Peace, available now via Sub Pop Records.

METZ – Cellophane (MP3) Read More »

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KEXP Exclusive Interview: Sub Pop CEO Megan Jasper on The Grunge Hoax of Greatness

photo by Owen Murphy

photo by Owen Murphy

On this day in 1992, the number-one hit song in the U.S. was “How Do You Talk to an Angel” by The Heights. The Jacksons: An American Dream, which chronicled the rise to fame of the Jacksons, premiered on ABC and movies like A River Runs Through It, Glengarry Glen Ross, and the Steven Seagal classic Under Siege were in theaters.

More importantly, it was on this day in history that the “grunge speak” hoax is bought hook, line, and sinker by a reporter from the New York Times after Megan Jasper, a receptionist at the time for Sub Pop Records (now their CEO!), makes up a list of fake slang terms. Under pressure from the writer who wanted to know if grunge fans had their own slang, Jasper shared a set of slang terms that she claimed were associated with the scene in the early 1990s, but which she had, in fact, invented on the spot. The information given by Jasper appeared in the sidebar of a feature article by reporter Rick Marin in The New York Times, revealing him to be the lamestain in the tom-tom club. Listen below and read excerpts from a chat with Jasper and KEXP’s Morning Show host John Richards as they swing on the flippity-flop and remember this score.

WACK SLACKS: Old ripped jeans
FUZZ: Heavy wool sweaters
PLATS: Platform shoes
KICKERS: Heavy boots
SWINGIN’ ON THE FLIPPITY-FLOP: Hanging out
BOUND-AND-HAGGED: Staying home on Friday or Saturday night
SCORE: Great
HARSH REALM: Bummer
COB NOBBLER: Loser
DISH: Desirable guy
BLOATED, BIG BAG OF BLOATATION: Drunk
LAMESTAIN: Uncool person
TOM-TOM CLUB: Uncool outsiders
ROCK ON: A happy goodbye

Posted in Interviews, John In The Morning, KEXP, Local Music | 1 Comment

Local Artist Spotlight and Album Premiere: Mo Troper – Exposure & Response

mo troper 640

photo by Samantha Sutcliffe

A catchy melody doesn’t just get stuck in your head – it lives there. You sit with it, sometimes for days or even years, ruminating on it whether you want to or not. Writing just one of these songs can be an accomplishment. Portland songwriter Mo Troper does this 15 times over on his latest album, Exposure & Response, out November 17 via Good Cheer Records. Resounding string arrangements, chunky guitar chords, and booming drum patterns coalesce, coming and going at a rapid pace before Troper moves on to his next big idea. Just try and get the single “Wicked” out of your head, with it’s snapping rhythms and undeniable chorus.

In true power-pop fashion, Troper’s music maintains catchiness without losing an aching, emotional core. Troper’s skills at arrangement and melody are only paralleled by his deft lyricism. Throughout the album, he plays both cynic and romantic. One minute he’s shouting undying love on “Jumbotron,” the next he’s calling out Ivy League elitism on “Big School.” He takes on the absurdity of the music industry on “Your Brand” and frequently calls himself out on his own bullshit on songs like “Clear Frames” and “The Poet Laureate of Neverland” – peppering self-criticism throughout the record. Listening to the record is immersing yourself in the dysfunction of the world through Troper’s eyes. He doesn’t claim to have the answers and is candid about his own flaws throughout. Read More »

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Wednesday Music News

photo by Santiago Felipe

  • A brand new song from Björk has emerged called “Blissing Me,” along with a video premiered via Amazon Music UK. The song recounts the story of Björk and a fellow “music nerd” crush “sending each other MP3s, falling in love to a song,” according to the lyrics. It’s a beautiful change after 2015’s heartbreaking album Vulnicura, focused on the dissolution of her 13-year relationship. Björk has previously called her new album Utopia her “Tinder album” and we now see what she means by that. The video features Björk is gauzy blue outfit and completely face-changing makeup, dancing in a white room. Utopia is out November 24 on One Little Indian. [ Rolling Stone ]

Read More »

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