Wednesday Music News

St. Vincent

photo by @ximsagram via Instagram

  • Holy shit. St. Vincent played a show last night at Le Poisson Rouge in New York, dressed as toilet. The evening also included performances from Father John Misty and Rufus Wainwright, Martha Wainwright, Joan As Police Woman, and more, although none of them dressed as a sanitation fixture. Proceeds from the show are being donated to the son of her drummer, Matt Johnson, who is in recovery after a severe seizure in February. Watch fan-shot footage of “Bring Me Your Loves” below. (Warning: strobe lights in heavy use.) And stay tuned for, maybe, an explanation behind why she dressed as a toilet? [Spin]

  • Oh, the irony that the video for Parquet Courts‘s “Human Performance” stars puppets instead of, y’know, humans. Director Phil Collins (sadly, not that one) explained via a press release, “I was thinking about the track and how it paints a breakup both elliptically and with such devastating directness. And I wondered what it would be like if this drama was enacted not through naturalism or authenticity but through its partners in crime, doubling and artificiality. So puppets seemed an obvious choice.” Watch the clip below (and their KEXP in-studio session here). The album Human Performance is out now via Rough Trade. [Under the Radar]

  • Richard David James — better known as Aphex Twin — continues to share singles from his forthcoming EP Cheetah. Check out the track “CHEETAHT7b” below, via Zane Lowe’s Beats 1 show. Cheetah hits stores July 8th via Warp. [Pitchfork]

  • Long-running Athens, GA-via-outer space band of Montreal are poised to release their 14th album, Innocence Reaches, later this summer. Today, they share a dance party video for “It’s Different for Girls.” Frontman/founding member Kevin Barnes explains, “The ‘girls’ I’m singing about in the song aren’t exclusively of the biologically female variety. It’s more of a paean to all the wild-hearted counter culture groups of our species. In a way, I feel like most of us transition back and forth, psychologically, between female and male and that sexual identity is a fluid concept.” Innocence Reaches is out August 12th via Polyvinyl. [Consequence of Sound]

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Midnight In A Perfect World: Vox Mod


Seattle electronic musician Scot Porter, a.k.a. Vox Mod, has been a local favorite on KEXP’s airwaves ever since his breakout 2013 album SYN​-​ÆSTHETIC showcased his dense, celestial, epic style of spaced-out, synth-heavy electronic/rock jams. Hot on the heels of releasing his new album, Pure Consciousness, Vox Mod swings by KEXP to share a high-energy mix that storms through a selection of his inspirational favorites, including a heavy dose of nostalgic 90s big beat and intricate IDM tracks, as well as sprinkling in a couple of songs from his latest album.

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Live Review: Beth Orton at the Triple Door 6/23/2016

photos by Amber Knecht (view set)

When Beth Orton stepped onstage at the Triple Door on a Thursday night, it was a night of great change for the Norfolk singer. Bathed in a gauzy lighting display seemingly pulled straight from an Animal Collective production, Orton acknowledged that it was a quite significant night for her: “My countrymen are all cunts,” she said with only the slightest hint of humor. “If my daughter were here, she would tell me not to use the ‘k-word’, but I think it’s pretty appropriate here.” Orton, of course, was talking about the Brexit – the result of the referendum was being confirmed as her set was going on – but it’s telling that her associated anecdote was about her family, the other major change in Orton’s life in the last decade. Her newest LP, this year’s Kidsticks, is a stark departure from anything else in her catalog, not least the trad-folk LPs that preceded it, reflecting the shifts in her own life as she transitioned from a major player in the ’90s UK dance scene to a long-running folk singer. But like the album, Orton’s performance at the Triple Door had little in common with any of her previous tours, reshaping her songs around her electronic accompaniment in favor of the acoustic guitar that has long anchored her.

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Song of the Day: Hammock – Everything and Nothing

photo by Thomas Petillo

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 Morning Show with John Richards, is “Everything and Nothing” by Hammock from their 2016 self-released album, Everything and Nothing.

Hammock – Everything and Nothing (MP3)

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On The Air: Soul Freedom in The Roadhouse 6/29


I’m nostalgic, I admit it.

For me, going back to a day I was too young to remember, when summer and sweet soul music went hand in hand — think hot pants, beer cozies keepin’ Colt 45s cool, Fat Albert, afros of all shapes, hula hoops, blaxploitation, stay-press polyester, pocket transistors, gangster leans, Sidney Poitier, and, of course, 45s — is something that always seems to surface around the 4th Of July.

theres-a-riot-goin-on-png-1373912161This Wednesday June 29th, I’ll air my annual Independence Day special, Soul Freedom in The Roadhouse on KEXP 6:00 to 9:00 PM PT, and available all 4th Of July weekend via KEXP’s stream archive. It’s three hours of vintage soul with all selections falling somewhere between 1965-1975, including comedy bits, old-time radio advertisements, a set about soul food, and that special good feeling when everything seemed to be funky.

There’s a positivity and cooperative community in my romanticized vision of the late ’60s and early ’70s, fabricated in my consciousness by the ephemera of my youth — old magazines, album covers, liner notes, movies, TV shows, books, cartoons, commercials, and, of course, old records. It just seemed to be a good time (“dy-no-mite!”), when everyone was cool, and the music was outta-site. The output was simply incredible. Now, with the many re-issues of this classic period it only adds to my assembled memory of the day, when I was very young. But like a contact high, I can feel it.
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Tuesday Music News

photo Michael Lavine

photo Michael Lavine

  • Dev Hynes, a.k.a. Blood Orange, dropped his highly-anticipated album Freetown Sound late last night, a few days ahead of it’s scheduled release date. He also shared the self-directed video for “Augustine,” which features his singing in front of a painted flag of Sierra Leone (Freetown is its capitol.) Stream the album and watch the video below. [Pitchfork]

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Live Video: Andrew Bird

photo by Morgen Schuler (view set)

We couldn’t be more serious: the latest from longtime singer/songwriter Andrew Bird is the artist’s most intimate album yet. Not only has Bird opened his life to a wife and child, but he’s opened up his music. “Most of my productions have been very autonomous,” he confirms to DJ Cheryl Waters. But for his lucky 13th album Are You Serious, he reunites with producer Tony Berg (from 2005’s The Mysterious Production of Eggs), he collaborated on lyrics with Dan Wilson (formerly of Semisonic), and he has started to open up… a little. “I’m a fan of a little bit of ambiguity,” Bird says slyly. “I used to think of the first person as being a little distasteful. I, me — get over yourself,” he smiles. “But then, life gets real… and now, I get it.” Watch a more freer Bird spread his wings in the KEXP studios (including the incredibly personal track “Roma Fade,” about the first time he saw his wife).

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Song of the Day: Caveman – Never Going Back


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 Morning Show with John Richards, is “Never Going Back” by Caveman from their 2016 album, Otero War, on Cinematic Music Group.

Caveman – Never Going Back (MP3)

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Live Around Town This Week


Monday, June 27th:

Ms. Lauryn Hill at The Showbox // 21+ (more info)

Alaric, Dead Spells, Same Sex Dictator, Anteinferno at The Highline // 21+ (more info)

Tuesday, June 28th:

You Won’t, Bombadil, Jocelyn Mackenzie at the Tractor Tavern // 21+ (more info)

Cub Sport, Eastern Souvenirs, Mermaid In China at The Sunset // 21+ (more info)

Juicy Thompson and the Snuggle Regime, the Bolos, The Snubs at The Highline // 21+ (more info)
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In Stores Now 6/20


A new album from DJ Shadow dropped last Friday, his first since 2011’s The Less You Know, the Better. The LP — the fifth from the west coast DJ/producer — features guest appearances from Run the Jewels, Nils Frahm, and several others.

Deerhoof return with what KEXP Music Director Don Yates describes as, “one of their most visceral releases, with a raw, electric sound incorporating elements of punk, glam-rock, metal, funk, doo wop and more.” Alice Bag (a.k.a. Alicia Armendariz) was a member of the pioneering late ’70s-era LA punk-rock duo The Bags. She steps into the spotlight with her solo debut, “an impressive, politically charged blend of raging garage-punk, ’60s girl-group pop, Spanish ballads and more, combining a raw but brightly melodic sound with her often-acerbic lyrics aimed at date rapists, corporate malefactors and other deserving targets.”

L.A. sister duo of Piper and Skylar Kaplan — better known as Puro Instinct — share their sophomore full-length, “a more polished, ’80s synth pop-oriented take on their hazy dream-pop sound, combining shimmering synths, atmospheric guitars and drum-machine rhythms with ethereal harmonies and soaring melodies.” North Carolina band The Avett Brothers release their ninth album, which “finds them broadening their folk-pop sound by incorporating more diverse instrumentation and more modern production (courtesy of Rick Rubin) on a variety of well-crafted songs reflecting on love, loss and faith.” And Icelandic composer Ólafur Arnalds curates the latest Late Night Tales, choosing tracks from Julianna Barwick, Four Tet and James Blake, and featuring a new song from his project Kiasmos, and his cover of Destiny Child’s “Say My Name.”

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