Posts tagged KEXP
Rainn Wilson on Music, Education, and What Bands Dwight Would Listen To

Rainn Wilson, best known for his role as Dwight Schrute on the acclaimed American TV show The Office, is a Northwest treasure. The writer, actor, and comedian, who grew up outside Seattle, is bright, eloquent and goofy. He is compelling and odd. And, this month, Wilson will host an eclectic night of entertainment May 30th at the Paramount Theatre to support Mona Foundation, an organization that works to fund education and educational programs in impoverished, underserved areas. Wilson, who has worked with the foundation for years, says that education is a fundamental reason for his own success and, as a result, he wants to pass that gift on to others. To preview the May 30th event, we caught up with Wilson to ask him about his love of music, when he first heard The Clash, and what he’s exploring these days, creatively. 

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Storytelling & the Silver Lining: Neko Case Invites Us Into the "Little Apartment" Of Her Songs

It’s hard to imagine that someone with such a powerful voice can be so understated, but that’s exactly how the great Neko Case comports herself in conversation. If you ask her about her range, the startlingly beautiful-voiced songwriter will say her voice isn’t that powerful, differing to others she adores. If you ask her about her intricate songwriting, she’ll compare it to a card table with puzzle pieces strewn all over. And if you ask her about her dog — who recently saved her life (more on that below) — she’ll coo and call him a good boy! This is what it’s like to talk to the stunning musician, who we caught up with to preview her upcoming show on June 1st at The Gorge Amphitheater with Brandi Carlile and Emmylou Harris. 

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Victoria Legrand of Beach House on the Sacredness of Fireflies and (Much) More

Baltimore, Maryland-based dream pop band, Beach House, will play Seattle’s Moore Theatre on May 8th and 9th. That means for two evenings, the city will be vastly enriched by the group’s fantastical sounds, which are part-Goth waltz and part-glittering sonic castles. Beach House, which formed in 2004, released its latest LP, 7, a year ago. The album features an array of songs that offer the mind a cloud-hammock to lay in and explore existence in a more pleasant state. To preview the upcoming shows, we caught up with Beach House’s front woman, singer and keyboardist, Victoria Legrand, to talk with her about her origins in singing, how Beach House has stayed together now for 15 years, and what she remembers most from conversations with her fans.

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Chong the Nomad Looks at Love with New Single "Two Colors"

Seattle electronic music producer, Chong the Nomad, creates layered sounds that resemble both a single butterfly landing on a blade of grass and the cacophonous thunder in the big sky that shakes the creature from its perch. She is also one of the fastest rising songwriters in the city. The musician, whose given name is Alda Agustiano, has a new series of singles she’s set to release monthly for the next four months, leading up to what will likely be a slammed summer of shows for the DJ-performer. And KEXP is proud to release exclusively the first song in the set, “Two Colors,” a track about a new, important romantic relationship. To celebrate the release, we caught up with Agustiano to ask about how she started in music, what it’s like grappling with writer's block and how she feels about the idea of "story."

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Duff McKagan Tries a Little Tenderness on New Solo Album

Seattle native and Guns N’ Roses bassist, Duff McKagan, oozes rock ‘n’ roll. The man has seen it all. He’s toured the world, lived great highs, and great lows. He is the author of a New York Times best-selling book and has played to hundreds of thousands of people around the globe. Most recently, McKagan found himself on tour with his Hall of Fame band. And during the course of those two-and-a-half years on the road, he noticed a few things. He began talking to people. In an age when there seems to be so much social division, the musician found that people aren’t so different after all. On tour, he thought he’d write a book about his experiences. Instead, though, he wrote a new solo record, Tenderness, slated for release May 31. To get a sense of what went into the recording, we caught up with McKagan and asked him about it. 

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Doug Martsch of Built To Spill on the Freedom (and Traps) of Music

For years, the Northwest-based indie rock band, Built To Spill, has inspired and entertained music lovers of all kinds with the group’s signature circusy melodies and curious, endearing lyricism. Fronted, of course, by the sonic wizard, Doug Martsch, Built To Spill will play two consecutive sold-out shows March 26th and 27th at the Columbia City Theater. To preview the back-to-back events, we reached out to the songwriter to ask him about being one of the region’s most beloved rockers, what he’s learned about the business of music after achieving so much success, how he fell in love with the game of basketball, and what he finds freeing about song composition.

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Tacocat Dance This Mess Around on Their Forthcoming New Album This Mess is a Place

Tacocat has a new record out! Well, almost out. The highly anticipated album, This Mess is a Place, will be released May 3rd on Sub Pop Records. Produced by local legend, Erik Blood, the 10-track album features the band’s signature high-energy music and quirky-thoughtful-introspective songwriting. To whet the proverbial whistles of their fans, Tacocat recently released the album’s first single (and accompanying music video) for “Grains of Salt,” which you can watch below. To celebrate the release, we caught up with the band’s frontwoman, Emily Nokes, to talk about the genesis of the album, how the group prepares for an extended tour, and what it’s been like to grow older and wiser over the years.

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Mike McCready and Visual Artist Kate Neckel Introduce Infinite Sound & Color

Infinite Sound & Color is the new artistic, collaborative project from Pearl Jam guitarist, Mike McCready, and bi-coastal visual artist, Kate Neckel. Their work features unbridled enthusiasm and a sense of organic freedom that comes from like-minded creativity and vulnerability. The duo, who began working together about four months ago, will showcase their work during two nights on March 22nd and 23rd at Seattle’s Winston Wächter Fine Art Gallery. (Both performances are sold out, but the work will be on display through May 18, 2019.) To preview the event, we caught up with both McCready and Neckel to ask them how they met and began working together as well as to get a sense of their creative relationship and what they hope to discover through their work together.

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Behind the Wheel: Seattle-based producer Jake One on the 10th Anniversary of His Debut White Van Music

Seattle-based producer Jake One (aka Jacob Dutton), is a legend in the hip-hop community. Drake, Dr. Dre, Jay-Z, De La Soul, Brother Ali, 50 Cent, and Macklemore are just some of the names featured on his extensive music catalog. Jake, who has been in the scene for nearly two decades, has also worked with other up-and-coming local artists like Parisalexa and Travis Thompson. His output is often comprised of epic-yet-soulful compositions born from his own instrumentation and samples found on records from around the world. Talk to anyone in Seattle who loves hip-hop and Jake is at the top of their collaborative wish list. Ten years ago, he released his acclaimed solo album, White Van Music, and to celebrate the anniversary of the release, we caught up with the producer to talk about his love of music, how his career began, and why he continues to work with many new artists.

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Josiah Johnson Talks Sobriety, Hiatus from The Head and the Heart, and New Solo Material

Josiah Johnson, co-founder of the Seattle Americana group The Head and the Heart, has dealt with a lot of change in his life. From discovering a type of musical magic with the band’s co-founder, Jonathan Russell, ten years ago to playing on stage to thousands of people to leaving the group to get sober to working through new songs and a new solo career path, Johnson has had to adapt many times over. But now, feeling more confident in his own skin, Johnson is setting out to play shows – including one tonight at Ballard’s Hotel Albatross – and release a new solo record in 2019. We caught up with Johnson to preview the upcoming gig and talk about the new record and much more.

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George Clinton Reflects on Impending Retirement, His Longtime Career, and Just Saying "Funk It"

George Clinton has mastered the musical ecosystem. He knows how to adapt. He knows how to push the right buttons to send the right message. And he’s a legend as a result. For the man who helped invent funk music, leading a band is as much about delegating as it is standing in front of the mic and moving a crowd. As a result, he’s helped many careers blossom and blossom again. Clinton, who will perform in Seattle Tuesday and Wednesday at the Neptune Theater, took the time to talk with KEXP about his history as a musician and what he remembers most about being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, being a barber in New Jersey, and how he’s ended up portrayed in so many famous cartoons.

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RJD2 on the Math Equation of Music Composition, Early Days, and "Wylin Out"

Columbus, Ohio-based music producer, RJD2, aka Ramble Jon Krohn, is one of the world’s most accomplished music producers. The musician burst onto the international scene in 2002 with his debut solo record, Deadringer, with hits like “The Horror,” “Smoke & Mirrors” and “Ghostwriter.” In other words, if you were a hip-hop head in the early 2000s, his music was a part of your everyday soundtrack. The songs from the album are so beloved that you can still hear them in both clubs and national commercials to this day. His most recent solo album, Dame Fortune, came out in 2016, but earlier this year, he released the album Tendrils, his second LP under the alias The Insane Warrior.

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Moby Shares Details About Upcoming Documentary and Other "Self-Diagnostic Creative Projects" with KEXP

On December 6th, Moby, the legendary songwriter and music producer, will grace the stage of Seattle’s McCaw Hall for an intimate-yet-sweeping orchestral performance that will showcase his many career hits. The night, which will feature members of the Pacific Northwest Ballet Orchestra and Emil de Cou conducting, will most assuredly be memorable, epic, and one-of-a-kind. To preview the event, we wanted to catch up with Moby (aka Richard Melville Hall) and ask him about the performance, which will also be included in an upcoming documentary. The film, which will look unflinchingly at the repercussions of fame and material success, is set for release in 2019. In addition, we asked Moby about his choice to go sober, what opening a vegan restaurant in L.A. has taught him about people, and why he loves collaborating with musicians from the Pacific Northwest.

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Michael Franti Stays Human and Wants to Help Others Stay Human, Too

Michael Franti is a generous soul. Franti — who is coming to the Moore Theatre on Monday, November 19th to debut his documentary, Stay Human, and play an acoustic set — is thoughtful and talkative when it comes to questions about anxiety and depression, spreading joy and listening to people’s stories. As someone who has battled mental illness, Franti says he’s learning more and more to lean into connecting with people, rather than keeping isolated in his art. Along his world tours, Franti says he tries to inspire the people he meets, advising them to channel the energy of their pain and push forward as the world seems to be crumbling all around us. And to preview Monday’s event, we caught up with Franti and asked him about the new album and movie, what his goals are for the works, and why he doesn’t ever wear shoes.

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Slug from Atmosphere Looks Back at His Crazy Life on the New Album Mi Vida Local

Sean Daley is the rapper, Slug. And Slug is one half of the Minneapolis, Minnesota, hip-hop group, Atmosphere, which released its latest LP, Mi Vida Local, on October 5th. With an upcoming national tour slated for the group, which includes a stop in Seattle at the Showbox SoDo on March 2nd, we thought we should catch up with Atmosphere’s frontman and talk about the new album and what tour life is like. For such a prolific duo, which has created underground hits like “God’s Bathroom Floor” and “Trying To Find A Balance,” we wanted to talk to Slug about the idea of a perfected song and how he maintains the energy to write, record, tour and manage his outstanding independent record label, Rhymesayers.

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