Kexp Live Performances Podcast



Every week KEXP hosts live performances from our studios and now you can take them with you. With roughly 200 performances each year, KEXP boasts an impressive line-up of guests. Go to KEXP.ORG for a list of upcoming performances. 628142


  • Dr. Dog

    22/09/2020 Duración: 22min

    Philadelphia’s Dr. Dog have spent two decades specializing in bright, jaunty sing-along tunes that have captured the hearts of a large and rabid fanbase. Troy Nelson delves into the history of our favorite riff-rockers, from bassist Toby Leaman and guitarist Scott McMicken’s high school band Raccoon to the lore of Dr. Dog’s first album The Psychedelic Swamp and all the way up to their most recent record, 2018’s Critical Equation. Along the way, Nelson educates us on the merits of analog recording as well as why it could be “freakin’ genius” for a band to start their own label. Dr. Dog likes to play in the city of Seattle on Valentine's Day - DJ Cheryl Waters says that means they must love us! Believe it or not, this was recorded live February 14th, 2020. That’s like right before… Recorded 02/14/2020. Ladada Over Here, Over There Buzzing In The Light Under The Wheels Watch the full Live on KEXP session on YouTube Support the show: See for privac

  • Yīn Yīn

    15/09/2020 Duración: 28min

    Listening to Yīn Yīn, you might expect the band to hail from the country from which their main source of inspiration is derived: Thailand. Instead, the quartet were surprisingly born and bred in the city of Maastricht in the Netherlands. That doesn’t stop them from skillfully employing their twist on 1960s psychedelia from South East Asia, alongside a long list of other inspirations including disco, rock, dub, funk, and western. Troy Nelson delves into the importance of recognizing the thin line between cultural appropriation versus appreciation while pointing out how artists like Yin Yin, the Beatles, Khruangbin, and Kamasi Washington have sincerely integrated different cultural reference points into their music. HAW PIN! This expression of unity is posted everywhere in Maastricht during the ongoing pandemic. Recorded 12/07/2019. Pingpxng One Inch Punch Chông ky Dis̄ Kô Dis̄ Kô Support the show: See for privacy information.

  • Travis Thompson

    08/09/2020 Duración: 22min

    Burien’s biggest musical export Travis Thompson has been building buzz since signing a record deal with major label Epic last year to release his latest album Reckless Endangerment. Filling the KEXP stage with a full band, the young rapper spits his flows gracefully and effortlessly like a seasoned pro. Troy Nelson traces Thompson’s trajectory from spitting rhymes over Lil Wayne beats to open mics to Macklemore to major label signing. For those unfamiliar, Nelson also explains the geographical relationship of Burien to Seattle and the complications of repping a small, largely-unknown city. Everyone’s always from the biggest city near to where they're really actually from.   Recorded 01/07/2020. The Move Malice Mad Mad World Don’t Run Watch the full Live on KEXP session on YouTube (This session was previously aired on the KEXP Live Performances podcast) Support the show: See for privacy information.

  • Moundrag

    01/09/2020 Duración: 28min

    Brother band Moundrag brag about their lack of guitars, which may not seem like a big deal, but you try making heavy progressive psych without it! Camille and Colin Goallen created the band from a former 4-piece project called Smooth Motion. Troy Nelson dives into a history lesson on other notable bands that have spawned from less-notable projects while also giving us the 411 on Moundrag, who hail from a small town outside of Rennes, France. The capital of the region of Brittany is where KEXP caught Moundrag for this Live on KEXP session at the fantastic Trans Musicales festival, where they wowed the audience with a fun, energetic set consisting of costumes, dueling vocals, furious percussion, wailing keys and more gongs than there are members in the band. Dang we miss going to local music shows. Recorded 12/04/2019 My Woman Hangman The Priest & The Whore Watch the full Live on KEXP session on YouTube Support the show: See for privacy informati

  • L'Eclair

    25/08/2020 Duración: 28min

    Swiss six-piece L’Eclair make eccentric grooves inspired by an eclectic combination of sources including dub, funk, krautrock, ambient, and prog. A jam band at heart, the Geneva band can stretch sets out for hours at a time, if the audience so desires. Which, they usually do. We hop the pond for a dash of European culture on this week’s Live on KEXP. Witness Troy Nelson attempt to educate listeners on the history of and difference between L’Eclair, the band, and eclairs, the French pastry, while reciting Charlotte Brontë. Imagine him with a wood pipe in hand, if necessary. “I could not go in: too resistless was the delight of staying with the wild hour.” Recorded 12/08/2019. Dallas Coke Mountain Castor MacDavid Disco Dino / Suite / Suite No. 2 Watch the full Live on KEXP session on YouTube Support the show: See for privacy information.

  • The Joy Formidable

    18/08/2020 Duración: 28min

    Welsh band The Joy Formidable have spent the past decade making stadium-ready indie rock opuses that sound larger than life itself. In 2019, after releasing four great albums, the band celebrated the 10-year anniversary of their debut EP, 'A Balloon Called Moaning,' with a deluxe re-issue and a major tour behind the album. That’s when the band found themselves amongst the glimmering lights of KEXP’s in-studio session room to play four songs. Troy Nelson details the history of the band, from the hallowed halls of KEXP in late 2019 to their roots as a band called Tricky Nixon, while also weaving in some education on the history of impeachment amongst American presidents. Kierkegaard said “Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards." Recorded 12/17/2019. The Greatest Light Is The Greatest Shade Y Bluen Eira While The Flies Passerby Watch the full Live on KEXP session on YouTube Support the show:

  • Matthew Dear

    11/08/2020 Duración: 25min

    Veteran electronic producer Matthew Dear is a self-described “tinkerer” and “loop-obsessed” musician who is known for crafting eclectically varied and mesmerizingly strange sounds under a number of various names including Audion, False, and Jabberjaw alongside his government name. Dear’s most recent album, 2018’s Bunny, was described by KEXP (aka myself) as having “moments of buoyancy that verge on sheer pop (granted, a twisted and discombobulated type of pop).”  Things get weird on today’s Live on KEXP, as Troy Nelson seemingly veers wildly off-topic to delve into the science behind sleep, a couple of toy makers who appreciate it, and the drugs that impair it. But trust us, there’s a point here (I think) that connects to Matthew Dear, who was quoted as saying, “Hey old man, why aren't I rested? Why's your boy so damn tired? Where's the music?” In response to not having put out music under his own name in 6 years. It’s been hard to sleep recently huh? Gang - we have to get some rest. Recorded 12/18/2019. Mo

  • Joey Quiñones & Thee Sinseers

    04/08/2020 Duración: 20min

    Time warp with us to a year that’s *not* 2020 to settle into the sultry sounds of Joey Quiñones and Thee Sinseers. The East Los Angeles band takes their inspiration from the soulful ‘60s of SoCal to bring some seriously sexy heat. Despite having only released a string of singles, Thee Sinseers are one of the most popular groups in SoCal, in-demand for parties up and down the California coast. Singer, songwriter, and man-who-can-play-any-instrument Joey Quiñones’ extraordinary vocals make a strong argument for “future household name” and, if our YouTube comments are to be believed, is considered “the gem of the Chicano music community.” Ahead of their set, recorded at the Transmusicales Festival in France and featuring Bryan Ponce and Adriana Flores from the Altons, Troy Nelson starts the engine and rolls down the windows to cruise back in time, taking us through the many artists that led up to and influenced the sweltering sounds of Joey Quiñones and Thee Sinseers. It’s summertime. SUMMERTIME y’all! Recorde

  • High Pulp

    28/07/2020 Duración: 28min

    Just in time for the sun-soaked dog days of summer, High Pulp are here to bring the heat with their jazz-influenced funky, soulful rhythms. The Seattle-based band is a giant collective ranging anywhere between 6 and 11 skilled musicians at any time who believe that collaboration is key. Troy Nelson details the band’s growth from the basement to Bad Juice and name-checks the local luminaries that have added their flavor to the High Pulp dish. Sometimes you gotta add more hot sauce.. Recorded 01/17/2020. Serena Williams Sermon Nikola Ezell's Watch the full Live on KEXP session on YouTube Support the show:

  • Michelle Blades

    21/07/2020 Duración: 25min

    Mexican-Panamian artist Michelle Blades brings a vast range of influences to her unique transcontinental post-psych. Born into a family of salsa musicians, Blades has a rich musical history that includes the Arizona-based noise rock band called North Dakota and the French synthpop group Fishbach. Troy Nelson journeys down “the rabbit hole of French awesome” and digs into her continent-hopping past, present, and, likely, future. Our connection with Michelle Blades has been a tale of festivals. Recorded 11/14/2019.  Politic! Mota O Perreo Ring His Man Watch the full Live on KEXP session on YouTube Support the show:

  • Emily King

    14/07/2020 Duración: 21min

    For over 15 years, Emily King has been showcasing her gorgeously soulful vocals and prize-winning songwriting on platforms both minor and major. The daughter of two musicians kicked off her career in a major way by signing to J Records, being a featured vocalist on Nas’ 2004 album Street Disciple, and spending the next few years opening for legendary artists like Alicia Keys, Chaka Khan, John Legend, and Erykah Badu.  Now on indie label ATO Records, King still has Major Label Energy which can be seen on 2019’s Grammy-nominated record Scenery and 2020’s acoustic album Sides. Troy Nelson takes us through King’s journey from Nas to Stas (Thee Boss), who hosted King’s KEXP in-studio earlier this year. As a young musician, Emily King was ambitious and eager. She was also confident...  Recorded 01/31/2020.  1. Look At Me Now 2. Already There  3. Distance 4. Go Back Watch the full Live on KEXP session on YouTube Support the show:

  • SONS

    07/07/2020 Duración: 23min

    If fiery fuzzed-out riffs and tireless headbangable energy is your thing then SONS is your band. The Belgian four-piece has spent the past couple of years introducing their brand of blistering garage rock to the world via nonstop touring. This performance of SONS finds them in the wintery wonderland of Reykjavik for Iceland Airwaves, where the band turns the heat up to tropical levels to melt both faces and minds. Troy Nelson takes us through the short history of the longtime good buds and the making of their 2019 debut album Family Dinner. Sometimes a story is pretty simple. Some friends get together and start jamming. Recorded 11/07/2019.  Family Dinner  Tube Spit  Waiting On My Own Do They See Me Watch the full Live on KEXP session on YouTube Support the show:

  • 47Soul

    30/06/2020 Duración: 29min

    Palestinian-Jordanian band 47Soul are making waves around the world in a cultish way with their completely unique take on traditional Palestinian street music infused with electronic, hip hop, dancehall, and dabke that they call Shamstep. This trailblazing new genre is named after the province Bilad Al-Sham, with their lyrics focusing on themes of displacement and community. Troy Nelson takes you through a brief history of life in the Middle East before and after the Arab-Israeli War in 1948, which led to the forced displacement of 700,000 Palestinian Arabs from what became known as Israel, stripping them of their freedom and ease of movement. Egyptian feminist activist Nawal el Saadawi once said “If you are creative, you must be dissident."  Here is one such story, of the artist straining against authority. Recorded 09/23/2019. Machina Gamar Marked Safe Intro to Shamstep Watch the full Live on KEXP session on YouTube Support the show:

  • Caroline Polachek

    23/06/2020 Duración: 21min

    You may know composer, singer, and producer Caroline Polachek best as the frontperson of the iPod-hawking band Chairlift. But, as Troy Nelson details on this episode of Live on KEXP, the New York-based artist has long been busily churning out music for herself as well as a wide list of artists including the Queen Bee herself. Her latest record, 2019’s 'Pang,' is the first to be released under her own name and is a sweepingly bold proclamation of an artist who’s never been afraid of innovation.  For KEXP, Polachek strips down four songs from the album to just piano and heavenly vocals while Troy explains her relationship to bugs, Beyonce, and “Bruises.”  Recorded 12/18/2019. Go As a Dream Door So Hot You’re Hurting My Feelings Ocean of Tears Watch the full Live on KEXP session on YouTube Support the show.

  • Georgia Anne Muldrow & Declaime

    16/06/2020 Duración: 20min

    A prolific musical force, Georgia Anne Muldrow has released 19 albums since 2006 and has worked with everyone from Erykah Badu, Mos Def, Brittany Howard, and Blood Orange. Her latest release, 2019’s 'Black Love & War,' is a collaboration with husband Dudley Perkins that sees the poetic geniuses explore the funky depths of Afrofuturism.  Troy Nelson expands on Muldrow’s rich history while presenting a symbolic and timely analogy of the plight of a caterpillar’s transformation into a butterfly, in which butterflies only appear when the caterpillar looks inside and is ready to change.  Recorded 11/19/2019. Run It Down Flowers Change Overload Watch the full Live on KEXP session on YouTube Check out an exclusive mix the duo crafted for KEXP's 'Midnight in a Perfect World' series Support the show.

  • The Black Tones

    09/06/2020 Duración: 34min

    Instead of releasing a new session today, we are continuing our station-wide pause on new content to hold space for anti-racist education and action. Meanwhile, we are using our platform to amplify Black voices in music. Today, we revisit one of our favorite KEXP sessions by Seattle group, The Black Tones. Their 2019 debut full-length album, 'Cobain and Cornbread,' is an invigorating blend of blues and punk, produced by Jack Endino of Seattle grunge fame. Their song, "The Key of Black (They Want Us Dead)," speaks to the ongoing fight against police brutality and the violent realities of systemic racism. Cheryl Waters hosts the band in the KEXP Live Room for four songs from the new album. Recorded 06/18/2019. Ghetto Spaceship The Key of Black (They Want Us Dead) Mama! There’s A Spider In My Room Welcome Mr. Pink Watch the full Live on KEXP session on YouTube Support the show.

  • The Shivas

    26/05/2020 Duración: 18min

    Hailing from Portland, The Shivas make surfy psychedelic that takes a massive amount of inspiration from the 1960s. For this episode of Live on KEXP, Troy Nelson draws parallels from artists of that era like the Beatles, Little Richard, and The Kingsmen to the explosive shake-n-shimmy of The Shivas. For the past 14 years, the quartet has charmed audiences with their bombastic live performances and this one is no different. Performing the first four songs off their latest record, Dark Thoughts, the band proves why they continue to shine after all this time. Recorded 11/13/2019. Gloria Turn Me On Playing On The Radio If You See Me Watch the full Live on KEXP session on YouTube Support the show.

  • Penelope Isles

    12/05/2020 Duración: 29min

    Formed by brother/sister duo Jack and Lily Wolter on a small island called Isle of Man, Penelope Isles channels salty seas and flowing currents for their eclectic and lustrous style of fuzzy dream pop. Now Brighton-based, the band is rounded out by Brighton locals Becky Redford on bass and Jack Sowton on drums. For this Live On KEXP session, Troy Nelson gives some background on the Isle of Man, which Jack Wolter calls a “special” and “safe” place where “80,000 alcoholics are clinging to a rock in the middle of the Irish Sea,” before the band breaks into a dazzling set of songs from their 2019 debut record, 'Until the Tide Creeps In.’ Recorded 10/30/2019. Leipzig Not Talking Gnarbone Cut Your Hair Watch the full Live on KEXP session on YouTube Support the show.

  • Calexico and Iron & Wine

    05/05/2020 Duración: 19min

    Fourteen years ago, Latin-infused Americana band Calexico teamed up with folk singer-songwriter Sam Beam, better known as Iron & Wine, for an EP called In the Reins. After much delay, the old friends reunited in 2018 to work on their debut full-length, Years to Burn, which was unveiled last year. The chemistry between the good chums is unmistakable during this KEXP performance, recorded at 2019’s inaugural Thing Fest at Fort Worden.  DJ Troy Nelson takes us through the history of the band and introduces us to the people responsible for the quick and collaborative making of Years to Burn. Recorded 08/25/2019. Father Mountain Midnight Sun He Lays In The Reins Bring On The Dancing Horses Watch the full Live on KEXP session on YouTube Support the show.

  • Hiss Golden Messenger

    28/04/2020 Duración: 21min

    For his third KEXP in-studio performance as Hiss Golden Messenger, folk-rocker M.C. Taylor brought a whole gang of talented musicians to join him. Flanked by Phil Cook, Chris Boerner, Erin Rae, Alex Bingham, and Al Smith, the sextet played a stunning set of songs off Hiss Golden Messenger’s latest record, 'Terms of Surrender.’  Recorded 10/11/2019. I Need A Teacher Down At The Uptown Bright Direction (You’re a Dark Star Now) Terms Of Surrender Watch the full Live on KEXP session on YouTube Support the show.

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