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The Sound & Vision podcast from KEXP features interviews, panels, reporting and commentary that digs into the stories behind the music, with in-depth discussion of the most important issues facing music and arts communities. New episodes are published on Tuesdays and Thursdays, with bonus features throughout the week. Sound & Vision is hosted by Emily Fox and John Richards.
 
One evening, some time after the great Crimean War of 1854-55, a company of military and naval officers met at dinner in London. They were talking over the war, as soldiers and sailors love to do, and somebody said: "Who, of all the workers in the Crimea, will be longest remembered?" Each guest was asked to give his opinion on this point, and each one wrote a name on a slip of paper. There were many slips, but when they came to be examined there was only one name, for every single man had wr ...
 
The Getting of Wisdom tells the story of Laura Rambotham, a 12-year-old girl who is just starting at her boarding school. This is based on Henry Handel Richardson’s experiences of her own school, the Prebysterian Ladies College in central Melbourne. The story goes through her friends and enemies and all the life of a boarding school in early 20th century Australia, and all the subjects and learning too. Laura learns a lot but her education does not satisfy her, and her social life is thrown ...
 
Henry Handel Richardson was the pseudonym of Ethel Florence Lindesay Richardson, a writer who was born in 1870 to a reasonably well-off family which later fell on hard times. The author's family lived in various Victorian towns and from the age of 13 to 17 Richardson attended boarding school at the Presbyterian Ladies' College in Melbourne, Victoria. It's this experience that feeds directly into The Getting of Wisdom. Laura Tweedle Rambotham, the main character, is the eldest child of a coun ...
 
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Laura Veirs calls her latest album, 'My Echo,' her “my songs knew I was getting divorced before I did" album. Her now ex-husband, Tucker Martine, was her producer of 20 years and produced the record. Veirs talks about how artist couples handle parenting, going through a divorce, her renewed sense of self and juggling music and motherhood during a p…
 
Backxwash was announced the winner of Canada’s prestigious Polaris Music Prize last week. Backxwash describes her music as industrial hip hop and horrorcore. She talks about how issues of mental health and her identity as a Black trans woman come up on her latest album, 'God Has Nothing To Do With This Leave Him Out Of It,' and how she finds comfor…
 
Jeff Tweedy (of Wilco fame) set a goal for himself during the pandemic—to write one song a day. The resulting work makes up his latest album, ‘Love Is The King.’ He also just released a new book, ‘How To Write One Song,' sharing tips around his creative process. Tweedy discusses the habits that helped him develop this prolific writing style, someti…
 
Kevin Morby feels a sense of melancholy when the sun goes down. That feeling inspired his latest album, ‘Sundowner.’ The album was written after Morby moved from LA to his hometown of Kansas City. He says this record was his “attempt to put the Middle American twilight—its beauty profound, though not always immediate— into sound.” Many of the songs…
 
It’s now been seven months since music venues have been able to hold shows. Steven Severin of the Seattle venue, Neumos, talks about the efforts to rally for federal and state aid as well as the recent #KeepMusicLiveWA fundraising campaign to save independent music venues. “If we don't get some type of funding, and soon, the venues are going to go …
 
Seattle’s Deep Sea Diver is out with their third album, 'Impossible Weight.' The album was written after frontwoman Jessica Dobson's experience with depression. “I just hit this crazy wall where everything turned black and I couldn’t see a foot in front of me,” Dobson says. On the journey to heal and overcome that sadness, Dobson started volunteeri…
 
Bob Mould has been making music for more than 40 years. His career started when he played in the punk band, Hüsker Dü, which was prominent in the 80s. Mould is now out with his 14th solo record, 'Blue Hearts.' Mould discusses some prominent themes from the new album, as well as parallels he sees in politics of the 80s and today, and the importance …
 
The Cheater’s Guide to Spotify is a series on Medium by OneZero author, Peter Slattery. In the series, Slattery lays out various ways people game the Spotify system to rack up streams. In this episode, he talks about some of those methods, like creating playlists of popular soundtracks and adding in music that wasn’t part of the soundtrack to give …
 
Fleet Foxes recently released a surprise album at the exact moment of the fall equinox, 6:31am PT on September 22. Frontman Robin Pecknold discusses the significance of the equinox on the record, tells stories behind some of the songs, and shares how he found a renewed appreciation for music during the pandemic. KEXP is a listener-funded nonprofit,…
 
Pitchfork published an article last week titled, “What it’s Like to Be Black in Indie Music.” Its author, Matthew James-Wilson, talks about his personal experience in the scene as well as what he gathered from various musicians he interviewed for the story. He says the artists he spoke with were “playing to largely white crowds and feeling like the…
 
Sylvan Esso is out with their third studio album, 'Free Love.' Sylvan Esso has said that this record is “about being increasingly terrified of the world around you and looking inward to remember all the times when loving other people seemed so easy, so that you can find your way back to that place.” Amelia Meath of the pop duo breaks down some of t…
 
Aluna Francis started her career as one half of the electronic duo AlunaGeorge. But as a Black artist in dance music, Aluna always felt like an outsider. For her first solo record, 'Renaissance,' she wanted to create a record for Black folks and bring dance music to its roots. After all, techno was formed in the early 80s by Black artists in Detroi…
 
Music journalist Jessica Hopper has been writing about misogyny, sexism and abuse in the music industry for more than two decades. When reacting to the fallout of Burger Records because of sexual abuse and misconduct, she says abuse in the music industry is nothing new. “Historically within music for male artists, women’s bodies, particularly young…
 
Burger Records was a garage rock record label in Orange County that built its brand on bringing rock and roll to teens and putting the spotlight on underground bands. It folded in July after a wave of sexual assault and misconduct allegations were posted on social media that involved members of more than a dozen bands on the label. Today’s story wi…
 
Shawna Potter is the singer of a hardcore, feminist punk band called War on Women. Last year she released a book called Making Spaces Safer: A Guide to Giving Harassment the Boot Wherever You Work, Play, and Gather. She discusses what a safe music venue should look like, how staff should be trained, and how patrons can respond to harassment. We als…
 
Blimes and Gab, the rap duo consisting of Seattle MC Gabrielle “Gifted Gab” Kadushin and San Francisco’s Samantha “Blimes Brixton” McDonald, recently released their debut album, 'Talk About It.' They join KEXP’s Gabriel Teodros to discuss the new album, finding alternative income streams during the pandemic, and being authentically themselves in a …
 
Josiah Johnson released his first solo album on September 4th. This comes five years after he was kicked out of Head and the Heart for his struggles with addiction. They were in the middle of recording 'Signs of Light' and Johnson wasn’t showing up to the studio or answering his phone. “They were like, we love you. Go figure your stuff out. We need…
 
One month ago, a large amount of ammonium nitrate stored at the port of Beirut exploded, causing at least 181 deaths and leaving an estimated 300,000 people homeless. Among those whose homes were destroyed were all members of the band Postcards. One band member was also injured from the impact of the explosion. KEXP's Owen Murphy catches up with Po…
 
Author Mark Ribowsky talks about the legacy of Little Richard, from the surprising story of his first hit single, "Tutti Frutti," to the many comebacks he had later in his career. Ribowsky also discusses the influential singer's struggles and frustrations with navigating a racist music industry, which he captures in his newly released biography, 'T…
 
Portland-raised rapper Aminé talks about how the racial tensions he felt in his hometown are reflected in his latest album, 'Limbo.' “Growing up as a Black kid in Portland, Oregon, there just isn’t a lot of us there so we never felt like we were welcomed in with open arms or felt comfortable walking around in my own city, which I love dearly to my …
 
“The Postal Service is the last lifeline for us musicians," says Jessica Dobson of Deep Sea Diver. On this episode, labels and musicians weigh in on changes to the USPS. The Postmaster general has been testifying before Congress about changes at the Postal Service, including reducing overtime hours and the removal of mail sorting machines. The chan…
 
Unity Arena, a socially-distanced outdoor concert space with a 2,500-person capacity, has opened up in northern England. (Here’s what it looks like.) It’s hosted four massive shows so far with over 20 more planned or in the works. Steve Davis, Director and Promoter at SSD Concerts, which is operating Unity Arena, talks about what the arena looks li…
 
Indoor theaters and music venues opened back up in England on August 15th with social distance rules in place. Founder of Music Venues Trust, Mark Davyd, talks about what these reopenings will look like. “Venues are operating at roughly 30% capacity. Everybody has to be seated. Drinks are only brought to the table. There are massive additional cost…
 
Anacortes, WA native, Phil Elverum talks about how he tried to break nostalgia by creating a one-track, 45-minute album under his old stage name, The Microphones. "I wanted to get at what The Microphones was,” Elverum says. Elverum also talks about maintaining his DIY and indie approach to music-making and defying the streaming era model of money-m…
 
Seattle electronic duo, ODESZA has teamed up with Australian EDM artist, Golden Features on a project called BRONSON. ODESZA talks about BRONSON’s new album, creating songs on opposite sides of the globe, and how COVID has impacted them as artists and the music industry as a whole. Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/sound/ See omnystudio.com/li…
 
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