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Music Heals

The Music Heals series grew out of Morning Show host John Richard’s “Death and Music” evenings and annual “Mom Show.” These full days of programming are dedicated to music’s power to lift our spirits and heal our souls in the face of life’s challenges. On Music Heals days, listeners share stories through emails and phone calls to which DJs respond with music, interviews, and their own experiences.

In February 2017, KEXP presented Music Heals: Cancer in collaboration with the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance Proton Therapy Center. Music Heals: Mental Health, the second in the series, called attention to the public health crisis surrounding depression and anxiety. DJs received hundreds of emails during the course of each on-air day—moving stories that speak to the power of music, reminding us we are not alone.

Slowdive Photo by Charina Pitzel

What @loserboy & @KEXP are doing with #musicheals is vital; for many of us who flirt with depression & anxiety, music is a lifeline.

Thank you for paying attention to Mental Health this week. While working from home, and listening today, I finally had the courage to call and make an appointment with a therapist to talk about my anxiety.

Music Heals motivated me to take some time off work for my own mental health. I plan to listen, reflect upon my sister and my own pursuit of happiness in this world that couldn't keep her.

Mastering the Hustle

“Upholding the music of the Pacific Northwest to enrich and strengthen our region” is one of KEXP’s core commitments. In support of this ideal, KEXP, Upstream Music Fest + Summit, MoPOP, and The Recording Academy have partnered to offer Mastering the Hustle, a series of ongoing workshops to help emerging artists navigate the music industry, especially those interested in pursuing music at a professional level.

2017’s six sessions featured speakers from across the music industry. Topics included “Building Your Music Brand,” “Creating & Booking Shows,” “Booking Festivals,” and others. There were over 1200 attendees and the workshops are archived so emerging artists worldwide can access the content.

Mastering the Hustle Photo & SassyBlack Photo by Brady Harvey

We might not know it but we are the industry.

I found the advice to collaborate more and be willing to just do, not overthink to be particularly relevant. Collaboration is the key.

As artists, we have an invaluable role to play in community and building a more just and united world!

Radio Week

Radio is a medium for people to enjoy together. Since the earliest days of broadcasting, stations, DJs, and programs have served as focal points for building community. To honor radio’s legacy, KEXP celebrated Radio Week with programming dedicated to beloved radio stations no longer on the dial. Each show spotlighted a different station or DJ who helped establish the independent radio landscape.

As the week closed, KEXP and Brown Paper Tickets presented a Community Radio Volunteer Fair, an afternoon of recruitment for community and low-power FM stations. Along with the week’s programming, the fair highlighted KEXP’s ongoing support of radio as a medium of human connection. Throughout, listeners shared their thoughts about the value of Radio Week as a celebration of the past with an eye to tomorrow.

Common Market Photo & John Richards Photo by Jake Hanson

The @KEXP natl radio week programming of a diverse collection of histories of independent radio has been rejuvenating—so sweet and reverent.

‏So many good stations back in Boston back then - FNX, BCN, WERS, all those college stations on the left end of the dial whose call signs have faded from memory - that provided the soundtrack for me driving aimlessly through the boston suburbs. It was a good time for radio, and reminds me how valuable KEXP is to me, and why I contribute to keep it going.

‏I stopped what I was doing when the segment came on just a few minutes ago where Rodney referenced KTLA and KFWB. I grew up in Socal in the 60s and those were the stations I listened to constantly!! All of the sudden I was back at Newport Beach with my transistor radio blasting!! I was transported happily back to my youth.

Thank you for honoring radio legends and the format itself.

Turn On the Bright Lights

On January 10th, Car Seat Headrest gave the first public in-studio performance to feature the new lighting installation in KEXP’s Live Room created and donated by Microsoft. 2,000 individual multicolor LED lights on 180 strands now surround the performance space. KEXP’s video production team controls the lighting using custom software designed for KEXP. Artists' movements can even drive the motion of the lights.

The new lights are an homage to the Christmas lights that hung in KEXP’s original live room. They also create a brand-new immersive environment for the diverse range of acts that play KEXP and an instantly-recognizable look for in-studio performances. These lights served as the backdrop for over 200 performances in 2017, with many more to come.