Watch This: Vol. 99

by Steven Spoerl

Last week was another particularly strong week for live clips, with two of KEXP’s most memorable sessions of 2015 acting as bookends for this installment of the series. Since the majority of the previous posts introductions had been overflowing with content, this entry seemed like a reasonable time to allow the five featured clips to be the sole focus of the series. For roughly 100 weeks, Watch This has focused on the best live clips to emerge in a given week, so it feels appropriate that this particular volume features one of the most entertaining sets the series has run to date, a new name to the site, and a band that’s a series regular. All of it’s worthy of investment and serves as a testament of how good of a time it is for live videos. So, as always, sit back, adjust the volume, relax, focus up, and Watch This.

1. Mike Krol (KEXP)

At the end of last month Mike Krol threw down one of the best sets I’ve seen all year at Baby’s All Right and brought a lot of the same manic energy to this KEXP session, which features the live renditions of more than half of his latest album. While KEXP’s camera setup required a reduction of the intensity of their lights show, the band still showed up in full costume with an excess of razor wire. Fast, dirty, chaotic, and injected with a childlike glee, this is a KEXP session that the station members will probably be talking about for a long time to come.

2. Mothers – No Crying In Baseball (Audiotree) 

Every so often, Audiotree unearths an incredibly promising emerging act that make the most out of their session time. This time around, that band’s Mothers, whose “No Crying In Baseball” is a remarkably accessible brand of post-punk that comes loaded with enough pop sensibility to have a tremendously wide-reaching appeal. While the song border the virtuosic at times, the quartet plays it with the exact right blend of commitment and detachment up until its explosive, passionate finale.

3. Worriers (BreakThruRadio)

Imaginary Life, Worriers’ latest effort, has managed to stand out in an astonishingly overcrowded 2015. The band recently stopped by BreakThruRadio’s studios for an interview and to perform a few songs from the album, providing an effective reminder of its strength. The live sections are spirited and the interview’s illuminating, cementing this clip’s essential viewing status.

4. Screaming Females – Triumph (Radio K)

It’s been stated before that Screaming Females have been appearing on Watch This for around as long as the series has existed. Nearly every piece of praise that can be directed towards their live performance has already been directed at their live performance but they still don’t seem content and are continuously topping themselves. Every time this band is on any kind of stage, it’s a signal to buckle up and brace for impact. Radio K invited the band in to their studios for a recent performance and the band obliged with a characteristically exceptional performance of “Triumph”.

5. Wimps (KEXP) 

Wimps have slowly been racking up interest for the past few years and that interest seems to be nearing a fever pitch. Releasing records at a startling rate tends to be an attention-getting tactic but, outside of Robert Pollard and a very small handful of others, it’s rare that kind of over-saturation has much artistic merit. Wimps belong to the small handful that are the exception to that rule. Every single one of their releases has been ridiculously enjoyable and they’ve only sharpened their craft as they’ve progressed. That maturation’s very evident in this entertaining KEXP session that already seems to be earning the band a few converts. This is the kind of party that people kick themselves for missing.