Seattle public radio station KEXP is one of the last remaining bastions of free-form, free-thinking FM broadcasting, with a play list that emphasizes alternative rock but makes room for vintage country, worldbeat, electronica, hip-hop and jazz. KEXP revels in its eclecticism, championing new music while paying proper tribute to past landmarks still shaping the future. Offered as a premium for listeners who donate money during KEXP's occasional pledge drives, Live at KEXP, Vol. One is a 19-song compilation that assembles live performances first broadcast directly from the station's studio, and the list of participants -- Sonic Youth, the Flaming Lips and Belle & Sebastian among them -- speaks loudest about the level of respect in which KEXP is held. For die-hard fans of any of the artists featured here, this is an essential purchase; and isn't it nice to know your hard-earned cash is going to a worthy cause instead of funding an evening of hookers and blow for some weasel Clear Channel exec?
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AllMusic Review by Jason Ankeny