Favorite Sessions

KEXP Presents: HelmetKEXP

Not sure if it's a compliment to be called a "thinking man's metal band" — if nothing else, it's not so nice to the other metal bands — but Helmet has always made smart music that never loses its punch. Singer and guitarist Page Hamilton founded the group back in 1989, and since then it's gone through the usual motions of a successful band: early attention leading to a label signing, a series of albums that grow more critically acclaimed but sell less than expected, band dissolution and breakup, subsequent solo work and collaborations, and an eventual reboot.

Throughout the years, Hamilton has remained productive, and he ultimately re-formed Helmet with new members and took the project to a new label. When the British post-punk pioneers in Wire tapped Helmet to play a few shows as part of the Drill: Seattle showcase back in November, we grabbed the band for this heavy, pummeling session. Songs like "Blacktop" amply demonstrate that Page, backed by his new crew, has only grown smarter over the years.

Watch Helmet's entire performance on KEXP's YouTube channel.

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Kevin Morby performing "Crybaby" live in the studio at KCRW. Davis Bell/Winter LaMaster Photography hide caption

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Favorite Sessions

Watch Kevin Morby Perform 'Crybaby' Live In The Studio

KCRW

Watch the former Woods bassist and current frontman of The Babies perform a song off his new solo album, City Music, in a live studio session for KCRW.

Singer-songwriter Michael Cerveris returns to Mountain Stage and his native West Virginia. Brian Blauser/Mountain Stage hide caption

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Mountain Stage

Michael Cerveris On Mountain Stage

For this performance, Mountain Stage lured the singer-songwriter away from his Tony Award-winning stint on Broadway and back to the stage in his native West Virginia.

Michael Cerveris on Mountain Stage

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Tigers Jaw performs at NPR's Tiny Desk on May 19, 2017. (Raquel Zaldivar/NPR) Raquel Zaldivar/NPR hide caption

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Tiny Desk

Tigers Jaw

The duo strips down to acoustic guitar and keyboard for a strikingly intimate set, illuminating their close harmonies that tangle like garlands.

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