Memphis Radio Kings

Memphis Radio Kings


Premier Indie Roots Pop act from Seattle. Highly anticipated & fresh sounding EP "Another Punch (From A So-Called Friend)" released in July. Emotionally-charged live shows. 4 guys, 9 years, 5 CDs and countless tours/shows/accolades/sweat/dues/etc.


MEMPHIS RADIO KINGS are tired of bands that sound alike. Memphis Radio Kings are also tired of bands whose songs all sound the same. They have spent their lengthy and distinguished career trying to make songs that sound different from other songs they may have written. Why is this, you ask? Many bands find sweet gold in making the same songs over and over to please the masses, why not MRK? Is MRK too good for this approach?

Well, yes.. MRK can make many different kinds of digital audio files for your downloadable pleasure, so why shouldn’t they? Let me explain further.

When the founding members of MRK got tired of bringing the “rawk” in their previous band, they never set out to make roots music, country music, or so called Americana. They just wanted to write and play better songs. A reflection of their varied influences much more than any intentional direction, these songs felt organic and real. This, combined with a name chosen more because it sounded cool than with any particular identification with a place or time, caused them to be tightly embraced by lovers of “roots” music. As a result of this warm, cocoon-like embrace, accolades were heaped, many contests were won, great shows were played with the likes of Chuck Prophet, Cowboy Mouth, The Decemberists, Smashmouth, and many more.

But also like any embrace, it became limiting and constricting over time, until they began to writhe under it’s pressure, ultimately kicking and bucking like a toddler in a car seat. To soothe this musical temper tantrum, MRK added a fourth member, producer and multi-instrumentalist Jon Goff, and began experimenting with different musical textures, moving further away from traditional music and closer to something uniquely their own.

They also discovered that there are subjects to write about other than booze, heartbreak, and “the road”. So Beck and Leamer (MRK’s primary writers of words) began seeking inspiration outside of the roots rock cannon, exploring political themes (Shameless), the fleeting nature of youth and life itself (Sudden Summer, Divide) and self doubt (Frehley’s Comet).

And now here they present their latest series of data files, guaranteed to make your iPod squirm with glee: Another Punch From A So-Called Friend. Musically, it steps even further away from its predecessors, exploring piano-piano driven indie pop (Moment of Truth), driving rock (View from the Bottom), dance music (Set it Off, Find me Gone) and the textural balladry of the EP’s title cut. Lyrically, Leamer’s original vision was to use John Updike’s Rabbit novels as the inspiration for a concept album using these songs. While the fit wasn’t quite right as the songs came together, Updike’s unflinching look at the American dream through the extraordinary events in an ordinary life runs deeply through all of these songs. Careful listeners will find references to premature nostalgia, unrequited love, faded youth, and broken promises, as well as recognition of life’s sometimes too rare shimmering moments of happiness,

They have roots, but this isn’t roots music. This is decidedly American music, but don’t call it Americana. This is music influenced as much by John Updike as The Replacements or Bruce Springsteen. So download these files, put them into your playlist, and hope your crappy earbuds can do them justice. Another chapter, another reason to believe in unsung heros, “Another Punch From A So-Called Friend”.


View From The Bottom

Written By: MRK

You fall away, you’re tired of tryin’
Cause the day-to-day
just seems like a chore
Tote the bale, make the sale
Not a red cent better
than the day before

And you can’t see clear behind you
Your failure’s got you blind

Everywhere you try to go
Is haunted by this ghost
you used to know
You break your back as you
cut your track
And the more you fight,
the more you feel you’re stuck

And the days look best behind you
You’re longing to rewind
And you just want more much than
Anyone else can give you

It’s a view from the bottom
Where the lights don’t ever shine
And you just want more much than
Anyone else can give you

So you hope no one can see you
As it all begins to burn
Cause you want much
more much than
Anyone else can give you

Set It Off

Written By: MRK

Welcome back you’re just in time
The planet’s perfectly in line
Get up on my ship
As soon as you forget
Everything around you stats to glow

Take a look around,
Never coming down

Stars are falling from the ceiling
Suddenly I realize
I might not be dead
It’s all inside my head
I’m not ready yet to let it go

Gonna bring it back.
We’re counting down

Calling all astronauts, we taking off
52 Saturdays, gonna set it off
Now we’re gonna set it off

Take a look around,
We’ll never see the ground
Now you’re settled in
Look what you’ve got

Calling all astronauts, we taking off
52 Saturdays, gonna set it off
Light it up countdown
gone, gone, gone
Now we’re gonna set it off

Find Me Gone

Written By: MRK

Got a delicate condition
Don’t you be concerned
I just pace the empty hallways
Awaiting your return.

Trust you like the government
Need you like a dose
So hard to see the real thing
So hard to get close

How you gonna live without me?
How you gonna carry on?
When you find me gone…

Keep making up excuses
Believing all your lies
When I want some real emotion
I guess I have to fantasize

How you gonna live without me?
How you gonna carry on?
When you find me gone

A Moment Of Truth

Written By: MRK

Barely survived for long enough
Never revealing anything
Conceal, Conceal
I could be anything you want
As long as the guise is just a front
Deceive, Decieve

But this is a moment of truth

Faced with the truth
I cut and run
Passing the deed
The damage done
Away, Away

There is a curse
upon my soul
The demons are lost
Beyond control
Free, Retreat

This is a moment of truth

Stand looking back
But only a glimpse
So deep in the journey
It’s only an inch
Of space
To erase

This is a Moment of Truth


Memphis Radio Kings (EP) - 2001
No Band in the Happy Place - 2002
The Devil's Dutchman - 2004
MRK: Four - 2006
Another Punch (From A So Called Friend) - 2009 (Release date April 14)

Set List

Can play sets from 30 min to all nighters. Recent set list from Neumo's in Seattle:

Frehley's Comet
Wasted Years
This Ghost
Another Punch
Moment of Truth
Alabaster Carpet
View From The Bottom
Darken Your Doorstep
Sudden Summer
Set It Off