one of my favorite things about living in southern california, besides maybe the weather, is kcrw, 89.9 on the fm dial. kcrw is a national public radio (npr.org) station on which you'll usually hear news and news-related programs, but they do have an independent music program directed by one of the savviest, most knowledgable guys in the business, nic harcourt. he hosts a weekday morning show called morning becomes eclectic, along with a syndicated sunday evening show called sounds eclectic. during the week on mbe, he'll have two to three live in-studio sessions with an assortment of bands and artists, nearly all of which are archived in audio and video on the kcrw website. it's a listener-supported station, funded for the most part by contributions from its many subscribers (will ferrell called in this morning and gave $5000 to help the pledge drive get back on track after the system computers crashed...aww). as such, they don't have anyone telling them what to play, and the product is in stark contrast to the mind-numbing banality of commercial radio. for me, kcrw represents one of the few conventional outlets left to find good new music.
i say all of this because they are currently conducting one of their two semi-annual pledge drives, and i just renewed my membership for the fourth year. i can be as thrifty as they come, but i have no problem giving money to things i really believe in, and kcrw is definitely one of those things. through their music program i have been introduced to so much new music over the past five years, and for that i am eternally grateful. as part of my subscription this year i took a four pack of cds by zero 7, the raconteurs, the submarines, and the concretes. here's a little something from each of these artists...
from the album when it falls (2004)
featuring the vocal stylings of the lovely sia
from the album broken boy soldiers (2006)
jack white's and brendan benson's other band
from the album declare a new state! (2006)
posted this yesterday, but worth a second look
also check out the video (mov)
from the album the concretes (2004)
victoria bergsman's vocals remind me of hope sandoval on this track, which i think was featured in a commercial recently, but i can't remember for what (coke?)