This week Today’s Top Tune takes a tour of Little Tokyo with KCRW’s Gary Calamar. Iggy Pop teams up with Danger Mouse on the Gold soundtrack. Kid Koala invites Icelandic singer Emiliana Torrini as collaborator on his new album. We preview a visit from Gavin Turek with a song off her new EP and travel to Cuba to hear from Daymé Arocena.
Monday, February 13
When he isn’t spinning it, auditioning it or placing it on some of our favorite TV series, KCRW DJ turned prolific musician, Gary Calamar spends his time making music. This time around, he finds inspiration on a motorbike adventure through “Little Tokyo,” a musical joy ride that features Azure Ray’s Maria Taylor on vocals and Airborne Toxic Event’s Anna Bulbrook on strings.
Tuesday, February 14
Rock legend Iggy Pop lends his honey-toned dusty vocals (reminiscent of classic Leonard Cohen) to the theme of the film Gold. Written by the movie’s director, Stephen Gaghan, and composer Daniel Pemberton with collaboration from Danger Mouse, “Gold” was nominated for Best Original Song by Golden Globes.
Wednesday, February 15
Kid Koala’s excellent ambient electronic album has been gracing my speakers on these cold and rainy Southern California nights. Kid Koala ingeniously creates an expansive audio landscape through brooding melodies, topped only by Icelandic singer Emiliana Torrini’s haunting vocals. “Adrift” is a non-sampled piece that sees Kid Koala collaborating on lyrics while producing and performing on an album’s worth of instruments.
Thursday, February 16
Los Angeles native Gavin Turek drops her latest EP tomorrow, just one day after her live performance on MBE. Turek’s powerful voice and dancefloor beats are classic yet contemporary on “Good Look for You.”
Friday, February 17
With Cuba’s gates opening to the US we’re eager to embrace the island’s rich musical culture. An artist with a distinctive point of view is Daymé Arocena whose compositions are rooted in classic rhythms. Given a boost by record label head and mentor Gilles Peterson, her sophomore album contains the swinging Mambo Na’má.