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Who is your favorite LA songwriter? KCRW’s Anthony Valadez and others weigh in!

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The Mamas & the Papas longed to be “safe and warm” in L.A. Tom Petty sang about a “freeway runnin’ through the yard.” And in “L.A. is My Lady,” Frank Sinatra crooned: “I brought her my wildest of dreams and she came up with the answer.”
The long list of songs about Los Angeles includes odes to cruising on Sunset, experiencing the rare rainy day, …

Arts & Culture, Headline, Interviews »

Radio host Chery Glaser interviews the band Cherry Glazerr

Members of the band Cherry Glazerr (from left, Clementine Creevy, Hannah Uribe and Sean Redman) with KCRW host Chery Glaser.

Listeners to KCRW are well acquainted with the name Chery Glaser. She’s the local host of Morning Edition, updating the news, music and traffic for Southern California listeners as they start their days and commute to work.
Her name also inspired a group of young musicians to name their band after her. Chery agreed to sit down with the band Cherry Glazerr for an interview.
The …

Arts & Culture, Featured, News »

Dance-pop band Nightbus tries out ‘three-way stereo’

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Here’s a scenario. You have some music on your iPod. You want to share. You give one of your earbuds to a friend.
But maybe the song was recorded in a way that you’re not getting the full stereo experience by listening in one channel.
An LA- and London-based band called Nightbus is trying something new, that they’re calling “three-way stereo.”
That’s two separate songs in two stereo …

Arts & Culture, Headline »

Remembering folk icon Pete Seeger

Pete Seeger at age 88 photographed on 6-16-07 at the Clearwater Festival 2007 by Anthony Pepitone (Wiki commons)

Below, Warren talks to David King Dunaway, an oral historian and radio producer whose many books include, “How Can I Keep from Singing?”, a biography of Pete Seeger.
Legendary folk singer Pete Seeger, who fought for social justice through music and activism has died at age 94. He wrote “If I Had a Hammer,” “Turn, Turn, Turn” and “Where Have All the Flowers Gone,” and inspired a …

Education, Featured, Interviews, News »

At-risk youth offered DJ and music production skills

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Many teenagers dream of becoming a DJ or music producer. A local nonprofit is trying to make that dream come true for Los Angeles teens that are on probation or in the foster care system.
“I ain’t never played with music before. This is my first time. I like it,” said Terrence, a 13-year-old from Berkeley. “This inspired me to do it again.”
Terrence lives at …

Arts & Culture, Featured, Headline »

Happy birthday, Los Angeles! Here are your favorite LA songs

An aerial view of Los Angeles, by KLA4067 via Flickr/CC

Feeling old because you’re stuck on the 101? Or the Southbound 405? Take heart in the fact that you’re not as old as Los Angeles.
The legend goes, on this day in 1781, 44 settlers came to what is today Olvera Plaza and staked their claim on the land. A lot has happened in the past 232 years, including music!
So today, we have a tribute …

Arts & Culture, Featured, Headline, Interviews, Issues, News, Politics »

YACHT releases anti-surveillance manifesto ‘Party at the NSA’

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L.A.’s electro-pop outfit YACHT teamed up with L.A.-based comedian Marc Maron to protest the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs the old fashioned way — with a protest song. “Party at the NSA” is a pay-what-you-want download. According to the band, all profits will be donated to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a non-profit digital rights group.
Band members Claire Evans and Jona Bechtolt joined KCRW’s Steve …

Featured, News »

Afternoon Delight: Finding love and healing in karaoke

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Karaoke can be a little scary at first. But after a few shots of sake and the company of friends, it can be a memorable experience.
Music journalist Rob Sheffield wrote the book “Turn Around Bright Eyes” about the sensation that is singing badly (or in some cases, well) in front of imbibing friends.
“I feel like I’ve had some of the most emotionally intimate moments …

Arts & Culture, Featured, Headline, Interviews, Issues, News »

Afternoon Delight: In a band? Instruments stolen? Who you gonna call?

A Flock of Seagulls

The ’80s band A Flock of Seagulls is best known for their wild hairstyles, and for their hit “I Ran (So Far Away)”.
But this week they made headlines again, after someone stole their van, with about $70,000 worth of equipment inside. The rented van was taken at around 2 a.m. Sunday from the Comfort Inn in Downey. The van was found empty in Santa …

Arts & Culture, Headline, Interviews, News »

Doors guitarist Robby Krieger, former manager remember Ray Manzarek

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Musician Ray Manzarek, keyboard player of The Doors, died today in a hospital in Germany. He was 74.
Manzarek’s chance meeting with Jim Morrison at Venice Beach in 1965 led to the band’s formation.  Manzarek, a Chicago native, moved to Los Angeles to study film at UCLA.  He met Morrison on the Westwood campus while the future Doors frontman was briefly studying there.
“[Manzarek] was the …

Arts & Culture, Headline, News, Video »

Only in LA? How Al Walser promoted his way to a Grammy nomination

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Al Walser is a DJ who lives in Encino and may or may not be an heir to the Rothschild banking dynasty and the grandson of Congolese music superstar Franco Luambo. He’s also up for the best dance recording Grammy at this Sunday’s awards. Before the nomination, nobody in the electronic dance music world had heard of Walser. So how did this previously unknown, …

Arts & Culture, Featured, Interviews, News »

Churches big purchasers of music performance gear

When you think of live music, you might think of a concert or a nightclub. But one of the hottest markets for live-performance equipment is about as far away from a nightclub as you can get: Church.
Susan Valot found out when she stopped by the National Association of Music Merchants trade show, or NAMM Show. The annual music product convention was held in Anaheim …

Headline, Interviews, News »

At Sundance, music’s also in the spotlight

The Sundance Film Festival starts Thursday in Park City, Utah. The annual gathering of actors, directors and producers is a fairly good indicator of the most buzzworthy movies soon to hit theaters. But it’s not just the images that matter – the music in a film can set the mood and even make or break a scene.
This year’s festival will see an increase in …

Arts & Culture, Featured, News »

One Thing: Music

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We asked eleven of our sharpest local observers what they thought were the most important stories and trends of the year. From politics and music to faith, literature and film, they weigh in on the one thing that shaped 2012.
“The one thing that I really feel became more apparent than ever is the idea that people are interested in all kinds of music and …

Arts & Culture, Headline »

Remembering Ravi Shankar 1920-2012

Ravi Shankar by Larry Hirshowitz

Ravi Shankar, the sitar legend who brought Indian music to the West died yesterday at age 92. KCRW’s own Tom Schnabel spoke with the musician many times. Below, he recalls how Shankar was the first guest he interviewed on “Morning Becomes Eclectic,” where Shankar told the story of how he gave up the glitz and glamour of the West to study the sitar with …

Arts & Culture, Featured, Headline, Interviews, News, Politics »

An Israeli singer reaches out to Iran

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The election’s been all about the economy, but a surprising amount of airtime has been devoted to the standoff between Iran and Israel over Iran’s nuclear program. All that tension makes it an especially interesting time for Rita Jahanforuz, a mega pop star from Israel, to be touring across the US right now.
Her fans know her simply as Rita, and she’s Israel’s biggest-selling pop …

Arts & Culture, Featured, Interviews, News »

From pop songs to ‘pop’ art: Carole Bayer Sager shifts creative gears

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After a nearly 40 year career as one of the greatest and most successful pop songwriters on earth, Carole Bayer Sager could sit back and do whatever she wanted. Like, relax. But this woman who’s written for everyone from Michael Jackson to Stevie Wonder to Barbara Streisand says that isn’t in her constitution. What she wants to do at this point is to paint. …

Arts & Culture, Featured, News, Summer »

Cirque without the circus

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On Thursday at the Santa Monica Pier, you can get a slice of the usually pricey Cirque du Soleil…for free. The catch? There won’t be an acrobat contorting anywhere near by (at least not one employed by the famous performance group.)
It’s an evening showcasing musicians from various Cirque shows. There are seven of those shows on at the moment in Vegas alone, and Cirque’s …

Arts & Culture, Headline, News »

Arturo Valdez, guitar maker to the stars

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Sunset Boulevard is home to dozens of guitar shops. Most of them are clustered around the 7500 block of Hollywood, which is often called Guitar Row. Reporter David Weinberg brings us the story of one of L.A.’s best kept secrets on the block: The Valdez Guitar Shop.
Across the street from The Guitar Center on Sunset is a little guitar shop that is in many …

Arts & Culture, Interviews »

Easy as do re mi: Jose-Luis Orozco and the power of music in teaching language

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Once upon a time, not very long ago, it didn’t matter if you could speak another language. You probably wouldn’t ever meet someone who spoke one other than your own. On the other hand, in the vast interconnected universe in which we dwell today,  it couldn’t hurt to be trilingual.
Jose-Luis Orozco, who’s been singing on stage since he was a little boy in Mexico, …

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