Arts & Culture, News, Zocalo Public Square »

Hunting for Merced’s cultural treasures

Posted December 15, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
Grupo Folklorico Juan Colorado performing dances from Jalisco.2

A wall of sound often emanates from an open classroom at the Merced Lao Family Community Center. It’s bagpipe-like and pulsating—the sound of a half-dozen boys practicing the qeej (pronounced gheng), a bamboo reed mouth organ played at Hmong funerals, other ceremonies, and social events.
At Hmong New Year, these young musicians will perform traditional songs on the qeej, the music coming into harmony with …

Arts & Culture, Environment, Interviews »

How Shazam is changing the music industry

Posted November 21, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
shazam effect

Here’s a question for you: Have you ever been listening to KCRW – or, yes, any radio station in your car – or stood inside a bar or music store and heard a song you wanted to identify, and then whipped out your phone and Shazam’d it?
Shazam is an app – and there are others out there as well – that listens to a …

Arts & Culture, Interviews »

When AM radio ruled Los Angeles and made musical stars

Posted November 12, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
Influential DJ Dave Diamond passed away this spring

When was the last time you listened to AM radio in search of some great new music?  Harvey Kubernik’s latest book, “Turn Up the Radio! Rock Pop and Roll in Los Angeles, 1956-1972″ is an homage to the time when people toted around transistor radios with great devotion–when AM deejays discovered acts you hadn’t heard before.
Few personified the power and charm of that medium more …

Arts & Culture »

When the hottest punk club in Cathedral City is in your mom’s living room

Posted November 4, 2014 by | 3 Comments | ]
cathedral

Twenty-year-old Dylan Arseo struggles to be heard as he stands in the middle of his mother’s living room in Cathedral City, California, addressing a crowd of about a hundred and fifty kids packed so tightly into the space the walls gleam with perspiration and the ceiling AC vents drip condensation. “Thanks for coming out tonight,” Dylan says, his voice booming over the excited voices and high-pitched feedback …

News, Zocalo Public Square »

Why do LA’s Mexican Americans love Morrissey?

Posted October 8, 2014 by | 23 Comments | ]
Morrissey's "Your Arsenal" album

It’s a musical phenomenon that is as embedded in the Mexican-American culture of East Los Angeles as bean and cheese burritos: Morrissey, lead singer of The Smiths, an English rock band that established a cult following in the 1980s.
Morrissey’s extremely melancholy ballads have been the theme music for breakups and lost love for decades. Songs like “Suedehead” and “The More You Ignore Me, The …

Arts & Culture, Interviews, News »

What happened to ‘hidden tracks’ on albums?

Posted September 18, 2014 by | 2 Comments | ]
music_compact_discs

How many times has this happened to you?
You’re listening to a CD, the song fades and you think it’s over. But then – surprise!
Hidden tracks have a long tradition in recorded music, especially in the rock & roll era. And bolstered by digital recordings on compact disc.
Those hidden tracks are present on the album, but they’re not listed on the album cover.
KCRW Music Librarian …

Arts & Culture, News »

The Northridge Earthquake through opera

Posted August 19, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
The libretto follows seven young, diverse angelenos  in the aftermath of total devastation. 
Photo: Long Beach Opera

It’s been 20 years since the Northridge Earthquake rocked Southern California, and now that natural disaster is the setting for an opera that’s having its L.A. premiere at the Ford Amphitheater this Saturday. The opera is called, “I was looking at the ceiling and then I saw the sky” and is by composer John Adams with a libretto by poet June Jordan.
The title, “I was …

Arts & Culture »

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

Posted July 25, 2014 by | 1 Comment | ]
640px-Stevie_Wonder_1973

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, Interviews »

Radio host Chery Glaser interviews the band Cherry Glazerr

Posted February 6, 2014 by | 33 Comments | ]
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, News »

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

Posted January 31, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
nightbus2

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 »

Remembering folk icon Pete Seeger

Posted January 28, 2014 by | 2 Comments | ]
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, Interviews, News »

At-risk youth offered DJ and music production skills

Posted December 18, 2013 by | 7 Comments | ]
APostiveSpinSelects121413-0007

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 »

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

Posted September 4, 2013 by | 16 Comments | ]
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, Interviews, Issues, News, Politics »

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

Posted August 15, 2013 by | 22 Comments | ]
YACHT-NSA-Wall

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 …

News »

Afternoon Delight: Finding love and healing in karaoke

Posted August 5, 2013 by | 11 Comments | ]
robsheffield

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, Interviews, Issues, News »

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

Posted July 24, 2013 by | 8 Comments | ]
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, Interviews, News »

Doors guitarist Robby Krieger, former manager remember Ray Manzarek

Posted May 20, 2013 by | 35 Comments | ]
manzarek2

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, News, Video »

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

Posted February 8, 2013 by | 0 Comments | ]
alwaser2

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, Interviews, News »

Churches big purchasers of music performance gear

Posted January 30, 2013 by | 3 Comments | ]

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 …

Interviews, News »

At Sundance, music’s also in the spotlight

Posted January 16, 2013 by | 18 Comments | ]

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 …

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