Bent by Nature: Deirdre O’Donoghue and the Lost SNAP! Archives
Ten-part audio documentary about the most influential American DJ you’ve never heard of, until now
From the Producers of Lost Notes and UnFictional
Hosted by Tricia Halloran
Features legendary in-studio performances from R.E.M., Vic Chesnutt, Syd Straw, Tom Waits, Concrete Blonde, Camper Van Beethoven, and many more
Bent by Nature site cracks open the secret history and archives of the ‘80s underground, highlighting artwork, footage, and performances and interviews from rare, unreleased and newly-remastered recordings
Santa Monica, CA (October 19, 2021) – KCRW announces Bent by Nature: Deirdre O’Donoghue and the Lost SNAP! Archives, a ten-part audio documentary series from the producers of the critically-acclaimed Lost Notes and UnFictional podcasts, and hosted by Tricia Halloran, music supervisor and former KCRW DJ (Brave New World) who helped shape independent music on the airwaves for 15 years. The first episode drops on Thursday, October 28, 2021. In addition, KCRW will kick off a dynamic online archive featuring many of Deirdre’s most legendary interviews and in-studio performances, newly transferred and remastered from the original source tapes.
Deirdre O’Donoghue was the most influential American DJ you’ve never heard of, until now. She revolutionized live performance on the radio for an entire generation of underground, independent, and “avant-pop” bands and their fans. A vital force in the musical underground of the 1980s, countless artists crammed into her studio at KCRW to perform live on her late-night show, “SNAP!” After 40 years, many of these sessions will finally be heard again. Join Michael Stipe, Henry Rollins, Julian Cope and more for a series that will transport you back to the heyday of ‘80s independent music, packed with long-unheard performances and brand new interviews.
In an essay penned by Henry Rollins, which he recites during the final episode of the series, he says of O’Donoghue: “Deirdre was a huge influence not only on what I listened to, but how I appreciated music. The degree to which she opened my mind to music I might not have ever found on my own is profound. Now and then, I get an email from someone telling me they like my show on KCRW. I thank them but it’s just what Deirdre taught me. I’m trying to be like her.”
“SNAP!,” was a welcome home for adventurous and idiosyncratic bands during the explosion of “college rock” in the 1980s. They arrived at the basement studio from all corners: Fetchin’ Bones (Charlotte, NC), Glass Eye (Austin, TX), Camper Van Beethoven (Davis, CA), and The Meat Puppets (Phoenix, AZ). She nurtured LA talent like Concrete Blonde, Downy Mildew, and the Dream Syndicate. Deirdre also welcomed established artists like Bob Mould, Robyn Hitchcock, Graham Parker, Julian Cope, and Tom Waits, all of whom had moved into richer and more satisfying second acts.
“No categories, no definitions, no pigeonholes,” O’Donoghue declared in January 1984, “just combinations of things that seem to go together.”
Taken as a whole, the Deirdre O’Donoghue archive amounts to a “secret history” of the pre-Nirvana underground (1982-1991), spanning hundreds of reel-to-reel tapes and cassettes featuring all of the aforementioned artists and so many more. Co-producers Bob Carlson (KCRW’s UnFictional) and Myke Dodge Weiskopf (KCRW’s Lost Notes) spent the last two years painstakingly transferring and restoring these vital artifacts of an under-explored time.
Carlson was Deirdre’s house engineer for many of the original sessions, and his firsthand recollections comprise the first two episodes of Bent by Nature. O’Donoghue’s indescribable style is brought to life in the remaining episodes, an eight-part cycle of archival sound and fresh interviews with the artists she so deeply impacted. Host Tricia Halloran sets the stage for episodes featuring Henry Rollins, Michael Stipe, Syd Straw, and Julian Cope, as well as members of Camper Van Beethoven, Pere Ubu, the Mighty Lemon Drops, Glass Eye, and more.
Bent by Nature: Deirdre O’Donoghue and the Lost SNAP! Archives Episode Synopses
*Episode order is subject to change.
EP 1: THIS IS SNAP with Bob Carlson
Introducing Deirdre O’Donoghue: the most influential American DJ you’ve never heard of. KCRW’s Bob Carlson takes you inside the world of her radio show, “SNAP!”, and the rare atmosphere she created for bands and listeners alike
EP 2: MUSIC COULD BE YOUR WHOLE LIFE with Bob Carlson
KCRW’s Bob Carlson takes you further inside the world of Deirdre O’Donoghue, her radio show, “SNAP!”, and the rare atmosphere she created for bands and listeners alike.
EP 3: INSIDE OUT with Bekki and Dave Newton
Dave Newton was a Mighty Lemon Drop. His future wife Bekki was an American Anglophile. Their romance spanned continents … as did their friendship with Deirdre.
EP 4: ALMOST MAGIC with Syd Straw
Vocalist Syd Straw has sung with the very best of her generation. And like her beloved friend Deirdre, she’s funny, fearless, and more than a little bent.
EP 5: HAYWIRE with Brian Beattie and Kathy McCarty
Glass Eye were one of Deirdre’s favorite exports from Austin, TX. They credit Deirdre with making SNAP! a home away from home for wayward indie bands.
EP 6: CROSSING OVER with David Lowery
Camper Van Beethoven‘s David Lowery charts his band’s rise alongside the American underground, and reflects on his subsequent friendship with Deirdre.
EP 7: AGES OF YOU with Felicia Daniel and Tanja Laden
Tanja and Felicia met as pre-teen musical soulmates in LA. But their lives began with the advent of the drivers license … and Deirdre O’Donoghue on the car stereo.
EP 8: GOODBYE SADNESS with Michael Stipe
R.E.M. were one of Deirdre’s final guests on SNAP! in 1991. Michael Stipe talks about their infamous acoustic set and reflects on friendships with Deirdre and Vic Chesnutt.
EP 9: PROMISED LAND with Julian Cope
Julian Cope recounts how Deirdre decamped to England after leaving KCRW in 1991, and the time she spent exploring its ancient countryside.
EP 10: ROLLINS with Henry Rollins
Henry Rollins‘ weekly show has become a KCRW cornerstone. But he credits Deirdre for making him the radio legend he is today.
For an even deeper dive into these incredible archives, visit:
Listen to Bent By Nature: Deirdre O’Donoghue and the Lost SNAP! Archives on Apple and Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts.
More About Tricia Halloran:
Tricia Halloran hosted Brave New World for 15 years on KCRW, navigating the indie rock scene as it emerged from a niche college radio format into a nationwide media genre, and introducing Pete Yorn, David Gray, Eels, Death Cab For Cutie and many other new artists to Los Angeles. She currently works as a music supervisor, finding songs for directors and producers of film and television projects. She’s never lost her love of discovering new music and you can find her latest playlists at www.bravenewworld.net.
For more information please contact:
Laura Cohen, LC Media, firstname.lastname@example.org
About KCRW Music
KCRW’s hand-picked music programming is thoughtfully curated by actual people, not algorithms. It encourages real music discovery and delivers a truly eclectic listening experience. KCRW Music is helmed by Program Director of Music, industry veteran Anne Litt and a team of influential tastemaker DJs – Anthony Valadez, Chris Douridas, Dan Wilcox, Francesca Harding, Henry Rollins, Jason Bentley, Jason Kramer, Jeremy Sole, John Moses, José Galván, LeRoy Downs, Nassir Nassirzadeh, Novena Carmel, Raul Campos, Ro “Wyldeflower” Contreras, Scott Dallavo, SiLVA, Travis Holcombe, Tyler Boudreaux, and Valida. KCRW DJs are given one directive: “play what you love.” KCRW has hosted radio debuts and album celebrations for countless artists. Now household names, KCRW has been influential in helping launch the careers of such luminaries as Adele, Alabama Shakes, Anderson Paak, Angel Olsen, Beck, Billie Eilish, Brett Dennen, Coldplay, Eels, Fiona Apple, Gabriel Garzon Montano, Garbage, Gillian Welch, Janelle Monae, Jenny Lewis, Juana Molina, Kamasi Washington, Mac DeMarco, Natalia Lafourcade, Ray LaMontagne, Sofi Tukker, and Tame Impala, among many others. KCRW Music offers a robust array of music programming and content including nearly 100 hours of on-air music every week and a continuous curated stream of music, Eclectic24.
KCRW creates and curates a unique mix of content centered around music discovery, NPR news, cultural exploration and informed public affairs. KCRW is driven by the spirit of LA and delivers in innovative ways – on the radio, digitally and in-person – to diverse, curious communities around the corner and around the world. A community service of Santa Monica College, KCRW can be found on the air in L.A., Santa Barbara, Ventura, Mojave, Palm Springs, San Luis Obispo, and worldwide via the KCRW app or online at kcrw.com.