Welcome once more to the KCRW Corner on DrownedinSound.com. KCRW is one of the most influential public radio stations in the United States, broadcasting at 89.9FM from Santa Monica, California. We’ve got our ears trained to catch the best new music and you can hear us online all the time at KCRW.com. We also have 11 years’ worth of live performances archived for your listening pleasure.
This month, The Open Road host Gary Calamar shares his favorite music.
Los Angeles’ freeways are the cause of great frustration, but also inspiration for music lovers like Gary Calamar, who has hosted The Open Road on KCRW since 1994. Gary takes listeners for a moonlight drive accompanied by the sounds of adventurous pop music, both timely and timeless. He is a Grammy-nominated music supervisor and is now picking tracks for three of the most acclaimed shows on American television: House, starring native Brit Hugh Laurie, Weeds and Dexter. He also helped launch Sia - who sings on records for Massive Attack, Zero 7 and William Orbit - to solo fame by including her song ‘Breathe Me’ on the final episode of HBO’s smash series Six Feet Under. The song became a massive hit.
|Gary Calamar: pop-picker|
“I look at it as a grand slam. I felt fantastic and Sia, who was about to be dropped by her record label and was reevaluating her career, ended up settling in and buying a house here in LA.”
Thanks to his work in films and television, Gary gets early releases on great records that he then shares with the KCRW audience, and he’s already got his eye on a couple bands for 2007:
The Softlightes (MySpace)
“San Diego’s Ron Fountenberry’s new project after the Incredible Moses Leroy. The new album Say No to Being Cool – Say Yes to Being Smart blends joyful pop experiments with a dizzying array of sounds and textures.”
Eleni Mandell (MySpace)
“This is another fantastic LA artist who I saw live recently. She’s put out four or five albums and keeps getting better as a songwriter and vocalist. Her songs are very beautiful, but she is also a little twisted and dark. Her song ‘Girls’ just kills me.”
Bunny Rabbit (MySpace)
“Queer, druggy hip-hop from beautiful Brooklyn NY.”
The Submarines (MySpace)
“When I saw them live here in LA, I was taken by their sound – a male and female vocal tradeoff. They also do a beautiful cover of one of my favorite songs, The Kinks ‘Waterloo Sunset.’ ”
The Plush Interiors (MySpace)
“Two of Los Angeles’ top songwriters James Combs and Linda Good join forces. A work in progress.”
Fujiya and Miyagi (MySpace)
“I love this trio from Brighton. Electronic krautrock with a wry sense of humor. They are just being released in the States.”
Also, Gary recommends checking out Nas’ new single ‘Hip Hop is Dead’, the new album Out Of The Woods by Tracey Thorn from Everything But The Girl, and all of Peter, Bjorn and John’s latest album, Writer’s Block, not just the incredibly catchy single ‘Young Folks’.
Gary wants to let any aspiring musicians who may be visiting LA in on a little secret: “I like my lattes with soy milk at 140 degrees and if you bring that, you can generally get a meeting with me.”
KCRW is broadcast on 89.9FM across Santa Monica, California. If you have to put up with British weather every day of your life, however, you'll be pleased to now that you can hear news of the Californian clime, as well as a host of hot musical treats, online at KCRW.com. California in Focus: The KCRW Corner will now run once a month on DiS, so keep them peeled for future editions.