California in focus: The KCRW Corner
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Welcome 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 www.KCRW.com. We also have 11 years’ worth of live performances archived for your listening pleasure.
This month Chocolate City (link) host Garth Trinidad shares his favorite music.
|Garth Trinidad: smoooooth|
Garth Trinidad provides the soundtrack to Hollywood as the Music Supervisor for HBO’s hit show Entourage and to evenings on the town (or in bed) on air at KCRW. His velvet smooth voice and taste for transcendent urban rhythms are instantly recognizable.
Chocolate City just celebrated ten years on the air and is the best place in the world to hear urban alternative music. In fact, the Grammy award category by that name was based on Garth’s show! He got his start as an assistant to KCRW host Liza Richardson, who was profiled last month. She recognized something was missing on air at KCRW and Garth filled the spot perfectly, taking his inspiration from Philadelphia producer/DJ King Britt.
“King Britt was IT! He was really onto something with Sylk 130. He is a great example of a black man who was doing something different with urban music - interweaving an old school soul, R&B and Philly vibe into his music, but also branching off in a new direction.
“It was part throwback, part progressive and he showed it was possible to do both. That’s what my show is about – finding the balance between the familiar and the unknown.”
Garth considers his relationship with his audience one of the most important relationships in his life. He also cares deeply not only about the music and the musicians he plays, but the culture and community surrounding it. Critics called the series of free summer concerts he produced at famed museum The Getty Center one of the best events in Los Angeles history. He also served as the co-music supervisor and soundtrack producer for the Mario Van Peebles film Baadasssss! (an homage to the 1971 box office smash Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song by Mario’s father, Melvin Van Peebles) and is currently working with skateboarding legend Stacy Peralta on a groundbreaking documentary about South Los Angeles gangs.
So, what does it take to make it on Garth’s hot list?
“I look for songs that are dynamic, sultry, polyrhythmic, melodic, full of grit and soul. These elements cross every genre and type of music.”
Here are a few of his favorites right now:
“This local LA boy/girl duo make beautiful punk sex funk, and this jam ‘No More’ sounds like they pressed record while making love. They just got signed to Warner Bros.”
“The rap resurrector is back with more good old hip-hop music from the heart with ‘The People’. The single was leaked, but look for the album out on Geffen later this year.”
Clara Hill featuring Vikter Duplaix
“Their track ‘Paper Chase’ is anthemic for my life as Clara and Vikter exchange their desires to spend more time together rather than hustling for dollars. From a highly recommended electro soul album on Sonar Kollektiv.”
“The track ‘Melo Dos Dois Bicudos’ is classic Samba-Jazz-Funk by the infamous Brazilian trio. Their first album has been re-mastered and re-issued with a bonus disc of remixes by the likes of Yam Who? and DJ Venom courtesy of FarOut.”
“‘This Time’ (Carl Craig Remix) is a tech-soul banger reminiscent of King Britt's Scuba vibe with remix duties handled by Detroit Techno master Carl Craig. Find it on Sonar Kollektiv.”
Vieux Farka Toure
“Son of the late great King of African Blues, Ali Farka Toure, has a gorgeous self-titled debut laden with classic rhythm and melodies in the acoustic tradition. ‘Sangare’ is the kick off jam and the one I can get away with playing at a party.”
“St Louis-based Emcee, singer, and producer showing and proving hip hop and soul can live together, cornball free. ‘Lavish Life’ is his new single.”
“‘If You Only Knew’ is the jam I've been playing, but everything I've heard thus far is top ranking. Australian LA implant with vocal vibes reminiscent of Stevie Nicks and Caron Wheeler.”
KCRW is broadcast on 89.9FM across most of Southern California from our studios in Santa Monica, California. You'll be pleased to know that you can hear news of the Californian clime, as well as a host of hot musical treats, online at www.KCRW.com.