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Anne, Anna, and Novena with Ezra Collective at HQ.

Hi y'all,

This week has been remarkable. Today may be Opening Day for Baseball and The Dodgers, but yesterday was Closing Day for our Spring Pledge Drive.

I know. It doesn’t feel like spring in LA yet, but you made it feel that way by fueling the epic success that was the Spring Drive. New members, I’m looking at you — going from fan to fam was huge for us. And, yup, your swag is in the mail. And thank you to our renewing fam as well. Your backbone makes a difference and we are grateful. 

Gratitude was certainly our theme this past week. On Saturday, multiple eras of KCRW joined together to celebrate one of our finest, Eric J. Lawrence. He was not only a DJ and our librarian, but he was our center, a generous soul and our eccentric, loving friend. Having been part of the KCRW family for close to three decades, I’m grateful to have been able to connect with the generations of folks who have made KCRW what it is today.

Sunday night at The Lodge Room, Beck reminded me that humor, songs, togetherness, a harmonica, and a good old fashioned singalong can cure pretty much anything, especially when you play a “solo acoustic” show with your best friends (a.k.a. band) and an effing solid opener, La Lom.

Monday morning at HQ, London jazz quintet Ezra Collective had me at “Smile,” the Nat King Cole classic that, as brothers/bandleaders Femi and TJ pointed out in the interview, didn’t need lyrics to dissolve me into tears in its wake.

Where am I going with this? Closing Day of the Spring Pledge Drive has yielded to Opening Day for the Dodgers. Saying goodbye to our old friend, Eric, has given way to saying hello to new friends like Ezra Collective and La Lom

Friends, “It’s Time For Dodger Baseball!” If EJL were here, he’d be at the game, discussing offseason acquisitions and MLB rules changes and, most importantly, upcoming bobblehead giveaways.

Tonight I’m off to see our dear Arlo Parks at The Belasco. May this coming week bring you music, gratitude, and an abundance of baseball!

Be well.

xx, Anne
Depeche Mode’s Martin Gore and Dave Gahan - Photo by Anton Corbijn

KCRW interviews: Depeche Mode’s Martin Gore on music, mortality, and ‘Memento Mori’

Since lashing out of Basildon, Essex in 1980, post-punk trailblazers Depeche Mode have made a speciality of not looking back. Their forward-facing ethos has seen the band aggressively forge their way across sounds and styles, from industrial and musique concrète to electronic and New Wave, leaving new generations of disciples (and the entire genre of synth pop) in their wake. 

A year-and-a-half after Depeche Mode staked its place in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2020, founding member and keyboardist Andy “Fletch” Fletcher tragically died, shortly before the band was set to begin recording a new album. The loss thrust an existential chasm before the band’s surviving founders — lead singer David Gahan and guitarist, keyboardist, and lead songwriter Martin Gore — and their new material, much of which had gestated during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic and thematically drew on that time. 

Where others might break, Depeche Mode leaned in, continuing on as a duo with Fletch in spirit. From crisis came Memento Mori — Latin for “remember you must die” — the band’s fifteenth album, released March 24. Its 12 tracks reveal Depeche Mode in vital form, careening from foreboding opening to closing resolve, and reveling in paranoia, compulsion, exhilaration, and release in between.  

As the band embarks on its first tour in more than five years, KCRW DJ Raul Campos caught up with Gore at rehearsal in Los Angeles to reflect on loss, a life defined by music, and the relentless pursuit of joy against the weight of the past.

Ep.3 No Travolta, No Pulp Fiction
Myke Dodge Weiskopf + The Churchs Steve Kilbey - Photo by Michael Quintero

The Church: KCRW Live From HQ

Australian dream-pop legends The Church bless an intimate audience at KCRW’s Annenberg Performance Studio with the first-ever American performance of new material from their 26th album, The Hypnogogue. The band’s unmistakable blend of lush atmospherics and diamond-edged rock ’n’ roll remains as intoxicating as ever.

And frontman Steve Kilbey remains as audacious as ever, sitting down (and sometimes jumping up) for a freewheeling interview about concept albums, the occult, and performing at KCRW in the 1980s. Click in for total audio/visual invigoration.

Henry Rollins - Photo courtesy of KCRW

Guardian Readers interview Henry Rollins

Think of it as an elevated AMA. Legendary UK news outlet The Guardian has tapped your favorite KCRW DJ (yep, we look at the numbers) to answer all manner of questions from their vast readership. Click in to learn more about his time learning at the feet of KCRW’s Deirdre O’Donoghue, collabing with William “Bill” Shatner, and why he’s never planning to play live music again.

Randall Goosby & Gustavo Dudamel - Photo courtesy of the artist

Randall Goosby is keeping historic, Black classical music alive

Randall Goosby is a 26-year-old violinist who rose to fame in the classical music world when he was only 13. In 2010, he became the youngest winner of the coveted Sphinx Competition’s junior division, a national competition for young Black and Latinx classical musicians. Goosby’s dad is Black and his mother is Korean. And he’ll be performing with The LA Philharmonic this Thursday and Friday.

Read on to learn what drew him to classical music at a young age, his profound connection to the archives of Black composer Florence Price, and (of course) hear plenty of sweet, sweet music along the way.


Upcoming Music Events

Friday, March 31 — Emotional Oranges @ Hollywood Palladium

Friday, March 31 — Mac Ayres @ The Fox Theater Pomona

Saturday, April 1 — Mac Ayres @ Shrine Auditorium

Saturday, April 1 — Rayland Baxter @ The Troubadour

Saturday, April 1 — Unknown Mortal Orchestra @ Hollywood Palladium

Saturday, April 1 — Wonder Valley Experimental Festival @ The Palms Restaurant (Twentynine Palms, CA)

Saturday, April 1 - Sunday, April 2 — RE/FORM Festival w/ Optimo (Espacio), François K + more @ Optimist Studios

Wednesday, April 5 — Vijay Iyer @ 2220 Arts + Archives

Wednesday, April 5 — KCRW Presents: Global Beat: Cosmic Barrio @ Fingerprints Music

Thursday, April 6 — Dragonette @ The Roxy Theater

Thursday, April 6 — Mark de Clive-Lowe, Shigeto & Melanie Charles @ Lodge Room




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