05 September 2009


A long time ago, in a decade in the last century, I read a bunch of newspapers and magazines every week. The Times (LA, NY, and Financial), the Guardian, the Independent, the Village Voice, LA Weekly, the Reader, Rolling Stone, Stereo Review -- you've got the picture. Like many young people, I was acutely aware of what was musically cool and uncool. I have the LPs to prove it (I didn't own a CD player until the next decade). And while I attended college in Los Angeles, I listed to KCRW, a radio station broadcasting from Santa Monica Community College. (I listened to KROQ and the Long Beach Community College station, too). KCRW featured two shows that were incredibly influential to my music listening -- "Morning Becomes Eclectic" and "Saturday Night Avant Pop".

So I was so glad when KCRW was one of the first radio to broadcast on the Web. I've remained a fan, and have enjoyed how they've expanded both the role of the DJ and the station as a way to learn more about popular music. As technology has advanced, the role of technology in helping to choose and predict content -- think Amazon's "You might like .... " or iTunes "Genius" selection algorithms -- can be useful tools. But I prefer the editorial role, and the DJs at KCRW do just that, sifting through the torrent of new music and pulling together the best of it.

Now, KCRW is about to debut a new service: Eclectic 24, which sounds like a mash-up of all the content and talent they've developed over the years. I'll be fascinated to see how it works -- if the media is dying, public radio appears to be one place where both innovation is occurring, and people are turning to for news and information. (There's the foreign press, both print and broadcast, but I'll save that for later). I'll tell you more after I listen on Monday, September 7th.

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