Anne Litt

SONGS ABOUT LA - Over the July 4 weekend, I started this compilation.  I wonder what your ideas are…
I love holiday weekends in Los Angeles. It’s the closest we ever get to tumbleweeds blowing down any LA thoroughfare. Over the July 4 weekend, I found myself taking different ways to and from KCRW – staying off the freeway and driving through my deserted city thinking about music.

It may sound strange, but I sometimes think about music without listening to it.

I’ve been compiling this list of songs about Los Angeles for some time. It’s a daunting task and, honestly, I’ve only just begun it. This place has inspired so much music, in so many different genres, through so many years that I could never come up with a definitive list, but this is a start.

Susan Raye – “L.A. International Airport”
I don’t know of any other airport that has been immortalized so descriptively in a song about a break up. “L.A. International Airport, where thee big jet engines roar. L.A. International Airport, I won’t see him anymore.”

Randy Newman – “I Love LA”
This song has become the de facto anthem for Los Angeles. Like it or not when you’re at a Dodger game or Laker game and you hear it start, you know it’s been a good day!

Ray Davies – “Celluloid Heroes”
The melancholy in this version of the song (from “The Kinks Choral Collection” By Ray Davies and The Crouch End Festival Chorus) is truly overwhelming. Perhaps it’s the choir or Ray Davies perspective on the song now. Either way, the cautionary tale is powerful and, at the end, uplifting.

George Stanford – “Meet Me In Los Angeles”
I love this song about the essence of what drew all of us transplants here in the first place. Makes me love my adopted hometown even more every time I hear it.

Ice Cube – “Today Was A Good Day”
From 1993, this song came out soon after I moved to LA and was on his album “The Predator” which came out right after the 1992 LA Riots. There’s something about it’s easy nonchalance, West Coast groove and Isley Brothers sample juxtaposed with the true meaning of the lyrics.

Elliot Smith – “Alameda”
This song about the desolation and dark loneliness of this vast city.

Thee Midnighters – “Whittier Blvd”
Coming out of East LA in the 60’s, Thee Midniters created a surf rock sound with horns unique to the urban culture of Los Angeles.

X – “Los Angeles”
This is one of the songs that made it apparent I had to come here (even they are talking about leaving!). I’ve never listened to it quietly. Ever.

Ryan Adams – “Goodnight Hollywood Boulevard”
Ryan is an artist who has been inspired by Los Angeles and now calls it home. I just love this one.

Art Brut – “Moving To L.A.”
Any song by an English band that can barely play their instruments that talks about wanting to “hang around with Axl Rose” and “drinking a Hennessey with Morrissey” is an instant classic.

The Beatles – “Blue Jay Way”
When I first moved to LA, I actually went looking for Blue Jay Way. I found it up in the mythical hills above LA and pictured George Harrison writing it, inspired by those foggy summer LA mornings.

Johnny Mathis – “Christmas In Los Angeles”
Christmas can be a strange time in Los Angeles for me. Johnny Mathis makes it the most perfect place and only place to spend Christmas in the entire world. The best Christmas song EVER!

Jonnie Davis, Francis Langford, and The Benny Goodman Orchestra – “Hooray For Hollywood”
This is the quintessential Hollywood song, from the 1937 movie Hollywood Hotel, lyrics by Johnny Mercer. The true classic of them all.

Here’s a list of a few more!
Joni Mitchell – “California” “Ladies Of The Canyon”
The Decemberists – “Los Angeles, I’m Yours”
The Byrds – “Bad Night At The Whiskey”
Dawes – “Time Spent In Los Angeles”
Grateful Dead – “West LA Fadeaway”
Take – “Los Angeles Is Outside”
Gilberto Gil – Samba De Los Angeles”
The Standells – “Riot On The Sunset Strip”
Rival Sons – “Burn Down Los Angeles”
Gene Clark – “Los Angeles”
Father John Misty (and a great cover by Tashaki Miyaki) – “Hollywood Forever Cemetary Sings”
Band of Skulls – “Hollywood Bowl”
Ryan Adams – “La Cienega Smiled”
Patti Smith – “Redondo Beach”
Ry Cooder – “3rd Base, Dodger Stadium”

SONGS ABOUT LA - Over the July 4 weekend, I started this compilation. I wonder what your ideas are…

I love holiday weekends in Los Angeles. It’s the closest we ever get to tumbleweeds blowing down any LA thoroughfare. Over the July 4 weekend, I found myself taking different ways to and from KCRW – staying off the freeway and driving through my deserted city thinking about music.

It may sound strange, but I sometimes think about music without listening to it.

I’ve been compiling this list of songs about Los Angeles for some time. It’s a daunting task and, honestly, I’ve only just begun it. This place has inspired so much music, in so many different genres, through so many years that I could never come up with a definitive list, but this is a start.

Susan Raye – “L.A. International Airport”
I don’t know of any other airport that has been immortalized so descriptively in a song about a break up. “L.A. International Airport, where thee big jet engines roar. L.A. International Airport, I won’t see him anymore.”

Randy Newman – “I Love LA”
This song has become the de facto anthem for Los Angeles. Like it or not when you’re at a Dodger game or Laker game and you hear it start, you know it’s been a good day!

Ray Davies – “Celluloid Heroes”
The melancholy in this version of the song (from “The Kinks Choral Collection” By Ray Davies and The Crouch End Festival Chorus) is truly overwhelming. Perhaps it’s the choir or Ray Davies perspective on the song now. Either way, the cautionary tale is powerful and, at the end, uplifting.

George Stanford – “Meet Me In Los Angeles”
I love this song about the essence of what drew all of us transplants here in the first place. Makes me love my adopted hometown even more every time I hear it.

Ice Cube – “Today Was A Good Day”
From 1993, this song came out soon after I moved to LA and was on his album “The Predator” which came out right after the 1992 LA Riots. There’s something about it’s easy nonchalance, West Coast groove and Isley Brothers sample juxtaposed with the true meaning of the lyrics.

Elliot Smith – “Alameda”
This song about the desolation and dark loneliness of this vast city.

Thee Midnighters – “Whittier Blvd”
Coming out of East LA in the 60’s, Thee Midniters created a surf rock sound with horns unique to the urban culture of Los Angeles.

X – “Los Angeles”
This is one of the songs that made it apparent I had to come here (even they are talking about leaving!). I’ve never listened to it quietly. Ever.

Ryan Adams – “Goodnight Hollywood Boulevard”
Ryan is an artist who has been inspired by Los Angeles and now calls it home. I just love this one.

Art Brut – “Moving To L.A.”
Any song by an English band that can barely play their instruments that talks about wanting to “hang around with Axl Rose” and “drinking a Hennessey with Morrissey” is an instant classic.

The Beatles – “Blue Jay Way”
When I first moved to LA, I actually went looking for Blue Jay Way. I found it up in the mythical hills above LA and pictured George Harrison writing it, inspired by those foggy summer LA mornings.

Johnny Mathis – “Christmas In Los Angeles”
Christmas can be a strange time in Los Angeles for me. Johnny Mathis makes it the most perfect place and only place to spend Christmas in the entire world. The best Christmas song EVER!

Jonnie Davis, Francis Langford, and The Benny Goodman Orchestra – “Hooray For Hollywood”
This is the quintessential Hollywood song, from the 1937 movie Hollywood Hotel, lyrics by Johnny Mercer. The true classic of them all.

Here’s a list of a few more!
Joni Mitchell – “California” “Ladies Of The Canyon”
The Decemberists – “Los Angeles, I’m Yours”
The Byrds – “Bad Night At The Whiskey”
Dawes – “Time Spent In Los Angeles”
Grateful Dead – “West LA Fadeaway”
Take – “Los Angeles Is Outside”
Gilberto Gil – Samba De Los Angeles”
The Standells – “Riot On The Sunset Strip”
Rival Sons – “Burn Down Los Angeles”
Gene Clark – “Los Angeles”
Father John Misty (and a great cover by Tashaki Miyaki) – “Hollywood Forever Cemetary Sings”
Band of Skulls – “Hollywood Bowl”
Ryan Adams – “La Cienega Smiled”
Patti Smith – “Redondo Beach”
Ry Cooder – “3rd Base, Dodger Stadium”

It’s a Wild World. #JimmyCliff @hollywoodbowl @kcrw #legend

It’s a Wild World. #JimmyCliff @hollywoodbowl @kcrw #legend

Reggae Night is on @hollywoodbowl!!  Shaggy inviting is all to Jamaica. @kcrw

Reggae Night is on @hollywoodbowl!! Shaggy inviting is all to Jamaica. @kcrw

Behind the scenes @kcrw. Nothing but the hits.

Behind the scenes @kcrw. Nothing but the hits.

Who’s a little country and who’s a little rock & roll? @thejasonbentley @kcrw  (at The Annenberg Space for Photography)

Who’s a little country and who’s a little rock & roll? @thejasonbentley @kcrw (at The Annenberg Space for Photography)

Thank you @sturgillsimpson. Minds blown all over Los Angeles tonight. @kcrw (at The Annenberg Space for Photography)

Thank you @sturgillsimpson. Minds blown all over Los Angeles tonight. @kcrw (at The Annenberg Space for Photography)

Unbelievable. Bobbie Gentry & Billie Joe.

THE ACID - ARTIST YOU SHOULD KNOW

Sometimes the internet really works.

I met artist Steve Nalepa through Twitter. He sent me some music that I loved and I began to play it on the radio. A month or so ago, he sent me his new project, The Acid.

The first song I heard, which you can hear below, is “Fame.”

What I heard is a baseline of electronics, with sweet melodies performed with a present rawness, and a decidedly organic feel. It’s sexy. Because of the people and talents involved the end result, rather than a mish-mash, is a beautifully conceived, deftly executed balance of songs, instruments, machines and soul.

The three players are: Steve Nalepa – Californian, producer, composer and professor of music technology, Adam Freeland – a Grammy-nominated English DJ, remixer, and composer, and RY X – an Australian singer songwriter now based in Berlin.

This is definitely a case of the sum being greater than the parts. Serendipity brought these three artists together (which is a whole other story about, in their words, nerding out over music) and each one has brought a different expertise and set of experiences to the table. The result is gorgeous.

Here’s how the band approached it, from Steve himself:

“Since we all had history and careers, we decided to just float it out there on Soundcloud anonymously and not tell any of our friends it was us.

We wanted the music to speak for itself, not be perceived as someone’s side project or get viewed through the lens of their other work. We changed where we were from every week or so. First we were a band from Santiago, Chile, then Norway, then Mozambique, then Iceland, Australia, Berlin, etc. We had fun with it.

Soon enough, people started finding it and we actually starting getting hit up by labels.”

They ended up signing with Infectious out of the UK, who partnered with Mute for the North American release. Their full length “Liminal” is just out.  

If you click the photo above it takes you to the KCRW website, where I originally posted this and you get “Fame” as a free download!

THE ACID - ARTIST YOU SHOULD KNOW

Sometimes the internet really works.

I met artist Steve Nalepa through Twitter. He sent me some music that I loved and I began to play it on the radio. A month or so ago, he sent me his new project, The Acid.

The first song I heard, which you can hear below, is “Fame.”

What I heard is a baseline of electronics, with sweet melodies performed with a present rawness, and a decidedly organic feel. It’s sexy. Because of the people and talents involved the end result, rather than a mish-mash, is a beautifully conceived, deftly executed balance of songs, instruments, machines and soul.

The three players are: Steve Nalepa – Californian, producer, composer and professor of music technology, Adam Freeland – a Grammy-nominated English DJ, remixer, and composer, and RY X – an Australian singer songwriter now based in Berlin.

This is definitely a case of the sum being greater than the parts. Serendipity brought these three artists together (which is a whole other story about, in their words, nerding out over music) and each one has brought a different expertise and set of experiences to the table. The result is gorgeous.

Here’s how the band approached it, from Steve himself:

“Since we all had history and careers, we decided to just float it out there on Soundcloud anonymously and not tell any of our friends it was us.

We wanted the music to speak for itself, not be perceived as someone’s side project or get viewed through the lens of their other work. We changed where we were from every week or so. First we were a band from Santiago, Chile, then Norway, then Mozambique, then Iceland, Australia, Berlin, etc. We had fun with it.

Soon enough, people started finding it and we actually starting getting hit up by labels.”

They ended up signing with Infectious out of the UK, who partnered with Mute for the North American release. Their full length “Liminal” is just out.

If you click the photo above it takes you to the KCRW website, where I originally posted this and you get “Fame” as a free download!

Reggae Night XIII at the Hollywood Bowl with Jimmy Cliff THIS Sunday

I started listening to reggae music on my local college radio station when I was in high school without really knowing what it was.

For me, it was exotic, a place I wanted to find out about, welcoming but it felt out of reach, particularly since college radio DJ’s have a way of playing amazing music but not ever telling you much about it.

It was in this context that I first heard the soundtrack to the classic film, “The Harder They Come“, and the music of Jimmy Cliff.

It wasn’t until years later who the musician was. When I did, it opened the door to a whole new world of music.

When I first started DJ’ing at KCRW, I used to spend hours late at night combing the reggae section of the music library finding the artists I had heard so long ago. I didn’t know their names, only their music — which I had on cassettes I’d recorded off my transistor radio.

This is all a round about way of saying that Jimmy Cliff was key in my discoveries way back in high school and then when I came to KCRW.

A couple of years ago he performed live on Morning Becomes Eclectic and when he played “Many Rivers To Cross”, it felt like a small circle completing.

Jimmy Cliff actually loved his live performance at KCRW so much that he released it as a live record.

He’s energy is electric onstage and I can’t wait to see him at the Hollywood Bowl on Sunday night.

Rounding out the bill is platinum-selling, Grammy award-wining reggae artist Shaggy (his latest album is a collaboration with reggae royalty – Sly & Robbie!) and Jamaican singer Don Carlos and The Dub Vision Band.

My new favorite band thanks to @rockcampla… And they are 8 yrs old. Rock Camp for Girls LA never ceases to inspire and ROCK!  Thanks for inviting me to DJ. An honor. xo (at House of Blues Sunset Strip)

My new favorite band thanks to @rockcampla… And they are 8 yrs old. Rock Camp for Girls LA never ceases to inspire and ROCK! Thanks for inviting me to DJ. An honor. xo (at House of Blues Sunset Strip)