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Airwaves: December 12, 2008

KCRW Evolves

Lots of things a happenin’ at the lower end of the FM dial, with KCRW (89.9 FM) leading the way.

As previously reported, new music director Jason Bentley also took on Morning Becomes Eclectic December 1st, and he made his mark on his first show with a track called “Crash” by composer Mark Isham and featured on the soundtrack from the movie of the same name. The first week featured live performances by Oren Lavie, School of Seven Bells, and Keane.

If you haven’t heard the show, it is worth checking out, weekdays from 9 AM to 12 noon, or on demand at

Also among the changes at KCRW is Mathieu Schreyer’s move to Friday nights, 12 midnight to 3 AM. Born in France with stays in North Africa, the Middle East, Asia and finally Los Angeles, Mathieu is considered by many to have a sophisticated taste in music.

Obscure, yet classic, funky, soulful and modern, Schreyer says of his show. Sounds like fine wine ... check it out tonight.


Looking for something different? Reader Donna Colbert from Long Beach says that KUSC (91.5 FM) is about the only thing that she listens to when she’s not plugged into her iPod.

“I’ve about given up on radio,” she told me, “but I find KUSC quite entertaining. Especially Dennis Bartel (5 to 9 AM weekdays) and Rich Capparela (4 to 6 PM weekdays). The knowledge of the classical music they play is nothing short of amazing, and they both present the pieces with background information that makes the music all the more entertaining.”

Bartel’s association with KUSC actually dates back to the 1970s. Besides classical music, his interests include writing: he is an accomplished writer of hundreds of published articles, stories and essays, with subjects as varied as Israel, maple syrup farming, homelessness and, of course, classical music.

When asked by an employment counselor in 1972 what he would like to be, if he could be anything in the world, Capparela immediately replied, “a classical music radio announcer.” The popular radio host took his own advise to heart, and earned the title of Best Classical DJ in Los Angeles back in the July, 1998 Los Angeles Reader Best of LA edition. So what does he do in his spare time? lead singer and guitarist with a four-piece cover rock band.

Hey, every accomplished rock musician has classical music roots ...


KKGO (105.1 FM) has canceled Sunday Night Classics, a program which highlighted rare classic country songs Sunday nights from 9 AM to 12 midnight. The program had been hosted by Jimmy Kay and Jeffrey Smart. Probably unrelated: the station’s digital HD signal has been out for a while now.


Jim “Poorman” Trenton, famous from his stints at KROQ (106.7 FM) and his Poorman’s Guides books is back on the air in Los Angeles, this time for a second installment at KYSR (98.7 FM). When he was on the station back in 2001, he made it all of one shift before hs was let go. This time I think he may stay a while. Saturdays 7 PM to 12 midnight.


Copyright © 2008 Richard Wagoner and Los Angeles Newspaper Group.

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