Music programming Guru Nic Harcourt proved Saturday night why KCRW is
perhaps the most important radio station in the world. He curated one
killer night of music that was, indeed, eclectic, and a whole lot more.
California's own Blackalicious kicked the show off in fine style at the
Universal Amphitheater. Their set included selections from their highly
touted album Blazing Arrow. The evening's production was seamless as the
rotating stage next offered up the Mexican funk/soul quartet, Kinky.
Rock goddess Aimee Mann -- wearing a suit and tie that could easily have
come out of Annie Hall's closet -- was the next to grace the stage. She
thanked KCRW for being the only station to play cuts from her current
album, Lost In Space.
Peter Yorn -- the evening's first special guest -- popped in for a quick
three-song acoustic set, and then came the heavy artillery. Beth Orton
armed with only cellist and (stand-up) bassist was followed by KCRW
darling and Los Angelino Beck. Mr. Hanson and his tour-mate, Wayne Coyne
of The Flaming Lips had some trouble getting their duet on, but managed to
poke out a few bars of Sonny and Cher's "I Got You Babe" and a Willie
Nelson/Waylon Jennings tune. Beck's subsequent duet's (could there be an
album in the works?) were somewhat more successful -- The Stones' "No
Expectations" w/ Orton, "Sleepless Nights" w/ Norah Jones and an
inspired rendition of "You're the One That I Want" (of Grease fame) with
Sia Furler of Zero 7.
The sultry Norah Jones and her siren-like voice could easily have been
the highlight of the night, if it were not for the electrifying
performance by Zero 7. The eleven-piece band with their bevy of lead
vocalists capped the truly eclectic evening, which proved that radio
shows, can be so much more than Jingle Balls and other chart driven