Thankfully, I got to listen to quite a lot of KCRW’s Weekend Becomes Eclectic during the past two days. And yes, hearing it was a welcome relief from news and grim realities. I missed the program opening on Saturday, but on Sunday, when the second song started — "No More Running Away" by the Ben Taylor Band (from what I’ve heard, my favorite from the album) — there was no doubt that Anne Litt was at the helm. She’d played the track (and others from that CD) multiple times before, and hearing it was also like hearing a confirmation that she was there, spinning music. (In the past, there have been a few times when I’ve turned on the radio to WBE, heard a set of music, and thought, "This doesn’t sound like an ‘Anne Litt set’…" — and sure enough, when it was over, a substitute host ID’d the tunes! Litt’s true, eclectic, musical palate really gives the show her own unique and recognizable brand; and I admit: a couple of those times when someone subbed for her, I turned off the radio. It’s just not the same hearing WBE without Litt — sometimes a guest host’s musical direction simply doesn’t mesh with mine, and that’s no fault of anyone.)
What else brought a big smile to my face: hearing Stan Getz and João Gilberto from their classic album (one of my all-time favorites), back-to-back versions of Burt Bacharach‘s "I Just Don’t Know What To Do With Myself" (the White Stripes followed by Tommy Hunt), Goldfrapp‘s "Paper Bag" (I still am amazed that KCRW does not air an edited version of that song), new material by Daniel Lanois and the (now) good old KCRW favorites "Flowers in the Window" by Travis and "Walk On" from U2 (I remember Litt playing the latter two songs during the first weekend post-9/11).
Not to say that I didn’t enjoy the other tunes — those are just some that got my particular attention. I left out Beth Orton, Lucinda Williams, Badly Drawn Boy, Pete Yorn and many more. Unfortunately, I did miss maybe 30-40 collective minutes of the six hours of WBE (so if Litt played Richard Buckner, David Gray, Coldplay, Peggy Lee, Jack Teagarden, Oscar Peterson or anyone else I would really love to have heard, I missed that). But as always, hearing the show was an uplifting and calming experience. Thanks again Ms Litt and KCRW.