Every city should be lucky enough to have a station like KCRW, the noncommercial outlet of the Los Angeles area's small Santa Monica College.
Every city should be lucky enough to have a station like KCRW, the noncommercial outlet of the Los Angeles area's small Santa Monica College. And every station should have a program like the widely honored daily show "Morning Becomes Eclectic" and its weekly syndicated program "Sounds Eclectic." The latest in a series of compilation CDs, "Sounds Eclectic 3" contains mostly tracks recorded live at KCRW. Show producer/host Nic Harcourt's taste is neither too esoteric nor predictably "edgy": This set of songs and artists could anchor a format called "progressive mainstream." Performances include the Flaming Lips acoustic, Paul Weller energetic and Steve Earle emphatic. There are rare catches like Radiohead's live "Go to Sleep," My Morning Jacket showing off its Skynyrd side on "One Big Holiday" and Kinky sounding like Carlos Santana's army on the march on the vibrating "Mirando de Lado." Personal favorites include the Polyphonic Spree impersonating the Magical Mystery Tour Choir on "It's the Sun" and Franz Ferdinand's "Take Me Out," which provides the jolt that often makes "Eclectic" so electric.—WR