The Best of KCRW’s Legendary In-Studio Performances

Tony Bennett. George Clinton. Wilco. Let's review.

May 11, 2017 9:00 am

Lukewarm take: the single greatest cultural contribution the United States has made to the world is its music.

It climbed up out of the darkness of New Orleans and the Mississippi Delta, where African-American jazz and blues musicians honed an oral tradition that had been passed down from their fathers and grandfathers. Without them, there would be no Elvis Presley. No Beatles. No Stones. No Bob Marley.

Given that history, we should be protecting our country’s musical legacy — and the shepherds who look overit — the same way we protect our National Parks and Monument.

Which is where a high quality radio station like L.A.’s KCRW comes in. Not only do these guys serve up incredible programming that spans deep cuts from all ages, regions and genres — they’re also known for launching the careers of many young, talented artists. You want to discover new music, quickly? Listen to KCRW.

However, as we all know, the government is about to give itself a big, bad haircut, and public funding for the arts will be chief among the clippings. Hence why we think you should support KCRW’s spring pledge drive.

If you need further convincing, take a look at our 12 favorite in-studio KCRW performances, which we’ve compiled below. Many are recorded at Apogee Studios, an intimate space where 100 or so lucky folks get to experience the music and a post-show interview live. All are then played on air during Morning Becomes Eclectic, and later, broadcast for free on their website. If you love to watch great live performances, look no further.

Long live the music.

Preservation Hall Jazz Band, full show here.

Future Islands, full show here.

Spoon, full show here.

Hiatus Kaiyote, full show here.

Sturgill Simpson, full show here.

Father John Misty, full show here.

Tinariwen, full show here.

George Clinton and the Parliment Funkadelic, full show here.

Laura Marling, full show here.

Mayer Hawthorne, full show here.

Cymande, full show here

Wilco, full show here

Images by Dustin Downing

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