Santa Monica, CA (November 4, 2022)—L.A. radio station KCRW is about to make a massive, newly remastered digital archive of recently unearthed and unheard live recordings publicly available.
On November 14, 2022, one year after KCRW released the critically acclaimed podcast Bent by Nature: Deirdre O’Donoghue and the Lost SNAP Archives, the station is releasing a trove of sessions, some of them unheard since they aired almost 40 years ago. This archive includes early live performance recordings from underground and alternative acts like R.E.M., Tom Waits, Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, Meat Puppets, Harry Dean Stanton, Pere Ubu, The Church, Blue Aeroplanes, Robyn Hitchcock, Shawn Colvin, Concrete Blonde, Daniel Lanois, Lyle Lovett, Dwight Yoakam, Sarah McLachlan, Suzanne Vega and many more.
In tandem, KCRW will launch BENT24, a 24-hour, on-demand streaming service featuring a shuffling playlist of full SNAP episodes (1981-1991). Restored from the original board tapes, BENT24 is designed to transport the listener back in time, recreating the experience of listening to O’Donoghue’s Saturday night show. KCRW members will have early access to the performance archive and BENT24 starting Today, November 4. The general public will have access on Monday, November 14.
When approached by KCRW for permission to release his live performance, Tom Waits and his wife Kathleen Brennan wrote, “In a town filled with sounds borne of the marriage of music and commerce, Deirdre [O’Donoghue] was a voice and venue for the undiscovered or marginalized and a refuge for artists who felt estranged from the prevailing currents. She opened so many ears and hearts, including ours, with her earthy and irreverent voice and wide-ranging enthusiasm for all music. So great someone thought to do this.”
Taken as a whole, the Deirdre O’Donoghue archive amounts to a “secret history” of the pre-Nirvana underground (1982-1991), offering a unique and unprecedented time capsule for fans of 1980s independent music. Spanning hundreds of reel-to-reel tapes and cassettes, the entire archive was gifted to KCRW by her family after O’Donoghue’s untimely passing in 2001.
Bob Carlson (KCRW’s UnFictional) and Myke Dodge Weiskopf (KCRW’s Lost Notes), co-producers of Bent by Nature: Deirdre O’Donoghue and the Lost SNAP Archives, spent the last three years painstakingly transferring and restoring these artifacts of an under-explored time. The 10-part podcast offers newcomers a window into O’Donoghue’s life and work at KCRW. Hosted by former KCRW DJ Tricia Halloran, the “lovingly crafted” audio documentary made the case for O’Donoghue as a tireless innovator, passionate music lover, and unheralded icon of public broadcasting.
Bent By Nature was named #8 in The Atlantic‘s 50 Best Podcasts of 2021 and #2 in Time Out’s Best Podcasts About Music. It was also featured by Vulture, The Guardian, BBC, and FLOOD Magazine, among others. KCRW’s official website for Bent By Nature serves as the portal into O’Donoghue’s world. Already available is the entire podcast, as well as archival interviews with Brian Wilson, Brian Eno, David Lowery, Michael Stipe, Joe Strummer, Jonathan Demme, Paul Westerberg, Robert Fripp and others.