It’s Quits. Jason Bentley Shuts Down Metropolis on KCRW

I wanted to send my favorite DJ, Jason Bentley, an email which was essentially this post. But he’s pretty much never going to get the email with the amount of mail he gets. SOOOO, on the blog it goes. And for this post I have to explain a bunch of stuff that he already knows. So let’s start with the basics. JB is a DJ on KCRW. How’s that for a bunch of initials! His 7:30 PM to 10 PM show has specialized in “electronic dance music” on the Santa Monica College “school station.” That’s one of way describing his/our type of music. And that’s one of describing that so-called school station. He is my favorite DJ, not just because of the music, but his delivery. In fact I like other things too, like his passion for music and the lack of interruptions he allows on his show.

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I heard the news a few days ago, and not to bring up a sad event, but it hit me like another KCRW tragedy. It’s a far more serious event, but the death of Warren Kolodny. When I first moved to LA in the mid-90’s I quickly discovered KCRW and KXLU. And then, as now, I pretty much listen to the KXLU during the day and KCRW on nights and the weekend. KXLU does basic college rock for most of the day and middle of the night (and I hear it’s where JB got is LA start after his move from Boston). Whereas KCRW used to have some interesting evening shows, then sort of didn’t, and now have some late evening shows that are JB clones-but I’ll get to that in a second.

So I got to LA and found Bentley doing his Metropolis show and at the time he had some demo tapes form a group called Underworld, and having grown up in Chicago when House music was invented, I was pretty well versed in dance music. Also having spent 10 years living in Manhattan prior to moving to LA I was pretty well versed in hip hop, and club music-not to mention my youth in punk and metal. BUT, no matter how much guitar music I thrived on, I had never given up on beat-centric music. So Jason’s show caught my ear RIGHT AWAY. As did another show, by a man named Warren Kolodny. At the time Warren was doing a show with music that I’ve heard described as “cocktail” music or “space age bachelor pad” or “exotica.” Anyway I took to his show right his show too, so those were my main shows. And then one day I heard Warren was dead. Apparently it was a suicide. Kinda shocking and I think it might have been the first time that a radio show had left me rather than the other way around. And for such a heavy reason.

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The ironic thing about Jason is that I recently discovered a training series he’s hosted on Lynda.com’s website about musical inspiration. And at first I laughed in disbelief. But then I realized how perfect it is for him to be doing that. He IS an inspiring guy, and it doesn’t really need to be pointed out how inspiring music is. In fact the reason I listen to the radio almost round the clock is because I do creative work the music inspires me to NO END. I write specific things based on the music I’m hearing-and Jason’s music choices have not just shaped my work but the COUNTRY’S musical taste. That’s right. Did you know he did the musical selection for the Matrix? All that cool music when Neo is flying through the air over Orpheus’ head in the kung fu scene, or that cool as music when they start shooting up the mezzanine-that’s Jason! And every time you hear some cool iPod commercial or car commercial or tons of other things-it’s all inspired by Jason’s show. The show is in LA and they DO make all that stuff IN LA. Clearly I’m not the only person listening to the radio when I create.

So when Metropolis first started it really was a lone voice in the night. I mean I knew where to get electronic music or where to find stations on the internet that were broadcasting it, but that type of music wasn’t really “out there” for the general public. And tonight on his show he said he’s been doing it for 16 years and yeah, that’s a long time. I mean really it is. So, despite my sense of personal loss, I can’t fault the guy for moving on. He’s going to do the Morning Becomes Eclectic show AND become the Musical Director for the station. And I think it’s really the MD position that’s prompting the move, not the format change in his show. He’s been an enlisted man long enough, time to become an officer. And electronic music is safe. I mean the war is over. That music is no longer on the outskirts of society. It’s infused and integrated, hell some people would even say it came and went. But I wouldn’t say that-the Basement Jaxx will STILL blow you away and Sam Taylor Wood’s new I’m in Love with a German Film Star will be a minor classic. But as I mentioned earlier, KCRW now has half a dozen Bentley-lite clones that do dance music in the late evening. None of them are as good as JB, but you can still hear that kind of music. But still, The End of an Era. There is some good news though; did you know that JB does a Saturday night show on KROQ called After Hours? Well he does, and one can assume that since it’s the same format as Metropolis it’ll be a pretty strong show since it’s only the once a week [hold that thought-it’s a few days later and JB just announced he’s quitting After Hours too after the Nov 30th show].

Related Blogs

    This Blog Got Mentioned on WFMU by Bronwyn C. See? There is Something Good in Jersey

    OK get all the New Jersey jokes out of your system because I don’t wanna hear ‘em. I was on the radio. Besides, in this age of internet radio whatta you care where the station is? That’s me trying to use some lingo there. Chicago (where I am) and pretty much the whole state of Jersey (where the Bronwyn does her radio show from) are both famous for having “dees, dat and dem” mob guys walking around. But both are exaggerations. In fact; mafia? What mafia? There’s no such thing. But yeah, a couple of days ago she gave the blog an endorsement and if I’ve done this correctly this post SHOULD have an audio clip. It’s only about a minute long so give it a listen.

    But media relations can manifest in totally different ways. In a couple of days I’m going to write a piece about a new blogger who visits this blog for tips and who I exchange emails with. That guy has had great success with his local papers and political community and even been invited to become part of the process. And a couple of months ago John Chow got 2 back to back write ups in some local newspapers. So I left a comment over there telling him that MY experience in showbiz told me he should expect a slow progression like this; some more newspaper stories, then magazine and local TV news and by the end of the year there was a very good chance he’d have some kind of TV show. Know what happened? Within DAYS he was doing TV news. Then soon after HE bought his own camera and started filming his local get together with friends and posting them on the blog. And then he started getting sponsors. BIG ones, like Microsoft. Now, I’m not suggesting I caused this to happen (still….) but this is how media works. And Chow has now created his own show, but don’t be surprised if it doesn’t end up on some “tech” channel. See, despite how “big” the internet is to us, it’s still the low man on the totem pole of ALL media . And upper media tends to poach from lower media and that’s bad if you’re trying to hide something but GREAT if you’re trying to ride the wave .

    Now in my case and the mention on WFMU; I listen to a lot of radio, and that station in particular is one of my top 5. The New York area, like LA, is one of the places I lived and will probably live again before it’s all said and done. And , incidentally, the reason I’m “Welcome Back Rosenthal.” I’m always leaving places but eventually making my way back to them. Bronwyn C. has a show that’s interesting and I thought I had a piece that would really fit into her show well, so I sent it to her. And voila! One of the keys to success, in every field, is to help people get what they want . Contribute to what others are trying to achieve and you might be surprised at how well it works out for YOU. It’s not about being calculating, it’s about making an honest reach outward to enhance something you already enjoy. Dale Carnegie 101. So blogging for bloggers is cool, but it’s not the whole world. Branch out a little and see what happens.

    Who Knocked Suge Knight the Hell Out at Night Club?

    So I’ve got be VEEERYY careful how I handle this. Yesterday I wrote about how living in Hollywood taught me a lot about showbiz people. How it is a VERY cutthroat business. And most people don’t equate “Hollywood” the idea with “Los Angeles” the city. And just in case you folks forgot; LA is a Bitch! South Central, Watts, Long Beach. All the shit is NOT a joke. I’m from Chicago’s South Side and I put in 10 years in Money Makin’ Manhattan; Alphabet City and Hell’s Kitchen to be exact so I KNOW rough when I see it. But Hollywood is both an idea and a neighborhood that I lived in for nine years. 90028 Y’all! And currently around the corner from my old apartment Suge Knight has a club. Well TMZ, who I’m embarrassed to say I’m getting this story from, reported that Suge got into a tussle. And this is where I have to be careful…he may not have come out ahead in the altercation. I’m saying right here; I don’t know a thing . These are just some video/photos I saw. I do not know a thing. I am moving back to LA by the end of the year, and I DO NOT KNOW A THING. Suge might have won the fight.

    Suge Knight Gets Knocked the F@#$ Out! (TMZ Exclusive)

    As I said in the title:WHO would do such a thing? They HAVE to know that this is not going to end well. Not by a looooong shot. With the key word being “shot.” So you punch man out, and NOW you gotta spend the rest of your life looking over your shoulder who you KNOW since the Deathrow Record days has a thing for a “personally settling” disputes. Anyway, wanna see some more funny videos? Visit my other site DirtySmiles.com .