A little more than a month ago, Jason Bentley became the host of KCRW’s flagship music program, Morning Becomes Eclectic, (9 AM to noon, weekdays,) also taking over as music director of the public radio station that makes its home at Santa Monic College. It was only by chance that I heard the announcement in mid-November from the morning DJ/music director he replaced, Nik Harcourt. (Harcourt still has a Sunday evening slot.)
I’ll be honest; even though Harcourt’s passion for music was obvious, I was not a fan of most of what he played and I was not a regular MBE listener. But Bentley’s eponymous evening KCRW program (nee Metropolis) was a favorite, and when he sat in occasionally for Harcourt I found myself repeatedly checking the real time playlist on their site to get the artists’ names. Whenever he subbed on MBE, he didn’t play the same sort of music that he played at night (it had a dark, electronic slant,) but I was definitely more attuned to his taste than I was to Harcourt’s.
December 1st was day one for Bentley, and the entire feel of MBE changed radically at the very beginning as he cued up the hauntingly beautiful “Sense of Touch” from Mark Isham’s soundtrack for the movie Crash. I was immediately hooked and since then, I’ve been tuning in regularly; if I miss the morning broadcast, I can listen in the evening on KCRW’s online station, although it’s trimmed to a two-hour version of the original three-hour program. All past programs are also streamable from the KCRW archives.