(PRESS RELEASE) On March 13, Santa Monica, CA public radio station KCRW and Starbucks Entertainment will co-release Sounds Eclectic: The Covers Project exclusively at select Starbucks locations and online at www.starbucks.com/hearmusic. The compilation features cover songs performed live in the studio by various artists during the acclaimed Morning Becomes Eclectic program hosted by Nic Harcourt. This release marks the first time the trendsetting public radio station has partnered with Starbucks Entertainment to co-release and distribute an album, the ninth in KCRW’s series of CD compilations. KCRW plans for sales of Sounds Eclectic: The Covers Project to help fund the track-by-track digitization of KCRW’s music library, which holds nearly 60,000 albums.
The 15-song collection – featuring performances from R.E.M., Rufus Wainwright, K.D. Lang, Sia, Paul Weller, Damien Rice, The Flaming Lips, M. Ward, Robert Plant and more – will be available exclusively at select Starbucks locations in Los Angeles, New York City, San Francisco, San Diego, Austin, Boston and Washington, D.C. starting March 13. The CD will also be available online at www.starbucks.com/hearmusic.
"KCRW is delighted to partner with Starbucks on The Covers Project. Starbucks reaches a significant part of our audience in Los Angeles and a huge potential audience in other cities across the country," said Nic Harcourt, music director of KCRW and host of Morning Becomes Eclectic.
"Morning Becomes Eclectic is a true leader in the music industry and Nic Harcourt has consistently offered listeners music you can’t find anywhere else," said Ken Lombard, president Starbucks Entertainment. "We know our customers will delight in this collection of live performances from Nic’s show."
Listen as the Magic Numbers take on Beyoncé’s smash hit "Crazy In Love" with their trademark harmonies, or as Irish singer Damien Rice uses his searing vocals to break down Radiohead’s "Creep" with just an acoustic guitar. Rice recorded the entire track (with the help of lyrics downloaded from the Web) in an impromptu performance at the request of Harcourt and producer Ariana Morgenstern. Similarly, Dido’s tinkering with James Taylor’s "Fire and Rain" during sound check became an official recording at the request of KCRW.
In a version whipped up in a tour bus on the way to the studio, The Flaming Lips add a psychedelic twist to another Radiohead favorite, "Knives Out," while the yearning in Neil Young’s country ballad "Out on the Weekend" is taken to new heights in a remake by Belgian sextet Girls in Hawaii.
Of all the covers, R.E.M.’s version of "Gentle on My Mind" (made famous by Glen Campbell) is truly a tribute – it was recorded the day after the song’s author, John Hartford, passed away. They performed and recorded the song for the first time on Morning Becomes Eclectic.
89.9 KCRW (heard throughout Southern California and accessed globally at www.KCRW.com) plays host to some of the best artists in the world, and the intimate yet informal setting of Morning Becomes Eclectic is where music legends and talented newcomers alike premiere new songs, play forgotten favorites or in this case, cover another artist.
An appearance on Morning Becomes Eclectic is both an honor and a rite of passage for many artists and they save something special for the occasion. You can hear those special moments in this new collection.