Image via KCRW

A new 10-part podcast series from California public radio mainstay KCRW celebrates ’80s college-rock era host Deirdre O’Donoghue — billed as “the most influential American DJ you’ve never heard of” — and her archive of in-studio performances recorded for her program “SNAP!”

The series, “Bent By Nature: Deirdre O’Donoghue and the Lost SNAP! Archives,” just debuted its first episode, which can be streamed right here. You can also subscribe via the usual podcast outlets.

Hosted by former KCRW DJ Tricia Halloran and Bob Carlson, who engineered many of the “SNAP!” live sessions, the series features appearances by Michael Stipe, Henry Rollins, Julian Cope and more.

It tells the story of O’Donoghue, who died in 2001, and her innovative late-night show, which, between 1982 and 1991, aired interviews with and performances by Bob Mould, Concrete Blonde, The Dream Syndicate, Pere Ubu, Syd Straw, R.E.M., Camper Van Beethoven, The Mighty Lemon Drops, Poi Dog Pondering, Meat Puppets, Robyn Hitchcock and many more.

“For a generation of music fans, her voice launched countless artists into the ears and hearts of Los Angeles,” Halloran says in the opening of the first episode. Of O’Donoghue’s archive of “SNAP!” performances, she adds, “Those tapes tell the story of a golden age of underground and independent music, all preformed live on air with no safety net.”

Outside of bootlegs and a handful of commercially released sets — perhaps most notably The Go-Betweens’ 1987 and ’88 sessions with O’Donoghue — most of the in-studio recordings have gone unheard for decades. Co-producers Carlson and Myke Dodge Weiskopf spent two years transferring and restoring O’Donoghue’s collection of hundreds of cassettes and reel-to-real tapes.

Not only will the podcast feature music from those tapes, but the station is planning to build an online archive “featuring many of Deirdre’s most legendary interviews and in-studio performances.” So far, the station has not posted any of the musical sessions, but you can listen to interviews with The Jesus and Mary Chain, Brian Eno and filmmaker Jonathan Demme.

Below, check out those interviews — plus a 1989 segment about O’Donoghue on MTV’s “Week in Rock.”

And for more on the “Bent By Nature” podcast, visit the series’ website.

 

Interview: The Jesus and Mary Chain

Interview: Brian Eno

Interview: Jonathan Demme

 

 

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