KCRW Guest DJ Project (Xeni)

This is a blog post I've been really excited to hit "publish" on for a while. KCRW is my favorite radio station in the world. I listen to them when I'm driving around LA, but also tune in online when I'm traveling, and subscribe to some of their podcasts, too, so I can listen while I'm running on the beach or wandering around in some strange city overseas where all other sounds are unfamiliar. They've pretty much been the most important source for my own personal music discovery habits over the past decade or so. The voices and personalities of the hosts are so familiar, they feel like friends or family -- guiding ghosts who point me toward all that is cool, beautiful, and audible.

Because of this, it was an honor and surprise when KCRW's Rachel Reynolds -- who reads Boing Boing! -- invited me to participate in the station's Guest DJ Project.

Even more sweet, the fact that this guest DJ session would be hosted by my favorite KCRW DJ (I swear I'm not making any of this up), the inimitable music curator and velvet-voiced host Chris Douridas.

Chris and Rachel asked me to select songs that meant something to me personally, and revealed something of my life experience. Then, they invited me to come in and talk about the songs with Chris, and today, they've published the resulting music/conversation audio piece. It's the most personal thing I've ever done in public, if that makes sense? Telling the world about why your favorite songs are your favorite songs is like liveblogging your id, or having one of those dreams where you're riding the subway naked. So it feels weird to type this. But these songs actually do mean a lot to me, so I'm really excited to share the experience.

Links to Listen: Here is a downloadable MP3. Here's where you can listen on a streaming web player. And here's the text transcript.


1.) Tomita - Claire de Lune
2.) Bad Brains - Banned in DC
3.) David Byrne and Brian Eno - The Carrier
4.) Lucho Gatica - Encadenados
5.) Ryuichi Sakamoto - Boing Boing video episode with Joi Ito


  1. Xeni, you just went up a notch on the hotness scale in my book. KCRW is one of the few things I still miss about living in Los Angeles.

    1. @rexy, don’t hate me, Radiohead is probably my favorite band in the world, or at least one of the three most loved! I’ve actually broken up with boyfriends because they didn’t love Radiohead enough.

      But practically every other actor/director/whatever who appeared in the Guest DJ project before me was picking Radiohead tracks, and it seemed right to focus on other material.

      Had those other Hollywood luzers not spoiled the fun, my dilemma would have then been, which to select: “Let Down,” “Planet Telex,” “Kid A,” “Subterranean Homesick Alien,” “Everything in Its Right Place,” “Optimistic,” “Airbag,” “Sail to the Moon,” or “Pyramid Song.” And that’s WAY MORE THAN FIVE, BUB.

  2. hah any girl that can break up with a man over radiohead is the perfect girl for me..
    your right though choosing just one would be hard. i would have chosen something no one really knows like the brilliant song known as cuttooth or even the amazing sounds of orgy..
    i do like your latter choices though for music so its not so bad…you really can’t go wrong with david or brian eno

    there is always next time xeni! well maybe.

  3. p.s the chicken i was at the show you linked on youtube..
    its one of my most memorable shows from the hail to the thief era

  4. ooo! i have very good memories of living in tater-town in turtle creek and listening to Chris Douritas and Liza Richardson on KERA. Chris totally rocks.

  5. Liveblogging your id is awesome. I do it all the time. ;) I was trying to find another song to dedicate to you and this is what I came up with:

    You are fierce, fearless. I like that. Alot.

  6. I like your smile, Xeni.
    That’s why the sadness in some of your GuestDJ picks kind of surprised me.

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