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There was a very clear theme in Molly Ringwald’s Guest DJ set – the actress and 80’s film icon loves songs about love. As she says, ‘what else do you write about other than love?’ And she has it all covered, with songs about falling in love, falling out of love and even patriotic love of a country. She opens up and shares a special set of songs with KCRW DJ Chris Douridas. Molly is currently starring in “The Secret Life of the American Teenager,” a hit show on the ABC Family network.
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1. XTC - We're All Light
2. Dick Arnegan - Bruxelles
3. Lisa Germano - If I Think of Love
4. Beth Gibbons - Mysteries
5. Flaming Lips - Waiting for Superman
Chris Douridas: Hi, I’m Chris Douridas and I'm here with actress and 80's icon Molly Ringwald who is currently starring in “The Secret Life of the American Teenager” a hit show on the ABC Family network. Welcome.
Molly Ringwald: Thank you.
CD: Good to have you, today you will be playing excerpts from songs that have inspired you over the years, its all part of KCRW’s Guest DJ Project, so what are we starting with?
MR: These are songs that I think I’ve really loved over the years for one reason or another. One of them is by XTC and it’s called "We're All Light." It’s just a really happy song. To me, its like about the beginning of a relationships kind of song and the promise you make to somebody when you get together -- how good I’m going to be to you and how good you’re going to be to me. It could be he’s writing about something else entirely, but that's why I like it.
CD: You know, sometimes a song about love can be attached to relationships…
MR: (laughs) Yeah, I probably heard it for the first time when I had a crush on someone, I'm sure. But its one of those songs, over the years, when you first find yourself falling in love, its one of those first songs you want to play for someone.
SONG: XTC’s "We're All Light"
CD: That was an excerpt from “We’re All Light” by XTC, its part of Molly Ringwald’s Guest DJ set. This next song I think reflects your time in France.
MR: Yes, it is a song that is called "Bruxelles" and its by an artist name Dick Arnegan. Its one of the songs that I think I fell in love with before I really spoke French fluently. I spoke just enough to sort of get by, but it was one of those songs where it really gave me the desire to speak it fluently. I just thought these are amazing lyrics -- I don't know how I know, I just know. And in fact it is, now that I speak French fluently, it's a truly amazing song. Actually, he's not from France, he's from Brussels. It's a song about somebody who is in France and talking about his home and he writes about his home in a way like he is writing about a woman, you know, he writes about Brussels like, like it's this long lost love and it's, it's a very passionate song and I just love it. I think it's one of the most beautiful songs ever written.
CD: So the song reflects your maybe missing the United States while you were in France?
MR: Yeah, it could be because I spent a long of time in France and I loved my time there. I just think it's beautiful that somebody can love their country as much as this man clearly loves Brussels. And yeah, it could have been that I was missing the United States.
CD: Or California anyway.
MR: Or California, more likely New York.
CD: Here is just a taste of Dick Arnegan’s “Bruxelles”
Song: Dick Arnegan’s “Bruxelles”
CD: The next song on the list is something you heard on KCRW some time ago.
MR: I'm pretty sure I heard it on your show.
CD: It's entirely possible, we played a lot of Lisa Germano back in the day.
MR: Yeah, it's called "If I Think of Love" and I love it. It's a really simple song, it's not complicated, but it's just all of the things that go into what love is, all of the good and the bad and I just love it for that.
CD: I'm kind of picking up on a theme here, a little romantic theme, maybe that means things are going well.
MR: Things are going pretty well. (laughs)
CD: That either means things are going well or they're going really bad.
MR: Well, I do think that music really does reflect love a lot, I mean all of the best songs are love songs. They’re either about falling in love or falling out of love and I actually have all of them, I think, represented here on my list because I think I've been through it all, but yeah, what else do you write about other than love, you know, so I have love of a person, love of a country…
Song: Lisa Germano’s "If I Think of Love"
CD: Lisa Germano’s "If I Think of Love," it's part of the Guest DJ Project here on KCRW, put together by Molly Ringwald. I'm Chris Douridas. This next song…I hadn't really spent any time with this song but it's an artist we've played many times over the years- Beth Gibbons of Portishead.
MR: She has one of these voices that to me sounds a little bit like she could have been singing in French in the 1960's -- it's so melodic and so pretty. Actually, the first time I ever heard this song was going to see a movie by a French director named Cedric Klapisch. He made a movie called Chacun Cherche Son Chat and then he did a follow up to that called Russian Dolls and it was used … he uses music so beautifully in his films… but it's this moment in the movie where this couple is breaking up and this woman realizes he’s leaving her and it's in this train station and this music comes up and I thought, ‘Oh my god this is the most beautiful song ever written!’ And that's how I became introduced to it and I didn't realize it was the same person from Portishead because she sounds very different in this particular song.
Song: Beth Gbbon’s "Mysteries"
CD: It's one from Beth Gibbons, you might recognize her voice from Portishead. The track is called "Mysteries," it's one that she's done in collaboration with Rustin’ Man. Now Flaming Lips- that's a big, big band for KCRW, we've been supporting these guys forever- how did you first come across Flaming Lips?
MR: Actually it's not a very interesting story, I think I was just in a clothing store in New York downtown and I think they just had them on and I loved them and said, ‘What's that?’ I love this particular song, again, because of the lyrics and what they mean to me. To me, it's a really wonderful break up song. This song, you know, it's called "Waiting for Superman," and he has this lyric in there where he says, ‘Some things are just too heavy for even Superman to lift.’ And I think at the time, I was leaving a very long relationship, and I would listen to this song and just cry and think ‘it's true, there are some things that, you know, you just cannot fix.’ And I thought it was a really beautiful way to express that.
SONG: Flaming Lips’ Waiting for Superman"
CD: It's "Waiting for Superman," from the Flaming Lips, The Soft Bulletin album, I'm Chris Douridas, Molly Ringwald is with us, it's KCRW's Guest DJ Project. Thanks so much for doing this.
MR: My pleasure.
CD: For the complete track listing and to find these songs online, go to KCRW.com/GuestDJProject