Stand-up comic and actress Natasha Leggero shares her musical alter ego, explains why Led Zeppelin is better than the Beatles and picks a rare Neil Young track for her Guest DJ Project set. She stars in the comedy series Burning Love and will also appear in Season 4 of Arrested Development, airing on Netflix.
For More: http://www.natashaleggero.com/
1. The Smiths - Jeane
2. The Slits - Instant Hit
3. Led Zeppelin - Tangerine
4. Neil Young - Lost in Space
5. Big Freedia - Azz Everywhere
Anne Litt : Hi I'm Anne Litt and I'm here with actress and stand-up comic Natasha Leggero. Today we will be playing excerpts of songs she's selected that have inspired her over the years as part of KCRW's Guest DJ Project. First up is The Smiths, with the track "Jeane." When did you first hear this?
Natasha Leggero: So I just remember being in 7th grade on the bus, I was listening to the radio, and this 8th grader, she was like "you know, you don't have to listen to the radio" and I was like "what?" And she just kind of gave me a Smiths tape and then I was like "oh, wow" Like I feel like that just made me cool and that was the transition.
Song: The Smiths -- Jeane
NL: I loved it. To me it didn't make me sad. Morrissey and The Smiths, I found it funny. And I really like the idea of point of view, and strong point of view. It's inspiring in that way because he just sees the world through this very consistently dark and almost negative or kind of hopeless but it's still beautiful and funny.
AL: That was The Smiths with "Jeane." Next up you chose The Slits with the song "Instant Hit." Now talk about this band.
NL: I mean they were like an early influence in terms of what music could be and I liked the idea of a girl who was kind of just bad-ass and also funny. The music is good and melodic, but it's not like they're like virtuosos or anything, it's kind of almost primitive.
I mean I always thought, when I started stand-up, if I was a musician, what's the musical version of me? This is what I would think. That's kind of what I feel from the point of view of being a comic. If you had to pick a band or music that was personified. It's kind of obscure, but it's just the spirit of it. It's very…it almost feels native. (Laughs).
Song: The Slits – Instant Hit
AL: Is there something about female empowerment, or power to the women or something like that that you relate to in The Slits?
NL: Yes, of course, that's what I'm attracted to too. And I also like the idea, same thing Morrissey has, this kind of sense of humor in the music and not taking itself seriously. You know, I like the idea of just these cool girls who don't need men, who aren't taking themselves seriously in any way and they'll just pick up a guitar and play it however they feel. I like that kind of compulsion. It seems very impulsive.
AL: That was The Slits with "Instant Hit". I'm Anne Litt sitting here with actress and stand-up comedian, Natasha Leggero. Up next, Led Zeppelin with the song "Tangerine." Now why Led Zeppelin?
NL: I mean, Jimmy Page…He's just so great. I think that just experiencing rock 'n roll -- like when I was in high school, especially early high school, I really wanted to be in the 60's and the 70's. I thought that would be so cool. And I feel like Led Zeppelin was this new - new to me - new guitar…you know, like the Beatles were rock 'n roll, but it was kind of sweet, this was kind of dirty and witchy and I just like the vibe of it. Ii just felt kind of bad and when you listen to it you feel kind of bad. I guess it's the same idea as punk rock, in a way, it just makes you want to like tear **it up. But not this song that I picked!
Song: Led Zeppelin – “Tangerine”
AL: Led Zeppelin, with the track "Tangerine." Up next is Neil Young with "Lost in Space." Now talk about this track, because I have to confess, when I saw this, I had never heard this song before and I'm not sure how I missed it.
NL: It's on a rare album called “Hawks and Doves”. It's one of those songs, like when the first time I heard it … I was already into Neil Young, but it kind of stopped me in my tracks and I was like "oh, this is like really…" I feel like anything by Neil Young kind of haunts me. It has to do with emotion. It's just so raw, emotionally.
Song: Neil Young – Lost in Space
NL: Because that's the great thing about music, it can take you to these like emotional places. As a comedian, you're all in your head. Everything's cerebral and you're constantly analyzing things and seeing what's funny about them and what's wrong about them, you know you're not really in that emotional place. And that's another thing I do get jealous about musicians about, they're just always in that. And that's another reason why I can't even date them, because they're just so emotional. They're not intellectual enough, most of the time, but I like that. I think Neil Young's a great example of that, like you feel like he could break out crying (laughs) after any verse.
AL: That's Neil Young with "Lost in Space". Your last song choice is, well, why don't you introduce it.
NL: This song is a little something, it's very dear to my heart and you know, whenever I'm out at night and there's a dancefloor this is what I hope will come on the radio. This is "Azz Everywhere" by Big Freedia.
Well this song in particular, I feel like, I love dancing and I think it really captures the spirit of the time that we're living in right now. There's always been new kinds of dancing and, you know, ways to let off steam. If you're out and this comes on, to me, I just lose myself.
Song: Big Freedia – “Azz Everywhere”
NL: I just like the spirit. It's bad, it's dirty, it's not safe for work. It's hard to find that spirit anymore because everything's so homogenized and corporate and popular music sucks now. Whatever they play, it's like the corporations are making the beats or something. So it's cool when something comes out that's new and fresh and hot.
AL: Natasha Leggero, thank you so much for coming in and doing KCRW's Guest DJ project.
NL: Thanks for having me. This was so fun. I love it!
AL: For a complete track listing and to find these songs online go to www.KCRW.com/guestdjproject and subscribe to the podcast through iTunes.