Anyone who listens to Petros Papadakis on his Fox Sports Radio show knows that he is a serious music lover. He plays way more music than the average sports talk show host and we dig further into his favorites, exploring his love of reggae and his “soft spot” for female singers. The outlandish host brings the same trademark gusto he brings to sports analysis on the “Petros and Money” show and his national television appearances and treats us to some laughs.
For more: http://msn.foxsports.com/radio/radioShow?showId=5
EL: Hi, I'm Eric J. Lawrence and I'm here with Fox Sports radio host and TV personality, Petros Papadakis. He's a sports expert, but we know he's a music lover as well, so we're here to play excerpts of some songs that he's selected that have inspired him over the years as part of KCRW's Guest DJ Project. Petros, thank you for coming down.
PP: Hi Eric, what's cracking -- how are you?
EL: I'm doing well. What's the first selection you got for us?
PP: I have to start with a reggae selection because reggae's a big part of my life and always has been. This song by Terror Fabulous, "Can't Do Without You" is one of my favorites. It's a love song, but it's a really mean, kind of angry dancehall song and he's got a really growly way of doing it.
Terror Fabulous was a guy who showed up in the early '90s and he had so much of the same element that Buju Banton had -- a similar voice -- but to me, he had a little bit more flow and there was some serious emotion in what he was doing. And he was a DJ which is like a rapper which is like patois, which is like rapping in a Jamaican slang.
EL: That was Terror Fabulous and a song called "Can't Do Without You," as selected by our guest, Petros. What's the next track you got for us?
PP: I'm going to stick with the reggae, because I have to pay homage to my reggae roots. Gregory Isaacs just always delivered. This song, "Call Me Collect", I always liked because it was a little undercover and I bought the album I remember it had a picture of Gregory with his signature fedora on. He was on a phone and there was like a little cord going off the phone and the cord just led to nothing (laughs).
I just thought that was cool. And he's just so smooth and so great and there's something about the way he could wrap himself around a reggae song that's just really, really unique. Gregory Isaacs' "Call Me Collect" is great because, you know -- nobody calls anybody collect anymore. Nobody really calls anybody anymore -- it's all texting and emails.
PP: I fall in and out of love with things like Bright Eyes, but when it comes to reggae, I can always go back and enjoy it.
EL: Why is that?
PP: Because reggae is huge all over the world, but not so big in the United States for some reason. Other than that, it's the biggest music in the world -- kind of the heartbeat of the people.
EL: That was legendary Reggae singer Gregory Isaacs with “Call Me Collect.” Petros what’s the next track you got for us?
PP: You know Mirah right?
PP: You like Mirah?
EL: I do.
PP: She ever come around here?
EL: I don’t think we’ve ever had her on air before.
PP: She’s very small you might have missed her. She is a tiny little thing; she’s got a beautiful voice.
I really like independent rock and I always have really had a soft spot for female singers. As far as modern music goes and indie rock goes, this Mirah—she’s so unique. She’s got such a cute little voice and such an interesting demeanor. She’s so shy she can barely perform live, but something about when she gets in the studio with her friends, she just destroys songs, I mean just destroys them.
I like it because a lot of indie rock, you know, it’s just quick and its simple. But she really moves the song; she really changes a song as it goes. This song, “Sweepstakes Prize,” is a lot like that. Her voice is just so freaky and so wonderful and she changes it and they do a lot of cool things with production. The song starts very simply and by the end of the song, its chaos. I really like that about her, a lot of her music is like that. I think she’s fabulous.
EL: That was Mirah with “Sweepstakes Prize,” as selected by our guest Petros Papadakis. What’s the next track you got for us?
PP: Alright. It’s time for standard jazz.
EL: It’s always time for standard jazz.
PP: Is it? Is it like that? You know Sunday is beautiful with some jazz. And I forget sometimes how much I like jazz. And even modern jazz. It took me a while as a young guy to get into instrumental jazz because I liked singers and standards. Instrumental jazz takes a little more patience. And if anybody knows anything about me I’m not a very patient person. So, it did take some time.
But my favorite song of all time is “Summertime” the Gershwin tune from Porgy and Bess. And I don’t even like the summer. I don’t swim, I don’t ride a bike. I don’t know how to skateboard or roller-skate. I’m not very recreational.
But I do like the song “Summertime.” And I have every version of this, but Charlie Parker probably does it the best.
My favorite thing about Charlie Parker’s rendition of “Summertime” is… it came at a time - he was always flailing as a person it seems - but it came at a time when he was really flailing. And he ended up doing a studio album with a big orchestra, something that would appeal to white people, something that would appeal really widely. And it was really frowned upon by the jazz community, this particular album that this particular song is on. And it’s amazing because it’s just so damn good. And even something that was considered not that cool back then by the be-bop community, and Charlie Parker’s contemporaries, who had already written him off as a crazy man by that point I’m sure, even that is just magic.
I like the orchestra. It makes me feel like I’m in a James Bond movie.
EL: That was Charlie Parker as selected by our guest Petros Papadakis. What’s the next track you got for us?
PP: Lykke Li, she’s out of Sweden. There are a couple reasons I chose this. I always like to have something, when I make playlists for our radio show, I always want to put
something that I like RIGHT NOW on the list. And this is something I really like right now.
She’s really interesting and wacky - kind of a dancer, kind of a singer, kind of the pop thing going, little bit of the electronic thing… but there’s something very organic about her music. If you go on the YouTube and look up this Lykke Li, there are a great deal of performances she just does outside -- whether it’s a Black Cab session where she does something by a fountain somewhere with Bon Iver. And then she’s in San Francisco with El Perro del Mar. And she’s just performing in the street. There’s something really cool about that.
PP: You can tell I’m a sucker for this certain kind of voice cause Mirah has the same kind of murmuring voice in some respects. And Lykke Li definitely has that. I’m never going to be able to say her name.
And I like the lyrics too, because she says, ‘I was a dancer all along.’ And you know, you can tell she was probably an awkward kid. Nobody is more awkward than me. I only dance for purposes of people laughing. When I hear this song, I feel like, you know anybody could have been a dancer all along. It kind of is universal.
Song Plays: Lykke Li – “Dance. Dance. Dance.”
EL: Well Petros I want to thank you so much for coming down and sharing some of your ‘crunchy grooves’ with us here on KCRW dot com.
PP: Wait ‘till they get a load of these crunchy grooves.
EL: For a complete track listing and to find these songs online go to KCRW dot com slash guest DJ project.