Host of 'Liza Richardson'
No one has had more incarnations on KCRW than Liza Richardson. From her debut in 1990, every new show has helped her evolve into the musical chameleon she is today.
Liza grew up wanting to be a dancer…which led to musical theatre…which led to acting…and then to her “Eureka” moment.. “I volunteered at a Texas community radio station, literally a shack with a microphone, the garage band of radio. I had freedom, time and stacks of records to explore. I’d found exactly what I wanted to do.” Chris Douridas read an article about her and he gave her a show on KERA in Dallas. “We were inspired by what Tom Schnabel was doing at KCRW – eclectic programming.” When Chris became KCRW’s Music Director, Liza was the first person he hired.
Having mastered the art of the eclectic, Liza began weaving spoken word and instrumental tracks into “a late night soundscape of dreamy, flowing music.” She met Mark Pellington -- a “big MTV presence, and in a way, the godfather of music videos,” who asked her to help with music for a PBS special, The United States of Poetry. “He said, ‘You know people actually do this for a living,’ and a light went off.”
Liza cut her teeth supervising music for Pellington’s Mothman Prophecies and Arlington Road. Later, her alt-country explorations on KCRW led to Latin alternative bands like Café Tacuba and Maldita Vecindad, and before long she had a Grammy nomination for Y Tu Mamá También. Lords of Dogtown and the iPod Silhouettes spots that launched Jet and Black-Eyed Peas into the mainstream are just two of countless films and commercials Liza has worked on. Her most recent projects include Failure to Launch, the critically acclaimed TV show Friday Night Lights, and the animated penguin mockumentary Surf ’s Up (“a total dream come true,” says the avid surfer). Liza was also on the turntables as the very first DJ ever to spin tunes for Hollywood heavyweights and celebrities at this year's Academy Awards ceremony.
On her Saturday evening show (8 to 10pm), Liza features underground and mostly limited vinyl releases – “ephemeral music that I find on the Internet. If I don’t do my research for two weeks, I’m going to miss some records that I may never be able to get again.” No worries, she’s on the case…till her next evolutionary phase. “What I really want to do is direct!” she says, with a big laugh.
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