Jason Bentley’s Top 10 Morning Becomes Eclectic Performances of 2013

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KCRW Music Director Jason Bentley shares his top 10 favorite Morning Becomes Eclectic sessions of the year!

Read the full list below and watch video highlights:

1. Jim James

In live performance, Jim James is a man possessed by the music. He completely throws himself into every song, and his set for KCRW this August was a great example of the My Morning Jacket frontman in top form.

Franz Ferdinand by Larry Hirshowitz

2. Franz Ferdinand

Franz Ferdinand‘s recent visit to the KCRW studios had all the excitement of seeing an old friend visiting from faraway lands, and indeed the Glaswegian lads delivered a rousing set with an infectious set of new songs.

3. White Denim

White Denim are a marvel to watch, and quite possibly the best live band I’ve seen at the station. More like a dynamic Jazz group as opposed to a Rock band, they effortlessly transcend the limits of genre convention. I’d like to believe the guys see an appearance on KCRW as so important that they push themselves to take it to another level, but they’re probably just that good.

Laura Mvula by Larry Hirshowitz
Laura Mvula by Larry Hirshowitz (The original image is no longer available, please contact KCRW if you need access to the original image.)

4. Laura Mvula

Laura Mvula live in studio was an absolute revelation. Hailing from Birmingham, England, her ensemble, which included some of her siblings, elegantly fused traditional and contemporary elements of Pop, Jazz, and Classical.

5. James Blake

James Blake joined us at Apogee studios in-between Coachella weekends, performing his swoon-worthy ballads for a rapt audience of KCRW faithful. His cover of Joni Mitchell’s “A Case Of You” closed a memorable set.

6. Rhye

In an unusual move, the band Rhye asked us to turn the lights out in studio for their performance, which makes sense as far as the tone of their album, but is completely impractical when producing a live radio show and video feed. With respect to the artists wishes, we capitulated and the results were actually pretty cool. It was certainly a memorable first.

7. King Krule

Up and coming UK artist King Krule won our hearts with his low baritone and Jazzy compositions on his debut. While not yet fully formed as an artist, you’ll see compelling ideas in the formative stages. It’s exciting to see art taking shape before our eyes on the KCRW stage.

8. Queens of the Stone Age

Transforming Apogee studios into a sweaty Rock club, Queens Of The Stone Age churned out songs from their latest “Like Clockwork” LP for a packed house for KCRW.

Queens of the Stone Age by Jeremiah Garcia
Queens of the Stone Age by Jeremiah Garcia (The original image is no longer available, please contact KCRW if you need access to the original image.)

9. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds

Going completely off script for their KCRW session, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds performance was so notable that the band issued a special  release of that performance this year.

10. Calexico

The prodigious talents of Calexico are a delight to witness, and their vision of a multi-cultural musical tapestry is uniquely American. The band romped through songs from their latest album “Algiers” for KCRW earlier this year.