Pop Art Icon Ed Ruscha is Our Guest DJ

Written by

RUSCH 2009.0046 Tiny Subjects (P.2009.06)From KCRW’s Drive Director Laura Shumate:

A person like Ed Ruscha is a significant icon creating significant icons. He’s a major contributor to the birth of the Pop Art movement. He’s an artist. Ed Ruscha doing KCRW’s Guest DJ Project… this is exciting news.

Ruscha works with minimal and simple images that leave a surprising and glorious heft in the afterglow of their impressions.

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Constructed with the same minimal principles, hearing Ruscha’s picks of Doo Wop, blues and folk make sense. Of course it’s the music he grew up with, but it’s also the music he chose to grow up with. These genres are composed with simple arrangements that produce organic, sincere and real music. Without pomp and artifice, people exist in the lyrics. Stories and a human element. I see this in Ruscha’s work — stories, people and so much beautiful commentary in his artwork’s seeming simplicity – all ideas spoken with just a few visual notes from artist-songwriter Ruscha.

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Ruscha’s work exposes him as an outstanding thinker with revolutionary contributions to our visual language. This list of musical favorites offers a peek for onlookers to connect intimately with his inspirations. It’s a benevolent paparazzi. Which makes the small tale of his last pick even sweeter.

Ruscha’s final song selection was one of his son’s, also an artist and a fairly active DJ, Eddie Ruscha. He discusses the innocent song naming process that involved his grandson’s participation. Listening to the story, it’s hard not to acknowledge that Ruscha’s proud of his family and loves the sanctity and intimacy that art creates, the tale closing with, “…and that’s how these things get done.”

Another simple masterpiece from Ed Ruscha, brought to you by KCRW’s Guest DJ Project.

Check out his song list below and hear the entire guest DJ set here.

– Laura Shumate, KCRW Drive Director

EdRuschaEd Ruscha Guest DJ Project Playlist

1. Jessie Belvin – Good Night My Love
2. Mason Williams – Them Sand Pickers  / Them Sticker Gitters
3. Hank Ballard – Annie Had a Baby
4. Sleepy La Beef – Little Bit More
5. Eddie Ruscha – The Rose