About Bent By Nature

KCRW announces Bent by Nature: Deirdre O’Donoghue and the Lost SNAP! Archives, a ten-part documentary podcast series from the producers of the critically-acclaimed Lost Notes and UnFictional podcasts. The project also features a dynamic online archive featuring many of Deirdre’s most legendary interviews and in-studio performances, newly transferred and remastered from the original source tapes. 

Deirdre O’Donoghue was the most influential American DJ you’ve never heard of. A vital force in the musical underground of the 1980s, countless artists crammed into her studio at KCRW to perform live on her late-night show, “SNAP!” After 40 years, many of these legendary sessions will finally be heard again. Join Michael Stipe, Henry Rollins, Julian Cope, and more for a sound-packed series that will transport you back to the heyday of ‘80s independent music.

Rollins says of O’Donoghue: “Deirdre's impact and influence on me is monumental. Now and then, I get an email from someone telling me they like my show on KCRW. I thank them, but it’s just what Deirdre taught me. I am so lucky to have been friends with Deirdre, to learn from her and experience her love of life and music.”


“SNAP!” was a welcome home for adventurous and idiosyncratic bands during the explosion of “college rock” in the 1980s. They arrived at Deirdre’s basement studio from all corners: Fetchin’ Bones (Charlotte, NC), Glass Eye (Austin, TX), Camper Van Beethoven (Davis, CA), and The Meat Puppets (Phoenix, AZ). She nurtured LA talent like Concrete Blonde, Downy Mildew, and The Dream Syndicate. Deirdre also welcomed established artists like Bob Mould, Robyn Hitchcock, Graham Parker, Julian Cope, and Tom Waits, all of whom had moved into richer and more satisfying second acts.

Taken as a whole, the Deirdre O’Donoghue archive amounts to a “secret history” of the pre-Nirvana underground (1982-1991), spanning hundreds of reel-to-reel tapes and cassettes featuring all of the aforementioned artists and so many more. Co-producers Bob Carlson (KCRW’s UnFictional) and Myke Dodge Weiskopf (KCRW’s Lost Notes) spent the last two years painstakingly transferring and restoring these vital artifacts of an under-explored time.

Carlson was Deirdre’s house engineer for many of the original sessions, and his firsthand recollections comprise the first two episodes of Bent by Nature. O’Donoghue’s indescribable style is brought to life in the remaining episodes, an eight-part cycle of archival sound and fresh interviews with the artists she so deeply impacted. Host Tricia Halloran (KCRW’s Brave New World) sets the stage for episodes featuring Henry Rollins, Michael Stipe, Syd Straw, and Julian Cope, as well as members of Camper Van Beethoven, Pere Ubu, the Mighty Lemon Drops, Glass Eye, and more.