Fashion designer Trina Turk reflects on the music that inspired her while she was studying design at the University of Washington, including a band with notable hairdos and deconstructed music and a punk band that struck a nerve. She tells Anne Litt about the performer whose unique style is coming back around and reveals the upbeat music that inspires her creative collections.
For more: http://www.trinaturk.com
1.) The B-52's - Dance This Mess Around
2.) X - Los Angeles
3.) Grace Jones - La Vie en Rose
4.) Nina Simone - My Baby Just Cares for Me
5.) Jo Stafford - Smoking My Sad Cigarette
Anne Litt: Hi, this is Anne Litt from KCRW and I am here with Clothing Designer Trina Turk. We are going to talk about the music that has inspired her over the years…Hi Trina
Trina Turk: Hi Anne
Anne: What songs do you have to share?
Trina Turk: Well I have mostly female vocalists, which is something that's always been my favorite. B52's "Dance This Mess Around" is a song that I loved when I was in Design School. I just think that the B52's were such a stylistic thing at that time in the early 80's. I was fairly obsessed with music and fashion, I loved everything about it: the album cover, the style of the band, the hairdo's…
Song: B52's "Dance This Mess Around"
Anne Litt: When did you first hear the B52's?
Trina Turk: Well I guess I must have heard it at a Dance Club--or maybe on the College Radio station at the University of Washington. This is a great song, because it's very deconstructed…not really following any normal pattern of any normal song.
Anne Litt: I'm here with Trina Turk. This is the Guest DJ Project; the song is the B52's "Dance This Mess Around"…Trina, what's your next song?
Trina Turk: X, "Los Angeles." I just remember the first time I heard it…It was so intense and energetic and definitely struck a nerve. We would go to the shows when they would come to Seattle and the raw energy of this song was something that was very appealing to me. At the time I remember that I had a maroon Corvair and so I would listen to it in my maroon Corvair…I loved all of their albums. I think I had them all on the same tape.
Song: X’s Los Angeles
Anne Litt: Its X, "Los Angeles" I'm Anne Litt here with Trina Turk, part of the Guest DJ Project. Trina, what's your next song?
Trina Turk: The next song is Grace Jones' "La Vie en Rose". We actually had fashion shows when we were students in Seattle and this song was one that we used for a fashion show. It was actually a fashion show that was on the bar of a nightclub, like that was the runway… the bar, it was called The Vogue.
Song: Grace Jones' La Vie en Rose
Trina Turk: It's just so romantic, and kind of glamorous in a way…Grace Jones of course is definitely a representation of this Fashion-slash-Music thing. I think her whole style is kind of back…like her jersey jumpsuit with a hood--who doesn't need one of those?
Anne Litt: I'm Anne Litt here with Trina Turk on the Guest DJ Project on KCRW.com. The next choice is something slightly different, its Nina Simone "My Baby Just Cares For Me".
Trina Turk: The first time I heard this song, I just was like, ‘What is this song? What am I listening to?’ The song is just very light-hearted and so cool.
Song: Nina Simone’s "My Baby Just Cares For Me
Trina Turk: Its just one of my all-time favorites. I think it's probably a lot of many people's all-time favorites, because it's such a distinctive thing. The way she plays the piano. It's just an amazing song.
Anne Litt: If you're sitting down to work on a collection, is this something that you would put on?
Trina Turk: Yeah, I think this one is definitely a litttle more upbeat than some Nina Simone, so I would say yes just because the clothing that we do is pretty optimistic. So, you know, I don't really listen to “downer music" when I'm trying to do something creative…
Anne Litt: Do you listen to "downer music' some other times?
Trina Turk: Probably not actually, now that you mention it…
Anne Litt: I'm Anne Litt, I'm with Trina Turk it's KCRW's Guest DJ Project and Trina has brought in a 45, an old Columbia Records 45 and I want you to read what it is…
Trina Turk: The song is called "Smoking My Sad Cigarette" and its Jo Stafford. I like the song because we found this 45 and we'd never heard of it before but it's really a fantastic song. This one actually is this very sad ballad. You can just imagine her sitting all alone smoking her sad cigarette (laughs)
Song: Jo Stafford’s Smoking My Sad Cigarette
Trina Turk: Its very moody and cinematic, like you can just imagine what this woman looks like and what she's wearing and what she's doing--it's really a great song.
Anne Litt: I'm Anne Litt, with Tina Turk here; it's KCRW's Guest DJ Project. Trina thanks so much for joining us on KCRW.com today.
Trina Turk: Thank you, it was so much fun to come to KCRW for the first time.
[PLAYLIST GOES HERE]