Before Nirvana’s Nevermind catalyzed alternative rock’s explosion, the genre was simmering beneath a current of mainstream, charting rock and roll born from the architecture of a vast pop landscape. Deirdre O’Donoghue, the host of SNAP on Los Angeles’ KCRW-FM between 1981 and 1991, was a purveyor of that “secret” underground, which was brimming with some of the world’s greatest acts.
O’Donoghue’s archive was gifted to KCRW by her family after her passing, and Bob Carlson and Myke Dodge Weiskopf (co-producers of Bent by Nature: Deirdre O’Donoghue and the Lost SNAP Archives) have been transferring and restoring the episodes for over three years. Now, KCRW is also launching BENT24, a 24-hour streaming service where you can find shufflable playlists of full SNAP! episodes restored from the original board tapes they were recorded onto. The archive will feature live performances from R.E.M., Tom Waits, Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, Meat Puppets, Pere Ubu, The Chills, The Dream Syndicate, and Sarah McLachlan, among countless others. These recordings will be heard for the first time publicly since their original air dates 30 years ago.
“In a town filled with sounds borne of the marriage of music and commerce, Deirdre was a voice and venue for the undiscovered or marginalized and a refuge for artists who felt estranged from the prevailing currents,” Waits and his wife Kathleen Brennan wrote. “She opened so many ears and hearts, including ours, with her earthy and irreverent voice and wide ranging enthusiasm for all music. So great someone thought to do this.”
Starting today, KCRW members will have access to the streaming channel before it goes public on November 14. Explore the live recordings and episodes here.