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November 20, 2008


Recommendation by Don Rose

If I was going to design my own music station on the radio, I would follow a few simple rules. I would play only good pop-oriented music, tending toward the rock end of the spectrum, with solid memorable melodies, regardless of what decade it was from. Good is good, after all, whether it's a single, a less-known album cut, live recording, studio cut, a sixties super seller or a brand new tune. I would also honor the music -- that is, not talk over it, let it play from beginning to end. And I would pick low-key less-talky DJs who talk softly and carry no big schtick.

Well, someone beat me to it. It's here in Los Angeles, and it's called THE SOUND. "World Class Rock" is their motto. Check it out at 100.3 FM. They play the best cool tunes, from five decades worth of great music (60s, 70s, 80s, 90s and 00s). If you need a comparison, think of it as a more eclectic, less Top-40-ish version of JACK FM. It's just better. Another way to describe it: imagine if Jack and KCRW's Morning Becomes Eclectic had a child. That's The Sound, baby.

Recent artists/songs I enjoyed on The Sound include Elvis Costello, ELP (Emerson, Lake and Palmer, "In The Beginning"), Talking Heads (live "Burning Down the House"), brand new Counting Crows, Peter Gabriel ("Sledgehammer"), Stevie Wonder ("I Wish" from "Songs in the Key of Life" album), Jane's Addiction, Joe Cocker, a new Scottish band called Gloss Vegas, Jack Johnson, and the song that launched a thousand wedding receptions in the seventies, "Beginnings" (from Chicago's debut album, and they played the WHOLE thing, down to the last percussive notes). I especially love all the eighties tunes I am hearing here, since most other stations tend to gloss over or ignore that most poppish of decades. Give it a try, LA. You won't be disappointed.

Best Bet (Radio): The Sound. 100.3 FM. Likeability Index: 92 (I liked 92 percent of what they played).