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Dozens Of Iconic Indie Performances From The ’80s And ’90s Were Unearthed For KCRW’s ‘Bent By Nature’ Archives

Back in the ’80s and some of the ’90s, influential radio DJ Deirdre O’Donoghue worked at KCRW and hosted SNAP (an abbreviation of “Saturday Night Avant Pop”). It was a late-night show that notably featured performances from a bunch of favorite indie acts of the era. Now, many of those recordings are being made available once again for the first time in decades.

This is coming straight from KCRW’s archives, which can be found here. Performances include visits from R.E.M. from 1991, Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds from 1989, Tom Waits from 1987, Sarah McLachlan from 1989, The Meat Puppets from 1986, and multiple The Dream Syndicate performances. In total, there are 55 live performances from between 1984 and 1991, all of which have been restored from the original master reels. Those and others will be available starting on November 14 (although KCRW members can listen starting November 4), while others still are set to be made available further down the road.

Waits and wife Kathleen Brennan offered a statement about the endeavor, writing, “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. 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.”

This follows the 2021 release of Bent By Nature, a 10-episode podcast series about O’Donoghue. The official synopsis of the show and of the new archives reads, “She was the most influential American DJ you’ve never heard of. Deirdre O’Donoghue was a vital force in the musical underground of the 1980s. Countless artists crammed into her studio to perform live on her late-night show, SNAP! on KCRW. And after 40 years, those legendary sessions will be heard again. Join Michael Stipe, Henry Rollins, Julian Cope, and more for a sound-packed series from the producers of Lost Notes and Unfictional transporting you to the heyday of ’80s independent music and the DJ who shaped it.”