The Mayor of Metropolis
If youve ever been fishing for radio stations on the return end of a road trip, catching the evening Metropolis signal on KCRW means youve re-entered the L.A. orbit, with all the spacey connotations that it entails. I started listening to Metropolis, hosted by Jason Bentley, in my latter high school years, and the shows limitless ceiling of electronic music arrived as a welcome antidote to my otherwise stale social prison. Björk, Roni Size, the Chemical Brothers and Matthew Herbert together established an auspicious nocturnal world I could escape to while mired in some dreary homework assignment, and portended a future I couldnt wait to meet. The beats were phatter than Power 106s, without all the blaring get-your-man-out-of-jail ads, and the complex and ethereal melodies didnt insult listener intelligence. Id inevitably find myself hanging out in the garage with the car still running, listening to the exuberant finish of a new dance track, whose title listeners would all commit to memory as soon as Bentleys air-conditioned voice uttered it. Over the years, Bentley has tried to carve out a sometimes-comic-but-always-enchanting radio personality, at one point deciding to over-pronounce his Ts and experiment with vaguely German sentence structure, as if to say, I am your DJ-messenger dance music has no nationality. He maintains a Friday residency at Zanzibar in Santa Monica, where you can overhear the Metropolis-faithful oohing and aahing over track selection and proclaiming, He first played this last Tuesday, or OMG, this is the new one from [insert name of budding, multi-member Scandinavian electronica band here]!! Metropolis, KCRW FM 89.9, weeknights, 8-10 p.m.; Zanzibar, 1301 Fifth St., Santa Monica, (310) 451-2221.
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