Thursday, February 23, 2012

KCRW's Eric J Lawrence: A True Musicphile

Can you imagine having to keep track of all the music that gets sent to KCRW? Trust me when I say it looks overwhelming. But according to Eric J Lawrence, KCRW's music librarian, it's a dream job. A hobby on steroids. Here's a man who wanted to be an English professor and instead hangs out down in a basement with one of the most amazing music collections in town. His job is to keep it organized. Little does anyone know (except his family) Eric was featured on Solid Gold, a gloriously cheeky disco TV show , lip syncing to Joe Dolce's "Shaddup You Facewith his father when he was thirteen years old. Five bucks for anyone who can track that TV clip down. Seriously!

What does Mr. Lawrence have to do with Pop Culture? Simply this; if it wasn't for the men and woman behind the curtain there wouldn't be a wizard of OZ or Pop Culture in this case. When he's not daydreaming about taking a trip to visit Iceland, Eric's job is to help new music find its audience. His brain seems to have the same layout as an encyclopedia. Or perhaps a crammed but well-organized storage space, with shelves, drawers, and boxes of music all stacked ceiling high. After a bit of probing I found out the organization of languages keeps him guessing. After three years of high school Russian and a bit of college the one phrase he remembers translates to "you're stupid" in English. (Nice!) In his down, Eric is working on a project that involves reviewing every record made in 1977. Naturally, he calls his project "Every Record From 1977" Oh, and he's also the Sunday night DJ at KCRW (89.9FM).  In case you're curious, Eric says one of his favorite bands is The Fall and he has a thing for English edibles (Actually, I could tell that just by looking around the room). Finally, he and the restaurant Norms are old friends.

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