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POP MUSIC | POP EYE

Pbs Becomes Eclectic

May 25, 1997|Steve Hochman

Howard Stern tied up the "King of All Media" title, but L.A.'s Chris Douridas is showing an increasingly royal reach across the communications spectrum. The music director at influential Santa Monica public radio station KCRW-FM (89.9) took on an A&R post at DreamWorks Records last year, and sometimes serves as a music supervisor for films (including the upcoming "187"). Now he's taking on TV as well.

Douridas has just inked a deal with PBS to host and oversee "Sessions at West 54th," a weekly series combining music performances and interviews. It will begin airing Saturday nights in September on PBS stations nationwide, including L.A.'s KCET-TV Channel 28. The show, named after the New York studio facility where it will be taped, is loosely inspired by the in-studio performances and chats that are a frequent part of Douridas' "Morning Becomes Eclectic" weekdays on KCRW.

Each hourlong episode will feature two musical acts, who will perform before a live audience, with the interviews shot separately at various locations by famed documentarian D.A. Pennebaker.

Artists lined up so far for the tapings, which begin on June 9, are k.d. lang, Jane Siberry, Brian Wilson, David Byrne, Rickie Lee Jones, Bobby McFerrin, Philip Glass, Ben Folds, Eels, Papas Fritas and, tentatively, Beck.

Douridas is hoping that each show will feature some spontaneous collaborations between the two guests.

"Each show will have one artist who is currently making an impact, and one we feel will have an impact soon," he says. "In a perfect world, they'll be artists with like-minded sensibilities so we can lead them to a collaboration."

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