Heavy Rotation: 5 Songs Public Radio Can't Stop Playing

Mar 25, 2013
Originally published on March 26, 2013 9:57 am

Our panel of public-radio music obsessives has five more favorites to share. KCRW music director Jason Bentley can't get enough of the new Frightened Rabbit album. Alisa Ali, a DJ for New York's The Alternate Side indie-rock channel, picked a great new track by the promising Glasgow act CHVRCHES. Baltimore's Friday-night hip-hop show Strictly Hip Hop highlighted the new jam by Joey Bada$$. Jessi Whitten, the music director at OpenAir in Colorado, loves the new Lady Lamb the Beekeeper. And Dave P., host of the futuristic dance-music show Making Time Radio, found a sick remix of Tame Impala by Australian producer Light Year.

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All right, it's time now for our music project that we call Heavy Rotation. Each month NPR Music asks five public radio hosts or program directors to share a favorite new song. And each month we feature one of those selections here on MORNING EDITION.

This month we hear from member station WXPN in Philadelphia.


DAVID PIANKA, BYLINE: My name is David Pianka, also known as Dave P. And my show is called "Making Time RADio."

GREENE: On a Friday night, once a month, DJ Dave P brings a bit of the club scene to Public Radio.

PIANKA: I usually start off the show with some like newer ambient stuff and then progress into what turns into an hour-long dance set in the last hour. So I don't really do much talking. I just play a lot of music.

GREENE: And one track Pianka told us about is this song by the Australian rock band Tame Impala. It's called "Be Above It."


TAME IMPALA: (Singing) And I know that I got to be above it now, now...

GREENE: But his pick for this month's Heavy Rotation is actually a pumped-up dance version, or what he calls an edit of that song. It comes from the Australian DJ and producer Light Year.


IMPALA: (Singing) And I got to bide my time as a face in the crowd. Got to bide my time as a face in the crowd...

PIANKA: I chose it, the edit, specifically because a lot of rock music isn't meant to be played in the club. And it sometimes doesn't work in the club. That edit made it possible for me to play that song, "Be Above It," in my DJ set.


IMPALA: (Singing) ...crowd. I know that I got to be above it now...

PIANKA: Light Year took that track and just really beefed it up. And he also takes this bit of the vocal, he loops it. He loops it constantly and he really makes that repetitive hypnotic nature of dance music.


IMPALA: (Singing) This time I'm...

PIANKA: You know, obviously you're playing a rock track in a dance set, you're looking to like create a different vibe. You're looking to add another texture to your set, and that's what that does. If you play it at the right time, it can really create like an amazing reaction in the crowd.


IMPALA: (Singing) And I cannot let them all just bring me down, down...

GREENE: That's David Pianka of WXPN in Philadelphia. His pick is Light Year's "Get Above It, 909 Edit." It's a take on Tame Impala's "Be Above It." You can find our complete list of songs at NPRMusic.org.

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm David Greene.


And I'm Renee Montagne. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.