DJ(S): Angela Levitan // Ezra Hecht
Show: “Take It Or Leave It”
Major: Communications // History or SOAN
Hometown: Los Angeles, baby!
This Monday I sat down with Ezra and Angela, our DJs of the week, who are the engineers behind the radio show “Take It Or Leave It” , referring to the Strokes song of the same name.
Tell me a little bit about your show.
Ezra: Well, as you probably know, growing up, until I got into high school, the music on KRock and 98.7 in Los Angeles was pretty awesome, so we really wanted to recreate that. Because there was a point where the radio stations that had been playing Smashing Pumpkins and Pearl Jam, just started playing the same Imagine Dragons song over and over again, and it was really disappointing for me, because the 98.7 of my youth was a great thing.
Angela: So we kind of wanted to recreate that, and recreate the college radio from 10 years ago, that’s our goal pretty much.
Ezra: 2007 college radio.
What kind of artists do you primarily play?
Angela: Oh wow, Weezer, The Strokes…
Ezra: We try to have one Radiohead song per playlist…
Angela: LCD Soundsystem, what else?
Ezra: I always try to sneak a Death Cab for Cutie song in there, and then try to go into the more emo emo stuff, like American Football…
Angela: Put some Green Day in there, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Ratatat
Ezra: We got some interesting stuff on the playlist this week…
Angela: Nine Inch Nails.
Ezra: I’m very excited about that one, it always works very well with the rotation.
Where do you find most of the music you play?
Angela: Generally it’s just stuff I used to listen to, so I’ll dig through my old iTunes, old playlists, and look for songs that make me nostalgic
Ezra: Our show is on Thursday, so every Friday of Saturday we’ll make a collaborative Spotify playlist and add to it during the week, so by the next Thursday it’s done.
Do you remember the first concert you went to?
Angela: Yes. Mine was Aerosmith, I went with my parents for my Mom’s birthday, because that’s her favorite band. It was an outdoor show at the Irvine amphitheatre, I remember it vividly.
Ezra: My first show was X, because my Dad, as a new parent, didn’t fully understand what taking your kid to an X and Buzzcocks show entailed. I was, like, seven. It was really scary, but really fun. It was a great experience.
Do you remember the first CD/Vinyl/cassette you owned?
Angela: It was probably something I borrowed from my Dad, I feel like maybe it was Nilsson Schmilsson by Harry Nilsson. I used to love that album so much! “Lime of the Coconut” – that song cracked me up when I was a kid. Yeah that [album] was probably the first one I really delved into.
Ezra: Oh well I have some embarrassing ones and then some good ones. So… Black Eyed Peas – The End. Great Album, honestly, great, great album.
Angela: Oh yeah!
Ezra: I don’t know I didn’t really own records when I was little, but I would look at my Dad’s record collection and then pick stuff up based on the cover. Like, Axis: Bold as Love has a great cover, so I listened to that when I was little. I also thought Talking Heads: 77 was really cool, because they made an album, and the whole thing was just red, so I listened to that a lot as well. I also listened to Squeeze a lot, for some reason. Squeeze is great, lots of power pop.
So what are you listening to now? Are there any albums that have really struck you in the last couple of years? Or are you re-listening to something good from your past?
Angela: I’ve been listening a lot to the Beatles recently. I’ve gone back into a Beatles phase, I can’t stop listening to the Beatles right now. Today, I’ve been listening to “Anna” by the Beatles the whole day. Lots of George Harrison.
Ezra: The new King Krule album is actually really, really good, I’ve been listening to that a lot. The new LCD Soundsystem album is also really good. I’ve been listening to a lot of REM and Stereolab.
Angela: Because of our show, I’ve been listening to a lot of the Strokes, again, another Strokes phase, and a lot of Adam Green, that kinda stuff.
Ezra: I’ve been listening to a lot of Steely Dan, they finally put the new Lou Reed x Metallica collab album up on Spotify, so I gave that a once-over, even though a lot of people consider it one of the worst albums ever made. But the last song on that is decent.
So, last of all, what’s your favorite part of being a DJ?
Angela: I love just like, sitting in the booth, listening to music I like for two hours, It’s nice having someone there also, and my friends also visit. I also love picking out the songs I’m going to play, that’s a lot of fun.
Ezra: Yeah, especially since our show is on like, Thursday afternoon, because I have a bunch of tests and papers due on Friday, so it’s nice to take a two-hour break from homework, and do nothing except listen to music and focus on that.
Angela: It’s something I look forward to at the end of the week and I like that.
It was a pleasure to sit down with Angela and Ezra and pick their brains about their show + interest in music. If you want to listen to their show, tune in on Thursday from 4-6pm to catch them spinning some rad alt hits!
(Interview by Liv Sage, Social Media Director)