WNYC Honors LIC Radio Host
By MEGAN MONTALVO
|David Garland (right) watches as Yoko Ono performs at a reception in Garland’s honor last week.
Photo by Megan Montalvo
As the voice of WNYC’s “Spinning on Air” radio show, David Garland of Long Island City is no stranger to the word “eclectic.”
For the last 25 years, he has featured songs from artists that some might call anything but ordinary, including Yoko Ono, Connie Converse and the Brooklyn indie rock band Grizzly Bear.
“I love featuring artists that many would classify as unclassifiable,” Garland said. “There is something so inspirational about finding these musicians and sharing them with the rest of the world.”
To commemorate Garland’s work in radio, WNYC hosted a celebration in his honor on Nov. 14 at the Jerome L. Greene Performance Space in Manhattan.
At the event, Yoko Ono joined her son Sean Lennon to perform “Higa Noboru,” a song featuring spoken word with piano and electric guitar accompaniment.
Later in the evening, Ono also was joined by avant-garde composer and improviser John Zorn to perform a special duet for Garland.
“David Garland is the perfect radio host,” Zorn said. “He has impeccable taste, an open mind, a far reaching curiosity and a voice that makes you want to listen closer and deeper than ever before.”
Though modesty curbs Garland from classifying himself as an innovator of sorts, many in the music industry have praised him for providing an alternative to mainstream radio.
One of whom is Diane Cluck, an American singer-songwriter who describes her music as “intuitive folk.”
During the course of Garland’s celebration, Cluck said that if it was not for his unusual taste in music, so many artists would lack exposure to a larger audience.
“I always strive to approach music from a different perspective,” she said. “Being featured on a show like ‘Spinning on Air’ helps others do the same.”
In addition to single-handedly producing content for his own weekly show, Garland is also an evening host on WNYC’s sister station, Classical WQXR, and the host of a weekly program about film scores, “Movies on the Radio.”
When not on the air, he also plays a 12-string guitar, writes songs and occasionally performs at live venues throughout the City.
“It’s all about the music,” Garland said. “There is something so exciting about being able to share my unusual tastes with my listeners. My music might be categorized the same way - hard to classify but fun to listen to.”
“Spinning on Air” airs every Sunday at 8 p.m. on WNYC 93.9 FM. To watch the full video of Garland’s 25th anniversary party, visit his website at www.davidgarland.com.
Reach Reporter Megan Montalvo at (718) 357-7400 Ext. 128 or mmontalvo@ queenstribune.com.