Barry Smolin

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Barry Smolin
Barry Smolin in master control at KPFK
Background information
Also known as Mr. Smolin
Born (1961-04-20) April 20, 1961 (age 54)
Origin Los Angeles, California

Barry Smolin (born April 20, 1961 in Los Angeles, California) is an American radio host, teacher, composer, and writer.


The Music Never Stops[edit]

From 1995-2012, Smolin was the host of The Music Never Stops, a psychedelic radio show on KPFK in Los Angeles, California[1] for which Smolin won the first ever Jammy Award for "Best Radio Show" in 2000.[2] Smolin's program was also nominated for an LA Weekly Music Award in 2004 in the "Best Radio Show" category.[3] The Music Never Stops began as a program featuring live recordings of the Grateful Dead, but after the death of Jerry Garcia Smolin expanded the scope of the show to include contemporary jam-rock and miscellaneous psychedelia, paying special attention to music being made by musicians in Los Angeles. The program has been covered in Relix magazine[4] and

Head Room[edit]

Smolin is currently the host of the program Head Room on KPFK,[5] heard every Sunday Night from 8pm-10pm.


Smolin is also a noted teacher who has been featured in articles in Time[6] and the Los Angeles Times.,[7] as well as in the Larchmont Chronicle,[8] the Gatsby In L.A. blog,[9][10] and the Library Foundation of L.A.'s "My Moby-Dick" tribute.[11][12] In 2014 he was featured in a short film entitled Flying Lessons With Mr. Smolin that highlighted the impact he's had on a generation of students.[13] From 1987-1992, Smolin taught English at Fairfax High School (the school Smolin himself graduated from in 1978) in the Los Angeles Unified School District. Since leaving Fairfax in 1992, he has been on the faculty at Hamilton High School, teaching English in the Hamilton Humanities Magnet program.


As a songwriter, Smolin has composed music for the Showtime television series Weeds, with his song "The Earth Keeps Turning On" appearing in Season 3's Episode 7, entitled "He Taught Me How To Drive By."[14] as well as on the Weeds Season 3 Soundtrack album. Under the performance moniker Mr. Smolin he has released four albums, At Apogee (2004) and The Crumbling Empire Of White People (2007) (both produced by Tony Award winning composer/dramatist Stew, best known for his musical Passing Strange), as well as a Los Angeles song-cycle entitled Bring Back The Real Don Steele (2009).[15] Smolin's songs typically feature complex lyrics set to catchy pop melodies. He is also known for his postmodern explorations of historical/cultural incidents and figures, such as World War I espionage legend Mata Hari[16] and Hollywood actress Veronica Lake,[17] as well as the fictional The Guns of Navarone.[18] Mr. Smolin's latest release is a collaboration with the psychedelic surf-noir band Double Naught Spy Car entitled Heaven's Not High (2013).


Smolin's most recent literary venture is Narcissus In The Dark,[19] a novella whose narrator is God sentenced to eternity in a dungeon and whose consciousness thinks new universes into being while sorting through the detritus of his troubled past. In May 2011, Smolin released a volume of selected poetry covering the years 1988-2010 entitled Always Be Madly In Love.[20] Earlier in 2011, he published the experimental prose project Wake Up In The Dreamhouse,[21] composed one sentence at a time on Twitter.


Smolin's journalism work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times,[22] as well as in Rhino Entertainment's online journal,[23][24] and[25][26][27] In 2004, Smolin wrote the foreword to the book Dumb Luck, a retrospective of the work of artist Gary Baseman published by Chronicle Books.[28]


  • At Apogee (2004), produced by Stew
  • The Crumbling Empire Of White People (2007), produced by Stew
  • Bring Back The Real Don Steele (2009)
  • Heaven's Not High (2013)


  • Wake Up In The Dreamhouse (2011)
  • Always Be Madly In Love (2011)
  • Narcissus In The Dark (2012)


External links[edit]