Peter Kafka

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Indie Radio God Nic Harcourt Gets a New Gig: Picking Videos for “The Live Buzz”

For a certain kind of music fan,  Nic Harcourt is a rock star. Even though he doesn’t play any instruments.

From 1998 through 2008, Harcourt was the driving force at KCRW, the super-influential public radio station broadcasting from Santa Monica, Calif.: Even if you’ve never heard of him or the station, you’ve heard music and bands he helped make famous via airplay.

I don’t know if his Wikipedia entry is technically accurate (crowdsourcing!), but the list of musicians he’s credited with breaking in the U.S. should give a sense of his vibe, regardless: Coldplay, Norah Jones, Pete Yorn, Franz Ferdinand, etc. Awesome headline of a 2005 New York Times Magazine profile: “The Star Maker of the Semipopular.”

But outside of his work picking music for TV shows and movies, Harcourt hasn’t had a forum for the past two years.

Now he does: Blog network Buzzmedia is putting him in charge of “Live Buzz,” a new site that focuses on music videos.

There are plenty of those, so what’s different? Harcourt says it’s the emphasis on live tapings recorded specifically for the site. But there are plenty of those, too (check out “From the Basement,” which does a really good job).

So what Buzzmedia is really banking on here is that Harcourt’s brand will be enough to attract surfers and keep them coming back. That’s why the site’s homepage announces that it is “Curated by Nic Harcourt” right at the top.

Certainly worth a visit. Here are a couple examples of what you’ll find there. I’m particularly fond of the acoustic Jay-Z: