jazz

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Susan Orlean and Jazz singer Gregory Porter

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Susan Orlean
Guests: 
Gregory Porter

New to Bullseye? Subscribe to our podcast in iTunes or with your favorite podcatcher to make sure you automatically get the newest episode every week.


Photo: Jesse Thorn

Author Susan Orlean on her new book 'The Library Book'

Susan Orlean is a staff writer at The New Yorker. Her work has also appeared in Vogue, Esquire and on This American Life. She's the author of eight books, covering topics like New England and Rin Tin Tin. Her first book, "Saturday Night," used narrative journalism to paint a portrait of how Saturday night in America is lived. She's probably best known for "The Orchid Thief." That book ended up being the basis of the Academy Award nominated film "Adaptation," starring Nicolas Cage and Meryl Streep.

She now lives here in Los Angeles. Being an author and a reader, she's visited the beautiful, historic central library in downtown Los Angeles dozens of times. Her latest book "The Library Book" is about that library and its history.

It wasn't until she took a tour of the library that she was inspired to write this book. The tour guide opened a book and said some of them still smelled like smoke. A bit perplexed she probed and asked more about the smell. This is how she learned of devastating fire that almost demolished the building in 1986. She always hoped someone would tell this story, and unknowingly years later she would be the one to tell it. The book is also also kind of a paean to libraries everywhere – what they mean to her, and why every library is a vital institution.

We're big fans of Susan Orlean at Maximum Fun. A few years ago she gave a talk at Max Fun Con called: "Finding the extraordinary in the ordinary." You can check out that talk here.

Photo: Valery Hache / AFP / Getty Images

Jazz vocalist Gregory Porter on his new album 'Nat King Cole and Me'

Gregory Porter is a Grammy Award winning jazz vocalist. The route he took to get there is really unique. He was a offensive lineman at San Diego State. Then, during his junior year, an injury ended his football career. During that time he could sing, but he wasn't a singer. That changed when his mom, literally from her deathbed, told him to start singing.

In 2010, he moved to New York with his brother and recorded his debut record "Water." Whereas most young jazz singers start their careers recording standards, Porter recorded an album of mostly originals.

Now, almost a decade later, he's laid down an new album with jazz standards. "Nat King Cole and Me" pays tribute to one of the greatest jazz singers of all time. It's music he grew up on. Porter spent a lot of time researching the music of Nat King Cole - his records, books, and documentaries. He'll tell us what made Cole one of the most unique singers of the civil rights era of the 1950's. He'll also tell us what it was like to grow up in Bakersfield, California and how that's influenced his lyrics.

The covers are great, but if you want to hear some more of his original work, check out his 2016 album: "Take Me to the Alley" – the album was inspired by his mother's teachings as a street minister and it's one of our favorites.

The Outshot: Hot Dog Timmy

Jesse explains why great things can come of simple premises and simple situations. Like in this sketch from "The Whitest Kids You Know."

EP35: Cut Chemist on Cymande's "Cymande" (1972)

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Show: 
Heat Rocks
Guests: 
Cut Chemist

The Album: Cymande: Cymande (1972)

"Say go DJ, cause that's my DJ..." - Weezy

Cut Chemist is nice with the wax, nice with the loops, nice on the decks. A central figure in West Coast hip hop (Jurassic 5, Ozomotli) and the art of turntablism, both he and his record collection are legendary. While he joined us to talk about British funk pioneer Cymande's 1972 self-titled debut, our conversation covered a myriad of topics including Cut's journey as a crate digger, a record he may or may not have pilfered in 1987, the influence of Chuck Chillout and DJ Red Alert on his development as a DJ, Cymande's seamless genre-fusing and the band's relationship to hip-hop. Needless to say, we went in.

About Cut Chemist:
https://www.billboard.com/articles/columns/hip-hop/8225523/cut-chemist-i...

About Cut's latest album, Die Cut 
https://daily.bandcamp.com/2018/03/13/cut-chemist-die-cut-interview/

Oliver's Rolling Stone interview with Cymande:
http://rol.st/1U3YpYS

Cymande website:
http://www.cymandeofficial.com

Show Tracklist (all songs from Cymande unless indicated otherwise):

  • "One More"
  • Cut Chemist: The Audience's Listening "The Garden"
  • Harlem Underground Band: Harlem Underground Band "Smokin' Cheeba Cheeba"
  • "Bra"
  • "The Message"
  • "Dove"
  • DJ Chuck Chillout: clip from 98.7 Kiss FM show from 1986
  • Clip from the 1983 film "Wild Style"
  • Red Hot Chili Peppers: Blood Sugar Sex Magik "Give It Away"
  • "Getting it Back"
  • "The Message"
  • Assagai: Assagai "Telephone Girl"
  • "Dove"
  • "Listen"
  • "Getting it Back"
  • "Zion I"
  • "Rickshaw"
  • Hielo Ardiente: El Original Ritmo Ardiente "Mensaje"
  • The Meters: The Meters "Cissy Strut"
  • "Rastafarian Folk Song"
  • The Fugees: The Score "The Score"
  • De La Soul: 3 Feet High and Rising "Change in Speak"
  • The Doors: L.A. Woman "Riders on the Storm"
  • Tune Yards: Nikki Nack "Water Fountain"
  • Alice in Chains: Facelift "Man in the Box"
  • Cymande: Second Time Round "Bird"
  • Kaidi Tathem: Feed the Cat "Armz R Deh"

If you're not already subscribed to Heat Rocks in Apple Podcasts, do it here!

Ep 6 Go Fact Yourself with Lizz Winstead and Alonzo Bodden

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Guests: 
J. Keith van Straaten
Guests: 
Helen Hong
Guests: 
Alonzo Bodden
Guests: 
Lizz Winstead
Guests: 
Marcus Miller

In this episode, J. Keith and Helen play host to comedians Lizz Winstead and Alonzo Bodden. Lizz is the founder of Lady Parts Justice and was the co-creator and head writer of The Daily Show. Lizz’s topics of expertise were: fitted sheet folding, Scrabble, and the 1980s Minneapolis music scene. Winstead also demonstrates that loose lips sink...one’s chances to succeed at game shows. Alonzo won the third season of Last Comic Standing and is a regular panelist on Wait Wait...Don’t Tell Me! His areas of expertise are: Motorcycles, LA Clippers, Contemporary Jazz. Bodden shares tales from his time hanging out with elite soldiers, as well as elite musicians. It’s a really fun episode so pop your headphones on and enjoy! You can also enjoy this episode without headphones. Up to you.

Appearing in this episode:

J. Keith van Straaten
Helen Hong
Alonzo Bodden,
Lizz Winstead, Co-creator and head writer of The Daily Show and Lady Parts Justice League founder

With guest experts:
Marcus Miller, Two-time Grammy-winning multi-instrumentalist jazz fusion artist

Alan Stern, former Guinness World Record Scrabble player and Director of NASPA Los Angeles Scrabble Club #44

Go Fact Yourself was devised by Jim Newman and J. Keith van Straaten, and produced in collaboration with Maximum Fun. The show is recorded at the Angel City Brewery in downtown Los Angeles.

Theme Song by Jonathan Green
David McKeever is the Live Sound Engineer.
Maximum Fun's Senior Producer is Laura Swisher
The show is edited by Christian Dueñas

Heat Rocks, EP 19: Bardo Martinez on Eugene McDaniels' "Headless Heroes of the Apocalypse" (1971)

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Show: 
Heat Rocks
Guests: 
Bardo Martinez

The album: Eugene McDaniels: Headless Heroes of the Apocalypse (1971)

When we approached Bardo Martinez of Chicano Batman, we figured he'd go with a left-field album choice and he did not disappoint. Headless Heroes of the Apocalypse was a cult LPs for years, one of the most overtly political albums of the entire '70s (least of all on Atlantic Records!) and might have been wholly forgotten if not for '90s hip-hop producers rediscovering it and using it as sample fodder. However, all groovy groove aside, Headless Heroes is also an astonishing album in regards to McDaniels' explicit politics regarding everything from the U.S. treatment of Native Americans to blue eyed minstrels to Watergate. It was supposedly blacklisted by no less than the Vice President of the U.S. (Spiro Agnew). As Chicano Batman are no strangers to merging message and music, it was the perfect LP for Bardo and us to dig into, least of all in this current political moment.

More on Eugene McDaniels and Headless Heroes

More on Bardo Martinez and Chicano Batman

Show Tracklisting (all songs from Headless Heroes unless indicated otherwise):

  • “Jagger The Dagger”
  • Chicano Batman: “Freedom is Free” Freedom Is Free
  • “The Parasite”
  • “Supermarket Blues”
  • “Lovin Man”
  • John Lennon: “Instant Karma”
  • Gene McDaniels: “Tower of Strength” Tower of Strength
  • Eddie Harris & Les McCann: “Compared to What” Swiss Movement
  • Eugene McDaniels: “Cherrystones” Outlaw
  • “Susan Jane”
  • “Freedom Death Dance”
  • Eddie Harris: “Freedom Jazz Dance” The In Sound
  • “The Lord Is Back”

If you're not already subscribed to Heat Rocks in Apple Podcasts, do it here!

Minority Korner 106: Scooby Doing It! (Candyman, Quizlet is BACK, Korla Pandit, John Roland Redd, Bianca Lawson, Gay Porn and Racism, Queen Sugar, and Rutina Wesley)

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mk logo
Show: 
Minority Korner

The wonder twins are full, happy, and filled of love after Thanksgiving and they want to spread the wealth! They got a fun joyous episode for ya'll this week... but first! CANDYMAN... candyman, candyman! They deconstruct the horror movie from the 90s which was WAY more political than they remembered! They also discuss the amazing ageless Bianca Lawson, In the Korners...ooooooo she's back! Quizlet Korner has returned and this time she is called, What's Good In The Neighborhood? Will James finally get Nnekay with the Quiz?! SOme of the topics covered: gay porn and racism, Wes Goodman, HIV Drugs, Adoption, Grindr mysteries, and getting CAUGHT UP! In Nnekay's Korner- she takes James (and you) on a ride about two jazz pianist, Korla Pandit and John Roland Redd, and how their lives intersect and create magic. ALSO.... DRUMROLLLLLLL The winner is announced for the iTunes review raffle!!!! Happy Friday and have a good weekend, ya'll!

Twitter: @minoritykorner
Email: minoritykorner@gmail.com
Like Us On Facebook: Minority Korner

Guide To A Gay Bar: Straight Guy Edition Tip #1: https://youtu.be/1e-XaNHqdbI

Guide To A Gay Bar: Straight Guy Edition (FULL VIDEO): https://youtu.be/leJQU5oxoJY

Catch Nnekay At SF Sketch Fest w/ Her Comedy Team Nice Tan! Get Tickets:
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/nice-tan-queen-george-hosted-by-michelle-bi...

Links!

Quizlet

http://www.newnownext.com/two-drug-regimen-hiv-approved/11/2017/

https://www.queerty.com/adult-film-star-hugh-hunter-calls-gayvn-awards-r...

https://thegrapevine.theroot.com/accidental-thanksgiving-duo-spend-the-h...

http://www.theroot.com/trump-loving-nfl-protest-hating-police-union-chie...

https://www.queerty.com/antigay-lawmaker-caught-gay-sex-office-scrubs-in...

https://www.queerty.com/time-disgraced-gop-rep-wes-goodman-fondled-male-...

https://www.queerty.com/antigay-lawmaker-caught-gay-sex-office-scrubs-in...

https://thegrapevine.theroot.com/grace-in-action-black-family-of-7-adopt...

Tale of Two Pianist

https://tinyurl.com/yddm52mq

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Emily Gordon and Kumail Nanjiani of The Big Sick and Terrace Martin

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Emily Gordon
Guests: 
Kumail Nanjiani
Guests: 
Terrace Martin

New to Bullseye? Subscribe to our podcast in iTunes or with your favorite podcatcher to make sure you automatically get the newest episode every week.


Photo: Jesse Thorn

Emily Gordon and Kumail Nanjiani on writing a romcom based on their lives

Emily Gordon and Kumail Nanjiani co-wrote the Judd Apatow produced romantic comedy The Big Sick. It's a sweet, hilarious and truthful story about how the two of them fell in love, tossing all of the classic romantic comedy tropes out of the window. Kumail and Emily come from really different backgrounds; Kumail's from Pakistan. Emily: North Carolina. The film tells their story of finding each other after navigating Kumail's family's traditional views on marriage and an illness that almost breaks them apart.

Before Emily Gordon was writing screenplays and making films, she was a therapist, working with mentally challenged individuals. After over 5 years working as a therapist, she realized that she needed to change careers, moving on to writing full time, and contributing to online and print magazines.

Most people know Kumail Nanjiani as Dinesh on Mike Judge's HBO hit, Silicon Valley. He's also been on Broad City, Newsreaders, and voices characters on Adventure Time. He has been a stand-up comic for a long time and in 2013, got a Comedy Central stand up special called Beta Male.

Jesse, Kumail, and Emily talk about what it was like making a movie about their real life relationship, and about the changes that were made from the first draft to the one that we see in cinemas. They also talk about learning to let go of their story to other people in the creative group, and the first time they showed the movie to their parents.

You can find The Big Sick in theaters nationwide. Emily also wrote a self-help book for superheroes called Super You: Release Your Inner Super Hero. Also, don't forget to watch Kumail's Beta Male for a solid 40 minutes of laughter.

Click here to listen to Jesse's interview with Emily Gordon and Kumail Nanjiani!


Photo: Jesse Thorn

Terrace Martin on Jazz, Hip-Hop, and working with Kendrick Lamar

Terrace Martin is a musician and producer. He is from Los Angeles' Crenshaw District and grew up in a jazz household, with both of his parents being musicians. He picked up the saxophone at a young age, his talent for the horn leading him all the way through arts high school to California Institute of the Arts. After deciding college wasn't for him, he went on tour with some big acts and began producing for people like Snoop Dogg and YG. Terrace was heavily involved in Kendrick Lamar's To Pimp a Butterfly, producing many songs on the album including the hit "King Kunta."

Terrace and Jesse talk about his views on hip-hop and jazz, and why working with Kendrick Lamar is so important to him. They talk about the differences between releasing solo albums and working within a band. Finally, we find out why Terrace roamed from neighborhood to neighborhood as a teenager with his MPC 3000 drum machine.

Terrace's new record label Sounds of Crenshaw Records put out Terraces 6th studio album last year called Velvet Portraits and The Sounds of Crenshaw Vol. 1 by his band The Polyseeds this month.

The Outshot: All Creatures Great and Small

What's the book that claims to be, and actually is, bursting with love? James Herriot's All Creatures Great and Small.

Click here to listen to Jesse's Outshot about All Creatures Great and Small!

Bullseye With Jesse Thorn: Danny McBride and Miroslav Vitous

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Danny McBride
Guests: 
Misoslav Vitous

[r] New to Bullseye? Subscribe to our podcast in iTunes or with your favorite podcatcher to make sure you automatically get the newest episode every week.


Photo: Jesse Thorn

Danny McBride on Writing Dark Comedy, Returning to High School, and Playing the Antihero

Danny McBride is a comedic writer and actor who started his career starring in the cult classic comedy, The Foot Fist Way. Although the film went to Sundance and was a modest success, McBride went back to North Virginia to work as a substitute teacher. Danny and frequent collaborator Jody Hill began creating the series Eastbound & Down, which would jumpstart McBride’s career and make him a film and television star.

He has appeared in a number of comedies, such as Tropic Thunder, 30 Minutes or Less, and Observe and Report. McBride is perhaps best known for writing and starring in the HBO series Eastbound & Down, where he plays disgraced MLB player, Kenny Powers.

McBride sat down with Jesse to talk about about working with Jody Hill, writing for Eastbound and Down, and dealing with people who idolize Kenny Powers just a little too much.

The second season of Vice Principals is out this summer.

Miroslav Vitous on the Recording Session that Changed His Life

Jazz bassist Miroslav Vitouš explains how working with Weather Report on the composition "Morning Lake" is an experience he will never forget.

Miroslav Vitouš's new album is called Music of Weather Report.

The Outshot: The Hunt For The Wilderpeople

Jesse talks about the film Hunt for The Wilderpeople and why calling it "twee" is actually a compliment.

Bullseye: John Mulaney, Nick Kroll & Airto Moreira

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
John Mulaney
Guests: 
Nick Kroll
Guests: 
Airto Moreira

New to Bullseye? Subscribe to our podcast in iTunes or with your favorite podcatcher to make sure you automatically get the newest episode every week.


Photo: Jesse Thorn

Nick Kroll and John Mulaney talk Oh, Hello, the failure of “Mulaney” and Alan Alda

John Mulaney and Nick Kroll are well seasoned comedians who have made a name for themselves in many different forms of media. The two met at Georgetown University where they became friends and began creating sketch characters together.
Mulaney was a writer on Saturday Night Live for 6 seasons, where he helped developed many of the shows most recognizable characters. He has also worked as a stand-up comedian, leading to the release of three stand-up specials. He created, wrote, and starred in a semi-autobiographical sitcom called Mulaney which ran on the Fox network.
Kroll is best known for his work on FXX’s The League where he plays the character Rodney Ruxin. He began his career as a stand-up comedian, which led to his work as a writer on Chappelle’s Show and Human Giant. He created and starred in Kroll Show, which ran on Comedy Central for two years.
Jesse sits down with Mulaney and Kroll to discuss their new broadway play, Oh, Hello, the downfall of Mulaney, and how they created their favorite alter ego’s, Gil Faizon and George St. Geegland.
Mulaney and Kroll star as George St. Geegland and Gil Faizon respectively in their new show on Broadway called, Oh, Hello.

Photo: Jesse Thorn

Arito Moreira talks percussion, Jazz Fusion, and Miles Davis

Airto Moreira is a Brazilian born Jazz percussionist and drummer. He has worked as a professional musician since the age of 13, moving to New York in the late 1960’s where he helped develop the “Jazz Fusion” genre of music.
He sits down with Jesse to talk about Brazilian percussion methods, his move to America, and his experience playing with Miles Davis and other great Jazz legends.

The Outshot: Desiigner’s “Tiimmy Turner”

Jesse talks about Brooklyn based rapper Desiigner’s newest single “Tiimmy Turner.” The track combines melody, rapping, and auto-tune to create a very unique Southern Trap record.

Bullseye: Danny McBride and Miroslav Vitous

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Danny McBride
Guests: 
Miroslav Vitous

New to Bullseye? Subscribe to our podcast in iTunes or with your favorite podcatcher to make sure you automatically get the newest episode every week.

Photo: Jesse Thorn

Danny McBride on Writing Dark Comedy, Returning to High School, and Playing the Antihero

Danny McBride is comedic writer and actor who started his career starring in the cult classic comedy, The Foot Fist Way. Although the film went to Sundance and was a modest success, McBride went back to North Virginia to work as a substitute teacher. Danny and frequent collaborator Jody Hill began creating the series Eastbound & Down, which would jumpstart McBride’s career and make him a film and television star.

He has appeared in numerous comedy films, such as Tropic Thunder, 30 Minutes or Less, and Observe and Report. McBride is perhaps best known for writing and starring in the HBO series Eastbound & Down, where he plays disgraced MLB player, Kenny Powers.

McBride sat down with Jesse to talk about about working with Jody Hill, writing for Eastbound and Down, and dealing with people who idolize Kenny Powers just a little too much.

Danny McBride’s new show is called Vice Principals.

Miroslav Vitous on the Recording Session that Changed His Life

Jazz bassist Miroslav Vitouš explains how working with Weather Report on the composition Morning Lake is an experience he will never forget.

Miroslav Vitouš’s new album is called Music of Weather Report.

The Outshot: Hunt for the Wilderpeople

Jesse talks about the film Hunt for the Wilderpeople and why calling it “twee” is actually a compliment.

Bullseye: Rachel Bloom & Esperanza Spaulding

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Rachel Bloom
Guests: 
Esperanza Spalding

New to Bullseye? Subscribe to our podcast in iTunes or with your favorite podcatcher to make sure you automatically get the newest episode every week.


Mark Davis/Getty Images

Rachel Bloom on her love of musical theater and gaining confidence in Hollywood.

Rachel Bloom is a comedian whose humor often involves her bursting into song. She embraces the classic tropes of the Hollywood musical comedy adding her own contemporary twist on her CW show, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. The show has already earned her a Golden Globe and a Critics Choice Award.

A veteran of the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater, Bloom has also worked on television shows Allen Gregory and Robot Chicken. But it was her absurdist and hilarious musical videos that first brought her to the industry's attention. The video for her song, Fuck Me, Ray Bradbury went viral and earned Bloom a Hugo Award nomination. She has released two albums including Please Love Me and Suck It, Christmas!!! (A Chanukah Album).

Rachel Bloom sat down with Jesse to talk about her love for musical theater, gaining self-confidence in Hollywood and the logistics involved in being lifted in the air in a giant pretzel.

Episodes of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend can seen on Hulu and at CWTV.com.


Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

Esperanza Spalding on The Song That Changed My Life: “Petrouchka” by Igor Stravinsky

Singer, songwriter, bassist and cellist Esperanza Spalding explains how Petrouchka by Igor Stravinsky introduced her to a world of sound that she hadn’t known existed.

The Grammy Award winning artist’s latest album is Emily’s D+Evolution.

Find Esperanza Spalding online at EsperanzaSpalding.com.

The Outshot: Popstar

Jesse explains why he loves a movie that aspires to be nothing more than silly, goofy and funny.

Popstar is in theaters now.

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