Bullseye

Bullseye is a public radio show about what's good in popular culture. With a keen editorial eye, Bullseye sifts the wheat from the chaff, and brings you hot culture picks, in-depth interviews with the most revered and revolutionary creative people and irreverent original comedy.

Bullseye is equal parts funny and fascinating. Whether you're already plugged in to the culture map, or looking for a signpost, Bullseye will keep you on target. More About Bullseye

Podcast: Career Killers

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This week's Sound of Young America broadcast commemorates my recent layoff with the theme "Career Killers."

My first guest, Annabelle Gurwitch, is the former host of TBS' "Dinner and a Movie," and a comedienne. Her book, "Fired: Tales of the Canned, Cancelled, Downsized, & Dismissed" compiles stories of firings from folks like Felicity Huffman and David Cross. She herself was fired from a play by Woody Allen, who said her performance was "retarded." We talk with her about getting fired, some of the most interesting stories in the book (Jeff Garlin's is a doozy), and more. She's appearing at the San Francisco Documentary Film Festival May 19th and 20th with Robert Reich.

Our second guest, Dan Clowes, is the screenwriter for the new film Art School Confidential. More importantly, though, he's the creator of the long-running comic book title Eightball. Eightball was the birthplace of the film, as well as the home of the story which became "Ghost World." We talk with Dan about his experiences in art school, his artistic process, working with director Terry Zwigoff and more.

Also, a comedy sketch from Free Love Forum.

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Incidental Music by Generek

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Podcast: Hollywood Outsiders

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This week's Sound of Young America looks at the world of movies from a variety of perspectives outside of the inside.

Sean Uyehara is a programmer for the San Francisco International Film Festival, which is currently running here in the City by the Bay. We talk with him about what it's like to watch 1400 movies a year. Also, he talks about some of the more exciting events at this year's festival, including a discussion of machinima from the creators of Red Vs. Blue, and a remarkable video mashup experience from Addictive TV. You can also read more of Sean's thoughts on the festival here.

Sharon Waxman is the Los Angeles Times' Hollywood reporter, but she wasn't always in the entertainment news business. She started out as a foreign correspondent, and admits she only came to the Tinseltown game out of "desperation." Her book, "Rebels in the Backlot" traces the indie film explosion of the mid-90s. It focuses on the work of Quentin Tarantino, PT Anderson, David Fincher, Steven Sodebergh, David O. Russel, and Spike Jonze. It was recently released in paperback.

Philip Lopate's new book is the Library of America's "American Movie Critics: From the Silents Until Now." The huge tome covers film writing from the silent era until now. We talk with Philip about how criticism has changed over the past hundred years, his favorite critics and why, and the role of film criticism in society.

Also, a message from Your Friend in Hollywood, Jen Kirkman.

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Music This Week

Intersititial Music Provided by DJW

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Podcast: Jonathans

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This week on The Sound of Young America, we visit with two great Jonathans -- Katz and Goldstein.

Our first talk is with Jonathan Goldstein. Goldstein is the author of the novel "Lenny Bruce is Dead," which is story of a young man, his romances, and the death of his mother. The story is told non-sequentially in brief vignettes, often no more than three or four sentences in length.

Jonathan is also a contributing editor for This American Life, and the producer of the CBC's Wiretap. The latter is a show composed entirely of telephon conversations -- some real, many semi-fictional.

We also talk this week with Jonathan Katz, comedian and creator of "Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist," which is out on DVD May 9th. We talk with him about making the show, and interestingly, about his long-standing relationship with David Mamet. We also hear a segment from his semi-fictional radio show, "We're Back."

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Music This Week

Intersititial Music Provided by DJW

Hey! Buy some stuff! (The show gets a portion of the money)

Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist Season 1
Jonathan Goldstein's Lenny Bruce is Dead
David Mamet's House of Games
David Mamet's Things Change
Jonathan Katz's "To-Do Lists of the Dead"

Previously on The Sound of Young America Blog

"You're On The Air with Jonathan Katz"

See Also
This American Life - "Spies Like Us" (features Jonathan Goldstein's lobbycam story)
Unofficial Wiretap MP3 Archive

Podcast: Rip It Up and Start Again

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This week our theme is "Rip It Up & Start Again," and we investigate the history of Post-Punk music.

Our guest is Simon Reynolds, a British pop music critic, and the author of the book which gives our show its name. His book aims to retrofit the reputation of the rock music of the early 80s, describing the sonically disparate artists who created something new in the wake of the first punk movement's self-destruction.

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Music This Week / Buy Stuff

Sex Pistols - "God Save the Queen" from Nevermind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols
Public Image Ltd. - Public Image from Public Image Ltd
Public Image Ltd. - Death Disco from Greatest Hits So Far
Gang of Four - Naturals Not In It from Entertainment!
The Pop Group - Thief of Fire from Y
Gang of Four - Anthrax from Entertainment!
Scritti Pollitti - Perfect Way from Cupid & Psyche 85
Devo - Whip It from Freedom of Choice
Human League - Love Action from "Dare
Slits - "Spend Spend Spend" from Cut
Joy Division - Atmosphere from Permanent
Talking Heads - "Seen and Not Seen" from Remain in Light
Matmos "Regicide" from Civil War


Hey! Buy some stuff! (The show gets a portion of the money)



Podcast: (Un)Clean

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This week's Sound of Young America broadcast bears the theme "(Un)Clean." My guests are comedian Jim Gaffigan (who doesn't swear on stage) and the creators of Wonder Showzen (who dress children up in Hitler costumes).

Jim Gaffigan is one of the country's most popular stand-up comics, and an accomplished actor, as well. His observational humor is peppered with audience commentary - that he provides himself, in a creepy high pitched voice. We talk about his long standup career, and his acting career, which features both comic and dramatic credits. He's currently on tour (including a show in San Francisco April 7th), and his new CD and DVD are in stores now.

Vernon Chatman and John Lee are the creators of the brilliant MTV2 series Wonder Showzen. The series could be broadly described as a parody of children's television, but it's really more of a satire of the banality of American culture. One recurring segment, "Beat Kids," sends children dressed as reporters to ask pointed questions of the man on the street. In one, a 7-year-old (or so) black girl is dispatched to Wall Street, asking "Who have you exploited today?" and "Where will you be when the revolution comes?" John & Vernon are also members of the rock band PFFR (pronounced P-F-R), and the former writers of the MTV series "Doggy Fizzle Televizzle." Wonder Showzen returned to MTV2 yesterday, and airs Fridays at 9:30PM. Their first season DVD was just released.

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Check out our uncut, unedited interview with Jim Gaffigan

Music This Week

Untitled Beat by DJW

Hey! Buy some stuff! (The show gets a portion of the money)

Jim Gaffigan's Beyond the Pale DVD (only $9.99!)

Jim Gaffigan's Beyond the Pale CD

Wonder Showzen Season 1

Previously on The Sound of Young America Blog

Dead Frog v. Wonder Showzen
Wonder Showzen Creators' Core Beliefs
Change the Channel for Kids
Good Shows & Bad People

Podcast: The Elements of Style

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This week on The Sound of Young America, we tackle "The Elements of Style." My guests are Maira Kalman, Nico Muhly, and George Pelecanos.

Maira Kalman is a noted illustrator and author, whose work includes award-winning children's books and numerous New Yorker covers, among them the popular "New Yorkistan." She's created a stunning illustrated edition of the classic writing manual "The Elements of Style" by Strunk & White. Her illustrations are both literal and figural (no pun intended). She talks with us about how a book about words can lend itself to images.

We also talk with and hear the music of Nico Muhly, who composed a song suite to accompany Kalman's book. Muhly, only 24 (same as me!), has already worked with artists from Bjork to Philip Glass. You can download our full interview with him (we only feature two brief clips in the show) here.

George Pelecanos is a wonderful writer of mysteries set in Washington DC. His writing reflects a side of DC that's rarely seen in the popular media -- the side that earned it the nickname "Chocolate City." He recently edited a book of short stories about every part of the District, called "D.C. Noir." He's also a writer and producer on the brilliant HBO series "The Wire," and we talk about writing what is essentially a novel for the screen.

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Download our full-length interview with Nico Muhly (MP3 Audio)

Music This Week

Nico Muhly: "Be Obscure Clearly" and "An Approach to Style" (as yet unreleased)

Other Stuff to Buy (The show gets a portion of the money)

The Wire on DVD

Maira Kalman's Books

George Pelecanos' Books

Podcast: Joke Warfare

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This week's Sound of Young America program bears the theme "Joke Warfare." Two brilliant joke warriors join us for the show, Terry Jones and Dino Stamatopoulos.

Dino is a legendary comedy writer, having written for many of the seminal comedy programs for the past 15 years. He won an Emmy for his first gig, writing for The Ben Stiller Show. He was one of the first writers on Late Night With Conan O'Brien, and wrote for HBO's Mr. Show. We talk with him about a musical he wrote about a dead baby and his new show on Cartoon Network's [adult swim], a social satire called Moral Orel. In our full interview with Dino (MP3 Audio), we talk extensively about his writing career pre-Moral Orel.

Terry Jones, of course, is one of the founding members of the legendary sketch comedy group Monty Python's Flying Circus. He co-directed Monty Python and the Holy Grail, and directed both Monty Python's Life of Brian and Monty Python's The Meaning of Life. He's also written two books on Chaucer, written and directed several other films, and composed several children's books. We talk with Jones about his years with the Pythons, as well as his career since. Monty Python's Flying Circus returns to PBS in April.

Download this week's show (MP3 Audio)

Listen to this week's show online:

Download our full-length interview with Dino Stamatopoulos (MP3 Audio)

Music This Week

Eric B & Rakim - I Ain't No Joke
Buy Eric B. & Rakim - Paid In Full

Eric B & Rakim - Casualties of War
Buy Eric B. & Rakim - Don't Sweat the Technique

Other Stuff to Buy

Terry Jones' "War on the War on Terror"

Terry Jones "Fairy Tales"

Monty Python's Personal Best

The Ben Stiller Show on DVD

Mr. Show on DVD

Monty Python's Flying Circus 16-Ton Megaset

Making Friends with Black People

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This week on The Sound of Young America, our theme is Making Friends with Black People.

Our first guest, Nick Adams, is the author of a book by that name, and a standup comedian. His book tackles inter-race relations with a comic edge. We talk about the N-word, being black at liberal arts college, and much more. Nick's about to do a book tour for his book, which will take him to LA & the Bay Area.

Our second guest, Calvin Levels, is a Tony-nominated actor, currently touring the nation with his one-man show James Baldwin: Down From the Mountaintop. Calvin talks with us about Baldwin's life, how he balanced his dual identities as a black American and a gay American, and more. Calvin will be performing in Santa Cruz March 17th as part of UCSC Arts & Lectures.

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Music in this show:
Aretha Franklin's recording of Nina Simone's "To Be Young, Gifted & Black" Buy From Amazon
Science Fiction "Africa" (Unreleased) Buy Science Fiction's Album From Amazon
David Bowie "Young Americans" Buy From Amazon

Moustaches, Etc

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This week's Sound of Young America is a probing look at all things moustachioed, including but not limited to: Boston Blackie, Zorro, and your television.

Our first guest is Andy Daly. Andy's been a castmember of Mad TV, Crossballs, and he's currently a correspondent on "The Showbiz Show with David Spade." We talked about the strange creative process at Mad TV, and how hard it is to do something about it. Also, Andy's invented something called Moustache TV, which is a parlor game which involves putting moustaches on your television. He really makes and sells it himself.

Richard Montoya is 1/3 of Culture Clash, about whom I blogged last week. They've got a new show coming up at Berkeley Rep called "Zorro in Hell." Besides the stage work, Richard will also be seen in the upcoming Jack Black vehicle "Nacho Libre," from the writer of "School of Rock" and the director of "Napoleon Dynamite."

Also, a sketch from Los Angeles' Diani & Devine, and a plug for our upcoming vidcast of unseen Monty Python footage. Yes, unseen Monty Python footage.

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Podcast: UK Soul Singer Omar

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Contemporary soul singers like Erykah Badu and Bilal consistently cite Omar, along with legends like Al Green and Donnie Hathaway, as a seminal influence in their careers. He's known in the UK as the godfather of "new classic soul," and only now is his music starting to make an impact on American soil. His lilting soul incorporates Carribean influences and the residuals of the Acid Jazz movement, and his classic sound has attracted collaborators like Common and Stevie Wonder.

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