books

Podcast: Wonder

| 1 comment
Show: 
Bullseye

This week on The Sound of Young America, we rediscover our sense of wonder.

Lawrence Weschler spent over 20 years writing for The New Yorker, often profiling the sorts of empassioned eccentrics who change the world. His new book, "Everything That Rises: A Book of Convergences," examines the surprising overlaps in the world, and particularly in visual culture, as well as the meaning of those overlaps. (Seen to the left: Rembrandt's "The Anatomy Lesson" and Freddy Alborta's "The Death of Che")

Michael Ivins is the bassist (and more) of The Flaming Lips, a remarkable rock band who are perhaps more popular today than at any other point in their 20+ year history. Their sonic experimentation and melancholic comic touch are well known in the indie rock world, and so are their wild stage shows, which often include people in rabbit suits and members of the band rolling over the crowd in a giant hamster ball.

Download the Show

Listen Online

Incidental Music by DJW
Subscribe in iTunes
Donate to the Show


Podcast: Chuck Klosterman and Dave Foley

| 3 comments
Show: 
Bullseye

This week on The Sound of Young America: two guys I've always wanted to have on the show.

Chuck Klosterman is one of America's funniest and most perceptive writers on popular culture. His best-selling books "Fargo Rock City," "Sex, Drugs and Cocoa Puffs," and most recently "Killing Yourself to Live" are favorites for hipsters across the nation. We talk with Chuck about what rock journalism means to him, and how he deals with being a grown-up who cares about music like an 18-year-old.

Dave Foley is one of our finest comic actors. He co-founded the Kids in the Hall, whose television show re-introduced weirdness into the world of sketch comedy. Shortly thereafter, he landed the lead role in Newsradio, one of the finest sitcoms of the 1990s. Lately, he's made a living hosting a celebrity poker show as well as acting and writing. Believe it or not, he's a Sound of Young America listener.

Show Transcript

Download the Show

Listen Online


Incidental Music by DJW
Subscribe in iTunes
Donate to the Show


Podcast: Foundstravaganza

| 1 comment
Show: 
Bullseye

This week on The Sound of Young America, a visit with one old pal and one new pal from Found Magazine.

First we talk with Found co-editor Jason Bitner. Jason is the editor-cum-curator of the book "LaPorte, Indiana." The book is mesmerizing -- a compendium of portraits found in the back room of a diner in the eponymous town. Some are hilarious, some touching, all amazing. We talk with Jason about how he found and chose the photos in this remarkable book.

Davy Rothbart is the editor ("Point Guard") of the magazine. He talks about travelling the country on the Found tour bus, and shares a bunch of great finds. One is from a few small kids, who've started an adventure club. Another is a partnership agreement between some investors in a cafe -- which includes a clause dealing with metal hands.

Download the Show

Listen Online

Incidental Music by DJW
Subscribe in iTunes
Donate to the Show

Podcast: What's Wrong with America

| 8 comments
Show: 
Bullseye

This week's Sound of Young America is all about what's wrong with this country. And maybe a little about what could be right.

Our first guest is Henry Owings. Henry's the creator of Chunklet Magazine, and the editor of Chunklet's new book, "The Overrated Book." He talks with us about where he finds enough darkness in his heart to oversee the composition of an entire book about things that are overrated -- and to make a list of 1000 overrated things. Contributors to the book include Brian Posehn, Bob Odenkirk, and Neal Pollack.

We also talk with George Saunders. Saunders has published a number of critically acclaimed books, including "CivilWarLand in Bad Decline" and his most recent, "In Persuasion Nation." George talks about his education as a geophysicist, the stigma of humor in literature, and much more.

Bonus reading from "In Persuasion Nation" and interview audio

Download the Show

Listen Online


Incidental Music by DJW
Subscribe in iTunes
Donate to the Show

A few suggested links:
George Saunders Land (exhaustive Saunders fansite)
Chunklet Radio Podcast on MySpace
George Saunders on This American Life, reading "Offloading for Mrs. Schwartz"
George Saunders on This American Life, reading "The 400 Pound CEO"

Podcast: Digital and Analog

| 2 comments
Show: 
Bullseye

This week's Sound of Young America broadcast looks at the future of media -- and at its past.

Mark Frauenfelder and Xeni Jardin are two of the c0-editors of Boing-Boing.net, one of the world's most popular blogs. Frauenfelder started Boing Boing as a print zine in 1988, and grew to a website in the mid-90s, and a blog a few years later. Today, it attracts 1.75 million visitors every day. Topics covered range from futurism and cyber culture to ukeleles and the just plan weird and fascinating. We talk with Mark and Xeni about the history of Boing Boing, internet culture, and how blogs are changing the world of media, and changing themselves as time marches on.

We also talk with John Vanderslice. Vanderslice is a recording artist, as well as a record producer and the owner of Tiny Telephone Recording in San Francisco, one of the last all-analog studios in the United States. He started his career as a member of MK Ultra, before becoming a solo artist. His most recent record "Pixel Revolt," is a dense, literary journey in song. He's also produced records by the Mountain Goats and Spoon. We talk with John about why he still cuts tape in the studio, and about his remarkable songs. Don't miss the bonus interview and MP3 downloads below.

Download the Show

Listen Online

Bonus Interview
Kevin Kelly on the Future of Books

Kevin Kelly is the "Senior Maverick" at Wired Magazine, as well as the editor of the blog Cool Tools. We talk with Kevin about the future of books in a digital world, from scanning projects going on around the globe to the copyright issues that are currently in court. His recent cover story on the subject ran in the New York Times Magazine.

Download the Kevin Kelly Interview

Listen to Kevin Kelly Online


Bonus Interview
John Vanderslice on Producing

John tells us about his production work with artists like John Darnielle of the Mountain Goats.

Download the John Vanderslice Bonus Material

Listen to Bonus Material Online


Music Downloads
John Vanderslice - "Exodus Damage"
John Vanderslice - "Trance Manual"
Also heard: "Angela"
(all from "Pixel Revolt")

Incidental Music by DJW

Subscribe in iTunes
Donate to the Show

Podcast: Career Killers

| 2 comments
Show: 
Bullseye

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.

Download the Show

Listen Online

Incidental Music by Generek

Subscribe in iTunes
Donate to the Show

Podcast: Hollywood Outsiders

| 1 comment
Show: 
Bullseye

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.

Listen Online

Download This Week's Show (MP3)

Music This Week

Intersititial Music Provided by DJW

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


Podcast: Rip It Up and Start Again

| 8 comments
Show: 
Bullseye

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.

Download this week's show (MP3 Audio)

Listen Online

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: The Elements of Style

| 1 comment
Show: 
Bullseye


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.

Download this week's show (MP3 Audio)

Listen to this week's show online:

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

Making Friends with Black People

| 3 comments
Show: 
Bullseye


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.

Download this week's show (MP3 Audio)


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

Syndicate content