KEXP: The Long Winters (8/14)

This is a great podcast. The performances sound good and the banter between the lead and the emcee is just pure hilarity – they’ve obviously known each other for a long time. If you’re a fan of this band, then you need to listen to this! I may have just been convinced to buy their (his, really) new album!

KCRW’s Bookworm: John Updike (Part 2, 9/21)

I’m not a big Updike fan, but he had some really interesting things to say here. Shorter (or fewer) questions from Michael Silverblatt than usual, and he let Updike ramble on. Pretty cool talk.

Although note that I only listened to Part 2 because I either accidentally deleted Part 1 or did not manage to load it to my iPod.

KCRW’s Bookworm: David Mitchell (7/20)

Technically my iPod has now played this podcast five or six times, as I was using it to fall asleep to over the weekend. Ah, the dulcent sounds of Michael Silverblatt’s voice…

Anyway, as you should know if you read my most important web postings, “Black Swan Green” is one of the best (if not THE best) books I’ve read thus far this year. David Mitchell was very enjoyable to listen to. He seems very meek and British, yet willing to laugh.

Some of his favorite authors: Charles Dickens, Dostoevsky, Ursula LeGuin (oh, I used to read TONS of her…). Also mentions specifically Fournier’s “The Wanderer”.

Some neat moments when Mitchell and Silverblatt discuss the magic of life, of love, and of death.

Wait, Wait… June 18th edition (someday I will catch up).

The usual round-up of hilarity and information.

The Vermont Barter system: “I’ve got burlap, you’ve got granola.”

Phil the Spokessore. Oh my buddha*, too funny.

And the celebrity guest was Calvin Trillin, “the Susan Lucci of the Poet Laureate” world. Very, very humorous segment.

*Just a little shout-out to yankeefrog DWoo! 🙂

KEXP: Band of Horses (7/7).

Very little miscellaneous chit-chat. Lots of tunes.

I already liked them but listening to this made me want to go back and listen more. And should that not be the goal of a performance podcast?

They may wind up one of my favorite bands of the year!

Wait, wait… 6/11 edition. My question to you is, which is more mortifying?

Accidentally singing outloud (along w/ your iPod) on the El? Or laughing out loud so hard (also on the El) that you almost fall over (out of your seat!), due to the podcast you are listening to?
Here are some moments for you:

  • Peter Segal(sp?): “First a note to our troops serving overseas. We were alarmed to read this week that Armed Forces radio might be cutting down on their talk radio offerings, including NPR, because surveys show that younger service members really don’t care for it. Guys, gals, you’re making a mistake. Someday this war will be over, and then you’ll be back home, and you’ll be at a cocktail party. And some attractive person is going to say “I’m really interested in traditional Appalachian* quilt making, do you know anything about it?” And then where’re you gonna be? The military trains you for war, we will train you for chat.”
  • Paula Poundstone discussing how she had been searching for [the Iranian dude whose name I can’t remember with the $25 million bounty on his head. And I couldn’t spell it even if I could remember it].
  • Talking about a Republican claiming that being anti-gay marriage is a civil rights issue (I think it was the new White House spokesman). Wait wait’s comment: “Gay marriage is a civil rights issue like prohibition was a happy hour issue.”
  • Paula on the dichotomy “Gay Republicans”. “What is a Gay Republican? Do they beat themselves up in parking lots?
  • The segment on airbags for the crotch (on scooters). Too funny. Before it was clear they were talking about scooters rather than cars, Paula: “Am I driving wrong?”
  • The producer of the Aristocrats’ mother’s standard compliment for something she actually didn’t like: “I just don’t know where they get the energy!
  • The fact that he (producer of the Aristocrats) has obtained the film rights for the Japanese kid’s book “Everybody Poops.”
  • Jessica Simpson’s question to Pamela Anderson when they met recently: “How did you run so slow during the opening scenes of Baywatch?” Ah ha ha ha ha ha ha…………

I LOVE this podcast (even though I am obviously listening to it about a month behind! Pathetic being that it only comes out once a week!). And from a girl who never reads the paper or watches the news, that is very high praise for what is really a news quiz show!
*Which I would pronounce “App-a-laesch-an” but he pronounced “App-a-latch-ee-an”,

An Afternoon (and then some) with Leonard Lopate.

6/12 episode: Mark Bowden “Guests of the Ayatollah”

I loved, loved (LOVED) Bowden’s earlier book “Black Hawk Down.” So I knew it could be dangerous listening to this podcast. Indeed it was as I felt the need to swing by the bookstore on the way home and buy the new book despite its hefty size and cost (hardback). Don’t know when I’ll read it because it’s certainly too heavy to carry on the El! Anyway, it’s a flash back to the Iran hostage situation of the….70s? Lots of neat information about Carter and the realities of the situation that obviously people couldn’t see at the time.

Funny quote from the stand-in interviewer: at one point he was saying how it’s always been a Republican criticism of Carter (and the Democrats in general) that they didn’t know how to lead these wars and were just going out into the desert and bungling things. And he followed that with “Increasingly going out to the desert and bungling things is looking more like a bipartisan effort…” INDEED.

6/13 episode: Andy Revkin “The North Pole Was Here”

This guy must be a Republican. A few of the things he had to say made sense. A few were outright wrong. And he made a big point of positioning himself as an alternative to Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth” film. The thing Revkin doesn’t seem to understand is even IF the effects of climate change are further off than ALL scientists think (again he pretends there are more scientists in disagreement than is reality), NOW is NOT too early to start fixing them. Yes, this is the world we are leaving our children and grandchildren, as he points out, so WHY would we want to WAIT and force them to fix it starting from a worse place than we already are? How is that a feasible answer? Obviously I disagree.

6/15 episode: A Public Defender in the South Bronx:
David Feige “Indefensible”

This was a very interesting interview. But Feige was sometimes too glib for me. Any REASONABLE (non Republican) person can understand the fact that even if someone is a rapist, murderer, etc., does not necessarily stop them from being an interesting, intelligent person that if you were, say, their public defender, you wouldn’t need to HATE and DETEST them despite their crimes. But he constantly answered the question very glibly with “I know this will sound weird to listeners, but…” and never taking a second to actually explain it. His book sounds good, but I couldn’t read it if it was full of that same tone. He has been involved in some interesting alternative approaches to defense/crime intervention and those all sound like quite laudable efforts.

6/21 episode: Anthony Bourdain “The Nasty Bits”

I haven’t tried any of Bourdain’s fiction, it just doesn’t attract me, but I loved both “Kitchen Confidental” and “A Cook’s Tour”. This book sounds just as good. Bourdain is unremittingly unapologetic and is obviously having a great time touring the world and eating all kinds of crazy stuff I would never be able to digest!

6/23 episode: The Future of Human Cloning:
Ian Wilmut “After Dolly”

I don’t have much interest in the topic but Wilmut was pretty intriguing to listen to and not just because of his soft Scottish accent. And isn’t it always humorous to listen to people speak from a scientific view about things which other people can only talk about from a very moralistic and completely nonscientific place?

6/26 episode: Japanese American Soldiers in WWII:
Robert Asahina “Just Americans”

This was an amazing interview, and I’m certainly interested in reading Asahina’s book. I was interested not only because of my inherited obsession with military history (thanks, Dad) and the disenfranchised, but also because Mariko’s dad was put in an interment camp himself! They talk not just about the Japanese Americans in the camp but those who were forcibly (and voluntarily) drafted and their efforts as a unit (they and the African-American unit did some amazing things, particularly on rescue missions, and were two of the most (if not the two most, I forget) decorated units after the war and NOT because of their race, I can guarantee you that).

6/27 episode: From Blockbusters to Bombs: Peter Bart “Boffo!”

You’d think I’d have enjoyed this a bit more, given the movie obsession. It was OK. I did enjoy some of the stuff about things that were supposed to be bombs becoming cult hits and stuff about the money aspect. Studios and their creative accounting will never cease to amaze me. Did you know Tom Cruise will likely make $60 million-$80 million for MI3 and the studio will likely make…NOTHING. He’s got them all fooled clearly as that was not a $60 million performance. Why would they even agree to make his movies, given his back-end deals plus the upfront cost of making them? Idiots. (Not that I didn’t enjoy it, which I did, but great ($60 million-worth) art it was not.)