Before our show last week, photographer Zac Wolf stopped by to shoot some pictures of Jordan and me. He did a wonderful job. You can check out his shots on his tumblog here.
Sound of Young America contributor Andrew Noz just dropped off his top 50 rap singles of 2011. I have to admit that I look forward to this list every year.
Above is one of my favorites of the year, Pete Rock's "Roses," with Smif & Wessun and Freeway. Noz's top pick this year is a natural, N*ggas in Paris.
Ice Cube presents a defense of Los Angeles architectural aesthetics and an appreciation of Charles & Ray Eames.
Yes, Ice Cube.
Also of note: he declares traffic on the 110 freeway to be "gangsta traffic." Good to know.
Probably my favorite song by a white person.
Also: who knew that Fred Wesley toured with Van Morrison?
Yeah, you better give Fred Wesley a solo.
Thanks to The Go! Team and Memphis Industries records, we have a theme song for Bullseye! It's "Huddle Formation," and I couldn't be more excited about it.
January, people! January!
Our power was out for about 54 hours here at MaxFun World HQ, thanks to WIND SURGE LA 2011. I had to go over to my friend Adam Lisagor's house to record an edition of The Song That Changed My Life with the great Dan Deacon. Dan was a guest on The Sound of Young America a couple years ago, and his music continues to amaze and inspire me. We ended up palling around for half an hour besides the STCML interview. Class act, that Deacon.
Below is the song Dan chose, Conlon Nancarrow's "Canon X (Study No. 21)." Our piece will most likely be out next month.
I just ran across the letter I wrote to stations when I signed up with PRI almost five years ago. In honor of the close of the Sound of Young America era (and the dawn of Bullseye), I thought I’d share it here.
The great improv teacher Del Close had a maxim: “play from the top of your intelligence.” That’s what public radio means to me. Never talking down, never patronizing, always probing and discovering.
I’m 26, and I think that makes me, more or less, a member of the first generation to grow up with public radio. I don’t remember a time when I didn’t listen to “This American Life,” or “Quirks & Quarks,” or “Car Talk,” or “Fresh Air.” As the news and information public radio format reached maturity, so did I. I’m better for having had public radio as a part of my life. The values of public radio are ones that I share. I want to go in-depth. I want to be engaged in the world around me. I want to learn.
I work hard every week to make sure that “The Sound of Young America” plays from the top of our intelligence. The guests are sometimes unusual for public radio — relatively few folkies like artists on their way to house concerts or authors talking about the Middle East, and relatively more rappers and comedians — but at the heart of my show is a pretty simple idea. There’s no reason not to show a rapper the same respect we’d show a singer-songwriter as a matter of course, and there’s no reason not to have fun while we’re doing so. In other words, we mustn’t forget the “intelligence,” and we have to remember the “play.”
So that’s what “The Sound of Young America” is. Every week, an in-depth interview or two with someone I think is awesome. Maybe some comedy to lighten things up. I care more about the show than anything, and I think listeners can tell. It’s hand-crafted radio, and I hope it lives up to the ideals set by Del Close.
On the other hand, Close was also known to eat marijuana as a snack, so maybe I should find a quote from someone a little less nuts. Maybe Barbara Budd from “As It Happens”? I dunno …
Producer and Host
Nile Rodgers, recent Sound of Young America guest.