Hip hop blogger Andrew Noz joins us again this week to recommend some of his favorite tracks of the moment. What's he listening to now? Aesop Rock's ode to a haircut in Racing Stripes and Alpoko Don's stripped down track All I Know.
The Grammy-nominated jazz pianist and composer Vijay Iyer began learning classical violin at age three and started improvising on the piano only a few years later. While he studied math and physics at Yale and UC Berkeley, he couldn't stay away from music. He found himself doing academic work by day, and moonlighting as a jazz pianist in Bay Area clubs.
His music is known for its complex, pulsing rhythms and creating unusual covers of artists like Stevie Wonder, Flying Lotus, and Michael Jackson.
He talks to us about exploring rhythm with math (remember Fibonacci's sequence?), the social experience of creating and listening to music, and the idea that "music is action."
The Vijay Iyer Trio's newest album is Accelerando.
Demetri Martin is the kind of person who's obsessed with puzzles and linguistic and cultural ironies, and you've probably seen him explore those on his show Important Things with Demetri Martin. But he's usually got a big sketchpad, slides projected overhead, and a piano to riff on. He's put the theatricality aside in favor of straight ahead one-liners in this clip from his new special, Standup Comedian.
Want to learn more about Demetri Martin? Check out our interview with him about This is a Book.
Dave Hill is best known as a New York-based comedian, but he's dabbled in a lot of things. He's interviewed fans of Chick-Fil-A for This American Life, lived the life of a frontman for a semi-successful rock band (they were big in Japan), and even had a job as a pedicab driver for a few days.
One of his trademarks is making himself and others uncomfortable during a performance, whether he's asking inane or (alternately) inappropriately suggestive questions in his man-on-the-street interviews, performing stand up or hosting his talk show The Dave Hill Explosion. He mines a number of uncomfortable situations in his recent book of essays, Tasteful Nudes: ...and Other Misguided Attempts at Personal Growth and Validation.
He talks to us about how being a rock musician made him realize he loved comedy, and how he ended up performing at Sing Sing for maximum security felons. This interview originally aired July 2, 2012.)
What's your favorite mashup of genres? Head over to the MaxFun forum and tell us YOUR outshot.
Blogger Andrew Noz from Cocaine Blunts kicks off this week's show by recommending some recent favorites from the world of rap -- Kendrick Lamar's 'Cartoon & Cereal' featuring Gun Play, and 'Big Beast' by Killer Mike, featuring T.I. & Bun B. For more from Noz, check out CocaineBlunts.com, or read his cover story on Kendrick Lamar for The Fader.
Robert Glasper is a jazz pianist and the band leader of the Robert Glasper Experiment. Glasper's life in music began early, as his mother, a jazz and blues vocalist, would often bring her young son along to clubs with her, where he would watch from backstage. His music today blends classic jazz influences with soul music and modern hip-hop, forging something fresh and new out of a genre he says is in dire need of a shake-up. His new album, Black Radio, includes collaborations with hip-hop artists like Lupe Fiasco, Mos Def, as well as old friend and frequent collaborator Bilal.
Glasper sits down with us to reveal some of his more embarrassing musical influences, reflect on working alongside the late J. Dilla, and dish on what he feels is wrong with today's jazz culture.
Davy Rothbart is the editor of Found Magazine, an annual publication collecting lost letters, tests, essays and notes, all found and submitted by readers. Found put out its first issue nearly ten years ago, and Davy has been a regular guest on The Sound of Young America ever since. In his first appearance on Bullseye, Rothbart recounts the cryptic tales found within the pages of some of his favorite lost treasures, brought to him by readers on Found's national tours.
If you've found something special you'd like to send in, either digitally or by mail, visit www.FoundMagazine.com/submit.
Pendleton Ward is a writer and animator, and the creator of the Cartoon Network series Adventure Time. The show follows the adventures of Finn the boy and Jake the shape-shifting dog, through a magical post-apocalyptic Earth. It's very witty and full of humor, and is one of those rare programs that works just as well for kids as it does for adults. Pen is a born artist, who even during this interview can't help but capture his host on paper. He joins Jesse to discuss drawing as a comedic outlet, the delicate art of writing a quality fart joke, and the influence of Dungeons & Dragons on the fantastical quests of Adventure Time. The show just began its fourth season; you can catch new episodes Monday nights on Cartoon Network.
For this week's Outshot, Jesse delves into the often contrived world of quirky viral videos and finds something genuinely hilarious: the web series BESTIE x BESTIE, starring Jenny Slate and Gabe Liedman. You might know Slate as a former featured player on SNL or as the writer and voice of another internet smash, Marcel The Shell With Shoes On. In BESTIE x BESTIE she and best friend Liedman take turns trying desperately to remain serious while the other does their best to make them crack. The results are often as funny as anything on the internet.
Is there a web series that tickles your funny-bone like none other? Help it go viral by sharing it on the MaxFun Forum and picking your own Outshot.
Roy Ayers performs an Afrobeat version of Everybody Loves the Sunshine that is so f'ing awesome.
I had some of the same feelings about Gil Scott-Heron's passing as Jay did. The difference, I think, is that Jay is one of the most thoughtful, brilliant cultural commentators we have, and I was busy working on this tweet about baby kangaroos .
Another segment from The Grid: a little piece I wrote recommending Knitting Factory's re-issues of some of Fela Kuti's amazing mid-70s albums. Some cool archival footage in there of Fela, too.
Jose James is an acclaimed jazz and soul singer. He has two new albums - a forward-looking, genre-hopping record called Blackmagic and a collection of piano-and-vocals standards called For All We Know. The former features collaborations with producers like Moodymann and Flying Lotus. The latter features duets with the Belgian pianist Jef Neve. James, a native of Minneapolis, lives in London, and has been championed by the influential English DJ Gilles Peterson. He talks with us about the connection between jazz and hip-hop, what one learns in jazz school, and returning to standards after years singing more contemporary fare.
Nina Simone at the Harlem Festival, held in Central Park in 1969. According to Arthur Magazine the original film has been optioned but never released (they seem think it's a race thing). It's pretty amazing.
My (African-American) aunt Claudia once joked to me that she was pretty sure when she got to Woodstock and saw all the white people that she was the only one there to see Sly. According to this great Smithsonian magazine article, this bill also featured Stevie Wonder, Sly, Mahalia Jackson and Abbey Lincoln with Max Roach, among others. I don't think calling it the "black Woodstock" is out of the question.
Click through for the rest of Nina's performance.
Meshell Ndegeocello is a singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. Her work in the early to mid 1990s presaged "neo-soul," and she continues to push boundaries today, recording everything from rock to jazz. We talk with Meshell about coming up in DC's GoGo scene, imagining the sound of the bass, and much more. Ndegeocello's most recent release is "The World Has Made Me the Man of My Dreams."
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