Bethlehem Shoals, Silverbird 5000 and Big Baby Belafonte are three of the authors of the baskeball blog Free Darko. Their distinctive perspective on the game is reflected not just on the blog, but also in their first book, "The Macrophenomenal Pro Basketball Almanac." They claim in our interview, among other things, that they started watching basketball because it went so well with their interest in Ornette Colemen records. It's certainly the only basketball guide that features an elaborate visual metaphor based on the Aztec calendar.
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The Whitest Kids U Know are a sketch comedy group based in New York City. They won top sketch honors at the 2006 Aspen Comedy Arts Festival, and rode a weekly gig in a NYC club to their own sketch series, which now airs on IFC. Sam Brown, Timmy Williams and Darren Trumeter talk about the trials and travails of professional sketch comedy and what it means to "do whatever you want."
Jeffrey Tambor has spent more than 30 years as an actor. A native of San Francisco, he started in television in the 1970s, and his career has followed a simple track since: he plays important authority figures (doctors, lawyers, judges) and self-important pseudo-authority figures. He portrayed the sweet, sad, hilariously self-centered sidekick Hank Kingsley on The Larry Sanders Show in the 1990s, and this decade played the patriarch of the Bluth family on Arrested Development. In addition to his work as an actor, he's also a teacher, having worked for many years alongside late legendary acting teacher Milton Katselas. He teaches regular classes and workshops in Los Angeles, including one March 21st at the American Film Institute.
Miss Piggy is an internationally-celebrated model, actress and now author. Her new book is "The Diva Code." Since her first appearance on television's The Muppet Show, she's appeared in dozens of film and television projects, and she took the time to speak with us about her life, career, and dealing with frogs (and men).
Jenna Fischer is an actress best known for her role as Pam on the hit NBC sitcom The Office. She's also starred in several films, including Blades of Glory and Walk Hard. She talks with us about dreaming of glamour growing up in St. Louis, and getting her big break -- the role of Pam -- by focusing all her ability on being un-glamorous.
Comedian Sean Cullen is a fixture of the comedy scenes in both Los Angeles and his native Canada. He's been seen on Last Comic Standing and in his own Comedy Central special. He also hosts a radio program for the CBC. Sean sang for us on the less-than-popular lyrical subject of farming.
Zion I are an Oakland-based hip-hop group known for producer Amp Live's diverse influences and emcee Zumbi's thoughtful rhymes. They performed some memorable songs for the crowd at Cobb's, including the Bay Area anthem "The Bay" and "Antenna" from their new album "The Takeover," which is in stores now.
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If you enjoyed this show, try these:
Tom Ammiano Live in SF
Jello Biafra Live in SF
Zach Rogue of Rogue Wave Live in SF
Tom Ammiano was a San Francisco schoolteacher, standup comic and gay activist before becoming the state of California's first gay school board member. He went on to become president of the San Francisco school board, and later president of the city's board of supervisors. Now he represents San Francisco in the California state assembly. He's never stopped performing comedy, and is considered one of the fathers of San Francisco's still-thriving queer comedy scene.
We spoke with Ammiano during our live show at SF Sketchfest in San Francisco.
We continue our journey into The Sound of Young America's vast audio archive with this program from The Sound of Young America Clasics.
In this episode Tom Scharpling, star of The Best Show on WFMU, takes over! Also included are two tracks from Tom's new cd "Scharpling and Wurster.".
This week, we're joined by punk rock and free speach legend Jello Biafra. As the former frontman of the seminal punk group Dead Kennedys, Biafra fused political agitprop with humor, changing the face of punk rock. He also ran for mayor of San Francisco, gaining thousands of votes with a platform that included a requirement that businessmen downtown wear clown suits and that policemen be elected. Since his time with the DKs, he's become a free speach leader, travelling the country giving spoken word performances. He's also the founder of Alternative Tentacles Records.
We spoke with Biafra during our live show at SF Sketchfest in San Francisco.
Betty Davis is a legend of soul and funk music. The one-time wife of Miles Davis introduced the jazzman to Jimi Hendrix, Sly Stone and the broad world of electric music, leading him to create "Bitches Brew." She recorded three albums of her own in the 1970s, full of raw, sexy, outrageous funk. The first two, "Betty Davis" and "They Say I'm Different" have been re-released by the Seattle label Light in the Attic Records.
Davis left the music industry in the late 1970s, and has been completely absent from the public eye since -- at one point, a fan had to track her down in the suburbs of Pittsburgh to get her $40,000 in songwriting royalties.
This is her first radio interview since her performing days.
You might also enjoy these past programs:
Soul Sides with Dr. Oliver Wang
Southern Soul: Devin the Dude and Stax Records (MP3)
The College Years: Swamp Dogg
Our intersititial music is provided by Dan Wally