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TSOYA Classics: Jeff Chang on Crack Rap (bonus audio) (January 18, 2007)

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Jeff Chang talks to Jesse about the phenomenon known in hip-hop as "crack rap."

This is bonus audio from the TSOYA Classic podcast with Jeff Chang, so enjoy!

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TSOYA Classics: Jeff Chang on Jay-Z (January 18, 2007)

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In this TSOYA classic, Jesse sits down with writer Jeff Chang. Chang won the American Book Award for his book, "Can't Stop Won't Stop: A History of the Hip-Hop Generation."

Jesse talked to Chang about Jay-Z and his continuous contributions to hip-hop.

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Subscribe to TSOYA Classics: iTunes / Feed

Jordan, Jesse, Go! Episode 163: Officer Krupke with Ask A Ninja's Kent Nichols

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Guests: 
Kent Nichols

Kent Nichols, co-creator of Ask a Ninja, joins Jordan and Jesse to discuss the Super Bowl, its commercials and movie trailers, and the successful phenomenons of the world.

Also, today is Kent's birthday, so happy birthday Kent!

Bill Carter, author of The War for Late Night: Interview on The Sound of Young America

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Bill Carter

Bill Carter is the author of two books about the politics and people of late night television, and a media reporter for the New York Times.

His most recent book is The War for Late Night: When Leno Went Early and Television Went Crazy, a behind-the-scenes look at the Sturm und Drang of the late night wars over Jay Leno, Conan O'Brien, and The Tonight Show.

JESSE THORN: It’s The Sound of Young America, I’m Jesse Thorn. My guest, Bill Carter, is the national media reporter for the New York Times. He’s also made a name of himself as a chronicler of late night television programming. His first book, The Late Shift, was a best-selling story of the battle between Jay Leno and David Letterman for the Tonight Show. His latest book, The War for Late Night: When Leno Went Early and Television Went Crazy, is the story of the improbable second act of that drama in which Leno fought it out with Conan O’Brien for that most coveted of television programs. Bill, welcome to The Sound of Young America, it’s great to have you on the show.

BILL CARTER: It’s great to be with you, Jesse.

JESSE THORN: Bill, tell me why this battle keeps happening. What is it that’s so important about this institution of The Tonight Show?

Click here for a full transcript of this interview.

Podthoughts by Colin Marshall: FilmWeek

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Vital stats:
Format: multi-critic film discussion with occasional director interviews
Episode duration: 40-50m
Frequency: weekly
Archive available on iTunes: last 20

As one of film criticism’s hands beckons me forward, its other one pushes me away. For my money — or, these days, for my internet attention — film criticism can, at its best, be one of the most interesting forms going. The conversation around film criticism, a festival of anxious hand-wringing about the profession’s current relevance and/or prospects of future existence, offers far less. Hence film criticism fans’ desperate thirst for the work of engaged, conversational, non-academic critics for whom criticism is not a sideline to a sideline, a secret pursuit during office hours, or a way to notch a byline or journal article — critics who take movies as, shall we say, serious business.

On FilmWeek’s [RSS] [iTunes] rotating panels of critics, at least several members do seem to approach their craft that admirably. Each week, the show draws a few from a pool just large enough to keep me from really having gotten to know each one’s individual personality and preferences well, but exposure to such a wide, shifting range of cinematic judgment has its own advantages. These critics, who write for everything from national newspapers to web sites whose URLs are their own names, share their takes on and debate the merits of what’s new in theaters and on DVD, from the interesting (Somewhere, White Material) to the pretty interesting (Black Swan, The King’s Speech), to that which takes breath they’ll never get back (The Green Hornet, No Strings Attached).

You’ll have noticed the KPCC logo in the image above — nothing gets by a sharp reader like you — which explains why FilmWeek though distributed as a podcast as well as a broadcast, retains a much more public-radio-y sensibility than most film podcasts. In its original context, the program runs as but a weekly segment of the Southern Californian station’s flagship show AirTalk (MiddleCaps evidently being KPCC’s house titling style). Larry Mantle, one of those quick-on-his-feet public radio guys — and a veritable gold mine of moves to steal for an aspiring public radio superstar such as myself — hosts both AirTalk and FilmWeek with that particular brand of objective-type demeanor which allows guests’ opinions to soar proud and free. (Until shot down by other guests, that is.)

The podcast’s best showcase for Mantle thus comes outside the critical segments, when he interviews filmmakers like David O. Russell and Sofia Coppola. (I’d link you up to those conversations, or to any of them, but they inexplicably go unmentioned in the RSS feed’s episode descriptions.) While somewhat rare and often way too short, they keep the criticism-centric rest of the show feeling fresh with their occasional doses of the creator’s perspective. Maybe this sounds a little daring for public radio at this moment, but let me pitch it: wouldn’t it sometimes be damn cool to hear the directors in conversation with the critics, too? I don’t mean to go all Godard on you, but the wall built between filmmaking and film criticism has come to bother me; I think it’s high time to knock some holes in it.

As film criticism on the radio goes, AirTalk delivers some of the most entertaining I’ve heard. The only qualm I can summon borders on philosophical: is it better to discuss movies systematically, criticizing everything that enters a certain width of release, or is it better to allot coverage as advocacy, devoting more time and attention to richer pictures, regardless of their public profile? This show tends to take the former route, talking about whatever’s coming out and in the zeitgeist. That can be to the good, but part of me will always wish for a radio show that doesn’t know Country Strong exists.

[Podthinker Colin Marshall also happens to be the host and producer of public radio’s The Marketplace of Ideas [iTunes], the blogger of The War on Mediocrity and the writer of The Ubuweb Experimental Video Project.]

My Brother, My Brother and Me 41: Barry Fresh

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This week's episode may lack the level of sophistication you've become accustomed to from our humble internet radio program. We suggest you remove your cumberbund and monocle before listening, lest they rocket off of your body in an act of aristocratic defiance.

Suggested talking points: Boot Knockin', Getting Polyggy With It, Scales and Fins, Goldthwait'd, Beefin', Making Number One, The Ol' N.C. Sweet Potato, 4N

Tom Scharpling's New Pornographers Video

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Our good friend Mr. Tom Scharpling, from Show Business, has created this delightful video for a little band from Canada you may have heard of. It features numerous Show Business personalities, including past Sound guests like Ted Leo, Julie Klausner, Wyatt Cenac and Todd Barry.

Enjoy it, America.

Daryl Hall, Singer, Songwriter and Producer: Interview on The Sound of Young America

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Daryl Hall

Daryl Hall, best known as the lead vocalist and co-founder of Hall & Oates, is a singer, songwriter and producer with a collection of #1 songs to his name. He spent his formative years in Philadelphia around soul singers like Smokey Robinson.

Daryl Hall and John Oates met as students at Temple University, and went on to form a best-selling musical duo with chart-toppers like "Rich Girl", "Sara Smile", and "Private Eyes".

His newest project is a web series called Live from Daryl's House of performances and collaborations with a diverse set of musicians that's included Todd Rundgren, Toots and the Maytals, Chromeo and the Neon Trees.

JESSE THORN: It’s The Sound of Young America, I’m Jesse Thorn. My guest on the show is Daryl Hall. He’s half of the legendary, chart-busting duo Hall & Oates. He sang lead and wrote or co-wrote six number one hits with the band, and had a really astonishing string of chart successes beginning in the late 1970s and running through the mid-1980s. Now he’s decided to bring the concerts to his house with a series called “Live from Daryl’s House” that features musical collaborations with artists as diverse as Smokey Robinson and Todd Rundgren. It runs live and streaming on the web. Daryl, welcome to The Sound of Young America, it’s really great to have you on the show.

DARYL HALL: Thank you, glad to be here.

Click here for a full transcript of this interview.

TSOYA Classics: UK Soul Singer Omar (January 18, 2007)

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This TSOYA classic features UK soul singer Omar. Contemporary soul singers like Erykah Badu and Bilal consistently cite Omar, along with legends like Al Green and Donnie Hathaway, as a seminal influence in their careers. He's known in the UK as the godfather of "new classic soul," and only now is his music starting to make an impact on American soil. His soul incorporates Carribean influences and the residuals of the Acid Jazz movement, and his classic sound has attracted collaborators like Common and Stevie Wonder.

Jesse talked to Omar about his influences, style, and impact on the world of soul music.

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Subscribe to TSOYA Classics: iTunes / Feed

Chuck Brown, Godfather of Go-Go Music: "The Song That Changed My Life" on The Sound of Young America

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Chuck Brown

Known as The Godfather of Go-Go, Chuck Brown created a new take on funk music in the 1970s with strong dance beats and an infectious spirit. His early hits as a guitarist and singer included "I Need Some Money" and "Bustin' Loose". He's a local legend in Washington, D.C., where go-go originated.

His new 3-disc CD/DVD set We Got This includes his first Grammy nominated song, "Love", recorded with Jill Scott and Marcus Miller.

He spoke to us about a song he considers very influential -- "Mister Magic" by the jazz-funk musician Grover Washington.

The Song That Changed My Life, by Chuck Brown

Grover Washington, "Mister Magic"

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