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Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Beth Ditto and Ernest Dickerson

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Beth Ditto
Guests: 
Ernest Dickerson

New to Bullseye? Subscribe to our podcast in iTunes or with your favorite podcatcher to make sure you automatically get the newest episode every week.


Photo: Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images

Beth Ditto on Going Solo

Beth is a singer and songwriter. She was born and raised in Searcy, Arkansas and moved to Washington State out of high school and made a name for herself as the singer in Gossip.
The band first broke through in the early 2000s, coming up with dance punk groups the Rapture, LCD Soundsystem, and Liars. But Gossip was different, they were fun, proudly queer, and female led. Gossip broke up last year, and in the wake of all that, Beth Ditto has released her first ever solo record called Fake Sugar.

In conversation with Jesse, Beth opens up about her childhood, from setting up punk shows in her small Arkansan town to her move to Olympia, Washington after high school. Beth talk about the process of creating her new solo album, and about her time fronting Gossip.

Beth's new album Fake Sugar is available now.


Photo: Jesse Thorn

Ernest Dickerson on his 1992 film Juice

Director Ernest Dickerson is best known for his 1992 film Juice which launched the acting careers of people like Omar Epps, Queen Latifah, and Tupac Shakur. But before all of that, he attended New York University for film, where he met classmate Spike Lee. When he graduated, he worked on music videos for Bruce Springstein and Anita Baker, eventually collaborating with Spike Lee on some of Lee's most iconic films. Dickerson has also spent a lot of time working on television such as The Walking Dead, Law & Order, and The Wire.

Dickerson tells Jesse what it is like navigating the film space as an African-American man. They talk about his career working on his personal projects, and his collaborations with Spike Lee.

You can buy Dickerson's Juice which turned 25 this year.

Click here to listen to Ernest Dickerson's interview on YouTube.

The Outshot: Car talk

Jesse tells us why he thinks Car Talk is the best public radio show ever. What do you think? Leave a comment if you like, but you're wrong if you disagree. Just saying!

Click here to listen to and share this hot take on Youtube!

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Margaret Cho & Whit Stillman

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Margaret Cho
Guests: 
Whit Stillman

New to Bullseye? Subscribe to our podcast in iTunes or with your favorite podcatcher to make sure you automatically get the newest episode every week.


Photo: Jesse Thorn

Margaret Cho on Growing Up Korean American, Breaking Through in Comedy and Gay Men She Loved and Lost

Margaret Cho has always found a way to make her life inform her art. With her work as a stand-up comedian, an actor and a singer-songwriter, she has used the events of her life, both good and bad, to inspire her. Whether it’s growing up as a Korean-American girl in San Francisco or breaking through the male-dominated world of stand-up comedy in the early nineties, Cho has always found a way use all of life’s experiences to create entertainment.

Cho famously co-created and starred in the first sitcom that focused on an Asian American family. All-American Girl was cancelled in its first season, but it became a part of American television history and helped lay the groundwork for sitcoms like Fresh Off the Boat. Since then, Cho has continued her standup career, and appeared in numerous film and television shows including Dr. Ken, Family Guy, Sex in the City and on 30 Rock, where in separate episodes, she played North Korean dictators: Kim Jong Il and later his son Kim Jong-un.

Margaret Cho sat down with Jesse to talk about beginning her career during the 90s comedy boom in San Francisco, growing up in a Korean immigrant family, and how the community around her family’s gay bookstore continues to touch and inspire her life.

Margaret Cho’s new album American Myth is now available on iTunes and on her website, MargaretCho.com. She's also out on tour this May and June.


Photo: Jesse Thorn

Whit Stillman on Jane Austen, the Importance of Language and Being Inspired by 'Elf'

Whit Stillman is a writer-director who makes comedies of manners. With his films Metropolitan, Barcelona and The Last Days of Disco, the director often explores the world of young upper-class adults who are struggling to find their way in the world both at home and abroad. The films were each made on modest budgets and received praise from critics; his very first film, Metropolitan, garnered an Oscar nomination for Best Screenplay.

His latest film Love and Friendship is adapted from Lady Susan, an unfinished novella by Jane Austen. The movie explores the familiar comedic tropes of Austen’s work including class, sexuality, deceit and manipulation.

Whit Stillman joined Jesse to talk about his love for Jane Austen, the importance of language in his films and how the comedy of Will Ferrell infiltrated his new period piece.

Whit Stillman’s new film Love and Friendship is in theaters this week.

A Criterion collection of his first three films (Metropolitan, Barcelona and The Last Days of Disco) are now available in special box set edition.


Photo: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

The Outshot: Draymond Green

Jesse sings the praises of a basketball scrapper who may not get all the fame, but is no less deserving of the glory.

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