Flying Lotus

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Kamasi Washington & Simon Rich

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Kamasi Washington
Guests: 
Simon Rich

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Photo: Jesse Thorn

Kamasi Washington on Street Fighter II, South Los Angeles, and Touring with Snoop Dogg

Saxophonist Kamasi Washington is one of the most talented jazz musicians around. He's collaborated with Thundercat, Ryan Adams, Flying Lotus, Run the Jewels - that's just naming a handful. On Kendrick Lamar's classic "To Pimp A Butterfly," you can hear his saxophone and arranging work, too.

To define Kamasi Washington by the people he's collaborated with, however, would be doing him a disservice. He's recorded about half a dozen solo records. He's a dynamic, thrilling composer and bandleader.

If you love the work of Alice Coltrane or Pharoah Sanders, you'll hear something familiar in Kamasi's music. Like them, Kamasi writes songs from a transcendent, spiritual place. It's strange and lush. There's usually a melody that hypnotizes you. The songs run long, but just like the free jazz greats, you'll lose yourself in them.

Kamasi was born in the 80s, raised in Los Angeles, and he grew up listening to jazz classics, but also N.W.A., Marvin Gaye, and Snoop. The music he makes is eclectic. It's why his albums have ended up on so many critics' top 10 lists, and it's also why those same critics often ask whether Kamasi Washington is the one to make jazz a young person's game again.

His latest album Heaven and Earth is out now, and he's also touring North America.


Photo:Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

Simon Rich Reads from His Latest Book: Hits and Misses

Simon Rich is one of Jesse's favorite comedy writers. He started young: first as editor of the Harvard Lampoon, then, at just 23, Simon was hired as a writer on SNL. He's also written for Pixar, The New Yorker, and is the author of seven books. He created the FXX TV series Man Seeking Woman and just had another pilot picked up by ABC.

Simon hasn't even turned 35 yet.

Earlier this year he wrote a book called Hits & Misses. It's a collection of short stories - some of his funniest work to date. This week, he reads us a story called "New Client."

Click here to listen to Simon Rich read from his latest book on YouTube.

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Ellie Kemper & Flying Lotus

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Ellie Kemper
Guests: 
Flying Lotus

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


Photo: Jason Merritt / Getty Images

Ellie Kemper on her career as a comedic actress, wrestling with privilege, and her Emmy-nominated role in Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

[r] Ellie Kemper first achieved breakout success as Erin Hannon on the NBC sitcom The Office. Her turn as the happy-go-lucky office receptionist was popular with fans and critics alike and showcased her gifts as a comedic actress. Those talents have since been leveraged on the big screen in box office hit films like Bridesmaids and 21 Jump Street.

Now she plays the title character in the Netflix Original series, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, a role for which she recently earned her second straight Emmy nomination for Best Comedy Actress. Despite the show’s dark premise -- Kimmy Schmidt was held captive by a cult leader for years in an underground bunker -- the show plays it all for laughs as she tries to rebuild her life in New York City. Her years of isolation have left her ignorant of many cultural touchstones, but she pushes through with an enthusiasm and tenacity that is both endearing and hilarious.

Ellie joined Jesse in 2016 to talk about her early experiences of living and working in New York, mining material from her time at Princeton and her self-consciousness about privilege.

Catch all the episodes of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt on Netflix. The show was recently renewed for a fourth season.

Listen to Jesse's 2016 interview with Ellie Kemper.

Flying Lotus on his aunt Alice Coltrane, J Dilla, and more

Flying Lotus is a critically acclaimed music producer whose sound lies somewhere between progressive hip-hop and dance music. In 2010, Jesse spoke to him about his unique style and his remarkable musical lineage -- his aunt was the great jazz pianist Alice Coltrane. FlyLo also tells Jesse about how his mother convinced him to submit music to Cartoon Network's [adult swim], and the influence of the late hip-hop producer J Dilla on his music.

You can find out what Flying Lotus is up to next at Flying-Lotus.com. You can also watch his 2016 film Kuso on iTunes, or wherever else you rent your films.

Listen to Jesse's 2010 interview with Flying Lotus.

Photo: Andrew H. Walker / Getty Images

The Outshot: Remembering Phife Dawg

Jesse fondly remembers Phife Dawg of A Tribe Called Quest as a "big brother" figure in hip-hop.

Listen to Jesse's Outshot on the late rapper Phife Dawg.

The Alumni Newsletter: January 26th, 2011

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FULL SCREEN

The Sounds of VTech / Bilal Levels

The Alumni Newsletter: December 1st, 2010

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  • Paul Scheer, the embodiment of the values of MaxFun, has announced that his show National Terrorism Strike Force: San Diego: Sport Utility Vehicle, a parody of "police procedural" shows we've come to know so well, will be coming to Adult Swim next summer. Be sure to check out Paul's recent contributions to The Sound, including his reading on this show with Judd Apatow and this AWESOME piece with Seth Morris.

  • Flying Lotus produced the track "BNG" for LA rapper Blu, which now has a pretty cool new video.

  • Kyle Kinane, Chelsea Peretti, and Reggie Watts are all on Comedy Central's Hot List of 2010, which recognizes some of the up-and-coming talent in the world of comedy. Chelsea and Reggie have both appeared on The Sound in the past year and a half, and Kyle is included in our own upcoming Best of 2010 Comedy Special. Look out for it!

  • Yo La Tengo kick off their annual lineup of Hannukah shows tonight, and the speculation on their special guests begins...

  • And we just can't contain our cheers for Al Madrigal, who just announced that he's developing a sitcom with ABC revolving around a family business of running a food truck -- drawing on his own experiences of working with his parents' business.

Flying Lotus - Kill Your Coworkers

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Flying Lotus, Progressive Hip-Hop Producer: Interview on The Sound of Young America

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Flying Lotus

Flying Lotus is a critically acclaimed music producer. His sound lies somewhere between progressive hip-hop and dance music. This year he's released an LP, Cosmogramma, and an EP, Pattern+Grid World.

FlyLo talks with Jesse Thorn about how he found his aesthetic, about his Aunt, Alice Coltrane, about how his mother convinced him to submit music to Cartoon Network's [adult swim], about the influence of the late hip-hop producer Jay Dilla and more.

Flying Lotus - MmmHmmm

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Now that I've seen this, it's going to be tough to accept videos that don't have any SPACE INDIANS in them.

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