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Podcast: Cynthia Hopkins

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Show: 
Bullseye


Cynthia Hopkins is a singer, songwriter and multi-media theatrical performer. The New York Times wrote of her most recent show, Must Don't Whip Um: "a triumph of disciplined thinking, narrative fluidity and musical accomplishment. Ms. Hopkins' voice is both so delicate and emotionally forceful - part Natalie Merchant, part Madeline Peryroux - that it leaves you wondering why she has ever bothered to do anything else but deploy it." Special thanks to WNYC this week for sharing their studios with us.

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Our intersititial music is provided by Dan Wally

You might also enjoy these past interview programs:
They Might Be Giants
Hip-Hop Heads with Danny Hoch and Sway & Tech
Moustaches, Etc with Andy Daly and Richard Montoya of Culture Clash

What's your dad like?

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A Catalog of Unfinished Business by Illegal Art, from the New York Times. Note the special message, bottom left, in yellow. Doo Dah Doo Doo.

Blocked in China!

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We got a report from forum user ESLetc that China is blocking Feedburner, a service we use to track subsriber numbers and keep our podcast feeds clean.

It seems to be true. If you are in China and can't access any of our feeds, remember that you can still download shows directly from the website and blog. And let me know if there are any updates on this situation.

It was probably because of my DEEPLY CONTROVERSIAL opinions on M.I.A....

Podcast: Coyle & Sharpe Ep. 19: The Human Sugar Bowl

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In the early 1960s, James P. Coyle and Mal Sharpe roamed the streets of San Francisco, microphone in hand, roping strangers into bizarre schemes and surreal stunts. Today, their humor is a cultural touchstone for artists as varied as Henry Rollins and The Upright Citizens Brigade.

These recordings are from the Sharpe family archive, which is tended by Mal's daughter, Jennifer Sharpe. You can learn more about Coyle & Sharpe on their website or on MySpace. Their recent box set is These 2 Men Are Imposters.

This week, Coyle and Sharpe attempt to convince a passerby to become a human sugar bowl.

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Elephant Larry: TriDad

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This is one of my favorite super-structure-dependent comedy sketches ever. Watch as it bends, folds, turns in on itself and never breaks. They even have a capper!

Project Breakout Grand Finale

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Well, it's down the the finale of the Project Breakout Sketch v. Standup comedy competition. I'll be flying in to the Big Apple for the showdown, which will take place September 13th at Comix comedy club in the meatpacking district. If you want to come by, check out the show, have some drinks and meet me and the other judges, you can buy tickets online, and the promo code "PROJB" will get you five bucks off the ticket price. See you there!

Podcast: Jordan, Jesse GO!: Ep 36: The Blinding Light of Truth

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On this week's program, Jesse discusses his progressing nerdiness. Also, controversial views are espoused and defended -- if you can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen!

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Our theme music: "Love You" by The Free Design, courtesy of The Free Design and Light in the Attic Records

Brent Weinbach in Austin

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OK Austin: one of our all-time favorite comedians in the whole US of A is at Cap City Comedy Club this week, and you are under direct orders not to miss it. He's the man banned from CBS for being "too weird," the man who conducted a fart orchestra at The Sound of Young America Live in LA. He's been featured with the Comedians of Comedy at Coachella and at the Aspen Comedy Festival. He'll be there tonight through Saturday night, tickets are available here.

Another Sound of Young America Presents comedy performance!

"Phatic Discourse" and British Comedy

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I had no familiarity with the concept of "phatic discourse" before reading this fascinating piece, which relates it to the current state of British comedy. Apparently it's the everyday language we use which has no real communicative purpose, other than as social lubricant. "How are you?" for example.

The author argues that the current spate of catchphrase-driven British sketch comedy -- Little Britain, in particular -- serves as a source of this odd form of communication. Instead of being, you know, funny, the series simply offers chunks of material that we can understand and relate to, then repeats them until their real meaning is one of recognition, rather than surprise. We can repeat the catchphrases to our compatriots, having the same effect as the show.

As a thesis, it's a bit of a stretch, but it's a wonderful idea that captures some important qualities of a certain type of comedy.

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