Bullseye

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Rosie Perez

| 0 comments
Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Rosie Perez

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: Jerod Harris/Getty Images

Rosie Perez on her groundbreaking career

Rosie Perez is one of the most fascinating people we've had on Bullseye!

She's had truly iconic roles in films like White Men Can't Jump and Do The Right Thing, where she was introduced with an electrifying opening credits scene that is still talked about to this day. She was nominated for an Academy Award for her role in 1993's Fearless where she played a young woman dealing with guilt and trauma following a deadly plane crash and she's performed on stage and screen in countless other projects.

She's been a host on ABC's The View, and co-founded the Urban Arts Partnership—a long-running New York nonprofit that works in education and the arts. She's served as Grand Marshal for the International Boxing Hall of Fame— make no mistake, she knows her stuff— and as if all of that weren't enough, she was a powerhouse choreographer for In Living Color where she helped introduce hip hop acts like Heavy D to the mainstream.

A native of Bushwick, Brooklyn, she grew up in a convent, overcoming abject poverty and emotional abuse. She got her first big break on Soul Train as a dancer and was one of the first to bring a hip hop style of dancing to television back when most were still doing the hustle.

Rosie chats with Jesse about surviving her difficult childhood, living with PTSD and why she'll always have a soft spot for the suburbs. Plus, she'll tell us why she prefers the New York hustle and bustle over sunny Los Angeles. Rosie speaks with us from the heart and we're so happy to have her on the show.

You can catch Rosie in the much-anticipated Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn in 2020 but in the meantime go back and watch some of her past performances like her turn as a crooked cop in Pineapple Express and her work on TBS's darkly comedy Search Party where she steals every scene that she's in.

You can also click here to support her non-profit, Urban Arts Partnership.

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Tobacco

| 0 comments
Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Tobacco

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: Goaliedudegreg / Wikimedia Commons

Electronic musician and producer, Tobacco on the early days of Black Moth Super Rainbow, and the latest album Panic Blooms

Tobacco is the nom de guerre of electronic musician and composer Tom Fec. Tom also founded the music collective Black Moth Super Rainbow. If you've seen HBO's Silicon Valley then you've heard some of his stuff – his track Stretch Your Face is featured as the shows theme song.

Tobacco is probably best known as the enigmatic figure behind the musical group Black Moth Super Rainbow. Their music is often categorized as psychedelic rock.

The music is kind of dirty and unsettling. It's made with a ton of old synths, tape distortion. Plus, a lot of weird, processed vocals. It's dark, beautiful and even when you can't quite understand the obscure lyrics there's a lot of feelings there.

Tobacco opens up about the early days of Black Moth Super Rainbow. He'll tell us about some of his first synthesizers, and love of Aphex Twin and Boards of Canada. It's often been noted that members of the band enjoy their privacy, and perform in masks – Tobacco explains the secrecy behind many of the members. Plus, why the latest Black Moth Super Rainbow album Panic Blooms allowed him to open up about depression.

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Freddie Gibbs

| 0 comments
Bullseye with Jesse Thorn logo
Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Freddie Gibbs

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:Jessse Thorn

Rapper Freddie Gibbs on Bandana, his new album with the legendary producer Madlib.

Before Freddie Gibbs ever dreamed of becoming a rapper, he was working at a shoe store in his hometown of Gary, Indiana. It's a rust belt town, an hour outside of Chicago. It also happens to be the home of Michael Jackson and the Jackson 5.

Gary's a rough place these days. Over the last 6 decades it's hemorrhaged residents, shut down schools, fought a growing crime rate and poverty. Freddie was, like a lot of kids at that time, faced with a future that seemed bleak, searching for an escape. His outlet was in athletics. He was quite good. But like a lot of kids in his neighborhood, he had a hard time staying out of the streets.

Music would become another escape hatch. Gibbs found out a couple of his friends had started making records, they even had a studio in town. So Freddie started hanging out there and pretty soon he wanted to be a part of it even though he wasn't exactly sure what that would look like. Would he become a producer? A DJ? Maybe a manager? Being an MC literally never occurred to him.

It wasn't until Freddie was a grown man that he learned he had a gift for rhyming, a sense of rhythm, and a voice that commands your attention. Freddie raps about the streets. About the time he spent there, about the friends he knows who still are. About the friends he lost. If there's a guiding theme in Gibbs' music - it's pain.

A few years back, his career took an interesting turn: he started collaborating with Madlib, a producer and MC from California. A guy who makes impressionistic, kind of strange beats known more for working with artsier, weirder MC's like MF Doom or Talib Kweli.

The result was Piñata, a record where two very different artists thrive in their own element. It probably shouldn't work, but it does. The music's strange, kind of beautiful. Freddie still raps about the streets. There's still that same pain there. It just hits you harder.

The pair have a new album called Bandana, and it's really great.

Freddie x Madlib BANDANA from Kenny Greene Jr on Vimeo.

Gibbs joins Bullseye and reflects on his upbringing, molding his rhyming style with Madlib's more eclectic beats, making music while on "daddy duty" and why he starts off every live show with a prayer backstage. He also talks to us about a very trying time in his life. Plus, Jesse and Gibbs talk Scarface. The rapper, not the 1980s Al Pacino remake.

Check out Freddie Gibbs on tour throughout Europe this fall.

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Joel Kim Booster

| 0 comments
Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Joel Kim Booster

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: Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for New York Magazine

Joel Kim Booster on comedy and acting

Joel Kim Booster is an actor, comedian and writer who has risen in the comedy scene in the last decade. His humor is satirical with a bold confidence that knows when vulnerability is preferred. Joel draws a lot of that vulnerability from his own upbringing. He's Korean-American. He was adopted and raised by a white family in suburban Illinois. His upbringing was conservative and very, very religious.

Growing up home-schooled until the age of 16, Booster would say he lead a pretty sheltered life until young adulthood. It helped, at times, to shield him from some of the more insidious forms of bigotry that could befall a Korean-American gay kid living in a predominately white and abundantly evangelical Christian Midwestern town.

Joel's written for Billy on the Street, Problematic with Moshe Kasher and Netflix's Big Mouth. And as a standup, he's appeared on Conan, Comedy Central's @Midnight and more. These days he's starring alongside Kal Penn in the brand new upcoming NBC sitcom Sunnyside.

Joel talks to Bullseye about his experience growing up in an evangelical household, life lessons through the lens of The Backstreet Boys and how doing stand-up allowed him to find his own lane in comedy. And then challenge it! Plus, he talks about how a changing comedy scene is making room at the table for Asian comics like new Saturday Night Live cast member Bowen Yang.

Put the kids to bed and pick up Joel's album Model Minority here. It's really good.

You can catch him on Sunnyside later this month on NBC.

This interview originally aired in September of 2018.

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Dev Hynes of Blood Orange

| 0 comments
Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Dev Hynes

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

Dev Hynes of 'Blood Orange' on his career in music and collaborating with other artists

Dev Hynes is easily one of the most interesting musicians around today. He's worked with Mariah Carey, Carly Rae Jepsen, A$AP Rocky, Kylie Minogue and many others as a producer and/or writer. He's also the man behind Solange's breakout hit Losing You.

Dev's been making music of his own for over ten years now, as well. First under the name Lightspeed Champion and then, starting in 2011 as Blood Orange. His sound is unique. Ethereal. Gritty. Melancholy. Every track seems to reinvent the wheel. Prince, Brian Eno, and Sade provide sonic inspiration. His breakthrough album, 2016's Freetown Sound, made a bunch of year end lists. So did his followup - last year's Negro Swan.

His latest release is a mixtape called Angel's Pulse.

Dev joins Bullseye to talk about his childhood in Essex and finding an escape from school bullying by playing soccer.

He discusses his creative process and how he creates from his imagery and moods. Dev talks to us about learning to shred on guitar to get as good as those talented Heart sisters. Plus, what's it like to wake up to 4 missed calls from Diddy.

Check out Blood Orange on tour this year.

This interview originally aired in October of 2018.

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Jay Leno

| 0 comments
Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Jay Leno

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

Jay Leno on the late night wars, and spending decades on The Tonight Show, and Jay Leno's Garage

We're joined by one of the biggest TV hosts in the history of TV hosts: Jay Leno! He'll chat about his career that spans almost 45 years.

He's been spending his time in what could be his retirement working on his TV show for CNBC called Jay Leno's Garage. The show is in its fifth season. It's a lot of fun, especially if you're really into weird , old-school cars. He's still a disarming interview, still charming and still quick on his feet.

By his own admission, Jay says he never got much love from critics. He got cast, more or less, as the villain in the late night battles with Letterman and Conan. He'll open up about those late night wars in this in-depth interview.

Jay also reflects on his childhood and how that's influenced his comedy. From sleeping in alleys on the streets of New York, to hosting The Tonight Show for decades. It's truly a remarkable story, and we hope you'll join us.

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Stuart Murdoch of Belle and Sebastian

| 0 comments
Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Stuart Murdoch

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: Julio Enriquez for Flickr Creative Commons

Belle and Sebastian founder Stuart Murdoch on making 'Indie Pop'

As founder of the indie-pop band Belle and Sebastian, Murdoch has an affinity for popular music of the past. The Brit-pop movement of the 1980s or the sunshiny American pop of the 1960s are some of his favorite genres. The 1980s were a great time for the musician. He had little interest in creating music as a kid outside of a few piano lessons and recitals. Then there was the occasional DJ set during his formative college years. Still, being a spectator of music was very much a part of his life.

Around the beginning of the 1990s, though, that changed. Murdoch started to feel exhausted and sore pretty much all the time. He couldn't concentrate. Sleep would come, but it wouldn't help. He'd come down with chronic fatigue fatigue syndrome, also known as myalgic encephalomyelitis or ME. Murdoch dropped out of school, stopped running track, stopped DJing. At home, he started writing songs on the piano. And on the advice of his doctor, he took a class for unemployed musicians.

There he met Stuart David, and the music they made together eventually became Belle & Sebastian.

Since their debut, Belle and Sebastian records have made it on literally hundreds of top ten lists. Their second album, 1996's If You're Feeling Sinister, is routinely called one of the best albums of the 90s.

These days Murdoch still fronts the band and still writes music, he's got a wife and kids and through all that, he still deals with chronic fatigue.

The band is back with a new album. It's the original soundtrack to Days of Bagnold Summer. It features a breathtaking new track, Sister Buddha.

Murdoch joins Bullseye to talk about retro pop music, how meditation changed his music and songwriting. Plus, Jesse and Stuart talk about the great game of baseball. If you didn't know, Stuart's a Mets fan.

If you're traveling in Europe this fall, click here for Belle and Sebastian's upcoming tour dates.

For the rest of us, you can purchase their latest album on vinyl here.

This interview originally aired in February of 2018.

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: David Oyelowo

| 0 comments
Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
David Oyelowo

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: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

David Oyelowo on doing chase scenes with Tom Cruise and working in Hollywood

Classically-trained actor David Oyelowo has done such an amazing job perfecting his "American" accent in his roles that we sometimes forget he's from Oxford, England!

He's an incredibly versatile actor. David got his start at the Royal Shakespeare company in London. From there, he took smaller parts on British TV and in movies like The Help and Jack Reacher. You may be familiar with his work as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Ava DuVernay's 2014 film Selma. He was nominated for a Golden Globe for his portrayal of the late civil rights activist.

David's latest movie is Don’t Let Go which was just released. It's a supernatural thriller that melds elements of murder-mystery with that of a police procedural. The film premiered at this year's Sundance Film Festival. In it, David plays Detective Jack Radcliff. He's a man in a rush against time to save his family. David stars opposite fellow DuVernay alum Storm Reid.

He's quite good in it. But, then again, David's good in everything. When Bullseye talked to the actor in 2018 David had just starred in a movie that could not have been more different than an academy award nominated biopic like Selma. Starring in an action comedy called Gringo, David played Harold Soyinka. He's kind of a middle manager at a big pharmaceutical company in Chicago. The company's decided to get in on the medical marijuana business in a big way - by manufacturing a weed pill. So they send Harold to Mexico to deliver the formula.

We hope this isn't a spoiler, but things don't go as planned for Harold.

Before long he's swept into Mexico's criminal underground. He gets kidnapped. He gets shot at. He gets in a car chase with a cartel hit man. Oyelowo's character, for his part, is barely aware of what's going and spends pretty much everything freaking out. It's goofy, it's kind of dumb, and it's really funny.

Gringo is streaming on Amazon Prime.

Don’t Let Go is in theaters now.

This interview originally aired in March of 2018.

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Julio Torres on 'My Favorite Shapes,' 'SNL,' and 'Los Espookys'

| 0 comments
Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Julio Torres

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: Zach Dilgard / HBO

Julio Torres on his stand-up special 'My Favorite Shapes', 'Los Espookys' and working on SNL

Julio Torres has created some of our favorite sketches for Saturday Night Live in recent memory.

His sketches on the show are a little different than standard SNL fare. It's not the in your face humor about politics or the need for cowbell. But a little dreamy and magical.

There was the time Lin-Manuel Miranda portrayed a man named Diego who calls his mother from a phone booth in the middle of a corn field. In 2017, Ryan Gosling hosted, and Julio wrote a sketch about a man who's haunted by the Papyrus font used by the film Avatar. There's tons of great stuff. Of course, he also co-wrote one of our all time favorites – Wells for Boys.

Julio grew up in El Salvador, and spent his entire childhood there. He thought he'd end up as an architect, just like his mom. But even in El Salvador, he grew up on TV shows from the US. He was raised on the classic stuff – The Simpsons, I Dream of Jeanie, and Ally McBeal. He always kind of knew comedy was in his future.

Julio recently released his first comedy special on HBO. It's a little sideways from what you’d expect from a comedy special. Julio talks about ... his favorite shapes.

It's a bit surreal to watch. He shares his favorite shapes with the audience. The shapes are on display on a custom conveyor belt. There's a lot of glitter. That might understatement, everything is covered in the stuff. The shapes have lived lives you'd never quite expect. But really, the shapes help us learn more about Julio.

Julio is also one of the creators of the new HBO show, Los Espookys. In the show, a group of friends who turn their love of horror films into a business. They provide events for people who want to be scared. Think the gig economy for spooky events.

We're big fans of Julio Torres, and we're thrilled to share this conversation with you. He'll chat about his journey from El Salvador to working at SNL. Plus, a behind the scenes look at My Favorite Shapes and Los Espookys.

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Justin Simien

| 0 comments
Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Justin Simien

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: Jesse Thorn

Justin Simien on his hit show "Dear White People"

Director Justin Simien is the creator of the controversially-titled film Dear White People. It was later developed into a Netflix television program, now in its third season. The film, as well as the series, follows the lives of a group of black college students attending a predominantly white and fictionalized Ivy League institution named Winchester University.

Both the movie and series tackle issues of racial tensions, identity, gender, sexuality and class in the modern era. Justin leaned heavily on his own experiences attending the predominantly white institution, Chapman University, to help shape his story. Dear White People puts a talented cast and diverse group of students in the spotlight. Students who share a similar experience in the black diaspora while remaining vividly individual characters with oft-sidelined points of view. It's a story Justin knows well.

Justin grew up in Houston, Texas where he attended a performing arts program in high school. The love for film became a part of his life early on. From there, Justin attended college, a part of the first generation of "Facebook adults." There he grew even more passionate about his craft and steadfast in his vision of centering the voices of black and brown young people of color. That vision began to materialize in the late-aughts with a concept trailer he bankrolled with his own tax return. Momentum and interest grew from there and in 2014 Dear White People was released independently but not before taking home the Sundance U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award for Breakthrough Talent. Not bad for a feature film debut!

Jesse talks with Justin Simien about the intersections of the black experience, having a majority black-femme writers room and the value in meeting people where they are. Plus, Jesse and Justin discuss the impact French new wave had on the film Do The Right Thing, giving a voice to queer black experiences, late 90s cinema and why calling white people "White People" makes folks uncomfortable.

Dear White People is streaming now on Netflix.

Syndicate content