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Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Antibalas, Beauty is Embarrassing, and Brent Weinbach

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Martin Perna
Guests: 
Jordan McLean
Guests: 
Wayne White
Guests: 
Neil Berkeley
Guests: 
Alex Zalben
Guests: 
Brian Heater


A panel from Gabrielle Bell's The Voyeurs

Comics with Alex Zalben and Brian Heater

Brian Heater and Alex Zalben return with more of their favorite comics. Brian recommends Gabrielle Bell’s collected diary comics in The Voyeurs. Alex Zalben suggests you check out The Manhattan Projects: Volume 1, which begs the question -- what if the creation of the atomic bomb was a cover for even more sinister and weird activities?

Brian Heater is the founder of indie comics site The Daily Cross Hatch and the new comics contributor at BoingBoing. Alex Zalben writes about comics for MTV Geek and hosts NYC’s Comic Book Club Live. He’s also currently Kickstarting a new mystery comic called Detective Honeybear.

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The Afrobeat Stylings of Antibalas with Martín Perna and Jordan McLean

The Nigerian band leader Fela Kuti had a vision for a new kind of music that would synthesise traditional African rhythms, highlife and pop music and American jazz and funk. He decided to sing in pidgin English, so the music could be understood and enjoyed throughout Africa. The music became known as afrobeat, and Fela is widely celebrated as a pioneer of the form.

Martín Perna and Jordan McLean continue in Fela’s tradition with their NYC-based afrobeat orchestra Antibalas. Perna founded the band in 1998 and was joined by lead trumpeter McLean and a host of other musicians to create a sound reminiscent of both Fela’s Africa 70 and Eddie Palmieri's salsa-fusion group Harlem River Drive.

Their new album is the self-titled release Antibalas.

Perna and McLean discuss the virtues of the bari sax, a pan-American sound, and the Broadway production of Fela!.

(Hear and share a longer cut of this interview with Antibalas!)


Comedian Brent Weinbach Relays Some Acting Tips

Brent Weinbach does stand up comedy, but his past records have included lots of tracks recorded without an audience -- alone, in a studio. His particular brand of weird, brooding and often dark comedy earned him an Andy Kaufman Award just a few years ago.

His new album, Mostly Live, was recorded at the Upright Citizens Brigade in Los Angeles and has more audience interaction. In fact, he gave one lucky audience member a short impromptu acting lesson.

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Punk Rock Puppets, Southern Roots and Pee-wee with Wayne White and Neil Berkeley

Wayne White's name may not ring a bell with you, but his artwork likely would. You may have been of the age to regularly watch Pee-wee’s Playhouse on Saturday mornings in the late 1980s and early 90s, when he designed sets and puppets for Pee-wee’s amazing and kitschy playhouse. Or maybe you’ve seen the visually striking music videos he worked on for The Smashing Pumpkins and Peter Gabriel. Eschewing the idea that people should “do one thing, and do it well,” White has experimented throughout his career with animation, puppetry, set design and fine art.

Neil Berkeley befriended White when they worked together in design and wanted to showcase White's cultural impact. He’s made his directorial debut with a documentary about White’s life and artwork called Beauty is Embarrassing.

White and Berkeley talk to us about deconstructing puppetry, White’s Southern roots, and the backstage world of Pee-wee’s Playhouse.

Beauty is Embarrassing is in select theaters nationwide and rolling out throughout the fall; you can find a theater near you on the film’s site.

BONUS AUDIO: Hear a longer cut of this interview, with more talk about White’s childhood influences and puppetry inspiration HERE!


The Outshot: LiveLoveA$AP

Self-released mixtapes often end up consisting of the dregs of an artist's work. If you’re looking for a mixtape that’s carefully crafted, Jesse suggests LiveLoveA$AP by A$AP Rocky.

(Embed or share The Outshot: LiveLoveA$AP)

Is there a mixtape that’s stuck with you? Jump over to the MaxFun forum and suggest it as your own Outshot.

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Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Ice-T, Greta Gerwig, Aaron Freeman and The Low Times

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Ice-T
Guests: 
Greta Gerwig
Guests: 
Aaron Freeman
Guests: 
Maggie Serota
Guests: 
Daniel Ralston


Music Recommendations from the Low Times

This week's pop pundits, Daniel Ralston and Maggie Serota, come care of The Low Times Podcast (co-hosted by Tom Scharpling of The Best Show on WFMU). Daniel is enamored with Caitlin Rose's alt-country spin on The Arctic Monkeys' tune "Piledriver Waltz", while Maggie can't get enough of the infectiously poppy and deceivingly upbeat synth heartache of Lemonade's "Soft Kiss."

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Rapper, Actor and Director Ice-T on Something From Nothing: The Art of Rap

Ice-T is a rapper and actor, with more than ten albums and nearly eighty acting credits to his name. He's also one of the forefathers of west coast hip-hop. This week he adds "filmmaker" to an already diverse resume, as he makes his directorial debut with the hip hop documentary Something from Nothing: The Art of Rap, in theaters this Friday, June 15th.

Ice sits down with us to talk his desire to bring an artful appreciation to hip hop's origins and about going through his phone book to sit down with friends to discuss the craft, and to resolve the mystery as to whether or not he was a ghostwriter for an 80s rap album by Mister T.

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Aaron Freeman: The Song That Changed My Life

For much of his musical career, Aaron Freeman might have been better known to you as Gene Ween, guitarist and co-founder of the experimental rock band Ween. In May, Freeman released his first solo record, Marvelous Clouds, a collection of covers of songs by 60s poet/songwriter Rod McKuen. And just a few weeks ago, Freeman announced he was retiring the Gene Ween persona for good. This week he tells us about the song that changed his life: Bob Marley's "No Woman, No Cry".

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Actress Greta Gerwig

Greta Gerwig is an actress and filmmaker, whose starring role in the 2007 comedy Hannah Takes the Stairs put her right at the heart of the mumblecore movement. She's since gone on to leading roles in bigger indies alongside Ben Stiller in Greenberg, as well as major motion pictures like Arthur, opposite Russell Brand. The indie darling has had a particularly prominent year in 2012, with starring roles Damsels in Distress and the romantic comedy Lola Versus, both in theaters now, and a supporting role in Woody Allen's latest, To Rome With Love, due later this month.

Greta joins us to discuss her artistic upbringing in Sacramento (complete with dreams of being a ballerina), her meteoric and slightly serendipitous rise as an actress, and the way her public perception seems to change with each role she plays.

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The Outshot: History of the World, Part I

On this week's Outshot, Jesse misses the old days of pure wacky comedy insanity exemplified by the unfiltered goofiness of Mel Brooks' History of the World, Part I.

Is there a film that never fails to make you laugh like a mad man? Share the laughs on the MaxFun Forum by picking your own Outshot.

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Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Robert Glasper, Pendleton Ward, Andrew Noz and Davy Rothbart

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Robert Glasper
Guests: 
Pendleton Ward
Guests: 
Andrew Noz
Guests: 
Davy Rothbart


Andrew Noz on Rap

Blogger Andrew Noz from Cocaine Blunts kicks off this week's show by recommending some recent favorites from the world of rap -- Kendrick Lamar's 'Cartoon & Cereal' featuring Gun Play, and 'Big Beast' by Killer Mike, featuring T.I. & Bun B. For more from Noz, check out CocaineBlunts.com, or read his cover story on Kendrick Lamar for The Fader.

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Jazz Pianist Robert Glasper

Robert Glasper is a jazz pianist and the band leader of the Robert Glasper Experiment. Glasper's life in music began early, as his mother, a jazz and blues vocalist, would often bring her young son along to clubs with her, where he would watch from backstage. His music today blends classic jazz influences with soul music and modern hip-hop, forging something fresh and new out of a genre he says is in dire need of a shake-up. His new album, Black Radio, includes collaborations with hip-hop artists like Lupe Fiasco, Mos Def, as well as old friend and frequent collaborator Bilal.

Glasper sits down with us to reveal some of his more embarrassing musical influences, reflect on working alongside the late J. Dilla, and dish on what he feels is wrong with today's jazz culture.

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Found Things, with Davy Rothbart

Davy Rothbart is the editor of Found Magazine, an annual publication collecting lost letters, tests, essays and notes, all found and submitted by readers. Found put out its first issue nearly ten years ago, and Davy has been a regular guest on The Sound of Young America ever since. In his first appearance on Bullseye, Rothbart recounts the cryptic tales found within the pages of some of his favorite lost treasures, brought to him by readers on Found's national tours.

If you've found something special you'd like to send in, either digitally or by mail, visit www.FoundMagazine.com/submit.

(Embed or share Davy Rothbart’s Found Things)


Animator Pendleton Ward, creator of Adventure Time

Pendleton Ward is a writer and animator, and the creator of the Cartoon Network series Adventure Time. The show follows the adventures of Finn the boy and Jake the shape-shifting dog, through a magical post-apocalyptic Earth. It's very witty and full of humor, and is one of those rare programs that works just as well for kids as it does for adults. Pen is a born artist, who even during this interview can't help but capture his host on paper. He joins Jesse to discuss drawing as a comedic outlet, the delicate art of writing a quality fart joke, and the influence of Dungeons & Dragons on the fantastical quests of Adventure Time. The show just began its fourth season; you can catch new episodes Monday nights on Cartoon Network.

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The Outshot: BESTIE x BESTIE

For this week's Outshot, Jesse delves into the often contrived world of quirky viral videos and finds something genuinely hilarious: the web series BESTIE x BESTIE, starring Jenny Slate and Gabe Liedman. You might know Slate as a former featured player on SNL or as the writer and voice of another internet smash, Marcel The Shell With Shoes On. In BESTIE x BESTIE she and best friend Liedman take turns trying desperately to remain serious while the other does their best to make them crack. The results are often as funny as anything on the internet.

Is there a web series that tickles your funny-bone like none other? Help it go viral by sharing it on the MaxFun Forum and picking your own Outshot.

(Embed or share this Outshot on BESTIE x BESTIE)

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Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Rap Recommendations, Tim & Eric, Cartoonist Roz Chast, and God's Favorite Things

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Tim Heidecker
Guests: 
Eric Wareheim
Guests: 
Roz Chast
Guests: 
Andrew Noz
Guests: 
Seth Morris
Guests: 
David Javerbaum

This week!
Rap Recommendations: Andrew Noz schools us on some rap you may have missed, with vampire imitator and Bay Area rapper Cousin Fik’s track I Am a Vampire” and tangential Odd Future member Pyramid Vritra’s Blu Diamonds. (Embed or share this segment)

Comedy Duo Tim & Eric: Masters of the surreal, uncomfortable and gross Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim, talk to us about moving past the curated internet weirdness, working with both hugely unique but unknown performers -- like puppeteer David Liebe Hart -- and established actors like John C. Reilly. They also give us behind the scenes insight on the promotion of their newest project, Tim & Eric's Billion Dollar Movie and their unofficial support of another great cinema classic, Shrek 3. Tim & Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie is available now On Demand, and will be released in theaters on March 2nd.

Click through to listen to the NSFPR (Not Safe for Public Radio) extended cut of the interview. (Embed or share this segment)

God’s Effusions (on His Favorite Things): Did you ever stop to consider God’s favorite things? Wonder no more. Emmy award winning comedy writer David Javerbaum is the unlikely co-writer of The Last Testament: A Memoir by God. Comedian Seth Morris acts as God’s loudspeaker to bring us this excerpt. (Embed or share this segment)

Cartoonist Roz Chast: If you’ve ever read the New Yorker, you’ve likely come across one of Roz Chast’s uniquely anxious cartoons. Now, she shares with us some of her anxieties and how she puts them down with a bullet-point in her book What I Hate: From A to Z. If you’ve ever felt imperiled by sitting on the ground or a balloon’s frustratingly imminent pop -- Roz can commiserate. (Embed or share this segment)

The Outshot: Jesse helps us see the genuine emotion and delicacy Randy Newman exhibits in his songwriting beyond the film soundtracks he’s known for, in the album Sail Away. (Embed or share this segment)

You can subscribe to our podcast in iTunes or the RSS feed -- stay tuned for next week's Bullseye!

Bullseye: Rap Picks with Andrew Noz, week of January 10th

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Andrew Noz of the hip hop blog Cocaine Blunts offers his some of his favorite rap tracks right now, Gas Station from SL Jones and Kissin Pink from A$AP Rocky.

Click here for the rest of this episode!

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Andrew Noz, Pop Culture Advice, Lawrence Weschler and Chris Gethard

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Chris Gethard
Guests: 
Lawrence Weschler
Guests: 
Andrew Noz
Guests: 
The McElroy Brothers

This week! Noz's Rap Picks: Andrew Noz of the hip hop blog Cocaine Blunts offers his some of his favorite rap tracks right now, Gas Station from SL Jones and Kissin Pink from A$AP Rocky. (Embed or share)

Pop Culture Advice from My Brother, My Brother and Me: Brothers by all accounts, and experts by some – Justin, Travis and Griffin McElroy of My Brother, My Brother and Me offer offer solutions to listeners' pressing pop culture problems. This week the brothers wonder whether parents should introduce Justin Bieber, Star Wars, and Ke$ha to their children. (Embed or share)


Entering the Uncanny Valley?

Writer Lawrence Weschler: Jesse talks with a master of creative nonfiction, Lawrence Weschler, about the dangers of humans' bias toward narrative, and why the CGI faces in movies never look quite right. Weschler's newest book is Uncanny Valley: Adventures in the Narrative. (Embed or share)

Comedian and Author Chris Gethard: Comedian Chris Gethard talks about booking megastar P. Diddy at a tiny theater in New York, using both mania and depression to shape his comedy, and confronting Internet trolls in person. His new book is called A Bad Idea I'm About to Do. (Embed or share)

And The Outshot: The Civil War, reimagined in 140-character bursts. Jesse talks about one of his favorite Twitter accounts, @FakeCivilWar. (Embed or share)


You can subscribe to our podcast in iTunes or the RSS feed -- stay tuned for next week's Bullseye!

BONUS AUDIO from this week! Lawrence Weschler talks to Jesse about the incredible and unusual Museum of Jurassic Technology in LA.

Culture: Noz's Rap Picks on The Sound of Young America

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Noz

Noz runs the successful hip-hop blog Cocaine Blunts. He joins us to share the tracks he's most excited about right now.

This week's picks:
Tyler The Creator - Yonkers
Rick Ross & Meek Mill - Perfectionist
Lil B - Don't Miss The Gems
Danny Brown - Lincoln Continental

And two more, cut from the broadcast:
Waka Flocka Flame - Robot Rapper
Wiz Khalifa - Mezmorized

Hear more from Noz at Cocaine Blunts, and be sure to check out our interview with him on The Sound.

TSOYA Classics: Grind Time (October 6th, 2006)

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We continue our journey into The Sound of Young America's vast audio archive with this program from The Sound of Young America Classics.

Grammy-winning rapper Killer Mike is a native of Adamsville, Georgia, outside of Atlanta. Since debuting on the Outkast single "The Whole World" in 2001, he has emerged from the shadow of his legendary mentors, combining a ferocious delivery with lyrical density in a manner reminiscent of Ice Cube in his hey-day. He recently released "I Pledge Allegiance To The Grind," a two-CD "street album" with his crew, Grind Time Rap Gang.

Please note: we had a little phone trouble 2/3 of the way through and Mike had to go on speakerphone, apologies for any audio quality issues.



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