Episodes

Episode 119: Antonio Banderas, Old-School Candy, and Music from a Non-belieber

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This Week: The Dinner Party Download fattens up to become The Dinner Party – a cool hour of culture. Actor Antonio Banderas talks about learning to talk… jazz phenom Esperanza Spalding cues up her party soundtrack… and Rico tastes Turkish Delight. Plus, killer beer, documentaries for the doc-averse… and etiquette from Jackie Collins.

Icebreaker: Julie Feeney
Irish songstress Julie Feeney talks about a bad habit she’s slowly picked up.

Small Talk: Occupy Wish Lists and Border-line Seagal
Reyhan Harmanci, culture editor of San Francisco’s Bay Citizen, proves that even protestors have wish lists. And Texas Monthly editor Jake Silverstein reveals there’s a new lawman on the border beat… and he has a 7th-degree black belt in C-movies — excuse us — “aikido.”

A History Lesson with Booze: The London Beer Flood and “The Last Call to Porter” This week back in 1814, enormous vats of ale at London’s Meux Brewery burst, letting loose a tsunami of beer. Sound awesome? Not for the people it washed away. Hear the sobering tale, and chase it with a cocktail that won’t help you dry out.

“The Last Call to Porter,” as let loose by bartender Katie Rose of Bryant’s Cocktail Lounge in beer-soaked Milwaukee, WI:

  • 1 oz. Knob Creek Bourbon
  • 1/2 oz. Green Chartreuse
  • 1/2 oz. Benedictine
  • Porter beer

Shake up the three liquors til they’re fit to burst. Strain into a coup glass, then flood the mix with your favorite porter beer (Katie recommends Milwaukee’s own Mudpuppy Porter). Don’t drink it in a basement.

Guest List: Steve James
Steve James (Hoop Dreams) is one of the pre-eminent American documentarians. Many critics consider Hoop Dreams, James’ multi-year saga of inner city kids and basketball, one of the greatest documentaries ever made; Roger Ebert named it the best film of the 90s. James’ latest, The Interrupters, follows a group of gang interventionists in Chicago and may be the best-reviewed movie of the year. Since a fair number of folks *aspire *to watch docs – and rarely get around to it – we asked James for a quick list that’ll stir you to action.

  1. American Movie
    A hilarious cult film about an amateur director…filming an indie horror flick…to finance his great American epic.
  2. The Staircase
    A riveting verite miniseries that follows the sensational murder trial surrounding Kathleen Peterson’s death in 2001.
  3. Inquiring Nuns
    Two Chicago nuns in the late 60s ask strangers, “Are you Happy?” in this quirky film, set to an early Philip Glass soundtrack.

Etiquette with Jackie Collins
Jackie Collins has sold over 400 million copies of her novels, making her hands-down one of the most popular authors on the planet. Each of her 28 (count ‘em) books has hit the New York Times bestseller list, including her latest, Goddess of Vengeance. Jackie’s moved in many circles – from mod-era London to Warhol’s NYC to present-day Beverly Hills – and she joined us to share stories and etiquette tips (i.e. how not to act like most of her characters). Jackie tells Brendan and Rico about sexy names, what she found beneath the coats in Swingin’ London, and soda-pop benders with The Mamas & The Papas.

We’re always looking for new etiquette questions. Send them to dinnerparty@americanpublicmedia.org.

Eavesdropping: Jeanne Darst
In “Eavesdopping,” we listen in on memorable stories from new or upcoming books/records/what-have-you. This week, writer and comedienne Jeanne Darst reads an excerpt from her new memoir Fiction Ruined My Family… in which her mother solves the mystery of a missing skirt.

Chattering Class: Gary Hustwit
Filmmaker Gary Hustwit has crisscrossed the globe in search of bold and baffling trends in design. His accessible films constitute a sort of “Design Trilogy”: Helvetica picks apart the ubiquitous font, Objectified examines product design, and now Urbanized (out next weekend) tackles city planning. This week Gary schools us on the latest in urban design, so you’ve got something to talk about with the next designer you dine with.

Main Course: True Turkish Delight
With the retro candy trend heating up, Rico heads to Istanbul, Turkey to taste the 18th-century confection known as Turkish Delight. Writer and food guide Megan Clark of Istanbul Eats points him to Altan Sekerleme, where four generations of Turks have been making the stuff since the 1800s. How’s that for old-school?

Guest of Honor: Antonio Banderas
The term “Latin Lover” still dogs actor Antonio Banderas, but sneak a peak at his CV and you’ll find everything from arthouse films to action-adventures to Broadway musicals. This month, he shows his range — again — with two wildly different leads: he plays the titular kitty in the animated Shrek-spinoff Puss in Boots… and a maniacal plastic surgeon in The Skin I Live In. With the latter, he re-teams with Pedro Almodovar, the auteur who helped launch his career 20 years ago. Antonio tells Brendan about the romance of the traveling actor, his distaste for careers, and how he learned to talk.

Dinner Party Soundtrack: Esperanza Spalding
Jazz star Esperanza Spalding, who at this year’s Grammys bested Justin Bieber and Drake for the Best New Artist award, shares a few of her go-to tracks for an evening soiree: “Florcita de Amor” by Aca Seca Trio, “Twice” by Little Dragon, and “Spanish Tinge” or “A Toodle-oo Toodle-oo” by Jaki Byard.

Other Music In this Week’s Show:

The Sea & Cake – “The Argument”

Aphex Twin – “Girl/Boy Song”

Tipsy – “Liquordelic”

Johann Nepomuk Hummel – “Piano Concerto 3 Finale: Vivace” (Budapest Chamber Orch)

ZZ Top – “Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers”

Arling & Cameron – “Music For Imaginary Films”

Earlimart – “The Movies”

My Dad Vs. Yours – “Happy Wanderer”

Judy Caplan Ginsburgh – “”Manners”

Les Baxter – “The Poor People Of Paris”

“Mini Skirt”

The Free Design – “Kites Are Fun”

The Velvet Underground – “Candy Says”

Adam Ant – “Puss ‘N Boots