Episodes

Episode 145: Emily Blunt, Proper Partying, and SubliminalsexScience

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This week: Actress Emily Blunt explains dolphin break-ups… Rocker Andrew W.K. teaches us how to party properly… New Coke gets remixed… We graze at the Grilled Cheese Invitational… Bestselling science writer Leonard Mladinow decodes subliminal messages… A never-ending note from Jenny Lawson, a.k.a. “The Bloggess”… And Of Montreal’s schizophrenic party soundtrack. Plus, TV for dogs, the art of vinyl, and a folk-joke from duo Mike and Ruthy.


Icebreaker: Mike and Ruthy

Husband-and-wife folk duo Mike and Ruthy lament the decline of illumination. Their new album “The NYC EP” comes out this week.


Small Talk: Richard Lawson

Richard Lawson, senior writer for The Atlantic, tells us how TV’s expanding beyond the human market.


A History Lesson With Booze: New Coke and “The Pemberton”

This week back in 1985, Coca-Cola unveiled the infamous “New Coke.” It’s widely considered one of the biggest marketing disasters ever… and it may have saved the brand. Hear the tale, then sip a drink styled after Coke’s original original formula.

“The Pemberton,” as created for the DPD by Cara Laudino, bar manager at Miller Union restaurant, Atlanta, GA:

In a rocks glass, add:

  • 1 oz. rye whiskey
  • 3/4 oz. Carpano Antica vermouth
  • 1/2 oz. Fernet Branca
  • ice

Stir and top off with:

Garnish with a twist of orange peel and sip. An excellent curative for the vapors, an imbalance of humours, or “tired blood.”


Guest List: The Art of Vinyl

This Saturday is “Record Store Day” – an annual event where bands release unique, limited-run vinyl records and make them available only at select independent record stores. Lots of folks will buy the albums for the songs… but sometimes the packaging is just as impressive. Here’s a list of artful vinyl from Brooks Rice, an art appraiser by day and a record collector by night:


Guest of Honor: Emily Blunt

Actress Emily Blunt first made a splash in the U.S. as the neurotic senior assistant to Meryl Streep’s character in “The Devil Wears Prada.” She’s since starred in films like “Young Victoria” and “The Adjustment Bureau.” Her latest movie – the second of four coming out this year – is the Judd Apatow-produced comedy “The Five-Year Engagement.” It hits theaters on Friday. Brendan met up with Emily in LA and they talked about teenage memories, salmon (over)fishing, and dolphin break-ups.


Eavesdropping: Jenny Lawson a.k.a. “The Bloggess”

Jenny Lawson a.k.a. “The Bloggess” has charmed and infuriated millions with her blog of the same name. This week she published her first book, “Let’s Pretend this Never Happened (A Mostly True Memoir),” which chronicles her lifetime of embarrassment. We overhear Jenny reading a dinner-party-worthy excerpt about a (mostly true) kitchen catastrophe.


Main Course: Grilled Cheese Invitational X

Next weekend marks the 10th anniversary of the Grilled Cheese Invitational – the largest grilled cheese cooking contest in the country. It’s being held at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena and they expect over 7,000 spectators. Though it’s now very much a family event, the GCI started as a house party with a cooking competition as the main event. Back in 2005, an intrepid cub reporter named Rico Gagliano covered the 3rd annual Invitational, when it was just starting to attract crowds. Let’s do the grilled cheese time warp.


Etiquette: Andrew W.K.

With songs like “It’s Time to Party,” “Party Party Party,” and (yup) “Party Hard,” you might not be surprised to learn that musician Andrew W.K. is extremely enamored of partying. But his definition of “party” isn’t limited to the standard boozy variety… and the jovial rocker wears a bunch of other (party) hats: improvisational pianist, children’s TV show host, and motivational speaker. He offers up some advice about baby , math, and email. (Andrew’s currently touring to celebrate the 10th anniversary of his album I Get Wet.)


Chattering Class: Leonard Mlodinow

Cal Tech professor Leonard Mlodinow’s work touches on human behavior, neuroscience, physics – and all points in between. He’s written several popular science books, including “The Drunkard’s Walk” and “The Grand Design,” which he co-authored with colleague Stephen Hawking. His latest (out this week) is “Subliminal: How Your Unconscious Mind Rules Your Behavior.” Brendan asks him for a quick explanation of emotional painkillers, touchy-feely attraction, and other forces operating within all of us…without our knowledge. (Catch Leonard at this weekend’s L.A. Times Festival of Books, and other tour stops later.)


Dinner Party Soundtrack: Of Montreal’s Kevin Barnes

Kevin Barnes fronts the beloved indie band Of Montreal, known for its smart, unpredictable and psychedelic sounds. This weekend for Record Store Day, they release a split 7” single with the band Deerhoof, and they’re touring their new LP “Paralytic Stalks.” Kevin shares a “sexy and schizophrenic” Dinner Party Soundtrack.

Other Music in this week’s show:

The Sea & Cake – “The Argument”

Aphex Twin – “Boy/Girl Song”

Tipsy – “Liquordelic”

The Cure – “Primary”

Miracle Legion/The Smiths – “Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want.”

Eric Clapton – “Cocaine”

37th Old Time Fiddler’s Convention – “Instrumental”

Velvet Underground – “Venus In Furs”

The White Stripes – “Seven Nation Army”

Wynton Marsalis – “Big Butter and Egg Man”

Roni Size – “Brown Paper Bag”

Andrew W.K. – “Party Hard”

Andrew W.K. – “Seeing the Car”

Stereolab – “Tickertape of the Unconscious”

Marvin Gaye – “Distant Lover”

Motley Crue – “Live Wire”

Krzysztof Penderecki – “Threnody to the Victims of Hiroshima”