This week: Natalie Cole sings en Espanol … Activist Ralph Nader gives etiquette advice and restaurant recommendations … Bestselling novelist Curtis Sittenfeld goes from preppy to psychic … Rogue Wave’s playlist washes over us … How National Lampoon became the center of the comedy universe … The history of the typewriter … The most excruciating test in the food/wine universe … Plus, Lightning rods, nutty jokes, and a haunting new track from David Lynch & Lykke Li.
We kick things off with a joke from author Ellin Stein, who literally wrote the book on modern comedy (well, on the godfather of modern comedy: The National Lampoon.). She amuses us more later on in the show.
John Spong, senior editor of Texas Monthly, tells us some shocking statistics about fatal lightning strikes and the hobbies that attract them.
Christopher Latham Sholes’ “literary piano” led to the 1868 invention of the typewriter - and, along with it, the QWERTY keyboard layout. Learn about some of the quirks of Sholes’ device, and then try to type the alphabet while drinking this cocktail.
Frontman Zach "Rogue" Swartz plays DJ for what he promises it will be lovely dinner party - as long as you pace yourself and enjoy, flaws and all.
Singer Natalie Cole has won nine Grammy awards and produced countless classic tunes in her four-decade career. Her newest recording, Natalie Cole en Español is her first Spanish-language record - but her dad, Nat “King” Cole released three of his own in the 50s and 60s. Natalie tells us the touching story of how her body has shaped her body of work.
Curtis Sittenfeld's new novel Sisterland lands back on bookshelves this week which follows a pair of twin sisters with psychic powers. She chats with us about staged spontaneity, not satirizing parenthood, and writing fiction that she actually makes up.
Filmmaker Jason Wise follows the process of preparing for the insanely difficult examination required to become a certified Master Sommelier in his new documentary SOMM (in select theaters, and on iTunes). He tells us how making the film taught him about the seriousness and non-BS-ness, of becoming a true “wine surgeon.”
Ralph Nader has made such a career of telling people what to do that his newest book is titled Told You So: The Big Book of Weekly Columns. The consumer advocate, frequent political candidate, commentator, and font of forthrightness gives tips on moderating political discussion, finding the best burger in Washington, DC, staying perky, and, when all else fails, sauntering over to Warren Buffet’s house.
Journalist and cultural critic Ellin Stein’s newest book, That’s Not Funny, That’s Sick: The National Lampoon and the Comedy Insurgents Who Captured the Mainstream could be called The Funny Pages. Rico gets the lowdown - and some laffs - from Ellin.
While he is best-known for creating Twin Peaks and films like Blue Velvet, all-around creative David Lynch has a new project on the horizon: his second album, The Big Dream. The record, coming out July 15, is a collection of songs he has written (and one Bob Dylan cover) - and some versions will include this special bonus collaboration with Swedish pop darling Lykke Li.
Other Music in this week's show: The Sea & Cake - "The Argument" Aphex Twin - "Boy/Girl Song" Tipsy - "Liquordelic" George Bizet - "Caprice No. 2 in C major" Cotton Jones - "Somehow to Keep it Going" Sonny and the Sunsets - "Death Cream" Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings - "How Long do I have to Wait?" Rogue Wave - "Figured It Out" Aphex Twin - "Polynomial-C" Jurgen Kneiper - "Urstromtal (The Glacial Valley)" Nat King Cole - "Adelita" Natalie Cole - "FRENESI" Nat King Cole - "Acercate Mas" Brooklyn Funk Essentials - "The Acid Jazz Test" Adeem - "Keep Em Safe" Coldplay - "God Put a Smile Upon Your Face" David Lynch and Lykke Li - "I'm Waiting Here"