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Episode 287: J.C. Chandor, Mark Duplass, Twerps

This week: Actor-writer-director Mark Duplass on brotherly love - without eye-contact ... A spicy, south-of-the-border drink trend ... Filmmaker J.C. Chandor makes art inspired by tragedy ... FM radio is invented, and we're pretty grateful ... An ex-Aerosmith roadie/sailor/journalist settles down on an unlikely farm ... Aussie rockers Twerps turn up the volume ... Latin lessons from Panda Bear ... The West Virginia town without modern technology (because of modern technology) ... And a mammoth of a story from author Thomas Pierce.


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Episode 286: Best of 2014

We are kicking off 2015 by rounding-up some of our (and your!) favorite moments from 2014. Actor Jeffrey Tambor talks parenting -- in real life and television ... Grilled cheese sandwiches fall from the sky ... Anjelica Huston will not be forgotten ... A collection of all-star etiquette wisdom from Billy Eichner, Mel Brooks, Betty Halbreich, Justin Simien, and Annabelle Gurwitch ... Jessie Ware shows us some love ... Marlon James takes us to Jamaica, Bill Nye takes us to the stars, and Greta Gerwig jumps for joke-joy.


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Episode 285: Wes Anderson, Dave Barry, and Real Estate

This Week: Filmmaker Wes Anderson on stoves that witnessed history... Humorist Dave Barry takes aim at your etiquette questions... Real Estate (the band, not the biz sector) play party DJ... Lit phenom Helen Oyeyemi gazes into the mirror, mirror... And Noah Strycker opens up his bird-brain. Plus, wild camels roaming Texas, the strangest cleanse ever, and Mac DeMarco's tuneful "Brother."


Photo: Collette Lash

Holiday Bonus: Frolic with Molly Ringwald and Friends

We're issuing you a holiday bonus — in the form of an extra podcast. We know, it's what you wanted most of all. So we've wrapped up the contents of our recent Holiday Frolic live event in Los Angeles. You'll hear an extended version of the B.J. Novak story and conversation from last week's broadcast, plus some podcast-exclusives: Etiquette (and sushi secrets) from Molly Ringwald and music from Moses Sumney and The Silver Lake Chorus.


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Episode 284: BJ Novak (live!), The Dukes of Hazzard, and Miriam Toews

A special fireside chat with writer-actor B.J. Novak, from our “Holiday Frolic” road show ... Also: Canadian author Miriam Toews' tale of two sisters... We tag along on "The Search for General Tso" ... The stars of classic 1970's “The Dukes of Hazzard” play holiday DJ for us ... Actor Joel Edgerton swims right into a punchline ... A reality show in the UAE crowns the "Prince of Poets" ... King C. Gillette's 1895 invention of the disposable razor and his against-the-grain politics ... Lizzie Post and Dan Post-Senning pop in bearing a sack full of etiquette tips for the nice and naughty ... And D’Angelo returns with "Black Messiah," his first release in fourteen years.


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Episode 283: Mike Leigh, Gina Rodriguez, Joseph Gordon-Levitt

This week: Filmmaker Mike Leigh talks about crop circles (yes, those crop circles) ... Actor Gina Rodriguez explains how "Breaking Bad" is crazier than a telenovela ... What we can learn about dictators from thier food obsessions ... A replay of the history of the replay ... Joseph Gordon-Levitt on art outside the Hollywood machine ... Lambs on the run ... And we read Dick Cavett's new book, even though he thinks that's kind of naive.


Photo credit: Brigitte Lacombe

Episode 282: Michael Cera, Nick Hornby, and Viv Albertine

This week: How Michael Cera keeps the act alive ... Viv Albertine of The Slits on punk rock conformity ... Nick Hornby reveals his secret plans for "Wild II" ... Essayist Meghan Daum is not impressed by Cronuts ... Conor Oberst serves up an eclectic dinner party playlist ... Momo dumplings migrate from the Himalayas to Queens ... The first text message ever sent ... And how a cartoon mouse got involved in an art heist.


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Episode 281: All-Food Special 2014

To celebrate Thanksgiving (and, even better, leftovers!) it's our annual All Food Special. Featuring: Perfection on a sushi plate ... Hot, spicy, and festive horseradish ... Filmmaker Jim Jarmush gets corny ... Jimmy Buffet makes an indie rocker cry ... Trendy Filipino flavors ... Obsessive food Instagramming ... A glimpse inside a restaurant kitchen ... And the 'Delicious' life of Ruth Reichl.


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Episode 280: Bryan Ferry, Aasif Mandvi, and Jessie Ware

Roxy Music rocker Bryan Ferry explains capital-A Art ... Lynne Rossetto Kasper takes a seat at our Splendid Table ... One of the nation's most-acclaimed poets, Billy Collins, invents some words ... Aasif Mandvi of "The Daily Show" channels MJ to unite a crowd ... Singer Jessie Ware gets sassy ... Beer writer William Bostwick on beers from watered-down to porked-up ... A 3AM phone call nobody wants ... New jams from Iceland ... And a newly-discovered mystery surrounding the death of Vincent Van Gogh.


Photo: Paul Jasmin

Episode 279: Anjelica Huston, Gabrielle Hamilton, and Glyn Johns

Anjelica Huston talks about bad boys and leading ladies ... The difficulty of making a film in a warzone ... Chef and author Gabrielle Hamilton cooks what she knows ... You may not have heard of Glyn Johns, but you've probably heard the long list of rock hits he helped create ... Emily Spivack unsuccessfully plays cards in the jungle ... Kevin Morby's movie montage moment ... Why Congress won't allow airplane rides at Disneyland ... And the Posts advise light drinks and heavy eaters ...