Episodes

383: The 2017 All-Music Episode

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We’re putting on our own music festival with a special “ALL-MUSIC EPISODE”! You’ll hear sets from our favorite artists: Run the Jewels, Alice Cooper, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Punk legend Viv Albertine, Perfume Genius, folk musician Joan Shelley, Tony Bennett, and more. Plus Kristen Bell singing the praises of her favorite Disney movie (no, it’s not “Frozen”), a story about the mostly unknown FIFTH Beatle, and a “Sublime” wedding proposal. Best of all, you don’t even have to leave your house to experience this festival (except we will charge 10 dollars for a bottle of water.)


Jack Garratt - 'Bonnie Tyler GPS'

Icebreaker

British multi-instrumentalist Jack Garratt, whose debut album just came out, delivers an icebreaker any karaoke fan would enjoy.


Tony Bennett & Bill Charlap's Tribute to a Great American Composer

Guest of Honor

Bill Charlap is one of the top jazz pianists and bandleaders in America. And Tony Bennett... well, in his almost 70 years as a musician, he's released over 70 albums, won 18 Grammys, and a couple of Emmys, and is one of the greatest singers ever of American jazz and pop standards. He and Charlap just released "Silver Lining," an album of songs by the composer Jerome Kern and the two talk to Rico about Kern's work, finding satisfaction as an artist, and Bennett's unwavering love of San Francisco.


Run The Jewels Mixes Meows And Beats For Humor and Charity

Guest of Honor

Killer Mike and El-P are the hip-hop duo "Run The Jewels." They're adored by fans and critics alike for their menacing beats and dexterous wordplay. They've released two acclaimed albums... neither of which could've prepared us for the one they dropped this week. The two talk to Brendan about their fan-driven project, "Meow The Jewels," juxtaposing goofiness and seriousness, and why you shouldn't ask about the state of hip-hop.


Joan Shelley Builds a Playlist for a Party in the Great Outdoors

Soundtrack

Critics have praised Joan Shelley’s poetic lyrics and minimalist approach to Appalachian folk music. She caught the attention of Wilco's Jeff Tweedy, who produced her latest album. With songs by Roger Miller, Irma Thomas, and more, the singer-songwriter mixes up a soundtrack for the next time you venture off to the Red River Gorge.


Lin-Manuel Miranda on 'I Want' Songs, Going Method for 'Moana' and Fearing David Bowie

Guest of Honor

Playwright/actor/rapper extraordinaire Lin-Manuel Miranda is our guest of honor this week. His latest Broadway musical, "Hamilton," broke box office records and earned him a bunch of Tonys, a Grammy and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. He also co-wrote songs for the Disney animated film "Moana," one of which is up for an Oscar. In a chat with Rico, the multi-hyphenate talks about his creative process for "Moana," shares how he honed his freestyle rap game, and explains why Bowie was the "uber-villain" of his childhood.


A Lucky Long-Distance Call to 'The Fifth Beatle'

Eavesdropping

The newest production from award-winning Broadway producer Vivek Tiwary is a graphic novel about the man who helped discover and promote The Beatles. Vivek tells us a tale of the phone conversation that changed the course of rock history… and which almost never happened.


Alice Cooper Waxes Nostalgic on his Legendary Life

Interview

In the 1970s and '80s, Alice Cooper pioneered what came to be called shock rock, lacing his live shows with real pythons, fake electrocutions, and all manner of horror movie imagery. Now he's releasing an album next week with the new Hollywood Vampires, and he regales Rico and Brendan with tales of his friendships with some of the greatest figures in old Hollywood and rock 'n' roll. (He also stuck around to dole out a little etiquette advice too!)


Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky's Runaway Fingers

Eavesdropping

Book critic Liesl Schillinger reads a darkly comic excerpt from a newly-published short story collection by early-20th century Russian author Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky.


Kristen Bell Entertains our Emoji Etiquette Questions

Etiquette

Each week our listeners send in questions about how to behave, and answering them this time around is actress Kristen Bell. She's starred in series like "House Of Lies," the cult hit "Veronica Mars," and she was the off-screen narrator of the scandalous teen drama "Gossip Girl." Bell also voiced the sweet princess Anna in the mega-hit Disney film "Frozen." The actor answers our listeners' questions on whether 'XOXO' has lost its meaning and how to handle passive-aggressive comments from family.


Perfume Genius' Party Rituals

Soundtrack

Mike Hadreus -- aka Seattle musician Perfume Genius -- is known for almost painfully personal songs, but his new album "Too Bright" is making waves with its more anthemic sound and attitude. Not unexpectedly, there are a lot of emotions conveyed in the music he'd spin at a party: defiant, comforting... and occulty.


Punk Legend Viv Albertine of The Slits on Rules and Rock

Chattering Class

The punk movement of the 1970s was all about rebelling against the establishment - but it wasn't quick to embrace changing roles for women. Viv Albertine was among a group of feminist pioneers in the scene who paved the way for Riot Grrl and everything after.


Josh Gondelman Celebrates His Sublime Relationship

Eavesdropping

Comedian Josh Gondelman is up for an Emmy for his writing on "Last Week Tonight with John Oliver." His new comedy album, "Physical Whisper," is out now. Listen to a tale from the album in the audio above about how he knew his girlfriend was the person he wanted to spend the rest of his life with.