John Spong on the Texas glare

Texas Monthly senior editor John Spong tells us about something else that's big and bright (and messing up art) in Texas.

Jake Shimabukuro on Baby Antics

Jake Shimabukuro, Hawaiian ukulele phenom (and new Dad), offers up some funny baby antics. Jake's new album "Grand Ukulele" comes out this week.

Playlist: Episode 194

Other Music in this week's show: The Sea & Cake - "The Argument" Aphex Twin - "Boy/Girl Song" Tipsy - "Liquordelic" Rainstick Orchestra - "Electric Counterpoint Fast" Joey Santiago - "Fake Purse" Dokken - "The Hunter" Portico Quartet - "Knee Deep in the North Sea" Stealing Sheep - "Shut Eye" Robbie Basho - ["Night Way"]( Alt J - "Blood Flood" Mobius Band - "Year of the President" Johannes Brahms - "Lullaby" The Cure - "Close to Me (Lullaby style)" Mr. Scruff & Roots Manuva - "Giant Pickle" Music Brokers - "Dress Up" Badly Drawn Boy - "The Shining" Mikal Cronin - "Weight"

We put on ‘Weight,’ courtesy SF garage rocker Mikal Cronin

Mikal Cronin cut his teeth in San Francisco's garage rock circle (see: frequent collaborator Ty Segall). In 2010, he released a very well received debut, and now his follow-up "MCII" comes out in May on Merge Records. Here's a standout single from it - "Weight" - a perfect reminder that things aren't always as heavy as we think.

Rodney Ascher’s ‘Room 237’

Filmmaker Rodney Ascher turned his lens on 'Shining' obsessives... Rodney chats with Rico about art and analysis, monomania, and Kubrick's (theoretical) moonlighting.

Rising literary star Taiye Selasi on making novels…and dresses

n 2005, Taiye Selasi's essay "Bye-Bye Babar (Or: What is an Afropolitan?)" introduced her to the world... and the world to her generation of well-off, well-educated, well-traveled African immigrants. Taiye grew up in Boston but she is of Ghanaian and Nigerian descent. Her short story "The Sex Lives of African Girls" was included in the "Best Short Stories of 2012." And her debut novel "Ghana Must Go" came out this month. Brendan chats with Taiye about shutting out one's audience (in a good way), probable causes, and deceptive dresses.

Panuchos, from the Yucatan to you

They're fun to say...and to eat: Panuchos! The beloved dish of Mexico's Yucatan region is finally starting to catch on stateside - the San Francisco Chronicle's food editor is a big panucho lover, and the dish got a mention in USA Today this month. Picture a tostada, crossed with a taco... with a hidden surprise. Rico caught up with Gilberto Cetina, chef at the Yucatanian restaurant "Chichen Itza" in L.A., to dig into this under-sung import.

Sam Lipsyte reads from “The Republic of Empathy”

Writer Sam Lipsyte's pitch-black comedies - like the acclaimed 2010 novel "The Ask" - are filled with lovable lowlifes and schemers. His new short story collection "The Fun Parts" carries on the tradition - with punchlines and gut-punches flying fast and furious. Today we overhear an excerpt from the story "The Republic of Empathy" about the joys of parenting.

Don’t ask to play catch with Andy Cohen

Andy Cohen knows a thing or two about TV. After beginning his career as a news producer for CBS, Andy went on to exec-produce Bravo's programming, including mega-hits "Top Chef" and the "Real Housewives" franchise. His own late night gabfest "Watch What Happens Live" has also won a rabid following. Andy tells us a few tales from his new memoir "Most Talkative: Stories from the Front Lines of Pop Culture" (out in paperback this week), and then muses on decibel levels, headdress protocol, and presidential pleas.

Brit band Alt-J suggest some songs for a Druid barbecue

In December, buzzy Brit band Alt-J's debut album An Awesome Wave won the prestigious Mercury Prize (U.K. album of the year). This month they launched their first major U.S. tour, including a slew of acclaimed shows at the South-by-Southwest music festival. Keyboardist Gus Unger-Hamilton and guitarist Gwil Sainsbury share a few song suggestions for a totally normal dinner the woods...with witches.