Episode 100: Randy Newman, DPD History, and the 100-Year-Old Egg

Randy Newman/Photo by Michael Wilson

This week: It’s our 100th episode! To celebrate, Brendan talks to one of his dream guests, music icon Randy Newman… Rico excavates a 100-Year-Old Egg… And we delve into our own history (with booze). Also, listeners share their own dream dinner party guests. Plus, we make a long overdue call to the Sea and Cake, and spin a historic cover song from Dr. Dog.

Icebreaker: The Sea and the Cake
Brendan and Rico come clean to Sam Prekop, frontman for the band The Sea and Cake, about a certain song they kinda sorta shoulda got his permission to use. (Broadcast listeners heard a dogged cowboy joke from author Rick Moody that will surely give them paws.)

Small Talk: Jessica Coen
Jessica Coen, editor-in-chief of women’s culture website Jezebel, tells us why the UK’s newest royal couple can’t serve themselves.

A History Lesson with Booze #1: History of the DPD & “The Old Fashioned Download”
100 episodes ago back in 2008, two enterprising and underutilized radio minds launched a groundbreaking new show. Their subject: dinner parties. Their mission: to win them. Hear about cupcake wars, how the DPD caused the recession, and the rest of the (tall) tale… then download this custom cocktail:

“The Old-Fashioned Download,” as whipped up by longtime DPD contributor Daniel Hyatt at The Alembic Bar in San Francisco:

  • 1 Twinkie
  • Angostura bitters
  • 6 oz. bourbon
  • Lemon peel garnish
  • Candle (not for eating)

Place Twinkie in a bowl. Douse liberally with bitters. Add bourbon. Garnish with lemon peel. Do or don’t stick a candle in the middle. Eat with a spoon, savoring the fact that it is not a cupcake. Serves 3.

History Lesson with Booze # 2: The First Drive-In and the “Jersey Lightning”
New Jersey car parts salesman Richard Hollingshead, Jr. wanted to take his mom to the movies — but she couldn’t fit her girth into the seats. That inspired him to invent his own theater – with roomy cars instead of seats. Hear about the rise and fall of the drive-in, then take in this custom cocktail:

“Jersey Lightning,” as projected by New Jersey native Colin Shearn, bartender and bar manager at the one of Esquire’s best new bars in America – Philadelphia’s Franklin Mortgage and Investment Co (Right across the bridge from Camden, NJ).”

In a shaker with cracked ice, add:

  • 2 oz. Apple Jack
  • 2 dashes Jerry Thomas bitters
  • 1 oz sweet vermouth

Strain into a chilled cocktail glass (no ice). Drink while watching a movie on your HDTV, and get the vague feeling something’s missing.

Listen to the drive-in story, and the cocktail here.

Guest of Honor: Randy Newman
Randy Newman is an American original. Beloved by children (and Hollywood) for his Academy Award-winning Pixar film scores, adored by Baby Boomers for his satirical pop songs, and revered by music-heads for his songcraft, perhaps the only person who doesn’t appreciate him…is him. He has a new collection of songs called The Randy Newman Songbook Vol. 2. Brendan talks with Randy about young people, “Short People,” what happens when your dreams come true, and the name he almost shares with a certain radio host’s.

Main Course: The 100-Year Egg
In honor of our own centennial, Rico and Chinese food writer Carl Chu travel to the Empress Pavilion restaurant in L.A.’s Chinatown to sample the intimidating “100-year-old-egg.” It looks worse than it sounds… or tastes.

One For The Road: Dr. Dog – “Heart it Races” (Architecture in Helsinki)
We end this show back where we began… with the “One For the road” we put at the end of our very first, unaired DPD pilot. Two-plus years later, we’re still smitten with the Philadelphia band’s take on an Architecture in Helsinki ballad. Best heard while dancing in the summer moonlight with your literal or figurative baby.

Music On This Week’s Show:

The Sea and Cake – “The Argument” (Finally, legal!)

Aphex Twin – “Boy/Girl Song”

The Wedding Present – “Signal”

Tipsy – “Liquordelic”

Calvin Harris – “Acceptable In the ’80s”

Modern Mothers – “Tuxxedo”

The Meters – “Sophisticated Cissy”

Randy Newman – “Dixie Flyer”

Randy Newman – “Laugh and Be Happy”

Ratatat – “Seventeen Years”

Dr. Dog – “Heart it Races” (Architecture in Helsinki cover)