Episode 105: Shabazz Palaces, Disco Bashes, and Cola Wars 2.0

Shabazz Palaces /Leif Podhajsky and David Belisle

This week: Shabazz Palaces’ Ishmael Butler gives us something to chew on…A disco bash breaks a ton of records…And Dr. Pepper sues Dr. Pepper. Plus, a touchy joke from The Low Anthem and a groovy song from Real Estate.

Icebreaker: The Low Anthem
Ben Knox Miller of Rhode Island indie rockers The Low Anthem walks right into an eye-opening joke.

Radio listeners heard Black Francis from The Pixies knock another famous Francis. (Expect an album from him this Fall.)

Small Talk: Just What the Court Ordered
Jake Silverstein, editor of Texas Monthly, tells us why a regional bottler of Dr. Pepper needs a J.D.

A History Lesson with Booze: The Disco Bash & the “The Disco Smash”This week back in 1979, Chicago rock DJ Steve Dahl took revenge on the disco craze by holding a massive disco bash – literally. Hear about the riotous event at Comiskey Park, then douse the disco inferno with this flashy blue cocktail:

“The Disco Smash,” as mixed by Mike Ryan, bar manager at Sable in Chicago.

  • 2 oz. rum (funky-yet-colorless Banks, if possible)
  • 2 lemon wedges
  • 1 sprig mint
  • 3/4 oz. blue Curacao

Shake and strain the rum and curacao into a rocks glass over ice — preferably a mini-glitter ball chilled in the freezer, or an ice cube carved to resemble said. Garnish with mint and lemon. Drink it down, crank up the fog machine, and riot on the dance floor.

Guest of Honor: Shabazz Palaces’ Ishmael Butler
The buzziest hip hop act around right now is Seattle’s Shabazz Palaces. Lots of critics are calling Palaces’ debut Black Up the best album of the year, and this weekend the group performs at Chicago’s Pitchfork Music Festival – mecca for the musicarati. But the spotlight is nothing new for the group’s driving force, Ishmael Butler: he won a Grammy with his earlier group Digable Planets. Butler talks about his new avant-garde sound, mental soup, and where he’ll keep jamming his jam as long as he’s jamming.

One For The Road: Real Estate – “It’s Real”
New Jersey beach pop group Real Estate just dropped the first single from its sophomore LP Days, out 10/18 on Domino. Its mix of cheery guitar lines and harmonious choruses is perfect for ending an argument… about the debt ceiling, maybe?

Music On This Week’s Show:

Sea & Cake – “The Argument”

Aphex Twin – “Boy/Girl Song”

Tipsy – “Liquordelic”

Metric – “Dead Disco”

Trammps – “Disco Inferno”

Foster The People – “Pumped Up Kicks”

Shabazz Palaces – “Free Press and Curl”

Shabazz Palaces – “Swerve”

Real Estate – “It’s Real”