Episode 121: Cyndi Lauper, Thanksgiving’s New Black, and Punk Rock Etiquette

Cyndi Lauper/Ellen Von Unwerth

This Week: Cyndi Lauper reveals her true colors are the blues… Jenny Slate (aka Marcel the Shell) hears voices… a seasonal organic, free-range serving of The New Yorker’s Adam Gopnik… Henry Rollins punks your etiquette questions… and why Thanksgiving won’t let you eat cake.

Icebreaker: Janet Weiss
Janet Weiss, drummer of indie rock supergroup Wild Flag tells a catty joke.Their debut self-titled album just came out.

Small Talk: Rushdie in 140 characters or less
LA Times columnist and KPCC-FM Host Patt Morrison drops by to discuss Salman Rushdie’s surprising Twitter activity… and his exploration of the limerick form.

A History Lesson with Booze: Black Bart and “The FX07
This week in 1883, gentleman thief Black Bart finally botched a job…after pulling off 27 stagecoach robberies. The lyrical larcenist left poems – but never dead bodies – at the scene of his crimes. Hold up a custom cocktail in his dishonor.

“The FXO7,” as created by Jonny Raglin , saloon-keeper of The Comstock Saloon in San Francisco, where Black Bart lived the high life, served his time, and was rumored to have been offered a golden parachute.

In your favorite cocktail glass, add…

  • 1 part champagne
  • 1 part Guiness Stout

…In the manner of “The Black Velvet,” a classic cocktail from Bart’s era. Into that, float approx:

  • 3/4 oz Fernet Branca

Politely hold it up. Recite some verse, and imbibe.

Guest List: The Voices in Jenny Slate’s Head
As a former cast member of Saturday Night Live and perhaps most famously as the voice of “Marcel the Shell With Shoes On” — the adorable animated short she made with Dean Fleischer-Camp — Jenny Slate knows a thing or two about comic characters. On the eve of the publication of the new Marcel The Shell children’s book, Jenny gives us a list of her favorite voices… from Bill Cosby to Bob’s Burgers.

Etiquette: Henry Rollins
Henry Rollins is, if you’ll excuse the oxymoron, punk rock royalty. The former lead singer of the seminal punk-band Black Flag has since gone on to become a radio DJ, performer, writer and photographer — the latest example of the latter being his new book Occupants. He can now add etiquette expert to his resume. Henry answers vexing etiquette questions from our listeners… and describes Chris Rock’s handshake at length.

We’re always looking for new etiquette questions. Would you be so kind as to send them to dinnerparty@americanpublicmedia.org? Thank you very much.

Eavesdropping: Axl’s Origins
Pushcart Prize-winning essayist John Jeremiah Sullivan reads an except from a piece in his new collection “Pulphead.” It paints a portrait of the Indiana “region” that gave birth to one of rock’s most iconic frontmen.

Read “The Final Comeback Of Axl Rose” (first published in GQ) here.

Chattering Class: Adam Gopnik
New Yorker magazine’s Adam Gopnik is an unashamed Francophile, especially when it comes to food. In his new book “The Table Comes First: Family, France, and the Meaning of Food,” Gopnik tackles questions like who invented restaurants, why we eat our meals in a specific order, and how foodie culture today is not so unique to our times. He regurgitates all of that into our ears so if you sit next to a foodie at a dinner party, you’ll be able to talk their ear off.

Main Course:Thanksgiving Trends
Every year on their celebrated blog “The Bitten Word,” Zach Patton and Clay Dunn analyze the Thanksgiving issues of a dozen food mags to identify holiday trends. For Thanksgiving lovers, this year’s biggest trend may disappoint you.

Guest of Honor: Cyndi Lauper
If you know Cyndi Lauper solely from her string of quirky ’80s hits, you’re only getting half the story. She’s currently on tour promoting her new concert DVD “To Memphis, With Love” — which documents her Grammy-winning take on the blues. She tells Brendan about packing light, where she swipes her song titles, and how to find the Crossroads.

One for the Road: Luke Rathborne – “Dog Years”
Luke Rathborne channels young Jagger and Dylan in ‘Dog Years’ — a tune that’s been on heavy rotation at DPD HQ. Best listened to while cruising away from home.

Other Music In this Week’s Show:

The Sea & Cake – “The Argument”

Aphex Twin – “Boy/Girl Song”

Tipsy – “Liquordelic”

The Lucksmiths – “Jewel Thieves”

The Clash – “The Bank Robber”

Belle & Sebastian – “Funny Little Frog.”

Julie Andrews – “My Favorite Things”

Black Flag – “TV Party”

Guns ‘N’ Roses – “Welcome To The Jungle”

The R&B Classic Band – “Thank You (Falletinme Be Mice Elf Agin)”

Cyndi Lauper – “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun”

Cyndi Lauper – “Time After Time”

Luke Rathborne – “Dog Years”