Episode 133: Chairlift, Megadeth on Etiquette, and the Food Olympics

Chairlift/Caroline Polachek and Patrick Wimberly

This week: Musical duo Chairlift offers us a martini (and some music)…Megadeth politely shreds our etiquette questions…Author-du-jour Ben Marcus says words CAN break your bones…Antonio Banderas plays kitty and creepy…A soldier lost and found – 28 years later…Plus, the latest in men’s fashion, epic Sundance flops, and a joke from crime writer Robert Crais.

Icebreaker: Robert Crais

Bestselling crime author Robert Crais butts in with a joke. Robert just released his latest Joe Cole/Elvis Pike novel, “Taken,” and he’s on tour now.

Small Talk: Sadie Stein

Sadie Stein, Deputy editor of The Paris Review, tells us that Charles Dickens had great expectations about interior design.

A History Lesson With Booze: Shoichi Yokoi and Yokoi’s Green Scene

On January 24th, 1972, on the island of Guam, Japanese Sgt. Shoichi Yokoi rose from the dead…in a manner of speaking. Hear Yokoi’s astonishing story, then toast his memory with the drink that bears his name.

“Yokoi’s Green Scene,” as dredged up by Jeff Pleadman of Jeff’s Pirate Cove in Guam.

In a mixing glass, add:

  • 1.5 oz. Spiced rum
  • .5 oz. Midori melon liqueur
  • 3 oz. pineapple juice
  • 1 oz. sweet and sour mix
  • 8 oz. crushed ice
  • splash of milk

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend. Pour into a 16 oz glass. Warning: Drink slowly or risk behaving like you haven’t interacted with your fellow humans for 28 years.

Guest List: Sundance Flops

Dana Harris, Editor-in-Chief of the film website Indiewire, just witnessed Sundance’s annual ritual: major studios buying up indie films for distribution. Sometimes they can turn a major profit… but Dana lists three cautionary tales of Sundance successes that became massive flops.

Etiquette: Megadeth’s Dave Ellefson

Dave Ellefson, bassist and co-founder of iconic thrash metal band Megadeth, is used to playing neck-wrenching music to sold-out stadiums (this week they kicked off a “Gigantour” alongside fellow legends Motorhead). But the heavy metal maestro recently embarked upon a second career path: he’s studying to be Lutheran minister. Dave tells us about his two righteous pastimes and then kindly advises us on noisy neighbors, pyrotechnic centerpieces, and spice-a-tarians.

Eavesdropping: Ben Marcus

In his new novel, The Flame Alphabet, celebrated author Ben Marcus weaves and warps language into a beautiful, terrible thing…in fact it’s literally a weapon that causes physical harm. He shares a fittingly creepy excerpt that you might be talking about – hopefully without ill health effects – at your next dinner party. (Ben will be touring the country this month.)

Main Course: Bocuse D’Or or Bust

“Iron Chef” can’t hold a candle to the Bocuse D’Or – the legendary, bi-annual cooking competition started by 3-Michelin-star chef Paul Bocuse. American chefs are vying this week for the chance to represent the USA in the event, which takes place a year from now. Andrew Friedman of the chef/cuisine site Toqueland wrote a book about the 2009 competition called “Knives at Dawn: America’s Quest for Culinary Glory at the Legendary Bocuse d’Or Competition.” He chats with Rico about the sport, spectacle, and savoir faire wrapped up in the elite event.

For a look at last year’s “shimmering, multi-dimensional” winning platter from chef Rasmus Kofoed, put on sunglasses and click here and here. And then check out this video of Rasmus presenting it before a Megadeth-level raucous crowd:


Guest of Honor: Antonio Banderas

The term “Latin Lover” still dogs actor Antonio Banderas, but sneak a peak at his CV and you’ll find everything from arthouse films to action-adventures to Broadway musicals. This past year, he showed his range — again — with two wildly different leads: he plays the titular kitty in the animated Shrek-spinoff “Puss in Boots“… and a maniacal plastic surgeon in “The Skin I Live In.” “Puss” was just nominated for an Oscar for Best Animated Film. In the latter, he re-teams with Pedro Almodovar, the auteur who helped launch his career 20 years ago. Antonio tells Brendan about the romance of the traveling actor, his distaste for careers, and how he learned to talk.

Chattering Class: Emerging Men’s Fashion

Last week, Paris held one its major shows for high-end men’s fashion. Jared Flint, style editor at fashion website Park and Bond, schools us on the latest trends emerging from the runway: double-breasted suits, astrakhans (lamb collars – not without controversy), and… wait for it… kilties. Your shoes will never be naked again.

Soundtrack: Chairlift

Brooklyn duo Chairlift (aka Caroline Polachek and Patrick Wemberly) just released their eagerly-awaited second album, Something, to stellar reviews. To celebrate, they offer us a few musical suggestions, and throw in a magnifique French accent and martinis for kicks. Their picks: “Wow and Flutter” by Stereolab, “Silk and Honey” by Honey LTD, and “Happiness Togetherness” by Heatwave – now Brendan’s new favorite song. They close things out with “Amanaemonesia,” from this week’s LP.

Other Music in this week’s show:

The Sea & Cake – “The Argument”

Aphex Twin – “Boy/Girl Song”

Tipsy – “Liquordelic”

Kodo – “Nanafushi”

Small Faces – “Tin Soldier (Instrumental)”

Little Joy – “The Next time Around”

Megadeth – “New World Order”

Megadeth – “Holy Wars… The Punishment Due”

Ravel – “Piano Concerto in G major: Adagio assai”

Maserati – “The Language”

The Bad Plus – “1980 World Champion”

Adam Ant – “Puss In Boots”

Sackcloth Fashion – “Direction”

“Wow and Flutter” – Sterolab

Honey L-T-D – “Silk and Honey”

Heatwave – “Happiness Togetherness”

Chairlift – “Amanaemonesia”