Episode 141: Rick Moody, Shower Muses, and Snail Eggs

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Photo by Thatcher Keats/Rick Moody

This week: Author Rick Moody dives into his gene pool… Jonah Lehrer showers us with inspiration… Escargot Eggs… Comedian Moshe Kasher’s train-wreck mem’ries… And etiquette tips from world-class concierge Michael Fazio. Plus, a little night music from jazz star Esperanza Spalding, billiard-inspired booze, a super joke from Of Montreal, and vibrating tattoos.

Icebreaker: Kevin Barnes

Kevin Barnes — frontman of beloved indie outfit Of Montreal— shares a super joke. His band is in the midst of touring the album Paralytic Stalks.

Small Talk: Madeleine Brand

Madeleine Brand, host of her own eponymous show on member station KPCC-FM in LA, tells us about Finns who’re itching for new technology.

A History Lesson With Booze: Willie Mosconi and “The Smoke and Honey”

This week back in 1954, Willie Mosconi performed one of the most brilliant feats in sports, ever, draining 526 consecutive billiard balls. Learn about the child prodigy-turned-15-time-World-Champion – then rack up a set of these custom cocktails.

THE SMOKE AND HONEY, as devised by David Strauss at The Ranstead Room in Philadelphia, Willie’s birthplace:

In a pint glass, over ice, pour:

  • 3/4 oz. fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4 oz. honey syrup (3 parts honey, 1 part water)
  • 1 3/4 oz. blended scotch whiskey, e.g. Famous Grouse
  • 1/4 oz. smoky peat Scotch, e.g. Laphroaig

Add to a classic glass, with large (billiard ball-like?) ice chunk. Sink it and then repeat. (NOT 526 times!)

Dinner Party Soundtrack: Esperanza Spalding

Jazz star Esperanza Spalding, who bested Justin Bieber and Drake at last year’s Grammys for the Best New Artist award, just released her new highly-anticipated album Radio Music Society. To celebrate, we revisit her soundtrack of go-to tracks for an evening soiree:

Etiquette: Michael Fazio, Concierge Extraordinaire

One of the country’s premier concierges, Michael Fazio lives to serve… and fittingly, he was quite willing to answer our listeners’ etiquette questions. He delivers the goods with tips on plate-snatching, brutal honesty….and breastmilk storage? (Michael’s book Concierge Confidential is out now in paperback.)

Eavesdropping: Moshe Kasher

Comedian Moshe Kasher is best known for stints on the stand-up circuit and on TV’s “Chelsea Lately.” His first book, a memoir, comes out this week. It’s called “Kasher in the Rye: The True Tale of a White Boy from Oakland who Became a Drug addict, Criminal, Mental Patient….and Then Turned 16.” Don’t worry, he survived. This week, we overhear him read a dinner-party-worthy tale about his own (near) train wreck.

Main Course: Escargot Eggs

As if escargot or caviar weren’t unusual enough, we can now nibble on “escargot caviar” — yes, that’d be snail eggs. Still a rare ingredient on U.S. menus, Rico pays a visit to Beverly Hills Caviar to sample some of what owner Kelly Scheiner calls a fairy-tale food.

Chattering Class: Jonah Lehrer

Wunderkind writer and science evangelist Jonah Lehrer has picked apart Proust and decision-making in two widely acclaimed books. His latest offering, Imagine: How Creativity Works, blends science and storytelling to explore how certain people (Shakespeare, Dylan, etc.) have achieved sublime moments of inspiration. He offers Brendan a speedy primer on what drives the creative mind.

Guest of Honor: Rick Moody

Novelist Rick Moody is best known for his novels Garden State and The Ice Storm, but he’s long held a passion for music, too. His new book On Celestial Music: And Other Adventures in Listening brings together these worlds with freewheeling essays about music he can’t live without – everything Otis Redding to Captain Beefheart to The Pogues. Like a true jazz artist, he jumps from one line to the next without missing a beat. He tells Brendan about the perils of film adaptation, dying for music, and his genetic discovery.

One for the Road: Tanlines – “All of Me”

Brooklyn duo Tanlines just released their debut full-length Mixed Emotions. The new single (and Julian Barrett-directed video) is All Of Me. Best heard while gelling up your asymetrical haircut far from the prying eyes of Brezhnev’s KGB.

Other Music in this week’s show:

The Sea & Cake – “The Argument”

Aphex Twin – “Boy/Girl Song”

Tipsy – “Liquordelic”

Original Dixieland Jazz Band – “Sensation Rag”

Kenyon Hopkins – “The Hustler (closing credits)”

MFSB – “The Sound Of Philly”

“Black Gold” – Esperanza Spalding

Aca Seca Trio – “Florcita de Amor”

Little Dragon – “Twice”

Jaki Byard – “Spanish Tinge” or “A Toodle-oo Toodle-oo”

Status Quo – “Whatever You Want”

Rob Dougan – “Clubbed to Death”

Ooberman – “Running Girl”

Bob Dylan – “Like A Rolling Stone”

Kings of Convenience – “Gold For The Price Of Silver”

Captain Beefheart – “Drink Paint Run Run (Instrumental)”

Tanlines – “All of Me”