Episode 142: The Duplass Brothers, Val Kilmer-Twain, and the Oysteress

This week: Filmmaking brothers Mark and Jay Duplass, who nap in trailers… Val Kilmer resurrects Mark Twain… Grandmaster of flash (fiction), Etgar Keret… Oysters take over the mainland… Poker stud Chris Moneymaker on turning friends into debtors… Guillotin’s “enlightened” machine… Plus, the sounds of Howlin Rain, a pizza panic-button, and a seeing-eye joke.

Icebreaker: Nick Thorburn

Nick Thorburn of the pop band Islands sees his way to a punchline.

Small Talk: Katrina Szish

Katrina Szish, TV personality and fellow alum of the TV show “Rocco’s Dinner Party,” tells us why it’s now easier, in Dubai, to order pizza than to call 9-1-1.

A History Lesson With Booze: Guillotine’s Machine and “The Blood and Straw”

This week in 1814, the physician who lent his name to one of France’s best-known inventions died. Learn about Dr. Guillotin and his “enlightened” death machine, and then drink this custom cocktail ‘til your head falls off:

“The Blood & Straw,” as devised by Brian Wilshire of Bar Tonique in New Orleans’ French Quarter.

In a shaker, add equal parts:

  • Ansac Cognac VS
  • Cynar artichoke amaro
  • Luxardo “Sangue Morlacco” cherry liqueur
  • fresh orange juice

Shake and pour into a shot or martini glass. Raise the drink high, then down it swiftly and dispassionately.

Guest List: Howlin Rain

Hard-rock band Howlin Rain just released their album “The Russian Wilds,” produced by Rick Rubin. We tune into “Self-Made Man” – the album’s epic arena-rockin’ opener… then frontman Ethan Miller shares a wildly eclectic list of his go-to songs. (Ethan and the band kick off a tour next week.)

Etiquette: Mark Twain (and his colleague, Val Kilmer)

It’s true: Seminal American wit Mark Twain traversed the space-time continuum, “Connecticut Yankee” style, to declaim on matters of decorum, right here in our studios. It’s all thanks to Val Kilmer – the actor best known for his work in Heat, The Doors, and Batman Forever – who reincarnates the American icon in a new play called “Citizen Twain.” Kilmer-Twain chimes in on cigar-smoking, chicken-raising, and a certain prickly actor. (For more info about the show – running this weekend and next at Hollywood Forever Cemetery – click here.)

Eavesdropping: Etgar Keret

Award-winning Israeli author Etgar Keret is renowned for his surreal, extremely short “flash” fiction. This week, he releases a new collection called “Suddenly, A Knock on the Door.” We overhear actor Willem Dafoe performing the story “Mystique.” (The forthcoming audiobook also features Dave Eggers, Miranda July, Michael Chabon, and an impressive array of Keret fans.)

Chattering Class: Chris Moneymaker’s Poker 101

Chris Moneymaker lived every poker player’s dream. In 2003, he spent 40 bucks to enter an online tourney, qualified for the World Series of Poker, then beat the odds and WON, walking away with more than a million dollars. His story anchors the new poker documentary “All-In,” which takes a wide-angled look at poker’s rise in the last decade. Rico asks Moneymaker for some help in navigating his own (penny) poker games.

Main Course: Oyster Explosion

In LA, Seattle, Chicago, and New York most of all, oyster restaurants are spawning almost as fast as well, oysters. To learn why they’re all the rage, Brendan heads over to The John Dory – one of NYC’s most bustling nouveau oyster shops – and meets up with Dana Hale, aka “The Oysteress.” Dana works for Island Creek Oysters in Duxbury, Massachusetts, and she sells oysters to almost every oyster purveyor in New York.

Guest of Honor: Mark and Jay Duplass

With barely a fistful of dollars, filmmakers Mark and Jay Duplass have made a string of smart domestic comedies including festival-fave “The Puffy Chair,” and 2010’s “Cyrus,” with Jonah Hill and John C. Reilly. Their latest, only slightly more expensive project “Jeff, Who Lives at Home” just hit theaters. It follows the basement-dwelling title character — played by Jason Segel — as he ventures with his brother into the wide and mysterious world. Jay and Mark tell Rico about Porsche-wrecking, tandem-napping, and those ‘other’ brothers.

One for the Road – Best Coast – “The Only Place”

Two years ago Bethany Cosentino and her band Best Coast released the album “Crazy For You” and it became the soundtrack of the summer. She’s poised to do it again with a forthcoming album — and song — called “The Only Place.” Best listened to while fishing out your swimming gear.

Other Music in this week’s show:

The Sea & Cake – “The Argument”

Aphex Twin – “Boy/Girl Song”

Tipsy – “Liquordelic”

Jo Privat – “Joseph, Joseph”

Jesus & Mary Chain – “Head On”

Howlin Rain – “Self-Made Man”

Wendy Carlos – Henry Purcell: “Music For The Funeral Of Queen Mary

RTX (aka Black Bananas) – “Knightmare & Mane”

Wiz Kalifa – “Black & Yellow

The Bad Plus – “Tom Sawyer”

The Album Leaf – “Vermillion”

Pink Floyd – “Wot’s… Uh the Deal”

Radiant Dragon – “Oysters”

Beck – “Waiting For a Sign”

Best Coast – “The Only Place”