Episode 144: Greta Gerwig, Questlove, and Liquid Matchsticks

Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Greta Gerwig

This week: “Actress of her generation” Greta Gerwig on naturalism vs. quirk… The Roots’ ?uestlove on food… Author Carl Hiaasen gives us a reality check… Kathy Griffin, queen of misbehavior, offers etiquette advice… The forgotten Astaire… We learn a striking history, with cocktail to match… and the Imagination Movers give entertaining tips on keeping kids entertained. Plus, a Spurlockian joke, a soprano drought, and your new favorite song from the Alabama Shakes.

Icebreaker: Morgan Spurlock

Documentarian Morgan (“Supersize Me”) Spurlock leaves us with a quick joke. His new film, Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan’s Hope is rolling out nationally this month.

Small Talk: Eric Zorn

Eric Zorn, columnist for The Chicago Tribune, calls our attention to an alarming trend in the music world: early-onset puberty.

A History Lesson With Booze: The Matchstick Man and the “Strike”

This week back in 1827, a chemist based in Stockton-on-Tees, England, made a striking discovery. Learn about John Walker’s accidental invention of the friction match, and then light up your night with these brilliant matchstick cocktails.

The “STRIKE,” as invented by Allan McPhail, acting manager at The Vane Arms Pub and Restaurant in Stockton-on-Tees, UK. (Click the photo for full effect.)

The "Strike"

In a collins glass or tall shot glass (depending on your tolerance) Combine equal parts of the following to create the body of the match:

  • Bailey’s Irish Cream
  • Kahlua
  • brandy
  • double cream (or dilute to taste)

Then whisk:

  • 1 egg white
  • 2 teaspoons caster sugar
  • 1/2 part Grenadine

Spoon this frothy mix atop the drink, creating the matchhead. If you’re feeling lucky, add sparklers for effect. (“Please be aware of burning hazards of sparklers,” says Allan.)

Guest List: Carl Hiaasen’s Reality Check

Bestselling author (and Miami Herald columnist) Carl Hiaasen made his mark writing thrillers, but in the past decade he’s written a number of beloved children’s books, including the Newberry award-winning “Hoot” in 2006. His latest, “Chomp,” is a coming of age story that doubles as a send-up of reality TV… so we had him bring us a list of his favorite — which is to say, somewhat ridiculous — reality shows.

Etiquette: Kathy Griffin

Kathy Griffin knows a thing or two about misbehavin’. (Just ask Andersen Cooper.) The comedian, actress, and talk show host has won over legions of fans with her provocative, irreverent comedy and her double Emmy-winning show “My Life on the D-List.” Her new weekly show “Kathy” premieres this Thursday (10PM, Bravo.) She advises our listeners on how to handle bad influences, lingering guests, and see [sic] food.

Eavesdropping: Kathleen Riley

We all know about Fred Astaire. Less well-known is Adele Astaire, and Australian theater scholar Kathleen Riley is trying to change that. Her new non-fiction book is called “The Astaires: Fred and Adele.” Today we overhear her recounting a dinner-party worthy anecdote about the duo’s adventures.

Chattering Class: How To Win over the Wee Ones

To help us win our next kid-friendly dinner party, we turn to certifiable kid experts The Imagination Movers. The New Orleans-based band has been performing kid-centric pop-rock for almost a decade in sold-out tours and for their Disney Jr. show. Mover Rich and Mover Scott (both fathers, too) enlighten Rico about the wonders of interactivity, make-believe and arena-rock cliches. (The Imagination Movers head out this week on a tour for their just-released Rock-O-Matic album).

Main Course: Questlove’s Food Adventures

As the drummer and co-frontman of hip-hop group The Roots (also the house band for Late Night with Jimmy Fallon) ?uestlove is music royalty. Now he’s getting into the food game, too, and it turns out his buttermilk chicken is as good as his music. Bon Appetit named it one of their top things to eat in 2012. Which got under the (deep fried) skin of celebrity chef David Chang, a guy who’s known for his fried chicken at Momofuku. On the eve of the ensuing chicken cook-off (UPDATE: ?uest lost), Brendan grills the musician about his ironically healthy new diet, and why food is the new hip-hop.

Guest of Honor: Greta Gerwig

As the star of charming, lo-fi movies like “Greenberg” and “Hannah Takes the Stairs,” Greta Gerwig has earned some labels she’s not so fond of (“quirky”), and also some she can probably live with… like “The definitive actress of her generation.” This month, she headlines the campus comedy Damsels in Distress, indie giant Whit Stillman’s first film in more than a decade. (Oh, and you can catch her in Woody Allen’s next project, too.) Greta tells Rico about unnatural talent, her Chrysler LeSabre-ness, and why there’s no Nobel for mathematics.

One for The Road: “I Found You” – Alabama Shakes

Last summer, when we caught on to the Alabama Shakes and frontwoman Brittany Howard’s unbelievable pipes, our One For the Road pick “You Ain’t Alone” unleashed a torrent of listener love. Now that the band’s debut LP Boys and Girls is finally here, it’s about time for another. Here’s “I Found You” – perfect track for when all’s sweet in the world.

Other Music in this week’s show:

The Sea & Cake – “The Argument”

Aphex Twin – “Boy/Girl Song”

Tipsy – “Liquordelic”

Stuttgart Piano Trio – Franz Schubert: “Piano Trio No. 1 – III. Scherzo: Allegro”

Stars – “Set Yourself On Fire”

Wildlife – “Matches”

George Fenton – “Planet Earth Prelude”

DJ Shadow – “You Can’t go Home Again”

Bix Biederbecke – “The Baltimore”

Gene Krupa – “How High the Moon”

The Imagination Movers – “Jump Up”

Phoenix – “School’s Rules”

A Tribe Called Quest – “Ham & Eggs”

Broken Social Scene – “Love & Mathematics”

Alabama Shakes – “I Found You”