Episode 148: Santigold, Manly Manners and a Pilgrim’s Process

Photo by Sean Thomas/Santigold

This week: musician Santigold pines for a day job…Time’s gonzo humorist Joel Stein offers some manly etiquette tips…Three ancient art treasures we HAVEN’T found…Rico visits crawfish country…Shakespearean theater worth fighting for…Writer Gideon Lewis-Kraus walks us through pilgrimages…Plus, humor from Violens, Sendak remembered, and the canine brain.

Icebreaker: Violens

Jorge Elbrecht and Iddo Arad of the band Violens pay tribute to George Michael…minus the sax. The band’s new album True comes out next week.

Small Talk: Reyhan Harmanci

Reyhan Harmanci, culture editor for the Bay Citizen in San Francisco, tells us about a study that peers inside the canine brain. (Spoiler alert – food makes dogs happy!)

A History Lesson with Booze: Astor Place Riots and the “Cobbler Rouge”

This week back in 1849, New Yorkers rioted…over Shakespearean acting. Learn about Edwin Forrest, William Charles Macready and the brawl they spawned… and then smash down a custom, era-appropriate cocktail from a Broadway bar.

“Cobbler Rouge,” as performed by Frank Caiafa, bar manager at The Vault at Pfaff’s – a handsome cellar bar just a few blocks from the site of the original riot:

Into a shaker, add:

  • Quarter of fresh peach, cubed (small handful)
  • 1/2 oz. simple syrup
  • 2 dashes of orange or peach bitters
  • 1 oz. Red Bordeaux wine (“Claret” to the Brits)
  • 2 1/4 oz. Hudson Four Grain Bourbon (the all-American part)

Add ice and give it a hard and riotous shake. Strain into a freshly iced goblet – ideally a “Hawthorne House” glass. Add fresh mint as garnish (after slapping the mint against your hands for a bit to “wake it up”). Top with powdered sugar. Drink it down and leave the drama behind.

Guest List: Kristin Romey 

If you’re looking for a real life Indiana Jones, look no further than Kristin Romey. Archaeologist Romey has dived on underwater wrecks in Kyrgyzstan, studied human sacrifice in the Yucatan, and documented temples in Yemen. (In plainclothes, she’s also served as editor for Archaeology magazine.) Now, Kristin is a special consultant for the new Terracotta Warriors exhibit at Discovery Times Square in New York. These are the impressive life-size 2,000 year-old statues that Chinese farmers found in the 1970s while they were digging a well. Inspired by their find, Kristin shares a list of major discoveries SHE’D like to stumble upon.

Guest of Honor: Santigold

In the last decade, musician Santigold (for the record, it’s pronounced like “Monty gold”) has become one of the most sought after collaborators in music – writing and producing for the likes of GZA, Mark Ronson, and Lily Allen. In 2008, she released her debut album “Santogold,” an LP chock-full of innovative, beat-driven pop music. Since then she’s toured with the likes of Bjork, the Beastie Boys and Kanye West…so it’s no wonder her second album is a long-time coming. Master of my Make Believe offers more polyrhythmic pop – and some politics to boot. Santigold tells Brendan about drum majors, tiger tales, and her 9-5 dream job. (Note to Santigold’s fashion following: During the interview she wore a pink leather jacket with little Keith Haring cartoon figures all over it… you might actually hear it).

Main Course: Crawfish Boil

May is traditionally the height of crawfish season, which why right now in Louisiana — where more than 90 percent of the little lobstery crustaceans are harvested — the state is awash with “crawfish boils.” They are to Louisiana what barbecues are to other states — outdoor parties with big primal piles of food cooked over fire. You can taste crawfish boils at restaurants around the country, but last week Rico went to New Orleans to experience one as God intended: In a backyard packed with people and beer. Backyard chef Trooper (nee Gregory) Bruce provides a boil recipe… and attendees tell Rico why it’s advisable to consume the contents of a crawfish head.

Eavesdropping: Brian Selznick, on Maurice Sendak

Earlier this week, the New York Times called the late Maurice Sendak “the most important children’s book artist of the twentieth century.” One of his biggest fans was Brian Selznick, the award-winning author and illustrator of the children’s book “The Invention Of Hugo Cabret,” which went on to become Martin Scorcese’s Oscar-winning movie “Hugo.” Last year Selznick told us his list of great illustrated books…and his favorite one was pretty obvious.

Etiquette with Joel Stein

By day, Joel Stein serves as the humor columnist for Time magazine, penning hilarious takes on culture and celebrity. But in his spare time, Joel has been undergoing a special training mission: to become a man. (Well, okay, more of one.) His new book “Man Made: A Stupid Quest for Masculinity” describes his re-masculating encounters with Boy Scouts, firemen, marines, football stars, and other senseis of the male universe. And now – for the manliest test of all – etiquette! He obliged with testosterone-fueled, bone-crushing advice about wussy movies, bald pride, and locker room exhibitionism.

Chattering Class: Gideon Lewis-Kraus

In his new memoir, A Sense of Direction, writer Gideon Lewis-Kraus talks about his experiences along the routes of three of the world’s most famous pilgrimages: the 3,000 year old Camino de Santiago in Spain, a ring of eighty-eight Buddhist temples on the Japanese island of Shikoku, and the grave of a famous Hasidic mystic in Uman, Ukraine. He walks Brendan through the three journeys…and some surprising discoveries he made along the way.

One for the Road: Passion Pit

In 2009 it was hard to go anywhere without hearing the electro-pop band Passion Pit. It’s taken three years, but they are set to release a new album Gossamer this July. Here’s the first single from it called “Take a Walk.” It’s a perfect song for Gideon Lewis-Kraus…or for your own spring stroll.

Other Music In this Week’s Show:

The Sea & Cake – “The Argument”

Aphex Twin – “Girl/Boy Song”

Tipsy – “Liquordelic”

London Festival Orchestra – Beethoven “Symphony #9, 1. Molto vivace”

Lionrock – “Don’t Die Foolish”

Triumph – “Fight The Good Fight”

Sound Tribe Sector Nine – “First Mist Over Clear Lake”

Django Reinhardt – “Beyond The Sea”

Ruins – “Loving Recklessly Seeded A Human”

Santigold – “Disparate Youth”

Santigold – “L.E.S. Artistes”

Santigold – “Go!”

Elvis Presley – “Crawfish”

Karen O & The Kids – “Rumpus Reprise”

Gang Of Four – “Not Great Men”

Shins – “Young Pilgram”[sic]

Passion Pit – “Take A Walk”