Episode 156: Wim Wenders, Liszt Lists, and Live Long and Proper

This week: An encore broadcast of one of our favorite shows! Director Wim Wenders speaks body language…Star Trek’s George Takei takes etiquette to warp factor five… A list about Liszt, from world-renowned pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet…Kathleen Turner’s fiery new role… Third Wave Coffee… Existential humor… Plus, we learn how to play dead – and then how to come back to life, courtesy of Guided By Voices.


Icebreaker: Keshni Kashyap

Keshni Kashyap, author of the new graphic novel Tina’s Mouth: An Existential Comic Diary, gives us a fittingly existential question about the meaning of…light. (Keshni launches her national book tour this week.)

Small Talk: Patt Morrison

Patt Morrison, Los Angeles Times columnist and host of the titular show on KPCC-FM, tells us how Paypal stopped the music.

A History Lesson With Booze: My Delight

This week back in 1980, “Rapper’s Delight,” by the Sugarhill Gang, became the first top 40 rap hit ever. Learn about the song’s intrepid producer and its bizarre origins, and then order up this future hit at the bar:

MY DELIGHT, as mixed for us by Moses Laboy at Red Rooster in Harlem, not far from Sugarhill:

Add to a cocktail shaker:

  • 2 oz. Cognac
  • 1 oz. Cinnamon-infused simple syrup
  • 1 tsp. apple butter
  • 3/4 oz. fresh lime juice
  • 2 splashes of Dutch’s Colonial cocktail bitters

Shake while dancing to the rhythm of the boogie. Strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a dehydrated pineapple for a little tropical fun. Drink a drop, then hippie to the hip hop…and then drink the rest.

Guest List: Jean-Yves Thibaudet’s Liszt List

One of the leading pianists today, Frenchman Jean-Yves Thibaudet crisscrosses the planet performing incredibly diabolical (and delightful) pieces. He also lends his talents to film scores requiring his particular touch, like Atonement and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. This week, he joins the L.A. Philharmonic at Disney Concert Hall for several performances of Liszt – one of music’s first “rock stars.” He tells us – in the form of a List Lizst – why the 19th century pianist deserves the title.

Etiquette: George Takei

Actor, activist, and web darling George Takei has entertained millions of Earthlings as Star Trek’s ever-poised Mr. Sulu. Recently, he brokered a hilarious “star peace” between bickering sci-fi legends William Shatner and Carrie Fischer, which got us thinking that he’d be a perfect arbiter of etiquette debacles. George obliged with thoughts on Trekkie confessions, female feet, and Hookers on Sunset Blvd.

Eavesdropping: Kathleen Turner

Actress Kathleen Turner brings to life the late, great newspaper columnist Molly Ivins in the one-woman show Red Hot Patriot: The Kick Ass Wit of Molly Ivins. The play celebrates its West Coast Premiere this Wednesday (Jan 9th) at LA’s Geffen Playhouse. We overhear her performing a few dinner-party-worthy excerpts… all about Molly’s native state.

Chattering Class: Justin Schenck

You may not’ve noticed actor Justin Schenck in his latest TV role — he portrayed a corpse on “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.” But that doesn’t mean it’s easy playing dead. Justin teaches us how to inhabit the role of a cadaver, and looks ahead to more lively roles.

Main Course: Third Wave Coffee

Not too long ago, coffee was coffee. Then we all went latte, and coffee shops started cropping up, and then Starbucks took over those coffee shops. In the past couple of years a new coffee culture has emerged… called “3rd Wave” coffee. It involves roasters and extremely high standards – basically micro-breweries for coffee. Brendan stopped by one of these new coffee shrines, Handsome Coffee in Los Angeles, and got the skinny (chai latte) from two of its owners Michael Phillips and Chris Owens.

Guest of Honor: Wim Wenders

German filmmaker Wim Wenders helmed the Cannes-winning classic “Paris, Texas,” the beloved art-house staple “Wings Of Desire,” and “Buena Vista Social Club” — the documentary that helped popularize Cuban music worldwide. This week his new film Pina leaps on to, and out of, screens. It’s a study (in 3-D!) of the work of the late choreographer Pina Baush. Wim shares sob stories with Rico, chats about universal languages, then walks all over Eddie Murphy and W.C. Fields.

One for the Road – Guided by Voices

Next week, indie giants Guided By Voices return with a new album (their 16th!) called “Let’s Go Eat the Factory,” which some critics are hailing as among their greatest. Here’s a track from it called “The Unsinkable Fats Domino” that’ll keep you afloat all weekend.

Other Music in this week’s show:

The Sea & Cake – “The Argument”

Aphex Twin – “Boy/Girl Song”

Tipsy – “Liquordelic”

Sylvia – “Pillow Talk”

The Sugarhill Gang – “Rapper’s Delight”

Chic – “Good Times”

The Sugarhill Gang – “Apache”

Jean-Yves Thibaudet – Liszt: “Totentanz”

Jean-Yves Thibaudet – Liszt: “Isoldes Liebestod”

Franz Liszt – “Piano Concerto No. 2”

RAC (a.k.a. Remix Artist Collective) – “Star Trek Theme Remix

Paul Brown – “Big Eyed Rabbit”

Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys – “Red Hot Gal of Mine”

Pixies – “Dead”

Supergrass – “Coffee in the Pot”

Tito Puente & His Orchestra – “3-D Mambo”

Guided by Voices – “The Unsinkable Fats Domino”