Episode 167: Martin Amis, Divine Comedies, and the Mother of Bad Ideas

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Martin Amis/Photo by Isabel Fonseca

This week, literary luminary Martin Amis lets the dogs out… Top Chef Susan Feniger celebrates the New Year… satirist Simon Rich lists divine comedies… San Fran band The Fresh and Onlys serve up a sweet soundtrack… The Posts return to explain the art of good goodbyes… and fashion editor Diana Vreeland gets her close-up. Plus, skimming stones, rolling cows, and the most naive narrator in the world.

Icebreaker: Antoine Wilson

Antoine Wilson, author of the new novel Panorama City and the popular photo-blog “The Slow Paparazzo,” gets the show – and a cow – rolling.

Small Talk: Patt Morrison

L.A. Times columnist Patt Morrison tells us about the dustup that could sink Scotland’s annual “stone skimming” championships.

A History Lesson with Booze: My Mother the Car and “The Porter Flip”

This week back in 1965, NBC aired a show which for decades was considered the worst in TV history. Learn about “My Mother the Car” – and how it spawned more careers than it did ratings points — then tune into this custom Motor City cocktail:

“The Porter Flip,” as engineered by Travis Fourmont at Roast in Detroit, MI:

  • 1.5 oz “Corner Creek” bourbon
  • 0.5 oz demerara sugar
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1.5 oz “Edmund Fitzgerald Porter” beer

Add all ingredients in a Boston Shaker, preferably one with a coil inside. (The coil whips the drink, creating a frothy meringue texture.) Shake with no ice – for 2 minutes, then add ice, shake again and strain it. Serve in a chilled 5 oz. cocktail glass. Swig it and wash away the terrible taste of “My Mother the Car.”

Guest List: Simon Rich

Humorist Simon Rich spent four years writing for “Saturday Night Live,” he’s a mainstay of The New Yorker’s “Shouts and Murmurs” column, he just put out his fourth book, a novel called “What in God’s Name“… and he’s barely 28 years old. Simon tells us about the book… then lists some of his favorite heavenly humor.

Etiquette: The Next-Gen Posts

Every few weeks – after we’ve had our fill of questionable advice from celebrities (and celebrity clowns) – we turn to actual experts on matters of decorum. Lizzie Post and Dan Post-Senning, the great-great grandkids of Emily Post and co-authors of “Emily Posts Etiquette: 18th Edition,” prove their mettle yet again by offering listeners advice on how to say a good goodbye, or knocking yourself out of an overly competitive game.

We’re always looking for new etiquette questions. Would you be so kind as to send them to dinnerparty@americanpublicmedia.org? Thank you very much.

Eavesdropping: Antoine Wilson

Antoine Wilson won praise for his wry debut novel “The Interloper“… and for his online project The Slow Paparazzo, in which he takes photos of places after a famous person has left. Antoine offers us this (audio) snapshot of his new novel “Panorama City“…and of its naive narrator Oppen Porter. (The book comes out this week.)

Main Course: Susan Feniger

At her restaurant “Street,” celebrated chef (and “Top Chef Masters” alum) Susan Feniger serves modern takes on street food from around the world. This week, she celebrated the Jewish New Year with a Rosh Hashanah menu that twisted traditional high-holiday fare in knots. Rico chats with Susan about her fruitful fusions.

Guest of Honor: Martin Amis

London’s Times newspaper named Martin Amis one of the 50 greatest postwar British authors. Included amongst his 12 novels are the modern classics “London Fields” and “The Rachel Papers” — not to mention a meoir, two short story collectoins, and a bunch of nonfiction. His new novel is “Lionel Asbo: State of England,” which follows a young man and his brutish, sociopathic uncle Lionel… who wins a hundred and forty million pounds in the lottery. Brendan chats with Martin about “yobs,” Nabokov’s living room, and who lets the dogs out. (Southern California listeners: Catch Martin this Sunday at Barnes & Noble in Santa Monica.)

Chattering Class: Diana Vreeland

Highly-styled editorial spreads and theatrical photo shoots seem like eternal mainstays of the fashion industry, but before Diana Vreeland, they didn’t exist. As fashion editor of “Harper’s Bazaar” (and later “Vogue”) brought a fantastical, whimsical approach to depicting fashion that changed the industry. Rico chats with Lisa Immordino Vreeland — director of the new documentary “Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel” — about the negatives of Diana’s positivity and why anyone should care about clothes.

Dinner Party Soundtrack: The Fresh and Onlys

San Francisco rock band The Fresh and Onlys play a unique breed of sweet smart pop tinged with psychedelia. They’ll be on tour this fall in support of their latest album “Long Slow Dance. Frontman Tim Cohen and bassist Shayde Sartin lead us through a playlist full of sweetness and light… then close with their winning new track “No Regard.”

Other Music In this Week’s Show:

The Sea & Cake – “The Argument”

Aphex Twin – “Boy/Girl Song”

Tipsy – “Liquordelic”

The Blue Men – “Valley Of the Saroos”

Paul Hampton – “My Mother the Car”

Stu Phillips – “Knightrider”

Joan Osborne – “One Of Us”

RJD2- “Laws of the Gods”

Jens Lekman – “An Argument with Myself”

The Civil Tones – “Papa Burger”

Electric Guest – “American Daydream”

Meat Puppets – “I’m a Mindless Idiot”

Yo La Tengo – “Autumn Sweater”

Baha Men – “Who Let the Dogs Out”

Belle & Sebastian – “Dress Up In You”

Velvet Underground – “Candy Says”

Faust – “Picnic on a Frozen River”

Van Morrison – “Sweet Thing”

The Fresh and Onlys – “No Regard”