Episode 334: Teyonah Parris, Savages, and Profanely Good Etiquette

(Photo Credit: Ben Miller)

Actor Teyonah Parris on how Michelle Obama helped her prepare for her lead role in Spike Lee’s “Chi-Raq”… Post-punk band Savages DJ your murder mystery dinner party… Author Janice Y.K. Lee paints us a portrait of expat life in Hong Kong… Writer Sarah Knight’s life-changing answer to Marie Kondo… plus the Netflix of air travel, the history of the world’s biggest oil gusher, a journey through some utopias, and a fond farewell to David Bowie.

Savages - 'Snowman Vampire'


Savages members Jehnny Beth and Ayşe Hassan give us a chilly icebreaker before serving up a cute and creepy playlist for your next murder mystery party.

The Netflix of Airlines Hits Australia

Small Talk

The Mash-Up Americans co-host Rebecca Lehrer tells us about Airly, a new service that offers unlimited travel to major cities in exchange for AU$2,500 a month (that's $1,711.23 in the U.S). Maybe New Yorkers should consider living on planes?

Texas Energy Museum/Newsmakers

An Oil Gusher Bursts Texas Into History

A History Lesson With Booze ®

Texas was known mainly for cattle and cotton until Pattillo Higgins came along. His hunch that there might be oil in them thar' hills lead to the discovery of a massive gusher, which would fuel the 20th century.

Savages' Jehnny Beth and Ayşe Hassan Cook Up A Murder Mystery Playlist


Jehnny Beth and Ayşe Hassan are two of the four members that make up the London-based band Savages. Their debut album of ferocious post-punk was shortlisted for the UK's prestigious Mercury Prize. Their follow-up, called, "Adore Life," comes out this week. They provide a playlist for the next time your dinner party turns into a real-life game of Clue.

'Chi-Raq' Star Teyonah Parris: 'I Had No Clue Whether This Would Work'

Guest of Honor

Teyonah Parris made her breakthrough playing the first black employee of Sterling Cooper on the hit TV show "Mad Men." And her latest starring role is in Spike Lee's acclaimed film "Chi-Raq." The actor chats about studying women like Michelle Obama to embody Lysistrata, her desire to see more complex representations of African-Americans in cinema, and about not talking about her hair.

Janice Y.K. Lee's Vivid Glimpse Into the Lives of Expats in Hong Kong


Best-selling author Janice Y.K. Lee was born to Korean immigrants in Hong Kong. In her new novel, "The Expatriates," she paints a rich portrait of expat life in the city. The book follows the lives of three different American women in a small expat community in Hong Kong, including a Korean-American recent Columbia graduate, a wealthy housewife who struggled to conceive a child, and a mother of three who questions her identity after a shattering loss. Janice shares an excerpt from the prologue with us.

Sarah Knight Introduces You to Her 'Not Sorry Method'


"The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving an F*CK," author advises our listeners on partying while dieting, and on ignoring your emails… with no apologies.

Chris Jennings' Deep Dive into American Utopianism

Chattering Class

This week's chattering class topic: Utopias. Specifically, a bunch of utopian communities that sprouted up in America in the 19th century. And our guest is Chris Jennings. His new book is called, "Paradise Now: The Story of American Utopianism," and it focuses on five of the hundreds of utopian experiments of that era. The author tells us about God-fearing communists and a few Utopian leaders, one of which believed that eventually the oceans would taste like lemonade (seriously).

Remembering David Bowie's Monumental Impact on Music Artists


We look back at the many artists who cited the rock legend as an influence on our show.