375: Damien Chazelle, George Saunders, Rhiannon Giddens, Menu Mysteries

(Photo by John Phillips/John Phillips/Getty Images)

Director Damien Chazelle on his record-tying 14 Oscar nominations, and why he’s attracted to art forms on their way to extinction… A New York Times editor reveals the elaborate accommodations for canine competitors at the Westminster Dog Show… Author George Saunders dishes out advice and reveals his *real* first novel… Musician Rhiannon Giddens picks a playlist for the perfect potluck… Plus, decoding menu mysteries and how John Harvey Kellogg invented corn flakes!

The Health Nut Who Invented Corn Flakes

A History Lesson With Booze ®

This coming week back in 1852, a man was born who went on to change the way mainstream America ate breakfast. Learn why his ideas weren't exactly mainstream and enjoy a mocktail.

Rhiannon Giddens Blends Blues and Opera for Your Next Party


Rhiannon Giddens is singer, songwriter, fiddler, and banjo maestro. And if that wasn't enough, you can see her flex her acting muscles on the TV show "Nashville." Her second solo album comes out this week Here she is with a playlist that mixes blues, opera, satire, and more.

Damien Chazelle on Weaving Fantasy and Reality in 'La La Land'

Guest of Honor

Damien Chazelle's latest movie, "La La Land," has been nominated for 14 Academy Awards, tying it with "All About Eve" and "Titanic" for the most nominations of all time. His previous movie was the Oscar-winning jazz-infused film "Whiplash." Chazelle explains what attracts him to art forms "on the precipice of extinction" and why the industry underestimates musicals.

George Saunders Ponders Purgatory and Patience With Messy Co-workers


Each week you send in your questions about how to behave, and here to answer them this time is author George Saunders. He is a bonafide MacArthur genius, and he has won international acclaim for his work in almost every prose form from hilarious satire to short stories. His newest work is his first novel, called "Lincoln in the Bardo." George explains what inspired him to the tale, before channeling his inner nun to solve our listeners' book club conundrums and more.

Menu Mysteries: Wolfdown Edition

Main Course

This week we launch an occasional Main Course series we're calling "Menu Mysteries." In which we check out a restaurant's menu and have the chef decode some of the lesser known ingredients on it. Listen as Rico raids the pantry of L.A.'s Wolfdown, and learns that skordalia is not a flower.

Sun Kil Moon - 'I Love Portugal'

One For The Road

Mark Kozelek was the songwriter behind '90s indie band Red House Painters. Since then he's released a bunch of albums under his own name and under the moniker Sun Kil Moon. That project's new album is called "Common As Light and Love Are Valleys Red With Blood." The songs are almost like diary entries. Click here to listen to a single off the album called, "I Love Portugal."