397: Willem Dafoe, Depeche Mode, Carla Hall Shares Her Grandmother’s Cornbread Recipe

Photo Credit: Karlovy Vary International Film Festival

Actor Willem Dafoe explains what he learns from screen newbies… Electro band Depeche Mode on how travel has made their music more socially conscious… A former Obama speechwriter convinces us that ferns are the most romantic plant… Chef Carla Hall shares her grandmother’s cast iron cornbread recipe… Rachel Bloom takes on your etiquette questions… and more!

Torres Spins a Soundtrack for a Casual Get Together... Or Somethin' Sexier


Mackenzie Scott released her first album under the moniker Torres when she was still in college. Her personal lyrics and raw vocals continue to earn her critical acclaim. She's just released her third album of emotional electronica, called "Three Futures." She mixes up a playlist with songs by Gal Costa, Portishead, and more to give you some slinky and "kinda kinky" songs for your next party.

Willem Dafoe: Not Just 'The Bad Guy'

Guest of Honor

Willem Dafoe has lit up the big screen for three decades, from his Oscar-nominated performance in "Platoon," to playing Jesus in "The Last Temptation of Christ," to great character roles in "Wild At Heart" and "The Grand Budapest Hotel." His latest is "The Florida Project," directed by Sean Baker. Willem talks with Brendan about working alongside screen newbies in the film, the moment when an actor becomes creative artist and not just an interpreter, and maybe reveals a little too much answering one of our standard questions.

Carla Hall Fondly Recalls Her Grandma's Cornbread (And Shares the Recipe!)

Main Course

Before Carla Hall was known as the co-host of "The Chew," a "Top Chef" finalist, and the author of several cookbooks, the Nashville native was just a girl who was a deep fan of her grandmother's cooking, especially her cornbread. When she got older and became interested in cooking, she tried to sleuth out how to make it for her family and catering clients. Listen as the celebrity chef remembers a staple of her Southern Sunday suppers and get the recipe for her grandmother's cornbread.

Depeche Mode: From Synth-Pop to Revolution Rock

Chattering Class

Back in the early '80s, four lanky Brits calling themselves Depeche Mode, armed only with primitive synthesizers, started churning out pop hits. Nearly 40 years later they've sold over 100 million albums and are one of the most popular live acts on Earth. This weekend they'll become the first band ever to play four consecutive sold-out shows at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles. Rico spoke to Mode's main songwriter, Martin Gore, and his fellow founding member, Andy Fletcher, about their synth beginnings, their shift to more political music, and the worst night of their musical lives.

Rachel Bloom Gives us Some Not-So-Crazy Advice


Each week, you send in your questions about how to behave, and here to answer them this time around is actor, writer, and musical number belter-outer Rachel Bloom. The Golden Globe winner and "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend" star shares the secrets to making a musical show before diving into our listener questions on "Google stalking" and public sing-a-longs.

David Litt Takes Us Through His Worst Nightmare (Involving Obama's Ferns)


David Litt penned some of former President Obama's most memorable speeches, including his comic turns at White House Correspondents' Dinners. The stories behind those speeches are the stuff of his new memoir, "Thanks, Obama: My Hopey, Changey White House Years." Listen as he shares a tale that didn't make it into the book… maybe because it involves him stealing.