Episode 81: Dan Bejar, Big In Japan, and Double Ducks

Dan Bejar/Ted Bois

This week: Indie rocker/wordsmith Dan Bejar finds himself caught in a (quiet) storm… An athlete goes far – and very wide – to get big in Japan… and we roast awful restaurant websites. Plus, rockabilly legend Wanda Jackson quacks us up, and a new tune from Ducktails.

Icebreaker: Wanda Jackson
Wanda Jackson, the Queen of Rockabilly (and incidentally Elvis’s ex-girlfriend), calls it like she sings it. (Her Jack White-produced album The Party Ain’t Over hit stores this week)

Small Talk: Be Kind Rewind, High-Flying Drugs, and Wolves vs. Creed The staff from Marketplace suss out some lesser-known headlines… like drug smugglers’ new method of launching weed over the border.

Radio listeners heard Madeleine Brand, former Day to Day anchor and host of The Madeleine Brand Show on KPCC-FM, tell us why Genghis Khan was good for the planet.

A History Lesson With Booze: Akebono & The “‘Nalo Smash”
This week back in 1993, Chad Rowan, aka Akebono, became the first foreign-born athlete to reach yokozuna – the highest rank in sumo wrestling. Hear how he did it, then throw yourself off-balance with an East-meets-West cocktail:

“The ‘Nalo Smash” – created by Tim Rita, bartender at Halekulani’s Lewers Lounge on Akebono’s home island of Oahu:

  • 3 shiso leaves
  • 2 sprigs mint
  • 1 oz. honey
  • 1 1/2 oz. Coconut puree
  • 2 oz. Suntory Yamazaki single-malt whiskey
  • nutmeg

Muddle the mint, two shiso leaves, and the honey. Add coconut puree and Suntory, shake it all up, and strain in a rocks glass over ice. Dust with nutmeg and throw down the final shiso leaf – a stamp right across the top before you get smashed.

Guest of Honor: Destroyer’s Dan Bejar
Dan Bejar’s music is a gallimaufry of pop culture references and poetry, set to whatever sort of music he happens to be digging at the time (and if you don’t know what “gallimaufry” means, you’re getting a taste of what it’s like trying to decode his hyper-literate lyrics). He’s been compared to Bowie, and he works regularly with indie heroes The New Pornographers, but his new album Kaputt is an unexpected detour into 80s-esque soft-rock. Bejar talks to Brendan about what’s in a name, what’s in his navel, and unwittingly getting caught in a quiet storm.

Main Course: Roasting Restaurant Websites
Even some of the best eateries can’t seem to master that newfangled contraption called a “website.” Slideshows, music, flash animations — they provide everything except easy access to, like, the menu. Earlier this month, foodhemians started venting their frustrations via the tumblr page “Never Said About Restaurant Websites.” Meanwhile, designer/humorist Mike Lacher did the same with his McSweeney’s piece “If This Fusion Restaurant Website Could Talk”. Lacher graces Rico with a reading… and explains how it came to this.

One For The Road: Ducktails – “Killin the Vibe”
Every now and again, Matthew Mondanile leaves behind his day job in Real Estate to record solo as Ducktails. His latest LP Ducktails III: Arcade Dynamics features a vocal assist from Panda Bear on the track “Killin the Vibe.” A perfect song for not-so-subliminal behavior correction. (Hey, get off that cell phone!)

Music On This Week’s Show:

Sea & Cake – “The Argument”

The Wedding Present – “Signal”

Link Wray – “Jack The Ripper”

Tipsy – “Liquordelic”

Kodo – “Nanafushi”

The Generationals – “When They Fight They Fight”

Destroyer – “Savage Night At The Opera”

Destroyer – “Kaputt”

The Go! Team – “Ladyflash”

Ducktails – “Killin the Vibe”