Episode 83: Chris Burden, Small Weddings, and Sushi Burritos

Chris Burden/Joshua White

This week: Artist Chris Burden revokes your driver’s license… We look back on the biggest little wedding of the 19th century… And the “Sushirrito” is born. Plus, PJ Harvey’s new tune kills, and Weird Al Yankovic makes a rare foray into comedy.

Icebreaker: Weird Al
America’s parodist laureate Weird Al Yankovic dictates a joke. (Al’s bestselling children’s book When I Grow Up is in stores now.)

Small Talk: Expensive Kicks, Body Heat, and Thinking Caps
The staff from Marketplace dig up some lesser-known headlines…like the deadly serious plan one British town hatched to lower heating bills.

Radio listeners heard Reihan Salam, columnist for The Daily, reveal how our future robot overlords will waste their time.

A History Lesson With Booze: A Small Wedding & “The 4th and Clyde”
This week back in 1863, Charles Sherwood Stratton — better known as Tom Thumb — was married in what might’ve been the wedding of the century. Learn about Stratton’s big love for his little lady Lavinia Warren, then connect to his story with this cocktail:

“The 4th and Clyde” – as married by John Ginetti, owner/mixologist at 116 Crown in New Haven, CT – birth state of Stratton, Barnum, and showmanship.

  • 1 oz. Hendrick’s gin
  • 1 oz. Maker’s Mark Bourbon
  • 1 oz. St. Germaine’s elderflower liqueur
  • Barspoonful of Conecticut honey
  • pinch of chili flakes

Mix the ingredients together – warm – to integrate the honey. Shake everything over ice, then double strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Toast Tom Thumb and sip it in many small, dignified gulps.

Guest of Honor: Chris Burden
Chris Burden exploded onto the art scene in the early ’70s with a series of unsettling performance pieces that forced audiences to consider the fine line between art and immorality, and (often) man and machine. He’s been shot, crucified on a car, and he has crawled through broken glass. But for years he’s turned to giant installation pieces that run the gamut from charming to awe-inspiring to ominous. His latest is kind of a combination of the three – a miniature city called “Metropolis II” that’s simultaneously a kid’s train-set dream-come-true… and a vision of city life which Burden says caused viewers “extreme anxiety” in its early incarnations. It’ll be set in motion at the L.A. County Museum of Art later this year. Meanwhile Chris tells Rico about his secret dream career, and why he wants everyone to take their hands off the steering wheel.

Main Course: Attack of the Sushirito!
The latest offspring of Latin American and Asian Cuisines is the “Sushirito:” part sushi-roll, part burrito. Think tortillas engulfing fillings like crab, rice, shrimp tempura, and spicy tuna. Brendan hunted down LA’s Jogasaki Burrito truck – one of the only outlets offering the hybrid – and chatted with owner Yo Pratioto and MidTownLunch blogger Zach Brooks.

One For The Road: P.J. Harvey – “The Words That Maketh Murder”
Quixotic British chanteuse P.J. Harvey releases her first album in four years on Tuesday. Let England Shake weaves together folk, world, and blues influences into a vibrant melange that gets vastly richer with each listen. (Take it from a one-time skeptic.) “The Words that Maketh Murder” is typical Harvey – eerie, political, and perfect for an primal bonfire in the deep, dark woods.

Music On This Week’s Show:

Sea & Cake – “The Argument”

The Wedding Present – “Signal”

Link Wray – “Jack The Ripper”

Tipsy – “Liquordelic”

Sufjan Stevens – “The Tallest Man, the Broadest Shoulders Part I: The Great Frontier”

Bob Dylan – “Just Like Tom Thumb Blues”

Elvis Costello – “God’s Comic”

Otouto – “Sushi”

P.J. Harvey – “The Words That Maketh Murder”