Episode 96: Billy Collins, Food Raves, and Wandering Waste

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Billy Collins/Peggy Peattie

This week: Former poet laureate Billy Collins talks death and baseball… The lonely journey of the Gar-Barge… And Rico survives a San Fran food rave. Plus, new music from Black Lips, and jokes from a Vivian Girl.

Icebreaker: Vivian Girls
Cassie Ramone of celebrated garage-rock group Vivian Girls Thoreaus out a couple of transcendental jokes.

Small Talk: Madeleine Brand
The titular host of KPCC-FM’s “The Madeleine Brand Show” tells us about a new theory: Being unpopular may be good for your kid.

A History Lesson with Booze: The Lonely Gar-Barge & “Better No Litter”
Right around this time back in 1987, New Jersey became the 3rd state in the union to mandate trash recycling… and the impetus may’ve been the long and inglorious journey of the Mobro 4000 — a barge, loaded with litter, that couldn’t find a home. Hear the story, then toss back this trashy custom cocktail:

“Better No Litter,” as strewn about by Amir Rivera, bartend at Mahogany Hall in San Ignacio, Belize – the southernmost country to reject the Mobro:

In a shaker, add:

  • 1 oz. coconut rum
  • 1 oz. One Barrel rum – a Belize-made liquor.
  • 1/2 oz. creme de banana
  • 2 oz. pineapple juice
  • splash of cranberry juice

Mix and pour into a tall glass. Then chunk and crush pineapple – with rind – and toss the bits into this once-pristine cocktail. Drink, and compost the dregs.

Guest of Honor: Billy Collins
Former U.S. poet laureate Billy Collins just released Horoscopes For The Dead – a collection of pieces often dealing with the (sur)reality of death. Billy tells Brendan why poems tend towards the morbid, why poetry is both more and less popular than ever, and how he can bring himself to be a Yankees fan.

Southern California listeners: You can catch Billy this upcoming Saturday, May 21st, at the Carpenter Performing Arts Center’s “An Evening with Billy Collins.” The event is co-sponsored by member station 89.3 KPCC.

Main Course: Foodapalooza
San Francisco – home of the psychedelic revolution — now serves up rebellion in edible form: The Underground Market is a late-night launching pad for unlicensed home chefs who can’t legally sell their wares at a public market. Throw in bands and a full bar and you got yourself a food rave. Rico takes in the scene.

One For The Road: Black Lips – “Modern Art”
Atlanta-based indie punks The Black Lips were once as well-known for their stage antics as for their music. Their latest single “Modern Art” (from their June LP, Arabia Mountain) streamlines their sound into a little missile of mischief. Best heard while playing hooky on a Wednesday.

Music On This Week’s Show:

Sea & Cake – “The Argument”

Aphex Twin – “Boy/Girl Song”

Tipsy – “Liquordelic”

DJ T – “Glitter”

Sonic Youth – “Total Trash”

Vietnam – “Priest, Poet & Pig”

Bird Talk – “Underground”

Black Lips – “Modern Art”