Bullseye with Jesse Thorn
Bullseye from NPR is your curated guide to culture. Jesse Thorn hosts in-depth interviews with brilliant creators, culture picks from our favorite critics and irreverent original comedy. Bullseye has been featured in Time, The New York Times, GQ and McSweeney's, which called it "the kind of show people listen to in a more perfect world." (Formerly known as The Sound of Young America.)

[r] Mavis Staples is one of the greatest singers of our time -- a gospel, soul, and R&B vocalist known for her deep, rich voice. She began as the lead singer of The Staple Singers, a family gospel group formed by Pops Staples and several of his children. The Staple Singers achieved several hits with "Respect Yourself", "I'll Take You There" and "Let's Do It Again". They also became a musical voice of the American civil rights movement with their protest music. Jesse will ask about how Staples balanced her gospel roots with a career in popular music and about what is was like working with Curtis Mayfield and - yes - Prince. Plus, the McElroy brothers from My Brother, My Brother and Me join us to answer listeners’ pop culture questions.

Direct download: bullseye141125.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:30am EDT

Paul Reubens created Pee-wee Herman. Jesse sits down with Reubens to talk about growing up in a circus town, Reubens’ early appearances on The Gong Show, and the plans for a new Pee-wee Herman movie. Jesse also talks with Aasif Mandvi. A longtime correspondent for The Daily Show, Mandvi has a new memoir out. It’s called No Land’s Man.

Plus, avant-pop artist Kimbra talks about the song that changed her life, and Jesse tells you about why Steve Reich helps him hear things differently.

Direct download: bullseye141118.mp3
Category:Podcast -- posted at: 5:30am EDT

 We break format this week to bring you the Judge John Hodgman Special. Maybe you know John Hodgman from his appearances on The Daily Show, or as the PC from the Mac vs. PC ads. But did you know he's also a fake judge on the internet? On his podcast Judge John Hodgman, he hears disputes from real people all over the world via Skype and tells them who's right and who's wrong. And Jesse Thorn is the bailiff. We'll hear two court cases: in the first, a shy teenager files suit against her pushy dad. In the second, two friends spar over ill-mannered ponies. Then, Judge Hodgman will issue a few snap judgments.

Direct download: bullseye141111.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:30am EDT

For a time, Mendes was probably the most famous Brazilian musician in the world. Mendes will talk to Jesse about why bossa nova has such a universal appeal. Jesse will also talk to James Fearnley. He plays accordion for The Pogues. Fearnley will talk about mixing traditional Irish folk with punk music. He’ll also talk about when he knew that lead singer Shane MacGowan’s hard-drinking ways had gone too far. Then later you’ll hear comedian Brent Weinbach’s set from MaxFunCon. Lastly Jesse will talk about tell you about a great new thing on adult swim: What if Jesus lived in America, in 2014? In Compton? Well on this show, he does.

Direct download: bullseye141104b.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:30am EDT