NPR: Bullseye with Jesse Thorn (general)
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: 10:30 AM

 

Anna Faris’ break may have come with Scary Movie, but she’s had a long career since then. She’ll talk to Jesse about her roles on The House Bunny and her current starring role on the CBS sitcom Mom. Later, Jesse talks to the jazz drummer Otis Brown III. His new album is called The Thought of You. Plus, FOUND Magazine’s Davy Rothbart brings in some of his latest discoveries and Jesse explains why you don’t know how to flip a coin until David Rees has taught you to flip a coin.

Direct download: bullseye140923b.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:30 AM

[r] The writer George Saunders talks about his early creative challenges, the slight constant pressure of capitalism, and Tenth of December, his new book of short stories. Maria Bamford explains why she filmed her new comedy special in front of an audience of two (her parents), and why it's important to talk about scary stuff on stage. Plus, Dan Deacon talks about the song that changed his life and Jesse shares one of his favorite poems by William Carlos Williams. The interviews in this episode originally aired February 2013.

Direct download: bullseye140916.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:30 AM

Todd Glass has been a comic for 30 years but he’s only been out of the closet for about two. He’ll talk to Jesse about why he waited until his late 40s to come out. Todd Glass has a new book out -- it’s called The Todd Glass Situation. Then later, Jesse talks to Raffi. He wanted to be the next James Taylor, but he was about to give up. Then, he made a kids album with his wife, and the rest is history. Plus, the writer Ariel Schrag tells you about why she wants to start working a little bit of magic into her writing about everyday stuff. Lastly, Jesse tells you about the Van Morrison album that was recorded out of pure spite.

Direct download: bullseye140909.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:30 AM

Chuck Klosterman’s newest collection of essays is called I Wear the Black Hat: Grappling with Villains. What does it mean to be a modern villain? Why is society so hung up on anti-heroes? For that matter, how would we react if Batman were a real thing? Then another installment of Canonball. Phillip Crandall explains why Andrew WK’s first album of party anthems should be considered a classic. Plus, Karina Longworth shares a couple of her favorite movies about being a punk rocker, and Jesse tells you a secret because you’re good enough, you’re smart enough and people like you. (The number to call to let us know why you love Bullseye is: 206-333-9919)

Direct download: bullseye140902.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:30 AM

George Takei will talk about how he went from a prisoner at a Japanese-American internment camp, to the guy playing Sulu on Star Trek, to a leading marriage equality activist. Then Jesse will talk to Damian Abraham. He’s in the band F***ed Up.  He’ll talk about how he found punk music and what it’s like to still be doing it now that he has a wife and kids. Plus, book picks from the LA Times’ Carolyn Kellogg, and Jesse will tell you about another book, one that makes a pig who spells and does math seem totally ordinary. The number to call to let us know why you love Bullseye is: 206-333-9919

Direct download: bullseye140826.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:30 AM

In the mid-70s Alejandro Jodorowsky attempted to bring Frank Herbert's classic science fiction novel to the screen. The ambitious space opera would have pre-dated Star Wars, but Jodorowsky's version of Dune was never filmed. The documentary’s director Frank Pavich tells Jesse why. Then Jesse talks to Dee Dee Penny, the frontwoman of Dum Dum Girls about turning a small recording project into a full on garage rock girl group. Plus, Matt Fraction will tell you about how Bruce Lee taught him to write comics, hear some picks from the folks at NPR’s Pop Culture Happy Hour, and Jesse will tell you about one of the least braggy rap songs ever made.

Direct download: bullseye140819.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:30 AM

Ishmael Butler talks to Jesse about the birth and death of Digable Planets and the new record from Shabazz Palaces. Then Allison Janney talks about her Emmy-nominated work on Masters of Sex and Mom. Plus, Michel Gondry talks about the song that changed his life, we hear a couple new rock n roll songs you should listen to immediately and Jesse will tell you about the last Hollywood picture Orson Welles ever directed.

Direct download: bullseye140812.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:30 AM

[r] Elizabeth Gilbert’s latest novel is called The Signature of All Things. It traces the life of a woman living in the 19th century as a botanist. But it’s actually a really fun adventure story. She’ll talk about it, and about the unexpected reaction to her memoir Eat, Pray, Love. Then Jesse will talk to the music industry veteran Daryl Hall. We'll discuss how he used Disco and Punk rock to help create Hall & Oates signature sound. And about their lasting influence. Plus, comedy from Patton Oswalt, our film critic friends at The Dissolve share a couple of all-time greats, and Jesse tells you why any sports video of Bo Jackson -- at his peak -- will make your jaw drop with amazement.


[The segments on this episode have all previously aired at various times]

Direct download: bullseye140805.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:30 AM

[r] Hear Jesse’s interview with one of comedy’s greatest grumps: Lewis Black. He didn’t become a stand-up until his mid-thirties. Find out why he left the theater for comedy and why he actually considers himself a family comic. The answer will surprise you.  Then Jesse talks to Syl Johnson – the soul singer who has been sampled on countless hip-hop records -- about turning down the record deal that ended up going to Al Green. Andrew Noz shares some of his favorite hip hop tracks, and Annie Hart of Au Revoir Simone reveals the hardcore song that changed her life.

Direct download: bullseye140729.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:30 AM