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.)

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
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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
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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
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[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]

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[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.

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Hari Kondabolu talks about the distinct advantages and disadvantages of being a stand up comedian who's also a former social activist and organizer. Director Jake Kasdan talks about the strategy involved in making a movie called Sex Tape. Carolyn Kellogg recommends some of her favorite westerns. Jesse tells you about Harvey Pekar, a man who made the mundane and everyday feel special.

Direct download: bullseye140722.mp3
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Nat Faxon talks about going from bit parts to starring roles, and what it was like to meet George Clooney. Mimi Pond talks about the sex, drugs and profanity she encountered while working at a diner in the 1970s. She put together a graphic novel about all of it. Werner Herzog reveals his origin story. Mark Frauenfelder shares some new culture recommendations. Jesse tells you about The Beach Boys’ Smiley Smile.

Direct download: bullseye140715.mp3
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[r] Fred Willard talks to Jesse about why he plays a cocky buffoon all the time, and why he turned down the lead in Airplane! Dave Tompkins talks about how the vocoder went from a military encryption tool to a musical instrument. Eleni Mandell reveals the Tom Waits song that changed her life -- but it’s not the one she meant to hear. Todd Martens recommends a couple of all-time favorites from Wilco and Material Issue. Lastly, Jesse will tell you about Elliott Gould as a noir hero in Robert Altman’s The Long Goodbye.

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Melissa McCarthy and Ben Falcone are both creative and romantic partners. They’ll talk about their most recent collaboration, the new movie Tammy. Then Jesse will talk to another family that’s working together: The Sklar Brothers.Randy and Jason Sklars' stand-up comedy special is called What Are We Talking About?  Plus, culture picks from the folks at NPR’s Pop Culture Happy Hour, Davy Rothbart from FOUND Magazine, and Jesse talks about his favorite, crazy-eyed player on the San Francisco Giants.

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Category:general -- posted at: 11:30 AM

Jesse talks to the man inside the Big Bird suit. Caroll Spinney has been Big Bird since the beginning in 1969. He’s actually Oscar the Grouch, too. Spinney will talk about why he’s stayed connected to the world of Sesame Street for so long. Then later, comedian Ian Edwards talks about going from fast-food employee to professional comedian. Plus, some recommendations for great old movies and the reason why Randy Newman’s ‘I Love L.A.’ is ironic but also kind of not ironic.

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Category:general -- posted at: 9:30 AM