Episode 108: Don Cheadle, Shredding History, and Speculoos
This week: Actor Don Cheadle (“The Guard”) kisses and doesn’t tell… Music history gets a blast to the eardrums… And Rico discovers the best waffle topping you’ve never heard of. Plus, an uncool joke from Emma Straub, and new old soul from The Shakes.
A History Lesson with Booze: The Electric Guitar & an “Electric Lemonade” This week in 1937, lap-steel guitarist George Beauchamp and partner Adolph Rickenbacker patented the modern electric guitar, laying the foundations for ear-splitting rock ‘n’ roll, youth revolutions, and holding up your lighter during a power ballad. Toast the greatest invention ever with this amped-up take on a cocktail standard:
In a chilled highball glass add:
- 1.25 oz. vodka
- .5 oz. St-Germain Elderflower liquor
- .25 oz. freshly-squeezed lemonade
- splash of soda water or ginger ale
Sip, pump fist, bang head. Repeat ‘til deaf.
BONUS AUDIO: FIRST ELECTRIC GUITAR RECORDING! Gage Brewer, a small-time performer from Northwest Oklahoma, picks away at electrified Hawaiian and Spanish-style Rickenbackers in a home recording from 1932. Gage was the first musician ever to play live with an electric guitar — his “Frying Pan” sits proudly at the Wichita-Sedgwick County Historical Museum, and the only copy of this 78-rpm belongs to local Scott Kern. He generously gave us permission to listen in on an excerpt:
Guest of Honor: Don Cheadle
Don Cheadle is equally at-home in Oscar-winning dramas (Hotel Rwanda, Crash), and summer fare like Iron Man 2 and the Ocean’s 11 series. So it shouldn’t come as a total surprise that his new film The Guard (rolling out this month) takes him into more uncharted terrain - a pitch-black cop comedy set in rural western Ireland. Don tells Brendan about Brendan’s greatness (!), the subtle perks of celebrity, and Cobalt.
Main Course: Letting Loose Speculoos L.A. waffle shop Shaky Alibi serves a sweet Belgian topping called “Speculoos” that Rico says is the most delicious thing that ever happened to fried carbs. The spread — increasingly popular (and controversial) in Europe — is still a specialty item in the U.S. Shaky Alibi owner R.J. Milano explains why that’ll likely change… and why he can’t always keep the stuff in stock.
One For The Road: The Shakes! - “You Ain’t Alone” Unsigned Athens, AL outfit The Shakes! (Update 4/10/12: now very much signed and better known as Alabama Shakes) embrace the old-school soul sound so completely you’d swear their songs were recorded decades ago. But the band’s sensitive lyrics and surprising arrangements are totally 21st-century. Slow-burning barnstormer “You Ain’t Alone” features the Otis Reddingesque wails of frontlady Brittany Howard — best heard on a hot summer night after the last dance.
Music On This Week’s Show:
Sea & Cake - “The Argument”
Aphex Twin - “Girl/Boy Song”
Tipsy - “Liquordelic”
Andy Iona & His Islanders - “Maui Girl”
Replicants - “Are ‘Friends’ Electric?”
Dogs Die in Hot Cars - “Celebrity Sanctum”
Butterglory - “Fight Fight Fight”
The Shakes! - “You Ain’t Alone”