Episode 183: David O. Russell, George Saunders, and Experiments with Cale
This week: Director David O. Russell (“Silver Linings Playbook,” “The Fighter”) steals the show…The Velvet Underground’s John Cale experiments with a list… Writer George Saunders weighs man purses and messenger bags…Comedian Nick Kroll (“Kroll Show”) tries to mix Oktoberfest and Yom Kippur - then has to flee Germany…We learn about the birth of Texas Oil Boom, and drink a slick cocktail…And there’s a new French dessert to swoon over…Plus, brilliant hatchet jobs, a viola-nt joke, and a trippy track from Foxygen.
A History Lesson with Booze: Birth of Texas Oil and "Black Gold" This week in 1901, an amateur geologist named Pattillo Higgins - with help from salt miner Anthony Lucas - unleashed the most powerful oil gusher that the world had ever seen near Beaumont, TX. Learn about the mega-discovery, and then siphon off some of this oily cocktail:
“Black Gold,” as mined by Paul Shryack, bartender at The Grill in Beaumont, TX:
- 1 part Goldschlager
- 2 parts Patron XO Cafe
- coffee grounds
Wet the rim of a martini glass then roll it in a blend of sugar and coffee grounds. Add the two ingredients, then drizzle additional Patron to the drink. Wait for it all to separate, like a true oil slick. Drop in a swizzle stick if you like - your own oil derrick. Eureka, you’ve found it!
Guest List: John Cale In 1965, Welshman John Cale co-founded The Velvet Underground, one of the most influential rock bands in history. He’s on tour this winter in support of his 16th solo album, “Shifty Adventures in Nookie Wood;” next week John headlines a tribute to his former bandmate, Nico, at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, along with two other showcases. We asked him to talk about a few favorite musical ‘experiments’ he made before going the rockstar route.
- A performance art piece about “Screaming at a Potted Plant Until it Dies”
- Iannis Xenakis’ translation of mathematics into emotion in “Pithoprakta part 1”
- The Dream Syndicate drone sounds in “Day Of Niagara”
Etiquette: George Saunders George Saunders has been compared to Mark Twain and Kurt Vonnegut, for his sharp satire and the deep humanity of his writing. His short stories and essays have won him a number of awards, including a Macarthur Genius Grant. This week he released his first book in seven years, a collection of short stories entitled “Tenth of December.” Despite claiming to be a bad advice-giver, George deftly answers questions about workplace exits, sober-drunk relations, and (wait for it…) man purses. (Listeners, catch George in conversation with Dick Cavett in NYC and Bernard Cooper in LA. in the coming weeks.)
We’re always looking for new etiquette questions. Would you be so kind as to send them to email@example.com? Thank you very much.
Eavesdropping: Nick Kroll Actor and comic Nick Kroll is best known for playing defense attorney Rodney Ruxin on FX’s “The League.” This Wednesday his new sketch comedy show “Kroll Show” premieres on Comedy Central; it features bits with signature Kroll characters like Bobby Bottleservice (one of the ‘Ed Hardy boys’) and flamboyant caterer Fabrice Fabrice. Today he tells us about the time when he got run out of Munich on a rail.
Chattering Class: The Org Your office is set up in the most inane way possible, right? Not so, say Tim Sullivan and Ray Fisman. They’ve co-authored the new book The Org: The Underlying Logic of the Office, which explains how modern workplaces actually work…and also how they don’t. Rico learns from Tim that - amazingly - even cubicles have a purpose.
Main Course: Dacquoise Last year the kouign-amman, a traditional pastry from Brittany, was the darling of the food world. This year, Food and Wine magazine predicts another French regional specialty will become en vogue. A ‘dacquoise’ is a flat, rectangular, macaroon layered with amazingly delicious things (chocolate, fruit, etc.) Brendan paid a visit to Marc Aumont, executive pastry chef at “The Modern” restaurant in New York, to learn more about the latest French import.
Guest of Honor: David O. Russell It’s been a pretty good week for director David O. Russell. After accepting honors at the Palm Springs International Festival, David woke Thursday to news that his “Silver Linings Playbook” had nabbed eight Oscar nominations, including writing, directing and picture. The film handles a tough subject with a deft touch - and a sense of humor; it’s also unafraid to wear its heart on its sleeve. (You could say the same about David’s recent brothers-and-boxing tale “The Fighter.”) He and Rico chat about genre issues and kleptomaniac kids…and then David sings us home.
One for the Road: Foxygen - "San Francisco" Sam France and Jonathan Rado are the songwriting duo behind the band Foxygen. Their new album “We Are The 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic” comes out January 22nd. Here’s a little piece of “San Francisco” - perfect for a midwinter trip.
Other Music In this Week’s Show:
The Sea & Cake - “The Argument”
The Wedding Present - “Signal”
Aphex Twin - “Boy/Girl Song”
Tipsy - “Liquordelic”
Rachmaninoff/Philadelphia Orch - “Concerto No. 2 in C Minor: Moderato; Allegro”
Breech - “Texas”
Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys - “Silver Bells”
John Cale - “Vampire Cafe”
Iannis Xenakis - “Pithoprakta”
Dream Syndicate - “Day of Niagara”
The Velvet Underground - “What Goes On”
Jamie Foxx & T Pain - “Blame It (On the Alcohol)”
Jurgen Kneiper - “Urstromtal (The Glacial Valley)”
Frankie Yankovic - “In Heaven There is No Beer”
James Richter & MB Gordy - “The Druken Sailor”
Stereophonics - “Handbags and Gladrags”
French Provincial Instrumental -
Frank Sinatra - “Come Fly with Me”
Foxygen - “San Francisco”