Episode 189: David France, Jackie Collins, and Vampire Lemonade
This week: Oscar-nominated filmmaker David France on plagues and platforms… Pulitzer-finalist Karen Russell sinks her teeth into a new story collection… Bestseller queen Jackie Collins tells you how to (mis)behave… Alex Karpovsky (“Girls”) goes meta… We dip into chip history… Why religion matters to atheists… Plus Graveyard humor, cheating via satellite, and “Entertainment” provided by Phoenix.
Icebreaker: Graveyard Axel Sojberg and Joakim Nilsson of the Swedish heavy metal band Graveyard take us to a much hotter place than their homeland. They’re on tour now in the US, on the heels of releasing the much-lauded album Lights Out.
A History Lesson with Booze: Skinny Phone Books and the "Tropical Tom Collins" This week back in 1878, a new type of book was published that you would never want to read cover-to-cover. Listen to the tale of the first phone directory (complete with instructions!) and then look up this name-happy cocktail:
“Tropical Tom Collins,” as listed by John Gianetti of 116 Crown in Bridgeport, CT.
- 2 oz of Martin Miller’s London Dry Gin
- 1 oz of John D. Taylor’s Velvet Falernum
- 1 oz of fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 oz of simple syrup
- 1 full squeeze of Bittermen’s ‘Elemakule Tiki Bitters
Shake with ice, and strain over fresh ice. Garnish with piece of orange and a cherry. Redial as often as desired.
Guest List: Alex Karpovsky Alex Karpovsky plays the edgy coffee-shop boss Ray in the hit HBO series “Girls.” He’s also an award-winning - and prolific - indie filmmaker. His two recent projects, “Rubberneck” and “Red Flag,” premiere in NYC this weekend as a double feature, and they’re also available via VOD and iTunes. “Red Flag” follows an indie filmmaker…named Alex Karpovsky…doing a press tour for his latest independent film. Confused? We asked him to share a few of other magnificent meta movies.
- “24 Hour Party People” by Michael Winterbottom
- “Spaceballs” by Mel Brooks
- “The Trip” by Michael Winterbottom (meta repetition!)
Guest of Honor: David France David France’s writing has been published in The New Yorker, GQ and elsewhere. He was a senior editor for Newsweek. But this weekend you’ll see him at the Academy Awards, where his debut film “How to Survive A Plague” is up for Best Documentary Feature. It’s about the activist group Act Up, which in the 1980s and 1990s focused the world on the AIDS crisis, and arguably helped bring about today’s treatments for the virus. Rico chats with David about everyday heroes, and about why a future without AIDS might already be at hand.
Check out our annual “Dinner Party Oscar Ballot,” which uses the HIGHLY scientific factor of ‘appearance on our show’ to determine the winner.
Eavesdropping: Karen Russell Karen Russell’s debut novel “Swamplandia!” was a finalist for the 2012 Pulitzer prize. Her new book - the entrancing, Gothic-tinged story collection “Vampires in the Lemon Grove” - has been receiving similarly rapturous reviews. Today we overhear her reading a particularly juicy excerpt. (This selection has been edited for time purposes.)
Main Course: Chip History It’s Oscar weekend, which means glitz and glam…and snack food galore. At a lot of Oscar parties, chips will be sitting front and center. Lately, there’s been a veritable explosion of fancy chips: plaintain chips, kale chips, soy chips. The current craze inspired Sam Dean to write a history of the chip for Bon Appetit. Brendan sat down with Sam and chewed things over.
Etiquette: Jackie Collins In the last few decades, author Jackie Collins’ sexy romps have sold over 500 million copies. Her latest offering, The Power Trip, brings together a few billionaires and beauties on (where else?) a luxury yacht, and throws in some murder for good measure. She tells us the two little secrets behind crafting bestsellers, then offers some tips on lychees and seafaring fashion.
Chattering Class: Alain de Botton As few billion people know by now, the Pope officially retires this coming week. We’re betting that some listeners - namely atheists - are growing weary of all the news coverage: why should they care? Brendan caught up with philosopher and writer Alain de Botton last year, and asked him what religion can teach all of us - no matter our beliefs. (Botton’s musings can be found “Religion for Athiests: A Non-Believer’s Guide to the Uses Of Religion”; it’s out now in paperback.)
One for the Road: Phoenix - "Entertainment" Here’s a contradiction: the band Phoenix hails from Paris. Here’s another: their 2012 album “Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix” went gangbusters, and this April’s follow-up is called “Bankrupt.” So it’s nice to know that the lead single - “Entertainment” - is precisely what it claims to be. Spin it and smile.
Other Music in this week’s show:
The Sea & Cake - “The Argument”
Aphex Twin - “Boy/Girl Song”
Tipsy - “Liquordelic”
Salty Dog Flea Orchestra - “The Mikado: I’ve Got a Little List”
Penguin Cafe Orchestra - “Telephone and Rubber Bands”
Bibio - “Zooprakiphone”
Happy Mondays - “24 Hour Party People (Jon Carter Mix)”
Michael Anthony - “Spaceballs Theme Music”
Dick Dale - “Let’ Go Trippin”
Neptunes - “The Battle”
Air - “Talisman”
Hot Chip - ” Over and Over”
Prince - ” Little Red Corvette”
CocoRosie - “God Has a Voice, She Speaks Through Me”
Phoenix - “Entertainment”