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    Show: 
    Bullseye
    117
    http://traffic.libsyn.com/tsoya/bullseye140415.mp3
    http://forum.maximumfun.org/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=12210
    Guests: 
    Steve Coogan
    Guests: 
    Kevin Kerrane
    Guests: 
    Hari Kondabolu
    Guests: 
    Andrew Noz

    Steve Coogan’s resume is long and varied, but Alan Partridge has been a constant. Coogan talks about how the character has taken on a life of its own over the past twenty years. Kevin Kerrane talks with Jesse about his classic baseball scouting book called ‘Dollar Sign on the Muscle’. Andrew Noz suggests a couple of favorite all-time rap songs. Hari Kondabolu tries to figure out what happened to Weezer. Lastly, Jesse talks about a very surprising thing he found inside the National Postal Museum.

    New to Bullseye? Subscribe to our podcast in iTunes or with your favorite podcatcher to make sure you automatically get the newest episode every week.

    And if you're looking for a particular segment to listen to or share, check us out on Soundcloud.


    Larry Busacca/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

    Steve Coogan: "Dumping My Dysfunction" into Alan Partridge and Seeking Humanity in Comedy

    The English actor, comedian and writer Steve Coogan started out as a brilliant impressionist. He was beloved by audiences for his pitch-perfect impressions, and put his voice talent to good use on the satirical puppet show Spitting Image. But Coogan wanted more for himself, and began developing his own characters. While working on the radio current affairs parody On The Hour with Armando Iannucci and Chris Morris, he created his most enduring character to date -- the awkward, know-nothing sports desk reporter, Alan Partridge.

    Coogan has now spent two decades off and on with Alan Partridge, as he's been fleshed out and moved from radio to television and back again. Alan has become a very important part of his life, although as Coogan says, Alan is "like a relative that you’re very fond of but you only want to see at Christmas and holidays. You don’t want to live with them." He's now brought the character to the big screen, with Alan as a regional radio deejay who accidentally gets roped into a hostage situation at his station.

    Coogan has also acted in a number of movies and television shows in England and abroad, including The Trip, Night at the Museum, Tropic Thunder and 24 Hour Party People. He also recently co-wrote, produced and starred in the drama Philomena, which garnered several Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay.

    He joins us this week to talk about his early days as an impressionist, the increasing emotional complexity and dynamism of his character Alan Partridge, and seeking humanity in his comedy.

    Alan Partridge is now in theaters and on VOD. Philomena is out on DVD and Blu-Ray.

    If you liked this, let someone know! Click here to share this segment.

    Andrew Noz on All-Time Favorite Tracks: Organized Konfusion and Ice-T

    Hip hop critic Andrew Noz digs way back in the catalogs of past Bullseye guests Pharoahe Monch and Ice-T to recommend some of his favorite tracks.

    He suggests taking a listen to the amazing technical performances in Organized Konfusion's "Bring It On", and revisiting a poetic early track from Ice-T, "High Rollers".

    Andrew Noz is the columnist for Pitchfork's Hall of Game and blogs at Cocaine Blunts. You can also find him on Tumblr.

    If you liked this, let someone know! Click here to share this segment.


    Photo by Zac Wolf

    Hari Kondabolu Asks, What Happened to Weezer?

    Weezer’s first album came out TWENTY years ago. The comedian Hari Kondabolu has been a fan since the beginning.

    Hari's new stand up comedy album is called Waiting for 2042.

    If you liked this, let someone know! Click here to share this segment.

    "Sinister" Dick Kinsella

    Who Won? Who Lost? Who Cares? It's All in How You Play the Game: Kevin Kerrane on the World of Baseball Scouting

    Over thirty years ago, in 1980, Kevin Kerrane entered a world of unusual characters. "Jocko" Collins, "Sinister" Dick Kinsella, Cy Slapnicka. They were baseball scouts -- men who drove from game to game and town to town looking for fresh and undiscovered talent. They watched the players intently, but they didn't care who won or who lost. They were looking to see how an individual player runs, walks, and throws, and picturing how that talent might parlay to the major leagues. Kerrane renders these men and their stories in vivid detail in his classic history of baseball scouting, Dollar Sign on the Muscle.

    The book fell out of print over the years, so Kerrane went back into the field in 2013 to provide a look at scouting in its current iteration.

    Kerrane talks to us about some of the legendary scouts, the particular language and vernacular of the baseball scout, and the balance between old-school qualitative and new-school quantitative analysis of players.

    If you liked this, let someone know! Click here to share this segment.

    The Outshot: Owney, a Very Special Dog

    Jesse shares his love for Owney, the Mascot of the Railway Mail Service.

    If you liked this, let someone know! Click here to share this segment.


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    New to Bullseye? Subscribe to our podcast in iTunes or with your favorite podcatcher to make sure you automatically get the newest episode every week.

    And if you're looking for a particular segment to listen to or share, check us out on Soundcloud.

    Still Fuming: Lewis Black on Drama School, New York, And Why He's Still Fired Up

    No comedian is angrier than Lewis Black. For the past 25 years, America has been infuriating him, and he's been on-stage telling us why.

    After graduating from the Yale School of Drama in 1977, Black spent ten years as a playwright at the West Bank Cafe Downstairs Theater in New York. He transitioned to stand-up comedy in the late 1980s and has been regularly featured on The Daily Show's "Back In Black" segment for the past 16 years.

    Lewis tells us about nearly getting expelled from Yale, why he loves performing in Bismarck, ND, and how theater is like heroin.

    Lewis Black's most recent special, Live at the Borgata, is available now in digital formats. This interview originally aired in August 2013.

    If you liked this, let someone know! Click here to share this segment.

    Hip Hop with Andrew Noz: DJ Quik's Pacific Coast Remix and Rammellzee's Beat Bop

    Hip hop blogger and Pitchfork columnist Andrew Noz joins us with a couple of his all-time favorite hip hop tracks. His first recommendation is Pacific Coast Remix by DJ Quik (featuring Ludacris), a track devoted to sunny Los Angeles's dark side. He also suggests checking out the 1983 track Beat Bop by Rammellzee and K-Rob. It's a song from an era where the uptown and downtown communities mingled in a way that the rap world would rarely see again. This segment originally aired in June 2013.

    If you liked this, let someone know! Click here to share this segment.

    "The Song That Changed My Life" with Annie Hart of Au Revoir Simone

    Annie Hart of Au Revoir Simone grew up in the suburbs of Long Island. As the story goes for a lot of teenagers, she didn't quite fit in. The kids at her school wanted to spend time at the mall. They weren't interested in making stuff, shooting videos and writing zines.

    Annie found a whole new world, and a whole new group of friends, through music. The song that changed her life is "Knew Song", by the Long Island hardcore band Silent Majority.

    Au Revoir Simone's most recent album is Move In Spectrums. This interview originally aired in January 2014.

    If you liked this, let someone know! Click here to share this segment.

    The Enigmatic, Grammy-Nominated Syl Johnson

    Inspired by the sounds of Jackie Wilson, Little Walter, and Muddy Waters, Syl Johnson set out to make his own mark in music in the 1950s. His own gritty, bluesy voice and funk rhythms earned him a place in the Chicago soul and blues scene. Over the course of a career on Chicago's Twinight and Memphis' Hi Records, Johnson released several singles that climbed their way up the pop and R&B charts ("Different Strokes", "Come On Sock It To Me", "Is It Because I'm Black?") and but never attained the smash success of contemporaries like Al Green or James Brown.

    He found ubiquity later in life, when dozens of hip hop artists from Run-DMC to Kanye West dug into his catalog to sample his sounds (perhaps foremost his signature scream on "Different Strokes"). Johnson found himself in the spotlight again a few years ago when the archival label Numero Group assembled a Grammy-nominated boxset of his early cuts, titled Syl Johnson: The Mythology. This interview originally aired in October 2012.

    If you liked this, let someone know! Click here to share this segment.

    The Outshot: "Coney Island"

    Jesse recommends a portrait of an American caught in between its past and its future in Ric Burns' documentary Coney Island.

    If you liked this, let someone know! Click here to share this segment.


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    Show: 
    Bullseye
    175
    http://traffic.libsyn.com/tsoya/bullseye140812.mp3
    http://forum.maximumfun.org/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=12596
    Guests: 
    Ishmael Butler
    Guests: 
    Allison Janney
    Guests: 
    Michel Gondry
    Guests: 
    Todd Martens

    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.

    New to Bullseye? Subscribe to our podcast in iTunes or with your favorite podcatcher to make sure you automatically get the newest episode every week.

    And if you're looking for a particular segment to listen to or share, check us out on Soundcloud.


    Theo Wargo/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

    Ishmael Butler on the Short Life of Digable Planets and the Cosmic Hip Hop of Shabazz Palaces

    In the early 1990s, the hip hop group Digable Planets broke through with their single "Rebirth of Slick (Cool Like Dat)". The single was jazzy and laid-back, and became a crossover hit. The trio were pegged by some as a counterpoint to gangsta rap, but they didn't love the efforts to categorize their sound. They went further on their next boundary-pushing release, the classic record Blowout Comb. The album was critically acclaimed, but didn't sell well, and the group drifted apart shortly afterward.

    Founding member Ishmael Butler was only in his mid 20s when Digable Planets broke up. And so he tried other things, like filmmaking. He still made music, but the releases were few and far between. About five years ago, he teamed up with Tendai Maraire to form a new group called Shabazz Palaces.

    Shabazz Palaces' new release is called Lese Majesty, and it expands on their interstellar sound.

    Butler spoke to us about his days as a indie label gopher, the awkward audition Digable Planets had to endure for a record company executive, and the the transformative sounds of Shabazz Palaces.

    Todd Martens Recommends Pop-Punk and Garage Rock: the Muffs and Twin Peaks

    Is there still good pop-punk out there? What's the musical equivalent of a drunk text? Music critic Todd Martens of the Los Angeles Times stops by to answer both of those questions!

    He recommends a listen to two new albums: the Muffs' first release in ten years, Whoop Dee Doo, and a new record from Chicago garage rockers Twin Peaks called Wild Onion.

    You can find Todd's writing in the LA Times and on their blog, Pop and Hiss.


    Loic Venance /AFP/Getty Images

    "The Song That Changed my Life": Director Michel Gondry Gets Nostalgic for "Le Sud" by Nico Ferrer

    There's a certain kind of feeling to the director Michel Gondry's films. A little bit of happiness mixed with sadness. Nostalgia for something that you experienced, or maybe something you wish you had experienced. You may have felt it watching Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, The Science of Sleep, or his new film Mood Indigo.

    For "The Song That Changed My Life", Gondry describes the feeling of saudade and how he felt watching Nico Ferrer perform the song "Le Sud" on a Saturday night.

    Gondry's new film Mood Indigo is a fantastical story of love and loss, starring Audrey Tatou and Romain Duris. You can find it in theaters now.

    Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

    Allison Janney, from Loose Cannon Sitcom 'Mom' to Intimate Drama in 'Masters of Sex'

    If you've seen Allison Janney on television lately, it's been in one of two very different roles. On the Showtime series Masters of Sex, Janney guest stars as a somewhat naive, vulnerable 1950s housewife who experiences a breakthrough after many years in a sexless (but not loveless) marriage. Her story is both heartbreaking and hopeful. In the CBS sitcom Mom, she plays Bonnie, a recovering alcoholic who's outrageous, biting, and very funny. Bonnie's been down, but she's making peace with her estranged daughter and getting her life back together. Janney's characterizations are versatile; they allow her to be warm, steely, confident, and thin-skinned by turns. Janney is currently nominated for Emmys for both roles; 'Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama' for Masters of Sex, and 'Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy' for Mom.

    She spoke to us about her early acting days (including auditioning for an intimidatingly handsome Paul Newman), getting comfortable with the inevitable nude scenes for Masters of Sex, and the ways that her mom's background and brother's struggle with addiction gave her insight and empathy for her current roles.

    The Outshot: Orson Welles and 'Touch of Evil'

    Jesse explains why the last Hollywood picture Orson Welles directed, Touch of Evil, tells us so much about Welles as an artist.


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    Show: 
    Bullseye
    141
    http://traffic.libsyn.com/tsoya/bullseye141014.mp3
    http://forum.maximumfun.org/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=12787
    Guests: 
    DJ Quik

    DJ Quik was a house producer for Death Row Records and helped develop the G-funk sound. A lot of times those records were dramatic narratives about gangbanging. He’ll talk about how that drama spilled into real-life and about how he had to remove himself from that lifestyle. He’ll also talk about how he samples, his studio equipment and his awesome, awesome hairstyles over the years. It’ll be fun. Then, you’ll hear stand-up comedy from Cameron Esposito’s brand new album. It’s called Same Sex Symbol. Lastly Jesse will talk about why you should go and get SkyMaul 2: Where America Buys His Stuff.

    If you're in Los Angeles, you've got less than 48 hours to buy tickets to Bullseye with Jesse Thorn LIVE on Wednesday, October 15th at the Masonic Lodge at Hollywood Forever Cemetery.

    Featuring conversation with Rob Corddry (Wedlock, Childrens Hospital) and Dan Harmon (Community, Harmontown), music from Sara Watkins (Nickel Creek, Watkins Family Hour), comedy from Steve Agee (New Girl, The Sarah Silverman Program) and Andy Kindler (Maron, Letterman) and more! Plus, your ticket gets you a free beer after the show at our meet-and-greet sponsored by NPR's Generation Listen.

    Tickets are going fast - get yours now, and we'll see you there!


    Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

    DJ Quik Talks About Bollywood Samples, Life Imitating Art, and Hairstyles

    DJ Quik is one of the most prolific figures in West Coast hip hop. He's a great rapper, but first and foremost, he's always considered himself a producer. He's produced some of the most inventive samples and beats of the genre. And even though he geeks out about latest and greatest studio equipment, he's always used whatever it takes to capture the sound he wants -- even if it means recording a music sample with a VCR.

    Quik first made a name for himself in the hip hop scene in the late 80's and early 90's, handing out homemade mix tapes and deejaying around Los Angeles. He's since released ten albums, and produced records for everyone from Tupac, Snoop Dogg and Xzibit to Tony! Toni! Toné!.

    He'll talk about why a leaked record and a couple of guns made him realize he needed a new circle of friends, why he never wants to stop making pretty beats for his records and his inspiration for his awesome, awesome hairstyles over the years.

    DJ Quik's new record is The Midnight Life. It's available now.

    If you liked this, share it! Click here for a streaming, embeddable version of this interview.


    Photo: Mandee Johnson

    Comedy: Cameron Esposito Explains Why Difference is Good

    America is a place of differences. And in an excerpt from her new stand up comedy album, Cameron Esposito explains why we should celebrate that.

    Esposito's new record is called Same Sex Symbol. It's available now from Kill Rock Stars Records and on iTunes. She's also one of the co-hosts of the action and sci-fi podcast Wham Bam Pow.

    The Outshot: Skymaul 2

    Have you ever picked up and actually flipped through one of those in-flight catalogs? Well, the sketch comedy group Kasper Hauser takes all of the grotesque and excessive product offerings of Skymall, and brings them to another level in Skymaul 2: Where America Buys His Stuff.

    If you liked this segment, share it!

    New to Bullseye? Subscribe to our podcast in iTunes or with your favorite podcatcher to make sure you automatically get the newest episode every week.

    And if you're looking for a particular segment to listen to or share, check us out on Soundcloud.


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    Show: 
    Bullseye
    171
    http://traffic.libsyn.com/tsoya/bullseye150324.mp3
    http://forum.maximumfun.org/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=15577
    Guests: 
    Lynda Barry
    Guests: 
    Tom Arnold
    Guests: 
    Brian Coleman

    Jesse sits down with writer and cartoonist, Lynda Barry. She’s currently working as Assistant Professor of Interdisciplinary Creativity at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He’ll also talk to the veteran comic and actor Tom Arnold. Arnold will tell Thorn about working with Roseanne Barr, and how he's coped with the ups and downs of his career. Plus, Brian Coleman tells us about the album that made hip hop producers step up their game, and Jesse explains why MacGruber works.

    It's MaxFunDrive time! The production of Bullseye is funded by your donations. Become a monthly sustaining member now, and get cool thank you-gifts, plus unlock challenge funds from other donors and help us meet our goal of 4000 new and upgrading members by March 27th. Just visit www.maximumfun.org/donate!


    Photo: Guillaume Paumier, CC-BY

    Lynda Barry Inspires Us to Get Creative with Monsters

    Lynda Barry is a self-identified "freak", a cartoonist, a writer, and for the last couple of years, she's also been a college professor teaching interdisciplinary creativity at the University of Wisconsin.

    What does that mean? Well, she encourages students to abandon their fears of creating and embrace their work and process.

    Her most recent book, Syllabus: Notes from an Accidental Professor collects her lesson plans and writing and drawing exercises.

    Lynda talks with us about using monsters as a tool, why we're sometimes afraid to draw, and how elementary school aged kids can teach us a thing or two.

    If you liked this, let someone know! Click here to share this interview with someone.

    Canonball: Brian Coleman Talks about Mantronix: The Album

    Every so often we interview music journalists and experts, and ask them which records they think should be part of the pop music canon. It's Canonball.

    This week, we're talking with the acclaimed rap journalist Brian Coleman, author of the series Check the Technique: Liner Notes for Hip Hop Junkies. He chose to talk to us about Mantronix.

    In the mid-1980s, producer Kurtis Mantronik and MC Tee joined forces and created the hip hop group Mantronix.

    Kurtis Mantronik rocked the TR-808 drum machine, and MC Tee moved the party along with his lyrics.

    Together, they recorded Mantronix: The Album, and influenced the producers who followed them.

    Brian Coleman's newest edition of "liner notes" is Check the Technique Volume 2.

    If you liked this, let someone know! Click here to share this interview with someone.


    Photo: Jesse Thorn

    Tom Arnold Talks About Shaking Off the Bullies and Making His Own Way

    Tom Arnold is a real show business survivor. In the mid 1990s he got famous -- both the kind you want to be, and the kind you don't want to be. His first big job in Hollywood was as a writer on Roseanne. He ended up married to her. He became a regular on the show and their relationship was tabloid fodder for five years. By the time they broke up in 1994, you couldn't make it through a late night monologue without a Tom Arnold joke.

    But that was just the beginning of Tom Arnold's ride. A star making performance in a huge hit movie, True Lies, made him a star. Then a disastrous series of broad comedies made his career a punchline again.

    But Arnold never stopped working, as a character actor, as a sports talk show host, as a stand up comic, and now in his 50s he's a dad for the first time and he's now been a star in Hollywood for thirty years. His new show is Yahoo's Sin City Saints. Arnold also continues to perform stand up across the country.

    Tom talks with us about growing up in Iowa and fighting bullies, the difficulties of working in Las Vegas, his enduring respect for Roseanne, and the way he's found satisfaction with his work.

    If you liked this, let someone know! Click here to share this interview with someone.

    The Outshot: MacGruber

    Jesse heartily disagrees with A.O. Scott's review of the film version of MacGruber. In short: MacGruber exists, and the world is better for it.

    If you liked this, let someone know! Click here to share this Outshot with someone.


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    Show: 
    Bullseye
    175
    http://traffic.libsyn.com/tsoya/Bullseye150421.mp3
    http://forum.maximumfun.org/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=15664
    Guests: 
    Paul Feig
    Guests: 
    Combat Jack

    Jesse Thorn sits down with writer and director Paul Feig. Feig discusses his new TV show Other Space and explains why he was drawn to reboot Ghostbusters with an all-female squad. Jesse also talks to Reggie Osse, AKA Combat Jack. For years, Osse worked as a music industry lawyer, he now hosts the Combat Jack Show - one of the biggest podcasts in the Hip Hop world. Plus Jesse describes the menace and irresistible abandon of Rick James in his OutShot.

    New to Bullseye? Subscribe to our podcast in iTunes or with your favorite podcatcher to make sure you automatically get the newest episode every week.

    And if you're looking for a particular segment to listen to or share, check us out on Soundcloud.


    Photo by Jesse Thorn

    Paul Feig on Outer Space Comedy and His Ghostbusters Reboot

    The writer, director and producer Paul Feig has developed a kind of reputation. His movies and TV shows often feature characters who are awkward and nerdy and trying to figure out their relationships to other people (see: Freaks and Geeks). They also often showcase hilarious women (see: Bridesmaids, The Heat). And now he's keeping the comedy, the feelings and relationships, and upping the stakes. His new series, Other Space, is about a crew on a spaceship stranded in a parallel universe.

    We'll talk to Paul Feig about why he grew up wishing aliens would take him away, why he was so determined to bring female-lead comedy movies into the mainstream, and his plans for remaking the stuff of America's childhood -- from Ghostbusters, to Peanuts, to Play-Doh.

    Paul Feig's series Other Space is available now on Yahoo! Screen.

    If you liked this, let someone know! Click here to share this interview with someone.

    Combat Jack Forges His Own Path Through Hip Hop

    For years, Reggie Osse (also known as Combat Jack) worked as a music industry lawyer, helping hip hop producers and artists broker deals.

    He loved the music. But he reached a point where he didn't want to be the guy taking care of other people's careers. He had lots of creative ideas, but none of his clients wanted their lawyer's take on that stuff. So Osse decided to try doing something new for him: blogging about hip hop.

    We'll talk about how he parlayed the blogging into an interview podcast called The Combat Jack Show, where he's interviewed artists and producers like J Cole, Common and Big Daddy Kane among many, many others.

    If you liked this, let someone know! Click here to share this interview with someone.

    The Outshot: The Thrill Ride of Rick James

    What made Rick James irresistible? Jesse explains.

    If you liked this, let someone know! Click here to share this Outshot with someone.


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    New to Bullseye? Subscribe in iTunes or the RSS feed. You can also find and share all of our segments on our Soundcloud page.

    CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THIS EPISODE


    Photo: Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

    Hip Hop Icon Big Boi: Getting Familiar with Uncharted Territory

    The rapper and producer Big Boi has sold over 50 million records as a solo artist and as half of the platinum-selling hip hop duo OutKast. The innovative Atlanta-based group broke out in the mid-1990s with "Rosa Parks" and "Elevators", then followed up with crossover pop hits like "The Way You Move" and "Bombs Over Baghdad".

    OutKast found huge commercial success with an experimental brand of hip hop, eschewing old-school samples in favor of new sounds. Big Boi has been the more musically prolific member of the group. He's gone on to produce several solo albums and collaborate with artists across the music spectrum, from fellow ATL-based rapper Ludacris to funk-master George Clinton to the indie rock band Wavves. His most recent release is called Vicious Lies & Dangerous Rumors.

    Big Boi joins us to talk about the early days recording in an clay-walled basement, coming to terms with fame, and where to go musically when you've hit monumental commercial success.

    This interview originally aired in April 2013.

    If you liked this, let someone know! Click here to share this interview.

    All-Time Favorites with Boing Boing's Mark Frauenfelder

    Boing Boing's Mark Frauenfelder joins us this week to share some all-time favorites: a great dungeon crawler for iOS called The Sword of Fargoal and Chandler Burr's The Emperor of Scent: A True Story of Perfume and Obsession, a fascinating book exploring the science of scent.

    If you liked this, let someone know! Click here to share this interview.

    Canonball: A Tour of Led Zeppelin's III with Brad Tolinski

    For our segment Canonball, we take a flying leap into the canon of popular music and find albums that deserve a closer look.

    This week, we're joined by Brad Tolinski, editor-in-chief of Guitar World and author of the new book Light and Shade: Conversations with Jimmy Page.

    He'll tell us about Led Zeppelin III. With that album, Led Zeppelin moved away from the 60s obsession with authenticity and deep ideas -- and into a whole new sound.

    This segment originally aired in January 2013.

    If you liked this, let someone know! Click here to share this interview.


    Photo: Getty Images for Hollywood Pantages/Getty Images

    Catherine O'Hara on Being Slightly, Perfectly Odd

    Catherine O'Hara's work embodies a particularly special brand of comic absurdity. She helped launch SCTV alongside other burgeoning comedy greats like John Candy and Eugene Levy, quit the show, but still moved on to star in blockbuster comedies. She became spiritually possessed in Beetlejuice, played a memorable, anxiety-ridden mother to Macaulay Culkin in Home Alone, and became a critical part of Christopher Guest's ensemble mockumentaries, like Waiting for Guffman and Best in Show.

    Most recently, she's starred in the sitcom Schitt's Creek with Chris Elliott and O'Hara's longtime collaborator Eugene Levy.

    O'Hara talks to us about the difficulties of being a woman in the SCTV writers' room, creating memorable characters with her longtime friend and collaborator Eugene Levy, and her own secret comedic formula.

    Oh, and in this outtake, hear about the best boyfriend ever: Dan Akroyd.

    This interview originally aired in April 2013.

    If you liked this, let someone know! Click here to share this interview.

    The Outshot: The Throne Of The Third Heaven of the Nations' Millenium General Assembly

    In this week's Outshot, Jesse tells the story of a man who secretly spent the last fifteen years of his life building something amazing in a rented garage.

    If you liked this, let someone know! Click here to share this Outshot with someone.


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    Show: 
    Bullseye
    183
    http://traffic.libsyn.com/tsoya/Bullseye150630.mp3
    Guests: 
    Alan Rickman
    Guests: 
    Sacha Jenkins

    Alan Rickman joins Jesse to talk about his new movie A Little Chaos… and also about Die Hard, Galaxy Quest and Harry Potter. Jesse also talks with Sacha Jenkins about his new documentary all about hip hop fashion, Fresh Dressed.

    New to Bullseye? Subscribe to our podcast in iTunes or with your favorite podcatcher to make sure you automatically get the newest episode every week.

    And if you're looking for a particular segment to listen to or share, check us out on Soundcloud.


    Photo credit: Matej Divizna/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

    Alan Rickman on 'A Little Chaos', Hans Gruber in 'Die Hard', and His Training at RADA

    Alan Rickman stars in and directs the new movie A Little Chaos. It's a romantic drama, set in the court of the Sun King, Louis Quatorze. Kate Winslet plays a landscape architect who is contracted to design a garden at Versailles.

    Rickman says he was attracted to the screenplay because of its love story, and the historical reimagining of the construction of Versailles.

    He spoke with us about the logistical challenges of staging an elaborate period film, playing Hans Gruber in Die Hard, the secret conversation he had with JK Rowling before shooting the Harry Potter films, and yes, what it's like to act for sixteen hours with a rubber alien head.

    A Little Chaos is in theaters now.

    If you liked this, let someone know! Click here to share this interview with a friend.


    Photo credit: Larry Busacca/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

    Sacha Jenkins on the Evolution of Hip Hop Fashion in 'Fresh Dressed'

    Why is fashion such a meaningful part of hip hop's history? Jesse talks to Sacha Jenkins, the director of the new documentary Fresh Dressed, about the evolution of style in hip hop, from the influence of white biker gangs, to the remixing of luxury brands by Harlem couturier Dapper Dan, to the rise and fall of brands founded by rappers and hip hop artists.

    Fresh Dressed is in theaters and available on VOD.

    If you liked this, let someone know! Click here to share this interview with a friend.


    Photo: Timothy Clary/AFP/Getty Images

    The Outshot: Reliving Memories with the Golden State Warriors

    Jesse describes what it felt like to see his favorite childhood basketball team in the NBA playoffs.

    If you liked this, let someone know! Click here to share this Outshot with a friend.


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    New to Bullseye? Subscribe to our podcast in iTunes or with your favorite podcatcher to make sure you automatically get the newest episode every week.

    And if you're looking for a particular segment to listen to or share, check us out on Soundcloud.

    CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THIS EPISODE DIRECTLY

    Andy Daly and "Review": Rating Life Experiences, from Addiction to Pancakes to the Prom

    Comedian, actor and writer Andy Daly recognized early in his career that his audience was responding to him as a "nice, little boy". Who could blame them? He's a nice-looking guy, with an all-American charm about him. So he used his Howdy Doody look to his advantage, and began creating characters. The kind of characters that start off as unthreatening nice guys, and slowly escalate into extreme sociopaths.

    Andy continues to use this element of surprise in his new Comedy Central show, Review. Andy plays Forrest MacNeil, who is a reviewer. But he doesn't review books, or movies, or consumer products. He reviews life experiences, rating them on a scale of one to five stars. In the first few episodes, he answers viewers' questions from "What would it feel like to steal?" to "Will prom really be the best night of my life?" to "What is it like to get a divorce?"

    No life experience is too insignificant or too life-altering for Forrest MacNeil, who takes his job very seriously.

    Andy joins us to talk about his first acting job (working with a rollerblading mime), developing his own style of comedy, and how he identifies with Forrest, who's devoted so much of his life and energy to his work.

    Review is currently in its second season on Comedy Central

    This interview originally aired February 25, 2014.

    If you liked this, let someone know! Click here to share this segment.

    Jean Grae on an Accidental Hip Hop Career

    Rapper Jean Grae, formerly known as What? What?, has been a stalwart member of New York City's underground hip hop community for decades. She was born into a musical family, though she didn't exactly follow in her parents' footsteps. Her father, Abdullah Ibrahim (also known as Dollar Brand), helped to found South African Jazz and her mother, Sathima Bea Benjamin, was a gifted singer and composer. Grae was born in South Africa and her parents made sure she knew her roots -- but she was also a New Yorker, through and through.

    She joins us this week to tell us about growing up with talented musicians as parents, her accidental hip hop career, and why she doesn't shy away from outrageous, cartoonish violence in her lyrics.

    Jean Grae has had a busy couple of years. At the time we last spoke with her, she had a new LP called Gotham Down, a new EP called Jeannie, an audiobook entitled The State of Eh, and a webseries in which she writes, directs and stars, Life with Jeannie.

    She's since released more new music, including the new EPs Saix and iSweaterGawd, all available on her Bandcamp page.

    This interview originally aired January 28, 2014.

    If you liked this, let someone know! Click here to share this segment.


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    The Outshot: Paul Anka on Showmanship

    Paul Anka, a consummate entertainer with few peers, has very high standards. This week, Jesse shares what he dubs as one of the greatest after-show recordings of all time and reminds us to live and move with conviction. And to slice like a... well, you know.

    If you liked this, let someone know! Click here to share this segment.


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    And if you're looking for a particular segment to listen to or share, check us out on Soundcloud.

    CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THIS EPISODE DIRECTLY

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    Slowing Down "Rush": Russell Simmons on Building Hip Hop, Authenticity, and Finding Stillness

    Russell Simmons is one of the few people that can honestly say he helped build hip hop. He was an entrepreneur early on, promoting parties and hustling fake cocaine when he was still a college student in the late 1970s. He was there one night at the Charles Gallery, when the headliner DJ Easy G brought on a local rapper, and Simmons felt Eddie Cheeba work the crowd into a frenzy.

    It was his first real introduction to hip hop, and he could see that it would be more than just a passing fad. He went on to co-found the music label Def Jam Recordings with Rick Rubin and build a roster of hugely successful hip hop artists, starting with a teenage LL Cool J and the punk rock-turned-hip hop group The Beastie Boys. Simmons worked hard to build sustainable brands for his artists, and took pride in their authenticity. And he wasn't content to focus on music -- his ambition led him to create an empire, expanding into fashion, television, film, journalism, finance, and philanthropy.

    Simmons' abundance of energy helped earn him the nickname "Rush", but he says he owes much of his success to inner tranquility and stillness. He's practiced yoga and meditation for over fifteen years, and in his book, Success Through Stillness: Meditation Made Simple, Simmons seeks to demystify meditation for the average person, and explain its link to personal and professional growth.

    He joins us to talk about the pivotal moment that he heard Eddie Cheeba and found himself sold on hip hop, building Def Jam, leaving drugs behind for yoga and meditation and finding inner stillness.

    This interview originally aired in 2014.

    If you liked this, let someone know! Click here to share this segment.

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    How We Decide What's Good... and What's Bad: Carl Wilson on Celine Dion and the Nature of Taste

    Carl Wilson is a music critic. His job is to tell people why certain music is good, and why other music isn't. You could call him a tastemaker. But he started to wonder. How does taste even work? To find out, he immersed himself in the music, life and fandom of Celine Dion.

    Wilson is the author of Let's Talk About Love: Why Other People Have Such Bad Taste, a reissued and expanded version of the book he published in 2007. It's about Celine and her bestselling album from 1997, but more importantly it's an exploration of why we like some music and hate other music. Wilson's journey made him question how we place value on art, and has affected the way he approaches his work in music criticism.

    He talks about Dion's Quebecois background (and why it matters), how she and her music relate to "coolness," and why experiencing a Celine Dion concert in Las Vegas helped open him up to her true appeal.

    Looking for Rich Juzwiak's "Celine Dion is Amazing" compilation video mentioned in the interview? We'll save you a Google search.

    This interview originally aired in 2014.

    If you liked this, let someone know! Click here to share this segment.

    The Outshot: East Side Story

    You probably know what a low rider is. But what do you know about low rider oldies? Jesse talks about the perfect music for driving low and slow.

    This segment originally aired in 2014.

    If you liked this, let someone know! Click here to share this segment.


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    Show: 
    Bullseye
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    Guests: 
    DJ Quik
    Guests: 
    Michael Ian Black

    Jesse to DJ Quik - one of the most prolific figures in West Coast hip hop. They’ll talk about why a leaked record and a couple of guns made Quik realize he needed a new circle of friends, why he never wants to stop making pretty beats for his records and his inspiration for his awesome, awesome hairstyles over the years. Plus comedy from Michael Ian Black and Jesse explains his love for the airplane gadget catalogue parody, SkyMaul.

    New to Bullseye? Subscribe to our podcast in iTunes or with your favorite podcatcher to make sure you automatically get the newest episode every week.


    Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

    DJ Quik Talks About Bollywood Samples, Life Imitating Art, and Hairstyles

    DJ Quik is one of the most prolific figures in West Coast hip hop. He's a great rapper, but first and foremost, he's always considered himself a producer. He's produced some of the most inventive samples and beats of the genre. And even though he geeks out about latest and greatest studio equipment, he's always used whatever it takes to capture the sound he wants -- even if it means recording a music sample with a VCR.

    Quik first made a name for himself in the hip hop scene in the late 80's and early 90's, handing out homemade mix tapes and deejaying around Los Angeles. He's since released ten albums, and produced records for everyone from Tupac, Snoop Dogg and Xzibit to Tony! Toni! Toné!.

    He'll talk about why a leaked record and a couple of guns made him realize he needed a new circle of friends, why he never wants to stop making pretty beats for his records and his inspiration for his awesome, awesome hairstyles over the years.

    DJ Quik's new EP is calledRosecrans. It's available now.

    Michael Ian Black Talks About Children’s Halloween Costumes - Recorded Live at MaxFunCon East 2012

    Michael Ian Black is an actor, comedian and author perhaps best known from his work with the sketch comedy troupe The State, or from his subsequent collaborations with State-mates both on television (Stella, Michael & Michael Have Issues) and film (Wet Hot American Summer). His disarmingly charming smarm made him a perfect fit for the talking-head format of VH1, but it also makes him a terrific author, as evidenced in latest book Navel Gazing: True Tales of Bodies, Mostly Mine (but also my mom’s, which I know sounds weird).

    Michael Ian Black performed live at MaxFunCon East in 2012.

    The Outshot: Skymaul 2

    Have you ever picked up and actually flipped through one of those in-flight catalogs? Well, the sketch comedy group Kasper Hauser takes all of the grotesque and excessive product offerings of Skymall, and brings them to another level in Skymaul 2: Where America Buys His Stuff.


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    Bullseye
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    Guests: 
    Cristela Alonzo
    Guests: 
    Stretch Armstrong

    This week Jesse talks with comedian and actress Cristela Alonzo. She starred in the ABC sitcom Cristela and has a new standup special on Netflix, Lower Classy. Also, a visit from Stretch Armstrong, co-host of the influential hip hop radio show Stretch and Bobbito, which helped launch the careers of many now legendary New York rappers.

    New to Bullseye? Subscribe to our podcast in iTunes or with your favorite podcatcher to make sure you automatically get the newest episode every week.


    Photo: Tommaso Boddi / Stringer

    Cristela Alonzo has a new stand-up special on Netflix, Lower Classy

    Cristela Alonzo is a veteran standup comedian, actress, writer, and producer. She's also something of a pioneer. You might remember her from the ABC sitcom Cristela, where she was the first Latina to create, write, produce, and star in her own show.

    In this week's episode, she talks to Jesse about her formative years growing up in South Texas with an undocumented parent. Hiding from police and immigration raids were daily realities in her small border town. Her family was also desperately poor--she recalls squatting in an abandoned diner.

    Down the road, Cristela discovered she had a talent for weaving those tough experiences into comedy gold. That gift is on full display in her new Netflix standup special, Lower Classy, as she takes on difficult topics including racial stereotypes, immigration, poverty, and parenting, all with her trademark smile and laugh. Cristela recalls the long journey that led to the special, and how being a comedian is, for her, about more than simply making people laugh.

    Cristela Alonzo's new standup special, Lower Classy, is available to stream on Netflix now.


    Photo: John Phillips / Stringer

    Stretch Armstrong

    Stretch Armstrong is a renowned DJ, record collector, and writer. It's impossible to tell the story of New York rap in the 1990s--what some people consider the Golden Era of Hip-Hop--without at least mentioning The Stretch and Bobbito Show, the influential college radio program that he and Robert "Bobbito" Garcia co-hosted from 1990 to 1998.

    In their time, Stretch and Bobbito were among the only FM radio outlets for a generation of New York rappers. MCs like Jay-Z, Wu-Tang Clan, Notorious BIG, and Nas. The behind-the-scenes stories from those days are the stuff of hip-hop folklore, and the subject of documentary that came out a little over a year ago, called Stretch and Bobbito: Radio That Changed Lives. It's available to stream on Netflix now.

    Stretch, whose real name is Adrian Bartos, also recently co-authored a book. He and Evan Auerbach teamed up to make a visual history of New York City's club scene, called No Sleep: NYC Nightlife Flyers 1988-1999.

    The Outshot: "Wells for Boys"

    In this week's Outshot, Jesse shares a Saturday Night Live sketch that spoke to him in a particularly magical way. Behold, Wells for Boys:


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    Guests: 
    Bio Boi
    Guests: 
    Catherine O'Hara

    On this week's Bullseye, Jesse sits down with rapper Big Boi to discuss his craft and career as a solo artist and one half of one of Outkast. Plus, the brilliant actor Catherine O'Hara on her career as a comedic actor and what its like to be a woman in the writers room.

    [r] New to Bullseye? Subscribe to our podcast in iTunes or with your favorite podcatcher to make sure you automatically get the newest episode every week.

    Hip Hop Icon Big Boi: Getting Familiar with Uncharted Territory

    The rapper and producer Big Boi has sold over 50 million records as a solo artist and as half of the platinum-selling hip hop duo OutKast. The innovative Atlanta-based group broke out in the mid-1990s with "Rosa Parks" and "Elevators", then followed up with crossover pop hits like "The Way You Move" and "Bombs Over Baghdad".

    OutKast found huge commercial success with an experimental brand of hip hop, eschewing old-school samples in favor of new sounds. Big Boi has been the more musically prolific member of the group. He's gone on to produce several solo albums and collaborate with artists across the music spectrum, from fellow ATL-based rapper Ludacris to funk-master George Clinton to the indie rock band Wavves.

    Big Boi joins us to talk about the early days recording in a clay-walled basement, coming to terms with fame, and where to go musically when you've hit monumental commercial success.

    Big Boi's new album Boomiverse is out on June 16th.

    If you liked this, let someone know! Click here to share this segment.

    Catherine O'Hara on Being Slightly, Perfectly Odd

    Catherine O'Hara's work embodies a particularly special brand of comic absurdity. She helped launch SCTV alongside other burgeoning comedy greats like John Candy and Eugene Levy, quit the show, but still moved on to star in blockbuster comedies. She became spiritually possessed in Beetlejuice, played a memorable, anxiety-ridden mother to Macaulay Culkin in Home Alone, and became a critical part of Christopher Guest's ensemble mockumentaries, like Waiting for Guffman and Best in Show.

    More recently, she's been in HBO's critically-acclaimed biopic Temple Grandin and Tim Burton's Frankenweenie, and CBC's Schitts Creek.

    O'Hara talks to us about the difficulties of being a woman in the SCTV writers' room, creating memorable characters with her longtime friend and collaborator Eugene Levy, and her own secret comedic formula.

    If you liked this, let someone know! Click here to share this segment.

    The Outshot: Fast, Cheap, and Out Of Control

    At first, Errol Morris's documentary Fast, Cheap & Out of Control looks like it's about four men and their professional occupations: a lion tamer, a topiarist, a roboticist, a scientist who studies naked mole rats. But the movie is about much more than just weird jobs.

    If you liked this, let someone know! Click here to share this segment.


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    Show: 
    Bullseye
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    Guests: 
    A$AP Ferg
    Guests: 
    Jonathan Katz

    On this week's episode of Bullseye, Jesse sits down with New York rapper ASAP Ferg. Plus, creator and star of Dr. Katz Professional Therapist, Jonathan Katz. Jesse makes a case for why the now 30 year old Sign O' The Times is Prince's most essentially Prince album.

    New to Bullseye? Subscribe to our podcast in iTunes or with your favorite podcatcher to make sure you automatically get the newest episode every week.


    Photo: Jesse Thorn

    A$AP Ferg on how to form a successful hip-hop collective

    Rapper and fashion designer A$AP Ferg was born Darold Ferguson and grew up in Harlem's Hamilton Heights neighborhood. Together with A$AP Rocky, A$AP Bari and many more, he established himself as one of the best MCs in the New York hip hop collective A$AP Mob. In 2013 he released his first solo record, Trap Lord, which included the hit single "Shabba", which hit #7 on the Billboard hot 100. Ferg has spent the last couple of years cultivating a sound that's totally unique, touching on genres like trap, house, soul and dubstep. He's achieved this by working with artists like the girl group Haim, Bone Thugs N' Harmony, Missy Elliott, and more.

    A$AP Ferg and Jesse talk about how attending an arts high school fueled his creativity and allowed him experiences he wouldn't of otherwise had. They talk about the beginnings of A$AP Mob, and the death of his dear friend and A$AP Mob co-founder A$AP Yams.

    A$AP Ferg's latest album Always Strive and Prosper is out now, and has a new mixtape called Still Striving coming out in August. And don't forget to check out his clothing line Traplord.

    Click here to listen to Jesse's interview with A$AP Ferg!


    Photo:Michael Fein

    Jonathan Katz on Dr. Katz Professional Therapist

    Jonathan Katz is best known for Dr. Katz Professional Therapist, his animated hit TV series from the 1990's that aired on Comedy Central where he voiced Dr. Katz. It was one of their weirdest animated TV shows on air at the time. Katz took the saying, "stand up is therapy for comedian's" and made a whole show based around it, having a whole host of characters on the show played different comedian's in his circle, all to be seen by Dr. Katz. Since the show went off the air in 1999, Katz has kept writing and doing standup.

    Jonathan tells Jesse what it was like working with Robin Williams, when he was on tour with his then popular TV show Mork & Mindy. They talk about how he created Dr. Katz Professional Therapist, and the revival of that show in audio form. Plus, they talk about multiple sclerosis, and how it has affected his stand-up career.

    Jonathan's 15 episode audio revival of Dr. Katz Professional Therapist is available on Audible now.

    Click here to listen to Jesse's interview with Jonathan Katz!

    The Outshot: Prince's Sign O' The Times

    Jesse makes a case for why the now 30 year old Sign O' The Times is Prince's most essentially Prince album.

    Click here to listen to Jesse's outshot on Prince's "Sign O' The Times"!


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    Inside Pop
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    This week, Inside Pop dives into Jay-Z's new album 4:44- and also discuss other artists who have bared their soul through music. Plus, we give our picks for the Best TV of 2017 (So Far) and then Sean gives his Big Sell review and rating of last week's suggestion from Amita and he shares his Big Sell which comes from one of the series on his Best of TV (So Far) list.

    This week, Inside Pop dives into Jay-Z's new album 4:44- we discuss some of the personal issues he revealed in his lyrics along with his evolution from his first album to now. We then discuss other artists who have bared their soul through music and some of the confessional - like songs with which we have connected - including Beyonce, Lauryn Hill, Prince, Mary J. Blige and more.

    Then, we revel in the abundance of programming that Peak TV has given us in 2017 with our Best of TV picks of the last 6 months. Find out which shows made our individual lists and which shows we shared our undying affection for.

    Plus, Sean gives his Big Sell review and rating of last week's suggestion from Amita- the singer/songwriter, Bishop Briggs. Then, he shares his Big Sell which comes from one of the series on his Best of TV (So Far) list.

    Follow Inside Pop on Twitter and Instagram @PopInsiders


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