Episode 339: (Bonus) Natalie Wall

20May

 

Launched in summer 2018, the Awkward Sex and the City podcast maintain the magic the has made the stage show of the same name a hit with New York City audience. Founder and host Natalie Wall is joined by fellow comedians who explore their own uncomfortable sex stories, celebrating the…less sexy elements of intimacy. Wall joins us to discuss her comedy career, getting personal on stage and the importance of knowing the location of the nearest New York City public restroom.

Episode 338: Mort Gerberg

18May

Released in February, Mort Gerberg on the Scene is a loving celebration of the long time New Yorker cartoonist. For half a century, the artist has taken on contemporary city life and politics, capturing everything from basketball games to the Nixon administration.  It was the latter topic that found him guesting on The Today Show, live drawing the controversial president alongside Barbara Walters. The New York City native has held down a wide range of different gigs over the course of his career, serving as the editor of the Alaskan Post, running promotional copy for Ziff Davis and teaching cartooning at the Parsons School of Design and the New School. But making art has long been his passion, and at 88, he has no plans to put down his pen any time soon.

 

Episode 337: Lou Doillon

12May

From the sound of it, Lou Doillon was surprised as anyone by her own musical successes. Her 2012 debut put her new career on the map, earning her a French Grammy for Artist of the Year, only to be catapulted to global fame with her 2016 followup. Fame as a singer-songwriter, at least. As an actress, model and the daughter of two famous parents, Doillon has never not been a known quantity, but making music has allowed her to pursue a number of creative passions in a single project. This year’s Soliloquy is the result of collaborations with multiple producers, including Cat Power and Timbre Timbre’s Taylor Kirk, allowing her to explore more musical directions than ever before. On a trip to New York, Doillon stopped by our offices to discuss opening for Madness, feeling old at 30 and why there are so few karaoke bars in France.

Episode 336: (Bonus) Jnr. Williams

8May

We get the chance to talk to a lot of great seasoned artists, but there’s a wonderful change of pace to interviewing one who’s just getting started. London born and raised, Jnr. Williams released his debut EP Where We Start earlier this year on Arista. The singer-songwriter creates stripped-down, jazz-influenced R&B that taps into earnest and emotional subject matter. In this bonus episode, we discuss Williams’ journey from working at a movie theater to the release of his debut record.

Episode 335: Bruce Hornsby

3May

It’s been a long day of press, but Bruce Hornsby is firing on all cylinders when he arrives for one final interview. Absolute Zero is the artist’s most-hyped record in years, courtesy of collaborations with the next generation of artists, including Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon. Hornsby, it seems, is just hyped up himself, speaking in pilot lingo, as he passes through reception. I jury rig a microphone setup up for him, stacked atop a pile of books to accommodate his 6’4 frame. When we launch into the interview, its hard keeping up with the 64 year, as he holds court on everything from social justice to a life-long interest in atonal modern classical. It’s a brisk and fast-paced recap of a fascinating career that has included radio hits, a stint with the Dead, several Spike Lee scores and a handful of bluegrass records.

Episode 334: (Bonus) Julian Glander Live at Books Are Magic

28Apr

Live from Book Are are Magic in Brooklyn, we sat down with Julian Glander to celebrate the launch of his new Fantagraphics title, 3D Sweeties. The book collects a series of short strips the cartoonist has been compiling over the years through freelancing for various outlets. It features Glander’s signature computer generated characters in vignettes that are sometimes funny, sometimes thoughtful and often both. Comics are just one of several mediums in which Glander has found a home. The list also includes several short animations, video games and music. The artist also discusses his on-going plans for a feature length animated film. Thanks to Books are Magic for hosting and recording this live conversation.

Episode 333: Bridie Monds-Watson (of Soak)

28Apr

When Before We Forgot How to Dream arrived, most of the coverage understandably centered on the songwriter’s age. At 19, Bridie Monds-Watson has released a remarkably worldly and mature record for Rough Trade. It’s been four years, the woman behind Soak having taken some well-deserved time off from recording and touring. She moved from Derry, North Ireland, to the perennial musical hot spot of Manchester. She didn’t rush and just generally went about living the of a young person in an exciting new town. This month, Monds-Watson returns with Grim Town, an ode to her beloved hometown and to her own growth as an artist and human being. Recorded a few months before the album’s release, this interview finds the musician on a break from tour and ready to discuss the impact of those few years away.

Episode 332: (Bonus) Shunsuke Aoki

23Apr

I first met Shunsuke Aoki on a trip to Tokyo last year. The roboticist’s work fascinated me. From its brain-controlled cat ears and a robotic pillow with a tail that wags as you pet it, to more serious devices for older family members, Aoki’s Yukai Engineer has created some utterly fascinating products. On a recent trip to New York, Aoki and I sat down at Brooklyn cafe to discuss Aoki and Yukai’s goal of spreading joy through robotics. 

Episode 331: Lauren Weinstein

21Apr

In 2015 Carriers became Lauren Weinstein’s most critically acclaimed work to date. The five-part webcomic series found the cartoonist winning widespread recognition and a number of awards, including The The Society of Illustrators’ Gold Medal.  Weinstein’s work has never shied away from the personal, but motherhood has found her examining her own life even more intently than earlier work. The series explores the anxiety and fear of discovering that both she and her husband are carriers of the gene that causes cystic fibrosis. After the birth of her second child, the artist says she’s ready to finish a long awaited (15 years and counting) book about her own teenage years — one that may finally arrive as her own oldest child becomes a teenager herself. Weinstein also works at the School of Visual Arts, teaching both teenagers and continuing education students. In another life, she was also the lead singer of New York-based art rock collective, Flaming Fire.

Episode 330: John Famiglietti (of Health)

13Apr

The band calls it “dog.” It’s an ever present quest to get heavier, and with each subsequent record, Health’s members demand more of it. Other groups that have been doing this for nearly 15 years might have slowed down or mellowed out, but for Health, there’s always a need for more dog. These days, John Famiglietti finds himself spending more time behind a computer screen than an electric bass. In fact, the instrument is missing on all but one track on the group’s latest, Vol. 4: Slaves of Fear. It’s a byproduct of a band willing — and even eager — to continue adapting. There was a six year hiatus and a change of record labels before the previous album. An shortly after its release, longtime guitarist/synth player Jupiter Keyes left the group.But Famiglietti and the rest of the band still have plenty left to say and lots more dog left in it.

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