Here’s The Thing: Alec Baldwin Talks with Radiohead’s Thom Yorke

Thom Yorke (photo by Eliot Lee Hazel)
Thom Yorke (photo by Eliot Lee Hazel)

On this week’s episode of Here’s the Thing, Alec gets Radiohead’s media-shy front man Thom Yorke to open up about his upbringing, his earliest musical rumblings, Radiohead, his most valued creative asset, fatherhood, inspirations, frustrations and insecurities. Yorke also talks about his latest release, AMOK by Atoms for Peace, which is one of my favorite new records so far this year.


AMOK by Atoms for Peace on iTunes
AMOK by Atoms for Peace on Spotify


Jesse Thorn Talks with Fran Lebowitz on Bullseye

Last week on on Bullseye, one of my favorite podcasts, host Jesse Thorn spoke with writer, public speaker and dryly hilarious (and honest) social critic Fran Lebowitz. In 47 of the most worthwhile minutes I’ve spent listening to a podcast, Lebowitz speaks of her childhood in Morristown, NJ, her high school years, her first years in New York and many of the things that make Fran Fran. In one of my favorite quotes from one of the most quotable people I’ve ever read or heard, she says:

“I would say that the luckiest thing in my life is that I am as free of envy as a human being could be. That doesn’t mean I never feel it, but I almost never feel it… Even as a child, I always knew that you can’t just covet something someone has. You have to be that person.”

This September, Lebowitz released the audio book of The Fran Lebowitz Reader, read by Lebowitz herself in her inimitable way. And if you missed Public Speaking, Martin Scorcese’s wonderful documentary for HBO on Fran Lebowitz, do yourself a favor.


The Wonderful Maurice Sendak

Photo of Maurice Sendak with Herman, his German Shepherd Herman, at his home in Connecticut by Tim Knox for The Guardian.

Maurice Sendak died today. He was 83. Having written and illustrated many children’s books and poems, he is most famous for his 1963 book Where The Wild Things Are. He was a man who devoted his life to his art, never having children and coming out as a gay man late in life. (He lived with his partner Eugene Glynn for 50 years until his death in 2007.)

The audio clip here was from his interview with Terry Gross from NPR’s Fresh Air on September 20, 2011. It is one of the most marvelous and exhilarating interviews I have ever listened to. In fact, one of my reasons for including it here is so that I can listen to it again and again. While it makes me cry, it also makes me happy. In the interview, the man is an unbridled open wound, selflessly pouring out his love for life and for the people he misses. It’s beautiful.

“I have nothing now but praise for my life. I’m not unhappy. I cry a lot because I miss people. They die and I can’t stop them. They leave me and I love them more. … What I dread is the isolation. … There are so many beautiful things in the world which I will have to leave when I die, but I’m ready, I’m ready, I’m ready.” – Maurice Sendak

Listen here:
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Maurice Sendak on Fresh Air (September 20, 2011) – 20 min.
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“Live your life, live your life, live your life.” Thank you, Mr. Sendak.

Maurice Sendak’s obituary in The New York Times.


Radio Roundup: Week of 4/13/12

Since my college days as a student radio host, I’ve been a sucker for good radio and it’s inherent portability, particularly public radio, like National Public Radio (NPR), Public Radio International (PRI) and the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).

Here’s the recap of my favorite bits from the wireless over the past week. Enjoy, and have a great weekend!

Here’s The Thing – Kristen Wiig

April 9, 2012 – Alec talks with Kristen Wiig — who catered, did floral design, answered phones at a law firm and handed out peach samples at a farmer’s market — all before landing her current gig, as a cast member on Saturday Night Live.

Kristen says she loves performing, but admits there’s also a “big part of me that’s just like: don’t look at me.” Kristen talks about auditioning for SNL, and the prospect of life beyond SNL: “I mean that’s my family, it’s my heart, it’s New York to me.”

Listen below or download here.

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Studio 360

April 13, 2012Kurt Andersen talks with Lena Dunham, the 25-year-old director, writer, and star of the new HBO series Girls. The Nigerian singer-songwriter Nneka performs live in the studio. And the three listeners who turned junk into treasure for the Significant Object story contest are announced.

Listen below or download here.

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April 11, 2012 – As German synthpop pioneers Kraftwerk perform a series of eight career-spanning concerts at the Museum of Modern Art, Soundcheck examines the history of this pivotal force in electronic minimalism. Joining the discussion is German singer and major Kraftwerk fan Theo Bleckmann.

Listen below or download here.

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Alec Baldwin Talks With Dick Cavett

If you haven’t subscribed to Alec Baldwin‘s podcast Here’s The Thing, do it now. In this episode, Alec has a fascinating talk with the legendary Dick Cavett at Cavett’s home on Long Island, a house called Tick Hall. From the website:

Photo by Barbara Friedman
Cavett shares some of his memories with Alec: meeting Orson Welles in the lobby of the Plaza; talking with Marlon Brando by phone – “I was told he would [call] at a certain time and we talked with the sun about 15 degrees above the horizon until well after the moon had risen;” and interviewing Laurence Olivier in the Wyndham Hotel when, Cavett says, he was feeling so depressed “I just want[ed] to go home and get under the rug.” Dick Cavett is the master of talk, a television legend; in this conversation, he shows Alec why his career has spanned nearly five decades.

Listen below or download here.

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