I was happy to welcome back poet Constance Norgren yesterday to the Arts Express radio program on WBAI 99.5 NY to read from her latest collection of previously unpublished poems, Late In The Day. Click on the grey triangle above for some wonderful short poems.
Mike Meranda and Ruthy Ungar, musicians extraordinare, talked with me about making a meaningful life in art.
Click on the grey triangle above to learn how a family survives and thrives carrying on the humanistic music path trod by Woodie Guthrie and Pete Seeger, and then goes on to make their own distinctive mark in music.
The interview was broadcast yesterday on the Arts Express program on radio station WBAI.
The suspenseful Fireside Mystery Theater has become an unexpected podcast success, with over a million downloads of its contemporary radio performances of macabre and off-center scripts, reminiscent of the Golden Age of Radio. You can listen to an interview broadcast yesterday on the Arts Express radio program over WBAI FM that I did with the two creators of the company, Ali Silva and Gus Rodriguez, by clicking on the grey triangle above.
Yesterday, WBAI-FM radio’s Arts Express broadcast part two of my interview with Peter Frase, author of the new book Four Futures.
Frase has an intriguing set of ideas about what the future might look like after capitalism destructs, given the ecological constraints of abundance/scarcity and the political constraints of equality/inequality. In this final segment we talk about what might happen if the world’s resources turn out to be strictly limited.
Yesterday, WBAI-FM radio’s Arts Express broadcast part one of my interview with Peter Frase, author of the new book Four Futures. Frase has an intriguing set of ideas about what the future might look like after capitalism destructs, given the ecological constraints of abundance/scarcity and the political constraints of equality/inequality.
Now, here is Part Two, the second half of my interview, which was broadcast on WBAI radio’s Arts Express program yesterday.In this part, Jodi Dean talks about the problems with The New Left and Identity Politics; the anarchist/socialist split; the various critiques of the party formation and the rebuttal of those critiques; and why she thinks parties are the only way forward for those who would seek to upend capitalism.
Click on the grey triangle above to hear Part Two.
Crowds and Party by Jodi Dean is a fascinating must read for anyone interested in how political change happens, and what the left must do now. In this book, Professor Dean talks about those “beautiful moments” that have happened throughout history—think The Paris Commune and Occupy Wall Street—where The Crowd has created a disruption in the usual fabric of capitalist society. But those “beautiful moments” are short-lived, ephemeral, and seem to disappear into forgotten hope. How can a movement hold onto and build on these precious historical moments? Jodi Dean tackles crowd theory and the concept of a working people’s political party, reviews the relevant literature, and presents her analysis in her new book, Crowds and Party.
The book is not always easy reading, so I was happy to have the opportunity to engage in a spirited conversation with Professor Dean, broadcast on WBAI 99.5 FM NY radio yesterday on the Arts Express program. Dean was so interesting that we decided to do two parts to the interview, broadcast one week after the other.
You can listen to Part One by clicking on the grey triangle above.
Magician Lance Burton retired five years ago, after an astounding 15,000 performances, but he’s still a busy man. Last Thursday, WBAI radio broadcast my interview with him. Due to time constraints, they played an edited version of the interview, but the audience of this blog is more magic-oriented, so I thought you might like to hear the uncut version.
In the interview Lance talks about Johnny Carson, growing up with magician Mac King, life in Las Vegas, working with doves, and what he considers the most important thing he knows about magic. Click on the grey triangle to catch up with magician Lance Burton.
Those who enjoyed the first issue of Ron Chavis’s mentalism publication, Mystic Descendant will be pleased to know that Issue #2 is now hot off the press. You can read a list of the contents here, but I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that Ron interviewed your humble correspondent concerning mentalism and performance, and the results are contained therein. But the real treats are contributions from Mereaux Dantes, Neal Scryer, Todd Landman, Anthony Heads, Connor Jacobs, and Ron himself. You can order here.
Well worth the new lower price of $19.95 per issue, it continues the entertainingly eclectic mix of mentalism-related articles, interviews, essays, effects, and presentations found in the first issue. Kudos to Ron for making it to the second issue, and here’s hoping there are many more.
Possibly the Greatest Major League Eater of all time—70 hot dogs and buns downed in 10 minutes just scratches the surface—Joey “Jaws” Chestnut talks to your intrepid reporter on the Arts Express radio program on WBAI 99.5 FM in New York.
Yesterday, radio station WBAI’s Arts Express program played my interview with Karl Marx. Well, not Karl Marx exactly, but with actor Jerry Levy who plays Marx in a new one-man play that Levy wrote called The Third Coming.
Click on the grey triangle above to hear Levy talk about Marx, anarchism, Howard Zinn, and how he prepared to act the role of a lifetime.
My interview with author Judy Blume was broadcast yesterday on WBAI radio. The gracious writer talked about her new novel, her first attempts at writing, her writing process, and finally, her wise advice for would-be novelists. Listen to the warm voice of Judy Blume speaking about her art and craft by clicking on the grey triangle above.
Popular high school English teacher Todd Friedman was put on administrative leave from his job after 29 years of acclaimed teaching. Why? Ostensibly, for selling discount copies of Frankenstein to his English classes. Find out the real reasons, and his continuing fight for justice, in this radio interview I conducted with Friedman, broadcast yesterday on Arts Express, WBAI radio, 99.5 FM NYC.
Click on the gray triangle above to hear the full monstrous tale.
Next Thursday is the centenary of the death of the great Irish revolutionary, James Connolly. Artist-activist Tom Keough wrote and illustrated a wonderful graphic remembrance of his life, A Full Life: James Connolly, the Irish Rebel that you can read more about here. I had the pleasure of interviewing Tom for radio station WBAI, and Tom’s wide-ranging knowledge about Connolly and the history of socialism made for a fascinating talk.
If only there were a radio station devoted to running this interview 24 hours a day, non-stop, the world would be a vastly better place.
The Set-up: Celebrated war criminal Donald Rumsfeld is on the phone, plugging his autobiography on the Anthony and Opie radio show. It’s generally a stupid show. But on this day, they also have comedian Louis CK as a guest. And Louis CK just totally eviscerates Rumsfeld, insisting that Rumsfeld answer whether or not Rumsfeld is an alien lizard. The back and forth is priceless.
All in all, a fine piece of journalism from Mr. CK.
Last Thursday WBAI broadcast the interview I did with filmmaker Ken Burns, whose new PBS documentary Jackie Robinson airs April 11-12. Burns talks with me about the myths that have grown around the legend of Jackie Robinson, and the whole process of filmmaking.
If you have any interest in baseball, film, or American history I think you’ll greatly enjoy listening to this interview with a great American documentarian.
Thanks to Mario Sanchez for helping to edit this radio piece.
Johnny Carson was always quick on his feet, but he was at his best when he had someone like Charles Grodin with which to duel. In the above clip from The Tonight Show, the two have a wonderful 15-minute parry-and-thrust that is just hilarious. Click on the above video to play.
Yesterday, radio station WBAI 99.5 FM in NY aired my interview with tap-dancing legend, Maurice Hines. Together with his brother Gregory, he re-invented tap dance for modern audiences.
Maurice guested on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson over 35 times and had a featured role in Francis Ford Coppola’s The Cotton Club. The star of several shows on Broadway, he just opened Off-Broadway in a new autobiographical song and dancer called Tappin’ Thru Life.
In the show, 72 year old Maurice sings, dances and dishes about the greats he’s worked with, including Ella Fitzgerald, Judy Garland, Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole and on and on. I had the pleasure of talking with him in his dressing room a few hours before his Wednesday evening performance.
Click on the grey triangle to hear the warm giving voice of Maurice Hines talking about his life and times.
Constance Norgren is a wonderful Brooklyn-based poet, teacher, and political activist. She is the author of the award-winning Tonight’s Quiet, which was selected as the winner of the Bright Hill Poetry Book Competition; she is also the author of several other excellent poetry compilations. Yesterday, radio station WBAI 99.5 FM, NYC, aired an interview I did with her in which she talks about the crafting of, and the necessity of, poetry. In addition, she reads some of her evocative poetry of domestic detail, everyday frailty, and the struggles and joys of modern life. Click on the gray triangle above to listen to this wise poet’s words.
Here is the interview I conducted with artist/animator/free culture activist Nina Paley which was broadcast on WBAI 99.5 FM NY radio yesterday.
I’ve posted about the brilliant Ms. Paley before, and you can learn a lot more about her and her latest project, Seder Masochism, by listening to the audio above. I think you’ll enjoy it. The video above is one more segment of the Seder Masochism project.
She also has some very non-mainstream views about copyright, which have served her well. I’d love to hear your comments about that and anything else.
Yesterday, the Arts Express program on Pacifica radio station WBAI aired my interview of astronaut Buzz Aldrin, the second man in the world to walk on the moon. He’s a fascinating man, but it was a very difficult interview! Click on the gray triangle to listen.
Sparrow is the name of the poet that music critic Robert Christgau called “the funniest man in America.” Yesterday, this interview I did with Sparrow was broadcast on radio station WBAI’s Arts Express program. I think you’ll find him both profound and irreverent. Click on the grey triangle above to enjoy both his poetry and conversation.
And oh yes—Sparrow gives Arts Express a hot political scoop!
You can hear the fascinating conversation I had with Don by clicking the grey triangle above. I’ve also posted above a photo of the Shanghai Woman pipe cleaner sculpture which he talked about in the interview.
To hear the entire one-hour Arts Express broadcast you can click here.
The Fifth Annual Shakespeare’s Birthday Slam took place a while back. I got to talk to the Producer of the Slam, Melinda Hall, and we had a great chat about the sonnets, their history, Shakespeare, Bill Gates, what it takes to survive as an artist in the world, and a knockout reading of “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day” by actor Richard Thomas. This was broadcast last Thursday on radio station WBAI 99.5 FM NY. Click on the grey triangle to hear.