Public Radio Market presents the best of the products featured on your favorite public radio programs.
Benjamin Booker by Benjamin Booker
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All Things Considered: For Benjamin Booker, A Missed Shot Became A Music Career
The Current: Album Review: Benjamin Booker, ‘Benjamin Booker’
The Current: Benjamin Booker performs in The Current studio
KCRW: Benjamin Booker
NPR First Listen: Benjamin Booker, ‘Benjamin Booker’
World Cafe: Benjamin Booker On World Cafe
NPR All Songs TV: Benjamin Booker, ‘Have You Seen My Son?’
Benjamin Booker is a young New Orleans based singer-songwriter. He is influenced by The Gun Club, Blind Willie Johnson, and T. Rex. Benjamin Booker’s debut self-titled album was produced by Andrija Tokic (Alabama Shakes, Hurray For The Riff Raff)
Bad Teeth: A Novel by Dustin Long
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KCRW Bookworm: Dustin Long: Bad Teeth
In Bad Teeth (New Harvest), Dustin Long calls into question our tendency to confuse complexity and complication. Long speaks of the disappointment his generation has grown to expect at having prepared for a life that isn’t there. His purported narrator, a translator named Judas, is one of a group of tech-savvy writers searching for the Tibetan David Foster Wallace. He travels between Brooklyn, Bloomington, Berkeley, and Bakersfield, four American cities beginning with the letter “b,” but such surface similitudes deflect us from deeper meaning (or seeing what’s actually going on).
White Girls by Hilton Als
KCRW Bookworm: Hilton Als: White Girls
White Girls, Hilton Als’s first book since The Women fourteen years ago, finds one of The New Yorker’s boldest cultural critics deftly weaving together his brilliant analyses of literature, art, and music with fearless insights on race, gender, and history. The result is an extraordinary, complex portrait of white girls,” as Als dubs theman expansive but precise category that encompasses figures as diverse as Truman Capote and Louise Brooks, Malcolm X and Flannery O’Connor. In pieces that hairpin between critique and meditation, fiction and nonfiction, high culture and low, the theoretical and the deeply personal, Als presents a stunning portrait of a writer by way of his subjects, and an invaluable guide to the culture of our time.
Russ & Daughters: Reflections and Recipes from the House That Herring Built by Mark Russ Federman
KCRW Good Food: Russ & Daughters
Arriving from Poland, Joel Russ schlepped herring from a pushcart to support his family. One century later, Russ & Daughters is a New York institution, providing shoppers with everything from caviar to bialys. The shop is the centerpiece of a new documentary, The Sturgeon Queens, and third generation Mark Russ Federman’s book, Russ & Daughters: Reflections and Recipes from the House That Herring Built.
Taming the Feast: Ben Ford’s Field Guide to Adventurous Cooking by Ben Ford, Carolynn Carreño
KCRW Good Food: Taming the Feast
Chef Ben Ford worked at Chez Panisse before moving to Los Angeles to work at Campanile and Chadwick. His new cookbook, Taming the Feast, offers DIYers diagrams, line drawings, and timelines for creating a backyard party to satisfy the masses.
Lunch at the Shop: The Art and Practice of the Midday Meal by Peter Miller
KCRW Good Food: Lunch at the Shop
In our current bustle, lunch has been outsourced to stand-up counters, reduced to take-out platters, wrapped and rolled and packaged. But it doesn’t need to be so. Peter Miller makes lunch every day at his bookshop in Seattle. It may be only a salad or a sandwich, but he and his team put it together each day without a formal kitchen. It is a moment set aside, away from the computer and the clock.
Lunch at the Shop is a call to lunch. On the most basic level, the book is a primer for making lunch for a few people at work, including more than 45 tried-and-tested, deliciously simple recipes. However, the essence of the book is about adopting a lifestyle that allows food to be savored every day, in a way that is easy, fresh, healthy, and a pleasure.
Only Run by Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
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Morning Becomes Eclectic: Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
NPR First Listen: Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, ‘Only Run’
”As Always,” the first song on Clap Your Hands Say Yeah’s fourth album, is an enormous sounding rush of ambient noise, thunderclap snare shots, iridescent guitar beauty and singer Alec Ounsworth guardedly assuring, ”Sooner or later I will change/And we will be all right.” The mix of rich ambition and shaky optimism defines a band that’s traded clattery low-fi post-punk for music that’s high drama and hooky hearty….”Only Run” is an album that rarely seems overblown, even when the songs are big enough to fill a cathedral.
A Chinaman’s Chance: One Family’s Journey and the Chinese American Dream by Eric Liu
Morning Edition: Author Explores Irony And Identity In ‘A Chinaman’s Chance’
The author examines the role of today’s Chinese Americans, describing his family’s search for identity in the traditions of both countries and reconciling the sometimes opposing views on success, virtue, power and purpose in life.
Command and Control: Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Accident, and the Illusion of Safety by Eric Schlosser
Fresh Air: Nuclear ‘Command And Control’: A History Of False Alarms And Near Catastrophes
The author of Fast Food Nation presents a minute-by-minute account of an H-bomb accident that nearly caused a nuclear disaster, examining other near misses and what the author perceives as America’s growing susceptibility to a catastrophic event.
The Golden Echo by Kimbra
NPR First Listen: Kimbra, ‘The Golden Echo’
Kimbra’s 2nd album The Golden Echo is ambitious, sophisticated, and complex, just like its creator. The Golden Echo was produced by Rich Costey who has been on her dream list of collaborators since she was 15. The lyrics find her grappling with a range of subject matter, from feeling nostalgic about young love on “90s Music,” to being caught up in a place of narrowness on “Mad House,” to wanting to run away and make a new life on “Carolina,” to the vulnerability that follows succumbing to temptation on “Be Everlovin Ya.” Kimbra wrote several of the songs with Daniel Johns from Silverchair, another idol of hers.
Sparks by Imogen Heap
NPR First Listen: Imogen Heap, ‘Sparks’
Weekend Edition: Painting Her Songs In The Air, Imogen Heap Keeps Innovating
Grammy and Ivor Novello award winning recording artist Imogen Heap will release her highly anticipated 4th solo album “Sparks” on August 19th, 2014 through RCA Records.
Sparks has been on a well traveled journey, one which Heap began at 6am 14 March 2011, with a live stream from her home studio in a small village on the outskirts of London, gathering ‘sound seeds’ from fans and weaving them together to form the first song (Lifeline). Fast forward, 4 continents later, a dozen related projects and 14 tracks, the album cover artwork was then completed by those who pre-ordered the limited edition, super deluxe box set by sending in their footprints! The stunning piece of artwork and packaging, designed and developed over the past three years by Imogen and her creative team with CSV (the company behind Radiohead’s special packaging) it is the very first time that Imogen has released such a super deluxe package.
Says Heap, “The album began with someone sending in the sound of striking a match for what became Lifeline in March 2011. I then dived into the most immense, intense creative 2 and a half years of my life that took me all over the planet, collaborating on so many projects with so many people and often totally spontaneously. The album is then in some ways for me grounded with fans’ footprints bringing the finishing touch for the album art, as so many of them came along for the ride.”
While working on “Sparks,” Heap turned songs into projects and projects into songs, to bring her out of her studio and ‘let life in’ rather than postponing things until her album was done. This fresh approach found Imogen collaborating with everyone from her fans to unsuspecting passers-by, gardeners to filmmakers, scientists to newspaper journalists and brings us her most diverse and daring body of work to date. From the River Thames (You Know Where To Find Me) to 5000 feet up in the Himalayas (Climb to Sakteng, Cycle Song), from her local community garden (Neglected Space) to 6 weeks in the Chinese metropolis of Hangzhou (Xizi She Knows), Heap was soaking it up, writing, developing, recording and producing. Sounds of a dishwasher door to a Bhutanese dranyen, the voice of a crumbling wall to 700 fans’ becoming a spoken word chorus. Some of Heap’s projects include her brilliant Mi.Mu Gloves, developed over this album period with an incredible team of scientists, engineers and artists (Me The Machine) and dabbled in generative and reactive music with music app developers RJDJ (Run-Time) connected to a jogging app. From the deeply personal love songs Propeller Seeds and Entanglement to the crowd sourced response to the Sendai earthquake (Lifeline), her trademark honesty runs through the album.
Robin Williams - 1951 - 2014
Robin Williams passed away yesterday of an apparent suicide. He was a comedic genius who first rose to fame on television in the series “Mork and Mindy.” The success of this show led to a diversified carreer in television, feature films, stand-up and regular appearances on the USO tour. Among his many feature films are “Mrs. Doubtfire,” “Dead Poet’s Society,” “Good Morning Vietnam,” and his Oscar winning performance in “Good Will Hunting.”
One of my favorite stand up routines if Robin Williams’ riff on how the game of golf was created. Watch
As Heard on Public Radio:
Press Play with Madeleine Brand: Remembering Robin Williams
Fresh Air: Robin Williams: In Looking For Laughs, ‘You Have To Be Deeply Honest’
NPR’s Monkey See: Robin Williams: A Supreme Talent Who Was Always On
NPR’s Monkey See: Remembering The Big-Hearted Comedy Of Robin Williams
NPR ED: What Robin Williams Taught Us About Teaching
All Things Considered: 'An Evening With Robin Williams,' Circa 1982
All Things Considered: Robin Williams, A Stand-up Act — On Stage, On Set And In Life
Morning Edition: Robin Williams’ Death Leaves Fans Reminiscing
Here & Now: After Robin Williams’ Death, A Look At Depression
Here & Now: Celebrating The Work Of Robin Williams
PRI’s The World: Many veterans remember Robin Williams’ morale-boosting performances for the troops
MPR Newscut: Robin Williams and his black dog
MPR Newscut: Why Robin Williams’ death has hit us so hard
NPR: Actor-Comedian Robin Williams Dies At 63
All Things Considered: Robin Williams, Comedic Master And Oscar Winner, Dies At 63
Morning Edition: Versatile Comedian Robin Williams Dies At 63
Below, we highlight a few of his best performances.
Mork & Mindy - The series that propelled Robin Williams to superstardom! It was his hilarious and funny portrayal of Mork from Ork as he struggled to adjust to life on Earth and report his findings back to his leader. ”Mork’s Mixed Emotions” was listed as the 94th best episode of all time by TV Guide.
Mrs. Doubtfire - A wonderful comedy about a divorced father struggling to maintain a relationship with his children who dons a wig and dress to become his ex-wife’s housekeeper and nanny.
Insomnia - This may be the performance that is most suprising (with the possible exception of One Hour Photo). Robin Williams and Al Pacino at the top of their game! Both performances are nuanced and surprising. Al Pacino plays a homicide detective with a past who comes to Alaska to solve a murder where the Midnight Sun wreaks havok on his sleep and judgement as he tries to solve the case.
Good Will Hunting - Robin Williams Oscar winning performance for Best Supporting Actor anchors this feature film as he portrays the teacher who is the last resort to reaching one of the most intelligent humans who happens to have had one too many run ins with the law.
Dead Poets Society - Another brilliant supporting turn as a teacher who inspires his students to “Sieze the Day!” Williams portrays John Keating, a teacher who inspires his students with his non-traditional approach to teaching but fails to impress other faculty at the upper class prep academy.
Good Morning Vietnam - Oscar nominated turn as a radio DJ who brings laughter to a war torn 1965 Saigon as he entertains the troops with his stories and music while upsetting the upper brass.
Aladdin - Robin Williams took the role of the genie for scale as a “thank you” to Disney for casting him in Good Morning Vietnam. And here is a case of the genie who stole the movie with some of his best ad-libbed worked mixed into the scripted animated feature thus creating a Genie for all ages! What a vocal powerhouse of a perfomance - so much so that Disney all but promoted Robin Williams’ Genie as a lead character even though he was not featured in much of the animated film.
Beefheart Vs. Zappa: When Don Met Frank
All Things Considered: Frank Zappa: A ‘Lumpy’ Legacy
Weekend Edition: Director’s Cuts: Frank Zappa’s Music Legacy
When it comes to musical eccentricity, no one has ever come close to the often strange and sometimes downright weird sonic achievements of the loosely connected Frank Vincent Zappa and Don Van Vliet. The fact that this pair of unconventional musicians and human beings ever managed to get anyone outside of their own enterprise zones to release their music in the first place is an achievement of staggering dimensions - particularly considering the conservative approach of most record companies both then and now. But it remains one that has enriched the lives of anyone who has taken the time to listen. This 2 x DVD set explores the relationship, the music and the lives of the good Captain and Uncle Frank, and in so doing it provides an unparalleled document on this oddest of couples and the anomalous art which they both produced during their fascinating lives.
A Good Walkthrough Spoiled: The Best of Mike Tanier at Football Outsiders by Mike Tanier
Only a Game: ‘A Good Walkthrough’ Explores ‘Insider’ Football — And Lots Of It
A parody of Watchmen with Bill Belichick as Dr. Manhattan and Marty Schottenheimer as Nite Owl? A detailed review of Denver kicker Jason Elam’s first novel? A revolutionary statistical report showing that teams that kneel on the ball more often are more likely to win the game? What kind of football column features this kind of erudite goofiness next to the story of how Wilber Marshall became the NFL’s first Franchise Player and play diagrams that would show the Giants how to beat the Patriots in Super Bowl XLII?
The answer: Mike Tanier’s Walkthrough, a weekly tour through football strategy and history with side trips to the sillier parts of football fandom. Now we’ve collected the best of Walkthrough and Mike Tanier’s other writing for Football Outsiders between 2004 and 2012, all in one place.
A Good Walkthrough Spoiled features 42 of Mike Tanier’s best columns from his eight years at Football Outsiders. It also features the All-Time Franchise Quarterback Top Fives from the summer of 2011 and the All-Time Franchise Running Back Top Fives from the summer of 2012, with slightly updated lists for 2014 and brand-new commentary on players such as Joe Flacco, Eli Manning, and Russell Wilson. As an added bonus, we’ve included Mike’s extended feature on the 1987 strike replacement players, “Year of the Scab.”
And while this book may come to you from Football Outsiders, no knowledge of advanced football stats is necessary to enjoy all this great analysis, although we snuck in a few numbers when nobody was looking.
Note: This book is not recommended for McNabb Deniers. On second thought, it’s specifically recommended for McNabb Deniers. Perhaps it will knock some sense into you.
A Home Run For Bunny by Richard Anderson
Only a Game: ‘A Home Run For Bunny’ Tells Inspiring Tale
Only a Game: 80 Years Later, Gastonia, N.C. Mayor Issues Apology Thanks To OAG Listener
The True story of an all-star baseball team from Springfield, Massachusetts. When racial prejudice threatens to keep Bunny off the field, the team must choose to follow their dream of playing in the championship or to stand up for their teammate.