WDEK Podcast Ep. 70: Jamela Zahra, Kate Willett & Lenny Zenith - 5/28/2019

Christian is back in the Red Room for Ep. 70 of We Don't Even Know.  Shonali and Christian can't help but spread the word of the phenomenal soul r&b pop hip hop artist Lizzo after seeing her live show just a few days earlier. We quickly move from self-love to self-mutilation - you sort of could call it that - waxing is not so popular these days is it? That's the question.  Bushes are back in  - well that's what Shonali thinks. 

Shonali and Christian's first guest is writer Jamela Zahra (@ 00:12:35).  She explodes on to the podcast with an unpleasant waxing story.  Jamela grew up with MTV and always wanted to be a VJ. Her dream was to kick a blunt with Janet Jackson.  We believe that dream will come true.  Jamela has a website called HighHowAreYou.com geared to women who smoke cannabis, especially women of color.  Jamela's ultimate goal is to break down the stigma of smoking pot for black people.  After saying she herself should have her own brand of weed, she confessed she would like to have her own cookie company.  Mackenzie Besos if you're listening, we've found a good cause for you to support.    

Our second guest is Kate Willett (@00:38:37) is from the Bay Area in Cali and Shonali has flashbacks of rope sandals, unflushed toilets to when she lived in Santa Cruz, CA.  Kate just made an appearance on Stephen Colbert which we will all get to see later this summer. Do you know what makes social media enjoyable? Kate has been spending time working on art she cares about, such as a book about contemporary masculinity with the working title "Good Guys."  We can't wait to read it.  The convo moves from deep hippie state to hookup culture - the good, the bad, the ugly. Kate is and has been doing great things including touring in India, China and Australia. Kate's brand of comedy in India blows Shonali's mind.  Check out Kate's special on Netflix! 

We #GetItOffYourChest (@1:02:00) with WDEK's great friend Mike Stuto! Christian would like to have the ear of his periodontist.  Shonali explains what is supposed to happen in "the Quiet Lounge" at a spa.  Mike Stuto will not have it anymore with the pretentiousness of vinyl lovers, which means he's talking about Shonali. 

Our last guest is writer, singer, rocker Lenny Zenith, (@1:13:28) originally from NOLA and currently a long time New Yorker.  As a kid, Lenny went to school at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts along with fellow students such as Wynton and Branford Marsalis and Harry Connick, Jr. Lenny explains that even though his music has roots in new wave and punk rock, the aforementioned jazz artists were deeply influential on him, in terms of witnessing their talent, persistence and work ethic.  Lenny is transgender and shares with WDEK an inspirational story of transitioning as a 14 year old in New Orleans.  Lenny moved to NYC ready to rock and was a member of Jenifer Convertible, Tenterhooks and RZA.  Only recently has Lenny been recording under his own name, Lenny Zenith.  Lenny sings two of his songs during this episode, including a brand new unrecorded tune and one on his latest record What If The Sun called The Wish.  

Thanks to our WDEK crew, Daria Huxley our photographer, Justin The Intern  - Justin Hall for our great intros, Ezana Million our sound engineer and Lori Schwarz our Red Room hostess and bartender! Special thanks to Lenny who sold CDs after the show with proceeds going towards trans people of color.  Thank you ALL! Follow us on all social media @wdekpodcast !  

Direct download: WDEK_Ep._70_-_52819.mp3
Category:general, comedy, good+times -- posted at: 7:02pm EDT

Source: http://wedontevenknow.libsyn.com/wdek-podc...

WDEK Podcast Ep. 69: Campbell Watson, Rufat Agayev, Deah Harriott - 4/30/19

Special guest co-host comedian Courtney Fearrington joins Shonali as they celebrate the taping of Ep. 69 with special guests comedian Rufat Agayev, musician Deah Harriott and atmospheric scientist Campbell Watson.  

Courtney and Shonali start it all out on a serious note discussing  Nashville, the bachelor and bachelorette party capital of the country.

We put our guest atmospheric scientist & surfer Campbell Watson on the spot and asked him to tell it to us straight. Are we going to die tomorrow? Campbell is from Australia and we can't figure out is he saying algae or alga blooms? We did learn about the good things that humans have done in fighting climate change. Make sure to find Cambpell's artistic and performative work either on stage or online and stop using plastic bags at the grocery. 

Our second guest is comedian Rufat Agayev, who moved to NYC 8 years ago by way of Florida where he went to college and "trickled down to sociology" as a major.  There he started to perform as a rapper opening up for big names such as Wiz Khalifa and Dead Prez.  Rufat is part Azerbaijani and part Armenian. Rufat talks about loving comedy as a craft, including his early years in comedy getting his "ass kicked" doing open mics.  Go see Rufat's show Hell Fucking Yeah at Lucky 13 Saloon.

Our Get It Off Your Chest audience performer is John Uhlenhake. He's a loyal supporter of WDEK.  Shonali talks about germaphobes making it germier for the rest of us.  John alarms us with what he sees people doing while riding their bikes.  Courtney talks walking protocol in NYC.  Get it together walkers!

Our last guest is a singer, pianist and music teacher Deah Harriott . If that's not enough Deah is also the Minister of Music at Bethany Baptist Church, (Rev. Al Sharpton's church) and Music Director at Marble Collegiate Church.  Deah can't get over Shonali's husband's name "Jasper Patch."  Shonali goes on and on about Deah's impressive family BUT she's the one who was called a child prodigy at age 2.  Deah is proud to come from Lincoln, Nebraska.  Who knew?  All of our guest members want to go to Deah's church with her.  Deah blows us away with her renditions of Time After time by Cyndi Lauper and Still I Rise by Yalonda Adams.  

Thank you all!  See you at our next live show May 28th at Red Room.  Make sure you go to Courtney's live show Som Like It Hot Saturday afternoon June 1st at Caveat where he pairs up wines with his favorite comedians.  

Direct download: WDEK_Ep._69_-_4.30.19_Final.mp3
Category:general, comedy, good+times -- posted at: 12:08am EDT

WDEK Podcast Ep. 68: Samantha Nye, Courtney Fearrington, Jemima Williams and Benjamin Scheuer - 3/26/19

It's March, it's springtime and it's still cold in NYC but we'll warm you up with our fabulous guests.  Nice, huh?  Special guests include painter, video artist Samantha Nye; stand up comedian Courtney Fearrington; illustrator and writer Jemima Williams; and performer, musician, playwright Benjamin Scheuer!  

Christian and Shonali discuss spring attire in the cold and Christian's ability to draw random people towards him wherever he goes.  Could it be it's his name?

The first guest is painter and video artist Samantha Nye.  She started had a professional career as a little girl which was being a child model.  When the work dried up, she found her way to art after leaving a massage therapist instructor career behind.  Samantha's art is powerful, compelling and lesbian focused. She delves into family relationships and the inherent sexuality found within those relationships.  Find out how she crossed the line with her supportive parents via her provocative art....she was an undergrad at the time. Check out Samantha's work at SamanthaNye.com

Christian and Shonali discuss Women's History Month and the invisibility of women's work. Shonali wants everyone to know Sister Rosetta Tharpe.  Look her up now.  Also some data points regarding the amount of women vs. men's leisure time. 

The second guest is comedian and writer Courtney Fearrington. Maybe you saw him on a new Boost Mobile commercial that came out a few weeks ago.  He has on some great Air Max sneakers bc it's Air Max day.  Courtney is a former Marine  who found his way to stand-up comedy during security briefings.  Shonali and Courtney  connect on the concept of not allowing friends to waste your paper towels. 2019 is the year of Courtney's most honest self. Are you honest?  Courtney has a show called Somm Like It Hot which is a wine tasting paired with a favorite comic.  Go to his shows! 

Our hostess bartender at Red Room, Lori Schwarz joins us for Get It Off Your Chest!  Christian has issues w Shonali's lack of Facetime etiquette. Shonali realizes that her inclination to always embrace the elderly may not be on point.  Find out what happens to Lori when she commiserates with a bar patron about a #MeToo story about his wife.

Our final guests are married couple, new parents and artistic collaborators Jemima Williamsand Benjamin Scheuer. Jemima Williams is an illustrator and writer. Benjamin Scheuer is a musician, playwright and performer.  They recently collaborated on a children's book called Hibernate With Me which was published in February 2019. Jemima is from England and moved to NYC to be with Benjamin.  Her transition from giving up her life in England to living in the US  did not go as smoothly as she expected.  It was this that inspired Benjamin to write the song Hibernate With Me for Jemima.  We discuss divorce o'clock, the credit given to a dad vs a mother for carrying a baby and their upcoming children's book. Benjamin sings 3 songs for us, Hibernate With Me, a song from his Drama Desk Award winning musical solo show The Lion called Weather The Storm, and Hello Jemima.

 

Direct download: WDEK_Ep._68_Final.mp3
Category:general, comedy, good+times -- posted at: 7:28pm EDT

WDEK Podcast Ep. 67: Sean Patton, Eric Lockley and Caitlin Cook - 2/26/19

2019 continues to be better than we thought it would be. Our Ep. 67 guests are stand-up comedian, writer, actor Sean Patton; actor, writer, producer Eric Lockley; and musician, comedian, artist Caitlin Cook.  

It's February, the month of love, Black History Month, the month of the sauna and the red carpet for Christian and Shonali!  Our first guest of the night is Eric Lockley, an actor, writer, producer and a winner of the Amateur Night at the Apollo as a seven year old! Eric is one of the founders of the Movement Theater and a Producing Artistic Leader.  Eric was one of the producers of a powerful interactive experimental theatrical hit show called What To Send Up When It Comes Down by Aleshea Harris which was created to honor the black lives lost to “racialized violence."  We talk collective truths, comedy in drama, how much fish is too much fish and Jennifer Lewis as next year's Oscar Host. Watch Eric's web series Blacker here!

For the first time ever in WDEK history, audience members, Catherine and Brad, have a lover's quarrel in the middle of our show. Shonali and Christian as love experts, naturally decide to bring them up on stage to discuss their problems. Shonali takes lead as a couples therapist. Christian is a skeptic.  

Our second guest is comedian, writer and actor Sean Patton.  You've seen him on Comedy Central, Fallon, Conan.  Sean has Shonali's back regarding her comment about her husband's fart sounding like a question mark.  Sean is from the wonderful city of New Orleans. Shonali got married there.  We talk the Howling Wolf, Hurricane Katrina and Sean is emphatic that Spike Lee should have won an Oscar for When The Levees Broke .  What joke does Sean tell when a stranger who finds out he's a comedian asks him to tell a joke?? Lucky for you we did not edit it out of this episode although we thought about it!  Sean just returned from performing in China. Who do you know that has done that?  Check out Sean's new podcast coming out later this month along with our next guest Caitlin Cook called Five Words.  

We Get It Off Your Chest with audience member Jako Borren.  Shonali does not appreciate strangers passing off their unfunny stories to her as a gift to her to use for on the stage. Christian talks about proper gifting techniques for clothing.  Jako has not one but two GIOYC's regarding Black History Month and Valentine's Day.  

Our final guest is musician, comedian, and artist Caitlin Cook. She happens to also be Sean Patton's girlfriend.  The show comes full circle, we talk about love and what sealed the deal for Caitlin regarding her relationship with Sean.  Caitlin has a master's degree in maritime archeology. Find out why Shonali is flipping out over who Caitlin's grandfather is. Although she wrote her first song at 4 years old, she never really felt the urge to perform due to growing up in LA where every kid is in show biz.  Now that Caitlin has a code of conquering fears, she performs often to get over her stage fright.  She performs her music under the moniker Candid Bandit to distinguish  from her comedy music.  Caitlin is preparing to perform her one woman show in Edinburgh this summer.  Her new EP Bridges to Burn release party is on April 5th at Rockwood. Go see her!  She performs a beautiful cover of Eiffel 65's Blue and an original titled Howl from her new EP.  Enjoy!

 

 

Direct download: WDEK_Ep.67_Final.mp3
Category:general, comedy, good+times -- posted at: 12:40am EDT

WDEK Podcast Ep. 66: May Jeong, Josh Gondelman, Shilpa Ray & Mitch The Enthusiasm Coach - 1/29/19

We start out 2019 with an explosion not a bang. Our guests are award-winning investigative journalist May Jeong, award-winning writer/stand up comedian Josh Gondelman and singular blues punk rock n’ roll bad ass musician Shilpa Ray. Along with special surprise guest Mitch The Enthusiasm Coach and Megan Fitzpatrick Gets It Off Her Chest.

Christian and Shonali catch up on the holidays, mom talk, Nancy Pelosi, Howard Schulz' signature and the opportunity which 2019 will hopefully bring.

Their first guest is investigative journalist May Jeong.  May is a wunderkind.  She's spent years living in Afghanistan covering the war and received high accolades for reporting from there.  We discuss her courage, smarts and as she calls it being "young and dumb" in terms of saying yes to every opportunity to get the real story.  Look for her upcoming work in the New Yorker regarding another explosive ground breaking story.

Shonali's new 2019 positive attitude is due to the new man in her life, Mitch The Enthusiasm Coach.  Mitch who also wears two headbands at one time shows Christian how to get inspired about the year and take charge of his life.  

The second guest in the lineup is award winning writer and stand up comedian Josh Gondelman.  He was a former writer for Last Week Tonight with John Oliver and currently write for the new late night show on Showtime with Desus and Mero.  What Christian and Shonali find most interesting about Josh is that he is from Boston, has no accent AND was a former preschool teacher. 2019 is going to be a big one for Josh.  He just recorded a one hour comedy live special and has written a new book "Nice Try - Story of Best Intentions and Mixed Results" to come out this year. Oh and Desus and Mero's show debuts on February 21st. 

Get It Off Your Chest with audience member Megan Fitzpatrick.  She comes forth with martini in hand.  Our problems stem mostly from the weather and inconsiderate people.  Whew, don't you feel better. 

Our last guest is the amazing multi-instrumentalist, singer-songwriter punk rock blues musician Shilpa Ray.  Wow.  Shonali bonds with Shilpa on being Bengali Female Desis who play rock n' roll.  Unbelievably she had a music pageant dad who had to force her to practice her harmonium and vocals at a young age.  Believably he also still wants her to go to med school.  Shilpa says she is actually shy which is shocking.  Shilpa kindly answers Christian's template musician question beautifully.  Please go see Shilpa play live at El Cortez on February 8th with James Chance to find out why people call her god. Shilpa performs two songs live on piano in the Red Room, 1) Same Sociopath and 2). Cry For the Cameras  Enjoy!  Happy New Year! Also special thanks to Matt Hunziker for coming in a crushing it as Mitch the Enthusiasm Coach!

Direct download: WDEK_Ep._66_1.29.2019_Final.mp3
Category:general, comedy, good+times -- posted at: 9:17pm EDT

WDEK Podcast Ep. 65: Holiday Episode w Shalewa Sharpe, Sharron Paul, Chris Laker & James Harvey 12/18/18

Our 2018 WDEK Holiday Episode 65 was taped in Shonali's apartment in front of a live audience w special guest co-host Shalewa Sharpe and guests comedians Sharron Paul, Chris Laker and musician James Harvey.  This is a re-taping of our brilliant October 2018 show for reasons you will learn when you listen to Ep. 65.  The cider was flowing and the holiday spread was spread out.  

Shonali and Shalewa's friendship began way back in the ATL.  Cover your ears mom for the first 5 minutes of this conversation.  Christian, Shalewa and Shonali talk cornbread WET dressing and fried turkey. 

Comedian, writer, producer, side hustler (aren't we all) Sharron Paul joins the party. They discuss holiday travel, improv passenger actors and using what Shalewa calls "fun airlines."  Have you ever heard of ice cream theft? Exciting news ya'll! Make sure to check out Sharron's adult novelty website called TheNastyAmerican.com .

Comedian Chris Laker joins us in his festive socks and all around good shirt. We talk male Spanx, family (non) responsibilities, moving to Los Angeles and performing at the Fringe Fest.   Look for Chris walking in the streets of LA bc he would rather not drive. 

Our Get It Off Your Chest with Delmira "Dee" Lemus gets serious.  Christian shocks us with his GIOYC.  Shonali complains about herself.  Shalewa has had it with bodega workers ruining her snack cake experience.  Fortnite problems are messing with Dee's bank account.  Pretty sure WDEK is the only podcast in which you will hear a serious conversation regarding Alfonso Ribeiro, Fred "Rerun" Berry AND pajama wear.

Pianist, composer, musical comedy performer James Harvey sock game is tight.  Seeing Little Shop Of Horrors as a kid sparked his interest in writing musicals.  He performs the five stages of grief from his one man show, The Bald Faced Truth.  James is currently working on his new musical Amazon-The Musical, and it's not about the rainforest.  

Happy Birthday to Jason Lam!  He filled in for Daria Huxley as photographer. Also make plans to attend Shalewa's live album taping is January 27th at Union Hall in Brooklyn - two shows 7PM & 9:30PM! 

Direct download: WDEK_Ep._65_-_Holiday_Episode.mp3
Category:general, comedy, good+times -- posted at: 6:05pm EDT

WDEK Podcast Ep. 63: Calvin Cato, David Rees and Tigers & Monkeys - Sept. 18, 2018

Shonali Bhowmik and Christian Felix co-host a chat, music, variety talk show with guests comedian and oversharer Calvin Cato; humorist, cartoonist, artisanal pencil sharpener and tv host David Rees along with music by Tigers and Monkeys. Christian Felix is back in his co-hosting seat after a trip to Singapore where they know how to deal with the heat. 

Calvin Cato, a self professed oversharer, explains how as a premed major, he made his way into the world of comedy.  Calvin wrote an open letter to his white male friends and WDEK endorses his sentiment.  Get It Off Your Chest with audience member Martina Potratz.  If you ever wondered, strangers really do yell things out at pregnant women in the streets.  

David Rees is a master of many trades including a fact checker, an artisanal pencil sharpener, the creator of the cartoon Get Your War On, the host of a tv show called Going Deep (find it online) but one of his most important works was his Financial Transparency - Journey Into Hell presentation. Both David and Christian protect themselves from the heat with help of a handkerchief.

Tigers & Monkeys, a band led by WDEK's own Shonali Bhowmik just released their third full length album titled Saturday Destroyer. Shonali along with bandmates Jason Lam, Anthony Cangelosi and Russell Dungan perform stripped down versions of their songs Over The SunMagic Marker and Dinosaurs Surrender

 

Direct download: WDEK_Ep._63_Chapters.mp3
Category:general, comedy, good+times -- posted at: 12:15pm EDT

WDEK Podcast Ep. 62: Maeve Higgins, Hari Kondabolu and Camille Harris - August 28, 2018

We Don't Even Know Ep. 62 live at Red Room hosted by Shonali Bhowmik and guest co-host comedian Greg Johnson with special guests comedian Maeve Higgins, comedian Hari Kondabolu and musician Camille Harris. Get It Off Your Chest with our audience member Maggy Adeleye.  

Special guest co-host comedian Greg Johnson joins Shonali to host Ep. 62 of WDEK Live at Red Room while Christian Felix is away on the hottest night of the year so far.  Greg, Shonali and Christian met while working on a huge case at a Manhattan law firm which is why the word "chron" makes them giddy.   Greg was our Ep. 17 guest 5 years ago on 9/10/13. Greg Johnson's #1 is the first stand-up comedy album to be released by Little Lamb Recordings, Shonali's label. 

Our first guest is comedian, author and actress Maeve Higgins.  Maeve first impressed Shonali with her sparkly sandals but Maeve's undeniable wit and intelligence are what sealed the deal in their friendship.  We discuss Maeve's new book Maeve In America along with worldly topics like vagina extensions, M&M world, mental illness, Irish America and the seduction of being white.

Comedian Hari Kondabolu FINALLY is a guest on WDEK live.  The discussion starts out light regarding signing autographs and wet t-shirt contests and things get serious when Shonali confesses she was a prom queen and mathlete in high school.  Hari has a new Netflix special out called Warn Your Relatives and TruTV documentary The Problem With Apu.  Most importantly, Hari and Shonali both have brilliant mothers.   

Our audience member Maggy Adeleye joins us for our Get It Off Your Chest segment.  We discuss using the word "sweetie", saying you are "color-blind" and being asked to be co-host for WDEK on a day when the heat index is 99 degrees in NYC.

Our final guest is Camille Harris!  She is a musician, writer, teacher, comedian and actress.  Camille came to NYC as a former prom queen and international baccalaureate. Prom queens unite! She wrote a musical called Muffin Man and has been recently working on a children's album called Silly Jazz with Camille.  She is not on social media. Impressive, right? Camille performs two songs in the Red Room, Trying Something New and Baby On The Subway.

Also Shonali has a band called Tigers and Monkeys which has a new album coming out on Sept. 17, 2018.  It is called Saturday Destroyer.  Tigers and Monkeys will be the musical guest on the September 18th WDEK Live show.

 

 

Direct download: WDEK_Ep._62_.mp3
Category:general, comedy, good+times -- posted at: 2:44pm EDT

WDEK Podcast Ep. 61: Sunita Mani, Myka Fox & Shannon Wright - July 24, 2018

Guest co-host Jordan Clifford joins Shonali for Episode 61 while Christian Felix is in Singapore doing who knows what. Jordan helps Shonali analyze her disgusting dream. Our first guest is actress, dancer, comedian Sunita Mani. Shonali and Sunita are family friends. Jordan and Sunita were in the same crew together in college at Emerson College. Jordan tried to make Sunita cry once. We discuss Sunita's success as an actress (Mr. Robot, GLOW) and if it has gone to her head. Look for Sunita in No Activity. Out of nowhere, a podcast protestor interrupts our show! Our second guest is comedian, writer & producer Myka Fox. Myka just celebrated her birthday and Shonali forces Myka to tell a depressing story about a specific past birthday. Find out whether Myka ever had an ex-boyfriend help her move? Myka has the best Twitter account & you must follow her. Check out Myka's Friday night weekly show at the Cobra Club called Live From Outer Space. Sidenote: Have you seen the PBS documentary on Maya Angelou? It's on Netflix now. Ep. 61 Get It Off Your Chest is with audience member Ricky Trabucco. We have some good ones: airplane boarding eagerness, people with clipboards & purchasing lottery tickets. Our final guest is musician Shannon Wright. Shannon is a guitarist, pianist, singer-songwriter and her performances are raw, emotional, breathtaking and powerful all at one moment. Shonali & Shannon are long time friends who just discovered they both sold ice cream and were accused of stealing as adolescents. Shannon is shy. Shannon is a prolific artist who is starting work on her 11th solo album. She is adored by the likes of Jordan Clifford, Steve Albini, Yann Tiersen and recently composed the music for French director Guillaume Nicloux's To The Ends Of The World. Listen to Shannon Wright perform Avalanche live at We Don't Even Know.

WDEK Podcast Ep. 60: Ahna Tessler, Jon Glaser and Rebecca Vigil - June 26, 2018

We celebrate our 60th episode of We Don't Even Know with special guests comedian and family documentary photographer Ahna Tessler; comedian, writer, actor and director Jon Glaser; and improv musician and comedian Rebecca Vigil.  Shonali & Christian applaud the  awesome audience in attendance at WDEK Live for getting out of the fetal position and making it to the show while the news cycle continues to kick all of our asses.  Our first guest of the night is comedian, actress and photographer Ahna Tessler.  She is also a mother and we all agree doesn't get enough attention these days.  We told her she could swear as much as she wanted during the taping.  Ahna's longtime comedy partner Lauren Engle was in attendance at the show.  They are legends. Ahna has made so many fantastic videos which she calls 'dumb' but we call hysterical.  There was a little controversy surrounding Ahna's breastfeeding video.  Check out Ahna's beautiful family photography. She is humble and doesn't brag about it bc she is a woman. 

Our next guest, Jon Glaser is a comedian, actor, writer and star of Jon Glaser Loves Gear and also the Adult Swim show Neon Joe, Werewolf Hunter. Jon is a powerhouse in the comedy world.  As you expected, Jon has lots of gear.  We get the low low low low down on how Jon came up with the idea for the show Neon Joe, Werewolf Hunter.  It's so dumb.  We love it.  Shonali and Jon used to jam together and after you hear Jon's new summertime hit tune you will understand why they are ready to take the show on the road.

During #GetItOffYourChest with audience member Michael McMenamin, we learn that you must make sure the washing machine is fully drained before putting in your clothes.  Christian uses the words 'fecal air.' Gross. Shonali's rants about unnecessarily expensive fashion choices. 

Our final guest of the evening is improv musician and actress Rebecca Vigil .  Rebecca went to 13 different schools and still sings about love.  She's remarkable for many reasons, but we are super impressed with her big winnings while on a game show. Two of our lucky audience members, Sergio Douglas and Maggy Adeleye were interviewed by Rebecca on stage and then ....well listen to see what happened, will you?

Direct download: WDEK_Ep._60_.mp3
Category:general, comedy, good+times -- posted at: 3:14pm EDT

WDEK Podcast Ep. 59: Emily Flake, H Jon Benjamin & Rob Townsend - May 29, 2018

Welcome to our 59th Episode of WDEK Podcast. Justin the intern starts the live show on a Tuesday night at the Red Room in NYC! Christian just returned from father's retirement party in Chicago. Shonali just returned from Nashville where she kept up with the news about a racist crazy tv star and her tweets. What's it like to have your creative work rejected in person to your face over and over?  We ask our first guest that question. She is cartoonist, illustrator, writer and performer Emily Flake.  She has "cobbled" together a living as a cartoonist for a long time now. She's come a long way from being an ad sales person for alt weekly New York Blade to becoming a successful cartoonist who has had hundreds of her works featured in the New Yorker.  She's written a book about parenting called Mama Tried. She's a parent who refreshingly doesn't think being a parent is the MOST awesome thing in the world. How cool is that? Look out for her upcoming YA (Young Adult) book she's working on now, a fictional fanzine from 1992.  Our second guest is H. Jon Benjamin, a comedian, actor and writer probably most famous for his work as the voice of Bob in Bob's Burgers and the voice of Archer in Archer.  Benjamin as Shonali calls him (they are old friends) used to host a comedy show in the East Village called Midnight Pajama Jam. It was the best. JB's written a book that just came out called Failure is An Option: An Attempted Memoir.  Shonali's been listening to the audiobook and loves it.  She is intrigued by Jon Benjamin's love for disco, roller skating and disco balls.  Jon explains what the main take away from his book is in two words. We Get It Off Our Chest with illustrator musician Marcellus Hall who refuses to rap with us. Our final guest is musician, singer, songwriter Rob Townsend.  Rob is originally from Spartanburg, SC.  He's also a part time sailing instructor and may be the only gay sailing captain on the Hudson. We like the idea of a gay sailboat. We discuss the difficulty of selling music during an era where everyone gets their music free.  Rob moved to NYC from Austin, TX where he was in a folk band.  His music has changed drastically.  He is humble and self deprecating but we think he's awesome. He sings an original song called Clatskanie and a Randy Newman tune called Short People! Welcome to our new sound engineer Ezana Million! ENJOY!!! Photo by Daria Huxley.

Direct download: WDEK_Chapters_Ep._59.mp3
Category:general, comedy, good+times -- posted at: 12:14pm EDT

WDEK Podcast Ep. 58: Sanjit De Silva, Alison Leiby & Graham Norwood - April 3, 2018

Episode 58 was taped on April 3, 2018 - the 50th Anniversary of MLK's" I've Been to the Mountaintop" final speech.  Shonali & Christian have been traveling.  When was the last time you stayed in a hostel.  Our first guest is actor, writer & director Sanjit De Silva who recently closed out a run at New York Theater Workshop starring in the play An Ordinary Muslim written by Hammaad Chaudry.  After working for 15 years as an actor, the play was his first time to be in a majority brown people cast. We talk breaking our parents hearts and the glamorous life of a working actor. Pat Alvarado joins us for our Get It Off Your Chest segment or does he? Our second guest is comedian & writer Alison Leiby.  Alison wrote for Comedy Central's The President Show and currently writes for Jordan Klepper's The Opposition. Find out what Alison thinks about Christian's solar system shirt.  She shares her recent dealings with Twitter trolls and how a near death experience led her to comedy. Alison has great advice for up and coming female comedians.  Our impromptu Get It Off Your Chest guest Tim Ewing also has words for Christian's shirt. Our final guest is musician Graham Norwood. Graham, who is legally blind, started to focus on his own solo project only two years ago after spending 15 years working on the music of other artists.  Outside of music, Graham is the Director for the Foundation and Corporate Relations for the Partnership for The Homeless.  Wow! Graham sings two songs for us including Collapses to Zero and Lazarus Avenue.  

Direct download: WDEK_Ep._58.mp3
Category:general, comedy, good+times -- posted at: 12:13am EDT

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WDEK Podcast Ep. 57: Melena Ryzik, Emily Wells & Danielle Gray - February 8, 2018

While we've been mourning the close of our former WDEK podcast home, the HiFi Bar we are excited to host our first show of 2018 at Caveat, a new speakeasy space in LES which showcases "intelligent nightlife." Yeah, we know what you are thinking.  Let us be delusional for a little while, will you? Christian and Shonali discuss good (not so good depending on who you are talking to) times had at the MLK tribute at BAM, the NYC Women's march and Barry's Bootcamp. Below is the pic we shared of Christian from the Women's March during the show.  Our first guest is New York Times reporter Melena Ryzik.  Melena is a bad ass NYC bicylist.  Find out why she had to get fingerless gloves.  Melena is a journalist at the forefront of covering the MeToo movement and sexual harassment in the entertainment world (Louis CK, Russell Simmons.)  We get into it.  Christian says he wants to listen .... let's see how long. 

Our second guest is a Russian Hacker* Eugeny Smith who happened to be in our audience during the show just as Shonali suspected.  He not only confesses to reading Shonali's emails but he reads them to the world. So embarrassing.  

Our third guest is multi instrumentalist, composer, producer, visual artist Emily Wells.  Emily's work is stunning.  She describes growing up with a Music Minister father, building a world around her during her performance, choreographer Pina Bausch and her love of what she does. Purchase Emily's music asap!  Emily performs two songs for us at the end of the show. 

Uta Seibicke joins us for Get It Off Your Chest!  Man of The Woods, adults charmed by their young children's bathroom breaks, and the subway are our topics of conversation.

Our last guest is Danielle Gray, former Obama Cabinet Secretary and Senior Adviser to President Obama. Kudos to her for making it to the show on what was for her a very tough night (listen to Ep to find out why.)  Danielle tells us what is was like for her working at the White House. She also gives us some insight as to how during this past year she stays focused on causes she believes in and stays a good distance from social media.  Have you heard of 3 Card Monte? Danielle a real New Yorker knows what it is.  

WDEK Podcast Ep. 56: Mike Stuto, Jennie Reilly Romer & Chaney Sims - Oct. 24, 2017

Episode 56 is a momentous occasion, with the news that HiFi will close at the end of October 2017, this is the last time we will tape our show in our beloved home space.  Currently we are looking for another home and expect to return to a new space live in front of an audience in January of 2018. Christian & Shonali open the show with quality conversation about bunions, butts and adult day care. Our first guest is lawyer, environmental activist and national carryout bag expert Jennie Reilly Romer.  After helping San Francisco and Los Angeles enact laws on plastic bag policy, Jennie moved to New York with the mission of doing the same thing here.  She came really close!  Jennie explains why these thin plastic bags are so problematic, what we can do to help (plasticbaglaws.org); who is lobbying against the policy and how Christian did the wrong thing by putting the plastic bags in the recycling bin.  We salute Jennie on her work and look forward to her to running for New York City Council! Go Jennie.   With the news that HiFi will close at the end of October, we are excited celebrate the man who created this safe haven for indie rock n roll bands in the mid 90's, East Village neighbors in the 2000's  and podcasters and comedians in the late 2010's.  Here is a special interview with the owner of HiFi (formerly the legendary East Village rock club Brownies) Mike Stuto.  Find out about Mike's time as a club owner who had do idea what he was doing. There were good times (David Bowie, Debbie Harry, Mel Brooks) and bad (Sugar Ray, Milemarker) but Mike has always managed to this day to bring together a community that is heavily indebted to him for giving them a space to create, learn, unite, celebrate and collaborate.   After listening quiz: What band made Mike want to work in rock n' roll?  Our final guest is Grammy nominated singer and storyteller Chaney Sims.  Like Mike, Chaney is a native New Yorker and the East Village was her playground.  She is the daughter of a great blues musician, Bill Sims Jr. with whom she performs with in the Grammy Nominated Heritage Blues Orchestra.  Her recent solo performance of songs written from her Haiku 365 project at Joe's Pub was with a string orchestral accompaniment by Root Stock Republic.  The performance will be released as a live album recording soon. Listen to Chaney blow you away with her performances of Leadbelly's Go Down, Old Hannah and Nina Simone's C-Line Woman.  Have a great rest of the year and until our next show, do yourself a favor and binge on the many earlier episodes of We Don't Even Know.   

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Ep. 55: Catie Lazarus, George Gordon & Lori Scacco

Welcome back Christian! The news today bummed us out to no end so we had to talk about it.  Christian went to Haiti and all he brought back was the Missing Key Story.  Our first guest is comedian, writer and Employee of the Month talk show host Catie Lazarus.  Catie is an expert on germs in the gym. Christian is one on airplane germs.  Catie grew up in DC with a Public Policy White House advisor father and a peace activist brother. Find out how a doctoral student becomes the “funniest resident of NYC.”  Shonali and leftovers don’t go well together. Comedian George Gordon is from Virginia. He currently supports his comedy by bartending. What makes a great bar patron? Comedian Doug Stanhope changed George’s life. He’s good at doing a “tight five.” #GetItOffYourChest is back with audience member and former WDEK guest Alan Yaspan! Our last guest is musician Lori Scacco.  Lori and Shonali are old friends who both started their music careers in Atlanta, Georgia. Lori currently has many musical ongoing projects including her own music which she calls “highly orchestrated computer music” and her collaborations such as Storms.  She recently composed music for the Joyce Theater Ballet Festival for dancer Gemma Bonds.  We discuss creative identity, Atlanta, family and the legendary Clermont Lounge.  Lori has an upcoming live show in October. You must go! We play an excerpt from the ballet called The Giving and the first song on her full length Storms album called Wolves and Bells

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WDEK Podcast Ep. 54: Danny Cohen, Kelly Reidy, Heather Fink & Miyuki Furtado - July 25, 2017

Shonali’s special guest co-host is comedian Danny Cohen, her favorite FB live video maker! Guests include scientist Kelly Reidy, filmmaker Heather Fink and musician Miyuki Furtado.  "The Summer of Shonali and Danny" thus far has included a trip to a cemetery in the Berkshires and eating lots of snacks. Danny was banned from Facebook.  WDEK’s first guest is scientist & indie songstress Kelly Reidy.  Say “theoretical condensed matter” three times real fast. Kelly is a Museum Hack tour guide and recently gave Rob Lowe and his family a Natural History Museum tour.  We talk ghost sex (it’s a thing) and ghost attire.  Follow Kelly @drunkascheese on Twitter and Instagram. Danny and Shonali discuss DuckFace and why it still exists? Our second guest is filmmaker, actress, director, comedian Heather Fink.  Heather took a leap of faith and changed her career path from stand-up to filmmaking. We talk believing in yourself, rejection, getting dumped and her first feature length film Inside You which will be screened in NYC on August 6th at Kew Gardens Cinemas Festival. It’s a body switching sex comedy in which Heather is lead actress and director. How did she do it? Here’s the Inside You trailer!  Our regular segment #GetItOffYourChest is back!  Thomas Kelsey joins Danny & Shonali to vent.  In no particular order we vent about A capella singing, littering, and angling (walking diagonally) while you walk. Our last guest is musician Miyuki Furtado.  We discuss growing up in Hawaii, being a member of the Kiss Army, his former band The Roger Sisters and his current solo project Divining Rod.  He releases a Double A side single on July 28th which showcases some of his psychedelic southern roots which will be included in his upcoming album.  Miyuki brought his suitcase kickdrum & guitar and performed 3 of his original songs including Love Come Tumbling, Darling Down the Road, and Hemlock Blues.  They are brilliant. Enjoy!  Also Christian is to be back with us on August 15th!  

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WDEK Podcast Ep. 53: Becky Yamomoto, Mars Ganito and Mike DuClos - June 27, 2017

We return from our two month break after our WDEK Variety Fest with a Sizzling Summer Show - SSS show - BAM! Is it still considered alliteration if the words start with the same letter although letter doesnt have the same sound - Sss vs sh? Will you look that up for us?  While Christian is away, our special guest host this month is a longtime friend of WDEK; the multi talented (musician, illustrator and writer) Mr. Marcellus Hall! Our first guest is comedian, writer & actress Becky Yamomoto.  Find out how she got to NYC and created a successful career here as a standup & actress although her Mom and Dad never go to her shows.  Her web series Uninspired is one of Shonali’s favorites.  Shonali performs a new song yet to be released called The Dream Is Still Alive with Marcellus on harmonica.  Our second guest is Mars Ganito, guitar player, singer and one of the leaders of the punk pop indie band Aye Nako. We talk about life on the road, growing up in Arkansas within a large family and his love of country music. Mars has described his band’s music as “sad songs about being queer, trans and black,” however we don’t find them so sad. They make us happy.  Reminiscent of the best of early indie rock bands like Superchunk, Helium & Pavement; their sound is ragged, raw and dissonant but also catchy, fresh and original.  Special guest co-host Marcellus Hall performs one of his new tunes called Our Devices.  WDEK’s last guest is Mike DuClos, a brilliant musician who has performed with lots of great bands and musicians   Listen and learn about tourbus etiquette and performing with Joan Baez and Dire Straits.  Mike is what we call a professional musician. He’s even played on Broadway before.  He hated that.  He’s a great storyteller who is known in most circles as being a “wise ass.”  He agrees.  Listen and decide for yourself.  Thanks to all of you who support us and listen to our show.  We have t-shirts for some of you lucky fools! Email us! And lastly Listen to Aye Nako’s Spare Me!

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WDEK Variety Fest - Duane Harriott interviews Alfa Anderson

Our first ever We Don’t Even Know Variety Fest held on April 23, 2017 at DCTV in downtown Manhattan was a smashing success! To all of you who were able to attend - we love you and because of you we are certain to do it all over again next year.  Although we won’t be able to share all of the performances via our podcast format from that day, we are honored to share with you our dear friend, a living music encyclopedia, WFMU’s Duane (Train) Harriott and his interview with soul and dance music icon, one of the original lead vocalists of Chic, the legendary Alfa Anderson.  

Duane explains his spiritual connection to disco and introduces us to the amazing Alfa Anderson.  Alfa talks about coming to New York City from Augusta, Georgia as a young woman seeking a teaching job until the moment she realized she could actually make a living as a singer.   Does the name Luther Vandross ring a bell? “Big” Luther and Alfa used to hang out on a park bench near W. 72nd Street before they became famous! Alfa explains to us how to be “Haughty!”  Duane talks about the music of Chic, how it changed his life and plays another one of his favorite Chic songs including At Last I’m Free.  You will also hear about Alfa’s songwriting process for her brand new solo release, From My Heart and thank goodness she could not resist singing along with her new song titled “When Luther Sings.” Alfa is  truly a magical spirit and we were so humbled by her presence.  We hope you enjoy hearing her as much as we did.  Check out Alfa’s website and her Facebook page here.  Be sure to join us in attendance at Alfa’s upcoming show at Joe’s Pub on 7/7/17 at 7:30pm!  We will see you there.  Special note - this was recorded in a cavernous room & you may hear the sounds of a creaking door throughout the interview.  Probably spirits who just had to join us in the room for the interview perhaps?

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