Tag Archives: Back to the Future

Ep. #151: Hari Kondabolu

Hari Kondabolu is a very funny and incisive stand-up comedian who hails from Queens, New York. He has written for shows like Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell and appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman, Conan, and John Oliver’s New York Stand-Up Show among others. Earlier this year, Kill Rock Stars released his highly acclaimed and hilarious stand-up album, Waiting for 2042, which is out on vinyl December 2. On Friday December 5, he headlines a show at the Biltmore Cabaret in Vancouver and here, Hari and I discuss Queens New York not Seattle Washington, how Canada’s not so great, cowardly Americans, indigenous eradication and white demonry, fighting not fleeing, agreeable Canadians, how Stephen Harper might be slicker than George W. Bush, the downfall and terrible truth of Jian Ghomeshi, being on Q, knowing Jian and how he used to always call me ‘buddy,’ Jian’s aggressive egotism, comedy and show biz power dynamics, Hari’s mom doesn’t think he listens anymore, people who think I should have a shot at hosting Q, people who think brown people can replace other brown people, Hari’s #vishonQ campaign, accusations of race obsession in observational comedy, Aziz Ansari’s take on mining one’s cultural heritage in their work versus someone like Russell Peters who does accents in his act, how Peters has galvanized South Asian communities, whitewashed accents and losing our parents’ voices, the situation in Ferguson and what it says about our social progress, white demonry, the remorseless Darren Wilson, people who actually listen, the Terry Gross interview might’ve been a little too great, #vishonQ, Back to the Future and the way forward to politely colonizing Mars, CIA seed money, Weezer’s decline and my lapsed membership (#1234) in their fan club, the Pixies have also been a let-down, more empathy for artistic evolution, really obsessing over Weezer’s trajectory, how and why we measure artists’ creative output, Radiohead, Fugazi, Shellac, the Beatles and others who have created an interesting, nearly flawless body of work, Weezer’s time and place post-Kurt Cobain/at the dawn of widespread internet use in the mid-90s, Pinkerton is messed up, “El Scorcho” and “Across the Sea” are both racist, taking online flak, how Hari’s completion of a B.A. in Comparative Politics and a Masters in Human Rights from the London School of Economics somehow led him to comedy, Paul Mooney, following his passion, you have to laugh when you want to cry, addressing the diaspora and telling his parents’ stories, my dad came here with nothing and now I’m an asshole, coming to Canada more, Sled Island, Northwest Canada and Vancouver, Todd Barry’s Crowd Work movie is great, #toddbarryonQ, Waiting for 2042 is on vinyl via Kill Rock Stars, and pandering to white people, not appreciating our parents’ cooking until white people tell us it’s good, “What’s that smell?,” thanks mom and dad, google.com, the comedy bit “Moving to Canada,” and also #vishonQ.

Related links: harikondabolu.com killrockstars.com vishkhanna.com


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Ep. #97: Braids

Braids is an excellent, art-y rock band from Montreal featuring Raphaelle Standell-Preston, Austin Tufts, and Taylor Smith. Originally from Calgary, Braids is a close-knit group whose first album, Native Speaker, was excellent and short-listed for Canada’s Polaris Music Prize (previous winners include Karkwa). Their latest album is 2013’s Flourish // Perish, which is obtainable via Arbutus and Flemish Eye Records and is a moodier, emotionally and musically challenging feat from one of the most accomplished young bands in North America. Braids are on a tour of the eastern and midwestern parts of the United States and they play Montreal’s Il Motore on May 10 and Toronto’s Horseshoe on May 11. Back in November 2013, Raph, Austin, and even press-shy Taylor met with me outside of Toronto where we had a good chat about addictive coffee-flavoured e-cigarettes, a living room in Mississauga with a wooden carpet, rating Halloween candy, a tour oasis and a bitchy cat, my mom, my name Vishal, and our premature births, Austin and Raph’s close, sibling-like relationship, the travails of An Indian From Kitchener, computers versus guitars, special effects and Flourish // Perish, the logical puzzle that is the piano, leaving space in your work so that you can think, how Raph has grappled with mental health issues and public pressure and Flourish // Perish’s uniquely dark tone for an ‘electronic’ record, Austin is a man, the road is long, losing Katie Lee, you’ll have to speak up; the soundman is wearing a towel, female companionship, man conquers machine, machine conquers woman, how the media has manipulated and over-scrutinized Katie’s departure from Braids, the band’s frustration with the way they were portrayed in an Exclaim! Magazine cover story this past fall and how it impacted their already fragile relationship with Katie, the power dynamic between journalists and interview subjects, unique views and clickbait culture, learning from talking, Taylor shows up to discuss abstaining from interviews and their value, Braids’ future plans and progress towards their next record, Joshua Tree National Park and the desert, Good Will Hunting, Back to the Future, the song “Girl,” and that’s it.

Related links: braidsmusic.com vishkhanna.com


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