Tag Archives: Donald Drumpf

Ep. #257: Piya Chattopadhyay & MINOTAURS’ Nathan Lawr

Piya Chattopadhyay is a respected broadcaster and journalist currently based in Toronto. She has appeared as a guest host on TVO’s The Agenda and has contributed to BBC, PRI, and once served as the Middle East correspondent for Fox News Radio. She is likely best known as a dynamic voice on CBC Radio, where she has guest hosted shows like The Current, The World at Six, q, and Metro Morning. She’s set to host her own new show on CBC Radio called Out in the Open, which debuts at 3:00 PM ET on Saturday May 28. Nathan Lawr holds a Masters degree in History from University of Waterloo and has worked with the Canadian Civil Liberties Association to develop the Canadian Artists for Civil Liberties. He’s also a well-respected multi-instrumentalist who has contributed to key records and live shows by Feist, Jim Guthrie, Royal City, Constantines, FemBots, Sea Snakes, Bry Webb, and many, many more. He has created an excellent body of music on his own, most notably in his politically outspoken and Afrobeat-inspired band MINOTAURS, who celebrated the release of their new album, Weird Waves, in April. Presented by the Corporation of Massey Hall and Roy Thompson Hall, this episode was recorded live before an audience at the Drake Underground in Toronto on Saturday April 9, 2016, where Piya, Nathan, and I discussed information and responsibility, how I am apparently a terrible interviewer, selective facts, media bias and mainstream media, how humans are biased, feeling the Bern, Donald Drumpf’s appeal to the media, a tendency towards sensationalism, no conspiracies, self-interest, working as a reporter for Fox News, how people dying impacts the news, how people in the west relate to the rest of the world, delineating mainstream media from alternative media, how public broadcasting differs from other broadcasters, media outlets and utilizing resources properly, trusting Democracy Now, information is inherently biased, anti-intellectualism, trusting without questioning, the oversaturation of media sources and people’s inability to find time to stay informed, the pervasiveness of music, the saddest podcast in the world, Uncle Natey’s Grump Shack, staving off malaise and complacency with the sentiment behind upbeat music, insights from creative people, Nathan’s hat, moving from love songs to politically-oriented songs, growing up in Saskatoon, visiting India, getting into media, becoming a musician, studying classical music and musical theatre, the rise of satiric news TV shows, we’re too busy to think, people want people to tell them what they think, the MINOTAURS album Weird Waves, which is out now, and the next MINOTAURS album AUM, three children, Piya’s new CBC Radio show Out in the Open, which debuts Saturday May 28 at 3:00 PM, the MINOTAURS song “Weird Waves,” and that was that.

Related links: cbc.ca/radio/outintheopen minotaursband.bandcamp.com vishkhanna.com

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Ep. #245: Joe Casey of Protomartyr

Joe Casey is the lead singer and songwriter in an acclaimed American rock band called Protomartyr. Formed in Detroit in 2008, Protomartyr have released three full-length albums, including their well-received breakthrough, The Agent Intellect, which came out via Hardly Art Records in October, 2015. The band has been touring almost non-stop since then, including upcoming Canadian stops in Guelph, Ottawa, Montreal, and Calgary throughout May and June. Here, Joe and I discuss being back home after a long tour, Fargo and Fargo and Bob Dylan, playing inside and outside, the state of the state of Michigan, the water crisis in Flint, and Governor Rick Snyder, his dad who worked as a construction inspector for the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department, water plant schemes, former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and his appointment of Victor Mercado to head the water department, how Michigan is mostly run by Republicans at the state level, aggressively taking advantage of poor, vulnerable, predominantly black cities, why voters trust business people more than they do politicians, how touring is living in a bubble and not really travelling, Donald Drumpf and the meaningless concept of ‘President,’ Michigan’s political spectrum, Calvinists and forgettable Democrats, when Bernie Sanders won Michigan a little while ago, Ralph Nader’s 2000 election campaign and the Detroit Farmer’s Market, local politics, a Clinton/Sanders ticket, his dad’s political philosophies and humanistic beliefs, the state of Detroit, a focus on downtown instead of the suburbs, whether or not the city actually has jobs to offer the influx of younger people moving there for the cheap rent, false individualism within gentrification, saviours of Detroit, roadie-ing for Tyvek and hearing about Detroit from people who don’t live there, laze about artists, young people, and Detroit’s tax base, how he did and didn’t engage with Detroit’s musical history, Motown, the city’s relative isolation on the tour circuit, the State Theatre and the Shelter and 8 Mile, Zoot’s Coffee House, less shows and more movies, film school, bad news, don’t worry too much, comedy within the songs of Protomartyr, the Coen Brothers and Fellini, the year Protomartyr broke, media coverage and perceptions of success, working very hard, making music to sell clothing, t-shirt sales are the new charts, his stage presence and a collision between passion and indifference, learning how to be a lead singer, being a programs director at a summer camp, becoming an artist, going to see Paris but not seeing it, becoming a public person and interacting with strangers, stock answers, the way fans know artists, Dave Thomas of Pere Ubu, meeting heroes versus contemporaries, trying to record a new song under a tight deadline, perks and road managers, saxamaphone, the wisdom in playing smaller markets like Guelph, Constantines, writing again, his notebooks, the song “Clandestine Time,” and that was it.

Related links: protomartyrband.com vishkhanna.com

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Ep. #242: Josh Gondelman

Josh Gondelman is a Peabody winning and Emmy nominated comedy writer, author, and stand-up comedian who currently lives in New York City, where he works as a writer on HBO’s Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. Raised in Boston, Gondelman has also written for Billy on the Street and is the co-author of the Shorty Award-winning Modern Seinfeld Twitter account. Oh, and his own Twitter feed, @joshgondelman, was named the best account of 2015 by Paste Magazine. In summary, Josh Gondelman is very good at everything. This spring he’ll be appearing on Conan and Night Train with Wyatt Cenac to spread the word about Physical Whisper, his breathtakingly hilarious sophomore comedy album, which is out via Rooftop Comedy on March 18. Here, Josh and I discuss how well things are going, hanging out with his dog on off-days, how America is doing right now, how great Canada is doing right now, a golden or easy age of comedy, comedian versus citizen, the position Last Week Tonight with John Oliver took against the election news cycle and Donald Drumpf, the now crowded field of delivering fake news on television, everything is news, the making of and story behind Physical Whisper, when material is material, comedy peer support, how a second album by New York Josh Gondelman might relate to a first album by Boston Josh Gondelman, his style as a comedian and relationship with stand-up, Gary Gulman, becoming a more confident performer, his comedy nerd level, the Modern Seinfeld Twitter account that Josh co-writes, the way Seinfeld would name things, create a lexicon of its own with distinctive characters, and influence comedians, breaking down a Jerry Seinfeld joke, breaking down his own joke “The Entire Spectrum of Human Potential,” German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck, when it hit him that this real life thing might be fodder for a bit, delayed realizations, downtime, balancing life and work, future plans, the album cut “Surprise!” and that was the end of a very nice conversation.

Related links: twitter.com/joshgondelman vishkhanna.com

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