In today’s interview with Seth Meyers Terry asked him about his transition from Saturday Night Live, where he spent 12 years, to hosting Late Night. Seth described how it feels to move on:
"I do [miss it]. I miss it a little bit less every day, which is nice. The thing I was so worried about leaving SNL was just the family and the routine and all of the wonderful people that I got to spend so much time with. And obviously as you build a new show like we have, you find there are other really lovely people that you get to sort of build a new family with. I do miss the rush of SNL and on Saturday at 11:30 when I’m sitting at home I feel phantom limbs, if that’s the right expression, of just wanting to be out there.”
Photo by Peter Kramer/NBC
Make My Head Sing… is an album of contradictions. It’s full of unreliable narrators who sometimes revel in jealousy, willful insanity, and drugs even as her voice and the music suggest that sanity is a better option. The music is heavy, but it soars. Her guitar riffs thud and slam, but they maintain a propulsive forward motion. Her voice frequently seems on the verge of getting buried in the mix, but then producer Newport pulls her vocal out and up so that it quivers over the melody. The tension in all these contradictions is what gives Jessica Lea Mayfield’s music its blunt power, and its subtlety.
— Ken Tucker on Jessica Lea Mayfield's new album Make My Head Sing…
Seth Meyers is on the Fresh Air today! We’ll talk about his transition from SNL to Late Night, the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, and other fun things.
You can follow Late Night on tumblr here: latenightseth
In her new book Forcing the Spring, investigative reporter Jo Becker tells the behind-the-scenes story of an important chapter in the fight for marriage equality. She embedded with the team that challenged Proposition 8 — the 2008 anti-gay marriage California ballot initiative that called for amending the state constitution to say that the state would only recognize marriage between a man and a woman.
The strategy of going to the Supreme Court was controversial within the gay community. If the courts weren’t ready for the litigation it could’ve caused a huge set-back, upholding bans like Proposition 8 for years to come:
"The gay rights community had a strategy going in, they thought that they needed to have 30 states with some form of recognition — whether that be marriage, whether it be civil unions — but they wanted to have 30 states signed on before they went to the federal courts. What was really interesting to me is the echoes of the kind of similar debate that took place in the previous century over the civil rights fights that African Americans waged. There were people who thought, "You’re moving too fast! The courts aren’t ready!" back then."
photo via Huffington Post
Here’s Hari Kondabolu on Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell in a segment he refers to in his recent interview on Fresh Air.
Kondabolu comments on the National Spelling Bee, or as he likes to call it, “the Indian Super Bowl.”
Fresh Air producer Ann Marie Baldonado checks in from the TriBeCa Film Festival:
Last night was a “Wait. Who wrote this movie again?” evening at the TriBeCa film festival, with some well known names writing outside the genres for which they are known.
Every Secret Thing is directed by Amy Berg, the Oscar nominated documentary film director (West of Memphis) who makes her fictional feature film debut here. More surprising though is the film’s writer— Nicole Holofcener, director of Please Give, Friends with Money, and last year’s excellent movie Enough Said. There aren’t struggles about privileged New Yorkers, rich Los Angelenos, or romantic love after divorce in this one. Every Little Thing follows the story of two teenage girls who are convicted of kidnapping and murdering a baby when they were children themselves. Now out of prison, they are again under suspicion when another girl goes missing in their town. The film has a great cast, including Diane Lane, Elle Fanning, Elisabeth Banks, and relative new comer Danielle Macdonald.
Also premiering last night was In Your Eyes, a small supernatural-y romantic film written by big name Joss Whedon (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The Avengers. It stars the lovely Zoe Kazan and Michael Stahl-David as two lost people living across the country from each other who have an unexplained, psychic and psychological connection that disrupts their very different lives. Whedon didn’t direct this one, but it was put out by the small production company he started with his wife; it’s the same company that produced last year’s Joss directed Much Ado About Nothing, which starred almost everyone who has been in his other TV shows and movies. Okay, not really.
Whedon wasn’t physically present at last night’s premiere and Q & A, but they did play a video he recorded, in which he announced that the film that just premiered, In Your Eyes, was now available via VOD at inyoureyes.com. 5 bucks gets you a 72 hour rental. It will be interesting to see how this unconventional way of distributing a small independent film will pan out.
(Stills from Every Secret Thing and In Your Eyes, via TriBeCa)
Hillary Frank, wife of former Fresh Air producer Jonathan Menjivar (now with This American Life) has a podcast called Longest Shortest Time. Described as a “3:00 a.m. bedside companion for new parents,” The most recent episode focuses on natural birth:
This week on the Longest Shortest Time podcast, Hillary Frank confronts Ina May Gaskin, mother of the modern natural birth movement, over feeling betrayed by the empowering messages about unmedicated labor in her books. If you wanted a natural birth and didn’t get one, Ina May Gaskin is looking for your feedback as well. Here’s where you can tell your story or leave a comment: http://wp.me/p4bvGZ-15K
Before pursuing stand-up comedy full-time, Hari Kondabolu was a human rights activist. At first telling jokes was a cathartic release from the intense work he did with victims of hate crimes and workplace discrimination. In today’s interview he recounts how he began to incorporate aspects of his work into his comedy:
"I used to do a bit where I used to read the U.S. citizenship application onstage. I think that’s part of just being overeducated and wanting to do document analysis, but I’d actually bring it on stage and read questions. Because for people who don’t know, this is what immigrants have to go through to gain status in this country and it’s absurd and it’s something we take for granted as American citizens.
Sometimes that was hard in a club on a Friday night and it’s 10 o-clock and everyone’s drunk and there’s a dude on stage reading a form, it’s a strange thing to read a government form in front of a bunch of drunk people.”
Hari’s new comedy album is called Waiting for 2042.
Photo by Kyle Johnson
Have a nice weekend,
Edward Burtynsky Benidorm #1, Spain, 2010 Chromogenic Color print; printed 2013 © Edward Burtynsky, courtesy Howard Greenberg Gallery, and Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery, New York / Nicholas Metivier Gallery, Toronto Exhibitor : Howard Greenberg via atlantic cities
One of Amy Schumer’s comedy routines begins with the declaration, “I’m a little sluttier than the average bear. I really am.”
Degrees of sluttiness may be hard to define, but Schumer does talk frankly about many subjects — including sex — that can be uncomfortable for people, both in her stand-up act and on her Comedy Central series, Inside Amy Schumer, now in its second season.
When Amy spoke with Terry Gross last year, she revealed why she’s so at ease talking about sex:
"I have a joke where I say, ‘Oh, I’m going to bring [my mom] to a soccer game because I want to show her what boundaries look like.’ I just grew up in a house where things weren’t that taboo to talk about. And my mom, when she was teaching us to say our different body parts, taught me how to say ‘vagina’ the same that she taught me how to say ‘ear.’I think she wanted us to be able to tell her if we were ever molested without being embarrassed — and so there wasn’t this sense of shame. And I was running around naked to an age that probably wasn’t appropriate and just never was made to feel embarrassed or shamed because of my body or think anything was wrong with me, probably to a fault."