So my fledgling media career is up one more step as I was invited to participate in the new experimental radio show at NPR. You might know it as Rough Cuts or The Barbershop. It's Michel Martin's baby and we're trying to get it jumping off.
The NPR folks have a description for it, but it's the closest thing yet to a bunch of smart, interesting brothers getting together to rap about current events. Michel, with the velvety smooth voice, kicks off the session and we're off. Jimi Izrael is the ringleader on the air and we do a kind of round robin on topics of the day.
On my episode, we covered several subjects quickly and I think I got in a few soundbites edgewise. I was prepared for something a bit more raucous but we were pretty good. See in this case everything was virtual. Jimi was in KY, Q was in DC, I think, Naravette was in San Diego and Michel was.. I have no idea where. But I tell you this, I really like radio. I've done hundreds of conference calls and you have to use your voice to express things that you ordinarily would with your hands, so I have a bit of practice on that. But nothing could keep me from being extraordinarily nervous this time. Have you ever been in a situation where you think you have to pee and you know that you've already peed your last pee? That's what level of nerves I had. I was freakin'. But as soon as people started talking to me I was cool.
NPR West is a sweet little joint. As I cruised around to the men's room I passed offices of Alex Chadwick and a bunch of other famous people. That was fabulous, but I tried not to gawk. Well, Chadwick wasn't there anyway. Architecturally, it reminds me of Cars Direct which is probably just around the corner. You have your basic light industrial building with the open floor plan and rather up-to-date cubicles. All the folks in there were fashionably casual.
On my way out guess who I bump into? Karen Grigsby Bates. Am I allowed to say that? Aw, she's already famous and has hundreds of fans anyway. When I used to hang with my academic friends over at UCLA, we all agreed that she was the only reason to bother opening up the LA Times. So I tell her that the last time I saw her was at the Baldwin Public Library, but now that I think about it, I'm thinking that might not be correct. In fact it's way not correct. That was Erin Aubrey Kaplan and I know I like KGB way way better than I like EAK. We rapped about this and that.. uhm books we read, the topics in the discussion. It turns out that she has read Cobb from time to time. Lovely.
I'm embarrassed to confess that I can't remember the names of the other cool folks in the joint. The receptionist who used to be a plum farmer from Central California was a very charming lady and we rapped about a whole bunch of stuff. I was so jazzed up after the taping and none of the other folks were there so I had to just pour my little heart out and talk to be talking. She made me feel cool. I told her about my first severe sunburn which was part of my introduction to Central California that I got in Madera long ago when I was an AAU diver. AAU # 3323662. Dang, where was that buried in my head? N, was the sharp kid who had a copy of the new Modest Mouse CD and a thickish book about Independent Film in America. I hope he remembers it's Cobb and not DeKalb, but such is the media plug business.
I managed to break up the entire discussion with an offhand confession about my feelings towards Terry Gross which I think freaked everybody out. That I was able to freak out NPR folks, people who have a thing for David Sedaris, I take as sign of their true humanity, and I didn't even have to dig into the Conservative grab bag.
So in my next step toward famousity, you can check out the latest clip of
Rough Cuts, Tell Me More over at NPR. They have my link wrong but that's cool for the time being. I'm sure they'll clean that up. Plus you're here so you know what's up with the blog. By the way if you want to skip right to our piece, it starts at minute 35.