Episode #1518

Kevin Spacey’s Reign & Cibo Matto’s Return

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Friday, May 02, 2014

Kevin Spacey in the opening scene of Richard III during a performance in Epidaurus, Greece Kevin Spacey in the opening scene of Richard III during a performance in Epidaurus, Greece (Jeremy Whelehan)

Kurt Andersen talks with Kevin Spacey, who explains how Richard III — the baddest king Shakespeare ever put in a play — set the stage for Beltway backstabber Francis Underwood (D, South Carolina) in House of Cards. We also find out why you won’t hear the original racist lyric in “My Old Kentucky Home” at the Kentucky Derby, and why that may be a problem. And the band Cibo Matto, who defined a new kind of groovy in the 1990s, returns with a concept album about a ghost.

They Found Shakespeare’s Dictionary on eBay

Shakespeare coined scores of words, but where did he get his? Two booksellers think they’ve found Shakespeare’s own copy of a popular 16th century dictionary — with annotations highlighting unusual words that appear in the plays.

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James Lipton Picks Your Best Collective Nouns

Fill in the blank: a school of fish, a murder of crows … a _____ of hipsters? James Lipton, host of Inside the Actors Studio and the authority on "collective nouns," chooses the best ones submitted by listeners. (He and Kurt Andersen make up a babble of interviewers.)

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Kevin Spacey: Everyone Loves a Villain

Kevin Spacey has made a career out of hard-to-like characters: from “Verbal” Kint in The Usual Suspects to Francis Underwood in House of Cards. A new documentary follows Spacey as he tackled the grand-daddy of evildoers: Shakespeare’s Richard III.

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My Old Kentucky Home: A Song with a Checkered Past

“My Old Kentucky Home” has a secret: its racist words were deleted to clean up the song for modern standards. But in writing about “darkies,” 19th-century songwriter Stephen Foster was actually sympathetic to the plight of slaves, and the song carried an abolitionist message.

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Cibo Matto Returns, with Ghosts

The band that helped define 1990s downtown cool has come back with its first record in 15 years. Cibo Matto plays from the concept album Hotel Valentine live in the studio, explaining how their maturity has given them more confidence as songwriters.

Bonus Track: “Déjà vu” live in Studio 360

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