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Julio Torres Has A Thing For 'Shapes'

Published August 9, 2019 at 10:35 AM PDT
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Julio Torres has an HBO comedy special titled "My Favorite Shapes."
Julio Torres has an HBO comedy special titled "My Favorite Shapes."

On today's show:

An Immigrant's Unlikely Tale

(Starts at 7:38) 

While growing up in El Salvador, Julio Torres was focused on one thing: He wanted to make art in New York City. A scholarship to the New School to study English was just the ticket, and since then he’s made a name for himself as a comedian. Now a writer for "Saturday Night Live" with frequent appearances on late night shows, Torres has had a busy summer with two shows: the delightfully strange “Los Espookys,” about a group of horror-obsessed friends who stage frights and hauntings; and “My Favorite Shapes,” his HBO comedy special about, well, his favorite shapes. Torres spoke with John Horn about his love of beautiful things, his parents’ influence in his work, and why he shies away from political comedy.

Pay-To-Play Still Exists In Radio

(Starts at 00:45) 

John talks with Rolling Stone writer Elias Leight about the continuing practice of payola, or pay-for-play, in the radio industry. According to Leight, while DJs may not be getting envelopes of cash to spin a new record anymore, payola does live on because FCC laws are difficult to enforce. And with streaming now the way most people get their music, the payoff for artists, labels and promoters isn't what it used to be.

Song Exploder: “The Future Is Here” 

(Starts at 18:36) 

Sleater-Kinney was formed in 1994 by Corin Tucker and Carrie Brownstein. Drummer Janet Weiss was a member of the band from 1997 until this year. In 2001, author and critic Greil Marcus named Sleater-Kinney “America’s Best Band” in Time Magazine. Over the years, they’ve made nine albums, including this year’s "The Center Won’t Hold," which was produced by Annie Clark, aka St. Vincent. In this episode, Tucker and Brownstein break down how the song, “The Future Is Here” was made.

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