Shonali Bhowmik and Christian Felix co-host a chat, music, variety talk show with guests comedian and oversharer Calvin Cato; humorist, cartoonist, artisanal pencil sharpener and tv host David Rees along with music by Tigers and Monkeys. Christian Felix is back in his co-hosting seat after a trip to Singapore where they know how to deal with the heat. 

Calvin Cato, a self professed oversharer, explains how as a premed major, he made his way into the world of comedy.  Calvin wrote an open letter to his white male friends and WDEK endorses his sentiment.  Get It Off Your Chest with audience member Martina Potratz.  If you ever wondered, strangers really do yell things out at pregnant women in the streets.  

David Rees is a master of many trades including a fact checker, an artisanal pencil sharpener, the creator of the cartoon Get Your War On, the host of a tv show called Going Deep (find it online) but one of his most important works was his Financial Transparency - Journey Into Hell presentation. Both David and Christian protect themselves from the heat with help of a handkerchief.

Tigers & Monkeys, a band led by WDEK's own Shonali Bhowmik just released their third full length album titled Saturday Destroyer. Shonali along with bandmates Jason Lam, Anthony Cangelosi and Russell Dungan perform stripped down versions of their songs Over The Sun, Magic Marker and Dinosaurs Surrender

 

Direct download: WDEK_Ep._63_Chapters.mp3
Category:general, comedy, good+times -- posted at: 12:15pm EST

 

We Don't Even Know Ep. 62 live at Red Room hosted by Shonali Bhowmik and guest co-host comedian Greg Johnson with special guests comedian Maeve Higgins, comedian Hari Kondabolu and musician Camille Harris. Get It Off Your Chest with our audience member Maggy Adeleye.  

Special guest co-host comedian Greg Johnson joins Shonali to host Ep. 62 of WDEK Live at Red Room while Christian Felix is away on the hottest night of the year so far.  Greg, Shonali and Christian met while working on a huge case at a Manhattan law firm which is why the word "chron" makes them giddy.   Greg was our Ep. 17 guest 5 years ago on 9/10/13. Greg Johnson's #1 is the first stand-up comedy album to be released by Little Lamb Recordings, Shonali's label. 

Our first guest is comedian, author and actress Maeve Higgins.  Maeve first impressed Shonali with her sparkly sandals but Maeve's undeniable wit and intelligence are what sealed the deal in their friendship.  We discuss Maeve's new book Maeve In America along with worldly topics like vagina extensions, M&M world, mental illness, Irish America and the seduction of being white.

Comedian Hari Kondabolu FINALLY is a guest on WDEK live.  The discussion starts out light regarding signing autographs and wet t-shirt contests and things get serious when Shonali confesses she was a prom queen and mathlete in high school.  Hari has a new Netflix special out called Warn Your Relatives and TruTV documentary The Problem With Apu.  Most importantly, Hari and Shonali both have brilliant mothers.   

Our audience member Maggy Adeleye joins us for our Get It Off Your Chest segment.  We discuss using the word "sweetie", saying you are "color-blind" and being asked to be co-host for WDEK on a day when the heat index is 99 degrees in NYC.

Our final guest is Camille Harris!  She is a musician, writer, teacher, comedian and actress.  Camille came to NYC as a former prom queen and international baccalaureate. Prom queens unite! She wrote a musical called Muffin Man and has been recently working on a children's album called Silly Jazz with Camille.  She is not on social media. Impressive, right? Camille performs two songs in the Red Room, Trying Something New and Baby On The Subway.

Also Shonali has a band called Tigers and Monkeys which has a new album coming out on Sept. 17, 2018.  It is called Saturday Destroyer.  Tigers and Monkeys will be the musical guest on the September 18th WDEK Live show.

 

 

Direct download: WDEK_Ep._62_.mp3
Category:general, comedy, good+times -- posted at: 2:44pm EST

Guest co-host Jordan Clifford joins Shonali for Episode 61 while Christian Felix is in Singapore doing who knows what. Jordan helps Shonali analyze her disgusting dream.  Our first guest is actress, dancer, comedian Sunita Mani. Shonali and Sunita are family friends. Jordan and Sunita were in the same crew together in college at Emerson College.  Jordan tried to make Sunita cry once.  We discuss Sunita's success as an actress (Mr. Robot, GLOW) and if it has gone to her head. Look for Sunita in No Activity.  Out of nowhere, a podcast protestor interrupts our show!  Our second guest is comedian, writer & producer Myka Fox.  Myka just celebrated her birthday and Shonali forces Myka to tell a depressing story about a specific past birthday. Find out whether Myka ever had an ex-boyfriend help her move?  Myka has the best Twitter account & you must follow her.  Check out Myka's Friday night weekly show at the Cobra Club called Live From Outer Space.  Sidenote: Have you seen the PBS documentary on Maya Angelou? It's on Netflix now.  Ep. 61 Get It Off Your Chest is with audience member Ricky Trabucco.  We have some good ones: airplane boarding eagerness, people with clipboards & purchasing lottery tickets.  Our final guest is musician Shannon Wright.  Shannon is a guitarist, pianist, singer-songwriter and her performances are raw, emotional, breathtaking and powerful all at one moment.  Shonali & Shannon are long time friends who just discovered they both sold ice cream and were accused of stealing as adolescents.  Shannon is shy.  Shannon is a prolific artist who is starting work on her 11th solo album.  She is adored by the likes of Jordan Clifford, Steve Albini, Yann Tiersen and recently composed the music for  French director Guillaume Nicloux's To The Ends Of The World.  Listen to Shannon Wright perform Avalanche live at We Don't Even Know.

Direct download: WDEK_Ep._61_chapters.mp3
Category:general, comedy, good+times -- posted at: 10:06am EST

We celebrate our 60th episode of We Don't Even Know with special guests comedian and family documentary photographer Ahna Tessler; comedian, writer, actor and director Jon Glaser; and improv musician and comedian Rebecca Vigil.  Shonali & Christian applaud the  awesome audience in attendance at WDEK Live for getting out of the fetal position and making it to the show while the news cycle continues to kick all of our asses.  Our first guest of the night is comedian, actress and photographer Ahna Tessler.  She is also a mother and we all agree doesn't get enough attention these days.  We told her she could swear as much as she wanted during the taping.  Ahna's longtime comedy partner Lauren Engle was in attendance at the show.  They are legends. Ahna has made so many fantastic videos which she calls 'dumb' but we call hysterical.  There was a little controversy surrounding Ahna's breastfeeding video.  Check out Ahna's beautiful family photography. She is humble and doesn't brag about it bc she is a woman. 

Our next guest, Jon Glaser is a comedian, actor, writer and star of Jon Glaser Loves Gear and also the Adult Swim show Neon Joe, Werewolf Hunter. Jon is a powerhouse in the comedy world.  As you expected, Jon has lots of gear.  We get the low low low low down on how Jon came up with the idea for the show Neon Joe, Werewolf Hunter.  It's so dumb.  We love it.  Shonali and Jon used to jam together and after you hear Jon's new summertime hit tune you will understand why they are ready to take the show on the road.

During #GetItOffYourChest with audience member Michael McMenamin, we learn that you must make sure the washing machine is fully drained before putting in your clothes.  Christian uses the words 'fecal air.' Gross. Shonali's rants about unnecessarily expensive fashion choices. 

Our final guest of the evening is improv musician and actress Rebecca Vigil .  Rebecca went to 13 different schools and still sings about love.  She's remarkable for many reasons, but we are super impressed with her big winnings while on a game show. Two of our lucky audience members, Sergio Douglas and Maggy Adeleye were interviewed by Rebecca on stage and then ....well listen to see what happened, will you?

Direct download: WDEK_Ep._60_.mp3
Category:general, comedy, good+times -- posted at: 3:14pm EST

WDEK Ep. 59 Medium

Welcome to our 59th Episode of WDEK Podcast. Justin the intern starts the live show on a Tuesday night at the Red Room in NYC! Christian just returned from father's retirement party in Chicago. Shonali just returned from Nashville where she kept up with the news about a racist crazy tv star and her tweets. What's it like to have your creative work rejected in person to your face over and over?  We ask our first guest that question. She is cartoonist, illustrator, writer and performer Emily Flake.  She has "cobbled" together a living as a cartoonist for a long time now. She's come a long way from being an ad sales person for alt weekly New York Blade to becoming a successful cartoonist who has had hundreds of her works featured in the New Yorker.  She's written a book about parenting called Mama Tried. She's a parent who refreshingly doesn't think being a parent is the MOST awesome thing in the world. How cool is that? Look out for her upcoming YA (Young Adult) book she's working on now, a fictional fanzine from 1992.  Our second guest is H. Jon Benjamin, a comedian, actor and writer probably most famous for his work as the voice of Bob in Bob's Burgers and the voice of Archer in Archer.  Benjamin as Shonali calls him (they are old friends) used to host a comedy show in the East Village called Midnight Pajama Jam. It was the best. JB's written a book that just came out called Failure is An Option: An Attempted Memoir.  Shonali's been listening to the audiobook and loves it.  She is intrigued by Jon Benjamin's love for disco, roller skating and disco balls.  Jon explains what the main take away from his book is in two words. We Get It Off Our Chest with illustrator musician Marcellus Hall who refuses to rap with us. Our final guest is musician, singer, songwriter Rob Townsend.  Rob is originally from Spartanburg, SC.  He's also a part time sailing instructor and may be the only gay sailing captain on the Hudson. We like the idea of a gay sailboat. We discuss the difficulty of selling music during an era where everyone gets their music free.  Rob moved to NYC from Austin, TX where he was in a folk band.  His music has changed drastically.  He is humble and self deprecating but we think he's awesome. He sings an original song called Clatskanie and a Randy Newman tune called Short People! Welcome to our new sound engineer Ezana Million! ENJOY!!! Photo by Daria Huxley.

Direct download: WDEK_Chapters_Ep._59.mp3
Category:general, comedy, good+times -- posted at: 12:14pm EST

Episode 58 was taped on April 3, 2018 - the 50th Anniversary of MLK's" I've Been to the Mountaintop" final speech.  Shonali & Christian have been traveling.  When was the last time you stayed in a hostel.  Our first guest is actor, writer & director Sanjit De Silva who recently closed out a run at New York Theater Workshop starring in the play An Ordinary Muslim written by Hammaad Chaudry.  After working for 15 years as an actor, the play was his first time to be in a majority brown people cast. We talk breaking our parents hearts and the glamorous life of a working actor. Pat Alvarado joins us for our Get It Off Your Chest segment or does he? Our second guest is comedian & writer Alison Leiby.  Alison wrote for Comedy Central's The President Show and currently writes for Jordan Klepper's The Opposition. Find out what Alison thinks about Christian's solar system shirt.  She shares her recent dealings with Twitter trolls and how a near death experience led her to comedy. Alison has great advice for up and coming female comedians.  Our impromptu Get It Off Your Chest guest Tim Ewing also has words for Christian's shirt. Our final guest is musician Graham Norwood. Graham, who is legally blind, started to focus on his own solo project only two years ago after spending 15 years working on the music of other artists.  Outside of music, Graham is the Director for the Foundation and Corporate Relations for the Partnership for The Homeless.  Wow! Graham sings two songs for us including Collapses to Zero and Lazarus Avenue.  

Direct download: WDEK_Ep._58.mp3
Category:general, comedy, good+times -- posted at: 12:13am EST

 

While we've been mourning the close of our former WDEK podcast home, the HiFi Bar we are excited to host our first show of 2018 at Caveat, a new speakeasy space in LES which showcases "intelligent nightlife." Yeah, we know what you are thinking.  Let us be delusional for a little while, will you? Christian and Shonali discuss good (not so good depending on who you are talking to) times had at the MLK tribute at BAM, the NYC Women's march and Barry's Bootcamp. Below is the pic we shared of Christian from the Women's March during the show.  Our first guest is New York Times reporter Melena Ryzik.  Melena is a bad ass NYC bicylist.  Find out why she had to get fingerless gloves.  Melena is a journalist at the forefront of covering the MeToo movement and sexual harassment in the entertainment world (Louis CK, Russell Simmons.)  We get into it.  Christian says he wants to listen .... let's see how long. 

Our second guest is a Russian Hacker* Eugeny Smith who happened to be in our audience during the show just as Shonali suspected.  He not only confesses to reading Shonali's emails but he reads them to the world. So embarrassing.  

Our third guest is multi instrumentalist, composer, producer, visual artist Emily Wells.  Emily's work is stunning.  She describes growing up with a Music Minister father, building a world around her during her performance, choreographer Pina Bausch and her love of what she does. Purchase Emily's music asap!  Emily performs two songs for us at the end of the show. 

Uta Seibicke joins us for Get It Off Your Chest!  Man of The Woods, adults charmed by their young children's bathroom breaks, and the subway are our topics of conversation.

Our last guest is Danielle Gray, former Obama Cabinet Secretary and Senior Adviser to President Obama. Kudos to her for making it to the show on what was for her a very tough night (listen to Ep to find out why.)  Danielle tells us what is was like for her working at the White House. She also gives us some insight as to how during this past year she stays focused on causes she believes in and stays a good distance from social media.  Have you heard of 3 Card Monte? Danielle a real New Yorker knows what it is.  

Our Russian Hacker is played by Alan Yaspan. 

Direct download: WDEK_Ep._57.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:45am EST

Episode 56 is a momentous occasion, with the news that HiFi will close at the end of October 2017, this is the last time we will tape our show in our beloved home space.  Currently we are looking for another home and expect to return to a new space live in front of an audience in January of 2018. Christian & Shonali open the show with quality conversation about bunions, butts and adult day care. Our first guest is lawyer, environmental activist and national carryout bag expert Jennie Reilly Romer.  After helping San Francisco and Los Angeles enact laws on plastic bag policy, Jennie moved to New York with the mission of doing the same thing here.  She came really close!  Jennie explains why these thin plastic bags are so problematic, what we can do to help (plasticbaglaws.org); who is lobbying against the policy and how Christian did the wrong thing by putting the plastic bags in the recycling bin.  We salute Jennie on her work and look forward to her to running for New York City Council! Go Jennie.   With the news that HiFi will close at the end of October, we are excited celebrate the man who created this safe haven for indie rock n roll bands in the mid 90's, East Village neighbors in the 2000's  and podcasters and comedians in the late 2010's.  Here is a special interview with the owner of HiFi (formerly the legendary East Village rock club Brownies) Mike Stuto.  Find out about Mike's time as a club owner who had do idea what he was doing. There were good times (David Bowie, Debbie Harry, Mel Brooks) and bad (Sugar Ray, Milemarker) but Mike has always managed to this day to bring together a community that is heavily indebted to him for giving them a space to create, learn, unite, celebrate and collaborate.   After listening quiz: What band made Mike want to work in rock n' roll?  Our final guest is Grammy nominated singer and storyteller Chaney Sims.  Like Mike, Chaney is a native New Yorker and the East Village was her playground.  She is the daughter of a great blues musician, Bill Sims Jr. with whom she performs with in the Grammy Nominated Heritage Blues Orchestra.  Her recent solo performance of songs written from her Haiku 365 project at Joe's Pub was with a string orchestral accompaniment by Root Stock Republic.  The performance will be released as a live album recording soon. Listen to Chaney blow you away with her performances of Leadbelly's Go Down, Old Hannah and Nina Simone's C-Line Woman.  Have a great rest of the year and until our next show, do yourself a favor and binge on the many earlier episodes of We Don't Even Know.   

Direct download: WDEK_Ep._56.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:59pm EST

Welcome back Christian! The news today bummed us out to no end so we had to talk about it.  Christian went to Haiti and all he brought back was the Missing Key Story.  Our first guest is comedian, writer and Employee of the Month talk show host Catie Lazarus.  Catie is an expert on germs in the gym. Christian is one on airplane germs.  Catie grew up in DC with a Public Policy White House advisor father and a peace activist brother. Find out how a doctoral student becomes the "funniest resident of NYC."  Shonali and leftovers don't go well together. Comedian George Gordon is from Virginia. He currently supports his comedy by bartending. What makes a great bar patron? Comedian Doug Stanhope changed George's life. He's good at doing a "tight five." #GetItOffYourChest is back with audience member and former WDEK guest Alan Yaspan! Our last guest is musician Lori Scacco.  Lori and Shonali are old friends who both started their music careers in Atlanta, Georgia. Lori currently has many musical ongoing projects including her own music which she calls "highly orchestrated computer music" and her collaborations such as Storms.  She recently composed music for the Joyce Theater Ballet Festival for dancer Gemma Bonds.  We discuss creative identity, Atlanta, family and the legendary Clermont Lounge.  Lori has an upcoming live show in October. You must go! We play an excerpt from the ballet called The Giving and the first song on her full length Storms album called Wolves and Bells

Direct download: WDEK_Ep._55.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:33am EST

Ep. 54 Group Pic

Shonali's special guest co-host is comedian Danny Cohen, her favorite FB live video maker! Guests include scientist Kelly Reidy, filmmaker Heather Fink and musician Miyuki Furtado.  "The Summer of Shonali and Danny" thus far has included a trip to a cemetery in the Berkshires and eating lots of snacks. Danny was banned from Facebook.  WDEK's first guest is scientist & indie songstress Kelly Reidy.  Say "theoretical condensed matter" three times real fast. Kelly is a Museum Hack tour guide and recently gave Rob Lowe and his family a Natural History Museum tour.  We talk ghost sex (it's a thing) and ghost attire.  Follow Kelly @drunkascheese on Twitter and Instagram. Danny and Shonali discuss DuckFace and why it still exists? Our second guest is filmmaker, actress, director, comedian Heather Fink.  Heather took a leap of faith and changed her career path from stand-up to filmmaking. We talk believing in yourself, rejection, getting dumped and her first feature length film Inside You which will be screened in NYC on August 6th at Kew Gardens Cinemas Festival. It's a body switching sex comedy in which Heather is lead actress and director. How did she do it? Here's the Inside You trailer!  Our regular segment #GetItOffYourChest is back!  Thomas Kelsey joins Danny & Shonali to vent.  In no particular order we vent about A capella singing, littering, and angling (walking diagonally) while you walk. Our last guest is musician Miyuki Furtado.  We discuss growing up in Hawaii, being a member of the Kiss Army, his former band The Roger Sisters and his current solo project Divining Rod.  He releases a Double A side single on July 28th which showcases some of his psychedelic southern roots which will be included in his upcoming album.  Miyuki brought his suitcase kickdrum & guitar and performed 3 of his original songs including Love Come Tumbling, Darling Down the Road, and Hemlock Blues.  They are brilliant. Enjoy!  Also Christian is to be back with us on August 15th!  

Direct download: WDEK_Ep._54_Final.mp3
Category:general, comedy, good+times -- posted at: 1:26pm EST

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