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By WTA — 5 years ago
This week I visit Eric Aleman, owner of the storied King of Kings Barber Shop in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. I’ve been going to him for a couple years and it’s always an odyssey which begins on my scalp and ends in my heart.
Eric, like a lot of good barbers, is able to step in and out of conversation. He’ll talk if you want to talk. Or he’ll just step back and keep working on your hair. That’s part of why I like him.
He’s not only a really solid barber, he’s also a talented lyricist, hip-hop artist/ whatever you want to call it. He’s a founding member of BLKLYST. Who you can check out playing at Littlefield’s or here on youtube.
If you listen real close here you can hear him shaving my neck at one point. It’s pretty hard to talk w a knife to your neck, but I did my best.Post Views: 1,124
By WTA — 5 years ago
It’s one thing to be invited into the home of a comic, but to see them in the thick of motherhood is, to me, like the spotted owl of documentary conversation. Today’s episode is a sort of extreme form of eavesdropping. An audio portrait of the sacred struggle to get a kid to bed with comic, mom, and brilliant facebook satirist Julie Kottakis. AKA Madge the Vag.
I first saw Julie perform at the New York Fringe festival last year in her solo show “Does This Dress Make Me Look Alone” which she called an “Alone Woman Show. She did address the circumstances surrounding the conception and birth of her daughter, what it’s been like to care for her on her own, but I hesitate to bring that up because there’s a danger in thinking this was just a mom doing a one-woman-show about being a single mom. That sells it way short. Her performance spanned the range of comic and tragic registers and she laid out some rawness in a way I don’t remember seeing before. Not tell it like it is stuff. Afterbirth type stuff. Literal and metaphorical. Frankly, I wish more comics packaged their jokes less and did more of what Julie is doing.
As you’ll hear in this episode she offers her life with abandon and pushes nothing. Frankly, I was surprised she allowed me to put some of this audio in here. Having wireless mics on people makes them forget they’re on tape sometimes and that yields some very candid moments. The moments people don’t talk about like a 5-year-old kid that still asks to breastfeed sometimes. Take a listen. I’ve received permission to use all of it. And I’m so grateful to Julie for that because it’s stuff people need to hear I think.
It’s a very real, very earthy, and absolutely beautiful and generous look at something a lot of us who don’t have kids take for granted. And if you don’t laugh at this, rot in hell.
Friend her on facebook (Julie Kottakis) if you can because that’s where the really good stuff happens. Also @theweirdjulie
Music this week:
“When the Saints Go Marching In” – Marysville Marimba
“Glockendoodle” – Aaron Campbell (@banjoporkchoppy)
Technical Help from:
Vince Fairchild at WNYC (@vincefair)
Doug Shugarts at WBUR in Boston
Consulting Producers:Post Views: 1,368