Daniele Bolelli is a writer, martial artist, university professor, and podcaster. He was born in Italy and currently lives in Los Angeles.
Organic, revealing conversation with fascinating, freaky folks.
Ever wanted to hang with a dominatrix, comedian, famous health guru, or Italian prince? Here's your chance. Tangentially Speaking is dedicated to the idea that good conversation is organic, revelatory, and free to go down unexpected paths.
James Ostrer has been known to dress himself in the flayed flesh of pigs and take self-portraits as a commentary on, what? How we're all encased in the suffering of other animals? How humans are both sacred and just meat? How "art" is both absurd and utterly serious? I don't know, but James's work is never boring or pretentious, always provocative and thoughtful.
This episode is sponsored by Mud/Wtr
In which I call out Gandhi, question the narrative of a recent Hollywood sex scandal, share some thoughts on hunting, and discuss my fear of becoming a douchebag guru.
Music: “Brightside of the Sun,” by Basin and Range; “Desert Land,” by Elena B. Williams; “El Jardin,” by Hermanos Guitierrez; “The Moon is a Harsh Mistress,” by Charlie Haden and Pat Metheny; “Rio Amazonas,” by Øystein Sevåg.
This is a somewhat chaotic conversation involving Kyle Thiermann (big wave surfer), Mark Healey (surfing legend), Ben Greenfield (fitness guru), and a little bit of me (flabby imposter). It was recorded on the island of Molokai, Hawaii, at the end of a week-long hunting trip. (This conversation is being co-released by Kyle and Ben on their podcasts.)
Dan De Lion is an Earth Herbalist, Forager, Musician, and Teacher dedicated to working with Nature to facilitate the reunion of the people with our planetary purpose. He teaches through Return to Nature, providing classes, lectures, and seminars on wild food foraging, mushroom identification, herbal medicine making, as well as primitive and survival skills with a focus on wild foods and forest medicines.
This episode is sponsored by Mud/Wtr.
Dan on Instagram.
Shane wasn’t mad at coffee, he was disappointed. He was sold the dream that coffee would allow him to do more and do it faster. But, he noticed that he was reliant on it just to get to baseline. The jitters, the anxiety, shitty sleep. He loved the ritual, but questioned whether it was helping or hindering his mental and physical performance. So he created Mud.
This episode is sponsored by Mud/Wtr, obviously.
Find Shane on Instagram.
Philip is a South African Christian missionary working with the Moken people (aka Sea Gypsies) on the island of Ko Phayam, in Thailand. When the tsunami in 2004 destroyed their boats, they were forced to live on land. Philip is trying to help them make the transition to a new way of life. He sees his role as striving to be the embodiment of God's love, not as trying to convince anyone to adopt his particular beliefs.
This episode is sponsored by Mud/Wtr
Are vaccines dangerous? Is meat important? If so, why? Does love always have to hurt? What are the dangers of humility? Can people and animals sense your vibe when you're tripping? These and other pressing issues are featured in yet another ROMA episode.
Nobody writes songs like Carsie. They come from straight from her heart, her head, or her ... shall we say, genital chakra. No filters. No shame. No prepackaged commercial nonsense. She's unabashedly political, sexual, and animal. She's one of my favorite Homo sapiens.
The essay I mention by Paul Graham is here.
Kyle's episode with Brenden Ruh of SC Medicinals.
Mike/Igor is half of the duo known as The Yes Men. These guys combine humor, political outrage, and medial savvy to convey radical ideas through the tools of the oppressor. Drawing on techniques that date back to the ever-present trickster-shaman, The Yes Men deliver harsh truths with a straight face.
This one's co-hosted with Kyle Thiermann.
This episode is sponsored by Mud/Wtr
Greg is a sound engineer who is working hard to try to save some of the endangered music of Asia. We met on Ko Phayam, where he’s spent a lot of time with the Moken people (aka “Sea Gypsies”) who have been living on shore since the tsunami swept away their boats in 2004. Greg leads small groups on trips in India, Nepal, and elsewhere, recording songs and languages that are in danger of being lost forever.
This episode is sponsored by Mud/Wtr
Greg sent me these fact checks, some links to things discussed, and so on...
0:13:14 Akuntsu tribe
0:19:50 John and Alan Lomax
0:20:47 My microphones and recording machine
0:21:38 The Indians Book
0:21:52 Old style recording by playing into a horn
0:22:20 Moby, Play - using Alan Lomax recordings
0:22:40 Lomax record Robert Johnson
0:23:05 “the artist is called number 42 or something...”
0:28:55 James Boyk ‘To Hear Ourselves As Others Hear Us’
0:29:36 Recording Sgt Peppers with 2 x 4-track tape recorders
0:38:37 Billy Bob Thorton transforms in to Karl
0:40:15 Wrecking Ball, Emmylou Harris (produced by Daniel Lanois)
0:51:09 ‘Until the End of the World’ starred William Hurt, not John Hurt. Damn, I’m sure those two guys must hate getting mixed up! If either of them is listening, I’m sure they’re saying “Not again...”
0:52:10 The cassette that lead to the Wim Wenders making The Buena Vista Social Club.
0:56:47 Mohan Veena: there are two types. The one used on ‘A Meeting By The River’ is a modified archtop guitar with 20 strings. I think I am wrong that VM Bhatt created it and it is named after him.
1:03:37 Peter Gabriel. There’s a whole topic here of great relevance to what I do, and most ethnomusicologists and field recordists do, that came to mind during the interview but I forgot to follow it through. Gabriel built an amazing recording studio, called Real World. What’s that got to do with anything? Read on...
A recording studio typically has two types of rooms. One is the space where the performers play, and that is typically referred to as a ‘studio’. It is acoustically designed to create a good sound from the instruments. The other is the room where all the recording equipment (mixing console, recording machines, monitor speakers, etc.) are placed, and that is called the ‘control room’. It is designed to provide appropriate acoustics for judging sound quality and making decisions about the recording and mixing itself.
The two rooms are acoustically isolated so that the engineer and producer in the control room cannot hear any of the sound from the studio space coming through the walls - because that would affect the judgements made with the processing used. This is generally a good thing but it can make communication between people difficult because it requires microphones and so on.
Gabriel’s Real World recording studio was designed with a huge control room, big enough that the musicians can set up in the control room with the engineer and producer, thereby having far better communication. The downside of that approach is that the engineer does not have the benefits of the super accurate monitoring from the speakers, but has to use headphones during the recording process. So now the engineer is wearing the headphones instead of the musicians! However, the end result in terms of performance and feel can be much better when the communication is better and everyone is playing live, together, at the same time.
Another famous producer/engineer, George Massenburg, built his Blackbird Studios the same way, so that he could sit in the room with the musicians and have everyone playing live, at the same time, to capture that feel. Here’s a good video showing his approach: https://youtu.be/exQRfHbSwn0
The interesting thing about that whole approach is that it goes back to the way ethnomusicologists, live performance recordists and others have been doing it for years - sitting in the room with the musicians, using headphones to monitor, and aiming for that special thing that happens when all the musicians can see and hear each other and are all playing live together. This is particularly important for Gabriel’s Real World recordings because many of those musicians would not to be used to the typical studio approach of recording one or two instruments at a time, deconstructing and then reconstructing the performance.
And firing off that topic... In 1988 I was doing live sound at World Expo 88 in Brisbane, Australia. I was doing sound on a huge outdoor stage over the Brisbane River, surprisingly it was called the ‘River Stage’. The Expo ran for six months and some nights would be dedicated to the music of a certain country. One night it was musicians from one of the countries in Africa, I cannot remember which one but I’m pretty sure it was Ethiopia. Anyway, I was not given much advance notice (what we call a ‘rider’), all I knew was that it was three musicians playing traditional instruments. So I’m waiting for them to arrive for soundcheck and my crew are not sure what to put on stage for them, risers and so on. We didn’t know what to expect.
Eventually three skinny little old guys with grey beards showed up in loincloths, each holding an instrument. They sat cross-legged in a small tight circle in the middle of this huge stage floor and started playing and singing. They looked so small! They’d never been on stage, they’d never used microphones, nothing. It was totally raw. Straight out of the village. And I had to amplify it for an outdoor gig for hundreds, perhaps a thousand or more people, to hear!
I remember physically moving them a bit so that were in a semi-circle facing the audience and putting a stereo pair of microphones above them in such a way that it did not cast a shadow from the lighting, and that was it. After their gig was a 30-minute fireworks show with lasers and smoke machines and so on. I got a call from the Stage Manager over the headset saying something like “Can you please come back stage. They seemed to trust you. Can you hold their hands so they feel safe while watching all this stuff going on?” They were amazed but also terrified, and kept ducking and holding their hands over their heads every time the fireworks exploded in the air. Gold!
1:12:40 My Endangered Music Project Crowdfunding Campaign
1:19:30 The topic of skin whitening. This reached a climax in India with public outrage over an advertisement about vaginal whitening cream. Here’s the ad:
And an example of some of the concern it raised:
1:22:03 I mention my friend Hans Brandies, in reference to instruments known generically as ‘boat lutes’. Hans is an expert on these things, although his expertise is based on the Philippines variation and I was referring to the ‘sape’ (pronounced ‘sarpay’ of Malaysian Borneo). Here’s a link to Hans’ stuff:
1:28:18 The Eroica Trio.
1:38:50 The fusion album I spoke about recording, with didgeridoo and bull-roarer.
1:41:33 My website:
Herzog, for the hell of it.
Author and co-author of more than 20 books and numerous articles on Indonesian art, culture and history, Bruce W. Carpenter is considered a leading expert in the field of Indonesian studies. He's also an accomplished traveler and an old friend of Stanley Krippner's. His publications include Ethnic Jewelry of Indonesia (2010), Gold Jewelry of the Indonesian Archipelago (2011), Nias Sculpture (2013), Lempad of Bali, the Illuminating Line (2014) Indonesian Tribal Art (2015), Dancing in Silver (2017), and Borobudur Under the Full Moon (2018).
This episode is sponsored by Mud/Wtr. Get you some!
Tony is an old friend of mine and the author of several books of sexy history: Napoleon's Penis, The Naked Olympics, and most recently, Cuba Libre -- a book that reads like an adventure novel, but is the juicy true story of the Cuban revolution. If you have any interest in Cuban history, political revolution, or hot Latin sex, you'll dig this conversation and Tony's book. If you don’t, what the hell is wrong with you?
Johann is a journalist, columnist, and the author of Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs, and Lost Connections. His TED talk on addiction has been seen over 9 million times. His mind goes a mile a minute, so strap in for this one!
Greg knew he wasn't going to make it in the normal world. He craved the disapproval of hypocrites and scolds. He wanted to be an outlaw, but didn't want to risk getting shot or put in a cage. And he liked sex. So he fought his way to the top of the adult entertainment industry by being smarter, working harder, and betting it all on himself.
Follow Greg on Instagram.
How to laugh on a dying planet? How to lose a dad? What do you wish you'd known when you were young? And 70s party music.
Jake Johannsen is a comedy legend. He was on David Letterman's show 14,682 times (more or less). His standup is so good that I often steal his jokes. And he's one of my closest buds. Join us in Jake's kitchen for a co-released wide-ranging conversation featuring the sexual frustration of marijuana plants, #metoo from a middle-aged white man's perspective (everyone loves to hear that!), and my awkward innuendos about how hot Jake's wife is.
Karley Sciortino is a writer, television host, and producer. She is the founder of Slutever, a website that focuses on sex and sexuality, and executive producer and host of the Viceland documentary series of the same name. She also writes Vogue's online sex and relationships column, Breathless. Karley is @Slutever on Twitter, @KarleySlutever on Instagram.
Janelle is a lot more than a pretty face. She spent months exploring Colombia while bringing attention to the problem of illegal trafficking of endangered wildlife. She's a passionate defender of the natural world and an excellent photographer. Plus, she looks real good on two wheels.
Janelle on Instagram: @motogypsy