The Dinner Party Download

Fridays, 2:00PM - 3:00PM
  • Hosted by Rico Gagliano and Brendan Francis Newnam

The Dinner Party Download is an hour-long celebration of culture, food, and conversation designed to help you dazzle your friends at this weekend’s get-together. In every episode you’ll learn a joke…bone up on an odd bit of history and then wash it down with a themed

cocktail…meet an artist of note (say, Spike Lee or Willie Nelson)…learn the answers to your burning etiquette questions…savor an emerging food trend…and hear your new favorite song.

Plus, unconventional wisdom from hosts Rico Gagliano and Brendan Francis Newnam.

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Menu Mysteries: Wolfdown Edition

Feb 17, 2017
Lopez, Kristina

This isn’t just any main course this week. We’re launching something new: an occasional series we are calling “Menu Mysteries.” We check out a restaurant’s menu and have the chef decode some of the lesser known ingredients on it.

For this inaugural outing, Rico went to Wolfdown in Los Angeles. It’s a new restaurant from chef Jason Kim, who also runs a place called Forage.

The Health Nut Who Invented Corn Flakes

Feb 17, 2017
Lopez, Kristina

The History Lesson

John Harvey Kellogg wasn’t your average 19th-century doctor.

At a time when the American diet was mainly meat and potatoes, he advocated vegetarianism. Today, we’d laud him for that, but we might question some other moves he said would lead to excellent health. Like, standing inside an electrified metal cage. Or undergoing — sorry, there’s no nice way to put this — daily water and yogurt enemas.

Lopez, Kristina

Ian Simpson, better known by his stage name Kevin Abstract, is a Texas native who won a diehard following online with a series of confessional hip-hop mixtapes. His new album “American Boyfriend: A Suburban Love Story” moves in a more pop direction, and sees him both rapping and singing about never quite fitting in. He heads out on a national tour later this month. Here’s Kevin with a playlist that’ll keep your party moving… through time itself.

Lopez, Kristina

[Ed note: The audio above is an extended web cut of the interview. The transcript below reflects the broadcast version of the chat.]

Our guest of honor this week is playwright/actor/rapper extraordinaire Lin-Manuel Miranda. In 2008, his musical “In The Heights” won the Tony for Best Musical. His follow-up “Hamilton” — about our nation’s first treasury secretary — broke box office records and earned him a bunch of Tonys, a Grammy and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

Tinariwen – ‘Assawt’

Feb 9, 2017
Lopez, Kristina

Steve Aoki’s Hardcore Dinner Party Soundtrack

Feb 3, 2017
Lopez, Kristina

This week for our party soundtrack we have an actual DJ manning the controls — one of the most popular in the world, in fact.

Steve Aoki spins and mixes electro house music at massive parties from Las Vegas to Beijing. He collaborates with the biggest names in pop music, and a concert film about his work called “Steve Aoki: I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead” is up for a Grammy on February 12.

Here’s Steve with a playlist that’ll probably wake your neighbor at three in the morning.

Rachel Bloom Gives us Some Not-So-Crazy Advice

Feb 3, 2017
Lopez, Kristina

Rico Gagliano: Each week, you send in your questions about how to behave, and here to answer them this time around is actor, writer, and musical number belter-outer Rachel Bloom. A few years back, she set the Internet ablaze with a heartfelt and highly vulgar musical tribute to the late…

Brendan Francis Newnam: You can talk while he’s doing this, too. It’s totally Ok.

Rachel Bloom: Oh, I can?

Brendan Francis Newnam: Yeah.


Lopez, Kristina

Brit Marling first attracted some attention when two movies she co-wrote and starred in premiered at Sundance in the same year. Those films, “Sound of My Voice” and “Another Earth,” were widely acclaimed by critics and they both explored metaphysical themes. We talked with her about “Another Earth” back in 2011.

Cristela Alonzo Finds the Funny in her Family

Jan 20, 2017
Lopez, Kristina

Comedian Cristela Alonzo grew up in south Texas and got her start performing stand up in Dallas. Then she struggled for years in the L.A. comedy scene before becoming the first Latina to write and star in her own TV show. It was called “Cristela” and it aired on ABC. Her new comedy special launches this Tuesday on Netflix, it’s called “Lower Classy.” She talks about the special and how her family had a major influence on her jokes. (Find her advice for the proper way to dine on pan dulce here.

Aravind Adiga Gives Us a New Definition of ‘Century’

Jan 20, 2017
Lopez, Kristina

One time financial reporter Aravind Adiga won the Booker Prize for his debut novel, 2008’s “The White Tiger.” He was the fourth Indian-born writer ever to do so.