1,027 episodes

Host Madeleine Brand looks at news, culture and emerging trends through the lens of Los Angeles.

Press Play with Madeleine Brand KCRW

    • News
    • 4.4 • 123 Ratings

Host Madeleine Brand looks at news, culture and emerging trends through the lens of Los Angeles.

    Dave Grohl’s journey from Virginia childhood to stardom with Nirvana and Foo Fighters

    Dave Grohl’s journey from Virginia childhood to stardom with Nirvana and Foo Fighters

    Dave Grohl’s been part of the two biggest bands of the 1990s and 2000s — drummer for Nirvana and the creator/lead singer for the Foo Fighters. He’s performed thousands of shows, from tiny punk clubs to massive stadiums. In a new memoir, “The Storyteller,” he shares tales from his 35 years in the music industry.
    Grohl tells KCRW that his three and a half years with Nirvana taught him to take care of himself. “One of the things that I learned was to say no, and if you're in a situation where you're overwhelmed or being asked to do something you don't want to do, just for the sake of like self-preservation, you should be able to say, ‘No, I need to get away,’ which I've done many times.”
    Also, critics review the latest movie releases: “The French Dispatch,” “Ron’s Gone Wrong,” “Luzzu,” and “Dune.”

    • 50 min
    Grammy winner Terence Blanchard on the honor and pride of being Met Opera’s first Black composer

    Grammy winner Terence Blanchard on the honor and pride of being Met Opera’s first Black composer

    “ Fire Shut Up in My Bones ” is the Metropolitan Opera’s first production composed by a Black artist — Grammy winner Terence Blanchard. The show is based on the memoir by New York Times columnist Charles Blow, about his difficult childhood growing up in small-town Louisiana in the 1970s.
    Blanchard tells KCRW that he could see himself in Blow’s story: “There's a lot of things within that family life that people don't talk about. While there's a strong sense of community, sometimes you have to find your own way because that community can stifle you, not in an intentional way. But you have to be strong and stick to your guns.”
    Meanwhile, off the coast of LA, more than 100 ships are waiting to offload their cargo, and thousands of foreign workers are stuck at sea. And the LA City Council this week approved sweeps of homeless camps in 54 locations .
    In the Senate on Capitol Hill, all 50 Republicans voted against debating the bill that would’ve made Election Day a federal holiday and allowed automatic and same-day voter registration. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer now says he plans to introduce separate legislation as soon as next week.

    • 49 min
    Netflix sticks to creative freedom as trans employees walk out over Dave Chappelle special

    Netflix sticks to creative freedom as trans employees walk out over Dave Chappelle special

    Netflix employees walked off the job today at the company’s Hollywood offices. It was led by trans employees and allies who were upset about the organization’s defense of Dave Chapelle’s comedy special , “The Closer,” which included jokes described as hateful towards LGBTQ people.
    “They may not love this special, but they want to stand up for the principle of creative freedom. And ultimately, that is what Netflix is doing here because they are in the business of creative people,” says Matt Belloni , founding partner of Puck News.
    Climate proposals that are part of President Biden’s big spending plan might be cut in half — in order to win unanimous support from Senate Democrats. Biden on Tuesday said the spending plan might be whittled down to a maximum of $1.9 trillion.
    A new study found around 2,000 mostly unknown chemicals and substances in tobacco-flavored vaping liquid sold by four major brands. And “Introducing, Selma Blair” is a documentary that follows Blair as she undergoes a stem cell transplant for multiple sclerosis.

    • 50 min
    The great teacher shortage — it’s a national problem

    The great teacher shortage — it’s a national problem

    LAUSD and other school districts nationwide are struggling to fill positions, including teachers and substitutes, crossing guards, and lunchroom attendants. “Our entire profession is in a crisis mode because people just don't respect it and appreciate it the way that it used to be,” says San Pedro High School principal Steve Gebhart. “The continued systemic pressures that are put on the classroom teacher and just all levels of educators on the school site is just something [educators] are not able to manage anymore.”
    Also, jury selection is underway in the trial of three white Georgia men accused of killing Ahmaud Arbery, a Black 25-year-old who was out jogging. Ambitious climate change legislation is part of the $3.5 trillion budget package that Congressional democrats are debating, and the party’s self-imposed deadline to pass it is the end of this month.

    • 48 min
    Gruelingly long work days on Hollywood sets: Will they be fixed with tentative deal?

    Gruelingly long work days on Hollywood sets: Will they be fixed with tentative deal?

    IATSE (International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees) leadership struck a tentative deal with major Hollywood studios just hours before production crews were scheduled to walk offset and strike. Some of the three-year agreement’s highlights include a 10-hour break between shifts, a 54-hour weekend rest period, penalties for not taking meals during work, health and pension benefits, and a living wage. Rank-and-file members of IATSE must ratify the deal.
    “We're already in a situation where there's a lot of anger out there, and it's sort of a question of where does it get channeled. Does it … dissipate or does it go towards a no vote? Does it go in some other direction? That's not clear yet,” says Gene Maddaus, senior media writer for Variety.
    Also, Press Play gets tips on breaking your smartphone addiction, and looks into a new Apple TV+ documentary about the Velvet Underground.

    • 51 min
    ‘The Rescue’ exemplifies selflessness in effort to save 2018 Thai soccer team

    ‘The Rescue’ exemplifies selflessness in effort to save 2018 Thai soccer team

    “The Rescue” is a new documentary about the international effort to save a young boys’ soccer team and their coach who were stranded inside a Thailand cave during a monsoon in summer 2018. Press Play talks with co-directors E. Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin, the team behind Oscar winner “Free Solo.”
    Critics also review the latest films: “The Last Duel,” “Introducing, Selma Blair,” “Needle in a Timestack,” and “Halloween Kills.”

    • 49 min

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5
123 Ratings

123 Ratings

Yevie ,

Great show topics but Madeline falls short

I really appreciate the topics Madeline brings to her show. The show has great guests & very insightful stories. However Madeline falls short for me. I’m not fully on board with her interview style, I feel at times she belittles her guests. I personally prefer when Barbara Bogaev guest hosts. I feel she treats the guests with respect & has a very different & kind approach to interviewing guests.

Zozobutt ,

Interview with Adrian Bonnenberger (military)

I really appreciate hearing the interview with the army officer who is trying to get his interpreter out. This is a humanitarian catastrophe which will be forgotten unless Biden takes more action.

maffaytabaluga ,

totoaly raceists person and points of view

just launching more raceism and riots had enough of your lies

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