The Dinner Party Download featuring Billy Collins

Billy Collins
In this June 21, 2001 file photo, poet Billy Collins smiles during a news conference in New York.
AP Photo/Beth A. Keiser, File

Icebreaker: Carrie Ramone

Carrie Ramone, guitarist/vocalist for lauded indie band The Vivian Girls, kicks off the show with a transcendental joke.

Small Talk: Madeleine Brand

The titular host of KPCC-FM's "The Madeleine Brand Show" tells us about a new theory: Being unpopular may be good for your kid.

A History Lesson with Booze: The Gar-Barge and the "Better No Litter"

Right around this time back in 1987, New Jersey became the third state in the union to mandate trash recycling ... and the impetus may have been the long and inglorious journey of the Mobro 4000 — a barge loaded with trash that couldn't find a home. Hear the story, then toss back a trashy custom cocktail from Amir Rivera — bartender at Mahogany Hall in Belize.

Guest of Honor: Billy Collins

Former U.S. poet laureate Billy Collins has just released "Horoscopes For The Dead" — a collection of pieces often dealing with the (sur)reality of death. Billy tells Brendan why poems tend towards the morbid, why poetry is both more and less popular than ever, and how he can bring himself to be a Yankees fan.

You can download a longer version of this episode — featuring Rico's wild night at a San Francisco "food rave" and a new track from The Black Lips — at www.dinnerpartydownload.org.

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