Cabinet of Wonders

Cabinet of Wonders

From NPR

John Wesley Harding's Cabinet of Wonders is an hour-long variety show recorded live at the City Winery in New York. With an exciting mix of musicians, authors, comedians who perform and generally have a blast together. It's like you're in the audience of a talent show put on by your friends... your very talented, critically acclaimed friends. They sing, read from their novels, tell jokes... all to make you laugh, make you think and keep you entertained.More from Cabinet of Wonders »

Most Recent Episodes

Episode Six: It's Only Make Believe

Comedian and actress Janeane Garofalo is a self-proclaimed bacon-eating vegan. On this eposide of the Cabinet, she takes a stab at the good citizens who shop at Whole Foods. Novelist Sam Lipsyte gets laughs of his own, with a story about a man and a woman reunited over scrapple, hoping to rekindle a spark from long ago. And country music meets Shubert, when leading classical pianist Simone Dinnerstein takes the stage with singer and songwriter Tift Merritt. Mary Chapin Carpenter shares a new song about love's bitter end... matched in heartbreaking beauty by Langhorne Slim's "It's Time To Go." Kelly Hogan joins host John Wesley Harding to kick off the show with a heart-stopping Conway Twitty cover.  Now that's variety!

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Episode Five: Signed Curtain

A feast of words on this episode of the Cabinet — words for singing, for storytelling, and for making you laugh. A.C. Newman, front man for the power pop powerhouse band The New Pornographers, tries out a song still in the works.  Will Sheff of Okkervil River, delivers penetrating lyrics with a gentle melody. Singer Megan Reilly takes on the role of a bird, in a duet with host John Wesley Harding.  Writer and musician Rick Moody takes a stand against Europe's addiction to the drum machine.  Duo Dean and Britta show off their love of psychedelic rock.  Comedian Eugene Mirman takes joy in insults to his manhood. And novelist Colson Whitehead reads a passage about the adolescent trauma he survived when Coca Cola traded in Coke for New Coke.

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Episode Four: I Should Have Stopped

John Hodgman, master raconteur, will expand your spiritual horizons with his compendium of lesser-known geists and ghosts.  And your spirits are sure to rise, with music from Sondre Lerche, Joe Pernice, Bhi Bhiman and Meg Baird.  Host John Wesley Harding and comedian Eugene Mirman bring you back down to earth with gorgonzola and some of the other spurious items on their performance riders.  And Sloane Crosley, author of "I Was Told There'd Be Cake," shares a true travel tale... worthy of a bad road-trip movie.

 

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Episode Three: Uncle Dad

When the house band features Peter Buck of REM, members of The Decemberists and Scott McCaughey of The Minus 5, you know you're in for an amazing show. On this episode of John Wesley Harding's Cabinet of Wonders, you'll also find the soaring voice of a rising star, Nicole Atkins...  a reading of hilarious tweets by Eugene Mirman... a solo song by Sean Nelson (formerly of Harvey Danger)... and one by punk favorite Ted Leo. There's also a sci-fi original story by Audrey Niffenegger (author of The Time Traveler's Wife) about the death and afterlife of independent book stores.        

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Episode Two: Sing Your Own Song

An incredible feast of music, stories & comedy on this episode of John Wesley Harding's Cabinet of Wonders.  There are songs both intimate and raucous, from Craig Finn (of the Hold Steady), Rosanne Cash, John Darnielle (of The Mountain Goats) and Hamilton Leithauser (of the Walkmen). Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Paul Harding reads an evocative, unusual tale about life on the Nigerian oil fields. And comedian Eugene Mirman reads secret messages he leaves on bar napkins, to surprise customers he'll never meet.    

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There's A Starbucks (Where The Starbucks Used To Be)

John Wesley Harding opens with a lament for the Starbucks-ization of America. Musicians Josh Ritter, Edie Brickell, and Punch Brothers each give stellar performances. Raconteur Sarah Vowell and comedian Eugene Mirman give questionable life advice, while novelist Haley Tanner pays homage to a favorite writer. Harding and guests wrap the episode with a group song.

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