Margaret Cho

Margaret Cho always wanted to be in a band and she has her sights set on joining the Canadian collective she picks as part of her Guest DJ set, hosted by DJ Chris Douridas. The comedian reveals the song choice of her cowboy-boot wearing alter ego as well as the “beautiful and strange” female artist whose greatness makes her weep. 

For More:

1. Bjork - Hyperballad
2. Ryan Adams - Come Pick me up
3. Flight of the Conchords - Business Time
4. Broken Social Scene - 7/4 (Shoreline)
5. Elliott Smith - St. Ides Heaven

Chris Douridas: Hi, this is Chris Douridas from KCRW and I'm here with comedian Margaret Cho. Welcome.

Margaret Cho: Thank you.

Chris Douridas: Good to have you here.

Margaret Cho: You know, you look really different from what you sound like.

Chris Douridas: Really?

Both: *laughs*

Chris Douridas: Better or worse, for you?

Margaret Cho: But, no it's good, but I've been listening to you for a really long time and it's just funny to meet people, and then you don't ever see them, and then you see them and you're like "Oh, that interesting. ' Cause I had thought maybe you were more of a brunette. *laughs.* I don't know why I thought you were a very, very dark brunette but you have some lightness in your hair-

Chris Douridas: Ah, that's funny.

Margaret Cho: that was unexpected-

Chris Douridas: It's natural, I promise.

Margaret Cho: For this listener.

Chris Douridas: *laughs*

Margaret Cho: Very unexpected.

Chris Douridas: Well, it's good to meet you finally.

Margaret Cho: Yes, good to meet you.

Chris Douridas: Been following your work for a while. Maybe you can tell us about how you went about putting this together for us.

Margaret Cho: Well first I thought, ‘Well that's weird, why does anybody care?’ *laughs* 'Cause you think, ‘Well, comedians aren't supposed to know anything about music.’ But then I realized that I actually have a lot of interest in music and comedy and music kind of go hand in hand, like, comedians always want to be rock stars and rock stars, weirdly enough, always want to be comedians. Cause when you see people, generally they'll say jokes. And when you go see people in different towns they'll say the same jokes and you're like ‘Wow, they actually have a routine!’ And so rock stars have a big affection for comedy and it's just always, you know, something that we always want to do. So I know a lot about music, I think I do.

Margaret Cho: *laughs*

Song: "Hyper Ballad" by Bjork.

Chris Douridas: What made you want to pick this first one?

Margaret Cho: Well, I love Bjork and I think that Bjork is a really amazing entertainer. I loved her in the Sugar Cubes and I love her solo work. Her whole aesthetic is very strange and I don't know what planet she's from, she's just bizarre and great and difficult and just beautiful. She's one of those performers that I go see every time she's here and I weep, you know, I just cry because she's so incredibly beautiful and so strange. I just, I love her and this is probably my favorite song of hers.

Chris Douridas: It's "Hyper Ballad" from Bjork. It's part of Margaret Cho's Guest DJ Set here on I'm Chris Douridas. You're a fan of Elliott Smith.

Song: "St. Ides Heaven ," by Elliott Smith.

Margaret Cho: Sort of his passing away, he was sort of a neighbor of mine, and it was just a very, a very weird thing. Somebody of your generation, somebody that you've seen around whose work you like and they're just dead and it's really, really hard to deal with. But I just think he's a beautiful artist with a great voice and I love the simplicity of the song. It's very, very low and sad but it really captures that feeling of inebriation. You're sort of giddy and high and it's fun but it's tragic and it's just everything that I think he really is.

Chris Douridas: Absolutely, the song is so honest, such a directness to the song.

Margaret Cho: There's a directness and it's sort of a love song to anything you can imbibe and this like glorious treasure that inebriation can give you. You know, it's very romantic and beautiful and sad. And if you know his story, it's very, very sad.

Song: "Come Pick Me Up," by Ryan Adams.

Chris Douridas: You know, I was a little surprised to see Ryan Adams on your list.

Margaret Cho: Well, I really love Ryan Adams and he's really a great rock star and it's the thing, like sometimes I think, ‘I'm just gonna be one of those girls that wears super short skirts and cowboy boots and I'm just gonna be, like, that girl!’ Like a kind of… I don’t know who the prototype for that is, but there's that, you know, there's a kind of girl like that. Sometimes I get into this mood where that's who I am. *laughs* You know if my name was like Dakota, or Cheyenne, or Shenandoa or something, it's kind of a Southwest stripper name, but not necessarily a stripper but just that kind of girl. And I'm going to wear a kind of spray fragrance that will make men give me flowers for no reason. Like, it's just a weird hyper-feminine idea that I could be something, and if I was that person, then this would be my favorite song *laughs*

Chris Douridas: Now Ryan Adams has a lot of songs, he's got a big catalogue, why this one?

Margaret Cho: Well, this song I think is my favorite of his because, again, it's very simple and it's really direct. It's beautiful, I mean, I think that's what he's best at is this sort of naked longing, that sort of alt-country debasement *laughs* it's just…he's almost anachronistic, like it makes you wish for the '90's.

Song: "Business Time," by Flight of the Conchords.

Chris Douridas: You know this one I guess, it's kind of appropriate I suppose, that you would pick something that has a bit of a sense of humor to it, this Flight of the Conchords track. Margaret Cho: Mmmhmm. Well I love the Flight of the Conchords because I think they're really funny but I also think that their music is actually very good. The songs are really great, they’re very tight, they’re very good at different genres. They can do lots of different stuff, from doing sort of a Marvin Gaye thing to doing a Pet Shop Boys thing to doing, you know, this is sort of a Barry White thing and it's very…I don’t know, I just think they're great, and I think they have great voices and it's a very funny song.

Chris Douridas: It's called "Business Time," from Flight of the Conchords. It's part of Margaret Cho's Guest DJ Set here on, I'm Chris Douridas. Tell me why you like the Broken Social Scene.

Song: "7/4 (Shoreline)," by Broken Social Scene.

Margaret Cho: I like the Broken Social Scene because they're so massive. It's the one band that I'm actively trying to join. They've have said, ‘Yeah-mmm-ok…’ *laughs* They haven't said, ‘No’ but we haven't actually made the deal. But it's a band that I am trying to join because there are so many members. It's a cool band. They're just really great, they have a great sound, it's very unique -- maybe 'cause there are so many people in it -- that's probably what it is. So, I've always offered to play the triangle or the rain stick and maybe even sing. But I love them, they’re just so great, it's a great song.

Chris Douridas: It seems like you'd fit in, I mean, you could just blend in, right?

Margaret Cho: Yeah, you know, I always figured that if you walk in backwards playing the triangle, nobody will notice so you could probably join any band -- you could go to any rock festival and just walk in backwards while playing the triangle, you'll get in.

Chris Douridas: Thank you so much for coming down.

Margaret Cho: Thank you.

Chris Douridas: Margaret Cho, KCRW's Guest DJ Project on, I'm Chris Douridas, thanks so much for listening.