Despite having a “heartbreak” theme to her five songs, Sarah Silverman kept DJ Dan Wilcox laughing with her singing, stories and even a preview of a song that will appear in her show. Her artist choices range from indie to legendary, but all the songs pack an emotional wallop – the funny gal just loves sad songs! The comedian just won an Emmy and a new season of her Comedy Central show, The Sarah Silverman Program, starts October 8.
1.) Sentimental Heart by She & Him
2.) Long Ride Home by Patti Griffin
3.) Born Secular by Jenny Lewis and the Watson Twins
4.) No Children by The Mountain Goats
5.) Good Year for the Roses by Elvis Costello
It’s Dan Wilcox with you here for KCRW’s Guest DJ Project, with Comedian Sarah Silverman. Welcome Sarah.
Sarah Silverman: Thank you.
Dan Wilcox: Why don’t you tell us about this first song that you have decided to share with us.
Sarah Silverman: This is from the new album, by She and Him, Zooey Deschanel and and M.Word, called “Sentimental Heart.” It is heartbreaking and came to my ears at a time when it was like, I was actually…let’s see the first line is (Sarah sings) “What good am I, a heap on the floor..”...(beginning of song plays)
SONG: She and Him’s Sentimental Heart
I was a heap on the floor. I love this song. It slays me, it’s heartbreaking and we used it in a show in a story line where my sister Laura is kind of pressured to shave her extremely abundant pubes, which she had always kept as kind of like a reminder of our mother who passed away, who when we were children in the ‘70s had a very full pubis? I’m trying think of like the most acceptable word, you know (beep), and it’s very sad and “Sentimental Heart” was the perfect heart for it.
Dan Wilcox: She and Him with the song, “Sentimental Heart.” We’re sitting here with Sarah Silverman. She’s just running down these songs that she has selected to share with us. What’s next on your list?
Sarah Silverman: Patty Griffin, one of my favorites. This song, “Long Ride Home,” is heart breaking as all the songs on this list seem to be. I don’t know what she meant -- I’m always wrong in my interpretations of songs – but I think there is no right or wrong. It may not be what she intended, but I think, what I gather from listening to it several times, is that a love, a long time love dies, and now it’s the long ride home from the cemetery to her empty house.
Dan Wilcox: Wow, that sounds heavy.
Sarah Silverman: Oh my God, it’s beautiful and heartbreaking and here it goes.
Song: Patty Griffin’s “Long Ride Home”
Dan Wilcox: Is it the music or the lyrics that you’re more drawn to in a song like “Long Ride Home?”
Sarah Silverman: Lyrics. I’m a lyrics person all the way, but its gravy when it’s sung by such a beautiful voice. I like anything -- unapologetically I like anything that feels good in my ear holes. But I tend to be drawn to lyrics.
Dan Wilcox: Ok, that was Patty Griffin’s, “Long Ride Home.”
Sarah Silverman: Are you crying yet?
Dan Wicox: Sitting here with Sarah Silverman as part of our Guest DJ Project. What’s next?
Sarah Silverman: Next is from Jenny Lewis’ first solo album with the Watson Twins, but I love her, I love Rilo Kiley, and I picked this song “Born Secular.”
Dan Wilcox: Is there something about that theme in particular that kinda speaks to you?
Sarah Silverman: Yeah, I mean I don’t want to sound trite, this song is perfect and I don’t know if I can really elaborate, but just the thought of God and the notion of God and the absence of God and the presence of God. I know that sounds deep, but really it’s because I got nothing.
SONG: Jenny Lewis and the Watson Twins’ “Born Secular”
And this is one where I love the lyrics, but, this isn’t necessarily a heartbreaking song, it is a little heartbreaking, there are great lyrics, but there are not a lot of lyrics. The whole second half of it almost, or the last third of the song, is just the building of the drums and it’s really powerful. So in this one, I like the music, it overpowers the lyrics.
Was that incredible?!
Dan Wilcox: That was most incredible.
Sarah Silverman: Oh My God!
Dan Wilcox: So that was Born Secular from Jenny Lewis. It seems that somewhat of a common theme in your material and in your act, you break out into show tunes, going crazy Broadway-style. Was that something that was part of your musical experience growing up?
Sarah Silverman: My mother always listened to show tunes and I got really into it. You know, when I first moved to New York, the plan was to be like Eponine in Les Mis, but I immediately did stand up, so that got side tracked.
Dan Wilcox: Ok, so I’m sitting here with Sarah Silverman for KCRW’s guest DJ Project. My name is Dan Wilcox. What’s next on our list of songs?
Sarah Silverman: Well Dan, the next song is a song by a band called the Mountain Goats, who I don’t really know much about at all, but I came across this song called “No Children” and I LOVE it.
It’s not heartbreaking per se, it’s definitely negative -- it’s like ‘I hope you die, I hope we both die.’
Dan Wilcox: (laughs) How did you come across this?
Sarah Silverman: You know when you’re on iTunes and you’re just searching and one thing leads to this leads to this leads to this and then somehow I just heard this song and, you know, then I learned it on the guitar and sing it to myself in the apartment.
Dan Wilcox: Oh really, so you have your own rendition of the song that you do.
Sarah Silverman: Yeah – it’s a terrible version of this…(song plays)
Song: Mountain Goats’ “No Children”
Dan Wilcox: Ok that was “No Children,” but the Mountain Goats.
Sarah Silverman: I love that song. How bout when they go (sings with music) “I am drowning, there is no sign of land, you are coming down with me.”
I love that, all right, sorry.
Dan Wilcox: You are listening to KCRW’s Guest DJ Project. I’m Dan Wilcox sitting here with Sarah Silverman. And I just wanted to say congratulations on your Emmy win for your music video. I had to be prompted for that, how embarrassing.
Sarah Silverman: It is kind of new all over again to get an Emmy for that I’m (beep) Matt Damon song. It’s been a year of ‘I’m (beeping) Matt Damon too.’ Or like people on red carpets or interviewers going like ‘Are you still (beeping) Matt Damon’ and then trying to think, well, if I don’t answer this question, I’m being rude, but if I do, I’m milking something that is so totally over.
Dan Wilcox: It’s funny because that’s something that I was introduced to by my mom (Sarah laughs). She forwarded the link to me and said isn’t this hilarious? And I said, yes mom. And why don’t we get into this next song that you have for us.
Sarah Silverman: Our next and last song, 5th song, another favorite of mine, Elvis Costello. Oh my God, I love him so much. And to see him now, you know, he’s just as vital and just as relevant, if not more. And his voice is unbelievable, it’s better than ever, it’s not all chewed up (Dan laughs) it’s the best it’s ever been. This is an old song of his, an older song, called “Good Year for the Roses.” I’ll tell you just that first verse kills me.
Ok, I’m going to sing to you, ready?
Dan Wilcox: Yeah
Sarah Silverman: (singing as song starts playing) “I can hardly stand the sight of lipstick on the cigarettes there in the ashtray. Lying cold the way you left them, but at least your lips caressed them while you packed. Or the lip print on the half filled cup of coffee that you bought and didn’t drink. But at least you thought you wanted it, that’s so much more than I can say for me.”
Wow, that sounds like a country song.
SONG: Elvis Costello’s “Good Year for the Roses”
It makes me want to kill myself. I love it. I don’t know why I like music that makes me rock back and forth in a corner in a ball. I like music like that. If I’m even an inkling in a bad place emotionally, I can’t stop listening to it. And it’s definitely not good for me, it’s like someone drinking when they’re depressed. It doesn’t -- it does not help -- but I can’t stop.
Dan Wilcox: And that was Elvis Costello with “Good Year for the Roses,” as picked by Sarah Silverman. Thank you for coming down here and sharing...
Sarah Silverman: Thank you that was so fun and easy and enjoyable. I had a great time.
Dan Wilcox: Thank you so much for sitting in and sharing this music with us.
Sarah Silverman: Thank you DJ Dan Wilcox.
[PLAYLIST GOES HERE]