Five Things

84 EpisodesProduced by Louisville Public Media

How do the objects we love define us? What can we learn from the things we treasure? And how can we discover a life story through those objects? Five Things, from 89.3 WFPL and Louisville Public Media, explores those questions and more.

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Musician Clarence Bucaro has a two-person book club... with his mom

March 7th, 2019


Clarence Bucaro is a singer-songwriter and a one-time stay-at-home dad. He's been making albums since 2000, with some twists and turns along the way. He's also in a two-person book club with his mom. #goals _

A Life Update from (Pastor) Joe Phelps

February 21st, 2019


This week’s episode is an update from one of our previous guests, Joe Phelps. He was originally on the show in May of 2017, when he spoke about the unexpected loss of his son, his work as pastor of Highland Baptist …

NYC Doorman Mario Landa Loves Tattoos and Tatooine

February 7th, 2019


I met Mario Landa probably 15 years ago, when he was the doorman in my apartment building in New York City. For five years, I saw him almost every single day. If you’re not familiar with what a doorman does, we’ll talk …

A Life Update from Musician Ben Sollee

January 24th, 2019


Musician Ben Sollee, who was first on the show in September 2017, gives us an update on his new daughter, his new day job, and his new side gigs. …

Writer Minda Honey on relationship advice and the very best rice cooker

January 10th, 2019


Writer Minda Honey has an advice column for Louisville's LEO Weekly, and she's working on a memoir about her dating life. She also really, really …

Civil rights attorney Dan Canon is still a musician at heart

December 13th, 2018


As an attorney, taking a case to the Supreme Court is about the highest goal one can aspire to -- and then actually winning that case, and helping change the lives of millions of Americans... it's a huge achievement. So …

Poet Maggie Smith, author of "Good Bones," finds freedom after viral success

November 29th, 2018


It’s not often that a poem goes viral. But it happened in 2016, with “Good Bones” by Maggie Smith. I won’t read it for you now, but it’s short and you can find it online with a quick search. It speaks to anyone who’s …

Checking in with Emily McCay

November 22nd, 2018


Checking in with Emily McCay, who was a guest on this podcast in July of 2017. She was known around Louisville as "The Diaper Fairy," because of her …

Gilda Wabbit, the opera-singing drag queen from Kentucky

November 15th, 2018


Today’s guest has two personalities, in a way -- in daily life, he’s Samuel Penn, 26 years old, grew up in Frankfort, Kentucky, then moved to New …

Mindy Thomas wants to WOW you with her tiny hands

November 1st, 2018


Our guest is Mindy Thomas, host of "Wow in the World," a podcast for kids about science from NPR, and "Absolutely Mindy" from Sirius XM. Her actual …

Playwright Idris Goodwin on Cassius Clay, Alice Waters, and Frankenstein

October 18th, 2018


Idris Goodwin is a playwright and the (new) Artistic Director of StageOne Family Theatre in Louisville. Listen to find out what a breakbeat poet is, how a cookbook is like a play script, and his complicated relationship …

Murder By Death's Adam Turla Likes Being At Home

October 4th, 2018


A dog, a houseplant, an old car for driving around town. These are the things valued by a busy touring musician-slash-restauranteur.

How to give away your most valued possession, with writer and meditation teacher Susan Piver

September 20th, 2018


I first “met” writer Susan Piver when I read her book, “The Hard Questions: 100 Questions to Ask Before You Say ‘I Do’” which I recommend as an excellent guidebook for talking with your significant other before taking …

Physicist, psychoanalyst, and Holocaust survivor Izio Rosenman

September 6th, 2018


Izio Rosenman is 83 years old, he was born in Poland, he spent his childhood in the Buchenwald concentration camp, and he has lived in Paris since …

Quick update: new episodes coming Sept. 6!

August 24th, 2018


Hey, it's Tara, here with a quick update. I know this feed has been quiet for the past little while, and I'm here to let you know that the next season of Five Things is coming up really soon! I've been working this …

Don't try to shop for "Bullseye" host Jesse Thorn

May 31st, 2018


Jesse Thorn, of NPR's "Bullseye" as well as "Jordan, Jesse, Go!" and "Judge John Hodgman," tells us about the highly idiosyncratic objects that sum …

Angela Davis Knits Her Life Together

May 24th, 2018


This week’s guest is Angela Davis, a schoolteacher whose primary teaching tool is knitting needles. And this conversation between us arose from her …

School librarian Lindsy Serrano isn't judging you

May 17th, 2018


This week, we’ll hear from a woman whose job is to get kids psyched up about reading. And through that job, she met her hero.

Writer Leesa Cross-Smith is Quietly Radical

May 10th, 2018


Writer Leesa Cross-Smith is based in Louisville, and she’s just published her first novel, "Whiskey and Ribbons." Find out why she considered it a radical act to tell the story in the way she did, what’s her secret …

Musician Joe Henry makes coffee for everybody

May 3rd, 2018


My guest this week is one of my very favorite musicians, Joe Henry. His brother Dave was one of my first guests on this show, and I was thrilled when Joe agreed to take part as well. He’s just released his fourteenth …

Manoush Zomorodi of "Note to Self" tells you why she still wears a watch.

April 26th, 2018


The host of "Note to Self," a podcast about the human side of technology, tells us about the simple, small things that keep her grounded (and on …

Mark Schultz, Playwright and Priest, on the Music of Theatre

April 19th, 2018


Mark Schultz is the author of "Evocation to Visible Appearance," among other plays, and he's also a priest in the Episcopal Church. He was in …

Pomegranates and Ginger with Chef Anoosh Shariat

April 12th, 2018


This episode's guest is Chef Anoosh Shariat, owner of two Louisville restaurants, Anoosh Bistro and Noosh Nosh. He grew up in Iran, learned classical “fine dining” techniques, and was a local pioneer in fusion cooking.

Cigar Boxes and a Jar of Marbles with Claude Stephens (Episode 58)

March 14th, 2018


My guest this week on Five Things is Claude Stephens, who works as an educator at Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest, just south of Louisville. But as he says, there are many other ways he moves through the world.

Benny Goodman, A Painted Pith Helmet, and the Theatrics of Religion with Vin Scelsa (Episode 57)

March 7th, 2018


Vin Scelsa is a familiar name to anybody who grew up listening to FM radio in the New York/New Jersey area. He spent nearly 50 years playing music on …

Tattoos, Social Work, and Family with Disability Activist Amanda Stahl (Episode 56)

February 28th, 2018


Amanda Stahl works at Mattingly Edge, a Louisville organization that works with people with disabilities, with the goal of helping them live independently. Amanda has a masters degree in social work, and works at …

Haitian Music, A Wedding Ring, and a Grammy with Musician Dan Zanes (Episode 55)

February 21st, 2018


Musician Dan Zanes calls what he does "family music" or "all-ages music," not "children's music," because he really is playing for everybody. In talking with him, I learned about how he really sees his music and the way …

Biking, Technology, and Our Place in the Universe with Conductor Teddy Abrams (Episode 54)

February 15th, 2018


This week’s guest is a big thinker, with his head in a million different places. He’s got a very public job that puts him in touch with a lot of people -- and the ensemble he leads had the number 1 classical album in …

Body Image, Orchids, and Rescue Dogs with Angie Fenton (Episode 53)

February 7th, 2018


This week's guest is Angie Fenton, a name that’s familiar to many Louisville TV viewers -- she’s frequently seen on WHAS 11, as a contributor to their morning news show. She seems to be everywhere -- emcee-ing a gala …

Magic, Music, and the Sunny Side of the Bay with Brett Schneider (Episode 52)

January 31st, 2018


This week’s guest is a performer who specializes in hiding what he’s actually doing onstage -- and directing your attention elsewhere.

Episode 51: Author Frank Bill on Martial Arts, Inspiration, and Raccoons

January 24th, 2018


My guest this week is an author based in Corydon, Indiana, not far from Louisville. Frank Bill has just released his third book, a novel titled The Savage. It’s a post-apocalyptic tale of survival, set in and around …

Episode 50: Writer Hannah Drake on Family, Taking Chances, and Picking Cotton

January 18th, 2018


Hannah Drake is a poet, a spoken-word artist, and a cultural producer with Ideas xLab, which works at the intersection of health and art. She’s …

Episode 49: Inmate Actor James Prichard on Shakespeare, Friendship and Regret

January 11th, 2018


This week, my guest is someone who spends some of his time in creative work, but it’s not something he ever imagined he’d do. James Prichard is a member of Shakespeare Behind Bars, a theatre troupe based at the Luther …

Episode 48: "Ask Me Another" Host Ophira Eisenberg on Parenting, Orchids, and Snow Globes

December 14th, 2017


This week's guest on Five Things is Ophira Eisenberg, stand-up comedian, writer, and host of the NPR comedy game show Ask Me Another. She's also got a new comedy special just out, called "Inside Joke," which she taped …

Episode 47: Writer Kayla Rae Whitaker on Imposter Syndrome, Pencils, and Peanuts

December 7th, 2017


Kayla Rae Whitaker is the author of "The Animators," a novel published earlier this year by Random House. She's a Kentucky native who recently moved to Louisville after several years in New York City. Among other …

Episode 46: Kentucky Poet Laureate Frederick Smock on Fossils, Travel, and Paying Attention

November 30th, 2017


This week's show was recorded live at the Writers' Block Festival in Louisville, Kentucky, in October 2017. Kentucky's Poet Laureate, Frederick Smock, was my guest -- we talked about how children are natural poets, how …

Holiday Rebroadcast: Pastor Joe Phelps on Loss, Family, and Bruce Springsteen

November 23rd, 2017


This week, we're sharing a rebroadcast of one of our most popular episodes: a conversation with Joe Phelps, pastor at Highland Baptist Church in …

Episode 45: Fred Johnson on Shakespeare, Running, and PTSD

November 15th, 2017


My guest this week has been in situations that I can only imagine -- four deployments with the US Army will put you in harm’s way on a regular basis. …

Episode 44: Writer Amy Bammel Wilding on Goddesses and Community

November 8th, 2017


This week's guest on Five Things is writer and community leader Amy Bammel Wilding. She's the creator and lead facilitator at Red Tent Louisville, which she describes as a gathering place "dedicated to witnessing and …

Episode 43: Writer Victor LaValle on Comic Books, Metallica, and Malcolm X

November 2nd, 2017


The first Victor LaValle book I ever read was his 2012 novel, "The Devil In Silver." It's a masterful blend of horror and social commentary -- …

Episode 42: Dawn Howard on Political Transformations and Facing Fears

October 26th, 2017


This week's guest on Five Things is an accountant who's finally figured out how to use her skills to support the things she believes in. Let me …

Episode 41: Actress Reshma Shetty on Hard Work, Motherhood, and a Stuffed Penguin

October 18th, 2017


Reshma Shetty and I met nearly 20 years ago in Lexington, Kentucky, when she had just moved to town for graduate school in music and I was working at …

Episode 40: NPR's Sam Sanders on Trying New Things and Being a Grownup

October 12th, 2017


NPR reporter Sam Sanders was one of the breakout stars of the 2016 election season. He's now the host of his own podcast (and radio show), called It's Been A Minute, in which he talks with newsmakers, artists, and other …

Episode 39: Lebowski Fest Founder Will Russell On Loss, Monsters, And Bowling

September 20th, 2017


Will Russell founded Lebowski Fest, a yearly celebration of the Coen Brothers’ movie that then spread nationwide. He owned two stores, Why …

Episode 38: Opera Singer Christine Brewer On Being Prepared — Or Not

September 13th, 2017


This week’s guest is world-renowned opera singer Christine Brewer, a Wagnerian soprano who’s performed on just about every stage and with every …

Episode 37: Musician Ben Sollee on Polaroids, Coffee, and the Legend of Zelda

September 7th, 2017


My guest this week, Louisville-based musician Ben Sollee, has been recording and touring since 2008, so he's done a LOT of interviews over the years. …

Episode 36: Baker Tom Edwards on Self-Reliance and Beets

August 30th, 2017


Each week on Five Things, we meet a guest who has selected five physical objects that have been resonant or important in his or her life, and we learn about that person from those things. Usually we sit in a quiet …

Episode 35: Actor Teresa Willis On Marriage, Ambition, And Her Very Famous Cousin

August 24th, 2017


A situation almost guaranteed to produce dread: when your friend says, "Hey, I'm performing the one-woman play that I wrote about my life, you should …

Episode 34: Author Patrick Wensink On Gorillas And Creative Resilience

August 17th, 2017


On this week’s episode of Five Things, our guest is writer Patrick Wensink, a novelist whose first-ever children’s book is coming out next week. "Go Go Gorillas” was inspired by Wensink's visits to the zoo with his …

Episode 33: Matt Jones of Kentucky Sports Radio

August 10th, 2017


On this week’s episode of Five Things, my guest is Matt Jones, the host of Kentucky Sports Radio and the co-founder of the New Kentucky Project. He’s best known for being a professional fan of Kentucky basketball, but …

Episode 32: Writer Tasha Golden On Secret Diaries And Changing Paths

August 3rd, 2017


This week's guest is a writer who first came to my attention when she performed at The Moth StorySLAM in Louisville (producing that monthly event is …

Episode 31: Five Things: Writer Silas House On Tea, 'The Waltons,' And Social Justice

July 27th, 2017


This week's guest is Kentucky author Silas House, who made his name as a novelist (Clay's Quilt, Eli the Good) and is also known for his essays and …

Episode 30: 'Diaper Fairy' Emily McCay On Resilience And Glitter Wings

July 20th, 2017


Emily McCay is known around Louisville as the Diaper Fairy, a fanciful name for the cloth diaper delivery service she runs. She also owns the Diaper …

Episode 29: Teacher Diane Downs On Music, Confidence, And Mowing The Lawn

July 13th, 2017


Our guest this week on Five Things is Diane Downs, a musician and a teacher who leads one of the most unusual performing ensembles you’ll ever hear. …

Episode 28: Renee Murphy on Scrapbooks, TV News, and Natural Hair

July 6th, 2017


This week's guest is a familiar face and voice to Louisville-area TV viewers, as she anchors the evening news on WHAS, the local ABC affiliate. I’ve known about her for years, but when she really came to my attention …

Episode 27: Writer Shannon Stocker on Risk and Pain

June 1st, 2017


Our guest is writer Shannon Stocker, who chose a risky experimental treatment in another country in a last-ditch effort to cure a painful disorder. …

Episode 26: Shakespeare Director Matt Wallace on Putting On a Show

May 25th, 2017


Matt Wallace is the producing artistic director at Kentucky Shakespeare, which puts on the summer Shakespeare festival in Central Park along with outreach and education throughout the state. He also works with …

Episode 25: Dennis Ledford and His Vintage Life

May 18th, 2017


Our guest is Louisville musician Dennis Ledford. He’s been part of the Louisville music scene since the 1960s, and if you graduated from high school …

Episode 24: Pastor Joe Phelps on Connection, Loss, and Springsteen

May 11th, 2017


My guest this week on Five Things is Joe Phelps, the pastor at Highland Baptist Church in Louisville, Kentucky. His church is known for being a progressive place, and we talked about the forces that have led him to the …

Episode 23: A Life in the Circus with Anne Miller

May 4th, 2017


Our guest is Anne Miller, who has a Ph.D in neuropsychology and is also the co-owner of Suspend Louisville, a studio that teaches circus arts like …

Episode 22: Marybeth Legler on River Life, Intuitive Cooking, and a Golden Unicorn

April 27th, 2017


On this week’s edition of Five Things, my guest is Marybeth Legler, a kindergarten teacher and nutritionist who lives in Louisville. She grew up in northern Indiana, near Fort Wayne, and when she came into the studio to …

Episode 21: Writer Anne Bogel on Coffee, Jane Austen, and Good Walking Shoes

April 20th, 2017


On this week’s edition of Five Things, my guest is Louisville writer Anne Bogel. Her blog, Modern Mrs. Darcy (which I've read for years), covers a variety of topics: work, family, style, and her primary passion, books. …

Episode 20: Air Guitar Champ Matt Burns on "Bill & Ted," Video Games, and Ukeleles

April 13th, 2017


On this week’s edition of Five Things, my guest is Matt Burns, the reigning world champion of competitive air guitar. When he’s not melting faces onstage, he’s a waiter in Staten Island, New York. He’s been in …

Episode 19: Larry Muhammad on Writing, Working Out, and Kentucky Black History

April 6th, 2017


This week’s guest on Five Things is writer Larry Muhammad, a former longtime reporter for the Louisville Courier-Journal who now spends his time writing, directing and producing plays. He brought a stack of papers into …

Episode 18: Curator Aldy Milliken on Art, Living Abroad, and the Perfect Sarong

March 30th, 2017


This week’s guest on Five Things is Aldy Milliken, director of the KMAC Museum, formerly known as the Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft. Milliken came …

Episode 17: Writer Dave Henry On Dylan, Softball And Madonna

March 22nd, 2017


This week’s guest on Louisville Public Media’s Five Things podcast is writer Dave Henry. He was one of the screenwriters for the film “Pleased to Meet Me,” which filmed in Louisville and premiered in 2013. He’s also the …

Episode 16: Andy Beshear on Family, Purpose and Power

March 16th, 2017


This week’s edition of Five Things features guest Andy Beshear, a familiar name to many Kentuckians: he’s been the state attorney general since January 2016, and he’s the son of former Kentucky governor Steve Beshear.

Episode 15: Tracy Clayton on Family, Identity, and Mall Jewelry

March 9th, 2017


It's our first LIVE show! Tracy Clayton, writer at BuzzFeed and co-host of the fabulous podcast Another Round, is also a proud Louisville native -- …

Episode 14: Musician Amy Helm on Records, Coffee, and Learning From the Greats

February 23rd, 2017


This week's guest is musician Amy Helm. She’s a singer-songwriter based in Woodstock, New York, and she released her first solo album, “Didn’t It …

Episode 13: Robert Curran on Time, Generosity, and iPhone Addiction

February 16th, 2017


This week’s guest on Five Things knows about the limitations of time more than many of us: he’s a ballet dancer, a profession with an early expiration date. Fortunately for him — and for us here in Louisville — Robert …

Episode 12: Theo Edmonds of Ideas xLab on How to Heal the World

February 9th, 2017


This week’s guest on Five Things is Theo Edmonds, who moves effortlessly between rural and urban, just as he moves between creative and corporate. He’s an artist by training, with a law degree and extensive experience …

Episode 11: Judi Jennings on Feminism, Walking, and Temple Elephants

February 2nd, 2017


Activist and writer (and self-described "quirky older woman") Judi Jennings is our guest this week. She's the former Executive Director of the …

Episode 10: Kevlen Goodner on Malcolm X, Star Wars, and Fab 5 Freddy

January 26th, 2017


This week’s guest has been a hip-hop musician and a clothing store owner, he’s worked as a private security guard and he’s been a prison chaplain. These days, he’s probably best known here in Louisville for his artwork: …

Episode 9: Jim White on Guitars, Bicycles, and Magical Puppets

January 19th, 2017


Musician, artist and writer Jim White is our guest this week. Maybe you heard his song "Wordmule" during a pivotal scene on "Breaking Bad." Maybe you …

Episode 8: Kathleen Driskell on Death, Mothering, and a Green Bike

January 12th, 2017


Kathleen Driskell is a poet and Associate Program Director of the MFA in Creative Writing Program at Spalding University in Louisville, KY. She's the author of five books of poetry, one of which is about the graves in …

Episode 7: John Yarmuth on Baseball, Watergate, and a Spiritual Necktie

January 5th, 2017


We kick off our second season with Rep. John Yarmuth, who has been the congressman from Kentucky's third district for 10 years. He's a former …

A Quick Update from Five Things

December 28th, 2016


A short update on our new season, which begins January 5!

Episode 6: Karina Barillas on Resilience, Confidence, and Finding Home

November 10th, 2016


Karina Barillas is the executive director of La Casita Center in Louisville, Kentucky, where she works with women and families, most of whom are Latin@ immigrants like herself. She first came to Louisville from …

Episode 5: Darrell Scott on Honky Tonks, Tattoos, and a Secret Memoir

November 3rd, 2016


Our guest this week is singer-songwriter Darrell Scott, who's written country hits for the likes of the Dixie Chicks and Garth Brooks. These days, when he's not traveling around performing his own songs, he's at his …

Episode 4: Tori Murden McClure on Snow Boots, Kindergarten, and Muhammad Ali

October 27th, 2016


This week's guest is Tori Murden McClure, currently the President of Spalding University in Louisville, KY. She is the first woman to row solo across …

Episode 3: Wendy Whelan on Pointe Shoes, Wedding Bands, and a Very Special Cat

October 20th, 2016


This week's guest is former New York City Ballet principal dancer Wendy Whelan.

Episode 2: Kevin Smokler on Pens, LPs, and '80s Movies

October 13th, 2016


A conversation with Kevin Smokler, San Francisco-based writer and author of the new book "Brat Pack America: A Love Letter to '80's Teen Movies."

Episode 1: Jecorey "1200" Arthur

October 6th, 2016


It's the debut episode of "Five Things!" This week's guest is Jecorey "1200" Arthur, a schoolteacher, a rapper, and a connector between different …

Coming Soon: 'Five Things,' A New Podcast From 89.3 WFPL

September 30th, 2016


How do the objects we love define us? What can we learn from the things we treasure? And how can we discover a life story through those objects? These are some of the questions Tara Anderson will explore on Five Things, …

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