The Roundtable

Weekdays, 9 a.m.

Credit Peter Steiner

  WAMC's The Roundtable is an award-winning, nationally recognized eclectic talk program. The show airs from 9am to noon each weekday and features news, interviews, in-depth discussion, music, and much (much) more! Hosted by Joe Donahue and produced by Sarah LaDuke, The Roundtable tackles serious and lighthearted subjects, looking to explore the many facets of the human condition with civility, respect and responsibility.

The show's hallmark is thoughtful interviews with A-list newsmakers, authors, artists, sports figures, actors, and people with interesting stories to tell. Since hitting the airwaves in May of 2001, The Roundtable has interviewed the likes of Arthur Miller, Kurt Vonnegut, Maya Angelou, Madeleine Albright, Jimmy Carter, John McCain, Bob Dole, Bill O'Reilly, Steve Martin, James Taylor, Stephen King, Melissa Etheridge and lots of other really cool people. Plus, Wilco does our theme song. What more can you ask for?

If you have any questions or you'd like to be on the show, email us at roundtable@wamc.org

10:25 - The Writer's Almanac
11:10 - Earth Wise
Book Picks lists are here.
You may also hear Pulse of the Planet and Sound Beat on The Roundtable.

Joseph LeDoux, world-renowned expert on the neurobiology of fear and anxiety, will discuss his new book, Anxious: Using the Brain to Understand and Treat Fear and Anxiety on Tuesday, September 27 at 8 p.m. in the Recital Hall, Performing Arts Center, on the University at Albany’s uptown campus. Earlier that same day at 4:15 p.m., the author will hold an informal seminar in the Standish Room, Science Library on the uptown campus.

The events are sponsored by the New York State Writers Institute and the Science Library of the University at Albany Libraries.

Kenneth Woodward edited Newsweek's Religion section from 1964 until his retirement in 2002. He remained a writer-at-large at Newsweek until 2009.

His new book is Getting Religion: Faith, Culture, and Politics from the Age of Eisenhower to the Era of Obama.

Beginning with a bold reassessment of the Fifties, Woodward’s narrative weaves through Civil Rights era and the movements that followed in its wake: the anti-Vietnam movement; Liberation theology in Latin America; the rise of Evangelicalism and decline of mainline Protestantism; women’s liberation and Bible; the turn to Asian spirituality; the transformation of the family and emergence of religious cults; and the embrace of righteous politics by both the Republican and Democratic Parties. 

Steven Wright
Jorge Rios

Academy Award winning and Grammy nominated comedian Steven Wright will perform at The Egg in Albany on October 1st.

With his deadpan style, Mr. Wright has been a staple on the entertainment scene for more than three decades, dating from his first appearance on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson in 1982. He was invited to appear on the show again less than a week later.

Wright’s career expanded to albums, film and television appearances. His 1985 debut album I Have A Pony, earned him a Grammy nomination for Best Comedy Album, and he appeared in his first HBO stand-up special, A Steven Wright Special, later that year.

In 1989, Mr. Wright received an Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film for The Appointments of Dennis Jennings, in which he starred and co-wrote.

He was nominated for an Emmy Award as a producer for the hit FX series Louie for the 2014 and 2015 seasons and also appears on Louis CK’s new web series Horace and Pete

Is this a post-truth election?

In today’s Congressional Corner, Tim Vercellotti of the Western New England University poll and professor of political science, concludes his conversation with WAMC’s Alan Chartock.

Graham Nash
Graham Nash

It’s always a thrill when two-time Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Graham Nash is in town, and WAMC listeners have plenty of chances to catch his tour over the next couple of weeks.

9/26/16 Panel

Sep 26, 2016

The Roundtable Panel: a daily open discussion of issues in the news and beyond.

Today's panelists are WAMC's Alan Chartock, Director of the Journalism Program at the University at Albany Rosemary Armao, and political consultant and lobbyist, Libby Post.

Hattie’s Restaurant has been bringing classic Southern cooking to Saratoga Springs, New York, since 1938, when Louisiana native Hattie Gray, then a household cook, saved up enough money to start Hattie’s Chicken Shack.

Now, their traditional and timeless fare is featured in the Hattie’s Restaurant Cookbook, by Hattie’s owner and chef Jasper Alexander. This book traces the restaurant’s history from the beginning to the present through recipes, anecdotes, and photographs. From downhome jambalaya to good old-fashioned fried chicken, Alexander intertwines Hattie’s Southern roots with nostalgic homemade tastes.

Jasper Alexander studied at the Culinary Institute of America and is featured regularly in regional papers. He has also made several guest appearances on local television and radio. In 2006, he appeared on Throwdown with Bobby Flay, where he beat Flay in a chicken-frying contest. 

  In this week’s Classical Music According to Yehuda, Alan Chartock and Yehuda Hanani continue their conversation about female composers - focusing on Fanny Mendelssohn.

Tomorrow night, the Albany Symphony will kick off David Alan Miller’s 25th Anniversary Season at the Palace Theatre, celebrating the Grammy award-winning Conductor’s leadership and the orchestra’s world-class musicians. 

Miller, recipient of over 25 ASCAP Awards for adventurous and innovative programming and a 2014 Grammy Award for Best Classical Instrumental Solo, has established a reputation as one of the leading American conductors of his generation and a champion of American symphonic music. 

Miller’s commitment to giving voice to new works by living American composers will be celebrated on September 24, 2016 at 7:00PM with the Capital Region debut performance of “Aria” for Hindustani Soprano and Orchestra by two-time ASCAP Morton Gould Award winner, Reena Esmail. 

The Opening Night performance will also feature internationally acclaimed pianist Natasha Paremski performing, Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G, a three movement concerto inspired by partly by the jazz music Ravel encountered during his 1928 American concert tour; and a centennial performance of Sibelius’ Symphony No. 5, originally composed in 1915 and revised first in 1916.

It is a great pleasure to welcome David Alan Miller to the RT this morning. We are also joined by afore mentioned composer Reena Esmail and Hindustani Vocalist Saili Oak.

If you’re a Massachusetts voter, you have more to decide on than just the presidential race.

In today’s Congressional Corner, Tim Vercellotti of the Western New England University poll and professor of political science, tells WAMC’s Alan Chartock about four ballot questions.

Mike Reiss
Mike Reiss

Put down your steamed hams and get ready for a perfectly cromulent night in Woodstock on Saturday. As part of the Woodstock Comedy Festival, four-time Emmy and Peabody winner Mike Reiss is headlining The Secrets of the Simpsons at the Bearsville Theater at 9:30 p.m. In addition to nearly three decades with America’s favorite family, Reiss has written plays, books and worked on films like Ice Age and Kung Fu Panda.

Living on a homestead in Homer, Alaska, singer-songwriter Jewel learned to yodel at age five, and joined her parents’ entertainment act, working in hotels, honky-tonks, and biker bars. Behind a strong-willed family life with an emphasis on music and artistic talent, however, there was also instability, abuse, and trauma.

At age fifteen, she moved out and tasked herself with a mission: to see if she could avoid being the kind of statistic that her past indicated for her future. Soon after, she was accepted to the prestigious Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan, and there she began writing her own songs as a means of expressing herself and documenting her journey to find happiness.

Jewel was eighteen and homeless in San Diego when a radio DJ aired a bootleg version of one of her songs and it was requested into the top-ten countdown, something unheard-of for an unsigned artist. By the time she was twenty-one, her debut had gone multiplatinum.

Jewel’s memoir Never Broken: Songs Are Only Half the Story is out in paperback.

9/23/16 Panel

Sep 23, 2016

  The Roundtable Panel: a daily open discussion of issues in the news and beyond.

Today's panelists are WAMC's Alan Chartock, Director of the Journalism Program at the University at Albany Rosemary Armao, and author and activist Barbara Smith. 

Elizabeth Lesser, cofounder of Omega Institute and the Omega Women's Leadership Center, is author of The Seeker's Guide and Broken Open.

Her new memoir is Marrow, a visceral and profound memoir of two sisters who, in the face of a bone marrow transplant—one the donor and one the recipient—begin a quest for acceptance, authenticity, and most of all, love.

Life is boring: filled with meetings and traffic, errands and emails. Nothing we'd ever call fun. But what if we've gotten fun wrong?

In Play Anything, visionary game designer and philosopher Ian Bogost shows how we can overcome our daily anxiety; transforming the boring, ordinary world around us into one of endless, playful possibilities.

On Monday, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump will debate for the first time.

In today’s Congressional Corner, Tim Vercellotti of the Western New England University poll and professor of political science, tells WAMC’s Alan Chartock what he’s watching for.

A former child actor best known for her starring roles in Matilda and Mrs. Doubtfire, Mara Wilson has always felt a little young and out of place: as the only kid on a film set full of adults, the first daughter in a house full of boys, a Valley girl in New York and a neurotic in California, and a grown-up the world still remembers as a little girl.

Tackling everything from what she learned about sex on the set of Melrose Place, to discovering in adolescence that she was no longer “cute” enough for Hollywood, her book, Where Am I Now?: True Stories of Girlhood and Accidental Fame, charts her journey from accidental fame to relative (but happy) obscurity.

In her new book: Modified: GMOs and the Threat to Our Food, Our Land, Our Future, journalist Caitlin Shetterly has turned her own personal journey into an exploration of how GMOs may be affecting not only our health but our agricultural future as well.

Shetterly begins with her own family ordeal: her one-year old son would have bedtime episode where he would cry incessantly, stop breathing, and turn blue, and his body was covered with eczema. A forward-thinking pediatrician added corn to the list of foods to cut out of the baby’s diet to check for allergens, and his health problems all but disappeared. Then Shetterly herself began to suffer.

Shetterly decided to research all this which took her on a road trip through Nebraska and into Iowa, where she witnessed firsthand the changing face of agricultural America. 

9/22/16 Panel

Sep 22, 2016

 The Roundtable Panel: a daily open discussion of issues in the news and beyond.

Today's panelists are WAMC's Alan Chartock, Director of the Journalism Program at the University at Albany Rosemary Armao and corporate attorney, Rich Honen.

  Actor, comedian, writer and producer, Paul Reiser, will headline this year's Fairview Hospital Gala on Saturday, September 24 at 8 p.m.

A seasoned actor, writer, and producer, Paul Reiser continues to add to his list of accomplishments. Having co-created and starred in the critically acclaimed NBC series Mad About You which garnered him multiple Emmy, Golden Globe, American Comedy Award and Screen Actors Guild nominations, Reiser returned to television last year in the FX series Married.

While developing several television projects which he will write and produce, Reiser is currently starring in the Amazon coming-of-age series Red Oaks for producer Steven Soderbergh. It's been a busy time in film for Reiser as well. Following his role in Academy Award winning film Whiplash, and in last year's Concussion, Reiser has a full slate of films coming up. He will be seen in The Darkness with Kevin Bacon, Devil in the Deep Blue Sea with Jason Sudeikis and Maisie Williams, Miles with Molly Shannon, and also in John McDonagh's War on Everyone with Alexander Skarsgard and Michael Pena.

Not one to abandon his roots in stand-up, in between projects Reiser tours the country performing to sold out venues and was recently voted one of Comedy Central's “Top 100 Comedians of All Time."

  Hudson Valley Ruins is a photography and architecture exhibition at The New York State Museum based on the work of Robert Yasinsac and Thomas Rinaldi.

Their 2006 book, Hudson Valley Ruins: Forgotten Landmarks of an American Landscape, studies the region's forgotten cultural treasures. In addition to great river estates, the book profiles sites more meaningful to everyday life in the Valley: churches and hotels, commercial and civic buildings, mills and train stations.

The show is on display at The New York State Museum through December 31st and this Saturday the artists will be on hand for a guided tour and book signing. 

  The New York Times columnist  Maureen Dowd has covered Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton since the '90s.

Trapped between two candidates with the highest recorded unfavorables, Americans are plunged into The Year of Voting Dangerously. In this perilous and shocking campaign season, Dowd traces the psychologies and pathologies in one of the nastiest and most significant battles of the sexes ever.

9/21/16 Panel

Sep 21, 2016

  The Roundtable Panel: a daily open discussion of issues in the news and beyond.

Today's panelists are WAMC's Alan Chartock, Director of the Journalism Program at the University at Albany Rosemary Armao, and political consultant and lobbyist, Libby Post.

  In June 1980, 19-year-old James McDonnell (known as Slim Jim Phantom) boarded a plane from New York City to London with his childhood friends and bandmates Brian Setzer and Lee Rocker. In less than a year, they went from being homeless, hungry, and living in punk rock squats to the toast of the London music scene.

The Stray Cats developed a signature sound and style that swept across the world, released multiplatinum albums, and were embraced and befriended by classic rock acts like the Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin, as well as original punk heroes such as the Sex Pistols, the Damned, and the Clash, and rock-and-roll originators Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis. After ten years of marriage to actress Britt Ekland, Slim Jim moved down the hill to Sunset Strip, where his son was raised and he owned the world-famous rock-and-roll bar Cat Club while continuing to play with a host of well-known musicians.

Slim Jim Phantom's memoir is A Stray Cat Struts: My Life as a Rockabilly Rebel.

  There's a lot of interest in teaching people how to write code. This interest encompasses lots of issues including increasing diversity among coders as well as moving beyond the business-oriented world of coding to other worlds such as arts and sciences. Are coding languages becoming just another way of communicating? We'll talk about those issues.

There are several avenues of exploration and development to talk about, and the diversity and organization (or lack thereof) in the development communities mean that there are lots of choices to make.

And, not to be left out, is this all about sixth-graders? Is there any hope for older folks (including many of the folk who are coding and developing the vast amount of software that we all rely on every day).

And what does it mean when people say that millennials are the first digital native generation?

Our tech guru, Jesse Feiler, joins us. 

  The race for New York’s open 22nd Congressional district seat is going down to the wire.

In today’s Congressional Corner, Democratic candidate Kim Myers concludes her interview with WAMC’s Alan Chartock.

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