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The Download with Justin Kaufmann Podcast from Chicago's Very Own, 720 WGN

The Download with Justin Kaufmann Podcast from Chicago's Very Own, 720 WGN
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The Download with Justin Kaufmann Podcast from Chicago's Very Own, 720 WGN




MBX Systems is taking volunteering to a new level

It’s the morning version of “The Download on Chicago Business” sponsored by Signature Bank. This morning, Justin speaks with MBX Systems CEO Tom Crowley about what the company does, the MBX cares program, how their employees take part in volunteering and the innovative way they are taking volunteering to a new level.


Is ‘The American Bystander’ the last great humor magazine?

Michael Gerber, the publisher of the humor magazine, “The American Bystander,” joins Justin to talk about his goal of bringing back the humor magazine, the challenge of producing a print magazine, how much he knew about the magazine publishing industry, what makes a great humor magazine, how the magazine has evolved since 2015, what attracts people to “The American Bystander,” the interest from younger readers and how they plan to grow. The Download with Justin Kaufmann Podcast is easy to...


Comedian Bert Kreischer: “If you don’t laugh when you come up with a funny idea then you are dead inside”

Comedian Bert Kreischer joins Justin to discuss his career, how often he comes through Chicago, his new Netflix special, “Secret Time,” how his family reacts to his comedy, the challenge of talking about personal issues in his act, what he learned from being around comedy clubs when he was just starting out, the evolution of his material, why he started taking his shirt off on stage and what it means to him to have a special on Netflix. The Download with Justin […]


‘Kin’ directors Jonathan and Josh Baker don’t want to just be the sci-fi guys

Jonathan and Josh Baker join Justin to discuss their new film “Kin.” Jonathan and Josh talk about the process of making this movie, the importance of “going with their gut” during the creation of the film, why they wanted to put their own stamp on the sci-fi genre, making the transition from advertising to feature films, how their commercial work influenced their artistic work, how they rely on each other when they are working and why it is a great […]


Chicago Artist You Should Know: Makaya McCraven

The tremendous Chicago jazz drummer Makaya McCraven joins Justin to talk about his career, the diverse and collaborative jazz community in Chicago, the many sounds and styles that jazz encompasses, why jam sessions are so important to the growth of a musician, his goal of making compelling art, the fascination of American music around the world and the upcoming Red Bull Music Round Robin event at Thalia Hall. Also check out the Digital Round Robin website where visitors can create […]


Chicago author and screenwriter Juliet McDaniel: “We are starting to get into a point where female characters are allowed to be really complicated and messy”

Chicago author and screenwriter Juliet McDaniel joins Justin to talk discuss her debut novel, “Mr. and Mrs. American Pie.” Juliet talks about the emotion of having her novel being optioned for television, the similarities and differences between writing a screenplay and a novel, where the inspiration for the main character in “Mr. and Mrs. American Pie” comes from, how the character changed from draft to draft, what attracts people to this character and the process of adapting this character...


VIDEO: Musician Anna Burch is creating art from interpersonal drama

The amazing musician Anna Burch joins Justin in-studio to talk about her career, her recent record, “Quit the Curse,” the time she spent living in Chicago, the transition she made from being a member of a group to a solo artist, her process of writing songs, the intense nature of her lyrics, embarking on a European tour and what can we expect from her next. Anna also plays a couple of songs including, “Belle Isle” and “Go it Alone.” […]


VIDEO: Actor John David Washington is much more than just Denzel’s son

The tremendous actor John David Washington joins Justin in-studio to discuss his amazing performance in Spike Lee’s new film, “BlacKkKlansman.” John David talks about his career, working with Spike Lee on this film, what he knew about the story of Ron Stallworth, the amount of humor in the movie, how the film is both a period piece and contemporary, his work on HBO’s “Ballers,” how playing sports has helped him with his career in Hollywood, why he was initially apprehensive […]


Should you go back and delete all of your old tweets?

Scott Smith, The Download’s new media correspondent, joins Justin for an in-depth discussion about his recent decision to delete 6 years of old tweets. Scott talks about how Twitter has evolved through the years, what went into his decision to delete old tweets, the importance of context to Twitter and the tool he used to delete his old tweets. The Download with Justin Kaufmann Podcast is easy to find. Listen on your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch or Android device. Search for WGN […]


Lollapalooza Band You Should Know: Post Animal

The tremendous Chicago-based rock-n-roll band Post Animal join Justin in-studio to talk about their career, the goals they had when they first started playing music together, their process of collaboration, the importance of being influenced by many different styles of music, how the band has progressed through the years, the current status of the Chicago indie-rock scene, what they know about the rock scene that preceded them, the significance of continuing to play basement shows, the...


Director and Chicago native Claire Scanlon is reviving the romantic comedy with ‘Set it Up’

Editor, producer, director and Chicago native Claire Scanlon joins Justin to discuss her new Netflix movie, “Set it Up.” Claire talks about “Set it Up” being a throwback to the classic era of romantic comedies, why this film feels like a movie made in 2018, how working on movies differs from working on television, why her editing background helps her to direct, why she believes Chicago is a great cinematic town, if she lives a cinematic life and what she plans […]


‘The King’ director Eugene Jarecki: “President Trump is, it’s safe to say, the embodiment of every single thing that destroyed Elvis Presley”

Award-winning filmmaker Eugene Jarecki joins Justin to discuss his new documentary film, “The King.” Eugene talks about what he knew about Elvis Presley before embarking on this project, what he discovered about Elvis while working on the film, how Elvis’ life is a mirror of our society, the amount of empathy he has for Elvis and the contributions he received from Ethan Hawke, Emmylou Harris, John Hiatt, Chuck D, Mike Myers and others and. The film is playing at the […]


Pitchfork Artist You Should Know: Nnamdi Ogbonnaya

Multi-instrumentalist musician Nnamdi Ogbonnaya joins Justin to talk about his career, coming up through the Chicago D.I.Y. scene, his 2017 record, “Drool,” the process of writing a song, the importance of trying new things, how drumming has shaped his sound, why he is always trying to push boundaries, the collaborative Chicago music scene and his appearance on Sunday at the Pitchfork Music Festival. The Download with Justin Kaufmann Podcast is easy to find. Listen on your iPhone, iPad, iPod...


Former Pitchfork executives are disrupting Chicago’s marketing world with Varyer

Former Pitchfork president Chris Kaskie and creative director Mike Renaud join Justin to talk about their new venture, Varyer. Chris and Mike talk about what Varyer does, the way they are approaching this new company, what they learned from their time at Pitchfork that they apply to Varyer, how they are able to build trust, the changing face of Chicago’s artistic community, the importance of collaboration and why they choose to keep working in Chicago. The Download with Justin Kaufmann...


‘Puzzle’ director Marc Turtletaub finds passion in 1000 pieces

Oscar-nominated film producer Marc Turtletaub joins Justin to discuss his new film, “Puzzle.” Marc talks about where the idea for this film comes from, the process of becoming involved with the movie, his relationship with puzzles, the social art of directing a film, how being a producer helped him with directing the film, the way he chooses projects to produce, what he looks for when reading a script, how this project differs from directing his first movie and the changing […]


‘Eighth Grade’ writer and director Bo Burnham: “I really try to just pursue what I’m interested in and what is exciting to me and what I want to look at”

Comedian, singer-songwriter, musician, rapper, actor, director, screenwriter and poet Bo Burnham joins Justin to discuss his highly anticipated new film, “Eighth Grade.” Bo talks about where the idea for this movie comes from, the challenges involved in writing for an eighth grade girl, why this movie will appeal to adults, the impact of social media on our lives, the anxiety involved in trying something new and being content with having an incoherent body of work. Follow Justin on Twitter...


Gary Louris of The Jayhawks: “It’s really cool to have longevity as long as you still have something to say”

Singer-Songwriter Gary Louris of the tremendous band The Jayhawks joins Justin to talk about the memories he has of playing in Chicago, why the Jayhawks’ sound still resonates, why they never felt like they were part of any particular movement, the process of putting the new Jayhawks record, “Back Roads and Abandoned Motels” together, the importance of having band stability and the two Jayhawks shows this weekend at Thalia Hall and the Square Roots Festival. The Download with Justin Kaufmann...


VIDEO: Chicago Artist You Should Know: 2018 National Youth Poet Laureate Patricia Frazier

Patricia Frazier, poet, filmmaker, activist and 2018 National Youth Poet Laureate, joins Justin to discuss what it means to win this prestigious award, how activism influences her art, what she enjoys about writing poetry, the impact that Young Chicago Authors is having around the world, when she decided to take poetry seriously, the importance of Louder Than a Bomb to her craft, why she focuses on marginalized communities and why Chicago is such a mecca for young artists. […]


Former Whitney Young, DePaul and NBA star Quentin Richardson: Kids are being exploited by the NCAA

Former Whitney Young, DePaul and NBA star Quentin Richardson joins Justin to discuss his involvement with the Big3 Basketball League, what it means for him to play at the United Center, his time playing at Whitney Young High School, why he chose to attend DePaul, the competitive nature of Chicago basketball, the challenge a player faces when he makes the transition to professional basketball, the grind of an 82-game professional schedule, the experience of being traded and how players are...


VIDEO: Hip Hop artist Bump J: “I believe that the streets of Chicago kind of turned me into a rapper”

The highly influential hip hop artist Bump J joins Justin to talk about his career, how music has changed since he first started in the business, what the Chicago music scene was like when he first began rapping, who influenced him during his early years, when he realized that music was more than just a hobby, the way he has influenced the current crop of artists, working with Kanye West, why he joined a gang when he was only 13-years-old, […]