Stacey Molski's blog

Get to Know Heat Rocks Host Morgan Rhodes!


Maximum Fun's newest show Heat Rocks debuts on Tuesday, October 3rd! Yesterday, you learned a little bit about host Oliver Wang. Today, we'll introduce you to host Morgan Rhodes!

Tell us a little about yourself.

I've been a music supervisor for five years and in radio for ten, both as a music programmer/DJ and as a music critic. I'm currently working on Season 2 of Dear White People which airs in the spring of 2018. I love working around music.

What led you to create Heat Rocks?

I'm so talkative when it comes to music so initially I thought about having a show where Oliver and I talk about the songs and albums we love. Then I thought it might be interesting to create space for artists and scholars to be generous, to speak well of other peoples work. It's been incredibly rewarding listening to artists and scholars we are fans of wax poetic about their personal heat rocks.

What are you most excited for people to hear on the show?

I'm most excited for people to be as surprised as Oliver and I have been at the albums our guests have chosen. Their heat rocks have been wonderful surprises.

What's one thing that's surprised you about the process of making this podcast?

I had no idea Maximum Fun's studio was so cool. It is small but mighty!

What's your personal heat rock?

Wow. How much time do you have?

Get to Know Heat Rocks Host Oliver Wang!


Maximum Fun's newest show Heat Rocks debuts on Tuesday, October 3rd! Read on to get to know co-host Oliver Wang before you check out the outstanding first episode.

Tell us a little about yourself.

I wear many hats (literally and figuratively) but my main job is as a sociology professor at Cal State Long Beach, where I’ve been since 2006. I’ve also been an arts/culture writer since the mid-90s. I started as a music critic but these days, I write about everything from urban change to food to car clubs. I’ve also been a DJ for 25 years and I continue to collect records and occasionally, play them out.

What led you to create Heat Rocks?

It may seem archaic but I still love the album as a format. The idea that an artist would sit down to create an album as a collection of ideas, as a creative statement, is still compelling. I always knew I wanted to create a podcast around albums and when I approached Morgan to be the co-host, we cooked up the idea of inviting guests to talk about the albums they love. Ultimately, Heat Rocks is an album appreciation show.

What are you most excited for people to hear on the show?

It’s the surprise factor when you hear what guests want to talk about. Phonte choosing, for example, “Intro” by Intro, an early ‘90s new jack swing album totally caught me off guard but it turned out to be an incredibly fun episode. Likewise, I wouldn’t have guessed that one of Ill Camille’s favorite albums was Common’s “Like Water For Chocolate” but she had every verse on that album memorized. Every. Verse. It was incredible.

What's your personal heat rock?

I have many! But if you twisted my arm to just pick one, I might have to go with Al Green’s “I’m Still In Love With You.” It doesn’t even have “Let’s Stay Together” on it yet it’s 9 songs, barely over half an hour long, and it’s damn near perfect.

The Greatest Generation is Going on Tour!


Catch Adam and Ben LIVE at one of the shows below!

Mon, Aug 14
Minneapolis MN
Brave New Workshop

Tue, Aug 15
Milwaukee WI

Thu, Aug 17
Chicago IL
Lincoln Hall
Early Show

Fri, Aug 18
Cleveland OH
Beachland Ballroom

Sat, Aug 19
Toronto ON
The Great Hall

Mon, Aug 21
Somerville MA
ONCE Somerville

Wed, Aug 23
Brooklyn NY
The Bell House

Thu, Aug 24
Philadelphia PA
World Cafe Live

Fri, Aug 25
Washington DC
Black Cat

MaxFunCon Scholarship - Now Accepting Applications!


We've got some exciting news for folks interested in experiencing MaxFunCon, but finding it financially out of reach:

This year, thanks to the generosity of MaxFunCon attendees, we are able to offer one scholarship ticket for the event!

The scholarship will be awarded to an individual who has a strong desire to attend but is financially unable to do so.

This scholarship is a free ticket to the event. It does not cover transportation to the event (i.e., airfare, rental car), but still covers the cost of your MaxFunCon ticket, accommodations, food, drink, and activities.

In order to apply for this scholarship, you must meet all of the following criteria:

  • You have significant financial need. Specifically, it would be difficult or impossible for you to attend MaxFunCon if you did not receive a scholarship.
  • You will be able to participate in the entire weekend-long conference. MaxFunCon begins at 4 PM on Friday, June 9th and ends at 1 PM on Sunday, June 11th.
  • You are able to arrange your own transportation to and from Lake Arrowhead, CA to attend MaxFunCon.

If you are interested in applying for a scholarship, you will need to fill out this form:

We're asking for a short essay telling us a bit about yourself. Essay instructions are as follows:

  • Explain why you want to go to MaxFunCon. In particular, please describe your creative aspirations and how attending MaxFunCon might help you with your future projects.
  • The essay must be no longer than 300 words. Essays longer than 300 words will not be read or considered.

The deadline for scholarship applications is midnight PT on Friday, May 19th.
We will select and notify the recipient by the end of the day on Wednesday, May 24th.

Finally, a HUGE thank you to all the awesome, generous MaxFunCon attendees who contributed to the Scholarship Fund!

Today is the LAST DAY of the enamel pin sale!


Heads up, friends! If you're a $10+ monthly member who was hoping to purchase additional pins (with profits going to the LA Regional Food Bank), please note that today is the FINAL DAY to do that! The sale ends tonight at 11:59 PM PDT, and then the pins are gone forever.

$10+ monthly members in good standing should have received access information in your email. If you can't find it (subject line: "Here's your access to the enamel pin sale!") please please please double check your spam folder and promotions folder, even if you've previously received emails from us in your inbox. If you still can't find it, email Lindsay at lindsay[at]maximumfun[dot]org.

This is really, sincerely it for these pins, so if you want to do a good turn, you might want to remind your MaxFun member friends that this is their last shot, too.

Thanks to ALL of our monthly members for making the network possible, and thanks for being such a lovely community. We feel incredibly privileged to fight hunger in LA with your help.

Watch Awesome MaxFunCon Talks On YouTube!


MaxFunCon is a gathering of creative people who wish to be more awesome. This year we're holding MaxFunCon in Lake Arrowhead from June 9-11, and MaxFunCon East at Pocono Manor from September 1-3.

If you've always wondered what goes on at MaxFunCon, now's your chance to feel like you're there! Every Wednesday, we post videos of incredible MaxFunCon speakers like Jon Ronson, Susan Orlean, Andrew W.K, Brooke Gladstone, and many more! You can catch up on a bunch right now on our YouTube channel, and while you're there, subscribe to stay up to date as new videos are added!

Tickets for MaxFunCon and MaxFunCon East are still available at, but are close to selling out, so act fast!

Brooklyn Meetup on August 27!


Hey all you New-York-adjacent MaxFunsters! You may already know that Stuart Wellington of Flop House fame now owns an awesome bar in Brooklyn. And if you’re in the unofficial MaxFun NYC facebook group, you may have already been to that awesome bar!

We’re putting together a MaxFun meetup at Hinterlands Bar, so NYC-based hosts and fans can go enjoy a night of fun and friendship. More details to come in the future, but for now, mark your calendars:

Saturday, August 27, 2016
7pm - 10pm
739 Church Ave
Brooklyn, NY

Facebook Event

MaxFunDrive Digital Premiums: Unlocked!


It is the very last day of the 2016 MaxFunDrive! If you've been holding out until the last minute, your time has come -- the last minute is here! Join or upgrade your membership now; it's your last shot to score the exclusive pledge drive thank you gifts, help MaxFun make a difference in the LA community, and know that you counted toward our final grand total of new and upgrading members.

We're still racking up those meals for the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank; we're already at over 14,000 meals for Angelenos in need. MaxFun is donating 5 meals for each person who joins or upgrades between now and the end of the live show.

Speaking of the live show, we're topping off the pledge drive with a livestreamed JJGo! Travis McElroy's new tattoo will be revealed, #BugHat will be unveiled, and loads of other amazing guests are lined up. The fun kicks off at 7 PM PDT tonight, and we'll have details on how to watch the show at

Did we mention we're at 7854 new and upgrading members? We left our first stretch goal in the dust, so MaxFun members can look forward to an exclusive pledge drive wallpaper by Megan Lynn Kott and a MaxFun ringtone. If you're not a member yet, here's a little sneak peek Megan sent us yesterday of just one small portion of the final wallpaper:

I bet you didn't know you needed Scout Leader Judge John Hodgman in your life until this moment, did you?

We have one final stretch goal up our sleeves. If we hit 10,000 new and upgrading members, we're unleashing Jordan, Jesse, Jetpack (+friends) on the world. We'll put Jordan, Jesse, Carrie Poppy, and Travis McElroy in jetpacks, and record it for your joy and amusement. Jesse is game but a little miffed that we came up with the idea (I think he doesn't love heights). Support independent media, feeding hungry families, and amateur exposure therapy in one fell swoop by joining or upgrading your membership right NOW. Thank you so much!

Maximum Fun Drive Progress Report: 3515 New and Upgrading Members


As MaxFunDrive Week One draws to a close, we are officially at 3,515 new and upgrading members! Whaaaaat! You are totally killing it! We have one week left to get 1,500 more new and upgrading members to hit our goal.

I hope you're listening to all of the wonderful episodes our shows are putting out this week. And I'm not talking bonus episodes. Their normal episodes this week are so good it's going to feel like they're bonus episodes. That's how hard our hosts are working to bring you the best they've got.

If you haven't joined or upgraded yet, think about doing it this weekend. Or think about doing it now. Or just do it now. Like, right now. Whatever fits best into your lifestyle.

And if you have donated already, thank you so very much for helping Maximum Fun possible. We wouldn't be here without you. Have a stellar weekend!

MaxFunDrive Progress Report: 2089 New and Upgrading Members!


Whoa. It's Day 3 of the MaxFunDrive and already 2089 of you have stepped up to become a new member or upgrade your membership! We are only halfway through week one and are nearly halfway to our goal of 5,000 new and upgrading members!

If you have already donated - thank you, thank you, thank you! Everyone has been so incredible and kind and generous. You MaxFunsters really are the best fans in the biz.

If you've been thinking about donating, but haven't yet, you can join or upgrade right now and get in on the fun (and that sweet, sweet bonus digital content). If you haven't been thinking about donating, you should probably think about donating. Maximum Fun can only exist with the support of our listeners. So if you love a show and want it to keep being a show, donate. Every little bit helps! And don't forget that in addition to the heartwarming feeling of directly supporting the people and shows you love, you also can get some pretty awesome thank you gifts!

Let's keep up this amazing momentum! Get' em, get 'em, get 'em!

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