Pharoahe Monch is one of underground hip-hop's most respected MCs. Beginning with his rise to prominence as half of the group Organized Konfusion, and continuing into his fruitful solo career, he's always been seen as a paragon of both technical mastery and lyrical passion on the microphone.
Brother Ali is a Minneapolis-based MC with a reputation for raw, soul-searching lyrics and passionate delivery. His new EP is "The Truth Is Here," a follow-up to his 2007 LP "The Undisputed Truth."
Jonathan Coulton stops by MaxFun World HQ to talk about (and play) his charming, heartfelt and hilarious songs. Coulton recently released a live CD/DVD set, called "Best. Concert. Ever."
Jimmy Pardo and Matt Belknap are the hosts of Never Not Funny, one of the world's most popular comedy podcasts. Pardo has been a standup comic for twenty years, and has appeared on the Tonight Show and been featured in his own Comedy Central special. He's also hosted television shows like National Lampoon's Funny Money on GSN and Movies at Our House on AMC. Belknap works in film development, and is the founder of the comedy fan website aspecialthing.com.
Brian Michael Bendis is an acclaimed comics writer. His work has ranged from independent crime comics to the artist-controlled superhero imprint Image to helming some of the most important characters in superhero comics for Marvel. Several years ago, he re-created Spider Man for the 21st century with Ultimate Spider Man. He now steers Marvel's most important superteam, The Avengers. We spoke with Brian at the Bridgetown Comedy Festival in Portland, Oregon.
A month or two ago, an artist from Brazil named Daniel Ferreira emailed me to ask me permission to use a Sound of Young America podcast to make a derivative work. I was more than happy to say yes, and the product was a wonderful bit of sound art called "Ahn. Hm."
Here's what Ferreira says about the piece:
"The idea behind this was to remove all audio except for the portions referring to the secondary functions of language, like the emotive (non-verbal sounds) and the phatic (referring to the message itself or to the communication channel)."
I think it's kind of beautiful and completely fascinating. One thing I really like about it is that he focuses on how these sounds do have meaning -- they're not just noises we make if we're too dumb to make words. Sometimes I get an email from an irate radio listener upset because there are too many "likes" and "uhms" in the show. From now on, I'll share this piece with them.
The interview used is our show from last year, with cartoonist Ariel Schrag.
Rob Baedeker of Kasper Hauser is also a columnist for SFGate.com, the website of the San Francisco Chronicle. In his column, Money Tales, he writes about how people's lives and people's money interact. When we held our pledge drive, he asked if he could write a bit about how I've pieced together a living from what amounts to my college radio show.
Of course, in the space of half a dozen or so paragraphs, I manage to claim to be "vicious like the wolverine" and to reject the bedrock principles of capitalism by saying "I look at the marketplace and say, 'Ugh, people want that?"
In other words: I have to learn to be less quotable.
That said, it's a really lovely article, and can be read here.