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Podthoughts by Ian Brill: "Cocktails on the Fly"

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Freelance journalist Ian Brill is our man on the podcast scene, sorting the wheat from the chaff. This week, he covers the home bartending cast "Cocktails on the Fly".

Do you remember the Kids in the Hall Sketch ”Girl Drink Drunk”? I have to admit: for me, watching Cocktails on the Fly’s “Flighty Hostess” Alberta Straub explain the recipes for her complex mixed drinks prompted flashbacks of Dave Foley telling Kevin MacDonald how to make a Squash Strawberry Alley Cat.

That said, even if my particular taste in spirits doesn’t lead me to Straub’s specialties I can appreciate her skill and talent. Dubbed “the Alice Waters of booze” Straub hosts quick video segments, ranging from three to eleven minutes, detailing how to create a drinks with such names as “Bijou,” “Pear Necessity” and “The Macdaddy.” She packs in a lot of instructions, too. Straub always uses fresh ingredients so there are plenty of fruits and vegetables to muddle. Muddling is a big part of mixing these drinks. Straub even has a whole episode dedicated to the art. She shows you the tools and the right amount if pressure to apply. With all factors going into these drinks it’s easy to forget that they’re alcoholic. The alcohol seems to be the easiest thing to get down, mixing some vodka or some gin with some liqueur. From there you have to master the delicate art of mint leaves. At the end of every episode Straub reviews all the ingredients and instructions in bullet point style so you’re ready to make your own concoctions.

Even if I have a hard time following along with the recipes Cocktails on the Fly is still fun to watch for Straub’s “flightiness.” Alone in her kitchen, she’ll start singing songs to herself and put on different voices. She’s a likeable personality and isn’t afraid to look a bit silly.

Three recent episodes broke the tradition of Cocktails on the Fly. Straub visited San Francisco gin makers Distillery No. 209. The multi-part guided tour is not unlike something you’d find on The Food Network. Straub and 209’s Technical Director Arnie Hillesand examine each step of creating gin. The lesson is filled with technical and historical tidbits. It’s pretty fun if, like me, you savor a nice G&T every now and again. That drink may not be as stimulating for a skilled bartender like Straub but at least it only takes a couple of seconds to make.

Ze Frank is hosting Fair Game?

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And interviewing Harvey Pekar?

Whuuuuuuuuuuh? Huuuuuuuuuuh?

Podcast: TSOYA: Live in LA with Rob Thomas, Brent Weinbach and Eleni Mandell

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Show: 
Bullseye

Earlier this month, we recorded this LIVE Sound of Young America program at the Westside Eclectic Theater in Santa Monica. Above, you can see Nutsy preparing for the show.

The one and only Dan Grayson rocked out theme song live, a rare and distinct pleasure.

The great Brent Weinbach, fresh of a performance with the Comedians of Comedy at the Coachella Music & Arts Festival, led off the show, offering the audience a taste of his unique comic style. You can hear much of his performance in the show, but I had to cut some for time reasons. For example, here's Brent leading the audience in an orchestral performance that has to be heard to be believed: MP3.

Then I had the pleasure of interviewing Rob Thomas. He's the creator of Veronica Mars, the wonderful (and dearly departed) teen detective television show for people who would never watch a teen detective television show. He also created the cult hit series "Cupid," and edited a book of essays about Veronica Mars called "Neptune Noir."

The wonderful Eleni Mandell closed the show with three songs -- alternately haunting, sweet and charming. If you'd like to listen to the performances independent of the show, here are MP3 links (right click and choose "Save As"): Girls (MP3), My Twin (MP3), Make Out King (MP3). All three songs are taken from Eleni's newest LP, "The Miracle of 5," and you should really buy it on Amazon or from iTunes.

All photographs by Lee Meredith - see more here. Special thanks this week to The Onion, America's Finest News Source, and to He'Brew, The Chosen Beer for providing us with free refreshments.

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Our intersititial music is provided by Dan Wally

You might also enjoy these past programs:
Live in NYC with David Wain, et al
Live in NYC two with Kurt Andersen, et al
Laugh Riot with Brent Weinbach

The Sound of Young America is supported in part by Project Breakout and the comedy competition at comedy.projectbreakout.com.

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Terry Gross on Mescaline

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Is what MediaBistro's FishBowl LA called this show when they interviewed me.

Red Hot Entertainment Celebs + TSOYA = Match Made in Heaven

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Is that International Super-Celebrity Paul Scheer of The Human Giant wearing a Sound of Young America t-shirt at the MTV movie awards?! It is?! TRULY AMAZING!

CELEBRITIES: THEY'RE JUST LIKE US!

(IF WE HAVE TSOYA T-SHIRTS. IF WE DON'T, WE CAN AND SHOULD GET ONE.)

Now I'm just duplicating posts.

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State of the Industry Address 2007

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Our pal Todd at Dead-Frog scooped me on this one, but check out the clips (above) from Andy Kindler's annual State of the Industry speach at Montreal's Just for Laughs comedy festival. Every year, Andy takes on all the shitty things in the comedy industry, from Delta Farce to Robin Williams to the bachelorette party. And usually Jay Leno.

Andy was a guest on The Sound a couple of years ago, and he talked a bit about why he speaks publically about things that are shitty. Here's an MP3 of the show. Andy's a great comic and he has a heart of gold.

And speaking of Montreal, both Dead-Frog and The Hater have been there offering recaps... both are worth reading.

All of 2006's TSOYAs in one torrent

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If you want to download all of 2006's Sound of Young America broadcasts at once, you can do it. You will have to use TORRENT technology.

Here is TSOYA 2006 on MySpleen.

If you need an invite, email me and tell me your favorite TSOYA moment for identity verification purposes.

RadioLab

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You know what's so great about this show? Everything.

Listen.

Podcast: Kasper Hauser Comedy Podcast: Ep. 14: The News 6 Update

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This week: Bay Area news update -- more at six.

Please continue to subscribe and review the show! You can also check out KH's videos on YouTube.

Download Episode Fourteen (MP3)
Subscribe in iTunes
Review in iTunes
Buy Kasper Hauser's new book: "Skymaul"

Hear Episode Fourteen



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